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357 Magnum
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Using the 140 grain bullet, either Hornady XTP or Remington SJHP I feel I get the best of two worlds. Bullet weight and velocity. Which in turn, gives me good penatration.

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

What length barrel mooseman?

Regardless. Stick with the 158gr. Speed is over-rated. Esp with a HG bullet. I won't sacrifice weight for anything. Reason? Lots.

Find a good [midrange recipe] for the 158JHP, and, you can use close to that with a GCLSWC for more zip and two-hole hunting/SD against fur-n-fang.

Deer/soft skin- JHP
Angry stuff- solid SWC

Bigger is better.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

This coming from a bicycle mechanic...

Ooh...Hi Stovie. How's AZ these days? White?

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

I fix more than bicycles! And I'll fix you and yer lil dog Toto too you, you....dusty ol' grump! Mad

Yes, white is the word....nuttin' like seeing it coming! (NOW...would be a good time to close the door......8O)



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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

I studied the ballistics of the 140 and 158 grain bullets on paper using the chronograph for the real velocities I was getting and the 140 grain bullet won hands down for ballistics and penetration in my Fackler box. It was proven in use on the Hunter's Pistol silhouette range and on live targets in the field.

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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
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moose2
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Thanks for the info guys. Very Happy

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Hey, bushmaster, the original loads for the 357 generated a lot more pressure then the loads used now. The original SAAMI pressure was also considerably higher. I understand they dropped it from 45000 - just like they dropped the 357 Maximum from 50000 down to what it is now. It seemed that S&W revolvers couldn't stand up to the original pressures.
I got pretty good accuracy from 18 grains of H110 and worked it up and found another load that was very good for accuracy at 19.1 grains. Back then it was still 0.5 grains below the max. (357 magnum with 140 grain bullet in a Ruger security-Six) In the forty plus years I have been shooting the 19.1 grain load I have never had any problems with it and my cases last well over 10 reloads. They fall out of the cylinder after shooting. It does give a bit more velocity but the accuracy is outstanding in my gun.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Yep Paul, S&W petioned Sammi to lower the pressures for the 357Mag, their pistols at that time were not doing to well with 45K psi rounds.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

S&W wasn't the only petitioner though. There was an S&W clone and some others that thought 45000 psi was too high for a revolver to handle. It's funny that Ruger never had any trouble with it. I guess (over) engineering does pay off.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Paul and Omni: I have seen the 357 max given as 45,000 CUP but not PSI. I started looking for the reference but so far no luck. Not doubting your accuracy but would be interested to see the original specs for the 357 and the 44 mag.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Quote::
History of pressures in the 357 magnum:
t was developed in 1935 using a S&W N-frame revolver ... now known as a S&W Mod 27 or 28. These revolvers had beefy barrels, massive cylinders, and heavy frames that could hold very high pressure. When SAAMI standardized the 357 Magnum, maximum chamber pressure was rated at 46,000 CUP, which translates to 43,500 psi in modern terms.

In 1955, Bill Jordan (famous US Border Patrol Agent and gun magazine writer) got an idea and worked with S&W to make a lighter weight revolver more suitable for law enforcement. S&W used the popular 38 Special K-frame with a much smaller cylinder and frame than the massive N-frame, yet with a special heat treated cylinder that would hold up to SAAMI pressures. This revolver went into production in 1957 as a S&W Model 19. In 1972, S&W made the very first stainless steel revolver, a Model 66 ... which was identical to a blued Mod 19 ... also chambered in 357 Mag. Problems with these guns surfaced soon after they were released, however S&W put the word out to LEAs to shoot lower powered 38 Specials for qualification or practice and save 357 Mag ammo for duty loads. The cylinders were fine but both the Mod 19 and 66 were just too weak to withstand SAAMI rated magnum pressures. The barrels on all K-frames had a section of the barrel (under the forcing cone) cut away to allow the yoke to seat. Not a problem with 38 Specials but when 357 Mags were fired, many of the barrels split at the mouth. Additionally, the 19 & 66 top straps were notorious for stretching and the yoke tubes peened badly, which increased endshake to a point of being dangerous .... basically just a bad design all around for the high pressure 357 Mag loads.

After replacing countless Mod 19 & 66 barrels and frames, S&W decided in 1995 to petition SAAMI to lower chamber pressure to 35,000 psi ... a full 25% reduction. The lower pressure seemed to fix the problem, however it took several years for ammunition manufacturers to develop new loads with the lower 35k psi SAAMI standard so guns were still being subject to barrel and/or frame replacements. In 1999, S&W discontinued the Mod 19 and reduced production on Mod 66s until 2005 when they were also discontinued.

Today, SAAMI maintains two pressure standards for the 357 Magnum ... 43,500 psi (46,000 CUP) and 35,000 psi. Nearly all US ammo manufactures discontinued the higher pressure loads as did most reloading manuals. Only a few companies such as Corban and Buffalo Bore still make the higher SAAMI pressure loads. 43,500 psi is still the CIP (European version of SAAMI) standard so if you buy European ammo such as Seller & Beloit, you will get the "hot" 43.5k loads.

So what happens when you shoot 43,500 psi loads in your 357 Mag revolver? The gun doesn't blow up but it sure takes a toll on wear. It is estimated ... the 25% reduction in chamber pressure will extend the life of all 357 Mag revolvers by 10 fold .... and yes, that applies to strong Ruger Blackhawks too. The wear issues with Rugers are mostly increased endshake due to the frame and cylinder getting peened ... both in the front where the gas tube contacts the frame and the rear where the ratchet column contacts the recoil shield. Ruger DA revolvers suffer more from crane tube peening, which also increases endshake. Excessive endshake will result in misfires (light primer strikes), but much worse ... the cylinder may unlatch when fired, which could release the bullet when not aligned with the bore.

What do you lose with lower pressure loads? If you look at an old Speer #11 manual, a 357 Mag load with a 158gr bullet max loaded with 17.8gr of H-110 will produce a muzzle velocity of 1330 fps. In the new Speer #14 manual, the max load of H-110 is 15.5gr, which produces 1217 fps or about 113 fps lower. Most of the other listed loads also lose about 100 fps compared to the older load data ... not really a big deal, especially when it makes your gun last 10x longer.

It isn't proof but it is evidence,
Paul

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

moose2 wrote:



Hey Bushy. Seems like a lot of you guys prefer the 140 gr. XTP's in the 357 Magnum. I'd be curious to know why you prefer them. I do have 140 also, but I always wind up shooting them in the 38 Special.

Velocity, accuracy & current availability. I've yet to test terminal performance in anything furry OR felonious. Very Happy

The 140's are VERY flat shooting & even I can get 25yd groups around 2" with iron sights.
Haven't seen a box of the 158's in an age but two LGS have the 140's at less than Midway prices.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

I have a listing in a 1982 load manual that lists 42,500 C.U.P. using W-231 under a 125 grain jacketed bullet. Book titled "Metallic Cartridge Reloading".

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Looks like loads snippets at the bottom of this page also goes to the 40+ K CUP limits

I am learning something new today. Thanks guys.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: 357 Magnum Reply with quote

Thanks Paul and Geland, Real interesting reading. I find the whole CUP system somewhat misleading as many refer to it almost as if it is the same as actual psi. In fact it is sometimes properly listed as psi(CUP).

S&W may have asked for the reduction but even Ruger has added to the confusion in some of their older versus newer revolvers designs.

I tried also to find a reference to the derating of the 44 mag or even the 41 mag but so far haven't found anything official. I did read a reference to the adoption of the transducer method for pressure testing providing better information on which to base standards and this may account for them having lower initial maximums if this was the case.

Here is also a good paper on CUP-psi conversion although it is for rifles.

www.shootingsoftware.c...ticle2.pdf

Given all the variables and changes I think sticking to the SAAMI max is a safe path for the majority of us hobbiests.

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