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Chris Brines
11-11-2012, 11:48
Sorry if this is a repeat question, but I'm new to reloading and I noticed something about my 357 mag loads (6.7 grains of Unique (max load), regular small pistol primer, and a 158 grain LSWC), compared to the factory loads from Wal Mart (Remington, Winchester).

The factory loads have MUCH more power, recoil and are much louder. I've never chrono'd my loads, but I'd assume the velocity is much higher, as well as the pressure. Well I shoot 357 mags cause I like a gun that kicks, and one that will put a BIG hole in whatever I shoot (except for paper, obviously).

Would switching to a magnum powder and a magnum primer give me the "kick" I'm looking for?

F106 Fan
11-11-2012, 11:59
You're using 6.7 gr of Unique and Hornady maxes at 5.0 gr while Speer maxes at 6.0 gr. Alliant maxes at 6.0 gr.

All for the 158 gr LSWC...

I don't know where you got your data but you're already running pretty hot for a lead bullet.

You can always go to a jacketed bullet. You won't pick up much velocity but you can dump up to 7.7 gr in the case according to Speer.

Do not trust my typing! Verify each of the numbers above.

Richard

F106 Fan
11-11-2012, 12:01
Given all of the above, are you sure your scale is accurate? Do you have check weights?

Something is off if your loads seem light while factory seem MUCH more powerful.

Richard

ColoCG
11-11-2012, 12:03
Switching to Mag primers alone would only give a slight increase in velocity if any at all. To achieve maximum velocity and power in the .357 you would need to go to a slower burning powder such as 2400, H110/W296. The last 2 powders require magnum primers. All should accomplish what you are after.

Personally I have used a larger dose of Unique with the same bullet that you are using. Always work up your loads slowly.

WiskyT
11-11-2012, 12:17
RCBS shows 7.0 with a 158 lead bullet. His load is not over max. Some manuals, such as Speer and Hornady, limit magnum loads due to the soft, swaged bullets those companies offer. If you go over their max, you won't be exceeding pressure, you'll just get leading and crappy accuracy.

As to the OP wanting more bang out of his ammo, use a magnum powder like 2400. Your loads are right around 1100fps or so, maybe a touch more. With a max load of 2400, you'll get 100fps more, maybe a little more than that. You'll also get the recoil that goes along with a large dose of slower powder.

countrygun
11-11-2012, 12:21
Igo with what's been said but I would add that it gets a bit tricky when pushing lead bullets at magnum velocities. It can be done but you have to find a sweet spot btween powder, bullet diameter (actual) and bullet composition. Some of the factors involved are very counterintuitive and it takes either blind luck or some work to do it with both accuracy and without leading problems.

SJ 40
11-11-2012, 12:30
Switching to Mag primers alone would only give a slight increase in velocity if any at all. To achieve maximum velocity and power in the .357 you would need to go to a slower burning powder such as 2400, H110/W296. The last 2 powders require magnum primers. All should accomplish what you are after.

Personally I have used a larger dose of Unique with the same bullet that you are using. Always work up your loads slowly.Colo CG's advise would be mine as well for your 357 Manglem loads. SJ 40

gwalchmai
11-11-2012, 13:34
Sorry if this is a repeat question, but I'm new to reloading and I noticed something about my 357 mag loads (6.7 grains of Unique (max load), regular small pistol primer, and a 158 grain LSWC), compared to the factory loads from Wal Mart (Remington, Winchester).

The factory loads have MUCH more power, recoil and are much louder. I've never chrono'd my loads, but I'd assume the velocity is much higher, as well as the pressure. The factory loads are not using 6.7gr of Unique. They're not using Unique at all. If you want to match the factory load you need to chrono it and then select a powder charge that can safely approach that velocity with that bullet.

Factories don't use off-the-shelf (canister) powder that reloaders buy. They mix their own powder to get the velocity they need. The formulation may change for different lots of the same ammo they load (but the velocity stays the same).

Then they mix the leftovers and floor sweepings into buckets and sell it to reloaders... :supergrin:

Well I shoot 357 mags cause I like a gun that kicks, and one that will put a BIG hole in whatever I shoot (except for paper, obviously). So why not shoot .45?

SARDG
11-11-2012, 13:50
...If you want to match the factory load you need to chrono it and then select a powder charge that can safely approach that velocity with that bullet...
When I see posts that say "I've never chrono'd my loads, but...", I think that those load performance deductions are largely subjective conjecture.

I actually had a chrono before I bought any reloading gear. For $100 (or less for some), they bring load development and comparisons up to something actually meaningful.

Chris Brines
11-11-2012, 16:55
You're using 6.7 gr of Unique and Hornady maxes at 5.0 gr while Speer maxes at 6.0 gr. Alliant maxes at 6.0 gr.

All for the 158 gr LSWC...

I don't know where you got your data but you're already running pretty hot for a lead bullet.

You can always go to a jacketed bullet. You won't pick up much velocity but you can dump up to 7.7 gr in the case according to Speer.

Do not trust my typing! Verify each of the numbers above.

Richard

http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=357%20Magnum&Weight=158&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=Alliant

Chris Brines
11-11-2012, 16:57
Given all of the above, are you sure your scale is accurate? Do you have check weights?

Something is off if your loads seem light while factory seem MUCH more powerful.

Richard

I have checkweights, and also I put a 158 grain bullet on there, it reads 158 grains. Put a 115 grain bullet on there, it reads 115 grains. etc...

Chris Brines
11-11-2012, 16:59
The factory loads are not using 6.7gr of Unique. They're not using Unique at all. If you want to match the factory load you need to chrono it and then select a powder charge that can safely approach that velocity with that bullet.

Factories don't use off-the-shelf (canister) powder that reloaders buy. They mix their own powder to get the velocity they need. The formulation may change for different lots of the same ammo they load (but the velocity stays the same).

Then they mix the leftovers and floor sweepings into buckets and sell it to reloaders... :supergrin:

So why not shoot .45?

I don't currently own a 45 but a 45 of some kind will be my next gun. Probably a 1911 but I really do like revolvers, maybe a 45LC Redhawk with 1/2 moon clips for ACP.

Chris Brines
11-11-2012, 17:10
RCBS shows 7.0 with a 158 lead bullet. His load is not over max. Some manuals, such as Speer and Hornady, limit magnum loads due to the soft, swaged bullets those companies offer. If you go over their max, you won't be exceeding pressure, you'll just get leading and crappy accuracy.

As to the OP wanting more bang out of his ammo, use a magnum powder like 2400. Your loads are right around 1100fps or so, maybe a touch more. With a max load of 2400, you'll get 100fps more, maybe a little more than that. You'll also get the recoil that goes along with a large dose of slower powder.













http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/RecipePrint.aspx?gtypeid=1&weight=158&shellid=28&bulletid=30&bdid=83

This is from alliants site. My bullets are from Precision Delta (soft lead, if I had known that I'd have not ordered them), but the ones I was using before (and the ones I plan to use when I run out of these), were Friendswood Bullets (hard cast - locally made in Houston).

F106 Fan
11-11-2012, 17:23
I don't currently own a 45 but a 45 of some kind will be my next gun. Probably a 1911 but I really do like revolvers, maybe a 45LC Redhawk with 1/2 moon clips for ACP.

How about an S&W Model 25?

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_765838_-1_757779_757751_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

Richard

gwalchmai
11-11-2012, 17:39
I don't currently own a 45 but a 45 of some kind will be my next gun. Probably a 1911 but I really do like revolvers, maybe a 45LC Redhawk with 1/2 moon clips for ACP.I have a .45 LC S&W Mountain Gun. It is sweet, and I have seriously considered having it cut for moonclips. However, everything I read from guys who have done it says that the accuracy in .45ACP suffers due to the bullet jump. OTOH, unless you're going for max power, a dedicated .45ACP revolver can do 75-80% of what an LC can. And moonclips are very cool.

F106 Fan
11-11-2012, 17:41
http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=357%20Magnum&Weight=158&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=Alliant

That is not the current recommendation from Alliant.

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/DetailPrint.aspx?gtypeid=1&weight=158&shellid=28&bulletid=30

I did find a reference to 7.5 gr of Unique with a very hard cast bullet in "Ken Waters' Pet Loads" page 569. If I was interested in this, I would work up VERY SLOWLY.

Remember that Handloads.com is a lot like Wikipedia: Anybody can type anything! In fact, one of the 'guest' loads shows 8.0 gr of Unique!

Richard

WiskyT
11-11-2012, 17:49
That is not the current recommendation from Alliant.

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/DetailPrint.aspx?gtypeid=1&weight=158&shellid=28&bulletid=30

I did find a reference to 7.5 gr of Unique with a very hard cast bullet in "Ken Waters' Pet Loads" page 569. If I was interested in this, I would work up VERY SLOWLY.

Remember that Handloads.com is a lot like Wikipedia: Anybody can type anything! In fact, one of the 'guest' loads shows 8.0 gr of Unique!

Richard

The current Alliant data is based on using the Speer swaged bullet (very soft). The prior data was based on what is ASSumed to be a cast bullet which is much harder.

FWIW, my home made bullets are only marginally harder than the Speer's and I run 6.5 Unique all the time with them and get no leading and great accuracy.

Chris Brines
11-11-2012, 19:38
The current Alliant data is based on using the Speer swaged bullet (very soft). The prior data was based on what is ASSumed to be a cast bullet which is much harder.

FWIW, my home made bullets are only marginally harder than the Speer's and I run 6.5 Unique all the time with them and get no leading and great accuracy.


So should soft lead get a lighter or heavier charge? My hard cast lead at 6.7 grains worked fine, great accuracy, and no visible signs of high pressure on the casing. I am getting a little leading with my soft lead though.

WiskyT
11-11-2012, 19:57
So should soft lead get a lighter or heavier charge? My hard cast lead at 6.7 grains worked fine, great accuracy, and no visible signs of high pressure on the casing. I am getting a little leading with my soft lead though.

A harder bullet will tolerate heavier charges better than a soft one, particularly with faster powders. Often, a soft bullet is hard enough, and a hard bullet is harder than it needs to be. It's a matter of what is too much for a soft bullet? IME, with Unique, in 357 mag and 158's, you can run a max load with a soft bullet and it should be fine. A max load of a fast powder like Bullseye with a soft bullet will be a disaster, but a hrd bullet it might work okay. With slow powders like 2400, you can definitely use a soft bullet at full power and not have issues. I run a full load of 2400 with my soft bullets and get over 1200fps and no leading.

shotgunred
11-11-2012, 19:57
Sorry if this is a repeat question, but I'm new to reloading and I noticed something about my 357 mag loads (6.7 grains of Unique (max load), regular small pistol primer, and a 158 grain LSWC), compared to the factory loads from Wal Mart (Remington, Winchester).

The factory loads have MUCH more power, recoil and are much louder. I've never chrono'd my loads, but I'd assume the velocity is much higher, as well as the pressure. Well I shoot 357 mags cause I like a gun that kicks, and one that will put a BIG hole in whatever I shoot (except for paper, obviously).

Would switching to a magnum powder and a magnum primer give me the "kick" I'm looking for?

First off felt recoil and noise have little to do with "power".
The best answer for you is going to be to switch your powder to power pistol. It will give you the power, recoil and velocity you are looking for.

fredj338
11-11-2012, 20:14
If you want full magnum performance, then you have to go to a slower powder. Unique is a great choice, but you are going to run into pressures problems long before max avel. Just look at any reloading manual, you can see all the upper vel levels are reached with slower powders.

countrygun
11-11-2012, 20:22
So should soft lead get a lighter or heavier charge? My hard cast lead at 6.7 grains worked fine, great accuracy, and no visible signs of high pressure on the casing. I am getting a little leading with my soft lead though.

There is where it gets counterintuitive,

A softer bullet will obturate, that is "bump up" at the base (assuming your cylinder throats are the right dimension) at creat a tight seal on the bore. A bullet that is too hard doesn't create that seal and allows gas past the base which erodes the bullet leaving deposits and preventing a full "grip" on the rifling.

It would be natural to think that a harder bullet would resist leading but thatisn't always the case.

Wait 'till you start casting and making your own mixtures and hardening the bullets after they are cast, then the fun really begins.

I also suggest to anyone who is really chasing accuracy and performance to slug the bore on general principles but ESPECIALLY if they are shooting a revolver with other than an older "pinned" barrel. You can find some interesting things about the "Crush fit" barrels. That leads into firelapping.

WiskyT
11-11-2012, 20:34
I think slugging a bore is mostly unnecessary. It is a good way to diagnose a problem, like a barrel restriction, but for the most part, just use the biggest bullet diameter you can and still get a loaded round to chamber. My Rugers (357 mag) won't allow over 0.359" with the occasional piece of thick brass, like TZZ. My SW (357 mag) will allow as big as 0.361" with any brass I have. My 9mm mold drops at 0.357" and my Glock and Ruger chamber them easily without sizing. My 40SW mold drops at 0.403" and I've been sizing them at 0.401" to ensure reliability. I recently cast a batch of 40's and tumble lubed them by mistake before I sized them. I loaded 10 of them up and they all chambered, but were a tiny bit snug when slipped into the chamber with my fingers. The slide closing chambers them fine. So I'm going to run those 10 and see how they do. If they shoot fine, I'll load 50 like that and if all goes well, I won't be sizing my 40's any more.

One thing to consider is that my range scrap is soft enough that the case might be sizing them down a smidge on it's own.

countrygun
11-11-2012, 20:37
I think slugging a bore is mostly unnecessary. It is a good way to diagnose a problem, like a barrel restriction, but for the most part, just use the biggest bullet diameter you can and still get a loaded round to chamber. My Rugers (357 mag) won't allow over 0.359" with the occasional piece of thick brass, like TZZ. My SW (357 mag) will allow as big as 0.361" with any brass I have. My 9mm mold drops at 0.357" and my Glock and Ruger chamber them easily without sizing. My 40SW mold drops at 0.403" and I've been sizing them at 0.401" to ensure reliability. I recently cast a batch of 40's and tumble lubed them by mistake before I sized them. I loaded 10 of them up and they all chambered, but were a tiny bit snug when slipped into the chamber with my fingers. The slide closing chambers them fine. So I'm going to run those 10 and see how they do. If they shoot fine, I'll load 50 like that and if all goes well, I won't be sizing my 40's any more.

One thing to consider is that my range scrap is soft enough that the case might be sizing them down a smidge on it's own.

Do you slug your cylinder throats?

WiskyT
11-11-2012, 20:45
Do you slug your cylinder throats?

No, but I don't have any leading with anything I shoot. When I get leading when developing a load, I either back the powder charge down or use a slower powder. I have found leading to be such a predictable thing that I can avoid it before it happens. I use Bullseye for light loads, Unique for 9,40, and moderate 357 loads, and 2400 for magnum loads.

If I had one of those problem guns, like the 45 Colts with tight throats, that seem to lead no matter how you adjust the load, then I would slug the throats, the barrel, all of it to find the problem. The 45 Colts have tight throats because people insist on shooting jacketed ammo from them. A jacketed load at 12kpsi with a generous throat is likely to stick a bullet in the bore. So, Ruger, and maybe others, cut the chambers with tight throats to keep the velocity and pressure up so a bullet doesn't stick. If SAAMI was really looking out for folks, they would make unjacketed bullets part of the 45 Colt SAAMI specs so the gun companies could cut their chambers the right way without fear of guns getting destroyed from stuck bullets.

countrygun
11-11-2012, 20:52
I ended up firelapping the bore on a brand new Ruger Flat Top .44 special. recently. It had the "frame constriction" issue and I have done it as well on other "crush fits" It is IMO worthwhile to know if your bullets are getting squeezed below bore diameter. The same with cylinder throats but checking the bore is so easy I can't find a compelling reason not to.

Ross Seyfried wrote an interesting article on it in the Ruger .44s that is on the net and Beartooth Bullets have a bit on it on their website.

WiskyT
11-11-2012, 21:00
My guns could be all wrong. They could have all kinds of restrictions in them, I wouldn't know. I was reading all kinds of stuff about diameters, slugging etc and then I read what Lee had to say about it. Use the biggest bullet that will fit in the chamber. Being lazy, and not too confident in my skills of mic'ing an odd number sided slug, I went with Lee's advice and it has worked out well.

I'd shoot the 40 cal bullets in all of my guns if they'd fit:supergrin:

countrygun
11-11-2012, 21:12
I thought I was the only person that actually read "Modern Reloading" for the little details:supergrin:

Ironically, I found that the Lee "Tumble Lube" bullets, when cast out of pure lead, are the best design for fire lapping.

fredj338
11-12-2012, 02:11
Do you slug your cylinder throats?

Almost more important than slugging the bbl IMO. Undersized throats will almost always cause leading. My RBH 45colt had 0.450" throats & shooting a 0.452" bullet caused early leading w/ ok accuracy. After opening the throats to 0.4515", leading went away & my groups were almost halved.

SDGlock23
11-12-2012, 10:18
Sorry if this is a repeat question, but I'm new to reloading and I noticed something about my 357 mag loads (6.7 grains of Unique (max load), regular small pistol primer, and a 158 grain LSWC), compared to the factory loads from Wal Mart (Remington, Winchester).

The factory loads have MUCH more power, recoil and are much louder. I've never chrono'd my loads, but I'd assume the velocity is much higher, as well as the pressure. Well I shoot 357 mags cause I like a gun that kicks, and one that will put a BIG hole in whatever I shoot (except for paper, obviously).

Would switching to a magnum powder and a magnum primer give me the "kick" I'm looking for?

Unique is a good powder for sure, but not my first choice in the .357 Mag for full power loads, however it does right well in the 38 Special. As has been mentioned, some data for 158gr lead in the .357 Mag is on the low side, I think because a lot of the 158gr lead bullets are soft and meant for subsonic velocities and/or for use in the 38 Special. I use Missouri Bullet 158gr hardcast lead SWC designed for use at magnum velocities.

I was out shooting my .357 GP100 last night and chronographing both factory and handloaded ammo. If you want more bang, two powders that I use for my 158gr hardcast LSWC are AA #9 (AA = Accurate Arms) and Alliant 2400. Basically, the higher the charge weight, the slower burning the powder and you will get the "bang" you're looking for. Some manuals call for the use of SPM primers, and I have used them, but mostly still use regular SP primers.

Two other "boomy" powders are Hodgdon H-110/Winchester 296 (same powder) and Hodgdon Lil'Gun.

Around dusk I can tell you that 14.8gr of 2400 with a 158gr bullet certainly barks and puts on a bit of a light show.

Chris Brines
11-12-2012, 21:27
Well this has been quite an educational thread. I know recoil doesn't mean "more power". Idk I just like a "powerful" round. I like a recoil and a report that shakes the ground when I shoot it. Like the 125 grain Remington semi jacketed flat tips from Walmart, or my Winchester white box. But if anyone thinks I am wasting my time by seeking that, I"ll take your word for it. When it comes down to it, accuracy and velocity are what counts, I think.....

I do have some Hornady XTP's I'll be loading up for SD next time I load. I want those to be "top notch". (Not sure what constitutes a "good" SD load, but I know I want it to do maximum damage to whatever it hits, which I am hoping never actually happens).

gwalchmai
11-12-2012, 21:47
Well this has been quite an educational thread. I know recoil doesn't mean "more power". It does, though, doesn't it? Force back to the shooter equals force forward, after all.


Idk I just like a "powerful" round. I like a recoil and a report that shakes the ground when I shoot it. Like the 125 grain Remington semi jacketed flat tips from Walmart, or my Winchester white box. But if anyone thinks I am wasting my time by seeking that, I"ll take your word for it. When it comes down to it, accuracy and velocity are what counts, I think.....There's noting wrong with wanting recoil, if that's what you want. You should try a S&W 500 Magnum. ;)