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Discussion Starter #1
Not a typo, .357 Maximum as against the smaller and common Magnum round, With not a great deal of current information on this cartridge, does anyone have personal information on this to be put into a TC pistol.

Buying ammo for this one could be hard down here allthough Remington did make factory ammo for the Maximum, as to whether new brass can still be bought i have found only small amounts of any reference to this cartridge.

I see some limited ballistic information giving it as having more energy than its bigger cousin the 44 mag and sharing projectiles, primers and reloading dies makes it an interesting gun to have for steel sillouette targets.

Anyone have one ? or load for it ?
 

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Digisol,

I have researched the Max extensively, as it is a legal cartridge for deer hunting (with a rifle) in my state. It's a very good choice in a T/C pistol, although most of what I've seen on it has been in single-shot rifles, like the Encore or H&R. It is not quite as powerful as the 357 Herrett, but is easier to work with because there are no case-forming chores. Also, since it's just a lengthened version of the straight-walled 357 Magnum, you can use those same inexpensive and readily available dies.

If I bought a 357 Max, it would probably be in a 15" Contender/Encore barrel, or else a 22" H&R barrel. In either case, I would have the work done by David White, of D&T Custom Gunsmithing. He is very well-versed in the Max and is a nice person, to boot. :)

Here is some excellent reading on the Max, as used in a rifle. http://357maximum.com/
 

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I'm reaching way back and deep for this but I think I've got it right. Elgin Gates lived in Calif. back in the 60s and 70s. He was a fine man and devoted to hunting around the world. Elgin Gates wrote many fine articles about his hunts So I'm sure some of those who read the mags back there will recall Elgin. Elgin like to experiment and was one of the driving forces behind starting pistol silhouettes. Elgin started working trying to get a better silhouette cartridge and came up with the .357 Maximum. Remington was interested enough to make the ammo for it. I'm not sure but I think Ruger came out with a single action for it. I don't know the current status of it. perhaps someone else can help you there
 

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Ruger chambered guns for it, for a short time, but top strap flame-cutting was noticed in a surprisingly short number of rounds, so they stopped making revolvers in that cartridge. Dan Wesson made a few and it was eventually noted that the flame-cutting only went so far, then stopped, so it wasn't as much of a concern as originally thought.

However, the MAX is really better-suited to single-shot, closed breech actions, such as the Contender and H&R. With these you can make best use of the powder capacity this round offers, as well as shoot the heavier (160 and 180gr) bullets which are often too long to be used in a revolver.

Elgin Gates is responsible for this cartridge, along with the 41, 44 and 375 Super Mag rounds and many other single-shot pistol wildcats that were/are commonly used in IHMSA competitions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The TC is the intended pistol, problems arise with TC not chambering for the Maximum, the best offering I can get here is to buy a new TC in .357 Mag with 12" or 14" barrel and send it off to have the chamber reamed to suit the Max cartriidge.

There comes another bump, very few gunsmiths have the appropriate reamer to change the TC barrel, and with TC barrels at near 50% the cost of a complete pistol, the person doing it would need to know his stuff and have the correct tools.

While easy to find new Max brass thats actually cheaper than 357 mag, finding a good gunsmith with the right gear is a problem, at least here in Australia its a huge problem.
 

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I don't know about restrictions in shipping barrels from the U.S. to Australia, but there are many different companies and individual gunsmiths chambering the Max in 14" Contender barrels, here in the states. I guess I'm surprised to hear that gunsmiths in Australia wouldn't have a reamer for this cartridge. Reaming from a 357 Magnum chamber to 357 Maximum is a pretty simple job for a gunsmith...it's just lengthening the existing cylinder. Perhaps we are a bit spoiled here in the U.S. by having federally protected gun rights and relatively easy access to most types of firearms.
 

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The TC is the intended pistol, problems arise with TC not chambering for the Maximum, the best offering I can get here is to buy a new TC in .357 Mag with 12" or 14" barrel and send it off to have the chamber reamed to suit the Max cartriidge.

There comes another bump, very few gunsmiths have the appropriate reamer to change the TC barrel, and with TC barrels at near 50% the cost of a complete pistol, the person doing it would need to know his stuff and have the correct tools.

While easy to find new Max brass thats actually cheaper than 357 mag, finding a good gunsmith with the right gear is a problem, at least here in Australia its a huge problem.
digisol, I bought my last lot of 357 max brass from Rebel Gun Works in your state.
Rechambering shouldn't be a problem. The rim of a 357 magnum reamer can be ground off and use that to lengthen the chamber. Important though to give the chamber a proper rifle throat and not have a forcing cone.
bones
 

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I have Nosler manual number 5 and 6. Both of them
have .357 Max loads in them. I'm sure there must
be data on the internet.

Zeke
 

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Discussion Starter #13
While I am engineering savvy more than the average shooter, and in some ways why I like shooting / guns as being a mechanical device that is no more or less any different to any well engineered device, and my habit of pull it apart and find what’s wrong and fix it, this keeps my interest in guns in general.

I have put it to one gunsmith here that I will buy all the tooling required for this job which will more than likely involve more than just a reamer, but at this point a reply is not yet forthcoming, with no gun makers currently chambering the Max cartridge to continue with it needs a certain amount of commitment.

With the change of calibre I'm essentially saving a considerable amount and the few hundred dollars for tooling and labour is nothing in reality, essentially building another gun that you can't buy as no one here has owned a 357 Maximum in current or past time, at least not here in Australia that I have seen, partly why I have found tools are like hens teeth here.

We down here have more rules than calibres to abide with, and must shoot in competition 4-6 times per each calibre owned per year just to keep them, but having several guns that are each very different but all having the same basic bore size means much more than just a wildcat calibre, it's regarded as nothing more than a .38 calibre, also allowing the 9mm to also fall into the same .38 class of gun, so the reason is more than just to be different, and anyone having seen the ballistics of the .357 Max would be able to see the project as having more reasons than just owning something different, and pretty darn good with more energy than a .44 mag being able to use heavier bullets up to 200g could be more than an interesting steel silhouette pistol.

This small bend in the rules is easy seen when anyone owned say 6 different handgun calibres means a lot of driving to the range, 36 separate visits to be exact, and at 100m per trip there is more driving than shooting, with different matches even on the same day at the same range do not count, only one can be used to fill the range records, that changes many things perhaps not known about by US shooters, really sucks but that’s the law.

Besides I kinda like the idea of it and was going to buy a new TC in December anyway, so might as well kill several birds with the one .38 pill.
 

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Digisol,

Thanks for explaining one of Australia's quirky gun laws and helping us understand your interest in a 357 Max! If you are having trouble with the gunsmith you contacted, send me a private message and I will put you in touch with a guy who will really do his best to help you. He has a lot of experience turning 357 Magnum barrels into 357 Max barrels, so if you are mechanically inclined, I'm sure he'll be able to get you the reamer and information to do this work yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That would be great, whie I received a reply from one gunsmith to do the job if I buy the tools, little else was said so the tools required to finish the job may involve more than just a simple reamer, and doing it myself is not a huge drama with the tooling required.

Keep getting server error on any PM
 

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I have 2 maxes. One is a ruger SBH and the other is a DW MD 40. Both are accurate and reliable.

The max is an easy to load round, but seems to be sensative to temps. It is always hot here so I don't really see it day to day, but summer to winter can be an issue.

I run 4227 exclusively in mine but if you go the TC route then ball powders come into play.

For what it is, it works great and I like it on the 50 and 100 yrd ranges.
 

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Digisol,

I corresponded with Sunshine Coast Gunsmithing, there in your local city, and gunsmith Rob Blomfield quoted $165 (Australian, I presume) to rechamber your 357 Magnum barrel to the longer 357 Max. If you're interested, I will forward you his email address and you can contact him directly.

Jason
 

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Speer #12 is where I got all my data for my 14" T/C barrel. H110/WW296/IMR4227 are the best powders in my experience. I tried some WW680 (now obsolete) but I never got advertised velocity out of those loads and they seemed to suffer from unburned/dirty powder issues.

Use a heavy bullet, because those light pistol bullets lose their velocity REALLY fast.

I had good luck with the Hornady 180 grain Spire points. I think Hornady still makes a 180 grain spire point especially for pistols (expands at lower velocity).
 
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