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Old 05-06-2018, 07:23 PM
gehlsurf gehlsurf is offline
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Default Safest long term powder for 357

Hi guys, I've loaded a little bit for the 357 and now getting g back into it (was working on an M1A project).

My "go-to" for pistols (10mm. 44 mag. 357, etc.) Has been blue dot. In 357 only 158 grns, not smaller per their warnings.

Just shot some Lil Gun under some 160 grn cast powder coated, 17.3 grns. It's no slouch!! And VERY accurate in my TRR8. I've read about come erosion, so that turns me off.

With all these powders and their limitations.... is there a powder out there that is known to be safer? Not better by any means, but safer for the long run.

What I have in stock now is Red Dot, trail boss, H110, Blue Dot, 410, Longshot, IMR 4227, Tite Wad, Lil Gun and some old Scot 4100. I have no shortage of powders lol. Some of you guys must have been running the same reloads for decades and still have in spec guns. So I figured I'd ask.

Thank you in advance for the help!
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:07 PM
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HARd to go wrong with ole 2400. You give up a little vel to h110 or lilgun, but it downloads well & doesnt seem to offer erosion or high heat issues.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:14 PM
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^^^ Wut he said.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:21 PM
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...or Unique for anything less than full power. 125 grain jacketed do especially well with Unique. They get some very impressive velocities and still have moderate recoil and relatively soft muzzle blast.

High loading densities are a big plus with Unique.

Last edited by Calliope; 05-06-2018 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:36 PM
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Of course, 2 powders I don't have!! Lol. Unique and 2400 does seem to be the go-to for many reloaders. I never go full max load anyhow. Not sure why, guess because I don't see a point, lol.

Have you guys been reloading these for a while? Seems I just read that titegroup has some issues, too with burning hot. I mainly want a powder where a few thousand rounds later, I'm not saying, "damn, should be listened to those guys. Now I need a new barrel!"
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:53 PM
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I've used Unique & 2400 for about 50 years now if that means anything..
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:01 PM
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I also prefer 2400. I use 21.5 for my deer load with 240 grain cast bullets, and 17.5 for the range.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:07 PM
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STCM, that's exactly what I was looking for! 50 years and no complaints! My primary gun is a TRR8 with Scandium frame, shrouded barrel, etc. And while I know it's under warranty and can be fixed, how about 20 yrs from now, lol, when they say, "we remember those, ran outta parts 2 years ago", lol.

Greenmacine, 240 grain? Is that 357? Is so....please, go on..... lol, I've been thinking of going heavier in the 357, but not 240! Now I'm intrigued!
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:10 PM
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started loading 1968. bullseye for lite loads in 38spl,44spl,45acp and 45colt. unique and 2400 for mag loads in 357 and 44mag. used others but come back to the old standby. i guess i'm just a old fart, but it works for me.

good luck. jim
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:34 PM
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You did not state what frame or model 357..........

but all powders are SAFE if you follow the manuals data.

Trail Boss and Red Dot will do great for any lead target loads.
The 4227 powder will work with low fps lead and medium high Jacket loads.
Just that you use a lot of it to get the job done vs some of the other faster powders but it is very safe, in the 357.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:42 PM
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Bentcam has it well assessed. I started loading about 4 years after he did and BE, Unique and 2400 took care of all my needs. I still use them but sometimes foray into other powders. I always keep these 3 on hand.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:48 PM
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Nice! I have trail boss and red dot, but will buy some 2400, as the red dot is mostly for my 12 gauge and trail boss for sub 308 rounds.

These are being shot from a S&W TRR8.
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:00 PM
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Youíll be fine with 2400 and 160-gr bullets. Since I use my loads in both K- and heavier-frame S&W .357s I donít push them too hard. 13-grains usually gives me right around 1250 FPS.
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:40 PM
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Default What kind of safety?

Low erosion to prevent throat erosion?
Volume enough to keep from double charging?
Keeping from shaking the gun apart prematurely?

The slower powders than 2400 are prone to several different types of erosion.

I'd use a bulky powder between Unique and 2400 that will get the velocities that you want.

Out of what you list, Longshot looks like a good candidate.

Blue Dot may be a winner, but I don'tknow how much it can be downloaded.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:09 AM
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I use blue dot now in my 38's, and probably will keep at that. Supposedly it's good as long as your not shooting the 110 or 125 gen bullets. I'll definitely lately pick up some 2400, as I have another 357 that I love, my 66-2, but have heard of the "weaker" frames on these, and so would like to keep care of that one, too!
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:09 AM
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Back in my youthful days spent reaching for the maximum performance potential of the .357 magnum cartridge I settled on Blue Dot with hard cast lead bullets. Excellent powder selection for top performance without excessive pressures. My loading notes from that time show very good results with 150-grain LSWC-HP and 10.5 grains Blue Dot. Very stout load with minimal flash and blast from a 4" barrel. Shot a deer with that load, broke a rib on entry, pulped a lung, lodged under the hide on the far side. Shot through a couple of coyotes end-to-end, not a quiver when they dropped.

Now, being older and not so much concerned with such trivia, I shoot a lot of .38 Special at more modest levels. The .357 magnums that I load are much less potent (my 'mini-magnums', greater performance than .38 +P but not brutal to shoot). Easier on my good guns, easier on me, and no complaints from the targets yet.

Finally realized that there is nothing to be gained by using any machine at its maximum capacity all the time. Also, if I feel the need for more power I can just choose a larger caliber.

YMMV.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:10 AM
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Thank you for all he knowledge guys!!
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:25 AM
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I use 2400. I've never used 4227, but I've read here in the past that it doesn't tend to erode the forcing cone or flame cut. Possibly because it is single based? I think that high nitro content powders cause more wear.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:57 AM
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I've had good luck with and have been using Unique for a long time.
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
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I've had good luck with and have been using Unique for a long time.
Hard to beat Unique. Probably a good reason why it has been around for over 100 years, and still going strong.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:39 AM
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I use W296 gr8 the full power stuff and for middle to middle high loads I use either Longshot or HS-6.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:47 AM
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Besides many of the powders I've seen mentioned here already, I also really like Accurate #9 for full power 357 and 44 Mag loads. Less flash from it as compared to H110. I've also been shooting a lot of Longshot and really like it in 357, 44 Mag and also it does well for me in 9MM. I used to shoot a lot of Blue Dot in my 357's but it doesn't meter as well as some of my newer choices such as Longshot.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
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I also prefer 2400. I use 21.5 for my deer load with 240 grain cast bullets, and 17.5 for the range.
I'm assuming this is your 44 mag load!
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:34 AM
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I shoot 13.5 grs of 2400 and Elmer's bullet in K frames and 14.5 grs in N frames and Ruger SA revolvers.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:53 AM
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I may sound like a broken record but - - - 2400 is my standard magnum powder. Hard to beat 2400, Unique and Bullseye for pretty much any pistol caliber.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:21 AM
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Default More uneeded info....

Bullseye, Unique and 2400 served ALL of my needs for revolvers until powders got really scarce, then I branched out. When I got into semis I did get into a powder made for those. In a way it was fun because I bought whatever I could and got to try different things and found that I liked some of them.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:58 AM
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What most of these guys say: 2400 and unique, used them since about 1975, last century.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:35 AM
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I've never had much use for 2400, but I've burned probably about a ton of Unique. Hard to beat in a great many calibers, but I did note some forcing cone issues with heavy loads in .44 magnum. OTOH, the forcing cone wasn't properly done in the first place and after cutting a proper cone, didn't note any further issues. There are, of course, better powders for stout loads, especially in .44.

I will admit I don't go for the max loads anymore, regardless of powder selection. I didn't notice any significant difference in terminal performance between a 125 gr JHP (.357) at 1250 f/s and 1450 f/s. The latter is obviously harder on the gun.

I do recall warnings about the use of Blue Dot in low temperatures possibly causing over pressure events. No memory beyond that as it was never a powder I personally used.

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Old 05-07-2018, 09:42 AM
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I use a lot of WSF for my " unique replacement " . 7.5 grs with a 158gr bullet is a winner for me . When I want more power but not full magnum I find 9.0 of HS-6 fills my need with same bullet , and I use a " Full " magnum primer with HS-6 loads .
I have used quite a bit of Accurate Arms 4100 , a bit slower burn rate than 2400 , faster than 110 . It was my go to powder for magnum loads when , for over 7 yrs I couldn't find one bottle of 2400 .
No complaining here , just saying that I filled a need with some different powders , they worked just fine and I have kept them in stock . Regards, Paul
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gehlsurf View Post
My "go-to" for pistols (10mm. 44 mag. 357, etc.) Has been blue dot. In 357 only 158 grns, not smaller per their warnings.

Just shot some Lil Gun under some 160 grn cast powder coated, 17.3 grns. It's no slouch!! And VERY accurate in my TRR8. I've read about come erosion, so that turns me off.

With all these powders and their limitations.... is there a powder out there that is known to be safer? Not better by any means, but safer for the long run.

What I have in stock now is Red Dot, trail boss, H110, Blue Dot, 410, Longshot, IMR 4227, Tite Wad, Lil Gun and some old Scot 4100. I have no shortage of powders lol. Some of you guys must have been running the same reloads for decades and still have in spec guns. So I figured I'd ask.

Thank you in advance for the help!
I like 5.5gr Red Dot under 158gr coated or lubed lead with FED200 for an accurate, mellow paper punching load. I get a little over 1200fps from 6" barrel and it is quite pleasant to shoot a lot of.

For full house loads 2400 is king. I was forced into trying loads with AA#9 when I couldn't find a jug of 2400 and I also liked it.

I have used 14.0gr of W296 (same powder as H110) behind a 158gr jacketed with FED200 and heavy crimps.
You will get great velocity, plus the fireball is impressive/distracting. Flame cutting? Going to go out on a limb here and say...um probably more than others.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:19 AM
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Wow, well 2400 and Unique is engraved in my brain now, lol. Good to hear that longshot is good, too. Low flash is good, because this gun is my side arm when I go night hunting, and flash can turn off NV in a heart beat (first think I thought when I saw the Lil Gun flash, its humungous!!).

Thank you again guys, as I have all these powders, but not sure what to use primarily and what to use as backups. Most of these I got for 410 and when powder was low. I just bought 5 lbs of Trail Boss, needed a little for 308 subs, but also because it's hard to come by. 300 blk out guys gobble it up. I'm like that, see powder that's useable in many applications, buy it!! Lol
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:40 AM
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Another Unique and 2400 guy here, with about 30 years using them in the 357. With 6 Gr Unique and 13.5 Gr 2400 under a 158 Gr LSWC, you pretty much have everything covered that a 357 Magnum will do. The Unique load is at around 1000 FPS and the 2400 is at about 1200. They changed 2400 a few years ago and 13 grains will probably give the same velocity as 13.5 used to. I haven't chronographed any 357s with the "new" 2400 yet, but it does produce higher velocities in other calibers. I shot a lot of the big Upstate NY tree squirrels with the Unique load, back in the 80s, with my 6" Security Six.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:53 AM
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I am glad to hear that you have 5 lbs of Trail Boss.

It will work with the little 148gr wc target bullet but in my snub and 6" revolvers.....
it does well with both the RN and WC design bullets from minimum loads to almost compressed loads in 38 and 357 cases.

A great load for the while family, while making the 357 into a 38 Special !!
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gehlsurf View Post
Of course, 2 powders I don't have!! Lol. Unique and 2400 does seem to be the go-to for many reloaders. I never go full max load anyhow. Not sure why, guess because I don't see a point, lol.

Have you guys been reloading these for a while? Seems I just read that titegroup has some issues, too with burning hot. I mainly want a powder where a few thousand rounds later, I'm not saying, "damn, should be listened to those guys. Now I need a new barrel!"
Since my 1st 357mag some 42 years ago. I did go to H110/W296 for max loads but realized with a 44mag, I don't need max loads to do anything including hunt big game.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:45 PM
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Never needed anything but 2400 in .357 Magnum .
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:59 PM
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Well here we go again , those claiming 2400 was changed some time ago . I personally called the powder co. , talked to one of the exec's and asked that very question , " has 2400 been changed ? " .
His response was , " not to our knowledge " . Went on to explain that if it had been changed, it could no longer be called " 2400 " . It would of had to be called , " 2300 or 2500 " but not 2400 anymore . He also explained that the powder industry is pretty tightly controlled .
So believe what you want , I take the powder co's word , first and foremost . I don't care what some writer says . Regards, Paul
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:56 PM
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Several years ago, I wanted to simplify my powder stock, for both handgun, and rifle. For what I have, the handgun powders were easy, 2400, and power pistol are my two. The rifle powder, well, I'm still working on that. Trimming the herd, will have to happen first, and I'm not sure I want too
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:45 AM
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Of course, 2 powders I don't have!! Lol. Unique and 2400 does seem to be the go-to for many reloaders. I never go full max load anyhow. Not sure why, guess because I don't see a point, lol.
Well, 2400 is my full house .357 powder, but I've been using BE86 for lower pressure target loads in .44 and .454. Burns really clean at lower pressures and meters fine in my Auto Disc. Burn rate is right about at Unique's.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:29 AM
gehlsurf gehlsurf is offline
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Well, I'm hear to report back.... still haven't gotten any 2400 or Unique, but IMR 4227 and H-110 has been floated, so tried those, since they were on hand. These were 160 grn cast RN Powder Coated bullets. Used 15.5 grn powder (on both powders, from my reloading this was about middle of road). Both ran well! While I don't have a chronograph, by the reload books should've been about the same FPS, 1,250 to 1,300 range (good enough for me). The H110 seems to have a heavier kick back and MUCH larger flame!! IMR 4227 was more tame feeling and no noticeable flame.

Still gonna get some 2400 or Unique for sure. But was happy about the IMR 4227, as my TRR8 is sometimes my back up hunting gun. I go hunting at night as well with it (obvious reasons, IR light/laser), and nothing sucks more than you NV killed by flame and having to turn off/on you PVS14 after a shot!!! Also, good for home defense as it wont blind you, God forbid you have to use it.

Thought I'd share my experience for folks who haven't tried IMR 4227 yet. Seems like a good one! But 2400 and Unique are next on the shelves, as sometimes you can't just have one powder choice, or even 2....

Again guys. Thanks for all the advice!!
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:40 AM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
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gehlsurf wrote:
What I have in stock now is Red Dot, trail boss, H110, Blue Dot, 410, Longshot, IMR 4227,...
Of those, I would first explore IMR-4227. I have loaded it a lot (at one time I also had an M1 Carbine so it would work in both) and was very satisfied.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:42 AM
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In magnum powders , IMR 4227 gets more use on my bench than any of the others . It's single based , the others are double based hence the reason for more recoil . It gives up a little in velocity but has excellent accuracy , esp with heavier bullets . Some have claimed accuracy fell off after numerous rounds . That has never been my experience . I personally believe they were blaming the powder for their own personal failures . Regards, Paul
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:22 AM
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Another vote for unique, it’s my go to powder for 90% of my needs. I really like Tailboss for light loads.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:06 PM
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My good friend Ron Power once told me he asked J.B. Hodgdon what magnum powder was "easiest" on forcing cones. The answer was 4227. He said any ball powder had a sand blast affect on the cone and top strap.

For what it's worth.....

Dan

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Old 05-11-2018, 07:54 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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While I favor H110 for the magnum trio,I can't find a single negative point about 2400.Yes,I think it is a little snappier than my favorite and gives up a few fps but one can do a lot worse than 2400.For my part,the few pounds I can find in my neck of the woods(altough supply has improved a lot these last 2 years)I save for my cast bullets rifle loads.
Since you said you don't need full power loads in your .357,I think Unique is your best bet.
IMR 4227,while an excellent one is,in my opinion too slow burning for such a small combustion chamber.The nice side of it is that it will fill the case and not create overly dangerous pressure and,as an aside,is extremely accurate in any handgun I've tried it in.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
In magnum powders , IMR 4227 gets more use on my bench than any of the others . It's single based , the others are double based hence the reason for more recoil . It gives up a little in velocity but has excellent accuracy , esp with heavier bullets . Some have claimed accuracy fell off after numerous rounds . That has never been my experience . I personally believe they were blaming the powder for their own personal failures . Regards, Paul
Maybe it was THEIR accuracy that fell off after numerous rounds. I know mine would after getting hammered by more than a few stiff .357 rounds.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:39 PM
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Default I've only seen one pound......

I've only seen one pound of BE 86 in a store in Charlotte, NC, which is a few hours from me.

I know that I can get a light to pretty warm load with Unique. That's one versatile powder.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:15 PM
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If by "Long Term Powder" you mean "powder that will remain stable for the longest period of time when properly stored, either loaded in cartridges or not" the 2400, Unique, Bullseye trifecta is unbeatable.

From .32 S&W through .38 S&W, .38 Special, nine, .357, .40, .44, .45 and 7.62x39, .30-30 those three are all you really NEED for target through full power magnum.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:43 AM
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My suggestion is to find other powders that will work instead of relying on the " old trinity " -- Bullseye , Unique , 2400 . I have been through several component shortages and those 3 are always the ones that disappear first and are gone , out of sight the longest . Regards, Paul
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:20 PM
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Since you already have Red Dot, try it. I've used 5.5gr of Red Dot under 158gr bullet(xtreme plated) with great results.
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