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Old December 3, 2012, 04:43 PM   #1
crooked stripe
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Standard loads for the range

I have a 4" SP101 in .357 I really enjoy shooting. I shoot on an average of 200 a week. I am interested as to what loads folks are shooting. Many guys say they like the high power stuff and some just the powder puff stuff. I shoot 4.3 gr Trail Boss under 158 gr lswc's. I have no trouble leading and cleaning is really easy. Please share some powders you like. Just don't like to make the trip home with the wrist tingling. Hoping to find some real smokey and flashy loads we can use for a scout demo we put on in the spring. Kids love it. Thank, John
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:06 PM   #2
Misssissippi Dave
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I have a nice .357 mag load. With rubber grips on my pistol it is not bad at all. Put on the wood grips and you can easily feel the difference. I'm using Montana Gold 158 grain JHP bullet with AA7 powder. I also use a mag primer even though you don't need to use one with this powder. My reason for the mag primer is I have a fair number to use and it worked out well to find that sweet spot to keep nice tight groups.

I'm not into dirty smokey loads so I can't help you there.
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Old December 3, 2012, 06:40 PM   #3
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I have three 357 mag's and one is the ruger SP101 with the 4.2 inch barrel. I load 158 gr bullets, lead and jacketed with alliant 2400. I run them hot. Almost the same powder charge for jacketed and lead, with hardly any leading. I will say you know there heavy loads when shooting the SP101 compared to my GP100.
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Old December 3, 2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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For lead I tend to use Unique and 2400, although 231 and Bullseye have worked quite well for me in several .38 Special loads. 231 meters very well. Unique is pretty high on my list as being able to work for about anything. There isn't much you can't find a workable load with with that stuff.
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Old December 3, 2012, 07:39 PM   #5
crooked stripe
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I agree

with all the powders listed. Unique is the powder I started with so I always keep a bottle on stock. IMR 4227 keeps the case full along with 2400. I have only found one that gives me trouble and that is Blue Dot. Never seems to fire all the powder even with a mag primer. I came across Trail Boss through an auction. ATF closed down a lgs and I bid on a 4lb container for $55. Won that bid and it included 2- 4lbs and 1-1lbs in the lot. 9lbs of powder takes a lot of shootin to burn up. Thanks for the replies, John
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Standard loads for the range

crooked stripe asked:
Please share some powders you like.

I reload for my 6" Ruger GP100 357.
I use the Federal 158 HydroShock for PD loads.

For practice I worked up a load using green dot that will shoot 125 grain platted (i.e. inexpensive) bullets to the same POA as that Federal load shoots in my gun. I got the recoil reduction and still practice w/o having to adjust the sights.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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125g Rem SJHP (because they are cheap) over 17g of 2400. It’s a fire breather but with a light bullet it don’t recoil too bad.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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if it is flash you are after compare the burn rates. The slower the burn rate the more flash you will get

I use W231 for just about everything, I would not call it smokey but on a indoor range it had a fairly impressive flash in a 6.5 inch barreled Blackhawk
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Last edited by hounddawg; December 4, 2012 at 10:51 AM.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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That chart is OK but it doesn't really distinguish between pistol powders (typically faster due to lack of barrel length) and rifle powders.

16 grains of H110 (one of the slowest pistol powders) under a 158 gr. JHP will give you lots of flash but you won't want to shoot many in a SP101, and by all means use two hands. If you use H110 pay attention to the min/max values carefully and use a magnum primer. I would definitely test them in your gun before you take them to a Boy Scout demo as well.
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Old December 4, 2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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I pretty much use Universal Clays in all of my pistols now, mostly because it burns fairly clean and it doubles as my shotgun powder as well. I love the KISS principle, and this fits nicely in it.

With a 9mm and a compressed load, it does produce a hint of smoke, but nothing like what you sound like you are looking for. Almost sounds like you want something close to a black powder load or a cordite load.
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:32 AM   #11
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My general purpose/purpose/plinking loads for my 3" SP101 include a Federal Small magnum primer, 5.5-6.0grs of Unique and a 158gr MBC LSWC. I tend to like the 5.5gr loads a bit nicer with the wood aftermarket grips however.
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:51 AM   #12
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My standard load is 5 grains of Universal under a Hornady 158 LSWC.
My light load is 3.5 grains Clays under a Hornady 140 LFP.
Still developing a magnum load, but it will involve 2400 and a 140 XTP.
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