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Old 01-14-2011, 09:46 PM
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Default What has happened to the .357 Magnum?

I have been doing some research on the .357 for another project of mine, and it seems to me that the .357 Magnum, much like other rounds, is not what it used to be. I was going through my old loading manuals, and to look at what those old loadings used to be, the stuff being churned out now is darned anemic.
According to the Lyman 41st Edition printed in 1957, a load of 15.5 grains of 2400 for a max loading gave a velocity of 1538 fps (no barrel length was listed).
Now take this into account vs the current 158 grain semi-jacketed soft point (Remington) moving at an advertised 1235 fps. This is nearly a 300 fps difference! Granted even in that old manual, the data is listed for use only in large frame revolvers, so no Model 19's for this stuff.
What about the 125 grain hollow point, like the Remington Golden Saber, long touted as THE defense load for the .357 Magnum?
The advertised muzzle velocity for that round is 1220 fps. Even Lyman's Pistol & Revolver Handbook, 3rd Edition from 2004 lists various handloads for the 125 grain jacketed hollow point for various powders from 1350-1500 fps for the max loadings, well above the listed velocity for the Golden Saber. The barrel length used for the loads in the Lyman Pistol & Revolver Handbook was 4-inches.
So what has happened to the once mighty .357 Magnum? Is it because the quality of the guns has gone down? Are people more recoil sensitive? Personally I can only imagine a 1,400 fps load out of a J-frame revolver being quite snappy. But maybe this is why the .357 is not the hunting round it used to be? With variations of 300 fps in some loads, I would imagine that would make a difference on a whitetail deer. It makes one wonder what a 1,500 fps 158 grain cast SWC out of a 6 inch barreled revolver would do on a whitetail. It might be worth exploring.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:58 PM
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for full power loads that I shoot out of my 6" 28 I use 158swc with 14.5 grns of 2400 and they certainly feel more powerful than any of the factory ammo I have shot.. But I havenent done any reasearch on the matter.. My inclination is that the companies are trying to be safe and keep people far away from max loadings
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:06 PM
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The Golden Saber is no longer the go-to defense load. Better options exist, and that Rem load as now know as a light 357 for people that want just a little more than 38 +P.

SD ammo hasn't gotten weaker, it has gotten smarter. The informed shooting public today wants less recoil, less flash, and a better expanding hollow point that doesn't need to be pushed to ridiculous velocities to work. Velocity is not the only factor to consider now that we have better bullets. Some of the SD ammo out now, especially the PDX-1 and Critical Defense lines, are probably some of the best engineered SD ammo ever. Sure legal liability has watered down some things, such as 10mm ammo. But being a handloader, none of that affects me.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:10 PM
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The Remington Golden Saber .357 is a medium velocity loading and never was full power. Remington and Federal both have 1450fps 125gr. SJHP loads that you are referring to as "THE" load. In general though the 158gr loads are little toned down now as is common in the cartridge world. Probably due to perceived wear on guns. I think that 45 Hardball isn't as hot as it originally was either.

A 1,500 fps 158 grain cast SWC will probably do the same thing as one going 1200 fps, penetrate both sides of a whitetail with small holes on both sides. A guy on another forum killed a whitetail with the .38+P SWCHP. It penetrated all the way to the other side of the chest and stopped under the skin.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:15 PM
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I think what your noticing in factory ammo is the same marketing ploy as the "+P" myth.

Decrease the velocity, change the ogive of the bullet, package the rounds in boxes of 20 and call them "Laser Beam Black Death Talons!!!"

Shooters will beat a path to your door to buy.

Reloaders are the last ones to accually study ballistics and know the difference between performance and Mierda de toro.

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Old 01-14-2011, 11:33 PM
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The same thing has happened to the guns. There was a time when you needed an N frame gun that weighed about 48 ounces to handle the fire and brimstone from a full house 357 load. Today you can buy a 10 oz revolver chambered for the same loads. I also recall that the advertising indicated that the recoil from the early magnums would take your arm off if you weren't careful. Now I seem to think shooting a full house gunload or two will break your wrist or hammer your palm into a throbbing mess.

Then there is the issue of light quality guns. I'm not even so sure the M19 is up to the hammering you'd get from continued full house loads. Worse, the M19 uses quality parts. I'm not so sure of some of the other 357s I've seen at gun shops and shows.

Then there's the issue of optimistic numbers published in advertising manuals. Often achieved by the use of solid breach pressure barrels 10" long or so.

For fun, I'd suggest you haunt the gun shows looking for older 357 ammo to test fire over your own Chronograph. See what kind of numbers those actually achieve. Then test some of the current production loads to see how they perform. Keep the playing field level.

There are those who felt S&W and the ammo companies took a big risk back in the day when they marketed 38/44 HD ammo. It would fit into and fire in all the old Spanish knock off revolvers. Often with disastrous results. Back in the day, the only 357 handguns you could obtain were quality. Better still, they were brand new. But over the last 3/4s century some aren't still pristine, and some never were.

We've been bombarded with comments that S&W 44s aren't up to much abuse at all. We're told we need a Ruger or Freedom Arms revolver to even fire the overloads being sold by some makers. It doesn't take skill to pour too much powder into a case. Really, we have no idea what pressures some loads achieve. Nor the real velocities.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:42 PM
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The same thing has happened to the guns. There was a time when you needed an N frame gun that weighed about 48 ounces to handle the fire and brimstone from a full house 357 load. Today you can buy a 10 oz revolver chambered for the same loads. I also recall that the advertising indicated that the recoil from the early magnums would take your arm off if you weren't careful. Now I seem to think shooting a full house gunload or two will break your wrist or hammer your palm into a throbbing mess.

Then there is the issue of light quality guns. I'm not even so sure the M19 is up to the hammering you'd get from continued full house loads. Worse, the M19 uses quality parts. I'm not so sure of some of the other 357s I've seen at gun shops and shows.

Then there's the issue of optimistic numbers published in advertising manuals. Often achieved by the use of solid breach pressure barrels 10" long or so.

For fun, I'd suggest you haunt the gun shows looking for older 357 ammo to test fire over your own Chronograph. See what kind of numbers those actually achieve. Then test some of the current production loads to see how they perform. Keep the playing field level.

There are those who felt S&W and the ammo companies took a big risk back in the day when they marketed 38/44 HD ammo. It would fit into and fire in all the old Spanish knock off revolvers. Often with disastrous results. Back in the day, the only 357 handguns you could obtain were quality. Better still, they were brand new. But over the last 3/4s century some aren't still pristine, and some never were.

We've been bombarded with comments that S&W 44s aren't up to much abuse at all. We're told we need a Ruger or Freedom Arms revolver to even fire the overloads being sold by some makers. It doesn't take skill to pour too much powder into a case. Really, we have no idea what pressures some loads achieve. Nor the real velocities.
Man if that aint the truth!!
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:00 AM
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David,

There are several factors in the reduced performance of .357 Magnum, and it doesn't really have anything to do with "dumbing down" the loads.

At the time the cartridge was originally introduced there were two things still very common. First was jacketed bullets were unheard of for revolver cartridges, lead was the norm. Second was that cartridges were still commonly tested in actual firearms of the type the cartridge was intended for. Typically the longest standard barrels were selected for determining best (read most impressive) performance to be published. So, the most likely barrel length used would have been an 8 3/4" S&W .357 Magnum.

Let's look at relative performance. As you noted, published velocity for 15.5 gr 2400 behind a 158 LSWC will generate 1525+/- FPS, and it does this from an 8 3/8" barrel revolver. Actually, 15.3 gr will do this, and loads have been published up to 16.0 gr. I have chronographed loads up to 16.0 gr, and there is virtually no improvement in velocity over 15.3 gr.

The first thing that has reduced velocities is the widespread use of jacketed bullets. Using the maximum listed loads of 2400 from the older Hercules/Alliant manual, 15.3 for lead and 15.2 for jacketed the results I have obtained from my 8 3/8" Model 27 are Lead 1515-1530 FPS, and jacketed bullets 1240-1285 FPS. That is a loss of 230-290 FPS from, basically, nothing more than changing bullet type! The highest velocity I ever observed with a 158 jacketed bullet was 1335 FPS. Note that these were all fired in the same revolver!

The second thing is rarely does anyone shoot and chronograph an 8 3/8" revolver. Most data you see is what did someones 6", 4" or 2 1/2" barrel did. Well, I can show you that by test samples shot at the same time, with the same batch of ammunition, in different barrel lengths. Just a small sample, using the 158 JHP/2400:

Hdy 158 XTP-HP, 15.2/2400
8 3/8" 1283 FPS
6" 1233 FPS
2 1/8" 1067 FPS (640-1)

Speer 158 GDHP, 15.3/2400
8 3/8" 1240 FPS
5" 1140 FPS

158 LSWCGC RCBS, 15.2/2400 (This batch of powder ran a little slow)
8 3/8" 1504 FPS
6" 1405 FPS
2 1/8" 1157 FPS (640-1)

Note that an earlier lot of powder gave 1525 and 1529 FPS from the 8 3/8" barrel. These were all shot in various Model 27 S&Ws except as noted.

I have a lot more, with other powders, but these are representative of the classic full power .357 Magnum load that delivers original velocity with full length barrel and lead bullets. So, if you have a load with a jacketed 158 that does 1250 in a 4" barrel it really is doing far better than should be expected, and it is hardly a reduced load! And, FWIW, 1525 from a 158 gr bullet in a 6" barrel isn't likely to happen! I hope this helps you to see what is reasonable for the cartridge with loads that do replicate the original ballistics of the cartridge.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:01 AM
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Mierda de toro.

GF
...Can you say that in a public forum?

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Old 01-15-2011, 12:38 AM
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.38 Special isn't what it used to be either......I bought a box of old Remington Lubaloy .38's from the 60's at a gun show, and they were hotter than the new Magtech **** I have. Some of the new .38's almost feel like gallery loads. Ammo makers are afraid someone will put a hot .38 in some zinc pot metal Saturday night special and blow it up, so they download them.

This is why .38 +P is the "new" .38 Special for anything serious, and "standard" .38 Special is now seen as a "plinker" or range round.

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:02 AM
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So does this mean that I can put .357 loads in .38 cases, for my 686?

Last saturday I shot some .38s that I loaded to what Tight group said was the max. I then shot some 158s full magnums from Independence, and O my they hurt my hand.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:20 AM
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The .357 Magnum is alive and well, both the revolvers and the factory ammunition, if you do your job and make the right choices.

There are still outstanding quality revolvers available and factory "full house" loads just as hot as they've always been, more so if you opt for loads from outfits like Buffalo Bore and Double Tap.

I carry a Performance Center 627 8-shot .357 Magnum and it is, by far, the finest revolver I've ever owned or carried (which covers a lot of ground). My carry ammo is Federal's 130gr Hydra-Shok load. It launches its 130gr bullet at an honest 1400+ fps and is the very definition of "stout."

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Old 01-15-2011, 12:15 PM
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I remember shooting some of that old, hot Winchester ammo in a Python. After one cylinder, the bore was so leaded that a Lewis Lead Remover brought out strings of lead 2-3" long.

My feeling is that there is no discernible difference on game between a 1250 fps .357 load and a 1500 fps load. All the additional velocity does is flatten out the trajectory for long range shooting, and not by much. Where it shows up is beyond the range that most people can hit anything. A 1500 fps .357 is a (slightly) extended range 1250 fps .357, not a different, vastly more powerful round.

If you need more power than the 1250 fps .357, you need more caliber and bullet weight, not more velocity.

Of course, this is just my opinion but it was formed by over 40 years of shooting handguns.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:22 PM
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the .357 & .38 are just more examples of what you see about every where these days from broadcast journalism to the current crop of revolvers.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:38 PM
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I remember shooting some of that old, hot Winchester ammo in a Python. After one cylinder, the bore was so leaded that a Lewis Lead Remover brought out strings of lead 2-3" long.

My feeling is that there is no discernible difference on game between a 1250 fps .357 load and a 1500 fps load. All the additional velocity does is flatten out the trajectory for long range shooting, and not by much. Where it shows up is beyond the range that most people can hit anything. A 1500 fps .357 is a (slightly) extended range 1250 fps .357, not a different, vastly more powerful round.

If you need more power than the 1250 fps .357, you need more caliber and bullet weight, not more velocity.

Of course, this is just my opinion but it was formed by over 40 years of shooting handguns.
You can only feel this way if you believe kinetic energy has absolutely no effect on a living target. Some pretty smart folks believe it does. For my part, I shoot the hottest stuff I can skillfully handle.

P. S.- I know people who've been cooking for 40+ years and you still wouldn't want to eat one of their meals.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:59 PM
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You can only feel this way if you believe kinetic energy has absolutely no effect on a living target. Some pretty smart folks believe it does. For my part, I shoot the hottest stuff I can skillfully handle.

P. S.- I know people who've been cooking for 40+ years and you still wouldn't want to eat one of their meals.
Good for you. Eat your own cooking and never learn from anybody else.

FWIW, the 'pretty smart folks' who believe kinetic energy is the last word in handgun power are free to believe whatever they want. That will lead them to the conclusion that a hot .357 is more effective in the field than a .45 Colt. It isn't. If they use both long enough, they'll prove it to themselves.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:03 PM
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It seems if you don't handload and you want a "stout" .357 for defense you have to buy one of the specialty defensive brands, like Gold Dot, TAP, or any of the other stuff that comes in boxes of 25 that you basically shoot 6 to make sure it works and then use the rest for HD or CC.

Or you have to get something like the CorBon Or Buffalo Bore ".357 +P" stuff.

Otherwise, from what I have read the "max pressure" specs of what most ammo makers use for .357 has dropped to lower levels. I am not a ballistics expert, or any of that, but people who have been shooting since before I was even born tell me factory .357 isn't loaded as powerful as it "used to be".

Like was said above, if you need it "hotter" than you need a .41 or .44 Magnum.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:05 PM
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Since the trend seems to have migrated away from revolvers that resulted in a hit toward the .357 caliber.

But there must still be an interest because the ammo sure is expensive.

I don't own a .357 but may get one if the price is right. Not sure if I really want to take on another caliber. Not enough room to store ammo. Maybe when the kids go off to college their room can be the ammo storage room.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:24 PM
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It makes one wonder what a 1,500 fps 158 grain cast SWC out of a 6 inch barreled revolver would do on a whitetail. It might be worth exploring.
I hunt with a load very similar to that. Deer are pretty thin skinned, so I want rapid expansion. Deer are probably comparable to a human with a jacket and shirt on.

As for what the 1500 fps 158 grain bullet does, well not much. A lot less than a 150gr 3,000 fps out of a 30.06 does! Kinetic energy is alive and well in my world.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:35 PM
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That will lead them to the conclusion that a hot .357 is more effective in the field than a .45 Colt.
Only if they try to make caliber comparisons and no one is doing that in this thread but you.

Whether I'm shooting a .357 Magnum, a .45 Colt, or any other caliber you want to interject, I'll generally choose the load that generates the most energy. I'd mention the amount of experience I have shooting living targets, but I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. Others are free to choose for themselves.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:20 PM
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No, I pointed out that a hot .357 has more kinetic energy than a .45 Colt yet the .45 Colt is a better field cartridge. That blows the 'kinetic energy is what makes any caliber good and/or effective' theory to pieces.

I will also state that nothing you shoot can tell the difference between a 1250 fps .357 load and one traveling 1500 fps. There--I kept it to one caliber, if the comparison was so offensive to you.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:16 AM
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I will also state that nothing you shoot can tell the difference between a 1250 fps .357 load and one traveling 1500 fps.
This is pure conjecture based on nothing except your preconceived notions which is exactly the point I was trying to make in the first place. Beyond this, we know that humans act very differently when shot than animals do so when we're talking about self-defense loads, hunting experiences are irrelevant.

Because YOU don't notice your target acting differently doesn't mean THEY aren't experiencing a difference.

One thing we know for certain, that 250 fps additional velocity and the additional energy generated "may" not have any additional effect on your target, but it damn sure isn't going to make them feel any better!

And now that I've already wasted more time on this topic than I should have, I'll leave you to it.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:23 PM
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Name something that a 1500 fps .357 load will handle that a 1250 fps load didn't. If you can't, then it's conjecture on your part.

Speaking of 'pre-conceived notions'....one can't maintain 'pre-conceived notions' for over 40 years if they are wrong. You seem to have a pretty good supply of your own pre-conceived notions. You may not be alone, but I don't know many people who will say "hunting experiences are irrelevant" when it comes to assessing cartridge effectiveness. One would be hard-pressed to find a better example of a pre-conceived notion than that.

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:50 PM
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If i were facing an armed bad guy or a mean critter and had the choice of the two loads , common sense would dictate using the faster more powerful load . However the lesser load would be better than nothing .

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
.38 Special isn't what it used to be either......I bought a box of old Remington Lubaloy .38's from the 60's at a gun show, and they were hotter than the new Magtech **** I have. Some of the new .38's almost feel like gallery loads. Ammo makers are afraid someone will put a hot .38 in some zinc pot metal Saturday night special and blow it up, so they download them.

This is why .38 +P is the "new" .38 Special for anything serious, and "standard" .38 Special is now seen as a "plinker" or range round.
Actually, if you will go back to page one and read the post by Alk8944, and the quote below from rburg, the real answers will be revealed. Rburg: "Then there's the issue of optimistic numbers published in advertising manuals. Often achieved by the use of solid breach pressure barrels 10" long or so."
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by David LaPell View Post
I have been doing some research on the .357 for another project of mine, and it seems to me that the .357 Magnum, much like other rounds, is not what it used to be. I was going through my old loading manuals, and to look at what those old loadings used to be, the stuff being churned out now is darned anemic.
IMHO it's more about shooting now, rather than energy "HP" or velocity. I get more range time with better economy, efficiency and accuracy with a load that is more tactile.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, speed will come with time. As well as consistent head shots.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:43 PM
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If you want hot data for the 357 magnum, you have to go to the period correct manuals.

First off, the original velocity with the 357 magnum was measured with an 8 3/4" barrel and a Registered Magnum. Sharpe covers that in his 1937 edition of Complete Reloading Guide.

In the '53 edition he lists 15.4 grns of 2400 with a 158 SWC.

My modern Laser-cast manual list 15.3 grns of 2400 with a 158 and Lyman 4th goes 13.5 grns of 2400 with a 158 and 15.5 grns with a 150 grn rnd nose.

I routinely shoot 14.5 grns of 2400 as my blaster load for 158's and have gone up to the original 1935 velocities out of my 8 3/8" pre-27's. I can tell you it takes a hair more powder then modern loads recommend but not much.

If you want the power, it is there in modern manuals, just not that often.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:14 PM
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some time round the 1990's SAAMI changed the standard on the 357mag loads from 45,000 cups to 35,000psi, the reason why is unclear.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:30 PM
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It's because lawyers run ammo companies now........

They don't want you to stick a hot factory .357 in some Spanish knock-off made in the .40's and blow the gun up.....some of these guns are supposed to be .38 Special but they're straight chambered, and some will chamber a .357.

Just like a Colt Lightning or New Army will chamber .38 Special, even though it's a .38 Long Colt. I'm sure many an uninformed shoooter has stuck some +P's in an old Colt and damaged the gun.

If you've ever fired any of the Remington Cor-Lokt 8mm Mauser, it's a prime example of this. They load this stuff like a gallery round, so no one "blows up an old rifle".
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:53 AM
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I seem to remember that 357 mag had a max pressure of about 45.000psi. Roughtly the same for the 44 magnum. Over the years there has been a steady decling or lowering of these maximum pressures. I can remember looking in a 1960's load book and see the 357 magnum 158 grain bullet clocked at 1400fps. Now today we see the same bullet doing 1200 fps or less. I'm not an expert and don't even pretend to be one. But load data over the years it seems to be coming down. Wether its from improved powders, primers or bullets. I fired a buddy's combat masterpiece in 357 mag and while this was in an indoor range it had a good solid kick to it. Not much difference shooting 357 mag out of my colt trooper III. In Fact compared to the 38 special it seem to me that there really isn't that much difference. Guess we are being protected for our own good. This is just my two cents worth. Frank
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:13 AM
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I guess the real answer is, if you want it as hot as the "old" .357, you gotta make your own.
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:06 PM
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To get the hotter loads you have to do it your self.

I was looking thur some of my notes and I have down The change was made becuase the light bullets like 125gr hot loads are to much for a lot of the med Fame revolvers.
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:17 PM
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I also think that it's the ammo manufacturers lawyering up. As well as the firearm manufacturers having the disclaimers in the warranty with language such as being intended for use with standard pressure loads only, etc.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I guess the real answer is, if you want it as hot as the "old" .357, you gotta make your own.
You guys must not of read some of the previous posts? It's all about the earlier numbers being measured out of long, unvented test barrels. I'll say it again, when the new testing requirements went into place about 1978, and S&W ammo (for example) started being measured out of real guns, their published velocities dropped 20%. Unless you are shooting your .357's out of a 10" unvented barrel, don't expect to get the old published results.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:19 AM
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I'm no expert but I bought a box of Lubaloy Super-X .357 at gun show, probably from the 60's, and that stuff was pretty hot........
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I'm no expert but I bought a box of Lubaloy Super-X .357 at gun show, probably from the 60's, and that stuff was pretty hot........
Yep, those old Lubaloys were pretty hot. I have a couple of boxes and occasionally burn a few. They do tend to lead the barrel more than any other factory load that I know of.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:32 PM
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It is probably a little bit of all of the factors listed above. I bet the change of test procedures is the largest factor, especially the test barrel.

It doesn't hurt to put things in historical context. In the 19th century with black powder , if you wanted more power, you went bigger (think 50 caliber and some of the British nitro express cartridges). With the advent of smokeless powder, higher velocities became possible. Ammunition companies marketed their cartidges by velocity and marketed velocity as a panacea. Plus, not too many people had chronos in the 1930s, so it would have been difficult to dispute.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I'm no expert but I bought a box of Lubaloy Super-X .357 at gun show, probably from the 60's, and that stuff was pretty hot........
How fast were they? I tested 3 (granted a small sample) 158 grain Lubaloy from a Yellow box of Western Super X product code 3571P, and they averaged only 1093 fps from a 4" Model 28. This was from a pre-zip code box, so it was mid-60's era or before. I did not consider that to be hot.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:26 PM
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The .357 Magnum is alive and well, both the revolvers and the factory ammunition, if you do your job and make the right choices.

There are still outstanding quality revolvers available and factory "full house" loads just as hot as they've always been, more so if you opt for loads from outfits like Buffalo Bore and Double Tap.

I carry a Performance Center 627 8-shot .357 Magnum and it is, by far, the finest revolver I've ever owned or carried (which covers a lot of ground). My carry ammo is Federal's 130gr Hydra-Shok load. It launches its 130gr bullet at an honest 1400+ fps and is the very definition of "stout."






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Old 04-24-2011, 09:44 PM
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No, I pointed out that a hot .357 has more kinetic energy than a .45 Colt yet the .45 Colt is a better field cartridge. That blows the 'kinetic energy is what makes any caliber good and/or effective' theory to pieces.

I will also state that nothing you shoot can tell the difference between a 1250 fps .357 load and one traveling 1500 fps. There--I kept it to one caliber, if the comparison was so offensive to you.
what field are you talking about? I hope it isn't a bean field. I hunt deer with a 357, wouldn't think about it with a 45, to fat and slow, has a trajectory like a rainbow. good SD round, but that's it. so the above statement is not entirely accurate.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:49 PM
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some time round the 1990's SAAMI changed the standard on the 357mag loads from 45,000 cups to 35,000psi, the reason why is unclear.
cups and psi are not equal. From what I have read, there is not arithmetic formula to convert one to the other, either. Don't understand that, just repeating what I have read. So I am not sure there is any difference in the actual pressure pushing the bullet out of the barrel in those numbers.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:23 PM
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some time round the 1990's SAAMI changed the standard on the 357mag loads from 45,000 cups to 35,000psi, the reason why is unclear.
Whenever the .357 velocity issue comes up I always think the same thing: Add the above quote + the eventual demise of the Combat Magnum 19/66 and you get modern ammo loadings. The .357 started out in a large frame with a lot more steel and we kept scaling the steel back more and more. Alloys and heat treating will only get you so far when you have less steel to work with. I'm willing to bet that you can also add in the combo of the desire for reduces recoil loads combined with marketing logic of smaller guns being able to handle .357 loads and what do you think they are going to end up doing with the .357 now not so magnum??? So maybe it is our own fault for wanting more from less? Example: I love my 2.5 Model 19 but I can't imagine what it would be like firing a 1,500 FPS 158 gr SWC from it while I have been able to fire both 125 gr Remington Golden Saber and Federal 130 gr Hydra Shock from my Model 640 wearing a Pachmayr Compac stock. So maybe what we could be asking for is a bring back on the higher pressure loads but make them +P and start marking guns as such. You run not too much more risk than if you load +P .38's in a non +P gun. That seems reasonable to me and should placate lawyers the same way.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:30 PM
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cups and psi are not equal. From what I have read, there is not arithmetic formula to convert one to the other, either. Don't understand that, just repeating what I have read. So I am not sure there is any difference in the actual pressure pushing the bullet out of the barrel in those numbers.
Also:

PSI to CUP CONVERSION FORMULA

Something like this always pops up when I search for this, and this is what I always see for a conversion. It is always labeled as not being exact but always close. So no, it isn't exact but you are still talking apples and not oranges. But this is why you start loads low and work them up. What works in one gun may not work in yours.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:49 PM
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I think another reason for the decline in velocity of factory offerings is the evolution and improvement of the bullets. For self defense purposes you don't need maximum velocities for them to work, however for hunting purposes, it is getting harder to find good loads other than specialty rounds at a premium price.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:40 PM
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After doing some chrono work in the field...I agree with some of the statements about "not being what it used to be." I have sold two .357's in the last month. S&W 686 and Ruger GP100. Not because I don't like the caliber...I just enjoy shooting it better with my Blackhawks...same goes for the .41 mag...Blackhawk gets the nod when I am in the boonies or hunting. I will just continue to load my own for SD and hunting and stick with the SA revolvers for outdoor stuff. 2 cents.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:21 AM
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I think another reason for the decline in velocity of factory offerings is the evolution and improvement of the bullets. For self defense purposes you don't need maximum velocities for them to work, however for hunting purposes, it is getting harder to find good loads other than specialty rounds at a premium price.
Hi guys, I signed up just to make this point... First, I shoot daily, mostly 22, and at least 15-30 rounds of 357 a week. I prefer Rem GS 125's. They have a BRASS jacket. Brass is a mixture of copper and zinc, the zinc making the copper less malleable. So, a RGS hollow point will not physically open the same as a copper jacket in the same material at the same velocity. Because the copper expands faster, more velocity is required to acheieve similar penetration as the bullet mushrooms soon after striking an organic mass.

Now compare the original .357 158gr. LSWC (soft lead round) @1400fps vs say remington 158 jsp @1200 or so... unjacketed lead would have what I consider to be "uncontrolled expansion" at that velocity. Opening almost instantly upon impact, the velocity was needed to achieve adequate penetration with the now severely deformed projectile. Compare that to the copper jacketed round, less boom, same penetration, thanks to the "controlled expansion" provided by the new fangled copper jacket. Copper jackets provide other benefits, such as cleaner barrels and better accuracy after more shots fired. The tradeoff is obvious in 'stopping power' as defined by 'pound feet'... more on this in a moment...

With the RGS brass, opening slower, if you threw that sucker at 1500 fps (as so many seem to think is necessary) it would blow right on through a man-sized target. I am experimenting with hand loads with GS 125's cooking at 2200 fps from my M77. Penetration is NOT an issue. I plan to hunt white tail with these projectiles this fall. I will have a better Idea of real world effects then. For now I have seen one penetrate 18" of solid beeswax. The petals were lost, but the core was still in pretty good shape. Who knows could be a black bear capable bullet too. More pen tests before I go that far.

The moral of the story? It has been proven time and time again, shot placement and adequate penetration are much more important than sheer force. GS rounds open consistently and penetrate to the depth necessary, and simply put, the extra velocity, flash, and recoil are not necessary to achieve a fight stopping hit. In my opinion, for it's intended purpose, the golden saber is the most well designed projectile for its application and loading, Not to mention it's proving to be a helluva rifle bullet when shes moving fast. Wish they made them in 158's and 180's.

Don't knock it till you try it.

Last edited by McJoe; 03-10-2012 at 02:40 PM. Reason: removing irrelevant info. sorry for errors im on a 4" screen here.
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:17 AM
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Interesting info about the 125 gr Rem GS driven to those velocities. It seems to me that 2200fps may be just a little outside of the design envelope for expansion for good penetration and weight retention on big game, especially a tough critter like a bear. But if it holds together long enough, it should hit pretty hard.

I run the Hornady 160gr JTC-SIL in my Marlin 1894-C at over 1900 fps with Lil'Gun. I don't know if it expands or not because I haven't recovered one but it sure penetrates and will take the air out of deer! I would probably consider them adequate for black bears at close range since that is roughly equivalent to 30-30 levels at 100 yards and while not the best choice, the 30-30 has been used for that purpose for a good long time. I haven't tried any 125s yet, but achieving 2200fps should be possible with Lil'Gun in a carbine.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:46 AM
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Hi guys, I signed up just to make this point... First, I shoot daily, mostly 22, and at least 15-30 rounds of 357 a week. I prefer Rem GS 125's. They have a BRASS jacket. Brass is a mixture of copper and zinc. To put this in perspective, what happens when you add zinc to lead? It becomes harder (hence the term "hard cast"). So, a RGS hollow point will not physically open the same as a copper jacket. Because the copper expands faster, more velocity is required to acheieve necessary penetration as the bullet mushrooms soon after striking an organic mass, slowing itself down.

Now compare the original .357 158gr. LSWC round @1500fps vs say remington 158 jsp @1200 or so... unjacketed lead would have what I consider to be "uncontrolled expansion" at that velocity. Opening almost instantly upon impact, the velocity was needed to achieve adequate penetration with the now severely deformed projectile. Compare that to the copper jacketed round, less boom, same penetration, thanks to the "controlled expansion" provided by the new fangled copper jacket. Copper jackets provide other benefits, such as cleaner barrels and better accuracy after more shots fired. The tradeoff is obvious in 'stopping power' as defined by 'pound feet'... more on this in a moment...

With the RGS brass, opening slower, if you threw that sucker at 1500 fps it would blow right on through a man-sized target. I am experimenting with hand loads with GS 125's cooking at 2200 fps from my M77. Penetration is NOT an issue. I plan to hunt white tail with these projectiles this fall. Who knows could be a black bear capable bullet too. More pen tests before I go that far.

The moral of the story? It has been proven time and time again, shot placement and adequate penetration are much more important than sheer force. GS rounds open consistently and penetrate to the depth necessary, and simply put, the extra velocity, flash, and recoil are not necessary to achieve a fight stopping hit. In my opinion, for it's intended purpose, the golden saber is the most well designed projectile for its application and loading, Not to mention it's proving to be a helluva rifle bullet when shes moving fast. Wish they made them in 158's and 180's. Oh... and did I mention that they are water proof casings? Hows that for a go to sd round?

Oh did I also mention that they perform almost the same out of a 4" barrel as they do out of a snubbie? Similar velocity, penetration, and expansion...

Don't knock it till you try it friends. If you're going to bitch about what you read on the box, know first why it says what it says. Thanks for reading.
Oh where to start
You really think that Hard Cast bullets have zinc in them?
Brass is an alloy of the mixture of copper and zinc and the Copper jackets on handgun bullets is all so an alloy the mixture of copper and zinc.
You talk about takedown power
.357 158gr. LSWC round @1500fps (is most likely going to be a hard cast LSWC GC) vs. say Remington 158 jsp @1200
And the hard cast LSWC GC 158gr is going to kick the 158gr JSP's rear end on true takedown, kill power and penetration.

I have played with a few types and brands.
The Golden Saber 125gr HP does great for a 38spl, but for a 357mag they are junk 75% of the time the jacket comes right off on pond impact. You shoot a bear with a 125gr bullet and he will eat you for dinner.

If you wish me to go on I will and you will not like it.

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Old 03-10-2012, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dream to Dream View Post
...Can you say that in a public forum?

Heck, look at what "Firefly" got away with by speaking Chinese!

Geoff
Who is told at least one native Mandarin speaker turned off the TV!
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:43 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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What has happened to the .357 Magnum? What has happened to the .357 Magnum? What has happened to the .357 Magnum? What has happened to the .357 Magnum? What has happened to the .357 Magnum?  
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I usually don't even come to this section of the forum.

As for the 357Mag being weenie-ized, no, it hasn't been, to my knowledge. 'Course, my knowledge is solely based on the ammo that is turned out on my equipment in my basement with bullets cast in my garage, um, for the most part.

I shoot some jacketed stuff, mostly in rifle loads though.

To put things in perspective though, I have a 357Mag load that leaves a Marlin 1894 at over 2000fps, it uses a Hornady 158gr XTP and a healthy heapin' helpin of Lil' Gun powder. In past experiences with this rifle and the corresponding handgun, a M586 with a 6" barrel, there is usually a 300fps difference in velocity between the two. That being said, I do not shoot Lil' Gun through revolvers because of the issue that Freedom Arms has explored when others have done so.

All of this may seem to be apples and oranges to you folks here BUT, the point I am trying to make is this: "Stop being controlled by others. You are quite capable of having the exact ammo you want, when you want it, in the quantities you want, for the price you want that has been developed by you in your firearms. The system to provide such is called RELOADING! Start today!"

All of that being said, there is no zinc in cast bullets. If you put one ppm in your melt, you will have ruined its ability to fill the mould out and it is of no use to you at that point. Other metals are added to such alloys, antimony, Tin, Linotype, Monotype along with others, to make bullets harder.

FWIW
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