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Loading 357's at 38 sp velocities 
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:32 pm
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Location: Colorado
Post Loading 357's at 38 sp velocities
If you're going to reload and want both 38 sp and 357 velocities, there's an easy solution that will save you some hassle.

Just use 357 mag brass then use different loads.

Loads for shooting lead are similar to 38 sp in velocity and recoil. You can even use a light load with a jacketed bullet. If you want full strength loads you already have the brass. Or you can load them to 38sp +P velocities.

Doing it this way, you won't have to worry so much about changing length from one bullet to another because of casing length. It will also keep you from building up a carbon ring in the chamber.

I'm planning on using the Berrys copper plated bullets which are supposed to be loaded to lead bullet velocities for plinking rounds. They're a lot cheaper than jacketed but give off way less lead fumes if you shoot indoors.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:08 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:32 pm
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Post Re: No more jams
I'm no pro at reloading but putting 38 spec loads in a 357 case and using 357 overall length will make a different load than what the 38 data shows. The air space is increased and the load is altered.

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Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:17 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:00 am
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Location: Falls Village, Ct
Post Re: No more jams
Not a reloader so I don't have much to offer here, but I seem to recall reading that the Big Boys are not especially friendly towards wadcutters. Might have been SWC though.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:24 pm
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Post Re: No more jams
Simmer down wrote:
I'm no pro at reloading but putting 38 spec loads in a 357 case and using 357 overall length will make a different load than what the 38 data shows. The air space is increased and the load is altered.


Hmmm, should have 'splained it better. :)

The loads I'm talking about are for a 357. The velocity for lead bullets is about the same as a 38 sp shooting a jacketed bullet.

Here's an example from Hodgdon's site. I didn't make these up, they are recommended load data (pistol velocities).

Bullet- Powder - dia - COAL - gr - vel - press - gr - vel - press
357Mag load for cast lead
158 GR. CAST LSWC - IMR Trail Boss - .357" - 1.610" - 3.2 - 754 - 16,500 CUP - 4.2 - 865 - 20,400 CUP

Here's a light load for a 357 jacketed
158 GR. HDY XTP - IMR SR 4756 - .357" - 1.580" - 5.0 - 896 - 17,500 PSI - 6.5 - 1146 - 29,900 PSI

Hear's a 38 sp jacketed
158 GR. HDY XTP - Win AutoComp - .357" - 1.455" - 4.5 - 751 - 14,000 PSI - 4.9 - 865 - 16,800 PSI

Here's a 38 sp +P jacketed
158 GR. HDY XTP - Hodgdon - HS-6 - .357" - 1.455" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6.6 - 926 - 18,700 CUP

Of course you can get a lot higher velocities out of the 357 with other loads, but you'll notice the starting and max velocity on the lead bullet is almost identical to the 38sp jacketed load. The light load for the 357 is only marginally faster than the 38 sp.

Since you would have 357 casings you could always use a load from one of the powder manufacturers that will push a jacketed bullet between 1500 and 1600 fps if you want a barn burner.

My Berrys bullets are 125 gr flat points.
Image
I can push them out with a min 357 load at 986 fps with my powder compared to a 38 sp starting at 924fps with the same powder and same bullet. The max load velocities differ by 300fps however.

Berry's also makes hollow point and round nose copper plated bullets.

Hope this helps explain what I was getting at.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:31 pm
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Post Re: Loading 357's at 38 sp velocities
Now that my brain is warmed up I see what you were saying. I do the same thing in 44 cal. for my 4" mag revolver.

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Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:42 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:14 am
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Post Re: Loading 357's at 38 sp velocities
One thing I found out with regard to reloading is that you don't use handgun data to create loads for a rifle. Its a long story...
One thing you will really notice is the huge difference in velocity by putting the same round in two different firearms. I compared two. A Ruger GP-100 .357 Magnum and the Henry 357 magnum Big Boy. Same factory ammo in both guns. Here is the data I got from my chronograph.

Winchester, JHP 158 gr. bullet .357 Magnum caliber factory ammo in a Henry blasts out a 1996 fps. This same round in the GP-100.. 1406 fps.

Magtech, lead round nose, 38 special (not a +p load) 158 gr. factory ammo in the Henry.. 949 fps. and the same round in the GP-100 715 fps.

The difference is in the barrel length which allows the powder to be more completely burned in the long rifle barrel. I'm still in search of a compromise round that I can fire in both my GP-100 and my Henry .357 Big Boy. I think I can manage, just whipping up a clone of the Winchester round using a slower burning powder than I would normally use in my handgun. I use Clays and Universal for my handguns. H110 would be more appropriate for the rifle, but I'm sure I could find a good recipe with any of them. Now that I have my chronograph I can get a little more accurate information.

Yes you could just load the .357 rounds using .38 specs but be careful that you don't put too small a load in. Jacketed bullets take more powder to get them down the barrel also... Too light a load and you'll have a bullet stuck in the barrel. Happened to me with a "light" load, which was supposedly a "normal" load for a .38 special. The powder trickler must have been a little stingy about allocating powder on some of my reload rounds. Fortunately I recognized the problem before I stuck a .357 round in or I'd be buying a new Henry. These were very light loads created by accident. They had maybe one gr. of Clays. I actually fired the rifle several times with a bullet stuck in the barrel! When I'd fire it, the bullet would bump the one stuck in the barrel and it would come out at about 125 fps. Did this several times.. it was actually kind of funny because you could easily see the bullet fly down range. Wound up deoading all my .38 handloads.

WC and SWC bullets... forget it. they will jam a lot because they hang up on the sharp edges. Just use a round nose lead for the .38 rounds, they will feed all day. The Remington and Winchester JHPs also feed fine in a .357 configuration.


Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:54 am
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