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Old 07-15-2017, 10:39 PM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
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I have to side with the OP. I'll also point out that "Magnum" velocities out of a 4 inch or less handgun won't exceed 1250 FPS unless you are loading a lighter than typical bullet and most likely using a maximum or bit higher charge weight.

Yeah, you can get a 125 grain bullet up to 1400 fps out of a 4 inch revolver but doing that will require a slow burning powder and a maximum or near maximum charge weight. The end result of this particular type of load will be increased flame cutting of the top strap of the frame, increased erosion to the forcing cone, and excessive muzzle flash and blast borders on freakish. BTW, been there done that and won't do it again. If you want to load a 125 grain 357 Magnum to the maximum for H110 then use it in a rifle where you can receive full benefit from that powder charge.

Typical ballistics for a "hot" 357 Magnum from a 4 inch revolver is a 158 grain bullet running between 1150 and 1250 fps. If you want to exceed 1250 fps you either need a longer barrel or a powder charge that is a bit over the listed maximum charge weight. BTW, I am aware that in the mid 30's there were claimed loads that listed 1400 fps for a 158 grain bullet. However those were lead bullets and were tested using chronographs that likely weren't nearly as accurate as todays chronographs. In addition Piezo Electric pressure testing has revealed pressure spikes that were not detectable using the older copper crusher method and as a result powder charges today have been reduced from what they were in the days when the copper crusher was the only means to test for pressure.

Sum it up and today's quality plated bullets can actually stand up to most "Magnum" velocities if a 4 inch or shorter handgun is used. If you load just 1/3 of the range below maximum (a point I have found to consistently be the peak in accuracy) you can safely use these loads in a 6 inch revolver. Exceptions to this statement may be the 460 and 500 Magnum, I have zero experience with these calibers and don't even know what bullet weights or velocities are typical for these Super Magnums. If you want to load for these powerhouses I would suggest the use of a chronograph and careful adherence to that 1250 fps stated maximum velocity.

Another area of concern for plated bullets is when using them in a Rifle. Because out of a 20 inch Short Rifle with lighter bullet weights and powders a rather basic 38 +P load can exceed that 1250 maximum velocity. Personally my preference for Rifle loads in 357 Magnums is the Hornady XTP, primarily the 140 and 158 grain varieties. However I have actually loaded the 125 grain XTP to 2150 fps using H110 and it proved to be a distinctly flat shooting and fairly accurate load. I suspect that if I attempted to do the same with a 125 grain Berry's the bullet would come apart within a few feet of leaving the barrel.
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