Mild .357 handload advice needed

Mild .357 handload advice needed

This is a discussion on Mild .357 handload advice needed within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm trying to find a load for my SP101 that will be somewhat more powerful than a 38+P load, but less than a full power ...

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Thread: Mild .357 handload advice needed

  1. #1
    Member Array deadhawg's Avatar
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    Mild .357 handload advice needed

    I'm trying to find a load for my SP101 that will be somewhat more powerful than a 38+P load, but less than a full power .357 load, using Speer 135 GR short barrel bullets. A little arthritis in my hands has made full power .357's painful to shoot, though 38+P doesn't bother me.
    According to my Speer loading book, starting powder weights for .357 produce 2-300 FPS more than max 38+p loads. I know that using less than starting powder charges can be dangerous in rifles, but would that matter in this case? I have several different powders on hand, including W 296, Unique, and blue dot. I would be using .357 cases, not trying to load 38 cases above recomended charges.
    Any recomendations?
    How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual; as a trustworthy & productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised and taken care of.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Use your low end 357 mag loads listed in the book.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  3. #3
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Sorry about the arthritus because it can really create major problems like you've experienced. I wouldn't recommend using any powder charge below starting level in any respectable loading manual because you begin running the risk of insufficient pressure that could leave a bullet lodged in the barrel for the next round to turn your handgun into a hand grenade.

    Sometimes you can get the same velocity with a recoil that's not as sharp by using one of the slower burning powders recommended in the manual if your barrel is at least 4.5" in length. The rule of thumb is to look for the particular powder that takes a greater amount for the same velocity with the same weight bullet. Fast burning powders like the old Bullseye or Unique don't take much for a full load because they burn extremely fast, develop maximum pressure very quickly, and result in a sharper recoil. Slower burning powder takes a little more for the same load because it burns slower and builds pressure more gradually which takes a little of the sharpness out of the recoil.

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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    Great question deadhawg, I'm just getting back into reloading after +/- 15 yrs and have been wondering the exact same thing, for the exact same reason. Sound advice from all above, I've also been thinking about trying cowboy loads for the .357 to see if they calm the recoil any. I've just picked up a freebie from Hodgdon that has some cowboy loadings in it, but haven't researched them too much as I'm waiting on my .38/.357 bullets to arrive and have been playing with .44 Spl in the mean time.

    Try your LGS, maybe they've got the same handout laying around.
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    Ex Member Array Bullet1234's Avatar
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    Check out the website below for quick reference:

    357 Magnum Load Data - Handloads.Com

    Glockman10mm's advice is the correct one, always start LOW and work your way up ,,,,, working down the
    chart can CAUSE YOU PROBLEMS,,,, Basic reloading 101.

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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    I find the starting load for Unique with 148-158 gr LSWC to be quite mild out of my 3" SP101.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

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    Senior Member Array marcclarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadhawg View Post
    I know that using less than starting powder charges can be dangerous in rifles, but would that matter in this case?
    Yes. As with using light loads in rifle cases, using less-than-minimum-recommended starting loads in handgun cartridges risks detonation, where the small amount of powder in the large empty case volume results in the powder exploding (rather than burning). Detonation in a handgun makes a loud "Kaboom!" noise, generally blows apart the handgun, and usually results in injuries to one's hands, to one's eyes, and to bystanders on the firing line.

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    Member Array deadhawg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I guess what I would like to accomplish is to obtain the same velocity from a 2" barrel with a .357 load that I would get from a .38 spl +P out of a 6" barrel, if that makes any sense. According to my Speer reloading book that shows "short barrel" velocities along with 6" barrel velocities, one loses 2-300 FPS with a 2" barrel compared to the same load from a 6" barrel.

    I agree that a slower burning powder could produce a softer recoil in a longer barrel, but I'm doubtful that a slow burning powder would burn completely with the a 2" barrel on my SP101.

    I understand the concern about having a bullet stuck in the barrel with too light a load, but as any light .357 load I want to try will still exceed .38+p velocity, I doubt that will be an issue.

    I loaded up some .357's with the starting charge of W296 yesterday, hope to get a chance to shoot a few of them tomorrow and see how they feel.
    How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual; as a trustworthy & productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised and taken care of.
    Suzanna Hupp

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    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    deadhawg,
    I would strongly suggest you look on Hodgdons site at both the standard data, and the Cowboy data. I would load either WW231, or Titegroup, with a 125 or so bullet. Titegroup was made for small charges in large cases, with no detonation problems. I have loaded thousands of rounds with WW231 behind a 125 JHP for Local PD practice at around 1200fps (excellent control/accuracy). Stay away from light charges of SLOW powder, especially in a 2" gun, No good will come of it.

    Terry

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Partner, if you are not choreographing your loads, you are wasting your time. "Feel" will tell you nothing about velocity.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Partner, if you are not choreographing your loads, you are wasting your time.
    Dancing bullets! Now THIS I gotta see!
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #12
    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    That's kind of what I was thinking, but I thought I'd leave it alone.

    Terry
    marcclarke likes this.

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    5.0 grains of Unique under a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter clocks 932 fps over my chronograph screens from a 6-inch Smith & Wesson Model 27.

    3.0 grains of Bulls-eye under a 148 grain lead wadcutter gives a light target load that goes 703 fps.

    Both these loads are put up in .357 Magnum cases.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  14. #14
    Member Array deadhawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exsimguy1 View Post
    deadhawg,
    I would strongly suggest you look on Hodgdons site at both the standard data, and the Cowboy data. I would load either WW231, or Titegroup, with a 125 or so bullet. Titegroup was made for small charges in large cases, with no detonation problems. I have loaded thousands of rounds with WW231 behind a 125 JHP for Local PD practice at around 1200fps (excellent control/accuracy). Stay away from light charges of SLOW powder, especially in a 2" gun, No good will come of it.

    Terry
    Thanks, sounds like titegroup might be what I'm looking for.
    How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual; as a trustworthy & productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised and taken care of.
    Suzanna Hupp

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    Light charges of H110, Win296, 2400, and 4227 are just recipes for "yuck" performance and nastiness in a revolver bore full of partially burned powder granules.

    When the slower powders suitable for straight-walled magnum revolver cartridges are "lit off" they generally like to build up a "full head of steam." One of my older handloading manuals even cautions against using H110 in lighter charge weights than near max. Seems they thought H110 only operated properly within a narrow range. I can't recall which manual features this information but it also cautioned against using H110 (or Win296) with cast lead bullets. Since that time I've seen published data for these powders using cast lead bullets so I don't know what the issue could have been. I really like H110 but won't use it with lead bullets. I haven't seen any really mild loads published for H110 or Win296 in any publication. Those powders seem to like to be run flat out.

    Really, that is a rather nebulous area, trying to find a load between +P .38 Special and .357 Magnum. There is a lot of overlap between some .38 Special +P factory loadings and some of these newer light .357 Magnum "-P" loadings marketed these days.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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