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357 Maximum - new load workup
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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PaulS
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Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

Just set dies (I had to make a seating punch), scale and powder measure for a new load test.

I am going to work a load up using the Hornady 180 grain spirepoint bullet in a 357 Maximum case with CCI 400 primers. I am going to be working with AA1680 powder. I have not used this one before and according to the books it produces slightly higher velocities at lower pressures than the H110 that I have been using. Speer calls out a maximum charge of 27 grains in a compressed charge with their flat nose bullets and the Hornady bullet leaves more room for powder in the case due to the cannelure is closer to the base than the Speer bullet. I am hoping that I find I can get a bit more velocity while I reduce the pressure a bit. If it is as accurate as the Speer or performs better then it will be worth the work. The bullet is seated to an overall length of 2.24" which is .1 inch longer than the Speer. I guess my load work up will tell the story.

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

PaulS: I look forward to hearing of your results as it sounds like an interesting project.

Another intriguing powder is Hodgdon's Lil Gun. It often produces less pressure than many other magnum handgun powders at maximum loadings. I have been impressed with results when working with 454 Casull, and 41 Magnums. The basic pressure comparisons (case head expansion, same lot, new vs one fired) and velocities have lead me to experiment increasingly with this powder.

Keep us informed, sir.
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squirrelbait
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

PaulS, I will be interested in your results. I used to shoot the 357 max in a 10" contender barrel. Besides the mussle blast with 296 powder I absolutely loved the cartridge. Consistently got 1 to 1.5" groups at 100yds.
Never had a chance to take a deer with it but the performance was there.
I agree with Handloader, you might also want to look into Lil-gun. I called Hodgden about data for the 357 max. Their response: "It's a dead cartridge, we won't be testing that one." I'm thinking NOT. Lil-gun is giving me excellent results in my 357 mag and my 22 Hornet.
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

Used the same load out of my 357 max carbine running at 26.5 gr. of AA1680 and a BR-4 primer. In a carbine length I was getting over 2000 fps with that combo. Easy powder to work with as it despenses nicely.
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squirrelbait
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

skb2706, where did you get a carbine in 357max?
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

I will keep you posted as I get the data.
As for Lil-gun; well, one project at a time.

skb2706,
what length barrel is your carbine? I have one with a 24 inch barrel made from an SKS with the gas system removed. Its a neet little straight pull bolt action that holds 10 rounds of 357 Maximum.

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Paul
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Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

My carbine barrel was for my Contender.........I have a pretty big collection of those things. I had it made by Virgin Valley back when they were still around. Stainless bull barrel at 21" w/1-14 twist from a Shilen blank. If I told you how accurate it is you wouldn't believe it but we played with it one afternoon shooting prairie dogs and anything inside 150 yds. was not even fair.
I called RCBS when I got the barrel and asked about seating dies......they sent me like 6 of them ........gratis.......got spares if you ever need.
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

skb2706,

Sounds about right. Mine has always been accurate with the Speer bullets and I expect about the same with these Hornadys. I may take you up on that offer of a seating die - My brother loads the rifle bullets for his carbine too but he needs a separate seater for his revolver - the long rounds don't fit those wheel guns. You e-mail me at:
paulstephens2ATcomcastDOTnet
And we can setup shipping addresses.

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Paul
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So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

paul - email sent.........
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

I just finished the last of 500 357 magnums and I was going to start loading my workup loads for the Maximum - the last 50 rounds were once fire brass fired in a different gun and I have to take them apart an full length sized them. I normally only neck size all my cases and this tim I didn't look at the cases well enough to see that they were not from my gun - Get in a hurry and it always takes more time. At least it was only the last fifty that have to come apart.
Once I get it done I will begin loading the Maximum work-up loads.

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Paul
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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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Vince
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
I just finished the last of 500 357 magnums and I was going to start loading my workup loads for the Maximum - the last 50 rounds were once fire brass fired in a different gun and I have to take them apart an full length sized them. I normally only neck size all my cases and this tim I didn't look at the cases well enough to see that they were not from my gun - Get in a hurry and it always takes more time. At least it was only the last fifty that have to come apart.
Once I get it done I will begin loading the Maximum work-up loads.

G'Day Paul. I used to reload an average of 200 rounds of .357 Mag a week and always full length resized my cases every time. How do you "neck size only" a straight walled case? Do you only set the sizing die to go only part way down? Strange, for sure. Confused

You are right about making mistakes or forgetting something though.....adds a heap of time to the reloading session. Sad

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

When I was loading straight wall cartridges that I was certain were to be fired in the same gun. I would only size the case down to where the seated bullets base would be in the case. It was not so important in my Contender because it was a custom min. spec chamber and allowed for minimal expansion anyway. Cases just lasted longer that way...........
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

Yep! that is what I do - set the sizer so that it goes down about 3/8 of an inch and the rest of the case juststay a bit smaller than the chamber. Once in a while you will run into a revolver that has a "big chamber" in one spot and you have to size deeper but I am lucky to have a cylinder that seems to be consistant in the bores of the chambers.
It works a lot better in my Contender too - although the decapping pin sticks out a long way and sometimes breaks - I just replace it and continue on. If I could find a sizing die for 357 Herrett I could use it to neck size the Maximum cases. If you have a 357 Automag sizing die it works perfect for neck sizing the 357 mag.

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Paul
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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 12817
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I am now a better informed reloader.

Must admit, I never thought of doing this. I only ever used my cases in the one revolver, but still FLS them anyway.

Cheers, Vince

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Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Maximum - new load workup Reply with quote

Paul - you have another pm and the seater is on its merry way.
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