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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought my mother a 357 Magnum but I don't think she can handle it right now. I am trying to reload some "special" ammo just for her. My question is can I use the 357 Magnum components (case, bullet, primer, etc.)with the 38 Special loading data. In another word, is it safe to pretend those 38 Special loads as minimum loads for the 357 Magnum? Any advice will be appreciated.

Cheers!
VML
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Yes in most cases it can be done, but why not just use .38 Specials? If you're looking for a defensive load you can't get much better than the standard Federal 125-grain Nyclad .38. The standard pressure version uses a dead soft bullet with a huge hollowpoint. It gives low recoil and virtually no muzzle left or blast. Available, reasonably priced, and no potential for legal hassles of "special" ammo.
 

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Ming:

For practice loads, try loading some 148 gr. wadcutters for her.  I don't remember the exact load, but it's a pretty light load of Bullseye, info from the Speer manual.  It's a powder puff load, little recoil.  Of course, as Mr. Lester says, you could use .38 Special loads.  If you use lead bullets, you'll probably get some lead foulind in the cylinder chambers that will need to be cleaned out.

For defense ammo, Mr. Lester's suggestion is good.
 

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My two most favorite 357 loads are a 140 SWC from Saeco, sized 360, out of wheel weights ahead of 4.5 grains of bullseye, in a 357 case. This load will chew the center out of the bullseye at 25 yards from my Python.
My second favorite load is is Speers 158 grain SWC ahead of 5.5 grains of Unique, in a 357 case. My S&W mod. 28 loves this load.
I got the Saeco 140 mold to fudge a bit to compete in an indoor match that required 38 or 357 with round nose or SWC bullets. Everybody else used 158 grain factory or handloads. This bullet looked just like Saeco's 158 grain, except the part in the case was shorter.
The Speers are for when I've been lazy and have not taken the time to cast a pile of the Saecos. They are dead soft lead, sized 358, and don't lead in my 357s.
Jim
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Try 148 grain wadcutters, 3.0 (three) grains of Bullseye, standard primers, in a .357 case.  This is equal to the time-honored load for the .38 special of 2.7 grains of Bullseys with the same weight bullet, but won't leave the chambers all cruddy.  This is my target load and what I let new shooters start out with.  Very mild.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys all the advice. I like the 148 grain watcutter sounds pretty good. I also like the 158 grain Lead Round Nose which can also be loaded at a lower velocity. I am gonna try a couple of different types of lead stuff to see which one I like most for my mother.

Thanks again! Have fun!

Cheers!
 
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