The 357Max is an excellent single shot round. It is greatly loved by Mike Bellm which is enough for me.
The ability to shoot 38Special and mag are a big help with the plinkers out there or the younger shooters. If the ranges are kept rather short,it is a great deer/hog killer with it's ability to shoot the hardcast bullets very accurately.
The Handi Rifle chambered in the Max is a great combo.
My T/C carbine 357 max also gets fine groups with a Williams peep sight of about 1-1/2 inches at 90 meters using jacketed 158's and 2400 powder. The carbine does equally well with 357 magnums. I have been reluctant to use the 38's due to any problems that might occur due to the length of the jump from the case to engagement of the rifling.
Last summer I tried light loads duplicating the 38 performance but was unsuccessful with the powders I tried since all required a filler. All had extreme velocity variation.
Has anyone found a filler-free powder charge for a light 357 max load giving a mv of 1000 fps so I don't need a gas check on cast lead bullets?
I have chronographed 357 max light loads using bullseye, AA-7, and 2400 but all all got wild velocity shifts depending on if I held the barrel up or down before firing. I have never tried Trail Boss but I use 5744 regularly with light loads in other calibers with great success. Any ideas for a charge?
I have accumulated a lot of 357 max brass cheap over the last couple years so am trying to stick with that even though I know my carbine likes 357 mag and will shoot 38's. I am just avoiding any issues of leading around the start of the rifling just to keep life simple.
All in all, the 357 max is a great caliber for close in bear and blacktail deer. A load duplicating the 38 (900-1000fps) using cast leads without gas checks would just make it that much more fun to shoot off season. Cheap too
The H&R (Handi-rifle) barrels are not sold separately; you have to send the action to the factory and they will fit a new barrel to your existing action. This is done to ensure proper headspacing, or so I'm told. I'm not sure why this is necessary with the H&R actions but the various T/C single-shot break-actions don't require it? Maybe H&R is more concerned about litigation, or maybe the T/C design has tighter tolerances...I've never been able to get a clear answer on that one.
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