New to reloading, cast bullet question 357 mag

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Adambomb79 posted this 27 October 2020

Ok, I'm new to reloading( just joined this forum) and I will primarily be reloading for 357 mag and 38 special in both lever gun and revolver. I've been buying a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. I am confident I can safely load up some stuff just going by excact data in my manuals etc, particularly with jacketed bullets. But trying to find data on some of these cast bullets is daunting. For instance: I recently bought a swc with gas check 165 from Matt's bullets. It looked like a good one, and the reviews were good, but can't find a 165 grain anything anywhere for data. There is data on the that site for a similar bullet, same grains using h110 (I have that powder)...but it's not published data. So then I look up data for 170gr jacketed, a 170gr Keith linotype and 158gr lead with gascheck, the variance is all over the map. I'm told you don't want to go under on h110 and you don't have much room to work with to go max pressure. So I don't even know what a starting load would be for 165gr. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. Thanks

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Bud Hyett posted this 27 October 2020

You are right to check several sources. I go to the next heavier bullet and work from there. Jacketed bullets have more friction in a barrel than cast and this adds a little to the pressure. The loads shown in the reloading manuals will vary because the firearms vary and the laboratory conditions vary. I go to the powder manufacturer to see what they say. They've done the testing of their powder under strictly controlled conditions. When we add in the liability factor from the corporate attorney, the loads are possibly factored down a little. 

In this case, I have the RCBS 357-162-SWC mold that is similar and will weigh slightly heavier with a softer alloy. I've experimented with this bullet four decades ago in .357 using Herco, Blue Dot and  2400 powders and was happy with the results. 

Note: I am not a fan of H-110, or W-W 296, except in straight-wall cases. I heed the data warnings. I've been there when shooters were using these powders in bottleneck cases and three guns were disassembled. I've never seen these powders have a problem in a straight wall case.

You've sparked my curiosity again for the .357 Magnum. I have a new Model 27 and have yet to fire it. I've found in my seventies that a powder measure can go down as well as up and usually load lighter for most all loads. Mostly .45 Colt; 6.5 grains Unique with a 200 grain SWC for the Colt SAA and New Service, then 8.0 grains Unique with a 235 grain SAECO 954 for the stronger guns. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 27 October 2020

Here are some suggested starting loads for your 170 gr bullet:

4.1 - Bullseye
8.3 - Blue Dot
9.7 - 2400
14.0 - H110
9.8 - IMR 4227

This is all well used data. I have a extensive history loading for the .38 SP & .357 Magnum. Email or call me if I can help you further'

[email protected] / 281-935-7610

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Adambomb79 posted this 29 October 2020

Thanks guys for your replies, this is reassuring me I am on the right track. I think I will go with data I can find for the 170gr loads, which is pretty much exactly the ones you mentioned. My biggest concern was having a "squib" load...or whatever you call it by going to low on powder charge. I obviously won't start with Max, cuz I'm not stupid, but being new to this was not sure how common, or easy it is to have a dud or squib load using the slower burning powders. I think I can make a fairly educated guesstimate with all the info I've gathered.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 29 October 2020

Yeah, starting with the minimums and not going under, you should have no issues with squibs. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Qc Pistolero posted this 2 weeks ago

David Reiss starting load of 14.0grH110 sure sounds good.My 167gr bullet is propelled by more than that(15.3)but that was carefully worked up to and is fired only in my 4'' model 28.While I've fired a few in both my DWs and my 586,they were on the hot side for them and I don't like to run my engines in or near the redline.I certainly won't use it in my model 13.

But whatever .357 you have,I'll double Mr Reiss with his suggestion.

Another good and very safe one is with IMR 4227.While with it you will concede a few fps compared to H110,it is a very forgiving powder while being more flexible than H110 and also very accurate.

Getting there is half the fun;so is experimenting with new loads.Have fun.

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