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Old December 11, 1999, 09:04 AM   #1
Patrick Graham
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Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
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I've been hung up on 16.6 grains of WW296 with a 158 grain bullet for years. Works great but I'm running out of WW296 and I'm getting ready to purchase more powder.

Is it time for me to "expand my horizons"?

Anyone got any suggestions for a different "butt kicking" powder for 357 magnum? Any favorite loads? Any favorite bullet weights? Should I just stick with 16.6 of WW296 and a 158 grain bullet?
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Old December 11, 1999, 03:13 PM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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Join Date: November 18, 1999
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I hunted this year with a 357 Magnum. We have big deer here in Oregon and I decided to push the limits, see what a minimum bullet would be. Used the 158 grain Hornady JHP and 2400 & H110. These were shot from a S&W 627PC. The H110 is not very kind to pistols and would suggest not using it under a prolonged period of time, but it does have butt kicking attributes. Personally think that 357 Magnums shoot best with 2400, packs the most punch anyway.

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Old December 12, 1999, 08:58 PM   #3
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Does 2400 burn fairly clean? I'm thinking of using it under 125 gr JHPs in my S&W 27, 4".
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Old December 12, 1999, 11:09 PM   #4
Robert the41MagFan
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Blue Dot and 2400 are some of the dirtiest powders I use, Blue Dot being the worst of the two. Of the Slow burning powders H110 and Accurate #9 burn the cleanest, but they are ball powders and not very gun friendly.

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Old December 13, 1999, 04:57 PM   #5
Join Date: October 20, 1999
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I too use 2400. My favorite load is 15.3 gr behind a cast 142 gr swc. Major fun!

I just got a new mold to try something a little heavier, a Lee 158 gr swc for tumble lubing. How I'll have to play with my load again.
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Old December 13, 1999, 06:50 PM   #6
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I also use the 2400 with a Hornady 158grn XTP-HP. I won't say the amount of powder, because I'm not fond of (or confident in)reciting recipes from memory. This is a HOT load and I've worked all the way to the max listed in most of the loading tables ... you can find it in the Alliant online database. This load is SO hot (draws lots of stares on the range) that I'm thinking of dropping back 5-10% to see if accuracy could get better (it isn't bad ... I'm just pushing on the envelope a little). Someone above mentioned the 2400 in a 4" bbl ... I would only recommend the 2400 if the intention is to torch any targets less than 10 yards from the muzzle! It is my understanding that the reason the 2400 works so well is that it is a slower powder and can utilize the longer bbls better. At dusk it seems that even 6 inches of barrel might not take full advantage of the 2400 ... lots of flame
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Old December 13, 1999, 11:44 PM   #7
Join Date: February 22, 1999
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 51
Nothing I do shooting or handloading is
guaranteed to bring a smile to my face more
that 158gr .357's I load using H110. I go
1 or 2% less than maximum in the loading, and
every shot is damn fine. Strong and very
accurate. YMMV, of course. I have tried
other powders, but nothing comes close for me.

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Old December 14, 1999, 12:42 AM   #8
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Four Smiths I've used have all liked 19.5 to 20.5 gr. of WW296 behind a 125-gr JHP. The upper WAS the max load per a certain book a few years ago, but has been backed off to 20.0, IIRC.

CHECK THIS DATA YOURSELF FIRST! The max load worked fine in one 6-inch gun, but showed the first hints of high pressure in another. The "safe signs" gun also produced lower velocities. The correct load can be expected to generate up to 1450 fps in a 6-inch barrel.

You'll also get a 6- to 8-inch yellow-white fireball and a HUGE blast, like ssands reports for his loads.

It also produces 2-inch groups at 25 yards all the time. Sometimes smaller, never larger, and I'm using iron sights.
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Old December 22, 1999, 11:49 AM   #9
Paul B.
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Ah yes. The use of 2400 in a 4 inch barrel does produce a loud blast and a huge ball of fire. It will also produce higher velocity than a faster burning powder, such as Unique. I imagine this would also be true, even in the snubbies now being made in .357 mag.
There is an article on ( about the .357 mag. It's a good read.
Back in the late 50's and early 60's, I had a Smith mod. 28 (N frame) with a 4 inch barrel. The loads mentioned in this article were considered appropriate for this gun.
The only caveat I will give to anyone who wants to try the load mentioned, is start from below. The last batch of 2400 I used was a bit faster burning than what I am used to using.
Imagine that. A 158 gr. bullet at 1550 FPS.
Oh yes. I would not try this in anything but a solid "N" frame Smith & Wesson or the equivilant.
Paul B.
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Old December 22, 1999, 10:29 PM   #10
Join Date: February 18, 1999
Location: thomaston,ga USA
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I have always used H110 in all my magnum loads, 41,44 and 357 when reaching for any but practice loads. I also see Vitavourhi (sp) 110 seems to do really well in 357 and their powders seem to be good quality stuff
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