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Old March 30, 2012, 07:46 AM   #1
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Medium-heavy, Non-Magnum 357 Load?

I am looking for about 1,200 f/s with my Lyman 358429 (167 gr SWC) and would like to get there with a clean (that rules out 2400 unfortunately) burning, non-magnum (that rules out the excellent H110) powder.
Unique is just about there but I suspect this is at the very edge of pressure, based on loading data.
Can you folks recommend powders (Don't give me charges for obvious liability reasons. I will work up from a safe level myself.) that you've found to be clean and accurate with lead bullets (sized properly) that are "more comfortable" at this velocity / pressure and which are indended and very reliable in all temperatures with standard primers?
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Old March 30, 2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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I have found that Hodgdon's Universal Clays is real close to Unique but cleaner. Not sure if it will get you to your target velocity, but I have been working up some 45 Colt loads with it and am having good results.
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Old March 30, 2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet.
What exactly do you mean by a "non-magnum" .357 load? Seems to me, once you push a bullet that heavy to the velocities your looking for, you're solidly into .357 magnum level loads. It certainly isn't especially light. The powder isn't what makes it a magnum, it's the performance. Your asking for full .357 magnum performance.
Note: I'm at work and Load Data is sparse.
I've built some light .357 loads (think .38 spec +P+) using AA#5, but I'm fairly certain that AA#5 won't do what your looking for.
AA#7, AA#9 or HS-6 might be worth a look.
To be fair though, if you're set on 1200fps with that bullet, you might want to look again at 2400 or H110.
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Last edited by overkill0084; March 30, 2012 at 09:47 AM.
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Old March 30, 2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Since your using a non gas checked bullet. At speeds where Linotype lead should be used in the cast. (BHN-22) Alliant Blue Dot would be my suggestion. This powder does work well with standard non-magnum primers in the 38 Spec loads with the same bullet mentioned in this thread. I see no reason that Blue Dot shouldn't offer the same results with the use of (again) standard non-magnum primers in the 357 loadings. Near 1200fps speeds your wanting. My Ref material: Lyman 3rd edition Cast Bullet Handbook. Maybe someone has a better choice in powders? As this is just my answer to your question. SSMcG

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; March 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Spelling Linotype verses linotype & added a ( )
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Old March 30, 2012, 10:15 AM   #5
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Where you specify velocity it would probably be helpful if you mentioned what barrel length you're using. If we're talking about a model 92 carbine, it wouldn't take much to push that bullet to 1200 fps, but if it's a 3" model 13 smith, it's a whole different thing.

Assuming a 4 to 6" barreled revolver, I think Overkill0084's about right. I'd be looking at 2400 or AA9 probably. Both those should get you that velocity without the blast of H110/296.

If you want more of a midrange load, I'd recommend Power Pistol.
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Old March 30, 2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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VihtaVuori n340, 3n37 or n350 should work. I tried n340 in .357 mag with 158gr JHP and I was very pleased, n340 metered well and burned clean.
I need to order some more bullets one will be a 170gr fb lswc.
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Old March 30, 2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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If they were 158 grains, I would say 8.0 grains of Herco, or you can substitute WSF. Since your bullets are heavier you'd have to back off a little but I don't know how much -- maybe 7.2 or 7.5? Start at 6.5 or 7.0 and see what you get, and work up from there.

AA#7 is also good in .357 Mag. I get the same performance as with Blue Dot but without the leading.
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Last edited by zxcvbob; March 30, 2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old March 30, 2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Thanks All

Good input and some powders that would be completely new to me (Herco, any of the AA powders.)
I'll check Lyman's manual for these and start off there.

regarding some questions;

I guess you're right, 1,200 is actually a full load. I do see published date taking this bullet to 1,300 and a bit above but yea I agree, I'm talking full loads.

Leading? Once I paid attention to bullet fit (Not just diameter but also case tension and seating depth) and found a really good lube, it is a thing of the past, even at 1,200 (from my loads using H110). Honestly I also have to admit to having lapped my barrel but the most significant factor is bullet fit. And this is not with any majical alloy - straight WW with a pinch of Tin. I don't want to trivialize; the load development was lengthy and yes there is leading when I go over my proper diameter as well. It was a lot of work for sure.

Barrel length is 6.5 inches.
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Old March 30, 2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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AA#7 can do what you want; it isn't quite as load level sensative as H110 and works very well with heavier bullets in 357. The new load data by AA is a bit conservative compared to 2 years ago, let alone 5 years ago. It is also far less flashy than Blue Dot.

Longshot is another choice that can give you what you are looking for. Another Blue Dot speed range powder with much less muzzle flash.

For a little more giddyap with lead, Herco does outperform Unique especially in the heavier weights. I'm not sure how much cleaner the new stuff is compared to Unique as I am using up the last of some old version I have. I was not impressed with the cleanliness I experienced with the reformulated flaming dirt.

Just my observations.
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Old March 30, 2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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I've been using 2400 in .38 special cases with this bullet it's either 12, or 12.5 grains of 2400 which leaves some brown powder flakes, like every other 2400 load I have ever used. I get 3" groups @ 50yds off a rest, hope you find something else that does as good.
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Old April 1, 2012, 07:01 AM   #11
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More Fun

wrong thread/
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Old April 1, 2012, 08:50 AM   #12
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Power Pistol would probably do it and is pretty clean. Lil Gun would easily do it but I'm not sure how clean it would be.
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Old April 1, 2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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I like 2400.
My favorite loads are a 165gr lead RFN and 165gr lead SWC with 12gr 2400 for 1195fps. This is with a Win mag primer, but thats because I have alot of those primers.

Nice, easy, fun load to shoot. 6 shot 1" groups at 15yds off hand.
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