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Old June 13, 2012, 04:14 PM   #32
Paul B.
Senior Member
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,066
Well, as we are addressing loads for the .357 mag. for one,loads in the manuals and in factory ammo have been downloaded for some time. it wasn't that the loads were dangerous, but that they were shaking the S&W M19 and M66 loose. They were never meant to be shot exclusively with full power .357 mag. loads. Supposedly, you practiced with .38 Spl. ammo, then maybe a cylinder full of the "real stuff" to remember the difference.
I still have a box of .357 mag. ammo made aroun 1960 and shooting that stuff will rapidly get your attention The max load back then when loading your own was 15.5 gr. of HERCULES #2400. Today the max load is 14.0 gr. of ALLIANT #2400. I capitolized the company names to highlight the difference.
The same this has happened with the .44 magnum. It used to be the go to load was Elmer Keith's pet load of 22.0 gr. of HERCULES # 2400. Today it's 20.0 gr. of ALLIANT #2400. Why? Because the M29 and M629 get shot loose in a great big hurry. I ought to know as my 629 has been back to S&W twice The last time it gave up on 250 rounds. These days it gets warmish .44 Spl. level loads and I save the serious stuff for a Ruger Redhawk. I only use my own home cast bullets in my handguns.
Frankly, I think it would not be a lot of fun shooting a 1960's era .357 mag. load in those lightweight snubbies they now sell chambered to the .357 mag. For all I know, they'll probably gut that fine cartridge some more because it hurt the shooter's hand. However, that load never was a problem in my S&W M28 of my buddies Colt .357 Magnum.
Paul B.
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