Experiments in .357 loading...

Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby jasonallen127 » Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:54:13

After much research, component selection, and tinkering with different powders & primers, I think I've come up with a stout target load for my Taurus 627 revolver.

I went with 125 grain Armscor .357 FMJ round nose bullets, CCI Small Magnum primers, 2400 powder, and once-fired Fiocchi/Herters brass.

I have workup loads loaded & prepped for my next range trip... range report soon to follow!

:pistol:


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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby M1A4ME » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 06:47:46

I remember using 2400 years ago. I load .357 and .44 magnum and I know the 2400 is good in the .44, too.

Seems like my favorite .357 magnum loads used either H110 or Blue Dot powder.

If the 2400 doesn't give you what you're looking for, think about the H110.


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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby meadmkr » Mon, 04 Feb 2013 07:55:38

Why a stout load for target shooting? Just curious....

Years ago when I used to compete in metallic silhoutte I shot some pretty stiff loads to knock those rams over. I ended up using 2 different loads which shot nearly to the same POI depending on the ranges. You can save some the wear & tear on the brass with use a milder load and you won't have to trim the cases so much. Plus you might get a box or so extra loads from a bottle of powder.
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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby jasonallen127 » Fri, 08 Feb 2013 14:30:42

I like working with stout target loads in my .357 because it keeps me accustomed to the recoil, and the more I shoot it with mule-kicking, bright flashing, loud-as-hell loads, the less I flinch. Also, if sh*t hits the fan, I'd like to have rounds on hand that have some knock-down to them, though I don't think I'd ever fire .357 indoors unless I absolutely had to. lol

I have .38spl for when I want to shoot powderpuff loads to introduce new shooters to the revolver.

Use this reloading info at your own risk. I am NOT responsible if you blow up your gun, yourself, or others using the following info.

I had great success using the following recipe:
Armscor .38/.357 125 grain FMJ bullets
HRTRS headstamped brass
New 2400 powder
CCI 550 Small Magnum Primers

I found I had the best results with 15.5 grains of 2400 (10% reduced from a maximum listed load of 17.2 grains - source: Lyman's). The 15.5 gr rounds were powerful and accurate, with quite a pronounced muzzle flash and report. 16 grains of 2400 was noticeably more powerful, but just as accurate, and there were bits of unburnt powder blown out the barrel ports (I suspect the magnum primers had something to do with that). I didn't try anything heavier as I saw no need.


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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby meadmkr » Sun, 10 Feb 2013 11:13:08

Jason - how is the 2400 for muzzle flash? Have you experimented with any of the powders that produce less muzzle flash such Vihtavuori or Ramshot Silhouette?
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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby jasonallen127 » Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:54:11

The flash on 2400 wasn't too bad, meadmkr. Pronouncedly less than on factory-loaded Fiocchi .357 ammo, but more than American Eagle 158 gr soft point .357 ammo.

I have no experience with Vihtavuori or Ramshot, only limited experience with 2400 and Blue Dot.

Flash isn't a concern for me on target loads, and I keep 2 speed-loaders each of factory loaded ammunition for personal defense: the time-tested Federal 125gr JHPs (for 2-legged varmints), and Buffalo Bore 180gr (for protection from wildlife while hiking - also useful for 2-legged varmints).


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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby arkypete » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 16:40:34

I have two loads for my 357s one is for indoor ranges using a .358 diameter 158 grain copper plated bullet ahead of 5.5 grains of Bullseye.
For out door ranges I use a .3585 diameter 140 grain cast SWC ahead of 4.5 grains of Bullseye.
I try to go to the new Richmond range once a week and I'll shoot 100 rounds of 357 at 25 yards. Along with 100 rounds of 22 RF.

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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby jasonallen127 » Mon, 18 Feb 2013 01:02:15

I only load with jacketed rounds, as my local ranges don't allow exposed lead (all are indoor ranges in NoVA unless you drive out to Warrenton for Clark Brothers!). I wish I could shoot cast lead - I'd be able to afford shooting a LOT more!

More success with the 125 grain FMJ, 15.5gr 2400 powder/CCI pistol magnum primer loads at the range today! I fired 100 rounds, and they patterned consistently, and accurately at 10 yards. My best group of the day (once I was thoroughly desensitized to the recoil after the first box of 50 home-brewed rounds) was about 2" for 7 shots, single action, unsupported using iron sights.

Meadmkr, the flash *outdoors* observed previously in bright daylight conditions wasn't too bad. Today, *indoors* at Blue Ridge Arsenal, it was INTENSE, and the overpressure of the rounds was awesome. LOTS of fire out of the cylinder gap, PRONOUNCED muzzle blast & fire out of the barrel ports. Each shot out of my 6" Taurus 627 Tracker felt like getting hit in the face with a rolled up newspaper (ported barrel probably added to the flash & slap, and the narrow shooting lane wall dividers didn't help I'm sure).

I would definitely NOT use these rounds for indoor self defense without my eyes and ears on. These have some serious heat & bang behind them. It'd be like unloading with flashbangs in a closed room. Goodbye eardrums.


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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby HighExpert » Fri, 22 Feb 2013 01:58:10

My Bullseye loads run a little warmer but very consistent. As always use at your own risk and consult a loading manual to check my values.

.357 Magnum
RN Plated 158gr
6.3gr Bullseye (7.4)
1.583 OAL
1100 FPS

.357 Magnum
JHP 125gr
6.6 Bullseye (8.6)
1.583 OAL
1700 FPS


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Re: Experiments in .357 loading...

Postby jasonallen127 » Thu, 07 Mar 2013 19:45:27

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, guns weren't the only things I shot at the range recently!

First, as basis for comparison, here is comparatively mild Speer Lawman 9mm 124gr fired out of a Springfield XD 9mm subcompact.
Image

Next up, here is factory loaded .357 Magnum 147gr FMJTC by Fiocchi, which is pretty flashy as far as .357 goes:
Image

Finally, here are my .357 Magnum 125gr FMJ handloads using the 15.5 gr charge of 2400 over a CCI small pistol magnum primer:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

...see what I mean about the flash-bang effect? 2400 NOT recommended for indoor/small space use, but FUN (and cheap + accurate) at the range!


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