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Old March 14, 2005, 04:48 PM   #1
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Your most accurate powder for .357?

I just started reloading for .357 and only have W231 and Unique. Loaded some 158g JHP's last week with 6.6g of W231 and it turned out some OK groups at 50ft. I'll tone it down a couple 10ths of a grain next time, but was wondering what type of powder y'all have found to be the most accurate in .357

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Old March 14, 2005, 07:23 PM   #2
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you might try your unique powder with the 158 grain jacketed bullets. This powder/bullet combination has been my favorite for many years.
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Old March 14, 2005, 07:49 PM   #3
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I have had good luck with 231 and 125 gr jhp's. Unique is usually good just about everywhere.
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Old March 14, 2005, 08:21 PM   #4
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.357 powder

W231 is the first suggestion made when the subject is target loads for a .38/.357. Try it behind a 148 gr. wadcutter. You'll have to experiment as to which is more accurate in your pistol, hollow bases or double-enders. Some pistols have a distinct preference.
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Old March 14, 2005, 08:42 PM   #5
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WW296 and H110 are what I use for full power loads.......
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Old March 14, 2005, 09:24 PM   #6
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I have tried 231 in the past and never had good luck. I always used Unique and was happy. I picked up a can of Blue Dot on a friends tip. I really like it, I found my groups improved and shots were very consistant. I hunt coyotes with my revolver. I found a keeper with Blue Dot and 125's. 296 and 110 are a handful when trying to hold steady on long shots, and for my gun just not as accurate as Unique or Blue Dot.
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Old March 14, 2005, 09:45 PM   #7
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I only load full power loads in .357 cases. If I want target velocity stuff, I load it in .38 Spec cases.

Having said that, the powders that have worked well for me in .357 magnumn over the years have been W-W 296, H-110, AAC#9, IMR/H 4227 and Alliant 2400.

Interestingly, these same powders have worked best for me in .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt "Ruger" loads.
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Old March 14, 2005, 09:57 PM   #8
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Unique or H-110, depending on the velocity you want.
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Old March 14, 2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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I agree with Mr. Peterson. I've had good success with Blue Dot. It's dirty, quite flashy but gets the job done and is a bit easier to handle than fullpower loads of W296, H110 or 2400.
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Old March 14, 2005, 11:14 PM   #10
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I use a 156 grain lead bullet with a gas check. 14.1 grains of H4227 gives me a 3/4" one hole group at 25 yards from a Ransom Rest out of my 6" barrel S&W 686. Probably the most accurate load I have ever developed.

I experimented with this powder because it was mentioned in a National Rifleman article last year. In that case the author was useing a 185 Grain Hornady XTP bullet.
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Old March 14, 2005, 11:20 PM   #11
Jeff Loveless
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The most accurate load for my favorite 357 used speer 140 gr jhp bullets and 2400 powder. The recoil and muzzle blast were significant FWIW.

I normally use 158 gr lead SWC bullets and unique. For me this combo isn't super accurate, but it is cheap and 'good enough' for most applications.
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Old March 15, 2005, 11:09 AM   #12
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AA#5 for lighter loads, AA#9 for heavy. Watch out for some older AA loading data. It was hot (flat primer hot).
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Old March 16, 2005, 04:06 PM   #13
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green dot for the most accurate loads in my experience.
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Old March 16, 2005, 05:14 PM   #14
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I like Hodgdon's Universal for most of my handgun loads.

Best Wishes,
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Old March 16, 2005, 08:53 PM   #15
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Like rbwillnj I tried the H4227 with 158gr jacketed. I load with 14.2 grains but it has proven to be more accurate than Unique in my gun.
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Old March 16, 2005, 09:09 PM   #16
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2400 seems to give me the best results with lead loads and moderate to hot reloads.
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Old March 17, 2005, 06:12 AM   #17
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GP's and Redhawks

140g XTP, H110 (thank you, Mr. Clapp).

And R-P's 180g S-JHP over 3N37 (don't try this without a chrono).
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Old March 18, 2005, 02:39 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the advice. I haven't been here for a couple days. Guess I'll just experiment with my 231 and Unique for a while then.
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Old March 22, 2005, 01:47 PM   #19
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TJ, I have used Blue Dot with very good results also. There is another powder that is not used as commonly, but is similar to Blue Dot in burn rate and has low muzzle blast compared to the usual magnum powders and that is AA#7. High velocity magnums can be loaded, medium magnums are excellent with much better case fill than faster powders like Unique, or the even faster W-231. AA#7, often gives match grade accuracy at slightly less than full magnum loads and data to cover almost any application is plentiful at and they also give pressure data for the Max. loads. If you load for a 4" .357, #7 is more efficient ballistically than slower magnum powders. VV has a new powder called 3N38 that has a lot of potential and N105 is a solid choice for full magnums. For all around loading with the best metering from your powder measure and accuracy from target loads to magnum loads with less muzzle blast, AA#7 is hard to beat. One more; Ramshot True Blue is very similar to AA#7 for reduced flash with fullhouse magnums and can be downloaded to medium levels with good load density also. This is a very consistent powder that yields very low Standard Deviation and exceptional accuracy. True Blue and AA#7 are both ball type powders, AA#7 is the densest and finest grained pistol powder currently on the market and Ramshot True Blue is almost as dense. Either will flow through your powder measure like sand.
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Old March 22, 2005, 08:56 PM   #20
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Second the AA#7. Eerie accurate at 10.0 grains with hard lead 125 gr. FP's
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Old March 23, 2005, 06:46 AM   #21
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Third the AA-7, with 125 grainers and magnum primers. For mid range or full bore loads. Sierra's accuracy load with 125 grain jhp's?
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Old March 25, 2005, 07:36 PM   #22
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.357 was my worst magnum....

Until I loaded some AA#7 behind some 158 gr SWC. 4 shot 1" group at 15 ft off hand made me very happy. That's out of my 4" 686. Proceeded to the steel targets and shot on pace with a semi-auto guy. He kicked up the speed, then I went one-handed on him.... A couple guys stopped shooting to see a revo at work. DA shooting... it's FANtastic!
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Old March 29, 2005, 10:41 PM   #23
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I've had good luck with W231 with bullets up to 140 grains.
For 158 and 180 grainers, I use Lil' Gun.
Big, noisy fun.
Accurate, too.
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