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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone out there with a M94 in .357 tried using 680 with heavy bullets?  It looks like one can pour about 18.5 grains of 680 into a .357 case and easily seat an RCBS 35-200FN to the crimping groove.  Whether the resulting 1.8" long round will function through the action is up for debate, but it appears Paco Kelly has had success with Lyman 358315 in a M94 .357.  To follow is a quote from one of his archives, "...with Lyman’s 358315 I get a 200 grain round nose with a gas check and 16 grains of 296 I get 1900 fps...and almost as good penetration (as 358009 at 1669fps) And it will cycle thru the action. I cut a small flat on the nose for the loading tube."

Anyway if 16 grains of 296 will drive a 200 grain .357 to 1900fps from a 24" M94, I'm wondering how fast 18.5 grains of 680 will launch RCBS 35-200.  If I can achieve 1900fps with this bullet (24"bbl) with good accuracy and case life, I'll be more than happy.  Too bad one can't buy WW680 in one pound cans anymore... I've already got a jug of 2230-C that's just sitting around collecting dust because it's too slow for my Triple Four and doesn't group well in my '06.

Thanks,
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Discussion Starter #2
OK... since this post hasn't received any replies yet, I'll broaden the subject somewhat.

Has anyone out there been able to duplicate Paco Kelly's results with 200 grain cast bullets from a .357 Winchester M94 using either WC820, 296, H110 or WC680?  I don't have the rifle yet (won't be able to afford it for a few more months) and am very curious what to expect without getting into case life shortening pressures.

Thanks,
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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I didn't know that 1894's were available in .357 Mag... well that would be the answer to another post asking about a .357 Max in a lever gun!
 

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We have been shooting a M-94 in .357 Mag for a few years now.
The RCBS 200 grgc bullets feed very well when seated to the crimp groove.
The most accurate bullet in this rifle has been the NEI 180 gr LBT style bullet.
I think Beartooth has a similar bullet available.
NEI's is a plain base.
The interesting thing about the Winchester in .357 is that it will feed ANY form of bullet. SWC, WC, truncated cone etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the post Slim.  I was kinda worried that nose heavy round (RCBS 35-200 seated to the crimping groove for a C.O.L. of 1.8") would present cycling problems.  I currently have a Pre-64 M94 Carbine in 30-30 that I'll be using for the first time at a Lever Action Rifle Silhouette match this Sunday; however, I would prefer to purchase a .357 Legacy for this game, should I decide to continue.  I understand the .357 is very popular for the Lever Action Pistol Cartridge matches (closer targets), but if it'll handle an RCBS 35-200FN @ 1900fps, it'll probably knock over the 200 yard Rams better than my existing 30-30 load; i.e., 19.5 grains of SR4759/SAECO 316 for somewhat over 1900fps.

The only thing I've done to the trigger on my M94 (s/n: 19xxxxx) is flatten out the mainspring and turn the mainspring tension screw a little.  The pull is right around 4 pounds now with a tiny bit of creep that could probably be removed but I haven't had time to disassemble the action yet.  Besides, it shoots pretty darn good from the bench as is.

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Beartooth Regular
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Howdy Fourty Four,

I have use both the 180 gr. LBT and 200 gr. RCBS in my Rossi '92 with it's  20" barrel and healthy doses of 296.

With the 180 gr. I consider 17 grs. of 296 absolute maximum.  Muzzle velocity runs 1750 f.p.s.

16 grs. of 296 with the  200 gr. bullet gave 1,630  f.p.s.  Add 100 fps for 4" of barrel length and you would be around 1730 f.p.s.  

Now that is with the lot of 296 I am using. Perhaps PACO's lot is faster.  However, in my rifle I would consider those two loads as maximum.

One thing though, the 200 gr. bullet would not stabilize  in my Rossi's 1/38" twist barrel.

As for your .30-30, you can load Lyman's 311284 which weights 220 grs. in heat treated wheelweights.  They will hold their velocity better due to their higher b.c.

Seat them to crimp over the 1st driving band  and file a flat nose on them so they will feed from the magazine.  

With a dose of slowburning , H414, 760, or H4350E, you will find that there would be a rare 200 meter steel ram that would still be standing after receiving  one of those pills.

Have fun shooting those silhouettes!  

John

aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".  Philippians 4:13
aka w30wcf
aka John Kort
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey John,
Good to see you over here!

That sounds like a darn fine 30-30 recipe that I'll try some day but I really want to use the .357 for several reasons.

Easier to fit cartridge to chamber (only one variable... chamber diameter), no bullet runout, smaller powder charges, less pressure (longer case life??) and I don't need to fool with modifying the bullet's meplat.  Also, handloading .357s take less time than 30-30s if one uses a carbide sizing die.

Have you ever used WC-680 in a .357 rifle?  I'm guessing 18 to 18.5 grains of 680 should get an RCBS 35-200FN moving along at 1800 plus... what do you think?  I should be able to get some 35-200s cast this Saturday and I'm going to compare 680 against 296 from my 6.5" Ruger Stainless Blackhawk in the next week or two.  I'll be using Federal .38Spl brass and if I'm pleased with the results, I'm off to buy a .357 Legacy, install a Lyman 17A front sight and a Williams Target FP (or perhaps a tang sight!) on the receiver.

Regards,
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Beartooth Regular
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Fourty Four,

I have never tried 680 in the .357 Magnum but a review of H110/296 vs 680 in the Hornady manual would suggest that 680 is about 2 grains slower so it sounds like you're on the right track.  My quess is that you would be somewhere between 1700 & 1800 f.p.s.

Accuracy is another matter, and you may find that
your future rifle may prefer less powder or a different powder for best accuracy.

Another thing to consider is that based on the 200 gr. RCBS bullet's ballistic coefficient of .243 (RCBS Manual), you will loose roughly 1/2 of the velocity advantage that you started with when the bullet reaches  200 meters.  

For example. @ 1800 f.p.s. muzzle velocity, the remaining velocity @ 200 meters  would be about 1230 f.p.s. At 1600 f.p.s., the  remaining velocity would be 1120 f.p.s.  

Go for accuracy first & velocity 2nd.  

Several years ago a fellow shooter brought a 94 Winchester .357 Magnum to one of the NRA Silhouette high power matches just to play with
He was using the 200 gr. RCBS bullet and enough 2400 to get to 1400 f.p.s.  At 300 meters, that combination was deadly.  He is a very good offhand shot and more often than not, a javelina fell with the crack of his rifle.

He then sighted in for the rams @ 500 meters. As I recall, about 50% of the rams he hit fell over! The velocity of his load was down to about 830 f.p.s.
at that distance and accuracy seemed to hold up very well.

Have fun with that .357 Rifle!

John

aka Jack Christian SASS # 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strenghens me."  Philippians 4:13

aka w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #10
John,
Thank you for the very incouraging post.  It's going to take some time, but I'll let you know how the .357 works out.

Regards,
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Discussion Starter #11
John...
Come to think about it, I'll bet Lyman 311284's B.C. with a flattened nose isn't going to be any better than .240.

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Beartooth Regular
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Fourty Four,

The Lyman manual shows the 311284 b.c. at .332.
A flat nosed version would have a b.c. about 10% less or about .300.     It would hold a 100 f.p.s. advantage at 200 yards as compared to a bullet with a .24 b.c. if both were started at 1800 f.p.s. muzzle velocity.  That's not much difference really.

More important is that this .30 caliber bullet is heavier (220 grains in wheel weight alloy), is longer, which means more "stack up" time on the target, and it would be easier, I think, to achieve 1800 f.p.s. with this bullet in the .30-30 than the 200 gr. in the .357 Magnum and still be able to function through the magazine.

But, this is just the technical side. Most important is to just have fun shooting your chosen lever action at those steel targets!

Happy trails,
John

aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ ho strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13
aka w30wcf
aka John Kort
 
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