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Old 10-22-2010, 09:45 AM
Bell Charter Oak Holsters Bell Charter Oak Holsters is offline
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Has anyone heard of the .357 Maximum cartridge? A client of mine mentioned it in passing, but I haven't heard of it before. Is it a wildcat cartridge? Thanks!

Lefty
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:12 AM
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Yes, it was designed as a longer version of the .357 magnum and has been around for decades. Only gun I saw chambered for it was the Contender. I was not impressed since I shoot revolvers, not single shots. The Ruger and
Dan Wesson revolvers reportedly had lots of problems with gas cutting and short life in .357 max.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:19 AM
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As stated, it's been around for a while. It's not a wildcat though, since Remington loaded factory ammo for it. It's usually loaded with 180gr. or heavier bullets. I have a 10" Contender/barrel for it. It uses very fast rifle powder like AA1680 and 180gr Hornady XTP bullets. It is a lengthed 357 and made making rounds like the 357 Herrett(a wildcat) not worth the effort. It did not work as well as expected in the mentioned revolvers, with flame cutting an issue. Bob!
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:44 AM
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I have an H&R single shot .357 mag that I reamed out for .357 max. I love shooting the thing. There is no factory ammo that I know of so you have to roll your own for it.


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Old 10-22-2010, 03:40 PM
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As I remember it, the .357 Maximum was created specifically for silhouette shooters as the .357 Mag didn't quite have enough power to reliably knock down the rams.

It wasn't long before the gas cutting problem surfaced and the cartridge kind of faded into oblivion. It should still work fine in anything that doesn't have a gap. I'd think it would make a pretty good deer cartridge in a Marlin 1894.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:49 PM
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I know that flame cutting was an issue on the Ruger but I thought that the Dan Wesson revolvers had solved the problem with an insert in the top of the frame. Also, wasn't most of the problems caused by using bullets lighter than the recommended 180gr? I have only heard good things about the Dan Wesson and Contender 357 Maximums.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:40 PM
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I just recently sold a Contender barrel chambered for .357 Max. It is a stellar deer cartridge, which is why the fellow to whom I sold it wanted the barrel. There were some serious flame cutting problems in revolvers, but in a single-shot, that is not an issue. Very flat shooter, and top-notch with 180-187 grain bullets.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:01 PM
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In 1983/84 or so, Ruger brought out its Blackhawk revolver chambered in .357 Maximum caliber. Remington made the first commercial rounds (and maybe the only ones). The cartridge case is about .25 inch longer than that of a .357 Magnum (I didn't measure a cartridge, but estimated) and was supposed to deliver a muzzle velocity of over 1500 fps with a 180 grain JSP bullet. A problem with flame cutting of the top strap (described above) developed and Ruger discontinued production of this gun.

Thompson Center, Dan Wesson Arms and maybe a few others also made guns in this caliber.

I have shot my Ruger, and I can say the muzzle blast is spectacular!!!!

Bill
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:12 PM
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Alas, the Maximum is too long to work in the 1894 Marlin, but would make a great levergun round. It's not far behind the 35 Remington. I would think it would be fine in a Handi rifle. Bob!
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:53 PM
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You can find a few on GB most of the time.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:08 PM
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It will turn a Michigan Whitetail inside out, Best handgun round that I've found that balances recoil and killing power for a guy that just doesn't enjoy a over powered hand cannon.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:07 AM
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Thanks to each of you for your informative replies. Sometime ago I acquired a custom made double rifle made from an Ithaca damascus barrel side by side shotgun. The fellow that sold it to me said it was chambered for .357, and I assumed he was referring to .357 Magnum. The gun is beautiful (IMHO) and incredibly accurate with both .38 Special and any type .357 Mag it fires at about 50 to 60 yards. I have not shot at targets beyond that distance, so I don't know how it may perform beyond that.

After talking with a client, which is what prompted my initial question about .357 Maximum....I am now wondering if this rifle is chambered for that cartridge?

If it is, how do I acquire some ammunition for it.....no longer produced commercially? I don't reload.

Cheers;
Lefty

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Old 10-23-2010, 09:40 AM
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A lot of the comments mention flame cutting in the Ruger revolver chambered for the .357 Maximum, and since I owned one of the Rugers I want to address those comments. I bought the 10" Ruger new and used it extensively in IHMSA competition exclusively with 180 grain bullets and WW-296 powder. After thousands of rounds, there was very little flame cutting of the top strap and certainly not enough to cause any concern. I would compare it to that sometimes seen in S&W magnum revolvers. It was simply no big deal! Reportedly most of the so-called problems came from using very light (125 grain) bullets with slow burning powders. I can't address that since I never used light bullets. The Maximum is a great revolver cartridge and it is a shame that it is so seldom seen these days.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadranger View Post
As stated, it's been around for a while. It's not a wildcat though, since Remington loaded factory ammo for it. It's usually loaded with 180gr. or heavier bullets. I have a 10" Contender/barrel for it. It uses very fast rifle powder like AA1680 and 180gr Hornady XTP bullets. It is a lengthed 357 and made making rounds like the 357 Herrett(a wildcat) not worth the effort. It did not work as well as expected in the mentioned revolvers, with flame cutting an issue. Bob!
I had a .30 Herrett and didn't think making the cases was difficult at all. It (as well as the .35 Herrett) turned the inefficient .30-30 Contenders into a very potent pistol. Unfortunately, the Contender was stolen. I bet the guy is wondering where to buy ammo!
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:53 AM
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Photo of a .357 Magnum and a .357 Maximum (Remington, 180 grain JHP).

Bill

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Old 10-23-2010, 11:21 AM
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Getting into .38-55 territory.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:23 AM
S&WIowegan S&WIowegan is offline
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Talking .357 Max.

I own both a Contender barrel and a Ruger in .357 Max. They are fun to shoot in the revolver because of the BLAST. I recommend not doing this round at an indoor range unless you are alone!

Finding ammo is a chore since demand is low but the internet is your friend. I load my own with 296/H110, 2400 or 4227 and heavy bullets. You can go way heavier than 180s if you want.

Rechambering is simple with a reamer from Clymer or Manson.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:46 PM
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Hmmm. It seems like it would fit in an X-frame, for seven or maybe eight shots.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:55 AM
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Would any of you guys have an empty case I could have, just to see if the chamber of my double rifle will accept it? I'd be happy to pay for it and for postage.

Midway seems to have Grizzly brand .357 Max loaded ammo, 200gr. flatpoint. 1600+ FPS. $29.99 for 20 rounds, if anyone is looking for it.

Cheers;
Lefty

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Old 11-27-2010, 09:44 AM
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Thanks to the kindness of a fellow FORUM member who sent me a fired case, it turns out that my double rifle does chamber the .357 Maximum. Reed's Ammunition And Research, LLC (reedsammo.com) located in Oklahoma City has a fairly generous selection of loaded ammunition in several bullet weights and configurations. Midway is out of stock and backordered till after Christmas. Now I need to decide which load would be best for my needs. Any suggestions? I will try to post some photos of the rifle soon. Thanks again to all of you who were so helpful with information.

Cheers;
Lefty
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:31 AM
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What exactly are your needs for the 357Max? Heavy bullets for hunting would be my guess since lighter ones for varmints don't exactly seem an application for a double rifle. 125 grain bullets will scream out of a rifle!

I just googled 357Max factory ammo; it appears to be scarce and expensive. I found that 2 boxes of Fed 180 grain went for $130 on gunbroker. Wow!! I still have most of a box of that I got way back in the late 80's. It is a great cartridge in my T/C Contender, but I have been handloading it for a long time. You should really consider taking up handloading for it, particularly considering that factory ammo is scarce/expensive and even brass is sometimes uncommon.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAdoublegunner View Post
What exactly are your needs for the 357Max? Heavy bullets for hunting would be my guess since lighter ones for varmints don't exactly seem an application for a double rifle. 125 grain bullets will scream out of a rifle!

I just googled 357Max factory ammo; it appears to be scarce and expensive. I found that 2 boxes of Fed 180 grain went for $130 on gunbroker. Wow!! I still have most of a box of that I got way back in the late 80's. It is a great cartridge in my T/C Contender, but I have been handloading it for a long time. You should really consider taking up handloading for it, particularly considering that factory ammo is scarce/expensive and even brass is sometimes uncommon.
Primarily for deer and similar sized game, and Reeds has as I mentioned earlier, a very generous variety of loaded ammo. Prices seem to average about a dollar or so per round. I have no time for reloading, I wish I did. For the amount of use it will see, a couple of boxes would last for quite sometime. I'm thinking the heavier 225 gr. pills @1650 FPS, they offer them in several different bullet styles.

Cheers;
Lefty
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:53 PM
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I have the 12" hunter bbl for my contender. Haven't shot it for abt 6 yrs. The energy at about 100 yds is abt the same for a 44 mag at the muzzle. I loaded some 180 gr spitzer bullets for a single shot pistol but the accuracy wasn't as good as the 180 XTP's. I'll be deer hunting again this year with it but I'll only shoot a nice size buck. Neat cartridge, especially in a single shot rifle. Larry
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
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I have the 12" hunter bbl for my contender... I loaded some 180 gr spitzer bullets for a single shot pistol ...
I have a 14" bull barrel. Mine likes the 180gr XTPs but also does about as well with the Hornady Single Shot Pistol bullets. I've had very good performance from them with AA1680.
I assume you must be talking about these:
Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Bullets :: Handgun :: Choose by Bullet Type :: InterLockŪ

What it really likes is the Rem 180 JHPs with the petal type jacket. Using them, it rarely delivers groups over an inch and a half at 100yds if shot from a good rest, often less than that.

Oldflatfoot, it would be interesting to see how the Hornady SSP bullets work in your double rifle. That would certainly make an appropriate looking cartridge to use in a double rifle. I imagine the velocities it could reach are a good bit higher than the T/C pistol barrels, particularly with a slow powder. A .358 rifle bullet might even be appropriate since a hollowpoint bullet designed for pistols could be driven so fast it exceeds it's performance envelope. A gaschecked hard cast bullet may be OK. No doubt about it though, a 357 Max double rifle made from a sleeved Damascas barrel shotgun certainly sounds like a very interesting gun and concept!
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:28 PM
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I have both of the main maxes and shoot them a bunch. It is one of my "funnest" rounds to shoot and works great. I think nothing of tossing 180's at 1600 fps with these guys.

I only shoot 158's or heavier and only use stick powder to keep the gas cutting down.

I have yet to do the contender. Maybe soon.

It is a great round. Fun to shoot, fun to own and easy to load for.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:13 AM
Bell Charter Oak Holsters Bell Charter Oak Holsters is offline
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Smile .357 Maximum Custom Double Rifle

Finally shot a few pics. Thought you might enjoy seeing these.


Cheers;
Lefty
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:46 AM
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Cool rifle!

I just wrote an article in which the .357 Maximum was mentioned briefly.
I hadn't thought much about mine for a while.
Now I may have to go shoot it again, once all the snow lying around here melts.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:51 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Question 357 MAX

I think I have some, maybe nickle, brass somewhere around.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:29 PM
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I had a 8" vent heavy 357 max and mine was the most accurate pistol I have ever shot. Bar none! I had a big bag of 38 target wadcutters that I used to hunt squirrels with. They had a inch to jump in the cylinder but were amazingly accurate. Because of the weight, it was a really heavy gun, it was like shooting 22's.I carried it deer hunting but never got a shot. I'm looking at prices for one now and it looks like they have held there value over the years. It really is a special piece and cartridge. Over the years I have read so many people that thought it would make a great rifle round I'm glad to hear someone did actually have one. Even with as old a thread as this! I always considered the 357 Max to be the Weatherby of handguns along with all of the Supermag versions. I had to trade my Dan Wesson for a transmission for my Blazer back in the early 90's and of all the guns I have owned over the years that is the one I regret letting go the most. I think it's a real shame the 357 max was effectly killed by a few gun scribes who way overreacted on the flame cutting.It was like a little kid who finally found something wrong he could tell mom about. Some folks with a lot more experience long range hunting and shooting than me considered the 357 Max and the Dan Wesson the best combo ever made. I think there right.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:08 AM
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Holy Toledo! 3.5 year old thread gets stroked!

The 357 Max is far from dead. It's going strong in the Contender and Encore.

Mike (and son) Bellm make guns and load ammo for this round and consider it
one of the best deer cartridges for a handgun.
Some might argue about a 12" Encore being a "handgun" but it sure gets the job done.

The Great .357 Remington Maximum Revival

It's the 445 that's kind of the orphan from the Dan Wesson days.
I went to an Encore for that as well.

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