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Old December 27, 2011, 08:35 PM   #1
Super Sneaky Steve
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Any reason why this wouldn't work?

As some of you guys know. I've been pushing Power Pistol in .38spl about as far as you can go, but I'd like to go even faster in .357 Magnum.

I can't find any cast magnum data for this powder but there is one for a Speer Gold Dot.

The max for a 158gr LSWC .38+P is 6grain and the max for the gold dot is 8.5grain.

Would it be safe to load a 158gr LSWC up to 8.5 grain of power pistol? Reason being that the lead would be softer and cause less pressure.

*I forgot to mention I would be using a magnum pistol*
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Last edited by Super Sneaky Steve; December 27, 2011 at 08:44 PM.
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Old December 27, 2011, 09:15 PM   #2
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For what it's worth...

I shoot a load of 158 grain SWCL over 8 grains of Power Pistol in .357 Magnum cases. It's my 'full-charge-factory-duplication-practice' load. It works in my 2.5 inch S&W M19 (K frame steel) pretty well. The bang and recoil make it feel like a full load and the cases come out with no undue ceremony.

I did try 7.5 grains first. I may go back to that, as recoil seemed about the same.

If'n I was you, I'd do a bit of a progression. In a .357 Magnum case, start at 7.4 or 7.5 and work up in .2 grain increments. Stop at either 8.5 grains or when you achieve what you think is a proper velocity - whichever comes first. If you are using .38 Special cases, lower the charges appropriately. The cases are probably about as strong, but the smaller case capacity jacks the pressure up real quick.

Depending on your particular revolver, you may want to adjust that a bit.
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Old December 28, 2011, 10:06 AM   #3
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Alliant online load data drives me up the wall.

According to their printed guide (circa 2005), they don't list a Gold Dot bullet but they do list a generic 158gr JSP with a max charge of 8.0 grains Power Pistol and returning 1,305 FPS. Alliant's crappy website shows 8.5 as a max with that Gold Dot and with that half-grain heavier charge, the velocity is a lousy 1,078 FPS. I realize the bullets are of a different construction (Gold Dots are plated) but still... their online source is horrible.

The '05 guide doesn't offer any lead bullet data for Power Pistol, but most of the other loads don't show a heavier charge for lead bullets than jacketed.

I would imagine you could get to 8.5 grains without any fireworks, but really-- WHY?

Power Pistol is at the end of it's reach as a max load in .357 Magnum. If you move to something more appropriate for a max load in a magnum revolver, you'll get BETTER results with less pressure. Hodgdon Lil'Gun is a new one I'm experimenting with lately. Alliant 2400 is built for this role. H110/W296 can't be beat. Accurate #9 would do great. Any of these is better than Power Pistol for what you are trying to do.

It's not that I don't like Power Pistol (I use a ton of it in .40cal and 10mm), it's just not at it's best in .357 Magnum.
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Old December 28, 2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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Old December 28, 2011, 05:19 PM   #5
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Well the powders I stock are H110, HS6, Power Pistol, Bullseye and Tightgroup.

I don't have lead data for H110 and it kicks too hard anyway. I want to make a good defensive round for my little 3" Ruger.

My goal is about 1100fps with a lead 158 grain semi wadcutter.

6 grains of Power Pistol got me 933fps so I figure a grain more might get me in the ballpark.
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Old December 28, 2011, 05:31 PM   #6
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My goal is about 1100fps with a lead 158 grain semi wadcutter.
Lee 2nd ed. sez 7.0 grains of HS-6 will give you 1100 with a 158gr lead bullet. Start load is 6.0. Lotta room in the case for that charge...... careful.
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Old December 28, 2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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This is from my notes.
158gr SWC
7.5gr Power Pistol
4" barrel
CCI 500 primer,

Since it's the 158gr starting load from the Speer manual, pressure shouldn't be an issue. Leading might though. That depends on the alloy, lube,bullet fit, and the condition of your barrel.
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Old December 28, 2011, 08:57 PM   #8
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I was planning on trying the Missouri Bullet Company .357 Magnum bullets. They claim a brinell rating of 18.
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Old December 28, 2011, 10:27 PM   #9
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Steve, BHNs really mean very little in handgun velocities. For handguns, fit is king. A properly fitting bullet of 10 BHN can be shot to 1250 fps or more without any leading of the barrel while an improperly fitting one of 18 BHN will lead excessively at 1100 fps (or less). Best thing you can do before loading any cast bullets is to slug your barrel to get exact dimensions for good fit.

A BHN of 18 works great in rifles up to about 2600 fps with a gas check. BHN of 12 will get you 1400 or more without gas check if it fits properly.
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