Jeff I started shooting the .44 mag in 1956, but recently I have been playingwith my 686-3. Two of our group have killed quite a few large hogs with the Remington 180 gr loads. I'm sold on Marshall's bullets and have used them in the .44 Mag. There's been about 10 deer and 1 hog killed with his 250 gr LFN this year. The .357 bullet that Marshall mentioned has a flat point (meplat) of .280", which is the same size as the famous Keith Bullet for the .44's. I have 100 on order now and will be using his load in my 686 in the future. As for the 686's....From what I have seen, and other feel, the 686 series are tough guns. For a long time I keep a mod 28 and could never shake it loose, as I did on the K frame guns. I was cocerned about whether I could get down low enough for the heavies in my 686, however I did have alittle adjustment left on the sight with the 180 gr Rem's I tried.S&W Company is in trouble, but still make a fine gun. Too bad many people are down on the firearm, due to their political position. I'm not buying any of their products at present, but I'm sure not dumping the "Smiths" I have now. I'm sure you would like the 185 gr that Marshall is posting about. I have been leaning towards WW296 ( it's the same as H110 within lot numbers), but only because I've not worked with H110...Because of certain personal beliefs and their policy, I will be switching to H110.
Best Regards from The Hammock.....James
I concur with Marshall's post on the 185's, and would also add I've had very, very good accuracy from three different 686's with 11.5 grains H-110 under the 200 grain pill and Federal mag primers. This is the only load I've found that tops Marshall's 185 grain load in my guns!
Matt...The 200 gr load sounds interesting for our Spanish hogs. Did you have enough down sight adjustment on your 686's to sight in? What barrel length? At what distance are you sighing in at?
Thanks for the info.
Best Regards from The Hammock....James
No, I haven't used the 185g load in the Colt MKIII Trooper, however, I would have no reservations about doing so, as the load has proven well within pressure boundaries of other loads. That Trooper is also a tough gun. Your 6" gun should shoot them superbly!
Yup, sighed in for 50 yards there was enough room on the sight, but not by much. At best only 1 or perhaps 2 clicks left. The gun is the Classic Hunter 686 made a number of years back. Limited run, not sure how many came out. Anyway, it's got a standard full-lug 6" barrel and unfluted cylinder.
Give it a shot - it's been a fantastic shooter for me. My Classic Hunter is factory original and this is it's best load. My groups run about 2" on average at 50 yds, and this is about as good as I can hold open sights. I also tried this load in a friends 8" 686 with a scope, and we can easily keep this same load in 4" circles at 100 yds. We also bumped it up a bit more to 12.5 grains - accuracy was still good, but 11.5 seems the best.
Matt Z..Thanks for the comeback..I find myself packing that 686 more as of late on the boat and in the swamp. I am well aware it does not have the punch that the 44's do with the big bullets..however, as Marshall pointed out. the 185 FNGC has a .280" meplat as does my old favorite Keith 44, I think it will work OK.
Best Regards from The Hammock....James
Chris...I've been running quite a few of Marshall's BTB .358" FNGC bullets through my 6" 686 and let me tell you it's the best load I have ever shot out of this gun. Marshall sets the velocity at 1400+'/" due to less friction with cast bullets. I am using 16 grs WW296, but with regular pistol primers. With my rear sight run all the way down it's printing about 2" high at 30 yards. By holding about 3/4 up the 12" gong at 100, I could keep it ringing. That's shooting above my normal with these bad eyes.
How for to shoot a 300-400 pound hog? That's a hard one. When we tested the penetration on an old tractor tire with water in it, the 185 load shoot through both sidewalls and water like cheese. That was at 30 yards. It would likely do the same on a hog at 100 yards, I just don't know. I would not worry one bit from out at 75 yards to the muzzle. I have never seen any bullet put the .357 Mag into this class before! I was amazed, to say the least! It's the only bullet I will carry in my 686 at the present time. There is another heavy bullet floating around called an OWC, with even a wider meplat. It might be good for closer ranges. We will just have to see. The BTB 185 should be an outstanding bullet in the carbine! Maybe Marshall can add more.
Best Regards, James
I don't know about hogs... the fact is, I've only hunted wild hogs on four occasions and never with a .357, and it was nearly 20 years ago now... always lived too far north for the critters.
What I do know is that I get harvest reports regularly from folks throughout the south using the same bullet and load that I've listed earlier on this thread. Always the same report... near golf ball sized wound channels and complete penetration!
Some first hand experience is witnessing two different elk cleanly and efficiently harvested with this load mentioned as well. One with a 6" Blackhawk, the other with a Marlin 1894C carbine... again quarter to half-dollar size wound channels and complete penetration. One of those elk, the one taken with the carbine was at about 135 yards... broke both shoulders and the spine, and exited with an impressive wound channel. Instant incapacitation and the work began!
Hope this helps! It's too bad that the .357 has gotten the rap it has as being "marginal" for deer, if using typical JHP's this statement is truth. Use the right bullet and the "lowly" .357 is more than enough gun for much more! Shoot it with confidence!
I have been reading all the posts regarding the BTB 185 gr. FNGC. It sounds like just the right projectile for my Win. 94 carbine. I have a S&W mod. 28, 4", made in 1968. It has the recessed chambers and a very short cylinder. Will the overall length of the 185 cartridge be short enough to fit this cylinder? 1.60" oal just barely makes it. Are the pressures generated by the 16gr. H110 load appropriate for this loved old revolver? It is in excellent condition.
Jeff.....I've run a couple 100 BTB 185's through my S&W 6" 686 with 16 grs WW296 and can tell you it's the best .357 load I have ever shot. Until we went to the beartooth bullets we were shootig the 180 Rem factory softpoint. The OAL of my loaded round, with the 185 BTB, is 1.621" and is 0.066" from the face of the cylinder. You don't need to worry about that Mod 28...It's a brute! It's on the "N" frame and there's lots of meat in between those chambers. The barrel extension it just slightly longer than the 686, but I see no problem. I carried a 6" Mod 28 for quite awhile until Roy Harris, with the DEA talked me out of it. He used it in some tight places. I would take some kind of bullet and load it to OAL @ 1.620"/1.621" and check for clearance. If worse comes to worse, trim the cases back a little and drop the load to 15 grs of WW296/H110. In most cases this works. However I do think the 1.620" load will go in. The Mod 28 had a high front sight and I think you will be OK on rear sight adjustment.
Best Regards, James
I'm a bit alte joining this topic, but let me interject my own thoughts on the S&W L-frame and heavyweight .357's.
The 586 or 686 are tremendous firearms and one would have to cobble together some pretty foolish handloads to damage one. Stick with known, sensible data and your gun will give a lifetime+ of great good service.
As Mr. Gates mentioned early in this discussion, the Remington 180-grain scalloped JHP is an excellent performer. I have never had the opportunity to use it on game as he has, but can attest to its accuracy through several different .357's including a Marlin 1894 carbine.
My favored load using this bullet is 12.1 grains of Alliant 2400 in Federal cases and either CCI or Winchester standard primers.
I would also agree that Marshall's 185-grain FNGC will be a (literally) smashing good bullet for game heavier than whitetails. In steady hands at responsible ranges even elk would have major trouble after a solid hit with this bullet. Properly loaded for a given job, the .357 is arguably our finest and most versatile handgun cartridge.
Thanks for the reply. I'll have to trim my brass about .040" to be a comfortable fit in the Mod. 28. Do you think that amount of trimming will increase pressure enough to warrant a full 1 grain reduction in powder? It's no big deal because the revolver will be carried in the woods for protection and not hunting. The 94 carbine will be the one for hunting. I just like to keep things simple and have one set of cartridges that will fit in both guns.
What kind of velocities can I expect from the 4" and the 16"?
p.s. What kind of bulldogs do you have? I'm quite partial to a good high drive working bulldog. Check mine out at http://www.saber.net/~jr-abs/ .
Friend Jeff...Those are some fine looking dogs!!!!!Thank you for sending me over there to look at them!! I hope you dont mind if I saved the jps!
I don't think cutting those hulls back will hurt a thing. Maybe you don't need to drop back a full grain, but maybe Marshall or one of the fellows can check them across the clock and give you the velocity for the lengths you need. I will tell you, some surprises wait for you when you start testing that BTB 185 gr bullet! Love those dog pictures!
Best Regards, James
I just did some more accurate measurements of the mod.28 cylinder. I discovered that the case heads are slightly above flush in the recesses. With a new Win. case in the chamber and measuring from case head to front face of cylinder my caliper shows 1.625". The cylinder gap is .005". I sure am glad that I had the forcing cone squared up! I think the 185s will work if I carefully trim the cases evenly back about .005" below the trim to length specs., and make sure there is zero bullet jump.
Glad you liked the dogs. Rough dogs and guns. Two of the safe places from estrogen contamination.
I just loaded my first 185 FNGCs. C.O.L. is 1.620" and that just leaves them 0.010" short of the face of the cylinder of my old Model 28 with recessed chambers. I sure hope they don't slip under recoil. They shot lower than I expected, just cutting the top of the black at 20 yards. It was too cold to run the Chrony, so there's no velocity to report.
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