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  #1  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:22 PM
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All-purpose load for .357 Magnum?


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I have a 6" M28 Highway Patrolman that serves as a general "ramblin'" carry gun in the mountains of SE Wyoming. It's not a legal hunting weapon for big game but there are plenty of mountain lions around and who knows when my little dog will need help with the dreaded "skunkupine"!

So I am looking for suggestions for an all-purpose load, perhaps using a BTB bullet as I do not cast my own.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:53 PM
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My favorite load for my 4" GP-100 is with the 185gr LFNGC BTB. It's crimped in the crimp groove and has 10.7gr of Blue Dot (this has been corrected on 3-6-10 as my original posting was a typo. 10.7gr is correct) . I use Federal mag primers and Starline brass. The cylinder throats are opened up to .3590. With enough practice it will give me under 12" groups at 200 yards. Velocity is 1200 fps. Recoil is not severe and neither is the report. Heck of a nice load. You will probably get another 50 fps out of a 6" barrel.
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Last edited by Bill M; 03-05-2010 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Had a typo for the amount of Blue Dot listed.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:58 PM
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Since you have a revolver you do not have to settle on one load. I live in mountain lion and bear country both. My handgun of choice is a S&W model 19. However a good load for a 200 pound amimal (mountain lion or human badguy ) isnt very effective on big bears and vice a versa. So I load one round with 125 grn Speer Gold Dot for lighter game then the next cylinder with 180 hard cast for bears. Then repeat the rotation the same way with the next four cylinders. That way every other shot will be appropriate. In an emergency situation just start pulling the trigger.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2009, 02:01 PM
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I would work up to Bill M's load as it seems pretty hot by my references. I have used 10.0 grains of Blue Dot quite a bit with the medium (158 -170 gr. bullets) mostly cast especially in the heavier weights. It is a very good carry load with modest recoil, and muzzle blast, yet packs a good punch.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2009, 05:06 AM
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Thanks for the replies, fellas.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2009, 09:21 AM
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Mixing bullet weights might work at hair burning distance, but the BTB 185gr LFNGC hits about a foot higher than the Remington 125gr JSP at 25 yards with my 6" M28. Stick to one bullet weight if you can't always get up close and personal. Don't we use guns so we don't have to get up close and personal?

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  #7  
Old 08-02-2009, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHLever View Post
I would work up to Bill M's load as it seems pretty hot by my references. I have used 10.0 grains of Blue Dot quite a bit with the medium (158 -170 gr. bullets) mostly cast especially in the heavier weights. It is a very good carry load with modest recoil, and muzzle blast, yet packs a good punch.
Good point! I would and did work up carefully. I should have mentioned that this load is VERY bullet specific. In my experience, even a similiar bullet will give different pressures. It depends on how much of the bullet is in the case and how fast the alloy obturates under acceleration. It's also why I mention the throats have been opened up. I forgot to mention the barrel is fire lapped. The part I absolutely hate about sharing loading data all the variables that can and do change pressure/accuracy. I am specific because what works for me may not work for you. I would shoot this load in any BH or GP-100 but would not shoot it in any K frame size gun. I have shot it out of my SP-101 and it is memorable but does not hurt the gun.

By every measure I know this is a safe and truly great load in my GP's. Some wisdom is called for as YMMV.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2009, 05:10 AM
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I load the 180gr LFNGC Cast Performance with 15 grains of H110 for my backpacking load. Its not for K frame guns, but okay in N frames and Rugers.

Sierra makes an excellent JHP 180 if you can't get the lead bullets.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2009, 04:46 AM
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It's hard to go wrong with the 1st Magnum's original load; the 173gr Keith SWC over 15-15.5gr of 2400. You should be between 1350 and 1400 fps with your 6" barrel.
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2009, 01:36 AM
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I have loaded quite a few different bullets in the past 10yrs for hunting hogs with my GP-100's. Two bullets I have settled on as more or less all around loads are Remington 158gr SJHP's and Oregon Trail 158gr RNFP's. The picture shows them with more of a rounded nose than what they actually come with or at least what mine all look like.

I load both using 16grs of W-296 and get great results from them Good accuracy out to 50yds and plenty of punch for hogs up to around 200#.
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  #11  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:47 AM
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My general walk about load is 6 gr Unique under a 158 gr Cast or 158 gr Rem JSP! Runs 1058 fps out of my BH!
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossfire View Post
It's hard to go wrong with the 1st Magnum's original load; the 173gr Keith SWC over 15-15.5gr of 2400. You should be between 1350 and 1400 fps with your 6" barrel.
+1 for Elmers SWC and 2400
if it wuz me, I'd reduce this load by about 25 or 30% and work up, maybe stopping at 13 grains or so of the "new" Alliant 2400.
..
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsbox99 View Post
I load the 180gr LFNGC Cast Performance with 15 grains of H110 for my backpacking load. Its not for K frame guns, but okay in N frames and Rugers.

Sierra makes an excellent JHP 180 if you can't get the lead bullets.
I'm running close Matt;

Beartooth's 185, with 12 grains of H110.....out of a 2 3/4" Security six.

Boom.
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2009, 05:21 PM
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That load is very accurate in my 6" GP 100, and the GP is heavy enough that it doesn't recoil too bad either.
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:02 PM
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I use either 158 grain Sierra JSPs and 10.5 grains of Blue Dot or 180 grain Cast Performance WFNGC over 15 grains of H110 in my GP100 6 inch.

Like usual, these are safe in my revolver, the usual advice of starting low and working up applies.
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2009, 03:58 AM
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My general purpose load for a .357 Magnum was a 158gr LSWC. Usually loaded with a stiff charge of H110 or AA#7. Don't remember the charge as I don't have access to my reloading log books. I normally carried either a Smith K frame (3" 65 or 4" 66) or my Coonan auto. That suited my needs in Kentucky/Tennesse at the time.

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  #17  
Old 08-19-2009, 10:02 AM
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i just discovered i have what tracks to be a med 60-70 lbs lion
out back here some where... i take my buck shot with me now if i take the pup for a walk...my hand gun skills are limited to fast reaction in close shootin.. my shotgun with buck shot ,,gets on out there some or works fine in close..the slug coming behind it, might not doim much good either...
if the buck slowed him dn some..slim
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:36 PM
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Buckshot is used on the heavier lions in Africa. So I wouldn't feel undergunned.

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  #19  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:18 AM
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158 grains LSWC with 6 grains of Unique, or 13 grains of 2400. 180 grains with 10 grains of 2400. All good working loads (not too hot but definitely will get the job done).
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  #20  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:59 PM
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Wow! looks like 158 gr. projectiles are extremely popular, and Ill be no different. My personal favorite is the 158 gr Hornady Gold Dot loaded with 9.5 gr of AA #5. It will yield approx 1092 fps. I am using a S&W Hwy Patrolman as well. my usual "plinkng" loads consist of125 gr Win JHP with 9.1 gr of unique. I feel that any load will work EXTREELY well in a self defense sitiuation against another human, but with a mointain lion of something of that nature I would lean MUCH heavier towards the Gold Dot round, primarily for it's heavier round which will hit the target with more momentum.
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