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Old 02-12-2020, 01:38 PM
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Hi to all. Wondering if I could get some clarification. I'm some what confused. Using Hodgdon H110 for the 357 mag with 125 grain JHP, I have 4 different load date manuals that call for a wide range of powder weight. Lyman at 21-22, Nosler 14.9-15.9, Speer 18-20 and Hodgdon's web sight states 21-22 grains.
Do you see my confusion?
And just for comparison, Hodgdon says the 44 mag calls for 23-24 grains of H110.
I am currently using Titegroup, and seems to work well. Just thought it odd there's that much differences between manuals.
I would like to see your feedback.
Thank you Neil.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NeilMo View Post
Hi to all. Wondering if I could get some clarification. I'm some what confused. Using Hodgdon H110 for the 357 mag with 125 grain JHP, I have 4 different load date manuals that call for a wide range of powder weight. Lyman at 21-22, Nosler 14.9-15.9, Speer 18-20 and Hodgdon's web sight states 21-22 grains.
Do you see my confusion?
And just for comparison, Hodgdon says the 44 mag calls for 23-24 grains of H110.
I am currently using Titegroup, and seems to work well. Just thought it odd there's that much differences between manuals.
I would like to see your feedback.
Thank you Neil.
Go with the lowest weight load and work up to satisfy your particular needs as recoil and accuracy will vary. You'll know the best load when you shoot it. I would lean toward the data from the bullet companies like Speer, Hornady and Nosler. I think they test a lot more with specific bullets than the powder companies. Personally I use the Hornady manual and cross reference with Speer who seem to be on the upper side of the equation.

Stay away from hot 357 loads with 125 gr. bullets. They will flame cut your revolver. Just a heads up.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:56 PM
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The biggest anomaly you cite, the Nosler data, is easy to explain. 14.9 to 15.9 is what they quote for a 158 gr. bullet, not a 125. The Speer data is for their bullet, in their test firearm.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:02 PM
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Pisgah, You are right. Just looked it up and it is a 158gr bullet. My bad! And thank you for the input.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:06 PM
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Thank you for the reply. Very helpful. And yes I always stay away from top ended loads.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:24 PM
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I will advise that with H-110/W-296 that loads should not be less than 10% below maximum. This is due to the potential of this powder to not ignite in a uniform manner when lightly loaded. H-110/W-296 is best when seeking the highest velocity possible from the magnum pistol calibers.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:32 PM
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Every manual publisher uses different guns, different components, different bullet weights, and different seating depths to generate their data. Find the range that most closely matches your desired configuration (especially with H110) and go with that range. This is why it is valuable to have multiple up to date manuals.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:59 PM
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You will see different load data for the reasons cited by Amanwearingahat in post #7 . That's due to all the many variables.
Get at least 4 different references . Try to use data for your exact bullet, not just the same weight ...Hornady bullet use Hornady data.
Cross check those numbers with powder manufacturer .
When in doubt , start with lowest starting charge and work up slowly .
Ask questions but always double check info gleaned from the internet, easy to hit the wrong key while typing and Published Data Rules ...buy loading manuals .
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:52 PM
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When faced with so much conflicting data, use either the powder manufacturers data or the projectile manufacturers data as your starting point to work up from.

Anytime you alter the recipe, back off some and rework if you are loading at MAX

Back in the late early eighties I worked up my H110/Winchester 125 JHP load. 21.7 grains lit up by a CCI 550 primer

Now about 40 years later, I still use the 21.7 grains of H110 but have switched to a Winchester magnum SP primer. I reworked the load, and it could have gone a bit higher, but I was used to 21.7 grains

During a projectile shortage a couple of decades ago, I also reworked the load with an IMI 125 JSP and 21.7 grains was still in the performance envelope


In more recent years, I stockpiled projectiles. I am down to almost 5,000 of the IMIs and I am not sure of the Winchester count

If there is anything I learned from my recent move, it is that I need to post a WTS ad and start reducing the tonnage in the loading room
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:28 PM
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~21 for 125ís and ~15 for 158ís.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:08 PM
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Groo here
Look at the amount of bullet in the case when crimped...
Makers very the size and depth of the hollow point ,angle and shape of the
nose, size of the flat, and flat or concave the base
All this changes the depth the bullet seats in the case to meet the over all length and there for how much space there is for the powder.
Changing the load....
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:20 PM
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Here's a pic of all the different 125gn bullets from the Midway 357 load map. Too many variations in lengths and cannelure positions to start guessing. As others have said already, the seating depth is quite different from brand to brand. Example- Nosler seats about .025" deeper in the case than a Hornady XTP and is the reason the powder charge is considerably lighter.
I'd suggest downloading the entire Midway 357 load map. It has load data for every bullet in the below picture and several more from 110gn all the way up to 200gn. I found it much easier to use specifics when I started loading 357 Magnum, and much safer to get an exact starting load.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:12 PM
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Published data has been pressure tested & with the EXACT set of components listed . If one chooses to change even one it's prudent to go with a starting load & work up slowly in your gun . As stated above different bullets even of the same weight have different seating depths . More of available space in a case = less pressure , a deeper seated bullet decreases this which raises pressure . Primers will also have an effect on pressures . Look at data for the weight bullet you want to use . Find the powders that give highest velocities with the least amount of pressure & best case fill . These will be the best suited for THIS particular load . When people chase speed with light for caliber bullets add a slower ball powder is when you have flame cutting & / or forcing cone wear . The 125 JHP 357 loads excel at varmit eradication be they 2 or 4 legged . For other uses you'll be better served with more appropriate bullet weights . Reloading is like following a recipe when cooking . If one insists on improvising sometimes it don't turn out so good .
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:42 PM
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If in doubt, use the lowest listed powder charge. If I'm using Hodgdon powder, I'll use Hodgdon data. If I'm using Hornady bullets I'll use Hornady data.

As mentioned above, most testing facilities will have their own lot of components (brass, powder, bullets and primers) which may be different from an other lab's supplies, even though the "same" components are used. Some labs test with universal receivers and some with actual guns. Some lab's testing equipment (barrels, receivers, and/or guns) may be well worn and some may be brand new. If I saw two test data that were exactly the same, I would question the source of that data...
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:05 PM
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All manuals are diff because all testing is diff. Diff test platforms, components, climates, temps, it all matters. It is why reloading data is a guide & not a bible. When working with something new, I look for 3 vetted data sources & average the middle & max data. I rarely if ever use starting data for anything unless looking for a really minor load.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:00 PM
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I just spent 2 hours over on that Midway 357 load map. index - powered by h5ai v0.29.0 (https://larsjung.de/h5ai/)

Done in 1999 and lots of good consolidated data. I have a few problems with it. The recipes for H4227 are different than I4227. We are told every day they are exactly the same.

Also they use a concept of RGS for groups size which is actually only for the MAX load they show. None of the other lesser powder amounts are shown. I almost never see the MAX load with the best group size, so what does it even mean? Whose bad MAX is the best?

Anybody else follow that link for 357 data?

Prescut

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Old 02-13-2020, 09:32 PM
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Just went out today with some 125gr 357 mag reloads for testing in my Old Model 6" Black Hawk. Started at 21.0 gr of 296, zero signs of pressure. Brass just fell out. Didn't group worth a dam. 8.5gr of Unique did way better
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:51 PM
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Just an FYI. I've actually loaded 21 grains of H110 behind a 125 grain Hornady XTP. Wanted to see if I could get better than 1450 fps from my 4 inch model 620.

First, this was as loud or louder than a 500 Magnum. Also had a muzzle flash that extended halfway down a 50 foot range according to a couple of witnesses.

Second, posts about flame cutting are 100% true. While it didn't do any real harm prior to this excursion the hottest 357 Magnum I had run in my 620 were American Eagle SJSP range Magnums. So I sort of broke the virginity on my top strap with this beast of a load and to this day feel a bit guilty about it.

Final note, out of a 20 inch 1892 this load will hit over 2200 FPS and the bullet will not spin apart into pieces. However with a steel crescent butt plate it is a bit brutal to to shoot. If I ever re-stock that 1892 it's going to get a shotgun style stock.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:16 PM
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I've been reloading for decades and sometimes I have really had to scratch my head. But the advice here is the best there is. Start low, work up.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by oddshooter View Post
I just spent 2 hours over on that Midway 357 load map. index - powered by h5ai v0.29.0 (https://larsjung.de/h5ai/)

Done in 1999 and lots of good consolidated data. I have a few problems with it. The recipes for H4227 are different than I4227. We are told every day they are exactly the same.

Anybody else follow that link for 357 data?

Prescut
Prescut, back around the era this was published, IMR4227 and H4227 were still 2 different powders from 2 different manufacturers. They were very close in burn rate, but not the exact same powder. If I am remembering correctly, one was manufactured in Australia and the other in Canada. But when Hodgdon bought out IMR, they dropped one of them and dropped the H4227 name and just started selling IMR4227 powder. I see what you mean on the Midway data, but I attribute this to the fact that the powders are similar but different.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:13 AM
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Fellows. Some what "new" to reloading handguns. How can you tell if your getting FLAME CUTTING?
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:04 AM
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I shoot Hornady bullets when I buy jacketed bullets. And only when they are on sale. 80% of my loaded ammo is cast lead bullets and the Lyman manual is the Book to have. I Accurate Arms powder using their on line reloading data. My latest is 7th Edition.

I have found these three manuals to be in agreement and not had any high pressure problems.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:15 AM
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Fellows. Some what "new" to reloading handguns. How can you tell if your getting FLAME CUTTING?
Magnum calibers operate at very high pressures and use a lot of very slow (slow for handgun propellant) powders. What you will see is a thin line of metal removed from the top strap of the frame, just above the gap where the cylinder ends and the barrel extension begins. That is what is usually referred to when flame cutting is discussed. It tends to be self limiting.

The other area to watch is the entrance to the barrel. With these high pressure rounds, you will begin to see the relatively sharp edge of the forcing cone begin to round off. In severe cases you will see this edge take on a rough surfaced, bevel shape. With the K-frame 357's (excluding the current production "Classic" 19 and 66) there is a flat spot at the bottom of the barrel extension for cylinder crane clearance. This is the spot where cracks can develop. This cracking is most often linked to using magnum loads with bullet weights of less than 140 grains.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:18 AM
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To echo what some others have said about W-296/H-110 in the 357 Magnum with 125 grain bullets, my experience was quite similar. High velocity, accuracy not always the best, and a fireball that would clear the firing line of neighbors. These days, I reserve W-296/H-110 to heavier bullets, it just seems more efficient with heavier bullets.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:07 AM
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A few observations and clarifications:

1) Bullets of the same weight differ in their "slipperiness" in the bore.

There are differences in jacket alloy and hardness, core alloy and hardness, differences in diameter and differences in bearing surface that all change the pressure generated with a given load.

A lot of handloaders recommend you use data from the powder company, because they make the powder, so their data must be best, right? Wrong. That data is based solely on cast versus jacketed and bullet weight and doesn't take into account the above mentioned variables in the bullet.

For the last 43 years my preference has always been to use data developed by the bullet manufacturer whenever it is available. I'll use powder company data, but it's a second or even third choice and I take it with a large grain of salt.

2) Seating depth and amount of crimp have significant influences on pressure.

In small high pressure rounds like the 9mm Luger pressure can quickly exceed a safe limit if the OAL is too short as the bullet will be seated too deep and reduce the initial volume available for the powder to ignite. That can occur due to set back as well when the round is chambered in a semi-auto pistol or carbine. Set back is a bigger issue with fast burning powders than it is with slow burning powders.

In large capacity rounds like the .357 Magnum, AOL is less important as the decrease in volume in the case if the bullet is seated slightly deeper usually isn't an issue. Seat to the crimp groove and leave it at that.

However, crimp matters for two reasons. First, if the crimp is not adequate the bullet can back out of the case under recoil. That becomes increasingly an issue with higher pressure loads in lighter weight handguns. Second, if the crimp is inadequate, the bullet can start down the cylinder before the powder fully ignites and that can create inconsistent ignition. A firm crimp will keep the bullet in place long enough to reach a point on the pressure curve where you get consistent ignition. This is much more important with slow burning powders than with fast burning powders.

3) Win 296 and H110 are the same powder.

They have been the same for decades. However, there is a lot of variation lot to lot in Win 296/H110. For example, if you start looking at manuals with .357 Mag data for both Win 296 and H110, you'll never find the same maximum charge, and in some cases you'll see a difference as high as .7 grains when used with the identical bullet and other identical components.

That's the potential lot to lot variation, and consequently you need to give up on the idea that there is some "perfect" maximum load, just from effects of lot to lot variation in the powder.

4) Published "nominal" charge weights are not a precise recipe.

I'm using a military example, but it applies to all powder, but most handloaders fail to understand this. You'll see this a lot in forum discussions where someone wants to replicate something like .30-06 M2 ball ammo. Someone will state that the load for it is "47.5 grains of IMR-4895 under a 150 gr FMJBT bullet".

The problem however is that the M2 Ball projectile varied from 152 grains down to 147 grains over the years. In addition, US Army TM 43-0001-27 (Army Ammunition Data Sheets: Small Caliber
Ammunition) on pages 5-7 describes the "Cartridge, Caliber .30, Ball, M2" as using:

"Propellant Type: IMR 4895
Weight: 50 grain"

That obviously isn't 47.5 grains of IMR-4895. However, less obviously, even though it coming from the US Army technical manual, 50 grains isn't "right" either. It's just a nominal load.

When a contractor or a government arsenal loaded M2 Ball ammo, they developed a load for a large lot of powder (2,000 to 10,000 pounds) and developed a specific charge weight for that lot of powder that might have varied from 46 to 52 grains based on the bulk grade powder used. There is no "precise" load that will magically replicate M2 Ball (or any other military load for that matter). The charge was determined based on what was required with that particular lot of powder to achieve the specified 2740 fps velocity measured at 78 feet from the muzzle.

I've seen similar discussions where a shooter would try to reverse engineer something like M118LR by pulling the bullet and weighing the powder charge, then determined that it uses "43.1 grains of RL-15, based on the weight they got on their scale and a rumor that RL-15 is what was used when M118LR was developed as it is less temperature sensitive than IMR-4064.

The problem is that when Federal makes M118LR, they don't buy canister grade RL-15. Instead they buy a large lot of a bulk powder that has the same chemical composition, structure, and similar burn rate, and then develop a specific powder charge for that lot of powder that produces the required military specified velocity while staying under the maximum specified average pressure.

Worse, you'll see the "internet expert" specify a "military match case". Back in the day 7.62x51 NATO brass was thicker than .308 Commercial brass, even though they otherwise share the same exact external dimensions. This was done to reduce the potential for a head separation that might jam an M60 with a barrel that had excessive headspace. As far as I know that's still the case with M80, but Federal uses their Gold Medal Match case in their "match" M118LR load. Interestingly enough, I bought 500 pieces of new in the package unfired Lake City stamped brass that had had the same average weight and volume of Federal GMM brass. Guess who makes that brass - and while it is stamped Lake City and Match, it is commercial brass with a lot more volume than the old Lake City Match brass.

Details matter, and you need to understand that a published "nominal load" is not a precise recipe for cloning military ammunition.

5) Powder variation only gets worse once you move away from canister grade powders.

There is less variation in the canister grade powders sold for the purpose of handloading, but there is still some lot to lot variation, which is why you are always supposed to start at least 10% below the maximum published charge weight.

Where handloaders get into test pilot territory is in using surplus powders. These are not canister grade powders and there is a lot of variation. For example .223 Rem /5.56x45 NATO handloaders will talk about BLC-2 being the civilian equivalent of WC 846 and H335 being the civilian equivalent of WC 844. What they fail to grasp is that there used to be just WC 846, and WC 844 was developed as a new specification on one end of the broader WC 846 specification. Look at how far apart BLC-2 and H335 are on a powder burn rate chart and understand that the WC846 spec treated them as the same powder.

WC 846 is still a broad specification and canister grade BLC-2 is just one point in that range. WC 844 is still much broader than H335 canister grade powder. Consequently, I cringe when I read someone pulled down a M193 ball round and proclaims you need to use X grains of WC844 with a 55 gr FMJBT to replicate M193 ball ammo.

In terms of surplus powder, there's new old stock surplus military powder, which I will use, with due regard to load development, and surplus pull down powder that I will not use under any circumstances. Pull down powder comes from rounds that were made from a number of different lots of powder along that very wide range, and you have no idea what you have and whether the mix even comes close to the original specification. Don't go there, regardless of how cheap the powder may be.

6) Use a chronograph to verify your results are in the expected ball park.

Even if you follow the recipe in the manual precisely, using the identical components specified, your results may vary a bit due to differences between the test firearm used to develop the load and your firearm. That's pretty obvious, especially when the barrel lengths are different.

What is less obvious that even with two firearms of the same make and model you can get significant velocity differences. You may find that 2 S&W 686 revolvers with the same dash number and barrel length may produce a 50 fps to even 150 fps differences in velocity with the same load.

New tooling will produce larger chamber and bore dimensions than old tooling and that makes a difference. Cylinder gap also makes a big difference in velocity. A revolver with chambers and bore cut with old, almost ready to be retired tooling and a tight cylinder gap may well be 150 fps faster than the same model and barrel length revolver made with new tooling and with a larger cylinder gap.

So...don't think you have to, or even can, match a published velocity, even if they used the same make, model and barrel length revolver as yours. Pay attention to pressure signs and stop when it looks like the pressure may be excessive, even if you are still under the published maximum velocity for that load. Personally, I back off slightly in .357 Mag when the cases start to stick on ejection, and that can vary from revolver to revolver.

Over time you'll get a feel for where your firearm performs versus published load data.

Once you have a load that works, use a chronograph, both as a sanity check to see how a lot of powder performs, and to adjust the charge weight for that lot of powder to give you the same average velocity as the load with the old lot of powder that worked well for you. You'll spend less time developing loads if you buy powder in 8 pound kegs.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:28 PM
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I keep a few nuclear 357 and 44 magnums loaded with 296 or 110 fror those times at indoor range when a mall ninja is there beside me with a short barrel muzzle braked AR doing mag dumps.
A cylinder usually gets their attention real fast.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:09 PM
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Just went out today with some 125gr 357 mag reloads for testing in my Old Model 6" Black Hawk. Started at 21.0 gr of 296, zero signs of pressure. Brass just fell out. Didn't group worth a dam. 8.5gr of Unique did way better
I know this is a 296-h110 post but 125 jacketed do really good in my 19-3 at 50 yards if you are looking for a target load. I don't wont to rattle my 19 apart with 296. I used a Lee manual on the low side for this. The bullets were from National Bullet Company and are not in business any more.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:21 AM
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Fellows. This is a "general" question. Loading for handguns is somewhat new to me. I'll be loading for a Model 65 in .357 magnum using the 100's of 158grain Hornady bullets I purchased years ago.

I realize that asking for a choice of power is opening a can of worms as everyone has their choice. I've got a couple kegs of WW231 and would like to use. BUT, from what I gather, it seems that powder is just OK and that there are "better" options.

If I look into other powder options should I simply look for a powder that has a burning rate that is "popular" when using these heavy weight bullets?
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:37 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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Fellows. This is a "general" question. Loading for handguns is somewhat new to me. I'll be loading for a Model 65 in .357 magnum using the 100's of 158grain Hornady bullets I purchased years ago.

I realize that asking for a choice of power is opening a can of worms as everyone has their choice. I've got a couple kegs of WW231 and would like to use. BUT, from what I gather, it seems that powder is just OK and that there are "better" options.

If I look into other powder options should I simply look for a powder that has a burning rate that is "popular" when using these heavy weight bullets?
You can use W-231/HP-38 in the 357 Magnum, but, just like with Bullseye and any other fast burning rate powder, there will not be much powder in the case, so be careful that you don't double charge a case. You also will not be getting magnum velocities and with jacketed bullets, I think they are best reserved for high velocity loads. W-231/HP-38 in the 357 Magnum is best suited for light, target loads using lead bullets. For load data, use 38 Special data and expect to add 0.2 to 0.5 grains extra to compensate for the larger internal capacity of 357 Magnum brass.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ptf18 View Post
Fellows. This is a "general" question. Loading for handguns is somewhat new to me. I'll be loading for a Model 65 in .357 magnum using the 100's of 158grain Hornady bullets I purchased years ago.

I realize that asking for a choice of power is opening a can of worms as everyone has their choice. I've got a couple kegs of WW231 and would like to use. BUT, from what I gather, it seems that powder is just OK and that there are "better" options.

If I look into other powder options should I simply look for a powder that has a burning rate that is "popular" when using these heavy weight bullets?
For an accurate load 2400 is my choice with a 357 mag with a 158 jacketed or gas check bullet and you don't have to use a magnum primer + the powder pretty much fills the case + you can back the charge down with out a problem. Price wise 231 will load a lot more bullets per pound for plinking and I use some with 45 and 38 but not my first choice. 231 is very good with lead bullets in 38 special--especially 141-148 wad cutters but I use bullseye for them. There are lots of powder choices. I target shoot 1-2 times a week and pull my better targets and file them and mark them in my Lyman reloading manual. What ever has the tightest group is normally what I load unless I am trying a different powder. When I get through testing I usually go back to the tried and true loads. I am retired and the range is 4 miles away and I spend 4-6 hours a day in my man cave. That's my powder story and I'm-- stikkin to it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:16 PM
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[QUOTE=Stay away from hot 357 loads with 125 gr. bullets. They will flame cut your revolver. Just a heads up.[/QUOTE]

Absolutely GREAT advice. The first 357 Maximum I bought had top strap flame cutting. The previous owner wanted 125 grain bullets at the highest possible velocity. He should have stayed with 180-200 grain bullets.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:59 PM
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I'd go with the powder manufacturers loads , look in their book . I use 2400 in .357 and load H110 in my .44 Mag Ruger Carbine .
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