Author Topic: .357 magnum reloading  (Read 1752 times)

JD Parks

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.357 magnum reloading
« on: July 26, 2016, 04:16:14 PM »
Ok, so I've got my new Henry Big Boy in .357. (I'll be posting a proper review, shortly...if I can stop shooting and fondling it long enough!)

The one major problem with this gun...is that it rapidly depletes ammo stockpiles. I need to handload some more .357...trouble is, my tried-and-true loads are based on Alliant 2400 powder. A commodity I haven't seen on a shelf ANYWHERE in a couple years.

Looking for recommendations of alternatives, with similar burn rate, ideally spherical (LOVE the way that stuff meters).

Thanks in advance!

AndyC

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 04:28:52 PM »
H110, Win 296 ... those are spherical and well thought-of, but I have no idea what bullet or load you were using so I'm not going to comment as to how close they might be to your usual loads.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 04:30:41 PM by AndyC »
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners.

CSACANNONEER

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 05:10:05 PM »
What weight and type of bullet are you using? What are you trying to do with it? Hunting? Plinking? Cowboy Action? Are you trying to load hot, mild or in the middle? Are you ONLY loading for your RIFLE? Or, will the same loads be used in other firearms?
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Badreligion1979

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 06:09:34 PM »
Following this thread. I'll soon be loading 38/357 for my 686.

Going to be buying 2 sets of dies, one for 38 special and the other for 357. Want to use the same powder for both and mild plinking/training loads. Probably use lead bullets for cost savings.

Werz Waldeau

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 08:21:09 PM »
I use Hodgdon H110 in my revolver loads.  The problem is titrating the proper load.  It tends to need high pressure to burn properly, so the difference between "doesn't burn completely" and "Holy crap!" is only a grain or so.

AndyC

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 08:35:52 PM »
Following this thread. I'll soon be loading 38/357 for my 686.

Going to be buying 2 sets of dies, one for 38 special and the other for 357. Want to use the same powder for both and mild plinking/training loads. Probably use lead bullets for cost savings.
Lead bullets are good - inexpensive, gentle on the rifling and cause less wear. You should only need one set of dies, though - 38/357.
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners.

JD Parks

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 10:25:50 PM »
This will be exclusively for moderately hot magnum loads in both the rifle and the SA revolver. I'm using most hard-cast 125 and 158gr, but also looking at moving up to a 180gr GC for possible short-range deer (with a strong possibility of mt. lion). Unfortunately, my long-time favorite powder hasn't been on the shelves around here in over two years.

By the way, .38/.357 are identical in every dimension but case length (the magnum case is 0.1" longer, to prevent accidental loading in something chambered in .38spl - there is a collossal difference in chamber pressure). But you can use the same dies - I do! Just have to turn 'em down a bit more for .38

In shorter barrels, or in tube magazines, crimp is important. I've done quite a lot of both, this is just my first time loading .357 for a rifle. And I'm out of my preferred magnum powder. (2400 worked REALLY well in cast bullet/gc loads in the .30-30. But now, I need to find a substitute.

JD Parks

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 10:32:42 PM »
Andy C - thanks! Obviously, as with any new load, it'll have to be carefully worked-up. Even "similar" powders can have significant differences. I'm quite anal about this. Can't think of ONE of my guns that would work better as a bomb! 😎

Just hoping someone might have experience using something like H110 or AA9 alongside 2400, and be able to offer some anecdotal insight on the comparison, and perhaps give a lazy man a good starting point.

Werz Waldeau

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 11:01:54 PM »
Just hoping someone might have experience using something like H110 or AA9 alongside 2400, and be able to offer some anecdotal insight on the comparison, and perhaps give a lazy man a good starting point.
Well, I can't offer a comparison because I have always used H110 since I also use it load .30 Carbine.  I can tell you that I loaded a batch with 125-grain JHP over the maximum 22.0 grains, and it was fierce.  Substantial muzzle flash, powerful recoil, and 1350-1400 fps velocity.  Also a lot of blow at the cylinder gap.  When I was shooting through the chronometer from a pistol rest, I didn't think to move my left hand off the crank knob for the barrel rest, and it got peppered with the blast from the cylinder gap.  It took about a week to pick out all the specks.  As I mentioned before, the starting load is only a grain less (21.0 grains), and you should definitely start there.

JD Parks

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 11:16:34 PM »
Sounds like it's in the ballpark. Good info. Any signs of overpressure?

Werz Waldeau

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 11:34:27 PM »
Sounds like it's in the ballpark. Good info. Any signs of overpressure?
Ejection was a wee bit stiff, but not bulging or cracks in nickel cases.

Douglas

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 11:54:15 PM »
2400 also works well with 44 mag. I have a bit on hand.

CSACANNONEER

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2016, 12:00:09 AM »
I've cast and loaded tens of thousands of 158 gr SWCs with whatever powder I happen to have on hand. I've used Clays, Universal Clays, 231, HP-38, 700X, Unique, etc. But, I'm typically loading on the lighter side and just for plinking. For hunting rounds, I'd probably go with Barnes bullets and Barnes load data for a powder I already have like 296. I'm not sure why you're having trouble deciding on a new powder. The best thing to do is try a few and decide which one you like the best.
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AndyC

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2016, 01:18:31 PM »
Some data for comparison - first, Alliant's 2400:



Data from Hodgdon:



296 and 110 seem to be close
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners.

7mmb

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Re: .357 magnum reloading
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 10:27:56 PM »
H110 should really shine in your Big Boy. They had an eight pound keg at Sportsman's Warehouse the other day so I know it is out there. AA#9 is another good one. IMR4227, while not the best for shorter barreled revolvers, should also be very good in your rifle. It's extruded, not spherical, but they granules are small and it meters great, and it sure is accurate.