Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen:

Since you all have been so helpful, I thought I'd run another one by you all.

My defense handgun (actually only handgun at this point) is a S&W 686, 4 inch barrel.  I've had it for about 8 years, bought it used.  I've put a few thousand rounds through it.  The cylinder lock-up seems a bit loose, but I do not think that the play is excessive.  However, I am not extremely knowledgeable in this area, so I may be wrong.

I only mention the above in case it may affect my real question.

I primarily shoot cast bullets in it, but have loaded and fired a few hundred jacketed, in addition to some jacketed and cast "remanufactured" stuff that I got at gun shows before I started reloading.

I used a Speer manual only until a few months ago when I bought a Lyman.  I've always used Blue Dot for my defense loads, using either Hornady 125 gr. XTP or Hornady 158 gr. XTP.  (Some people have told me I ought to use a factory load for defense, but I've never had a misfire with a handload).

When working up my last loads with the 158 gr. XTP, I decided to up the max load from Speer's listed max load of 10.2.  Lyman lists the top load for a 158 gr. jhp as 11.9, if memory serves correctly.

I began to get cratered primers at 11 grains, and recoil seemed pretty stiff, so I backed down to 10.2.  Now, I know that the component changes (Hornady bullet instead of Speer, and Winchester primer instead of CCI) could affect things.  

Should I keep it down to the lower loads?  Or try different primers or some 2400?  I figure that if I have to bank my life on my loads, I want them to be as hot as possible.

Thanks for any advice.

Ray Floyd


(Edited by Ray Floyd at 8:49 am on June 19, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Ray- Use 2400, 296, or H-110 for maximum velocities. Blue Dot can get a little spooky at higher pressures. The reason you're getting the factory ammo advice for self-defence is simple, we live in a society with too many #### lawyers. If you use handloads for self defence, a prosecuting attorney can make you look like some sort of rabid nut reloader (not handloader), who doesn't feel that factory ammo is "deadly" enough. Also that you are just waiting for an excuse to try out your latest "manstopper loads".Simply put, home reloads can make you look bad in court if you ever have to actually shoot someone. It's just not worth the &#3610.00- &#3615.00 saved by loading your own.----------          Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I agree with Pourboy, re using factory ammo for self defense (and I handload for 14 different calibers). For a .357 Mag., any of the regular factory rounds in the 125 grain JHP area, will do just fine in a self defense shooting, if you do your part, ie. accuracy.

As Billy the Shake wrote, "The first thing we must do, is kill all the lawyers."  

L.W.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hey, thanks for the advice.  I live down here in Mississippi, and always have figured that if I did ever have to shoot in self-defense, I would not be very likely to have the sort of lawyer problems that come up elsewhere.  This ain't California!  Clear-cut cases of self-defense generally are not a problem.  But just in case, it probably is a good idea to use factory ammo.  

I have some 2400, so I'll give that a try when I feel like loading some jacketed stuff.  I may get some Cor-Bon 125 gr.

Thanks again,
Ray
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
7,768 Posts
Hi, Ray:
  A Winchester WSPM primer and 2400 is a spooky combination in my .357, with some primers looking fine and others mashed flat in the same cylinder full.  Other primers showed no signs of pressure with heavier loads.  I've quit using that combination.

Brian Pearce had an article in Handloader 207 (Oct-Nov 2000) where he tested 7 different primers in the .357. The WSPM had the highest exterme spread with 3 different powders. He noted that Speer could use more powder and get higher velocity with a CCI 500 standard primer than they could with the CCI 550 magnum primer, with 2400.

Bye
Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again for the info.  Mr. Monteith, thanks for the heads-up on Win. primers and 2400.  I'll tinker with my loads a little and see what I come up with.

Regards,
Ray Floyd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Ray...I agree with everything yhat was said about defense loads. I'm down here in Old Florida (Upper West Coast), but still keep a cylinder full of factory 125's around the place.
Also on the mag primers....I load and hunt with my 6" 686 when we are working out of the boats. My hunting load is Marshall's BTB 185 gr FNGC on top of 16 grs of either WW296 or H110, with regular primers. That load runs around 1385'/" out of a 6" barrel. WW296 seems to not have as much flash as the old favorite 2400. Another bullet that seems to have a lot of promise is a 175 gr OWC that Contender shoots. That bullet on top of 13.5 grs of AA9 is a real good general purpose load.
Best Regards, James
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Ray,

All the previous posts make the point of liability in regards to handloads for defense. This is largely an idea postulated by Masaad Ayoob. In truth, I'm not aware of any instances where the issue of handloaded ammo has worked against a citizen in court. I used to read everything Ayoob wrote I could obtain and even he had no instances where it happened. But he still suggests it "just in case."

I use factory loads for a number of reasons, and legal concerns are pretty low in the pecking order. Even though you have had perfect ignition with handloads so far, I think it's more likely for a handload than a factory round to go "click" instead of "bang." In the ~18 years I've rolled my own, I've had several and I consider myself a pretty careful loader.

In the .357 Magnum I appreciate the flash reduction additives in factory loads that we don't get in consumer-grade powders like 2400, 296, etc. The difference between a factory and handloaded 125-grain load can be dramatic in muzzle flash. No sense in making night or indoor defensive shootings any more difficult than they already are.

So in my 2" Colt Magnum Carry, I use either Federal 158-grain Nyclad LHPs or Remington 125-grain "Medium Velocity" loads. These for better control in the sub-25 oz. snubbie. In my 4" 686 I use the Winchester 145-grain Silvertip or Federal 130-grain Hydra Shok, depending on my surroundings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Just remember that phrase,  "I feared for my life", and "I just came back from the shooting range, that is why I had handloads in my gun ", I have to try and remember to keep factory stuff in my carry guns, but sometimes I don't, OOPS.
And don't forget to ask the cops for the spent brass after the shooting! I always like it when they circle all the spent brass with chalk,  makes it easier to find.



(Edited by HandloaderJohn at 7:53 pm on June 18, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I used a heavy charge of Blue Dot and a 158 grain Gold Dot in my 357 one year. It blew a big hole and broke the off shoulder exiting.  I like 15 grains of 2400 better with that bullet though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
(Edited by Clark at 11<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->7 pm on Nov. 4, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Do we really want posts on this forum advocating blowing up .38 Specials with .357 ammo? Here we are on one hand setting examples to new shooters as not to use .357 Mag. ammo in the older .38 Specials, and on the other hand post that we do?
Sooner or later a new shooter will try it and may have very bad results! Im happen to think that we have a responsibility in what we post.
Best Regards, James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
As the person who started this topic, I apologize for even using "max loads" as a topic description if it leads people to post information about unsafe practices.   I was only trying to get some info about developing good loads that are within safe operating pressures.

Posting info about trying to purposely blow up guns is a bit irresponsible, and cannot help our image.  

Thanks,
Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Ray....In my opinion there is nothing for you to apologize for. We all work toward maximum loads within the pressure that a particular firearm is designed for. We have members of this forum that are experimenting with various firearm/load combonations. Some of the pressures they are dealing with are questionable for the firearms used. I keep stressing that advancements are made by this type of work, but let's keep it in focus as to what it is and how we present it to new shooters. This is a field that should be left to the most experienced working under controlled situations. Parker Ackley, after the 2nd world war, did some blow up testing on military actions. From those test we learned a gret deal about action design. However the test were presented as just that and he warned that the tests were not to be taken as normal pratice.
Some where down the line the members of this forum must decide what image they want to present to the computer public. We are now a true international forum. Since this forum belongs to you, and the rest of the members, it is up to you also to police it.
Best Regards, James

(Edited by James Gates at 7:50 am on June 18, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
(Edited by Clark at 11<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->8 pm on Nov. 4, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Clark:

I realize that you probably conducted your experiments under controlled circumstances, and may be totally qualified to do so.  And it may be somewhat impertinent for me to chide you in any way.

However, public Internet forums create a kind of equality by their very nature.  Someone like myself can post here, ask dumb questions, etc., alongside posts by someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Mr. Gates or Contender.  While it may be obvious by the information in a person's posts how knowledgeable he is, an optimistic "newbie" may see such info and feel that if someone else can try it, they can too.  

This just may not be the place to post info about such tests.

As someone who does not know a great deal, but is trying to learn, I appreciate the quality of the information provided here by the aforementioned gentlemen and others, as well as their patience.  Everyone is very generous in sharing their experience.

Please just be careful how you phrase some things.  I wouldn't want such a high-quality site to be degraded in any way.

Thanks,
Ray Floyd

P.S.  Back to the original topic, what I could not understand is how Lyman's max load for a given bullet could vary so much from Speer's max load (Lyman - 11.9 gr. Blue Dot, 158 grain JHP; Speer - 10.2 gr. Blue Dot, 158 gr. JHP).  Could component changes such as primer brand and case brand make so much of a difference?

Redhawk:
Do you mind sharing what that charge was?  Just curious.  

To all:
I think I will buy some factory stuff for defense, primarily because of the points made about flash-reduction and the possibility of a misfire, howver slight.  The lawyer stuff would be the least of my concerns.

Thanks again,
Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Ray if you email me I will tell you the load. It is over what is listed here. I do not want to appear irresponsible. I went up one half grain till the cases began to stick and then backed it off two tenths of a grain until the cases came out without any sign of sticking.  
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Ray if you email me I will tell you the load. It is over what is listed here. I do not want to appear irresponsible. I went up one half grain till the cases began to stick and then backed it off two tenths of a grain until the cases came out without any sign of sticking.  
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
(Edited by Clark at 11<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->9 pm on Nov. 4, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Clark:

I did read both posts.  The concern was regarding the first, i.e., "trying to blow up .38 Specials."  It just sounds a bit irresponsible.  Your second post had a much more reasonable ring to it.  The first post did not give any warnings or details, just said that you like to try to blow up guns.

I do not know you, but when I saw the first post, it came across in a negative manner.  No offense intended.  You obviously know much more than I do regarding handloading and firearms in general.  I would not have said anything, but I felt a bit responsible since I started the thread.

Regards,

Ray Floyd
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top