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.357 question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by evltwn, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I am reloading .357 for the first time, and have experienced the following: Using 'gunshow' nickel brass, mag primers, xtp 125 gr bullets over 9.1 grains of Unique, fired in a S and W model 60 3 inch. The cases expanded to where they would not eject from the cylinder. 8.5 grains, and they didn't stick so badly. So, the question is...do I have to stay so far down below on max powder amount? Or is there something else I am doing wrong? Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    What was/is the COAL used?
    How much crimp?

    Alliant doesn't list Hornady bullets, but their max load for the 125gr Speer GD is 9.6 grains of Unique over a CCI500 (standard primer), not a magnum primer, at a COAL of 1.58". No mention of case brand.
    Lyman's Pistol and Revolver Handbook lists their loads at 1.590 using Federal cases.

    I would double check the recommended COAL for that load, make sure you have adequate, but not excessive crimp, and work back up from 8.5grs, .2 grains at a time, using standard small pistol primers.
     
    unklekippy and (deleted member) like this.
  3. PORet

    PORet Springfield, Oregon New Member

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    I have experienced the same problem, cases bulge at the bottom and won't load or eject from the cylinder. The issue is probably your choice of powder and the short barrel of your gun. Remember, loading data is typically based on a 6 inch barrel and when you are using a shorter barrel you have to reduce your powder load. I'm not criticzing Unique because I load more Unique than any other powder. But when I'm loading ultra fast rounds, I use other powders, i.e., 2400, W231, W296, AA#9, and AA#5. These are magnum powders or powders very friendly to 357 mag. Factory loads in 125 grain JHP, do not exceed 1425 FPS out of a six inch barrel. So I adjust my powder charge for a four inch barrel, reduce the load by 25%, and don't try to exceed 1400 FPS. That's the ceiling used by the factories and from my experience, it makes sense. When loading for 125 grain bullets, my max load for Unique is 8.5 grains. For W231 it's 8.0 grains. For W296, I don't use this powder on three inch barrels or for 125 grain bullets, (it's best on 148/158 grain or bigger bullets). With Accurate Arms powders, #5, max load is 11 grains. With #9 I don't exceed 15 grains. Herc 2400 is a magnum powder, but I don't know if it is suited for three inch barrels, because I have never loaded for three inch. I have loaded for four inch at 14.5 grains, but the group wasn't very tight, (4 inch), recoil managable, very fast and deep penetration. As for Unigue, I got very accurate results without problems loading between 7.8 and 8.1 grains. I hope that helps some.
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I would first check my OAL on finished rounds. Remember, some loading data is the MINIMUM OAL, not suggested. If the bullet is seated too deep the pressures can climb radically. In your case, I'd see how much of the chamber your round uses and lengthen it a bit. As long as the nose of the bullet is safely inside the cylinder you can load longer. At 9.1 gr, you're below the manufacturer's published minimum so my guess is that your cartridge is a little short. My experience with the XTP is that it's a lot more "conical" than others and this can lead to seating the bullet too deep. My load data for this round shows the MINIMUM OAL for XTP's to be around 1.590. Again, MINIMUM.
     
  5. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Everyone, thanks for the response. My oal is 1.590 with a pretty good crimp. I will lengthen the round, test fire, then lighten up the crimp and test fire again, then play with the amount of powder. That oughtta make the neighbors happy...
     
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    The barrel length has nothing to do with your max load charge
     
  7. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    Mag primers will increase pressure pretty significantly when you start getting toward max loads. As suggested above, switch to standard primers.
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If approaching max loads one should definitely use a Magnum Primer. If not, there is a risk of "Primer Piercing" when the high pressure blows through the firing pin depression. Mag primers are not just "Hot", they are also more sturdy. Changing to a standard primer and maintaining a near max load can be asking for trouble. Loads should be worked up for each component.
     
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  9. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter North Bend OR Active Member

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    Has anyone ever fired 38's in this revolver?
     
  10. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    Mag primer for max loads, standard primer for "lighter loads". I used standard primers with 21.0 gr.'s of H110 under a 125 gr. XTP and had issues. That is the only load that I use mag primers for. I am curious, did the cartridges have any problem going into the cylinder prior to firing? I use H110, HP38, Titegroup and Universal for my .357 loads. If your load experimentation costs you a few cases, so be it. Just be careful to keep your pistol, face and hands in one piece. Don't get too discouraged too easily. It took me YEARS to "perfect" loads for the .357 and .44 mag's. Once you start seeing promising results, it is all worth it.

    Straight Shooter-are you asking if anyone has fired .38's out of a .357, or out of a 3" Model 60. Yes and yes. I buy inexspensive .38 Special rounds buy the thousand. The cost doesn't warrant the effort to load(in my opinion). .38's are a wonderful way to work on trigger control without the recoil or cost.
     
  11. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter North Bend OR Active Member

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    To Evltwn: I don't really believe you are having sticky extraction from hot loads or using magnum primers. I believe you have unseen carbon buildup in your cylinders. Once you get your cylinder cleaned up you must be fanatical about using solvent and aggressively cleaning after every time you use 38's. I don't ever recommend shooting 38's in a 357 but rather favor using light loads in magnum length cases to avoid the cylinder rings all together. Once cleaned up these loads will extract easy.
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Dry teflon spray in the cylinders (after you clean them) can also help a lot
     
  13. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    I don't want to muck up this thread with an argument but mag primers should only be used when recommended by the powder manufacturer. Yes there are always exceptions to the rule but powder type determines primer choice, not load level. Don't believe me? Call the manufacturer and ask, I did when I started loading.

    Straight Shooter is probably right though about the carbon build up, it's hard see it some times.
     
  14. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Sweeping statements such as "always" or "definitely" use magnum primers with maximum loads do not consider various powder types and ignition characteristics. Commonly used pistol powders can vary significantly in this regard: some may indeed benefit from a magnum primer at a maximum charge. Others can be affected negatively, or even unsafely by such primers.

    bmw2 is closer to the truth (manufacturer recommendations), but with handgun (and rifle) handloading, primer experimentation can VERY often lead to favorable results. (And, on numerous occasions as I have found, those favorable results are actually contrary to what the books recommended). Even experimentation between different brands of "same power level" primers can produce changes.

    Finally, I'm with Straight Shooter regarding judicious use of a good brass brush and solvent on those chambers as a first approach.