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Old January 23, 2005, 02:11 PM   #11
Paul B.
Senior Member
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,067
Ozzieman. I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you. The original .357 magnum load was a 158 gr. bullet at a bit over 1500 FPS. Of course, the soft swaged lead bullets leaded like hell, but there wasn't a problem with pressures in th "N" framed S&W and Colt New Service revolvers. The problem with those loads came about when S&W brought out the Model 19 and later 66 "K" frame guns in .357 Mag. it didn't take very long for those loads to really loosen the lightweight guns up, not to mention the recoil.
I still have a 1959 issue S&W "N" frame model 28, then called the Highway patrolman that has had well over 5,000 rounds of my 1500 FPS handloads with my homemade 158 gr. fairly hard cast semiwadcutters run through that revolver. It's still nice and tight, and leading is minimal at best.
If I run up a batch of bullets that come out a bit too soft and I get any leading, I just wrap a few strands of metal from a Chore Boy scouring pad around a tight brush and ten to twenty strokes usually does the trick, no more lead.
The original .44 mag. loads were way up there too. Not a problem so much with pressures but from the backthrust of those very potent loads. Original .44 mag. loads were also in the 1500 FPS range as well, and yes, they did kick like hell. Using Elmer Keith's load of 22.0 gr. of Hercules #2400 and a Lyman 429241 (Elmer's bullet) was a bit easier on the gun than some of the factory stuff that came out. No gas check required.Elmer would not use Winchester .44 Mag. ammo because it was so hot he had to pound on the ejector rod to remove the cases from his gun. I shot some of that stuff and it was quite vicious.
Speaking of needing gas checks, none of my .44 mags need a gas check even on my hottest loads, yet my .44 Spl. 624 needs a gas checked bullet. Go figure.
Paul B.
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