Hi, all. My Hodgdons annual manual shows a lot of promising loads for LIL'GUN in the .357, but none in cast bullet loads. Is it safe to use the same data for a 170 gr. Sierra JHC for a 173 cast Keith SWC.
I use 13.9 grains of Lil' Gun with a 180 grain cast TC and CCI magnum primer for 1087 fps in a 4 inch 686 and 1703 fps in an 18.5 inch 1894C. You should be safe working up to at least that point with your lighter Keith.
You're going to like Lil' Gun in the .357. All the performance with less boom and flash.
I've use Lil'Gun with the 173gr Keith and typical 158gr LSWC
All loads were fired in a 5.5" Redhawk 357 with the Chrony setup 12 feet from the firing position. CCI 550 (small magnum pistol) primers were used in all loads.
158 gr LSWC bevel base 1.615" OAL
17.0 gr 1445 fps, Std Dev 12 fps
18.0 gr 1492 fps, Std Dev 15 fps
19.0 gr 1559 fps, Std Dev 26 fps
173 gr LSWC, flat base 1.645" OAL
18.0 gr 1534 fps, Std Dev 26 fps
19.0 gr 1587 fps, Std Dev 33 fps
The 173gr Keith puts a lot of bullt outside the case and takes up the same case capacity as a 158gr LSWC so I used that data as a starting point. I've used these loads in my GP100 without any problems as well. Your mileage may vary, as always start low and work up carefully.
I found that H110 with comparable loads had a sharper feel to the recoil in the same gun. I plan on burning a lot more Lil'Gun in the days/weeks/years to come.
(edit) By comparable loads I mean a load of H110 that pushs a 173gr bullet to 1,400 fps has sharper recoil (to me) than a Lil'Gun load that pushs a 173gr bullet to 1,400 fps.
For what ever it is worth, I have always been of the opinion that any cast bullet of same weight and over the same charge as a jacketed will produce less pressure due to lesser resistance in the bbl. If this is not correct, I hope someone can correct me. Paul
As a general rule, there is no general rule which applies to handloading. Logic also frequently does not apply either.
There are many dynamic issues when considering cast vs jacketed bullets. The hardness (strength) bullet introduces a variable which prohibits making any general statements concerning velocity/pressure. Whether we are talking about a rifle, fixed chamber (single shot or semi-automatic) pistol or revolver is the other variable. For the fixed chamber guns the assumption you make usually holds true within close enough pressure variation that it is usually a safe assumption, especially if the loads are somewhat below absolute maximum. With heavy loads the accuracy will generally go out the window with cast bullets before safety is an issue, assuming modern guns designed to operate in the 40,000-60,000 psi range.
When we get to a revolver, the variable of the barrel-cylinder gap and forcing cone come into play. It has been demonstrated by authorities in the field having proper est equipment, that the cast bullet will frequently yield a higher pressure that the jacketed due to its bumping uo in the forcing cone and then being swaged down as it enters the barrel proper. This can happen at any time the load develops pressure sufficient to bump up the bullet which varies based on bullet hardness. This bumping up is usually what causes cracking or splitting of the barrel shank/forcing cone. This is also the reason a revolver can be severely damaged by trying to load hollow-based wadcutters to too high a pressure level.
What this all means is that with hard cast bullets your assumption is usually true, but you cannot always be sure with bullets of unknown strength characteristics.
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