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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 6 inch ruger i want to reload with, i have, to start, Bullseye, CCI 550 primers, Hornady XP/JHP and Winchester SJHP Notched, im using these in 158gr. I want to find out whats a good recomendation as far as starting medium and working my way up, im more familiar with reloading rifles. So is 4.5 Grains, or 5 good to start. Im not shooting on a daily basis, and am not shooting under 25 yards, so no rapid fire. I carry for hunting too, so i dont want various charges. Wanna keep it simple, a good load for hunting and shooting. Without blowing it up.......And can someone explain the CRIMPING Process, and what to do, Im using an RCBS RC, so single stage stuff.
 

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I started reloading a couple of weeks ago, I believe we were using 17 grains of bluedot for a 158 grain bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
not against any other powder at all, i just found Bullseye for 17$ for a pound, now around here thats super cheap......I just figured to get me started ya know, like when i started loading for my 300WM, i used IMR 3031 first, then found 4350 to be a better powder for the way I shoot. Its just a start, im all about suggestions, Fire them at me, just no lead bullets threw my gun, did that before, to dirty.....Thanks
 

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Well Bullseye would work great for lead & .38 special loads, but it's burn rate is too fast for a full pressure .357 load.

In the past I have used 7 grains of Bullseye with 125 grain bullets, which made a nice mid range .357 load, but they are lighter than 158's.

Do you load for any other calibers? Alliant 2400 and Hodgdon H110 are two excellent full power magnum handgun powders.

If you can't find those other good choices (just off the top of my head) would be AA#9, WW296 (same powder as H110, but in a different container), IMR4227, Alliant Blue Dot, and AA#7.
 

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I did find Bullseye listed for .357 Magnum 158 grain loads in Speer #10 (1979). They showed 6.6 as a starting charge (1028fps) and 7.1 as a maximum charge (1123fps).

If I were you and you wanted to use this data, I would back it off another 10%, as sometimes old data (with old powder) can cause pressure problems because sometimes powders change in burning rates over the decades.

10% reduction of 6.6grains would mean a good place to start might be 6 grains. Might even want to start with 5.5 to be on the safe side.

EDIT to add: Sierra #V also lists Bullseye with 158's and start charge is 6.2 grains (1050fps) and max charge is 7.2 grains (1150fps).
 

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For the most part, Bullseye is a poor choice for the bullet you mentioned. Since you are new to handgun cartridge reloading may I suggest you pick up a couple reloading books to help you over the rough spots and to give you a basic education. Speer, Hornady, Lyman and Sierra are just a few of them out there. Most of us started out that way and it saves both mistakes and headaches. I've been reloading for 40 years and still refer to my manuals from time to time. Sometimes more than I'd care to admit to.:eek:
 

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The above suggestion by Bill M is a sound one. My recommendation is the Lyman Reloading Manual #49 as a good one.

You should consider ANY loading posted on the internet as suspect unless it refers specifficaly to a published loading in a manual. Casting about and trying to glean pet loads without the knowledge of how to reload is a very chancy thing.

To answer your question on crimping - heavy recoiling revolvers require crimping to assure the bullets don't move, either forward or backward, in the case while firing other cartridges. It doesn't matter whether your press is progressive or single stage, the crimping is done by proper adjustment of the bullet seating die. All this is explained in the reloading manuals, which you should become acquainted with prior to attempting to load ammunition.
 

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Please do suspect the numbers I put up. I know we were using 17 grains and since I was testing primers, I only loaded 10 rounds. Went to the gun club today, fired all 10 with no problem. I think I gave the wrong type of powder.

When I go back to my friends place to do the 100 rounds I've set up to do, I'll verify the powder. I know that we used the correct amount for two reasons; 1 - the gun didn't explode today (all rounds seemed to fire normal, although there was more residue than normal in the barrel when I finished), and 2 - he verified the load from his manuals against the powder specifically (he has several types, but he's given me this pack of powder because he doesn't shoot as small a caliber as I do.

Anyway, the gun didn't explode, and all the rounds impacted the target nicely at 50 yards. But, like I said, I'll verify the powder we used so I can prove we weren't trying to make explosions happen.... :D
 

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Roach, I have been loading 357 for years. I like 2400 best, but I have had good luck with H110 and Blue Dot as well, and just started using H4227, not enough experience to comment yet.

I also use Unique, but mostly in mid-range loads (not full power).

A shooter I respect recommends Lil Gun also. I haven't tried it yet.

I would recommend you get loads from either Lyman 49, or the Lee manual, or the powder manufacturer's website. I confess I occasionally get loads from a board, but usually only try them after either confirming in a manual, or if I really trust the poster (like I have read that person's stuff many times and it all makes sense). You don't want to take a chance on someone's guess at what they think they loaded, it's just too risky.
 

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I checked with my reloading mentor, he said I was using "296". Not exactly sure what brand it is, but he did say that it's a purchase he made a while back and ended up never using.

He said that the residue left in the rifle barrel was about right because 296 is a slow burning powder. He told me that if I'd used the S&W handgun, there would have been less residue because of the shorter barrel.

From the way I'm putting things, it may sound like I don't know what I'm doing. That's correct. The guy that is showing me how to do this is very methodical and does everything by the book, and he has a ton of books. So, for the safety of others I'll quit posting in this section until I have my own supply of books and the experience to express accurately what I'm doing with regard to reloading.
 

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I checked with my reloading mentor, he said I was using "296". Not exactly sure what brand it is, but he did say that it's a purchase he made a while back and ended up never using.

He said that the residue left in the rifle barrel was about right because 296 is a slow burning powder. He told me that if I'd used the S&W handgun, there would have been less residue because of the shorter barrel.

From the way I'm putting things, it may sound like I don't know what I'm doing. That's correct. The guy that is showing me how to do this is very methodical and does everything by the book, and he has a ton of books. So, for the safety of others I'll quit posting in this section until I have my own supply of books and the experience to express accurately what I'm doing with regard to reloading.
Hey Dude,

Don't go away!!! We all have had our climb up the learning curve. Lot's of guys here are willing to help. Being methodical is good. Asking questions is good. Reloading books are good. Keeping records is good. It's all just step by step. If you loading a 158gr jacketed bullet, most of the mid range to slower powders will work well. I would not especially recommend 296 or H-110 (both slow burning ball powders) for the beginner. However something in the range of Unique to Blue Dot to 2400 is good. Don't chase the hot loads. Go after the moderate pressure and easy shooting ones that will allow your skill at shooting to grow with your skill with reloading. Have fun.
 

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Not going away by any means. I just meant to say that I'll not be putting any "facts" in this section unless I've learned them solidly and know exactly what I'm talking about.

Besides, I learn so much from this forum, you guys'll have to ban me to make me go away :D
 

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The .38 Special and .357 Magnum are great cartridges to start with. Many new to the hobby go through the same learning curve. I recommend that you start with .38 Special to learn the basics. I would use hard cast lead and Unique to start. Powders like Unique tend to fill up more of the case and minimize the potential that you will double charge. A double charge with bulls eye would make that pistol a grenade in your hand. With the .38 and .357 you must learn to apply a very aggressive crimp to the bullet if you want accurate performance. Use a roll crimp or the excellent Lee factory crimp die, but do not fail to put a crimp on the finished bullet. If you use the roll crimp feature in your die then you will have to observe overall length more closely than would be the case with the Lee approach. Both work and work well. My experience is that this family of pistol cartridges tend to slip at the case lip after about ten to twelve reloads. Trim the case to get best performance. Once you have mastered loading the .38 Special you can graduate to the more powerful .357 and experiment with different powders. I would avoid loading max loads until you get a lot of experience. I seldom do it anymore as there is little to be gained and a lot of extra wear on your pistol. One of the nice things about reloading is that you can shoot a lot more and you will find that loading just a shade off the max will give you better accuracy and be less punishing to boot. Good luck....be careful and consistent and don't let anyone disturb you as you load. Mike
 

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First....
OK...first you size the case, then trim it to the correct overall length, then bell the case slightly..if you don't have the tools Lee makes a handy little trim tool that seats in the primer pocket and you just twist it to get the factory overall length. No measuring required. Then you seat the primer (I usually do a loading block at a time but you don't have to) measure and pour the powder into your case. It is best to weigh the powder charge and set a dispenser but if you don't have one then Lee has an inexpensive solution. They sell powder measures in an inexpensive set. it comes with a guide. All you do is to index the powder you are using, slide the guide to the powder weight your data calls for and select the correct dipper. Dip using a small plastic or stainless bowl and run a butter knife across the top of the filled dipper so that each charge is the same. It is about Turn down the bullet seater slowly and carefully until you get the right overall loaded length

Now...when you get the overall length right stop....you have a choice now.....many guys will seat all of the bullets they intend to load and then adjust the die for the crimp...that is an old technique for thin cases.....the other way to do this is to dramatically back off the bullet seater or remove it and loosen the lock ring on the die. Screw the die down until you can feel the crimping rim on the inside of the die touch the cartridge case...then move the ram slightly and screw the die in about a quarter of a turn or so...raise the ram again and you will feel a spongy feel as it crimps the bullet. Remove it and inspect. On the .38 and .357 you will want the crimp to be aggressive, it should be noticeable but not damage the case. Once you have in right, do the whole lot. Enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
WOW.......You guys are all very helpful, since my original post, i tried 5.5 and now up 6.3 gr of the Bullseye, the reason im using it is i found it at Cabelas CHEAP. In all honesty i may shoot the 357 3x's a year and when i do, its only MAYBE 50 rounds a time. What im really looking for is a good deer bullet for hunting, something stiff, and accurate. Quite frankly ill pobably load 12 to 18 GOOD rounds. And never fire them, just used as back up, as a side arm during hunting. Testing now is the most ill use this gun. I hunt with it only. I keep the fun shooting with the 40 and 45. (Different subject). But i cant seem to find a Lyman 49.....I have an ORIGINAL from 1976 my wife found at a garage sale. So my new question is have any of you used those lil books that are just about one bullet. I see these all the time at Gander Mnt and Cabelas, etc. I have a Sierra book, but am looking for new literature.
 

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Well..there is nothing wrong with Bullseye...I have used it for years but with big pistol cases there is always the danger that you will double charge the case and with fast powders like Bullseye or Royal Scott D that can be the last time you load a round.
 

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Roach300,

If you're going to load a 357 Mag for hunting, you might consider trying the 140gr FTX bullets and a stiff load of AA#9.

From Hornady's website:

AA #9 10.9 gr. 11.5 gr. 12.1 gr. 12.7 gr. 13.3 gr. -- 1100fps to 1300fps.

Or, get one of BTB's hard-cast wide meplat 158's and you'll have no problems with pass-through penetration, at reasonable ranges.
 

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Agree with the others that Bullseye is not a suitable powder for full charge .357 magnum cartridges with heavy bullets. That's why you are not finding this combination in reloading manuals. For about $25, you can obtain a magnum powder that will work much better. I can sympathize that you have a supply of Bullseye that you'd prefer to use but all is not lost. Bullseye would be very suitable loaded with the 148 gr. wadcutter bullets in .357 magnum cases. About 3.0 gr. will provide you with a dandy plinker/target cartridge. This load is very accurate and leading is very slight. I've shot this load for years in my S&W guns without any leading problems. Please give this some thought as the others are giving you good advice.
 
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