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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have experience loading .357 magnum with w296?


I loaded both 110 jhp and 125 jhp using 17.6 gr of W296. This charge was listed as the starting load for the 110 and just a few notches up for the 125 in the load map I bought from Midway.

At the range, recoil was immense and all primers were flattened for each load. (using a 6 1/2 Blackhawk).

Accuracy wasn't bad once I got used to the thump - but thinking I was at starting levels, not what I expected.

I pkan on saving the rest of these loads for my Win 94.

I'd like to try lighter loads, but I have read bits about it being dangerous to load less-than-listed charge weights of 296.

Does that apply to .357s?

I also loaded some 180 hornady clsl over 13 gr of 296 that were a dream to shoot, very accurate and no flattening of primers.

Should I just save this powder for these heavy bullets?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I have used 296 in the .357, and as you note, big fireballs are the rule with lighter bullets. Don't recall flattened primers though, although I have had flat primers with very light loads (say in the .38 +p range) with other powders. So I don't put a whole lot of stock in flat primers.

Yes 296 does work much better with the heavy bullets. With 180 and 185gr. cast bullets, hardly any muzzle flash to speak of, good accuracy, very nice loads.

If you reduce the light bullet loads below the starting levels, the flash may get a lot worse and there is the risk of dud/hangfire.

Ball powders at high velocity with light bullets are known for bad forcing cone erosion, too.
 

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I, too, have used 296 in the .357 with 125 g jhp. Somewhere along the way I recall reading that 18.5 g with the 125 AND magnum primers was THE actual factory load.

Just checked an old Winchester reloading manual (1985) and they list this exact load at 1800 fps and 32,500 CUP. This particular manual doesn't show a 296 load for 110 g.

It does show loads for heavier bullets too.

They are:

150 gr lead 14.0 gr 1510 fps 32,000 CUP

158 gr lead 14.5 gr 1560 fps 38,000 CUP

158 gr JHP 16.6 gr 1610 fps 39,500 CUP

170 gr FMC 14.3 gr 1390 fps 42,000 CUP

200 gr lead 12.4 gr 1335 fps 35,000 CUP

Remember, this is an old manual and the data may be different today, but I have shot the above 125 load in my Blackhawk without a problem. The noise and flames are something else though! I remember shooting it at dusk once and the flames shot out about 2 feet in front of the barrel.

Now that I think of it, I have also loaded the 158 gr lead load recently. I only shot it a few times but it showed no signs of excessive pressure.

This powder wants to fill up the case to function properly. I have never used anything but magnum primers either. I'm hearing o this forum and others that regular primers work fine too, but I haven't tried them. Winchester primers are supposed to be for regular and magnum loads.

Hope this helps, Exflatlander

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info.

I am using winchester magnum primers and new winchester brass, and weigh every charge.

I just didn't expect such recoil with the starting loads.

I plan on saving the w296 for heavier bullets and going back to clays for the lighter stuff.
 

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I have only been handloading the 44 for about 3 years. Just bought a pound of H110 Tuesday. I had read about the performance of this powder being for near max loads and I was not able to handle the recoil and shoot accurately with max loads of IMR4227 or Universal so I stayed away from the H110. I'll see how it goes.

You can see from the above history this is just a guess but you may want to sneak up a bit on the max load and see if things get better. This powder is obviously not for the faint of heart or novice but we have to graduate sometime. Kind of like that first overnight stay alone in the deep woods. I'm sure the other side of the experience will be at the least enlightening.

Since you are shooting a SBH, it is made to handle a lot of extra pressure so you have that margin of error too. I may reconsider the use of those rounds in the rifle untiol you find out what is going on. I know the 1894c is strong but 1894s are not the strongest design and can be overstressed.
 

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h4227

if the 296/h110 is too hot try some h4227.the reloading data closely matches it and the powder is much smoother shooting and is extremely accurate.
 

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Took a quick look at the Hodgdon manual and it looks like you get about 200 fps faster velocity from H110 than H4227 with the exact same pressures. This gets better to a point with the heavier bullets. H110 lets you put a bit more powder in the case too. H110 is not listed until the 125 gr. bullets and that only at a max. load. Hornady does list a min. to max. loading for H110 but has no listings at all for H4227 in any bullet wt. (IMR4227 is listed and is suppose to be the same) H110 is not suggested for lead, only jacketed, in either manual while H4227 is.

H4227 seems to be the more versital and a very good performer with the various bullet weights and types. The H110 seems to be lacking for the lighter bullets and lead bullets of all wts.

Well that was a fun an informative analysis. My suggestion would be try what you want and have fun but keep a keg of Blue Dot and Green Dot on hand and "let the devil take tomorrow" .
 

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I have used these loads many times when I use to shoot 357 mag's, I never got flattened primers or any problems,The 180 load you talked about is a silhouette load right;) this puts you in a single shot pistols or heavy framed revolvers 45,000 cup, I don't know what type of revolver your shooting but it better be a heavy frame or you will be looking at some trouble,on the recoil thats nothing, using my 454 casull try WW296 at 32.0 gr max load using a XTP 300 gr bullet,Hornady brass, heavy crimp 1580 fps, now your talking recoil broski. That puts out three times the recoil of anything you can put in your 357 Mag. I also agree using lighter bullets with WW296(ballpowder) may cause some problems with your forceingcone. H110/WW296 run hot but also shoot consistent and very accurate also, WW296/H110 work better with heaver bullets. Never shot anything lighter than 158 gr out of my 357 KingCobra.Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 
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