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Discussion Starter #1
Many of the big bore boys may well scoff at this post....but, meat on the ground doesn't lie. last summer we started preparing to test various calibers and bullet weights on game under actual hunting conditions.We got some snide remarks when we said we would be testing the .357 magnum with heavy bullets. Thr bullets chosen were...Remington's 180 gr. jacked round, Marshall's 185 gr LBt, and Contender's 175 gr OWC.
After variuos load testing for accuracy (in S&W 686's) we can up with 16 grs of WW296 with the BTB 185, 13.5 grs of AA9 with Contender's 175 OWC. All this in the 1400 fps bracket.
The final tally as pf todays has been 12 animals down, no losses. and comprised og deer, hogs, and River Pests. There has been almost 400 bullets fired in testing (most) and game (the least).
General comments were that these three bullets put the .357 into a game class. I asked one shooter/hunter...what about blood trails? His answer there were none, as all fell within sight.
There were a variaty of angles and didtances. I don't think a shot was over 75 yards and most within 50 yards.Animal weight range ran between 100 pounds and 300 pounds. There were three RP 180's that stopped under the offside hide on hogs. Also a couple of 175 OWC's on angle shots. It must be remembered that many of the shots went through both shields (sides) of hogs.
It was felt that the 175 OWC's were the most accurate, followed by the 185 BTB, with the RP 180 last. Penetration went to the 185 BTB hands down.
Wound channels were a little harder to nail down. Many thought the extra large meplat of the 175 OWC caused larger PWC's on deer, but one could not tell much difference in the hog muscle. The RP caused a larger cavity upfront, but petered out tp a small channel as velocity dropped.
All in all......I think to boys did a great job. I have no intention of saying anythig except.....More shooters should consider the .357 Mag, with the heavy bullets, if the game in their areas run in the 100 to 400 pound class. No, threr are no Griz bears in the South East, but we have some big hags that will stain your pants for you.  The ability to shoot fast and smooth, with control and recovery is of prime concern!
Best Regards, James
 

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Certainly nice to have kudos on an easy shooting handgun round. The 357 has been my favorite for 35+yrs. I have a 35yr old Colt Trooper MKIII that is one of the smoothest DA handguns ever produced bar none. It was in the first run production from Colt. It took a set of Pachmayr Presentation grips in the old days to get it under control but I can do what I wish with it in quick time fashion. Yessir confidence and control in instinct shooting brings results. The 357 can produce with proper hits and that's all that needs to be said. I just have to get a rifle in 357 mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello Jack and Ruger.....Jack, I use the Win WSPM primer for the AA5, AA9, and WW296. I really am not sure you need themin the smaller case of the .357 Mag.
Ruger.....I am not pushing the .357 Mag over the bigger bores. I just think most have overlooked the potential of this caliber when using 175 gr up with a meplat of .280" and larger. As I get older I find myself packing the S&W 686 more. When your gut gets bigger than your fanny, a lighter weight handgun helps, even with suspenders!!!!!
Sometimes I think we tend to dwell on handgun raw power than controlibility. I'm no wimp at 6' 3 1/2" and 240 pounds, however I do like the smooth recorvery when the hair gets short and you can smell that boar hogs breath!
Best Regards to All, James
 

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Hi, Mr. Gates:
   Thanks.  I can duplicate the 185 BTB load with what I've got on hand and try them in the 6" S&W M28.

Bye
Jack
 

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First handgun deer killed with a Ruger Blackhawk .357, 6.5" barrel, load was the 180gr cast that James mentioned.  It does work!

The 175gr. OWC sounds very interesting for a deer load.

I have carried the .357 on several hog hunts but have yet to get the opportunity for a shot with it.
 

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James, sorry if the post was a little strong. I was glad to read a positve post on the 357 and wanted to accentuate the positive. I ran a few hundred rounds thru my $92 Ruger SBH and decided that my $125 Colt could get the job done for me. In those days bullet technology was non existent as I'm sure you recall. When half-jackets came along we were really cooking. the old Lub-Aloy Winchesters weren't the greatest. It was cheaper to experiment with the 357 hence my love affair and rest is history. I understood you were pointing out the positive attributes of the 357 and not advocating it was better.
 

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Mr. Gates,

I've been wondering whether I should try my 1894C on hogs, and you've answered the question.
Thanks very much for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Leo....Somewhere back in the posts, my friend John Anderson, talks about killing a huge croppled steer with the 185 gr BTB with 16.0 gr of WW296 with his Marlin. Also Marshall talks about killing deer on a crop damage control. Not only do these 185's bring the handgun up, it also makes for a great load in the carbines and rifles. If one just goes into this with an open mind, they will find that this combo really works.
I'm not sure whether or not, I answered the question on the S&W Mod's 27 and 28....I'm not sure that the 185 gr will fit the cylinder length, however those models are certainly strong enough. I don't think I would advise their constant use, with this powder charge, in the S&W "K" frames.
I might also add that I use only brass cases for this load. I feel they expand better, sealing the chamber and less smoke on the cases, with this powder. I have also seen the nickel cases shave or swage down some bullets during seating. With all the trouble we go to matching bullets diameter to chamber throats, it's wise to use the proper "M" die and brass cases.
Best Regards, James



<!--EDIT|Marshall Stanton|Feb. 27 2002,14:15-->
 

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Hi, Mr. Gates:
    The BTB 185 is JUST short enough for my S&W 28-2 and that's with a case trimmed to minimum (.010" under max.) The Remington 180 is a bit too long.  I'll have to play with them again as soon as it warms up.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jack....I shot a 28 for years. In a period of Brain Drain let a friend of mine have it to use as a duty gun. Another great bullet in that gun would be the 175 gr that Contender has. It's a Veral Smith OWC....I spoke of it in the first of this post as the third bullet that was tested on game.
Maybe some clarification on what I said about accuracy. All three bullets shot under 3" at 100 yards out of the scoped Marlins. It may well be that different handguns might like any of the three best, however all three were excellent when it comes to accuracy! Although the 175 gr OWC seemed to like AA9, 16 grs of WW296 shot very good also.
Best Regards, James
 

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Hello James,
What kind of performance can I expect from the BTB 185 in a Win. 94 with a 16" barrel?  My mod. 28 has a 4" barrel.  Would 2400 or Bluedot be a better choice for this barrel length than H110 or 296?  For the mod 28, I trimmed the cases to 1.170" and seated the bullets to get 1.610" oal.  This gives me about .020" clearance with the end of the chambers.

I received by 358-185 BTBs a few days ago and am excited to load some up.
Take care,
Jeff
 

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Jeff,

The listed load of 16.0g H110/W296/WLPP/BTB 185g FNGC bullet will genereate OVER 1800 FPS in your carbine!  I've yet to find a powder combination that tops this within reasonable pressure limits, except for perhaps V-N110, and testing is still underway.

This load comes awfully close to matching .35 Remington performance in the Contender handguns!

Enjoy!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Marshall,
Thanks for the reply.  I did it.  I loaded up 20 with 15 gr. of H110 with a Win small reg. primer.  Accuracy was very good from the Win 94, giving 1" groups at 30 yards.  The mod 28 shot well also but about 6" high.  I still have a little to go on the sight lowering.  There are no signs of high pressure.  Normal expansion and the cases fell out of the revolver.  Now I feel comfortable upping the charge to 16 grains.  Recoil with the 4" mod 28 was no problem at all.  It did not feel much different than my accuracy load using 8.8 gr. of AA5 and 158 SWCs.

I am very pleased with the results.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jeff....Quite frankly, I did the same thing when Marshall suggested the 16 gr of WW296/H110. Not that I doubted Marshall, but I always work up to a load. I think it is a combonation of many things that make this load work....seating depth, etc. I tried to work up the same load with some Cast Performance 180's that John had left over and no way would it work. This is just one of those load recipes that is correct in all ways. This has been a great run and I think gives credit to Marshall's great bullet.
Best Regards To All, James
 

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Great bullet and load combo.This load shoots real good in my S&W revolvers and has accounted for several deer and coyotes.Amazing bullet makes the 357 magnum seem larger and more powerful than it really is.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sharp...How true it is! In my old age, I have become even more skeptical of dubious claims made by people who are trying to sell the latest Whiz Bang. I class them a little lower than snake oil peddlers. If we would listen to them, we would have to conclude that many of the old writers/hunters did not really know what they were talking about. The much admired Elmer Keith said time and time again that a well made 250 gr..44 bullet at 1200/1300 fps would kill any game one should be hunting with a handgun ( there's the catch&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->. Yet, we are told today that we meed hand cannons! Somewhere down to line we forgot what the real need was in a handgun for hunting.....enough power to do the job, controliblity (a most forgotton factor), easy to carry, quick to use, with adequate accuracy (in 10" @ 100 yards, and above all reliable under very tough conditions. There is a great deal of difference in sitting at a comfortable bench with your recoil-reducing gloves on, etc. and being up to your butt in palmettos facing a very large and mean boar hog! If you don't believe that come on down here and I will set up a learning session!
A man is better off with a .357 mag (with a heavy bullet load like we are speaking of) that he can use, than a hand cannon he can't use under extreme conditions. If this has ruffled some feathers, I am sorry.....but before you jump my case, let's see how big your gutpile is? One or two animals just doesn't cut it! If you want to really know how a firearm/load works....check out what the market hunters are using.
Best Regards, James
 

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JRR, when I first started using the 357 Colt,I got so much inconsistecy of accuracy that sights weren't the order of the day. Changed to the factory target grips and no avail. I bought a set of Pachmayr Presentation grips and end of problem. Point is the grip on the gun and retention of that grip controls sight setting as much as the adjustment screw. My Colt is a 6" barrel, but that set of grips made it a whole nuther firearm as accurate as I care to shoot. That's why the 44SBH went down the road. I don't like learning the habits of different types of firearms. As James alludes to, controlability builds confidence and makes shooting enjoyable.
 

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Just got back from a day out with the bulldogs.  I am looking forward to loading up the full 16 grains of H110 and shooting the carbine to 100 yards.  It has a Williams peep sight rear and a Williams fiber optic front bead.  I'll practice double taps with the 4" mod 28 at 15 yards.

Take care
Jeff
http://www.saber.net/~jr-abs/
 

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What load would be ok with the 185 btb and 296 in the S&W model 19 with a 4in barrel? 16gr looks a little hot for a K frame.
I like the 357 but the guns larger than a K frame are just to big and heavy to justify the lighter caliber.
 
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