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Old 05-01-2020, 03:28 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Default Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686

Hi All,
I would like to duplicate the famous Federal 1450 fps 125gn semi jacketed hollow point ammo in my S&W Model 686 revolver with 4" barrel. I have the bullets and some powders that will get the job done (like H110), but I was hoping for some folks to share their tried and true recipes for getting that velocity out of a 4" revolver with a minimum of flash and clean burning. None of the reloading manuals I've checked used a 4" revolver barrel with 1:18 3/4" twist. I think this is important because the cylinder gap in a revolver will bleed off significant pressure unlike the test barrels used by the powder and bullet manufacturers. I know I'll have to fine tune any load for my revolver, which has considerable mileage on it, but I was hoping to start off in the ballpark. I chronographed factory Federal C357B ammo some years back in this revolver and velocity was about 1430 fps on average. I was thinking about using VV N110 because their published speed range is phenomenal and the powder is supposed to be clean burning and low flash, but again the test barrel didn't factor in the same length, rate of twist, or cylinder gap as my revolver so I have no idea where to set my initial powder charges without sacrificing many bullets in the process. If anyone has a homemade recipe for pushing a 125gn JHP to 1450 fps out of a 4" revolver I'd appreciate seeing it. Please also include type of primer used and COL. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 05-02-2020, 03:26 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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20.0gr/H110 (SPM primer) will get you 1400fps (+/- 15fps, pistol dependent) from a 4" revolver using HDY 125gr XTP, in the tests I see in Handloader.

Hodgdon goes up to 22.0gr with that same bullet on their website.

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Old 05-02-2020, 07:19 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Default Easy way to extrapolate......

.....data from a 10" 'test barrel" into your revolver's barrel length.

Use a Chronograph.


Doing it mathematically is about as feasible as converting copper crushing units to psi.

PS: Alliant web data says 300-MP can get 1450 fps out of a '10" barrel" with a load of 22.3 grains.

Their 2400 powder can get 1409 fps with a charge of 17.5 grains.
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:42 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Western Powder data says you should be able to do it with AA 9, AA 4100, or Ramshot Enforcer.
AA 9 I have experience with and I would classify it as a relatively low flash and boom powder.
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:18 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Many years ago I bought a new 4 inch Model 686 CS-1. Cronographed both Winchester and Federal factory 125 grain JHP loads. They both went about the same speed over the chrono- about 1335-1340 FPS. There can be a great deal of difference in velocity form one gun to another, with the same barrel length. I'm not saying those loads would not do 1450 in any gun, but IMHO It would be a rare 4" gun that will produce the 1450 with the Federal load. If I were looking for a factory load that would go that fast, I would try Underwood or Buffalo Bore. In my youth, I tried to duplicate the hot 125 gr loads with close to max charges of H110 in front of SP magnum primers. I was using a 2.5" Model 19 back then and had no chronograph, but I was probably getting around 1250 FPS, and tremendous muzzle blast. For more insight into velocity differences from gun to gun, read this short article and look at the velocity charts. It is surprising, especially for the 6 inch revolvers.


Why Ballisticians Get Gray
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:23 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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When the smoke settles.....................

you might find that your weapon gets better accuracy with that 125 gr JHP bullet only going around 1250fps for target work.

I can get my 686 6" over 1500fps with medium fast to medium burning powders. I save my 2400 for the heavier 158 gr bullets.

For SD loads I prefer 140 gr bullets or heavier, in case of heavy clothing.
Not saying that lighter bullets will not work, though.
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Old 05-02-2020, 01:27 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Exclamation If you really NEED EXACTLY 1,450 fps...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
20.0gr/H110 (SPM primer) will get you 1400fps (+/- 15fps, pistol dependent) from a 4" revolver using HDY 125gr XTP, in the tests I see in Handloader.

Hodgdon goes up to 22.0gr with that same bullet on their website.

.
...using H110 and a 125 gr JHP out of a 4" barrel you are going to need access to a chronograph.

Using MINUS 37.5 fps for an approximate reduction per inch of barrel as an estimate, then 10" - 4" = 6" X 37.5 = a reduction of 225 fps.

Hodgdons shows 21.0 gr of H110 for 1,881 in a 10" barrel, 1,881 - 225 = 1,656. This is 200 fps higher than your goal.

{{{{CORRECTION: ACTUAL fps REDUCTION (per Ballistics by the Inch) is 1,943 - 1,511= MINUS 432 fps for that Federal 357 Magnum 125 gr going from a 10" to 4" barrel. THIS WOULD BE 72 fps per inch.}}}}

I'd opine that 20.0 gr would probably generate somewhat higher results than BLUEDOT37's estimate of 1,400 fps. They have other published 357 Magnum loads using H110 at other bullet weights (i.e., for 140 gr bullets) going down to 12 gr of H110.

However, if you must use H110...

Get access to a chronograph and load up a few at 17, 18 and 19 gr: make sure they put holes in the target. Then go from there. H110's "no less than 3% reduction warnings" have more to do with the possibility of incomplete ignition & squibs: why they would use a 10" barrel for their load data is beyond me. It is, by the way, explicitly contradicted by their own published data for the 140gr FTX bullet: their START of 12.0 gr is 17%+ lower than their MAX of 14.5 gr.

A 17% reduction of their 22.0 gr MAX for the 125 gr XTP is... 18.2 gr.

It is well known that a good crimp is ALWAYS advisable with this powder. Let us know your experience should you take this route.

Good Luck! & CHEERS!

P.S. Longshot and HS6 near MAX might be more applicable powders. AA#9 and 2400 also come to mind.

Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 05-03-2020 at 01:33 PM. Reason: CORRECTION
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:06 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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If you really expect to see 1450 chronographed fps with a 125 gr JHP
out of a 4" revolver barrel then you will probably have to use 18.0 grs
of 2400 and a magnum primer. Forget the low flash part. Top velocity
comes with a price.
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Old 05-02-2020, 04:09 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Here some different powders were tested with a generic 125gr JHP;




Here I'm testing three different primers for velocity and accuracy with H-110;



Here is the highest velocity I ever got with 300-MP using Alliant's receipe.



Velocity data taken with an Oehler model 33
Gun 4" 686 no dash.

According to my chronograph 1450 was a difficult goal to reach with this gun. I only recorded anything at or over this once with 296. But chronographs don't always agree with one another..

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-02-2020, 04:28 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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To reach 1450 FPS in a 4" you will need a LARGE charge of H110/296

I have not chronographed any 4" revolvers with this load

Remember five identical 4" revolvers will give you five different velocity readings. Many things can alter velocities . . . . bore condition, barrel/cylinder gap, chamber diameter, rifling type, are probably the biggest culprits

I load the Winchesrter 125 JHP over 21.7 grains of H110 using a Winchester small pistol magnum primer

I have been shooting this load for over 30 years. During that time I have chronographed it in five firearms. This was two strings (1 hour apart) of five shots

3 1/2" Model 27 yeilded an average of 1315 FPS
5" Model 627 yeilded an average of 1416 FPS
6" Model 27 yeilded an average of 1531 FPS
8" Colt Python yeilded an average of 1599 FPS
18" Model 92 lever yeilded an average of 2196 FPS

Your revolver will give us a different number
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Old 05-02-2020, 04:28 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Excellent post RDub! I recall trying to work up max loads with H110/125 Gr JHP and I could not go as high as the loading manual showed because I got high pressure signs at about 19.5 grains, so I stopped there. Of course this was a model 19, back in the mid 1970s. Each gun can be different in how they show pressure. I did not know enough to measure cylinder throats or groove diameter back then either.
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:04 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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With no attempt to hi-jack this thread...

Interesting reloading fact: The Hodgdons site lists the following load for 357 SIG using a 125gr GDHP from a 4" barrel @ 1,438 fps. Energy S/B similar (a little less, but I don't know why...?) to a Speer factory 357 Magnum 125gr GDHP as well. The factory Speer 357 SIG GDHP is listed at 1,350 fps per Ballistics 101?

No START load, just a MAX of 10.0gr. C (as in "Compressed", although that's no tbeen my experience) 800-X loaded at 1.135".

I've loaded 38 Specials (and some up to +P velocities) with this powder for years with much less concern. For some reason Hodgdons does not list a single load in 38 Special for this powder at any bullet weight? Here, again, they use a 7.7" barrel for the load data: who has a 38 Special with a 7.7" barrel?

Granted it is not the easiest to drop, but I use a scale for all my loads. Can't recall re:"clean", low flash, etc., but it always goes BANG! and no accuracy problems.

To me it is VERY flexible and easy to use: and with 15+1 in my M&P it's a lot of firepower before one needs to reload! Some things are just easier than others.

Cheers!
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:33 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal View Post
Excellent post RDub! I recall trying to work up max loads with H110/125 Gr JHP and I could not go as high as the loading manual showed because I got high pressure signs at about 19.5 grains, so I stopped there. Of course this was a model 19, back in the mid 1970s. Each gun can be different in how they show pressure. I did not know enough to measure cylinder throats or groove diameter back then either.
Yes, the 19s are nice guns but the K frame just can't handle these max loads. Even back in my LE days we were told not to shoot too many 357 factory loads in the 19.. Eventually they had to go back to the armorer for repair.
The L frame is much stronger, and of coarse the N frames were beasts..
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:39 PM
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Just my opinion here but I would never run loads with H110/W296 in anything but an 'N' frame. Yes, the 686 is indeed a .357 MAGNUM caliber but sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should. It will be hard on the gun, massive flame cutting on the top strap, multiple fireballs on every trigger squeeze will be daylight bright HUGE, loosening the cylinder in the frame, etc. depending on how much you shoot.

I remember all the different things I tried to get an honest 1150 fps from a 125 gr XTP in a 1-7/8" barrel J-frame. H110 never even got close to that velocity and was super unpleasant to shoot. The load that actually got the stated velocity was actually not that bad to shoot. All the initial shots were fired through an Oehler 35P from a 6" N-frame model 28 before they went through my 340PD.

I accomplished my goal but long story short, it cost me my 340PD. It was a fun experiment and I learned a lot along the way but the cost was a bit high. Could I talk my way into S&W replacing my gun? Maybe but it wouldn't be even remotely close to morally decent.

FWIW, I have put together and shot many thousands of .357 Magnum loads with HS-6 powder that are fast, accurate, give a good magnum 'feel' to the gun, and are fun to shoot.

YMMV, just my $0.02
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
20.0gr/H110 (SPM primer) will get you 1400fps (+/- 15fps, pistol dependent) from a 4" revolver using HDY 125gr XTP, in the tests I see in Handloader.

Hodgdon goes up to 22.0gr with that same bullet on their website.

.
I've actually tested a 125 gn HDY HP over 21.5 grains of H110. Pistol used was my S&W model 620 and the produced velocity was 1410 fps, just a tad short. The muzzle blast produced was a close rival to a 500 Magnum and according to witnesses the flash was 20 feet long. In addition the flash ring from the B/C gap totally obscured the target. IMO this is NOT a practical load for for a handgun but would be a very flat shooting load for a Rifle. I also expect that in a 20 inch Short Rifle it would probably break 2200 fps.

IMO H110 is a fantastic powder for Rifle loads but it's a poor choice for 357 Magnum Handgun loads. It's just too slow burning and needs a longer barrel to be really efficient. For my handgun I use Accurate #5 for the Magnum "light" and Accurate # 9 for more serious loads.

I'll also note that my primary arm for home defense is a 12 gage shotgun. Because it is vastly more devastating than any handgun.

Last edited by scooter123; 05-02-2020 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:24 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Outstanding feedback everyone. I figured H110 would get me close but thanks to RDub's amazingly detailed charts with the same model revolver as mine I have a decent starting point. I already have a couple/three pounds of H110 that I use with 158gn loads and in my 44 mags. Has anyone experimented with VihtaVuori N110 with 125gn bullets in a 4" revolver? Their website says it can push a 125gn bullet from 1683 to 1811 fps from a 7" 357 mag test barrel, but that seems ridiculously fast. The reason I'm interested in this powder is because it's supposed to be clean burning and have relatively low flash. Where did the 37.5 fps decrease per barrel inch come from STORMINORMAN? That's an extremely handy tool if reliable. Is that number specific to the caliber or the type of powder being used? Does it take into consideration pressure/velocity loss because of the cylinder gap? Thanks for educating me. I'm not concerned about pinpoint accuracy with this particular load and I don't intend to feed a steady diet of it to my revolver. I just want to have it in my arsenal. I won't be able to test this load for a while because none of the indoor ranges around me allow bullets with exposed lead so I have to wait for the opportunity to drive out to the dessert. I do have a chronograph though and will report back with my findings, but I'm hoping for some feedback on VV N110 before then. Thanks all.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
{snip}

IMO H110 is a fantastic powder for Rifle loads but it's a poor choice for 357 Magnum Handgun loads. It's just too slow burning and needs a longer barrel to be really efficient. For my handgun I use Accurate #5 for the Magnum "light" and Accurate # 9 for more serious loads. {snip}


Off topic, but do you believe the same is true for the 44 Magnum cartridge?
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:56 AM
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Imo, I doubt the original 125gr loads actually made 1450fps in most 4" guns, probably closer to 1400. Whether your gun makes it with a max load is guess. I have 5 diff 4" 357, all give diff vel with identical,loads, one is always upto 100fps slower.
For lowest flash, I would try aa#9. I can hit 1350fps in 4 of my 4" guns with most of the slower powders; 2400, bluedot, h110 & aa#9. Trying to milk 50fps, why.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:23 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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I don't use light bullets in a 357 , but looking at data it might be possible .
VV 4th edition shows with a Horn 125 XTP ,oal of 1.575" , N 110 start load of 16.8grs = 1,601fps , max of 18.4grs compressed load = 1,772fps . With N350 start load of 9.6grs = 1,496fps , max of 10.2 = 1,561fps . Now this is out a 7" barrel & pressures are CIP not SAAMI max limit of 43,500psi . SAAMI is max of 35,000psi .
Hornady 6th Edition with 125 XTP shows a max of 16.1grs N-110 = 1,500fps as does max of W296 @ 20.3grs & H110 max of 19.9grs . These are out an 8" Python at SAAMI max pressure of 35,000psi .
At SAAMI limit I'd say no , CIP limit yes it's possible if your gun is in good mechanical condition & no pressure signs as you work up over a good chronograph . You'll get less flash from VV , RS & Acc powders . 2400 & H110 / W296 are flashy .
125 JHP pushed fast like you want are hard on guns . Your L frame can handle pressure but it will accelerate wear , possible flame cutting , forcing cone errosion & barrel wear . IMHO if you wish to shoot these type loads a bunch get a Ruger .
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:55 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Originally Posted by Puritan View Post
Outstanding feedback everyone. Has anyone experimented with VihtaVuori N110 with 125gn bullets in a 4" revolver? .
I did do a work up with N110 with a 125gr Sierra bullet in the 4" 686 some years back. 18.0grs was as far as I should go. I got around 1365-1380 fps, depending on ambient temps. With the 125gr bullet weight, it didn't keep up with 300-MP or H-110/296. for velocity yield. But, the powder is clean and provides decent accuracy with not a great deal of flash. When we burn this much powder in this length barrel, some flash will always be present. It does a good job with 44 Mag as well.

I have often found VihtaVuori data to be rather optimistic with their numbers. A good chronograph set up properly will tell the real story..

As a side note, you might find this interesting..
I like to do 'pull-downs' with various factory loads, and post them over at the 10mm Forum. The particular round is examined and shot for accuracy. Here is some 357 125gr factory loads;

357 Mag Winchester 125gr JHP Super X - Factory Ammo pull-downs - 10mm-firearms.com

357 Mag REM-UMC 125gr JSP - Factory Ammo pull-downs - 10mm-firearms.com

357 Mag Federal 125gr JHP - Factory Ammo pull-downs - 10mm-firearms.com

357 Mag BuffaloBore Heavy 125gr JHP 19D - Factory Ammo pull-downs - 10mm-firearms.com

A few years before I standardized this method I looked at the Gold Dot 125gr factory load;

https://i.postimg.cc/yYRNKpxB/Speer125-GD.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/TYDz1Zn7/Speer20-8grs.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/1XQDkh2q/Speer-GD-125gr.jpg

So, we see that Win, Rem, and Fed ammo is loaded with 19.5-19.8 grs of a non-canister ball powder.

The Gold Dot load contains 20.8grs of ball powder.

The BB contains 22.4 grs of what ever that is. That is close to Alliants recipe with 300-MP for 125gr bullet weight, but I can't come close to the velocity I get with the BB ammo using 300-MP..
When you light one of those BB rounds off, you know something just happened!

So we can see the main line factory loads, Win, Rem, Fed are loaded rather mild in comparison to 22.0grs of H-110/296.

As you have well stated, having these max loads are fun for occasional use, a steady diet could prematurely ware a gun out.

I lived in LA way back when and went out to the desert to shoot often. Fun times. Have fun.

Last edited by RDub; 05-06-2020 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:26 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Exclamation Uhhh... No. Not exactly...

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Originally Posted by Puritan View Post
Outstanding feedback everyone. I figured H110 would get me close but thanks to RDub's amazingly detailed charts with the same model revolver as mine I have a decent starting point. I already have a couple/three pounds of H110 that I use with 158gn loads and in my 44 mags. Has anyone experimented with VihtaVuori N110 with 125gn bullets in a 4" revolver? Their website says it can push a 125gn bullet from 1683 to 1811 fps from a 7" 357 mag test barrel, but that seems ridiculously fast. The reason I'm interested in this powder is because it's supposed to be clean burning and have relatively low flash. Where did the 37.5 fps decrease per barrel inch come from STORMINORMAN? That's an extremely handy tool if reliable. Is that number specific to the caliber or the type of powder being used? Does it take into consideration pressure/velocity loss because of the cylinder gap? Thanks for educating me. I'm not concerned about pinpoint accuracy with this particular load and I don't intend to feed a steady diet of it to my revolver. I just want to have it in my arsenal. I won't be able to test this load for a while because none of the indoor ranges around me allow bullets with exposed lead so I have to wait for the opportunity to drive out to the dessert. I do have a chronograph though and will report back with my findings, but I'm hoping for some feedback on VV N110 before then. Thanks all.
I should have been more specific and said "...say, 37.5 FPS per inch".

The ACTUAL for that 357 Magnum Federal 125gr per BALLISTICS BY THE INCH is a reduction from 1943 to 1511 fps going from a 10" to a 4" barrel. That's 432 / 6 = 72 fps per inch. Ooooppps!

I was way under: but you hopefully get my drift. Plugging the extra 200 fps back into my example/calculation gets you closer to the 1450 figure (1,881 - 445 = 1,431). Sorry about any confusion.

I still believe you can get to where you want to go with H110, albeit not within the "3% warning". I'd bet somewhere between 18 and 19 gr. Since you have a chronograph please let us know?

P.S. I'll correct my original post. Thanks for making me rethink my (re)loading logic.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:30 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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I have to admit the last place I would have looked for 357 mag info was in the 10mm forum, but incredible detail and utility once again RDub. I'm surprised at the velocities you recorded for the Federal C357B. I remember that ammo clocking a lot closer to the advertised 1450 fps out of my 4" 686 when I went through a box several years ago. My ambient temps were much higher than 44F though. However, I'll caveat this with something my wife tells me on occasion, "You don't forget much Dear, but sometimes you remember things that never happened." Did you clock the Gold Dots by any chance? I see in the Speer manual (15th edition) the claim of 1443 fps using 17.8gn of VihtaVuori N110 from a vented 5.6" barrel with the same twist rate as my 686. I'd be curious what you saw if you recall. Every manual I see lists N110 as producing higher velocities than H110 for the 125gn 357 mag loads. boatbum101, I used to own a 6" GP100 and hated it. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but it never felt right in my hands (I hated the grips in particular). I ended up gifting it to a close friend in the service who loves it. If I ever do upgrade, it will be to a Model 27, but I probably won't unless the 686 wears out. On a related note, does anyone know if N110 meters well through a mechanical powder measure? It's described as a mini extruded powder so I'm curious. I've used 3N37, which is a shorter mini extruded powder, and it metered as well as ball powder through my RCBS measure. This is for future reference as I will be weighing each charge individually as I develop loads for the 125gn bullet. Thanks for the update and further explanation STORMINORMAN. Like I mentioned previously, this is a great tool to have and I appreciate the education.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:10 PM
RDub RDub is offline
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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once again RDub. I'm surprised at the velocities you recorded for the Federal C357B. Did you clock the Gold Dots by any chance? I'd be curious what you saw if you recall. Every manual I see lists N110 as producing higher velocities than H110 for the 125gn 357 mag loads. On a related note, does anyone know if N110 meters well through a mechanical powder measure? .
Glad you found the 10mm Forum useful..

Yes, I was surprised also with this.. It's on the list in the back of my head to re-test in a different ambient and location.

If you look at the top pic with the fourteen targets, on the bottom right you'll see a target for the Speer Gold Dots.
I did neglect to post a pic for the original pull-down for the Gold Dots.. Temp that day was 50F. Both of these are the same lot#. Range 25 yards.



This load is fast enough for the purpose intended..

Over the years I have learned not to pay too much attention to 'advertised' or 'published' velocities.. Only on rare occasions do the velocities I get in the field match up with any of the above...

Here is what N110 looks like;



It meters well enough for an extruded powder. It is bulky and max loads are usually compressed. I believe you will find N110 more expensive than other popular powders, which begs the question, is it worth the extra cost for the performance it provides? On the target mentioned above you will also see a load using N110.

If you get a hold of some N110, I'd like to hear how you did with it.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:28 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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A little late to the party, but having watched Federal factory 125 gr .357 batter our 681's severely (we did all practice/training with full power loads) I have to wonder why folks are so anxious to duplicate the load. In our case, the employer was footing the bill for all the repairs (we shot a lot) and they owned the guns.

Doing some testing with appropriate materials, dropping the velocity down to 1250 or so f/s greatly reduces the strain on the firearm and doesn't seem to significantly affect terminal results. It's also achievable with powders that don't act as illumination flares.

But, it's your money.

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Old 05-06-2020, 12:48 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Loading manual Speer #8 (Nuclear!) Gives data for a 125 gr Speer soft point in a 6" barrel. Many loads exceed 1400 with IMR 4227 2499, H110 HS6 even Unique. Some with mag primers. They also have data for that bullet in a 2" barrel that get around 1378fps. Not posting the powder charge as they are above current load data


Just a matter of how much powder you use and it's over todays standards.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:49 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Try Hodgdon Longshot. I get 1430 out of a 3.9" bbl .357 sig with 124 grain bullet. The load data has the .357 mag over 1600 out of a 10" bbl. I imagine it will do well in a 4" 357 mag revolver. It may not hit 1450, but should get you at least in the 1300's and will be less flash and blast than H110 for sure. You can find the data on the Hodgdon webpage.

Wished I had a 4" bbl to try it in, you have my curiosity up. I just developed a load in a 2" 357 mag bbl using longshot and am hitting over 1100 with the 125grain and it wasn't max. The velocity increases dramatically more than conventional wisdom in short barrels from a 2" bbl to a 3" then 4" bbls. I have experienced a 100fps gain in 200 grain 45 acp using longshot from a 5" bbl to a 6" bbl. You will have to chronograph to verify.

Rosewood

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Old 05-06-2020, 02:44 PM
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Try Hodgdon Longshot. I get 1430 out of a 3.9" bbl .357 sig with 124 grain bullet. The load data has the .357 mag over 1600 out of a 10" bbl. I imagine it will do well in a 4" 357 mag revolver. It may not hit 1450, but should get you at least in the 1300's and will be less flash and blast than H110 for sure. You can find the data on the Hodgdon webpage.

Wished I had a 4" bbl to try it in, you have my curiosity up. I just developed a load in a 2" 357 mag bbl using longshot and am hitting over 1100 with the 125grain and it wasn't max. The velocity increases dramatically more than conventional wisdom in short barrels from a 2" bbl to a 3" then 4" bbls. I have experienced a 100fps gain in 200 grain 45 acp using longshot from a 5" bbl to a 6" bbl. You will have to chronograph to verify.

Rosewood
I can reach 1150fps in my 2 1/2" M66 with a max charge of Unique. Longshot seems to work well in service calibers, smaller case volume, I wonder what it would do in larger 357mag cases. I haven't had any of my 4" mags out for awhile, I should do some LS testing & see.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:04 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Here's the response I received after emailing VihtaVuori about achieving 1450 fps in a 4" revolver with 125 gn hollow points. Although somewhat disappointing, I appreciated them getting back to me with this info because their website says not to ask for load data that isn't already available on their website:

"Thank you for contacting us at Capstone PG. We did some preliminary testing with the 4" length barrel and found that regardless of using N110, N105, or N350 with any of the available 125gr JHP bullets that we available to us, those being the Sierra 125gr JHC - 125gr Hornady XTP/HP - and 125gr Speer GD/JHP, there simply is no way to safely attaining 1,450 fps from this barrel length and to stay within the SAAMI Industry Pressure Standard that we must abide by in the interest of shooter safety. About the best that can be expected, depending the individual 4" barrel, is around 1,360 fps average. The shorter barrel combined with the barrel/cylinder gap does take its toll on what even the .357 Magnum will actually give us in real world performance. Please do not hesitate to get back with any of us with the Capstone Tech. Team if we can be of future assistance."

Thanks RDub for the follow-up pix and info. The N110 grains are definitely longer than those of the other VV powder I used. I think I'm leaning towards 300-MP now based on this latest info from VV and your data from earlier. AA #9 was also recommended to me on another forum as being somewhat lower flash so I might give that a try. What ever I end up using I will be sure to post my results here - probably around July if all goes as planned.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:51 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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RDub,
I was reading a post from 2013 in which you advised a member to use a "heavy" crimp with 300 MP and a 125gn bullet in 357 mag:

Brief update 300-MP for .357

What exactly is a "heavy" crimp and how do I know when I've achieved that on a JHP with a cannelure? I just want to make sure I crimp enough to maximize retention time in the case with the slower powders before the bullet starts moving. In the past I settled on 3/8 of a turn of the crimping die (after touching the case mouth) for my 158gn target loads because that seemed to be enough to keep the bullet from moving under recoil, but I'm not sure if that constitutes a "heavy" roll crimp for maximizing the slower powders? I don't want to apply too much crimp that the case bulges, but how do I know when I've established a "heavy" roll crimp in a cannelured bullet? Should I see brass shavings? I wonder if there's a reliable and repeatable way to measure roll crimp to remove the guess work?

Also, do you still recommend using standard primers for 300 MP? Your data shows CCI 500 and the Alliant load data shows Fed 100. I ask because I'd prefer to save my standard primers for the pistol calibers I shoot and use CCI 550 mag primers in the 357. There always seems to be a shortage on reloading components these days. Did you test or do you think using magnum primers would negatively affect the performance of 300 MP in my 357? Of course I intend to reduce the charge initially and work up, but otherwise would you suspect the magnum primer to affect velocity or SD? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:25 PM
RDub RDub is offline
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Hey Puritan
You're doing some research.. Good..
I got 1365 fps from 18.0grs N110, so according to them, that's just about right.

Heavy roll crimp;
Your die instructions where it deals with seating and crimping should explain it fairly well.
There really isn't anything that mysterious about it. It just means a substantial crimp. No bullet or case damage should be experienced.

There are two basic methods of crimping. First, the roll crimp, accomplished with your seating die. You are simply forcing the case mouth to fold into the cannalure by a 'lip' in the seating die close to the end of the press stroke. The more you adjust the seating die downward the more force you put on the case mouth. You want to put enough force into the cannalure to secure the bullet tightly, but no too much and damage the bullet. (or the case) There is a 'feel' that you get through experience. If you are seeing 'brass shavings' something is very wrong..

Second method is crimping with the LEE Factory Crimp die, a separate operation. This process crimps the case mouth into the cannalure laterally, from the sides so there is no downward pressure on the case.
This is the method I use mostly.

All we are really accomplishing with crimping is providing just a little resistance or holding back the bullet to ensure a good powder burn. This all happens in a nano second, but our chronographs can see the advantage of crimping revolver cartridges.

Primers and 300-MP. Alliant recommends the Fed 100. The CCI 500 and the Fed primer are very close. I have always achieved very acceptable SD with the CCI500. I've not felt the need to try a mag primer. It is counter intuitive that burning this much 300-MP doesn't require a mag primer, but it really doesn't. 300-MP is not H-110 or 296, it is something different.
You can always experiment with a few different primers.. That's kinda what this is all about.. If you are not getting the accuracy you're looking for, try a different bullet. It can make a difference.

As for AA#9, it is an outstanding powder. Every time I do any accuracy tests where AA#9 is included, it is at the top or is the top performer where accuracy is concerned. I get very good results using the WSP primer.

I hope this helps..

Last edited by RDub; 05-12-2020 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:56 PM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Heavy crimps.........

With my RCBS dies loading .357 magnum with a 125gr Hornady XTP bullet #3573 and a OAL of 1.59 with my cases...

my #3 die setting the depth of the bullet for a roll crimp has its center pin at.........

1.13" for a light crimp and
1.12" pin sticking out of the die for a heavy crimp.

OAL of the pin can be set by/on any part/surface of your die, that
you can get a good reading from.

This is how I set my crimps, with my dies.

Good loading.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:14 AM
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Heavy crimps.........

my #3 die setting the depth of the bullet for a roll crimp has its center pin at.........

1.13" for a light crimp and
1.12" pin sticking out of the die for a heavy crimp.

Good loading.
Thanks Nevada Ed,

Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by "center pin" of the seating die? Is this the protrudance of the seater stem above the top of the die body? If so, is your RCBS seater stem the older 1/4" variety or the newer 1/2" size? I own both types and my 1/4" stem stands much taller than my 1/2" stem.

The RCBS instructions don't define the difference between light and heavy crimp, they just say to keep adjusting by 1/8" until satisfied, which isn't very helpful. I like your method because it's repeatable, I just want to make sure I understand it better.

The instructions for the Lee FCD that RDub mentions say to turn the seating die 1/2 turn for a light crimp and 1 full turn for a heavy crimp, but 1 full turn on my RCBS roll crimp dies would bulge the case. Maybe that's because I'm turning the entire die body on my RCBS die versus just the crimp adjuster screw on the FCD (or the thread pitch is different). The instruction for the Lee also say the FCD won't buckle the case like other crimping dies, but I don't see how that's possible because the mechanism for crimping is the same as on my RCBS roll crimp die.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:00 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686 Load Recipe for Pushing a 125gn JHP at 1450 fps out of a 4" S&W 686  
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Lightbulb There are LEE CARBIDE crimp dies, and there are...

...LEE FACTORY crimp dies.

The carbide (Handgun) series use another carbide ring (like in a sizing die) and an adjustable crimp on top: these can be roll-type for revolvers or a taper type for pistol (i.e., 9mm, 40 S&W, 380 ACP, 45 ACP, etc.). This pretty much insures these reloads will chamber if the OAL is appropriate for the bullet used.

They also offer collet-style crimp dies for rifle and SOME handgun calibers. I have these for 357 SIG, 44 & 45 calibers. These uniformly compress the rim and I have found to be excellent for plated bullets (range loads vs. FULL BORE HUNTING LOADS) in these calibers. For the heavy load you may want the heavy roll crimp.

They have one for 357 MAG as well: SKU# 90813. Got to check if I don't already have one of these!

CHEERS!
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:07 PM
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I have the Lee collet style factory crimp dies for a bunch of my rifles and most of my non revolver pistol calibers and they work well. I just don't see a difference between the revolver FCDs and the standard roll crimp die that came with my RCBS set other than the sizing ring and having to turn the die body to set the amount of crimp on the RCBS vs. having to turn the adjustment screw to set the amount of crimp on the Lees. The carbide sizing ring is just icing on the cake for what I intend and probably/hopefully won't come into play (although I'm wondering if the carbide sizing ring will interfere with the bell I apply to the case mouth preventing it from entering the Lee body). I'm really only interested in applying a heavy crimp without buckling the case. Unless I'm missing something both the RCBS and Lee dies work by squeezing the top of the case into the cannelure (or side of the bullet) by gradually reducing the diameter inside the die body. It seems that this would lead to case buckling if too much pressure is applied although the Lee website says otherwise. Just not sure why.
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