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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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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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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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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.

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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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