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Old 09-04-2021, 10:28 PM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
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Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.  
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Default Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.

Newly acquired BLR in .358, because I'm overrun with 7.62 NATO cases, and 180 grain Nosler Partition Gold HG bullets. Have plenty of load data. LEE dies opened up the cases beautifully. Has anyone encountered any strange anomalies to look out for?
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Old 09-04-2021, 10:52 PM
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I last loaded 358 about 12 years ago. It wasn't finicky at all. I mostly used 225 grain Sierra SPBT.

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Old 09-05-2021, 01:37 PM
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I'd reduce starting loads a grain or two & compare chrono to published to see how much surplus cases increase pressure before loading up . I too like the SIE 225 & IMR 3031 . Some find that 358W recoil in a BLR a bit much . All that said 358 will do 90% of what a 35 Whelan will do within 200yds or less . Hard to beat for large critters in the timber . Not my first choice for griz or brownies though .
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Old 09-05-2021, 02:14 PM
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I'd reduce starting loads a grain or two & compare chrono to published to see how much surplus cases increase pressure before loading up . I too like the SIE 225 & IMR 3031 . Some find that 358W recoil in a BLR a bit much . All that said 358 will do 90% of what a 35 Whelan will do within 200yds or less . Hard to beat for large critters in the timber . Not my first choice for griz or brownies though .
Great advice on military type case capacity! Go slow.
!
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Old 09-05-2021, 02:57 PM
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If you're forming brass out of military .308 you'd be wise to run them through a .308 small base sizer first. You can even use a 30-06 sb sizer initially, then form them with .358 sizer. If you don't, you'll likely wish you did - they usually chamber hard if you don't. Very easy to load otherwise and not finicky as others have said. I love the cartridge, it never got its due for my 2 cents . . .
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:17 PM
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Been loading for my 1st generation BLR since about 1980. Factory ammo was out of sight, price wise, even back then, compared to the more common rounds.

Only real thoughts are make sure you do not over crimp, as that can set the neck back slightly, causing a slight bulge in the shoulder, as can neck expanding from .308 to .358 if not lubed properly. And that brings up my second thought - The BLR does not have a lot of camming or extraction power, so make sure any rounds you intend to use for serious use get run thru the gun first to test cycling. These guns are also fun with cast bullets. Depending on what powder you use, slight powder compression may be needed as case capacity is a limiting factor. Using a drop tube, or tapping a full case can help settle the powder a little, especially with large grain stick powders.

Never needed a small base die, but I only use military brass for this application fired from one of my tight chambered bolt actions, not my looser chambered battle rifles.

The .358 win in a BLR is in my opinion, about the perfect woods big game rig.

Forgot to add make sure you trim your cases after forming.

Larry

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Old 09-05-2021, 05:44 PM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
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Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.  
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If you're forming brass out of military .308 you'd be wise to run them through a .308 small base sizer first. You can even use a 30-06 sb sizer initially, then form them with .358 sizer. If you don't, you'll likely wish you did - they usually chamber hard if you don't. Very easy to load otherwise and not finicky as others have said. I love the cartridge, it never got its due for my 2 cents . . .
After resizing, I 'plunked' an unloaded case effortlessly into the chamber to check headspacing and fit ... flawless.

I'm not expecting book velocities. Simply put, I can't safely stack the same column of powder in military brass, but 2400 to 2500 fps isn't bad, and not too far off the 2700 fps Nosler publishes. Perfectly adequate for Oklahoma whitetails, and the like.
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Old 09-05-2021, 06:45 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.  
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I had one a few years ago. It had a strange habit of moving bullets left about 1 1/2" after the barrel warmed up, which took 4-5 shots. I got a screaming deal on a 358 bolt and swapped it off for something else I had to have. It is a great cartridge, and I love the BLR as a woods gun. I kept the 308 BLR made in 1980.
I think it does it's best with 200-225 gr bullets. A person on another board had to have some 250 gr rn Hornaday's for his so I split what I had.
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
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After resizing, I 'plunked' an unloaded case effortlessly into the chamber to check headspacing and fit ... flawless.

To clarify, the only one I've shot/loaded for is the one I have, and it's a custom barrel I had put on a Model 70 action. I can easily see where especially a lever gun would be a little more generous, and I'm quite sure mine has a more snug chamber.
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Old 09-05-2021, 10:37 PM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
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Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.  
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Originally Posted by NFrameFred View Post
To clarify, the only one I've shot/loaded for is the one I have, and it's a custom barrel I had put on a Model 70 action. I can easily see where especially a lever gun would be a little more generous, and I'm quite sure mine has a more snug chamber.
It's all good, your custom bolt must be sweet! I've yet to trim the length, and swage the pockets ... that's next. I'll have to flare the mouths for these little bullets, and the factory crimp die will be the final stage.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:34 PM
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No anomalies with my 358 BLR here, except perhaps that 250 grain bullets do cramp the powder a bit. I’ve settled on 225 Gr Partitions and Starline brass. Mine also doesn’t like Barnes for some reason. Great woods elk rifle; I imagine it’d be more than adequate for whitetail.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:06 AM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
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Anomalies ... so, nothing weird that people know, but don't know why they know it? IE: Don't use BlueDot in a 41 mag, don't set a car battery on concrete, don't see the bride in her dress before the wedding sort of stuff?
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:19 AM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
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Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
I had one a few years ago. It had a strange habit of moving bullets left about 1 1/2" after the barrel warmed up, which took 4-5 shots. I got a screaming deal on a 358 bolt and swapped it off for something else I had to have. It is a great cartridge, and I love the BLR as a woods gun. I kept the 308 BLR made in 1980.
I think it does it's best with 200-225 gr bullets. A person on another board had to have some 250 gr rn Hornaday's for his so I split what I had.
Actually, this is it. I figured the cartridge had a sweet spot with bullet weight. I scored a case of 200 grain Winchester factory ammo, but needed a platform to utilize some components I have that are collecting dust. When I have some once-fired commercial brass, I even have some 250 grain Hornady interlocks on deck, for comparison.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:55 AM
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Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know. Handloading for the .358 Winchester, tell me what you know.  
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Quote:
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Actually, this is it. I figured the cartridge had a sweet spot with bullet weight. I scored a case of 200 grain Winchester factory ammo, but needed a platform to utilize some components I have that are collecting dust. When I have some once-fired commercial brass, I even have some 250 grain Hornady interlocks on deck, for comparison.

Should have added that I've found the Hornady 200 grain spire points to be what mine likes. Being a 'bigger boolit' fan I consider the .358 to be the 'little brother' to my .35 Whelen. If I feel like I need more oomph from a .35 I just go there . Most of my whitetails have been taken with a .308; the Whelen is just too much in my part of the country (though I have used it for that . . . once . . . ), but the .358 is like a fly swatter on WV whitetails - very effective.


Most hunters around here are 30'06 devotee's, but the mountain whitetails in this area don't generally run to the larger side of the species and in my experience the '06 tends to 'blow them up' too badly in the normally commercially available weights (150-180). The right tool for the right job . . . I haven't had the opportunity to hunt much elsewhere but I love the .358 for what we have available (whitetail, black bear sized game). As I said, the .308 works well for me and I used it longer but variety is the spice, so they say, and I like 35 calibers.
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:35 PM
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That's a caliber I've always had my eye out for because it could be loaded with the vast array of handgun bullets. I like to experiment and I rarely load full power loads.
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Old 09-06-2021, 01:44 PM
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That's a caliber I've always had my eye out for because it could be loaded with the vast array of handgun bullets. I like to experiment and I rarely load full power loads.
Exactly why I pulled the trigger on the .358. Sierra lists reduced loads for their 140 and 158 grain offerings, and some variety of brass will always be around.

The 35 Remington is far too antiquated and mostly unobtainium to be practical.

If I lived further north, on the edge of the timber, I might have picked the Whelen, but I have a 45-70 for that stuff.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:24 PM
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I am a huge fan of the 358 Win. I use 180 pistol bullets to 250 grainers. For hunting I like 200 gr FTX and 225 Sierra Gamekings. Powders: RL15, 3031, 4320, TAC, 748, etc.

I load for Custom a Custom M70 and Savage 99.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
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Newly acquired BLR in .358, because I'm overrun with 7.62 NATO cases, and 180 grain Nosler Partition Gold HG bullets. Have plenty of load data. LEE dies opened up the cases beautifully. Has anyone encountered any strange anomalies to look out for?
Is there anything else you have to do to the cases, other than opening up the mouths?
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:24 PM
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Is there anything else you have to do to the cases, other than opening up the mouths?
Military brass will need the primer pockets swaged to remove the crimp. All cases should be checked for length, and trimmed as necessary. As others have stated, a small base sizer may be required for tight chambers. Pistol bullets and some rifle bullets aren't boattailed, so an expander die to flare the mouth for seating, and a crimp die to remove the flare post seating. That's my plan, we'll see how it goes.
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:10 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogeronimo View Post
Actually, this is it. I figured the cartridge had a sweet spot with bullet weight. I scored a case of 200 grain Winchester factory ammo, but needed a platform to utilize some components I have that are collecting dust. When I have some once-fired commercial brass, I even have some 250 grain Hornady interlocks on deck, for comparison.
The shooter that had to have the 250's was in the NE and ran into heavy bears. IIRC the last one he shot went over 400 lbs and he loved the performance of the 250's on heavy game. I think they would work well on elk in the timber, but where I hunt you are as likely to have a 400 yard shot as a 40 yard one.
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:51 PM
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A really good thing about the 358 (and the 35 Whelen) is they perform really well on game even with ordinary bullets like the Hornadys. I've yet to recover any bullet from my current Whelen or prior 358 in deer, smallish New Mexico elk, or black bears.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
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Is there anything else you have to do to the cases, other than opening up the mouths?
Pro tip: lube inside the neck to avoid collapsing the case into itself.
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