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Old December 7, 2018, 05:59 AM   #1
dhom
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357 mag revolvers

The loads for 357 Mag are somewhat reduced pressure wise from what they used to be early on. My question is this------- Can you load a 158 HPXTP to 1350 fps in a 6" revolver? I am talking about staying in todays recommended pressure limits.
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Old December 7, 2018, 06:33 AM   #2
105kw
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Loads for the .357 have gotten lighter in the past 30 years, just look at the old reloading manuals.

Hornady says their top load , with a powder I've never used, hits 1400 at their max.
They used a 8in Python, and Power Pro 300 MP.

Every gun is a little different, with one of my older Smith N frames, I'd start at mid range load and work up. Look for pressure signs.

Remember the manuals are a guideline.
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Old December 7, 2018, 07:16 AM   #3
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One of my reloading books tested a bunch of 357s with the same ammo -velocities ranged from 1200-1600 fps ! S&W had some problems when they made their 357 in a K frame. That was worsened when a big police shootout showed the need to train with more full loads , all 357 instead of 10% full and 90% 38s .
Start with mild and slowly increase that. We now have better ammo so a premium bullet helps as do +P loads in the 38 .
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Old December 7, 2018, 10:00 AM   #4
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You might get there depending on the gun. I load that bullet with 13.5 gr of 2400 and get right at 1200 fps out of my Model 28 with a 6" barrel. Heavier loads are shown in some manuals, I just haven't had a reason to try them out. So, you could try working up a higher 2400 load or go to 296 for a bit more velocity. Just be sure and work up to it watching for pressure signes in your gun.
Lol, my answer is maybe.

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Old December 7, 2018, 11:52 AM   #5
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I chronographed some Buffalobore .38 Special +P out of my brother's 6.5" blackhawk and got:
4. Ruger BlkHwk 6.5”/ BB .38 +P 158 grain Outdoorsman/ 1239 fps, 1218 fps

so I am sure that you could get much higher with .357!
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Old December 7, 2018, 03:23 PM   #6
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Is the reduction in 357 loads due to the proliferation of lighter framed revolvers ?
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Old December 7, 2018, 04:00 PM   #7
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I only fire full power .357 rounds in my "N" frame S&Ws, and then sparingly. I normally shoot .38spl in the .357s. My everyday .357 load is a 150 to 168 grn swc over 12.5 grains of 2400 for 1150 fps to 1205 fps depending on barrel length. 15 grains of 2400 with a 158 jhp gets to 1280 fps.
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Old December 7, 2018, 09:20 PM   #8
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I shoot 158gr xtp's and Speer JPH over 1605gr of H110 and was getting over 1300 fps out of my 8 3/9" Model 686 IIRC. The same load of powder was giving about 150fps faster with the HyTek Coated Lead 158gr bullet. I also was getting around 1350fps with 180gr HyTek Coated Lead with 13.5gr of H110. I don't have the exact data as my chronograph got stolen out of the storage building by my backyard range and all of my records were in the case with it. Of course, the Coated lead will give higher velocity than the Jacket bullet with the same load of powder.
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Old December 8, 2018, 06:24 AM   #9
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I should have included this---I am shooting a GP100 6" and I have on hand 2400, 296, Imr4227, HS-6, and Unique. I am trying to get a load around 1350 fps+ with a 158 xtp for deer hunting. [with accuracy] So far I am going to start with 2400 @ 14-14.5 gr and 16.5 with 296. I have used similar loads with a nosler 158 gr HP [slightly less] and found the bullet to be too soft for my liking. I have and shoot revolvers from 357 mag up to 475 L so recoil is not a consideration. It seems to me with the new SAAMI standards you cannot reach this velocity range.

Last edited by dhom; December 8, 2018 at 06:31 AM. Reason: add info
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Old December 8, 2018, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
I should have included this---I am shooting a GP100 6" and I have on hand 2400, 296, Imr4227, HS-6, and Unique. I am trying to get a load around 1350 fps+ with a 158 xtp for deer hunting. [with accuracy] So far I am going to start with 2400 @ 14-14.5 gr and 16.5 with 296. I have used similar loads with a nosler 158 gr HP [slightly less] and found the bullet to be too soft for my liking. I have and shoot revolvers from 357 mag up to 475 L so recoil is not a consideration. It seems to me with the new SAAMI standards you cannot reach this velocity range.
I've shot over fifty deer with the .357mag in a variety of revolvers. Some custom built and some off the shelf. Most were shot using the Hornady 158g XTP JHP bullet. I can tell you for a fact that keying in on velocity is not going to give you any significant edge in killing deer with a handgun. Spend your time looking for the most accurate load for your gun at mid-to-top velocity. A hundred feet per second won't give you a significant edge. The bullet you have chosen is one I keyed in on many years ago. I have found many bullets that work well, but none that actually worked any better. They are readily available, shoot with the best, and perform well on deer at just about any velocity. This bullet will expand very well at any reasonable range. I have dozens of recovered bullets and I have noted the difference in expansion a various distances. The .357mag, regardless of a hundred or so feet per second difference, will start to lose expansion properties beyond fifty yards. That's regardless of the velocity difference you can get out of your handgun. If you stick with handgun hunting you'll find that out over time. Spend your time looking for the most accurate load you can get, not the fastest. Speed doesn't kill, bullet placement does. Eddietruett posted a reply to your question. FWIW, I've communicated with him quite a bit over the last year and he's about as knowledgible an individual on this subject as you'll find. Send him a PM if you'd like to know more. He's spent a lot of time becoming an expert on this subject. Good luck hunting with your handgun.....it's a lot of fun.
Note: this year I shot three deer with a .357MAX rifle using the Hornady 158g XTP. This rifle was driving that bullet at 2300fps and the bullet held up well. In spite of shooting this bullet out of a rifle, it only expanded about .1" more than it did out of a handgun at considerable less velocity. It peeled back better and made a nice exit hole. I only recovered one in a deer, and it was .602" and still weighed 125g recovered. That's about as well as it does out of my 686 driven at 1275fps.

Last edited by NoSecondBest; December 8, 2018 at 10:33 AM.
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Old December 8, 2018, 10:38 AM   #11
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https://www.underwoodammo.com/produc...=7865902497849

Seems like Underwood has it under control... I have a few boxes ...

https://youtu.be/bJk_YHO6hDk

You tube vid shows testing in 4 inch barreled GP100 and 18inch barrelled carbine

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Old December 9, 2018, 06:46 AM   #12
dhom
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Thanks for your replies. Based on the responses I gather you can not get 1350 fps out of a 158 XTP at todays pressure limits.
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Old December 9, 2018, 09:20 AM   #13
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Sure you can.
From BB's own website and their chrono results are from real world guns and I have found them to be realistic.

4-inch S&W L frame Mt. Gun

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1375 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr JHC = 1411 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1485 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1603 fps
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Old December 9, 2018, 10:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Thanks for your replies. Based on the responses I gather you can not get 1350 fps out of a 158 XTP at todays pressure limits.
The first response to your post refuted that.


Alliant load data for a 158 Gold Dot HP includes:

Minimum OAL(inches) -Bbl Length - Primer - Powder - Charge Weight(grains) - Velocity
(fps)

1.575 - 10 - Fed 100 - 300-MP - 18.6 - 1,686
Factoring 10" barrel to 6", you'd think would still be well above 1350 fps.
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Old December 9, 2018, 12:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Sure you can.
From BB's own website and their chrono results are from real world guns and I have found them to be realistic.
It's my understanding that BB uses a special powder blend, not available to reloaders.

Jim
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Old December 9, 2018, 12:57 PM   #16
HighValleyRanch
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Oh, I didn't know we were in the "reloading" forum!
If it's available in a commercial load, why not just use it? You're not going to be shooting a ton of it.
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Old December 9, 2018, 01:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Oh, I didn't know we were in the "reloading" forum!
Quote:
Can you load a 158 HPXTP to 1350 fps in a 6" revolver? I am talking about staying in todays recommended pressure limits.
Sure sounds like that was what the OP was asking.
Anyway, the point was you can't always match what a specialty ammo maker can obtain velocitywise as they have access to powders we don't.

Jim

Last edited by laytonj1; December 9, 2018 at 09:24 PM.
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Old December 10, 2018, 12:59 AM   #18
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According to Western Powder, a 158gr XTP-HP over 13.8gr of AA#9 will generate 1350+ fps from a 6" S&W. I can't verify this. I haven't used AA#9 in years.

Last edited by DWFan; December 10, 2018 at 01:07 AM.
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Old December 10, 2018, 06:36 AM   #19
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I need to ask, have you chronod that load with 300 MP to know that is real world figures?
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Old December 10, 2018, 10:44 AM   #20
Real Gun
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Quote:
I need to ask, have you chronod that load with 300 MP to know that is real world figures?
That would be up to you, since it isn't necessary when citing powder or bullet company data in an effort to be helpful. I think we know that 6" barrel velocity would be expected to be lower than the 10" tested.
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Old December 10, 2018, 12:17 PM   #21
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Here are a couple of data points:

158gr Horn XTP, 15.0gr A2400, New Starline, CCI Std, 5 long paces from the muzzle:

5 1/2" Freedom Arms M97 (Small frame gun) Avg: 1,398 fps (at 65 deg F)
4 1/4" S&W M66-8 (the new model) Avg: 1,293 fps (at 40 deg F)
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Old December 10, 2018, 12:35 PM   #22
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I can share some approximate numbers from my 4" GP-100. I get best velocity (about 1,300) with 158 XTP using AA#9. Best std, too. H110 and 300-MP are just a little slower, not enough to bother, but the std is higher, especially with 300-MP. I am away from my data just now. I will note that 300-MP is the only powder to match commercial 125 loads. Don't load those much, but I wanted to see if I could. I don't know what another 2" of bbl length will do for you, but I agree that chasing a few more fps often turns out to be a waste of time.
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Old December 10, 2018, 12:42 PM   #23
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For reasons known only to them, Hodgdon's site data was tested with a 10" barrel. Quite likely to give higher velocities.
However, lots of factory jacketed 158's will go higher than 1350 fps. Ballistics by the Inch shows Federal Hydra Shok 158 at 1458 FPS out of a 6" barrel.
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Old December 10, 2018, 02:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
I am talking about staying in todays recommended pressure limits.
Why is that important to you?
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Old December 10, 2018, 03:43 PM   #25
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In my reloading days-which I hope to get back to-accuracy was paramount.
"Staying in todays recommended pressure limits" ? Avoids accidents and turning firearms into scrap metal and sources of spare parts.
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