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Old December 31, 2005, 11:47 PM   #1
Join Date: November 9, 2005
Location: B'ham
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New Reloader - Primer Confusion (357 Mag)

Hello all,
I have spent two months reading the advice to newbies on this forum and I have invested in the Lyman, Lee, and ABC's reloading manuals and read them cover to cover (well, I didn't read all the load tables, just the 357 Magnum tables). Anyway, I have gotten all the equipment necessary but I have some questions about Primers. I am getting ready to load 125gr Hornady XTP JHP bullets using new Winchester brass and the local reloaders I have talked to suggested H110 and Federal Small Pistol Primers (100). But looking at the tables in the Lyman and Lee manuals, Lyman lists the WSPM primers and Lee just lists Small Pistol. From reading this forum, it sounds like most of you guys use Magnum. So my question is what would be the difference in the Winchester Magnum and the Federal non-Magnum using the H110? This is listed as a compressed load so would that also make a difference? I am going to be shooting the cartridges in a S&W Model 60 2" barrel.
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Old January 1, 2006, 12:46 AM   #2
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I would recommend magnum primers with W296/H110. In my experience this powder needs magnum primers and a very firm crimp to be consistant.

Don't drop more than about 5% from listed maximums with this powder, and make SURE the bullet you are using is the one used in the data. Different bullets have different cannelure heights and it makes a BIG difference in pressure.

In that M60 be ready for a full on handfull, those loads are going to be unlike anything you have tried before. You will also need to crimp them HARD to keep the bullet pull from locking the gun up.

Good luck and drop us a line with a range report if you would.
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Old January 1, 2006, 01:10 AM   #3
Join Date: November 9, 2005
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Thanks HSMITH!

The local guys are great folks and have helped a lot but from your posts and others I am going to get the Winchester Magnums. First, I am going to use the Lee Autoprime until I get more comfortable with the process and they are adamant about not using Federal Primers because of the Basic mixture they use, and second, I am relaoding to get better consistant loads so thank you for the advice, you have helped me make up m mind!
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Old January 1, 2006, 09:07 AM   #4
Al Norris
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I would second the suggestion by HSMITH to use magnum primers if you are using W296/H110.

I would also add that you approach the maximum load with care. Notice that in most load data, there is a much narrower range when using these two powders. There is a reason for this. Too little and you will experience squib loads. Too much and you may experience catastrophic failure. Each handgun is different and therefore will fire differently than any other.

Safety first and always.
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Old January 1, 2006, 02:20 PM   #5
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Magnum or standard primers

I use magnum primers, but they arnt always needed. As long as you start with starting load data, and work up your loads carefully ,watching for high pressure signs, you will be fine. Shells not wanting to come out of the cylinder and flattened primers ,are too hot of loads! Load safe, and remember that the most accurate loads are usually the slower ones. JDG
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Old January 1, 2006, 06:50 PM   #6
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I would recommend magnum primers with W296/H110. In my experience this powder needs magnum primers and a very firm crimp to be consistant.
My experiences with H110 in .357 and .44 match this. Strong Crimp and Mag primers or you'll get lots of unburned powder and/or inconsistant ignition. That of course can lead to squibs or hangfires, both of which are very bad when talking about Magnum cartridges!
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Old January 3, 2006, 12:57 AM   #7
Join Date: November 9, 2005
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Thanks Guys, you are the Best!

Well, using just a little Classic Lee loader I broke into reloading and thanks to your suggestions I guess I did it right. No squibs, no disintegrating fireams, and especially no shrapnel wounds!! With JDG's comments, I created 5 rounds with the Magnum primer and 5 with just the plain small pistol. All 10 rounds fired just fine, I was very careful to make sure the crimp was firm since HSMITH was correct, these weren't factory loads! I think I will stick with the starting load because with both primers, I was much more accurate at 15 yds than I have ever been, but I did prefer the Magnum. I got three inch groups with both but I got three in almost the same hole with the magnum primer loads. Not that scientific I know but until I can afford a Chronograph, it works for me at the moment. I have a turret press on order now. As for my three inch groupings, those will get tighter next time when I am not quite as nervous shooting an unknown reload.
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Old January 3, 2006, 09:48 PM   #8
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357 magnum loads for a 2" M60

I would have to lean toward suggesting a faster burning powder with the short barrel. With the slower powders such as 296 and 110, I think your blowing quite a bit of the powder out of the end of the barrel before it has a chance to burn. I personally like Unique with the 125 JHP and I think somewhere around 9 to 9.25 grains is about as much as I would want to handle with the little M60.

I would also recommend nothing but magnum primers, in a brand of your choosing, for any 357 loads that approach magnum pressures.
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Old January 5, 2006, 03:17 PM   #9
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I even use magnum primers in magnum calibers (And 10mm!) with blue dot.
Ever since a squib in freezing weather on a compressed load of blue dot in my 10mm.

Loads that might be fine at 60 degrees may be inconsistant or may not even ignite at 20 degrees.
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Old January 6, 2006, 07:02 PM   #10
Ben Shepherd
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As a general(not absolute) rule if it is a "ball" or spherical powder it should be lit with a magnum primer, flake powders are most times standard primers, and extruded or "stick" powders are about 50/50 magnum/standard primers.

The "magnum" has to do with the primers intensity, and NOTHING to do with caliber.

As with the others I reccomend a magnum primer with 296 or h110 in 357 mag. I also highly reccomend the redding profile crimp die for this caliber.
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