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Old November 25, 2013, 07:27 AM   #1
shooters corner
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Reload help 357 magnum

Hey Yall,
New to the forum and I'm in need of some help on reloading 357 Magnum using 158 grain Zero jsp, starline brass and WSPPM.
My question is powder choices, when I look through all the differect reload data the powder charge and velocity just don't compare.
What I need is a load that will achive around 1250 fps.
Right now I reloading 14.5 gr of W296
Hornady 9th Editions indicates 14.5 gr to be 1150 fps this is with a 158 gr. XTP, seems kind of snappy for 1150 fps
Some how I just don't trust that data compared to other data out there.
I shooting this load for my Ruger GP100 6"

Any help would be great.
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Old November 25, 2013, 07:54 AM   #2
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I'm unclear on what you are going for or why 1250 is the magic number but I would guess it is likely your load is doing closer to 1300-1400. Different data sources use different type and length test barrels. The only sure way to know is to use a chrono. Winchester lists 15.0 as starting load to 16.7 as max for 296, and its quite capable of achieving much higher velocities than 1250, so I'm guessing you are looking for a reduced load with less recoil? W296 and H110 cannot be used for reduced loads with excess case space, so while they are the best performers for max loads, your 296 is not a good choice for mid to mild loads. There are several powders that do work well for this. I like Unique, as it works well from mild target loads to mid mag loads frm 25acp to 44 magnum. There are other newer powders others work with that seem to be pretty versatile but old people resist change when something works.
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Old November 25, 2013, 07:58 AM   #3
buck460XVR
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Velocities shown in manuals are seldom what one see's from their own firearm. Many times it the test gun/barrel used in the data testing, many times it's because of your own firearm's specs and tolerances. Other factors figure in also like case capacity and ambient temps. Only way to tell exact velocity from your firearm is with a chronograph. Why is it you NEED to obtain 1250 fps? Why won't 1150 work if the load is more accurate?
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Old November 25, 2013, 08:19 AM   #4
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The best powder I have found for 357 is 2400..... I use it in 357, 44 mag and 410, very versatile powder.....
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Old November 25, 2013, 08:30 AM   #5
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I was getting the speed asked for and better using AA7. It took the 16" barrel of the Rossi to do it. Shorter barrels just won't get there using this powder. You might also get the speed you are looking for using 2400 powder. To move this weight of bullet to those speeds is going to produce a pretty good amout of recoil.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; November 25, 2013 at 08:56 AM.
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Old November 25, 2013, 10:09 AM   #6
jim8115
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I use 8.0 Grains of Power Pistol with a Zero 158 JSP, from a 6" GP 100 it averages just over 1200 FPS.
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Old November 25, 2013, 10:25 AM   #7
Peter M. Eick
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13.5 grns of 2400 with a Remington 158 JHP and CCI550 primer gave me 1166 fps out of a 6" Python.

The same load with a 158 Lasercast SWC give me 1234 fps out of a 6.5" Registered Magnum.

I don't shoot a lot of Jacketed bullets in 357 Magnum so I can't get you closer. My gut reaction is you need to be around 14.5 grns of 2400 in a 6".
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Old November 25, 2013, 11:06 AM   #8
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For once, I'm not going to recommend a faster powder. But that's only because you're shooting them through a 6" barrel - the minimum barrel length IMO for the use of W296.

14.5g is actually somewhat tame. My 158/296 go-to load is 15.5g, with a Hornady XTP (and I've gone higher).

What does your chronograph tell you?

Velocity readings in loading manuals, for the most part are - at best - a general approximation. And the test gun used is often the difference. The only time one should be of concern is if you're getting velocity readings considerably higher than the published data.
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Old November 25, 2013, 11:25 AM   #9
Chaz88
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158grn flat nose copper plated over 14.0grn 2400 out of a Coonan with 5" barrel is just under 1250. Over another TFL members chronograph, not mine. I do shoot this load and like it a lot. It would probably be less out of a revolver because of the cylinder gap. I load it mostly to run the Coonan. It shoots fine out of 6" N frame but I mostly use .38 target loads in my revolvers.
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Old November 25, 2013, 05:56 PM   #10
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What I'm finding is that at 14.5 gr of w296 the recoil is effecting my accuracy my groups are somewhat wide at 50 yards and I was looking to develop a hunting load that I could shoot out to 75 yard and further is my abilities allow me too.
So any advice on a recipe would be great.

My recipe right now is.
Brass: Starlite
Primer: WSSPM
Powder: WIN 296 @ 14.5 Gr.
Bullet: Zero 158 grain JSP
OAL: 1.580
I don't have a chrono right now but I'm guessing from some of the load data its around 1400 fps for my GP100 6".
I think the OAL and crimp on the bullet can effect accuracy.
Any help on this topic of oal and crimp would also be great.
Thanks so far.
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Old November 25, 2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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158 GR. HDY XTP Winchester 296 .357" 1.580" 15.0 1418 28,600 CUP 16.7 1591 40,700 CUP
That is off Hogdons website. 15.0 grains starting load and max is 16.7 grains. Hogdon make Winchesters powder and Hogdon's equivalent is H110. These are hot powders and should be used in a rifle that can take advantage of the extra energy produced. A lot of it is being wasted on the pistol in the form of a huge fireball out the end of the barrel.
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Old November 25, 2013, 10:32 PM   #12
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"158 GR. HDY XTP Winchester 296 .357" 1.580" 15.0 1418 28,600 CUP 16.7 1591 40,700 CUP
That is off Hogdons website. 15.0 grains starting load and max is 16.7 grains. Hogdon make Winchesters powder and Hogdon's equivalent is H110. These are hot powders and should be used in a rifle that can take advantage of the extra energy produced. A lot of it is being wasted on the pistol in the form of a huge fireball out the end of the barrel."

DITTO...
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Old November 25, 2013, 11:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
These (H110/W296) are hot powders and should be used in a rifle that can take advantage of the extra energy produced. A lot of it is being wasted on the pistol in the form of a huge fireball out the end of the barrel.
So so true. When I see a post about the guy loading W296 for his 357 snubbie, I just roll my eyes. And posts of this type are all too frequent.
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Old November 25, 2013, 11:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
I don't have a chrono right now but I'm guessing from some of the load data its around 1400 fps for my GP100 6".
When you do get a chronograph, I have a hunch you may be disappointed.

Here's my chrono results with a much stronger loading:

(The following is a loading that is in compliance with Sierra V/6th.)
158g Sierra '8340' JSP; 16.6g W296. . .

S&W 686, 3" bbl - 1095 fps
S&W 686, 4" bbl - 1173 fps
S&W 686, 8" bbl - 1181 fps
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Old November 26, 2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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Shooters,

First off let me welcome you to the forum. Don't be discouraged by some of the replies you will get as you move forward thinking that folks are simply throwing out discouraging advice. There is a WHOLE LOT of knowledge here from shooters ranging in both years and accomplishment. We as a rule won't send you on a wild goose chase, and will do our best to give you what your looking for or at least the best answer regarding your issue that we have.

As for your loads and hunting, take this for what it is worth, and the price you paid for it. Again not to try and distract from your goal.

When I got really serious into handguns back in the early 80's I was running in the neighborhood of 200 to 600 rounds a week through my revolvers. Most of these were upper end loads using 2400, 296, H110, and a couple of the Accurate powders. Most of the bullets were in the medium weight ranges for them as well, since I was looking for the best velocity for weight, matched with the best accuracy I could get. With my 44, I was using the 180gr Sierra which was the exception, light and fast but super accurate capable of shooting just a touch over 1" at 100yds with the 4x Leupold scope from a bench.

Anyway with my GP-100's, I found that the now discontinued Speer 146gr SWC HP was the most accurate out to 100yds. It was also about the best overall match for speed and bullet weight that I could come up with at the time. Not that the heavier 150'ish grain bullets didn't shoot well, but they were not even in the same ball park as Speer bullets. To be honest after putting that load and bullet to use on a couple of smaller white tails I came to the conclusion that while the GP-100 might be up to task, the range does not need to be pushed with the revolver past around 30yds. The loads simply don't carry the weight, nor power, to reliably produce a quick clean kill from such a revolver with HP type bullets at further ranges.

Now that is with a jacketed HP type bullet. I got in on a deal with some Oregon Trail bullets and picked up several boxes of the round flat nose type. One was the 357-158gr RFN which I let sit on the shelf for several years before deciding to give a try. Once I did I found those things will run at top end load just fine with no leading what so ever. They are VERY HARD though, and if they fit your fine if not well be prepared to scrap it out with some Chore Boy. That said, I have used them effectively on a couple of mid weight feral hogs with success. They did exactly what was needed giving full through and through penetration and resulting in a clean kill. Internal damage was minimal to the edible portion they passed through and softer vital tissue had close to a 1" wound channel. This however was at ranges of less than 25yds, where the bullet is still packing a substantial punch. Our theory is, if it works on the hogs it will work on the deer, as they usually aren't nearly as tough to get things through. While this is true, possibly a touch lighter bullet, say int he 140'ish grain range, might even be better on the deer due to the added velocity you might gain with it. With a cast RFN type bullet, it is said that around 1300fps is the magic number for both penetration and internal damage. There are a LOT of other variables as well, but this seems to be the target area for a lot of cast bullet shooters. However most are also using calibers starting with a 4 in the front. With this I would probably look into the commercial offerings of cast bullets and loads for them before settling on a HP as my only load. Folks like Montana Bullet Works, Missouri Bullets, Leadheads, Beartooth, and Cast Performance are only a few who offer great commercial cast bullets in a variety of flavors. Choosing something from 140grs up to the mid 160's might be a better alternative as long as it shoots well and is sporting a wider flat nosed design, or at the very least a good Keith type SWC with an alloy of around a 14'ish BHN, or possibly even a touch less with a gas check on it. With these don't worry as much about driving them to the upper limits of both brass and bullet simply concentrate on something in the 1000fps range or maybe a touch higher which gives you the most accuracy to place your shot where it needs to be.

If I were to recommend one type of HP bullet with which I would have complete confidence in it would be the Speer Gold Dot. Not that others aren't good, but I have plenty of experience with the GD's in several calibers and the results have always been the same, terminal. They are plated similar to some others on the market, but they can be run at top end velocities, and they hold together when they hit something hard, as well as open up when velocities aren't quite on the top end. I hunt the 180gr almost exclusively in my 10mm with a starting velocity of 1350 from a 7" barrel at the muzzle. Out to 50yds they group well within 2" and to 30yds have taken a number of hogs up into the 200# range with complete pass through on broadside, and upwards of 18" of penetration through shoulders and other impeding factors like bone and gristle. I haven't tried them in anything other than the 125 and 140gr weights in .357, but with a quick look I see they offer a 135gr weight listed for short barrels. That one might deserve a call or email to them about using as a hunting round out to around 30yds or so.

The biggest issues your going to have with this caliber using HP's are expansion, and penetration. If you get the first your probably going to be lacking with the second simply do to the bullet weight not carrying the added width on through. If they don't expand your only looking at a roughly 3/8" hole which isn't much to allow a bleed out, especially if you have to track very far.

I know I have run on with this, and I apologize if I went on to long. It's just that I have been where your at, and still over two decades later, I am still hunting and shooting my revolvers in the field. I hope this helps out with your quest, but there is one more thing I want to leave you with. Before you head out in search of your first attempt at venison with your revolver, at the very least put in a couple hundred rounds of practice at 10yd increments out to as far as you feel your comfortable with hunting. When you can consistently put 6 rounds into a 4-6" group from field positions, at the longest range you would EVER consider shooting, then your ready. If you feel like this sounds unreasonable, I can tell you, your in for a long tracking job, or worse.

Good luck.
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Old November 26, 2013, 07:07 AM   #16
buck460XVR
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14.5 of H110/W296 is a start load and you may find accuracy may improve if you increase your charge to 15-15.5. If recoil @ 14.5 is affecting your accuracy, you may want to search for a different platform or change your grips. How is your accuracy with other ammo @ 50 yards? IMHO, a .357 revolver is not really a dedicated deer gun @ 75 yards as penetration on deer with a .357 is paramount. I keep my shots with a .357 revolver to 45 or less. For ranges longer than that I use something bigger. Range for hunting with a handgun is not determined by ammo velocity, but your ability to hit the target accurately and consistently at any given range. If you cannot hit a target the size of a deer's vitals every time at a given distance, you need to reduce that distance until you can. THAT is your maximum range. OAL with cannelured revolver bullets is a moot point as it is determined by the position of the cannelure. Crimp can and does affect accuracy, especially with slow burning powders like H110/W296. These powders need a firm and consistent crimp to ignite and burn properly and consistently. This means one needs to have all their cases a consistent length, either by sorting by length or trimming.
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Old November 26, 2013, 09:34 AM   #17
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Thanks all,
Some very good advice. As I'm new to revolve shooting and I plan to practice plenty before taking to the woods to hunt with my 357. I shoot plenty of 9mm and 45acp as well as my PSE Evo and with that said my effective range is always being tested, some of the advice for shorter ranges for handgun hunting is well taken. ThANK YOU
I only want to make just kills.
I reloaded some new 357 ammo this morning
I record each load and then record the results afterwards help me fine tune my loads.
My new Recipe right now is
Brass: Starlite
Primer: WSPPM
Bullet: Zero 158 gr JSP
Powder: Win 296 15.5 Grain
OAL: 1.585"

I created a word document for recording my reloads and results, but I haven't figured out a way to upload the fill to share and see what others thought.
If anyone can help on this I share my document.
Thanks again.
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Old November 27, 2013, 09:00 AM   #18
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Don't discount that a number are suggesting use of a different powder, especially when looking for less recoil. Velocity comes at a price.
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Old November 27, 2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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The easiest ways I can thing of to share your data is to first have an account on a photo sharing site like photo bucket. You can scan your printout to a jpg file or just take a photo of it. Scanning will probably work better. Up load the file. There is an option to get the img information for each picture and clicking on it will save the link to clip board. You then just right click where you want it and press paste. This becomes the same thing as inserting a photo. Photos can take up a lot of drive space on form sites. The link to another site takes very little. This is probably the main reason most forums use this method to add photos to threads. Once you delete or move a photo to a different folder on the photo site it won't show any longer on the forum site since the link location will be different.
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Old November 27, 2013, 06:53 PM   #20
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For 1250 FPS and higher, Ramshot Enforcer which is also sold as AA 4100 and AA#9 also does very well in .357 Magnum. For medium velocities up to the 1250 FPS level, I like Ramshot True Blue and AA#7 is also a great choice.

Last edited by 57K; November 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM.
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:21 PM   #21
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Ramshot Silhouette which is also sold as AA 4100
?? Is that correct?
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:30 PM   #22
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Silhouette has been called the low flash version of Power Pistol, but AA4100 is the same as Ramshot Enforcer.
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:59 PM   #23
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I think 57K meant to say "Enforcer."
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Old November 27, 2013, 11:08 PM   #24
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Thanks for catching that, Nick. I did indeed mean Enforcer and corrected my post.
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Old November 28, 2013, 12:41 AM   #25
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Real Gun actually caught it. I just put the pieces together. I was genuinely confused
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