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Old 06-05-2020, 01:44 PM
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I've long had an itch for a 357 revolver and finally decided to scratch it (It's really my wife who wants a revolver). I've got an S&W 66 Combat Magnum 2.75" waiting for me at the LGS.

I want to load 3 different kinds of ammo for this gun. I have a few different powders that may be of use. I've got some Bullseye, Unique, CFE Pistol, WIN WST, and H110.

I was thinking some low velocity plinkers with Bullseye, some mid velocity rounds with Unique, and H110 for the extra spicy rounds. I've got a lot of WIN WST and CFE pistol to use up too, so if anyone has tried those with success in 357, I'd love to hear about it.

I'm using Hornady Brass, magnum small pistol primers, 158 gr. Hornady XTPs.

I've also got a Henry Big Boy lever action rifle that I'll be loading rounds for. Any favorites for that, I'd love to hear about as well.

Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom. Happy shooting!
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:04 PM
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I happen to LOVE H110. I have burned through probably close to 200 pounds by now between the 357 Magnum and the 41 Magnum.

In the 357 Magnum, I push it to the MAX. 16.7 grains under a Winchester 158 JHP with a Winchester magnum primer. I also like to load these into nickel cases where the target loads I put into brass.

This load will have acceptable velocity in the snubby, but with a rather loud, deep, throaty bark and huge orange fireball. My shooting buddy used to call this load out of our 2 1/2" Model 19s "The Attention Getter"



It will really shine out of your Big Boy with much less bark and flash



Just make sure that you start 10% lower and work your way up with your component mix in your firearm



For the mid/light load, I use 150-158 grain hard cast SWCs over 6 grains of unique and a standard primer. This is what I plink with



The only thing that I load lighter than that is my HBWCs, but that is hardly a plinking bullet. Soft swagged HBWCs are expensive when you can find them.
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:07 PM
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Bullseye will work with any 148/158 lead target loads.

The three middle powders will work with any lead or Copper jacket bullets into a good SD loading.

The H110 powder is best at full loads that also come in a 3" barrel with..................
a lot of Flash and Recoil.

Enjoy the new weapon.
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
I happen to LOVE H110. I have burned through probably close to 200 pounds by now between the 357 Magnum and the 41 Magnum.

In the 357 Magnum, I push it to the MAX. 16.7 grains under a Winchester 158 JHP with a Winchester magnum primer. I also like to load these into nickel cases where the target loads I put into brass.

This load will have acceptable velocity in the snubby, but with a rather loud, deep, throaty bark and huge orange fireball. My shooting buddy used to call this load out of our 2 1/2" Model 19s "The Attention Getter"



It will really shine out of your Big Boy with much less bark and flash



Just make sure that you start 10% lower and work your way up with your component mix in your firearm



For the mid/light load, I use 150-158 grain hard cast SWCs over 6 grains of unique and a standard primer. This is what I plink with



The only thing that I load lighter than that is my HBWCs, but that is hardly a plinking bullet. Soft swagged HBWCs are expensive when you can find them.
LOL. I always thought of my wife as the "attention getter", but I'm willing to test out your theory. Thanks for all the input. This ought to be fun!
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Old 06-05-2020, 06:16 PM
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3gr of Beye under a 148 HBWC is a soft shooter. Unique is great along with H110 and 2400 for stouter rounds
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:29 PM
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You'll probably like WST a bit better for target loads vs the BE, cleaner burning. Unique of CFE are perfect for midrange. I am not a huge han of h110 in snubs, wicked fireball & not a whole lot more vel than you get with CFE.
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:50 PM
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I like Unique for about 90% of my 357 Magnum needs, mid range loads up to 1,100 FPS using 358429, 358439, 358156, 358477 and Magma 158 gr SWC’s. I use these same bullets at magnum velocities (1,200 FPS +) using 2400.

Two powders are all you need for 357 Magnum fun, Unique and 2400!

Do recommend cast over jacketed any day of the week.
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:36 PM
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H110 will give you some spicy rounds and turn a few heads near by when you fire them off. Just have good grips because they can be finger banger's.
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Old 06-05-2020, 10:09 PM
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The shortest barrel 357 I have is 3 1/2", but my brother has a 2" barrel Colt Lawman. Like the others above, I can recommend most of the powders you have on hand except the WST as I have never used it personally. I do like the CFE-P for moderately hot to mid range loads. And the hot H110 loads out of my brothers Lawman are definitely some "attention getters" on both the shooting end and the watching end. They will throw a big fireball and be loud as heck too, but are fun in moderation. The Henry will really show the worth of H110 though and you should see at least a 500-600 ft/sec velocity gain out of the Henry over your 66 and maybe even more.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:07 PM
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I've found 7 grains of Unique and 158 grain plated bullets to shoot very accurately in both my 4" mod 66 and Henry BBB.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:25 PM
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My standard load for many years in ALL my .357's(rifle & revolvers) is my cast Lyman 168 gr SWC pushed by 13.5 grs of #2400. Great accurate load and has killed deer and all the small critters too. On my range it slaps the 100 yard gong with authority.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:46 PM
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I’ve been working up loads for my Henry carbine and really like a powder you don’t mention. I’m pretty happy with HS6 for moderately heavy to mild loads with a 158 jhp. It shoots well in my model28-2 4”. I’ve not tried this load in my 2-1/2” 66 yet but might this week. Also as a bonus it’s a very clean load. Again I know you didn’t mention this powder.

I like Unique and Bullseye as general purpose powders. Both work well in a wide variety of calibers. I’ve always felt Bullseye to excell in 38 special but I’m lukewarm about it in 357. I’ve experimented with light loads using polymer coated RNFP bullets and had inconsistent results. I suspect but have no proof that with minimum loads in a large 357 case, it seems to be a bit position sensitive. I tried Bullseye in 45LC and had the same experience. For that reason I only use Bullseye in small cases like 9mm and 38 special with HBWC’s.

Unique is a fine powder and works well in a wide variety of calibers too but have not tried it in 357. The one negative about Unique is it doesn’t meter well in my Dillon Square Deal B powder measure or my RCBS measure.

I e become a big fan of CFE Pistol. For years I shot USPSA shooting Major 38 super using 540/HS6. I eventually got out of it after cracking the frame of my race gun and sold the gun. Skip forward 25 years, I still had about a 1000 major 38 super loads and nothing safe to shoot them in. To remedy this I bought a Kimber Eclipse target in 38 super with a supported chamber. Other than fierce recoil without a comp, the muzzle flash was equally fierce.

After getting all of those shot up, I experimented with different powders and came up with CFE Pistol. The big plus was low flash. I was t trying to make major now and CFE gave excellent accuracy with a 124 jacketed bullet with no appreciable flash and burned fairly clean. This might be worth trying.

Unfortunately I havent tried The other powders but did pick up a pound of H110 today to try some hotter loads for the Henry.

Good luck and let us know your results.
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:09 AM
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...but I shoot a lot of coated bullets for range work. Spending money on a prime JHP defense bullet to mostly punch paper isn't in my price range. But shoot what you want and have a good time.

I use 2400 more for magnum loads as it's a little more versatile than the slowest powders and you don't miss much depending on bullet weight. But the H110 is bound to make an impression on everybody at the range.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
...but I shoot a lot of coated bullets for range work. Spending money on a prime JHP defense bullet to mostly punch paper isn't in my price range. But shoot what you want and have a good time.

I use 2400 more for magnum loads as it's a little more versatile than the slowest powders and you don't miss much depending on bullet weight. But the H110 is bound to make an impression on everybody at the range.
Thanks for the information. I actually planned to make H110 loads mostly for the Henry rifle. The revolver truly was purchased for my wife. She's wanted one for a long time. I'm going to initially load some softer ones for her until she gets used to the gun. I'm not going to hand her the pistol loaded with fire breathers right out of the gate (although that might be a good way for me to get a new revolver)
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .38SuperMan View Post
Ive been working up loads for my Henry carbine and really like a powder you dont mention. Im pretty happy with HS6 for moderately heavy to mild loads with a 158 jhp. It shoots well in my model28-2 4. Ive not tried this load in my 2-1/2 66 yet but might this week. Also as a bonus its a very clean load. Again I know you didnt mention this powder.

I like Unique and Bullseye as general purpose powders. Both work well in a wide variety of calibers. Ive always felt Bullseye to excell in 38 special but Im lukewarm about it in 357. Ive experimented with light loads using polymer coated RNFP bullets and had inconsistent results. I suspect but have no proof that with minimum loads in a large 357 case, it seems to be a bit position sensitive. I tried Bullseye in 45LC and had the same experience. For that reason I only use Bullseye in small cases like 9mm and 38 special with HBWCs.

Unique is a fine powder and works well in a wide variety of calibers too but have not tried it in 357. The one negative about Unique is it doesnt meter well in my Dillon Square Deal B powder measure or my RCBS measure.

I e become a big fan of CFE Pistol. For years I shot USPSA shooting Major 38 super using 540/HS6. I eventually got out of it after cracking the frame of my race gun and sold the gun. Skip forward 25 years, I still had about a 1000 major 38 super loads and nothing safe to shoot them in. To remedy this I bought a Kimber Eclipse target in 38 super with a supported chamber. Other than fierce recoil without a comp, the muzzle flash was equally fierce.

After getting all of those shot up, I experimented with different powders and came up with CFE Pistol. The big plus was low flash. I was t trying to make major now and CFE gave excellent accuracy with a 124 jacketed bullet with no appreciable flash and burned fairly clean. This might be worth trying.

Unfortunately I havent tried The other powders but did pick up a pound of H110 today to try some hotter loads for the Henry.

Good luck and let us know your results.
Thank you. I'm for sure going to try some CFE now. I have plenty to test it out. Was your jacketed 124 a round nose, hollow point, or ...?
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:10 AM
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I am lazy, I use unique for most of my 38/357, 44 mag and 45 Colt loads. I use TrailBoss for marshmallow loads in my 44 Mags, 45 Colt and 500 S&W.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistered View Post
I've found 7 grains of Unique and 158 grain plated bullets to shoot very accurately in both my 4" mod 66 and Henry BBB.
I will definitely try that load. I have a Hornady load manual and a Lyman manual and their recommended stating and upper limit loads for 158gr JHP are quite different.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:17 AM
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I am lazy, I use unique for most of my 38/357, 44 mag and 45 Colt loads. I use TrailBoss for marshmallow loads in my 44 Mags, 45 Colt and 500 S&W.
Chalk up another for Unique. Definitely going to try some. I've been looking for Trail Boss to load some light loads for my old 1905 32-20 so I don't get a double charge and blow it up, but it's hard to find. Is it worth it to have around?
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by 38SPL HV View Post
I like Unique for about 90% of my 357 Magnum needs, mid range loads up to 1,100 FPS using 358429, 358439, 358156, 358477 and Magma 158 gr SWCs. I use these same bullets at magnum velocities (1,200 FPS +) using 2400.

Two powders are all you need for 357 Magnum fun, Unique and 2400!

Do recommend cast over jacketed any day of the week.
Lots of folks using Unique. Thanks for the reply. Definitely going to try a few loads with that powder.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
You'll probably like WST a bit better for target loads vs the BE, cleaner burning. Unique of CFE are perfect for midrange. I am not a huge han of h110 in snubs, wicked fireball & not a whole lot more vel than you get with CFE.
Thank you. Good call on the WST vs BE. I'll save the BE for 9mm loads.
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Bullseye will work with any 148/158 lead target loads.

The three middle powders will work with any lead or Copper jacket bullets into a good SD loading.

The H110 powder is best at full loads that also come in a 3" barrel with..................
a lot of Flash and Recoil.

Enjoy the new weapon.
OK, now I at least have to try out a couple of flame thrower loads from the pistol.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:55 AM
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From my own experience with reloading the 357 Magnum and a S&W Model 19-3 (4 inch barrel). Bullseye is hard to beat for low velocity, plinking, and target loads. 148 grain lead wadcutter or 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullets with a light to medium load of Bullseye is hard to beat.

For mid-range loads, duplicating full power 38 Special and 38 Special +P or just a bit beyond 38 Special +P velocity, a 158 grain hard cast lead semi-wadcutter and a medium to full charge of Unique are hard to beat.

For full power 357 Magnum loads, I'd go with a 158 grain jacketed hollow point bullet. H-110/W-296 is the powder for absolute maximum velocity, but it will produce a massive fireball and will lead to barrel forcing cone erosion. H-110/W-296 is a powder that cannot be reduced very much from full charge weights, it tends to suffer from erratic burning with charges less than 5% below maximum. No, reduced charges are not likely to detonate and explode, but you will see a lot of unburned or partially combusted powder granules and a wide spread in velocity. I think 2400, even though you will not see the absolute fastest velocities, is a more forgiving and versatile powder. It might be a little easier on the thin forcing cone too.

All of my reloads for my 357 revolvers are in 357 Magnum brass and the only time you need magnum primers would be for using the powders that are the hardest to ignite, those being H-110/W-296, HS-6, and HS-7.

A word about bullet weight and the pre-Classic Model 19/66. The older 19/66 forcing cones have a very thin spot at the bottom of the cone. This area can crack, which will ruin the barrel. Using magnum loads with bullets of less than 140 grains in weight seems to be the leading culprit of cracked forcing cones.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:10 AM
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I'm not a big fan of H110 / Win 296 in S&W K frame revolvers.

125 gra bullets have taken the rap for excessive forcing cone erosion and cracked forcing cones in Model 19s in particular, and the internet myth is that this is due to the shorter bullet allowing gas to pass the bullet in the cylinder, arrive at the forcing cone and pre-heat it before the bullet arrives, causing the forcing cone to crack.

There are serious and fatal flaws in that hypothesis.

1) Anyone who ever stayed awake in a thermodynamics class can pretty well figure out that there just isn't enough time for that gas and plasma to transfer any significant heat.

2) 110 grain bullets use heavier charges of any given powder and are even shorter in length, yet those bullets are not associated with forcing cone cracks.

3) cracks don't magically happen, the form due to a stress riser, and the largest single cause of a stress riser is forcing cone erosion.

-----

The 125 gr bullets were associated with forcing cracks due to the convergence of a few different factors at more or less the same point in time:

- The 125 gr JHP load became very popular in law enforcement circles and largely replaced other 158 gr loads;

- Powder makers started making very economical and quick to produce colloidal ball powders using surplus naval gun powder; and

- Many police departments that in the past had trained with .38 Special and used .357 Magnum only for duty use, now used .357 Magnum for training as well, increasing the percentage of .357 Magnum loads used in Model 19s and similar K frames from maybe 2% to 100%.


Why did that matter?

Comparatively slow burning colloidal ball pistol powders use large charges. Around 9 grains of a medium burn rate pistol powder like Unique is a maximum load for a 125 gr bullet in the .357 Magnum. In comparison around 21-22 grains is a max load for a coloidal ball powder used with a 125 gr bullet in the .357 Magnum. That's over twice the powder mass, and that means twice as much plasma flowing through the forcing cone with each shot. In addition, where a large percentage of the faster burning flake powders will be consumed before it ever reaches the forcing cone, the slower burning coloidal ball powders have a very high percentage of unburnt powder passing through the forcing cone. That forcing cone, heated by twice as much powder, and subject to abrasive un burnt and partially burnt powder passing through it experiences significantly more erosion.

Even when comparing ball powders in 125 gr and 158 gr loads, you'll see 15-16 grain max loads for the 158 gr bullets, and 21-22 grains for the 125 gr bullets. Those 125 gr loads are about 40% larger than the 158 gr loads and experience commensurately more forcing cone erosion.

-----

Thos ball powders get used as they do produce higher velocities, especially in 4, 6 and 8 inch barrels. However, they also produce a lot more recoil.

Consider 9 grains of Unique launching a 125 gr bullet at 1350 fps in a 3" Model 66 that weighs 36 oz.

Recoil Velocity: 13.4 ft/s
Recoil Energy: 6.3 ftlbs
Recoil Impulse: 0.9 lbs

Now compare that to the same 125 gr bullet at the same 1350 fps launched with 21 grains of H110 in the same 36 oz Model 66:

Recoil Velocity: 17.0 ft/s
Recoil Energy: 10.1 ftlbs
Recoil Impulse: 1.2 lbs

It produces:
27% more recoil velocity;
60% more recoil energy; and
33% more recoil impulse.

But no more bullet velocity.

That's because that greater mass of powder exits the muzzle at about 3 times the muzzle velocity of the bullet and even though it's in gas/plasma form it still retains all its mass.

-----

More to the point, it is true that you'll get greater velocity from the ball powder loads, but based on my chronograph results over the last 30 years loading .357 Magnum, in various barrel lengths you're talking about maybe 50-100 fps in a 4" or 6" barrel and you are talking about maybe 25-40 fps in a 2 1/2" or 3" barrel.

The juice just isn't worth the squeeze in a short barrel .357 Magnum.

----

With that background, I'm not a fan of abusing my K frame or J Magnum frame .357s with H110 or Win 296.

I much prefer 9 grains of Unique under a well made 125 JHP for a self defense load. The Hornady 125 gr XTP will expand well with a 9.0 to 9.5 grain load Unique at a minimum of 1300 fps and it's an exceptionally accurate bullet and load with reasonable recoil in a 2 1/2", 3", or 4" revolver.

I'm also a fan of around 6 grains of Unique with a 158 gr cast LSWC which will give a velocity around 1000-1050 fps in a 2 1/2" to 4" revolver. It's a good target load when you want more than .38 Special velocities, and with a suitably soft LSWCHP it's not a bad self defense load.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:56 AM
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My pet peeve...

Guns aren't toys.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:06 AM
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Excellent points by BB57. Basically, don't abuse the pre-Classic Model 19/66.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Chalk up another for Unique. Definitely going to try some. I've been looking for Trail Boss to load some light loads for my old 1905 32-20 so I don't get a double charge and blow it up, but it's hard to find. Is it worth it to have around?
Yes, I think trailboss is well worth it. A great/safe powder for fun plinking.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:21 AM
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I don't think you really want to use any "Stinking" Trail Boss powder, that is hard to find and cost a little more than other powders, even though it is a great safe powder for beginner loaders and super light target loads.

Besides, it only gets "Fair" accuracy in my weapons...........

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Old 06-06-2020, 11:24 AM
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Real simple recipes for 66-8.
148 gr WC 3.5 to 4 gr AA 2
125 gr truncated cone AA 5 6% under book max. Slams the shooting tree around pronto without having to wear plugs under earmuffs.
New K frames are as strong as the L-frames.
No quirks or limitations except SAAMI.

Last edited by shocker; 06-07-2020 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
From my own experience with reloading the 357 Magnum and a S&W Model 19-3 (4 inch barrel). Bullseye is hard to beat for low velocity, plinking, and target loads. 148 grain lead wadcutter or 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullets with a light to medium load of Bullseye is hard to beat.

For mid-range loads, duplicating full power 38 Special and 38 Special +P or just a bit beyond 38 Special +P velocity, a 158 grain hard cast lead semi-wadcutter and a medium to full charge of Unique are hard to beat.

For full power 357 Magnum loads, I'd go with a 158 grain jacketed hollow point bullet. H-110/W-296 is the powder for absolute maximum velocity, but it will produce a massive fireball and will lead to barrel forcing cone erosion. H-110/W-296 is a powder that cannot be reduced very much from full charge weights, it tends to suffer from erratic burning with charges less than 5% below maximum. No, reduced charges are not likely to detonate and explode, but you will see a lot of unburned or partially combusted powder granules and a wide spread in velocity. I think 2400, even though you will not see the absolute fastest velocities, is a more forgiving and versatile powder. It might be a little easier on the thin forcing cone too.

All of my reloads for my 357 revolvers are in 357 Magnum brass and the only time you need magnum primers would be for using the powders that are the hardest to ignite, those being H-110/W-296, HS-6, and HS-7.

A word about bullet weight and the pre-Classic Model 19/66. The older 19/66 forcing cones have a very thin spot at the bottom of the cone. This area can crack, which will ruin the barrel. Using magnum loads with bullets of less than 140 grains in weight seems to be the leading culprit of cracked forcing cones.
Great information. Thank you. I think I'll use the H110 primarily for the Henry rifle. Unique and CFE Pistol are probably going to give me good results in the 2.75" revolver.
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
I'm not a big fan of H110 / Win 296 in S&W K frame revolvers.

125 gra bullets have taken the rap for excessive forcing cone erosion and cracked forcing cones in Model 19s in particular, and the internet myth is that this is due to the shorter bullet allowing gas to pass the bullet in the cylinder, arrive at the forcing cone and pre-heat it before the bullet arrives, causing the forcing cone to crack.

There are serious and fatal flaws in that hypothesis.

1) Anyone who ever stayed awake in a thermodynamics class can pretty well figure out that there just isn't enough time for that gas and plasma to transfer any significant heat.

2) 110 grain bullets use heavier charges of any given powder and are even shorter in length, yet those bullets are not associated with forcing cone cracks.

3) cracks don't magically happen, the form due to a stress riser, and the largest single cause of a stress riser is forcing cone erosion.

-----

The 125 gr bullets were associated with forcing cracks due to the convergence of a few different factors at more or less the same point in time:

- The 125 gr JHP load became very popular in law enforcement circles and largely replaced other 158 gr loads;

- Powder makers started making very economical and quick to produce colloidal ball powders using surplus naval gun powder; and

- Many police departments that in the past had trained with .38 Special and used .357 Magnum only for duty use, now used .357 Magnum for training as well, increasing the percentage of .357 Magnum loads used in Model 19s and similar K frames from maybe 2% to 100%.


Why did that matter?

Comparatively slow burning colloidal ball pistol powders use large charges. Around 9 grains of a medium burn rate pistol powder like Unique is a maximum load for a 125 gr bullet in the .357 Magnum. In comparison around 21-22 grains is a max load for a coloidal ball powder used with a 125 gr bullet in the .357 Magnum. That's over twice the powder mass, and that means twice as much plasma flowing through the forcing cone with each shot. In addition, where a large percentage of the faster burning flake powders will be consumed before it ever reaches the forcing cone, the slower burning coloidal ball powders have a very high percentage of unburnt powder passing through the forcing cone. That forcing cone, heated by twice as much powder, and subject to abrasive un burnt and partially burnt powder passing through it experiences significantly more erosion.

Even when comparing ball powders in 125 gr and 158 gr loads, you'll see 15-16 grain max loads for the 158 gr bullets, and 21-22 grains for the 125 gr bullets. Those 125 gr loads are about 40% larger than the 158 gr loads and experience commensurately more forcing cone erosion.

-----

Thos ball powders get used as they do produce higher velocities, especially in 4, 6 and 8 inch barrels. However, they also produce a lot more recoil.

Consider 9 grains of Unique launching a 125 gr bullet at 1350 fps in a 3" Model 66 that weighs 36 oz.

Recoil Velocity: 13.4 ft/s
Recoil Energy: 6.3 ftlbs
Recoil Impulse: 0.9 lbs

Now compare that to the same 125 gr bullet at the same 1350 fps launched with 21 grains of H110 in the same 36 oz Model 66:

Recoil Velocity: 17.0 ft/s
Recoil Energy: 10.1 ftlbs
Recoil Impulse: 1.2 lbs

It produces:
27% more recoil velocity;
60% more recoil energy; and
33% more recoil impulse.

But no more bullet velocity.

That's because that greater mass of powder exits the muzzle at about 3 times the muzzle velocity of the bullet and even though it's in gas/plasma form it still retains all its mass.

-----

More to the point, it is true that you'll get greater velocity from the ball powder loads, but based on my chronograph results over the last 30 years loading .357 Magnum, in various barrel lengths you're talking about maybe 50-100 fps in a 4" or 6" barrel and you are talking about maybe 25-40 fps in a 2 1/2" or 3" barrel.

The juice just isn't worth the squeeze in a short barrel .357 Magnum.

----

With that background, I'm not a fan of abusing my K frame or J Magnum frame .357s with H110 or Win 296.

I much prefer 9 grains of Unique under a well made 125 JHP for a self defense load. The Hornady 125 gr XTP will expand well with a 9.0 to 9.5 grain load Unique at a minimum of 1300 fps and it's an exceptionally accurate bullet and load with reasonable recoil in a 2 1/2", 3", or 4" revolver.

I'm also a fan of around 6 grains of Unique with a 158 gr cast LSWC which will give a velocity around 1000-1050 fps in a 2 1/2" to 4" revolver. It's a good target load when you want more than .38 Special velocities, and with a suitably soft LSWCHP it's not a bad self defense load.
Now that's an explanation you can sink your teeth into. Thank you! Would you load a LWC with the same powder charge as a plated WC?
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  #31  
Old 06-06-2020, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
I don't think you really want to use any "Stinking" Trail Boss powder, that is hard to find and cost a little more than other powders, even though it is a great safe powder for beginner loaders and super light target loads.

Besides, it only gets "Fair" accuracy in my weapons...........

I pretty much wanted Trail Boss for my 120 yr old 32-20 hand ejector. One double load in that old gal wouldn't be pretty.
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  #32  
Old 06-06-2020, 10:23 PM
.38SuperMan .38SuperMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Thank you. I'm for sure going to try some CFE now. I have plenty to test it out. Was your jacketed 124 a round nose, hollow point, or ...?
Ive been trying XTP 124gn hollow points. They were on sale pretty cheap so I bought 3 boxes to play with.

I picked up a bottle of H110 yesterday and thought Id see what a heavier load was like. I loaded 21 grains under the 124 xtp and took 7 rounds to the range just to get a feel for them.

First, Im in my 70s and getting pretty arthritic and like lighter loads. Im not super sensitive to recoil but dont think Id want to shoot these loads all day and certainly wouldnt want to shoot them in a revolver. Second, in informal shooting I think
They were pretty accurate but only shooting from a rest will tell. Third, they shot very clean.

If I were a hunter this might be the right powder but Im just too lazy to hunt. This old dog dont hunt.

Back to my HS-6 or CFE Pistol and 158 JHPs and coated 158 RNFP Acmes.

Last edited by .38SuperMan; 06-06-2020 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Thank you. Good call on the WST vs BE. I'll save the BE for 9mm loads.
I actually shoot quite a bit of wst in 9mm & 40 too. I just find BE filthy & the recoil impulse is sharper.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Now that's an explanation you can sink your teeth into. Thank you! Would you load a LWC with the same powder charge as a plated WC?
Yes, but it's complicated.

You want to match the pressure of the load to the alloy hardness. If the alloy is too soft for the pressure, it will obturate just fine, but you'll get some blow by and gas cutting, which will leave lead in the bore. In extreme cases, the bullet will "strip" in the rifling and you'll get both horrible leading and a bullet that won't spin enough to stabilize.

On the other hand, if the alloy is too hard, it will not obturate enough or soon enough in the bore and you'll get gas cutting and leading in the bore as the gas goes around the bullet.

Generally speaking using an alloy that is too hard os more common than using one that is too soft.

----

Plated bullets usually have a very soft nearly pure lead core with a thin copper plating that really functions much like the lube on a cast or swaged lead bullet.

You can find heavy plated bullets that are designed for 1500-1800 fps, but they are usually for cartridges like the .30 carbine or .30-30 Win. Most regular thin plated bullets are not intended for more than about 1200-1250 fps - and that's only about 100-150 fps faster than what you can do with a soft swaged lead bullet using a good lubricant.

That 100-150 fps however can be significant. I'd love to see a thin plated 158 gr LSWCHP with a pure lead core as I could then launch them at around 1150-1200 fps and get excellent expansion without the leading issues that can be an issue with a swaged lead LSWCHP.

You can certainly drive harder lead alloys (like Lyman No 2, which
at a bhn of 15 is close to ideal for .357 Magnum pressures, or a slightly softer 1-20 tin/lead alloy with a bhn of around 10-11 which is great for mid range .357 magnum loads) faster, but then you run into expansion issues.

When I used to cast bullets, I'd use 9 pounds of clip on wheel weights alloyed with 1 pound of 50/50 bar solder to get an alloy close to Lyman No 2 at low cost. 1.5% to 2% tin content in the alloy also helps reduce the dross and gives you a much nicer fill in the mold.

Bullet diameter also makes a huge difference in terms of avoiding leading.

For example, I worked up a swaged soft lead158 gr LSWCHP load for my 2 1/2" Model 66 and 2 1/2" 686+ at around 1100 fps. The load shot very well, with excellent accuracy, excellent expansion and penetration, but it took some work to avoid leading issues. I ended up having to lube them and then tumble lube them in liquid Alox to be able to put 50 rounds down range with no leading.

However, when I bought a 3" 686+, the first time I tried the load in it, I had bullets going through the target sideways at 7 yards. The cylinder and bore dimensions were enough larget that the bullet just wasn't obturating enough in the bore to adequately engage the rifling, and it needed a larger diameter bullet. Basically it was the difference between a cylinder's chambers being cut with a new reamer to larger dimensions than occurs with an old reamer.

Generally speaking you want a bullet sized to fit the dimensions of the leade - being about .001" oversized seems to work well.

----

Lately, I've gotten lazy and I've become a plated bullet fan as you can push a soft lead plated bullet harder than a soft lead non plated without leading issues. A lot of shooters like powder coated bullets for the same reasons.
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Old 06-07-2020, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
Yes, but it's complicated.

You want to match the pressure of the load to the alloy hardness. If the alloy is too soft for the pressure, it will obturate just fine, but you'll get some blow by and gas cutting, which will leave lead in the bore. In extreme cases, the bullet will "strip" in the rifling and you'll get both horrible leading and a bullet that won't spin enough to stabilize.

On the other hand, if the alloy is too hard, it will not obturate enough or soon enough in the bore and you'll get gas cutting and leading in the bore as the gas goes around the bullet.

Generally speaking using an alloy that is too hard os more common than using one that is too soft.

----

Plated bullets usually have a very soft nearly pure lead core with a thin copper plating that really functions much like the lube on a cast or swaged lead bullet.

You can find heavy plated bullets that are designed for 1500-1800 fps, but they are usually for cartridges like the .30 carbine or .30-30 Win. Most regular thin plated bullets are not intended for more than about 1200-1250 fps - and that's only about 100-150 fps faster than what you can do with a soft swaged lead bullet using a good lubricant.

That 100-150 fps however can be significant. I'd love to see a thin plated 158 gr LSWCHP with a pure lead core as I could then launch them at around 1150-1200 fps and get excellent expansion without the leading issues that can be an issue with a swaged lead LSWCHP.

You can certainly drive harder lead alloys (like Lyman No 2, which
at a bhn of 15 is close to ideal for .357 Magnum pressures, or a slightly softer 1-20 tin/lead alloy with a bhn of around 10-11 which is great for mid range .357 magnum loads) faster, but then you run into expansion issues.

When I used to cast bullets, I'd use 9 pounds of clip on wheel weights alloyed with 1 pound of 50/50 bar solder to get an alloy close to Lyman No 2 at low cost. 1.5% to 2% tin content in the alloy also helps reduce the dross and gives you a much nicer fill in the mold.

Bullet diameter also makes a huge difference in terms of avoiding leading.

For example, I worked up a swaged soft lead158 gr LSWCHP load for my 2 1/2" Model 66 and 2 1/2" 686+ at around 1100 fps. The load shot very well, with excellent accuracy, excellent expansion and penetration, but it took some work to avoid leading issues. I ended up having to lube them and then tumble lube them in liquid Alox to be able to put 50 rounds down range with no leading.

However, when I bought a 3" 686+, the first time I tried the load in it, I had bullets going through the target sideways at 7 yards. The cylinder and bore dimensions were enough larget that the bullet just wasn't obturating enough in the bore to adequately engage the rifling, and it needed a larger diameter bullet. Basically it was the difference between a cylinder's chambers being cut with a new reamer to larger dimensions than occurs with an old reamer.

Generally speaking you want a bullet sized to fit the dimensions of the leade - being about .001" oversized seems to work well.

----

Lately, I've gotten lazy and I've become a plated bullet fan as you can push a soft lead plated bullet harder than a soft lead non plated without leading issues. A lot of shooters like powder coated bullets for the same reasons.
Well today I loaded up some of the 158 gr XTPs. I made 50 for the Henry rifle with 16.5 gr of H110. For the revolver I used the same bullet with 6.6gr of Unique with standard primers. I'm still waiting on some lead bullets for some really gentle loads for the revolver. I'm really hoping my wife likes shooting it. If the Unique rounds are too much, I'll use some lead bullets with a small Bullseye or WST load. I appreciate you sharing your expertise in the science of launching projectiles down range. There is always more to learn! Happy shooting.
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  #36  
Old 06-07-2020, 04:53 AM
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I load for several 357 revolvers and a Marlin 1894 rifle, and use the same load in them all.

4.5 grs of Universal with a 158 RNFP lubed from Missouri Bullets. Roughly 800 fps in the revolvers (4" barrels) and 1200 or so in the rifle. Great plinking loads. Everyone loves them.

All my Smiths are without the Hillary hole, 19, 66's, 586 and a 27.
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Well today I loaded up some of the 158 gr XTPs. I made 50 for the Henry rifle with 16.5 gr of H110. For the revolver I used the same bullet with 6.6gr of Unique with standard primers. I'm still waiting on some lead bullets for some really gentle loads for the revolver. I'm really hoping my wife likes shooting it. If the Unique rounds are too much, I'll use some lead bullets with a small Bullseye or WST load. I appreciate you sharing your expertise in the science of launching projectiles down range. There is always more to learn! Happy shooting.
Fast burning powders like Bullseye and Red Dot make great target loads in a .357 magnum revolver, although I usually load them in .38 Special brass. .38 Special brass is cheaper, and it reduces the excess case volume a bit. Some folks get concerned about a carbon ring in front of the shorter .38 case. I often shoot 200-300 rounds per range session, and I shoot frequently. I have never had an issue with a carbon ring. However, I also clean my revolvers and their chambers with powder solvent and a bronze brush after each range session.

I suspect that if you shot .38 Special extensively in a .357 Magnum AND never cleaned it, over time, carbon could start to both get hard and build up over time. But then it woudl just need more intensive cleaning to remove.
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:50 AM
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I have shot and reloaded.38 Special and .357 Mag since the early ‘70s. Bullseye, Unique and 2400 have covered all my needs.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:53 PM
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Thumbs up A truly FANTASTIC POST, imho...

[QUOTE=BB57;140796664]I'm not a big fan of H110 / Win 296 in S&W K frame revolvers.

125 gra bullets have taken the rap for excessive forcing cone erosion and cracked forcing cones in Model 19s in particular, and the internet myth is that this is due to the shorter bullet allowing gas to pass the bullet in the cylinder, arrive at the forcing cone and pre-heat it before the bullet arrives, causing the forcing cone to crack.

There are serious and fatal flaws....QUOTE] et al

This is one of the absolute BEST posts I have ever seen regarding supposed K-frame "fragility", 357 Magnum loads & forcing cone issues.

Thank you, Sir!
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:59 AM
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Almost six years ago I tested out the new CFE Pistol powder in my revolver to see what it could do.
Here is a picture of some of my test loads for "MY" weapon.
Please work up to the full loads, if you feel the need.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:57 PM
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I'm with BB57.

I load up a 158 grain hardcast to around 1000 or 1050 fps. More than a .38, less than a full power magnum. It's accurate, fun to shoot, and will do most anything you want to do.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:59 PM
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Question 38SuperMan: OK, please tell me those "124 gr XTP's" were really...

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Originally Posted by .38SuperMan View Post
Ive been trying XTP 124gn hollow points. They were on sale pretty cheap so I bought 3 boxes to play with.

I picked up a bottle of H110 yesterday and thought Id see what a heavier load was like. I loaded 21 grains under the 124 xtp and took 7 rounds to the range just to get a feel for them.

First, Im in my 70s and getting pretty arthritic and like lighter loads. Im not super sensitive to recoil but dont think Id want to shoot these loads all day and certainly wouldnt want to shoot them in a revolver. Second, in informal shooting I think
They were pretty accurate but only shooting from a rest will tell. Third, they shot very clean.

If I were a hunter this might be the right powder but Im just too lazy to hunt. This old dog dont hunt.

Back to my HS-6 or CFE Pistol and 158 JHPs and coated 158 RNFP Acmes.
...just a typo and actually were 125 gr .357" XTP's loaded for your Henry.

Please! 21gr of 110 won't fit in a 9mm or even a 38 SUPER(MAN?) case!

Cheers!

P.S. Interesting that Hodgdons shows that 21gr as a start load for pistol and rifle both.

P.P.S. As of April I'm now in my 70's as well: 69 on the 28th!
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:06 AM
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Thumbs up colt_ssa: I tried to edit to only the Model 19 pic, but...

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Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
I happen to LOVE H110. I have burned through probably close to 200 pounds by now between the 357 Magnum and the 41 Magnum.

In the 357 Magnum, I push it to the MAX. 16.7 grains under a Winchester 158 JHP with a Winchester magnum primer. I also like to load these into nickel cases where the target loads I put into brass.

This load will have acceptable velocity in the snubby, but with a rather loud, deep, throaty bark and huge orange fireball. My shooting buddy used to call this load out of our 2 1/2" Model 19s "The Attention Getter"



It will really shine out of your Big Boy with much less bark and flash



Just make sure that you start 10% lower and work your way up with your component mix in your firearm



For the mid/light load, I use 150-158 grain hard cast SWCs over 6 grains of unique and a standard primer. This is what I plink with



The only thing that I load lighter than that is my HBWCs, but that is hardly a plinking bullet. Soft swagged HBWCs are expensive when you can find them.
I believe I have that exact same Model 19 in 1/2": is yours a -3, by chance? How do you describe the bluing on yours?

Was that by chance a Police Service Weapon at one time?

I love mine: with a companion Model 66-1 in 4" I find them both shooting to almost the same impact points at the range with all but the hottest loads.

Cheers!

Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 06-11-2020 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Spelin
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
I believe I have that exact same Model 19 in 1/2": is yours a -3, by chance? How do you describe the bluing on yours?

Was that by chance a Police Service Weapon at one time?

I love mine: with a companion Model 66-1 in 4" I find them both shooting to almost the same impact points at the range with all but the hottest loads.

Cheers!
Yes, it is a -3 engineering revision. The blue on mine is very good. Nice and bright

This revolver was never a LEO gun, at least nit until it came to me

However, my stepfather bought it new in 1977 at the local Police Supply outlet in Merritt Island Florida. The invoice is still in the original box. The head of KSC Security took him over there and told him what to get

I doubt that Arnold put 2 boxes of ammunition through it.

When I got it, I put the Hogue LE grips on it and I have easily put ten times as much ammunition through it. I often wear it in a Galco holster when doing classes

I have 4 snubby 66s at the moment, one being a older 3" and another being an F-Comp, plus several longer barreled 66s. In the K frame 357s I only shoot the snubbies these days.







If I am going to shoot a longer barrel 357, it is usually an N-frame or the BIG Dan Wesson SuperMag
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:11 AM
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Default Range Report

So we finally made it to the range on Monday. My bride LOVED her new revolver. Thanks for all the shared information on good loads.
I started her out with some 38 sp. loads of 148 gr LWC over 2.8 gr of WST. Nice mild load with little felt recoil and good accuracy. She got better fast.

Next load was 357 brass with 6.6 gr of Unique under 158 gr Hornady XTP. Noticeable increase in felt recoil, but nothing intimidating for her. She was very accurate and was hitting the 8 inch metal target at 25 yards 8-9 times out of 10. She really liked this load.

Finally we got to the flame thrower. 16.5 gr H110 under the same ogive. Impressive power. She handled it fine, but she won't be wanting a steady diet of those loads. She was impressed by the power of her new pistol.

We made a couple videos, but they are in .mov format and everything crashed when I tried to upload it. If I figure out how to convert it, I'll come back and post.

Thanks for all the good suggestions. We'll be trying lots of your other favorite loads in the future, and I think we'll be doing a lot more pistol shooting than we used to. Maybe I'll get the chrono out there and get some muzzle velocity numbers as well.

Thanks again, and happy shootin'
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:42 AM
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So we finally made it to the range on Monday. My bride LOVED her new revolver. Thanks for all the shared information on good loads.
I started her out with some 38 sp. loads of 148 gr LWC over 2.8 gr of WST. Nice mild load with little felt recoil and good accuracy. She got better fast.

Next load was 357 brass with 6.6 gr of Unique under 158 gr Hornady XTP. Noticeable increase in felt recoil, but nothing intimidating for her. She was very accurate and was hitting the 8 inch metal target at 25 yards 8-9 times out of 10. She really liked this load.

Finally we got to the flame thrower. 16.5 gr H110 under the same ogive. Impressive power. She handled it fine, but she won't be wanting a steady diet of those loads. She was impressed by the power of her new pistol.

We made a couple videos, but they are in .mov format and everything crashed when I tried to upload it. If I figure out how to convert it, I'll come back and post.

Thanks for all the good suggestions. We'll be trying lots of your other favorite loads in the future, and I think we'll be doing a lot more pistol shooting than we used to. Maybe I'll get the chrono out there and get some muzzle velocity numbers as well.

Thanks again, and happy shootin'

Outstanding! Definitely invest in a chronograph, I find it to be a fantastic tool in developing handloads.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:29 AM
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Outstanding! Definitely invest in a chronograph, I find it to be a fantastic tool in developing handloads.
I have a chrono, I just typically don't set it up when my wife and I are plinking. I'm definitely going to get some numbers on these loads though. I'm anxious to compare velocities and see how they correlate with recoil.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:59 AM
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Oh, I almost forgot. Our second load before the Unique 357 load was a 357 load of 4.5 gr Trail Boss under the 148 gr LWC. That load was accurate, and you could shoot it all day long. Very manageable recoil, and very little drop from 10 yard range to the 25 yard range. She was hitting that steel plate at will.

About the flame thrower video. Can't post videos here I'm told, but you can post a link, so here is a link to my wife shooting her flame thrower (in slow motion for effect). Turn up the sound you can hear it hit the steel target. Take a big whiff as well. Smells like freedom! :

Box

Happy shootin' all
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:55 AM
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Yep, watched the video and that's classic, flame throwing, high blast, clears people from either side of you on the firing line H110/W296.
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Old 06-19-2020, 01:31 PM
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Default Chrono Data

Went out yesterday and chromo'd the loads

38 Sp. loads
1) 2.8 gr WST under 148 gr LWC
597 617 686 676 657
2) 3.6 gr WST under 148 gr Berry's plated 148 gr HBWC
734 735 733 717 720

.357 loads
1) 4.5 gr TB under 148 gr LWC
798 779 750 790 777
2) 6.6 gr Unique under 158 gr. Hornady XTP
908 908 904 928 911
3) 16.5 gr H110 under 158 gr. Hornady XTP
XXX 989 XXX 1055 XXX
Trouble with chrono at this point. Tried another string, no better

Just for fun, chrono'd the last load in the Henry rifle
1594 1681 1705 1683 1696

The Trail Boss 357 round is fun to shoot and accurate as well out to 25 yards. The Unique rounds are very accurate and a little more punch.

Big surprise of the day: I really like the 3.6 WST load with the 148 gr Berry's plated HBWC. Someone on another forum said it was his competition load for 38 Sp rounds, so I thought I'd give it a try. Very consistent, accurate and very pleasant to shoot.

Happy shootin'
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