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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some suggestions for loads for a 2 1/2 inch barrel .357 magnum.  I'm using plain base, 160 grain, hard cast LBT flat nose bullets.  I want to get 1000 fps without pushing the pressures.  H110 makes velocity with no problems but produces a lot of muzzle blast.  I'm working my way down through faster powders but I want to balance low-blast against high-pressure and still make 1000 fps.  
Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.  Thanks.
 

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I would try published data using Accurate Arms No. 7, Hodgdon Universal, or Alliant Unique. While I've never done much work with sub-4" .357's using anything heavier than 125 grains, I have used these powders with 158's in 4" and 6" guns enough to have confidence any will give the results for which you're looking. Extrapolating my chronograph test figures in 4" guns tells me these would be good choices.
 

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Try my favorite 38 spl. +P load. 5.0 grains of Red Dot in a 38 spl. case, with the bullet of your choice. Use only in .357 guns. This load is one bad mama that'll really, really, shoot. Plenty of power too. You should get your 1000 fps easily. You can also try the old 38/44 load, 13.5 gr. of 2400 with the same components. The Red Dot load is more economical, and a bit more accurate as I recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
2400 gets the velocity but in short barrels just burns too dirty.  I was out testing loads in this pistol and a cap-and-ball revolver loaded with Cleanshot powder.  I got way more smoke out of the 2400 in the snubbie.  I also got too much unburned powder for a defense load.
 

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Defense load? You should only use factory ammo for self defense. There are too many attorneys out there looking to make a name for themselves. Also, no matter how careful you are, you'll never be able to produce ammo that is as reliable as factory ammo. I suggest Winchesters 38 spl +P 158 SWC-HP. That what we keep on hand to repel boarders...
 

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I'm with pourboy on this one. In my S&W M640, I carry the Federal Nyclad 125gr. .38Special +P in case (God forbid) that I ever have to use a carry gun. It's available commercially and is less likely to cause legal concern.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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125gr. Cor-bons in a 7-shot Taurus Ti .357.

If that don't kill the bad guys, well, for sure they'll be plumb deaf from that point on!

Even with muffs and plugs that sucker is LOUD!  Course I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

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It was never stated by the originator of this thread if this load would be used for anti-personnel defense. If that is the case I strongly suggest the (now) hard-to-find Remington 125-grain "Medium Load" JHP. It is product code R357M11. In tests I've done it gives plenty of penetration (unless you're shooting Jabba the Hut), wonderfully consistent expansion in several media with/without intermediary barriers, superior accuracy and excellent control. (Yes, I'm sorry to say I was caught up in all the "wound ballistics" uproar in years past. Even maintained a website on the subject.) In fact it is now the only load I use in my carry .357's, 2", 3", or 4".

If heavier bullets are considered necessary go with either the Winchester 145-grain Silvertip or the Federal 158-grain Magnum Nyclad. I have chronographed the Federals in a 2-3/4" Ruger and they exceeded the previously mentioned 1000 fps threshold. Both are good loads but do not give as good control in snubbies as the Remington Medium Load.

As an aside, while I use factory ammo exclusively for anti-personnel defense I have yet to see an actually documented case where handloaded ammo worked against a person in court. I even twice wrote Massad Ayoob on the subject and never received a reply. hmmm <!--emo&???--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo--> Nevertheless the potential is there for a swarthy lawyer to try to use it against someone in the courtroom.
 

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[/quote]It was never stated by the originator of this thread if this load would be used for anti-personnel defense.  (Bill Lester)
<!--QuoteBegin--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->.  I also got too much unburned powder for a defense load.(sionaphrys)

Not openly said at first, but inferred in a later post, Bill.
 

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Actually private correspondance with sionaphrys indicates he is looking for a defensive load more in tune with four-legged assailants.



<!--EDIT|Bill Lester|April 09 2002,07:34-->
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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With that in mind, there is a very interesting article in the last Handloader by Ross Seyfried, about trying to dispatch a wounded elk with a .38 snubbie.

I think with low velocities of short .38's, I might be inclined to agree with Ross and go hard cast for such a purpose.

I know that Marshall has a fascinating story about trying to bring down a spike elk that almost ran over him on a trail, with a .357, and basically similar results/conclusion.
 

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Pourboy,

In reading your post on the use of RedDot, and your statement that "the bullet of your choice" could be used, I could not help but think of Ed Harris's paper written on "The Load" where he has a 13 grain recipie for plinking use in a whole raft of rifles using bullets common to caliber.

I use the 13 grain recipe in my 45/70 with very good success.

With that in mind, I am curious about getting more info on your recomendation for 5 grains of RedDot in the 38 special case. Is this data published anywhere else?

I would think that the fast burning of the RedDot may make for a rather good powder in a snubbie .357 (a constant companion) and I seem to have aquired a bit of the stuff since it has become a mainstay for medium loads in my Guide Gun.

Can you please expound on this?

Thanks,

Scotty
 

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<!--QuoteBegin--pourboy+April 07 2002,20:29--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (pourboy @ April 07 2002,20:29)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->Defense load? You should only use factory ammo for self defense. There are too many attorneys out there looking to make a name for themselves. Also, no matter how careful you are, you'll never be able to produce ammo that is as reliable as factory ammo. I suggest Winchesters 38 spl +P 158 SWC-HP. That what we keep on hand to repel boarders...[/quote]
If a shooting is justified, it should not matter if the bullet is loaded by hand or factory. If a shooting is not justified, then the same is true. The system can cook your goose no matter what ammo was used. I have read Ayoob's "warnings" for years, but I have never heard of a justifiable shooting case gone bad because of handloaded ammo. As far as reliable as factory ammo, I disagree.   How do you know there is a flash hole in all the factory ammo ammo in your gun ? True, it does not happen very often, but it has. I have a round of W-W 357 mag JHP that came in a box of ammo with the bullet loaded upside down.This is "factory" ammo.  Looks like a jacketed full wadcutter. And this passed all Winchesters inspection points ! If I load it, it's as reliable as the primer. (if I remember to put powder in the case) <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->
 

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Here's one along the lines of your inverse-loaded .357:

How about a Colt Officer's Model without rifling?

That should give some really tight groups!
 

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Gentlemen,

Win / usa makes a downloaded 110 conventional sjhp that is nicely accuratte, and doesn't rearrange your dental work when it goes off.  Its really a little lighter bullet wieght than i would like, and i don't think it uses extremely flash resistant powders, so night firing might be an issue.  

As far as the liability of using reloaded ammo versus factory, i think truly some common sense applies.  Anything that says magnum, might could be an issue, standard rounds maybe not so much.  I think Mr Ayoob's comments orginally recommended that civilians use ammo that cops use, which may make them appear more legitimate, and more credible.

I think it matters more about credibility of the person defending himself, than what he has in his sidearm.  If a crazed homocidal maniac breaks in the house with obviously vile intentions, and the homeowner is a credible, reasonable individual, i think a bazooka could be employed without issue.

On the other hand, maybe a fellow shouldn't brag to all of his buddies in public in a loud and boisterous manner about the lethaly of his home brewed planet destroyers, and wish out loud to be the first guy in his block to get a confirmed kill. Could impact his credibility, even if he carries specails in his magnum.  One man's opinion.

One thing that i am curious about, is that if the factory vs reloaded article would have never been written, if anyone, including some lawyer, would even think to bring such a thing up.  We might be our own worst enemy some times, you think?

Back on topic, I recommend the 110 jhp @ 1250.

Steve
 

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Winchester Super X 357 Mag. 145-gr. Silvertips for self defense.
 
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