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special loads in 357

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:51 am
by cooksey
Have not had much luck shooting 38 special loads in 357 mag. The general consensus is that they don't shoot as well because the bullet has to make a bigger jump.The difference in case length is .135 - So I figured just add that much length to the front driving band, (for me that would be .09 +.135=.225), to make up the difference. I am worried that this is going to make for a front heavy, unstable bullet though. I wouldn't be asking this question but I have an ample supply of .38 brass and am shy on 357. If I could find a happy medium for the front band length, (add .135 to half the default front band length to total .185?) and still be able to conjure up a load that would shoot, I'd be willing to try. Would like to know if you have any experience or theories on the matter of designing a bullet for shooting special loads in the 357.

Re: special loads in 357

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:54 am
by mtngun
I've never messed around with 38 cases since 357 cases are readily available. For the price of a mold you can buy 500 new 357 cases, so I'm having a hard time understanding why anyone would bother with 38's ? :?:

The "jump" is not the only issue since less of the bullet will be supported by the case. Nonetheless, the "jump" is the only thing you can fix. If memory serves, Skeeter Skelton loaded a dual crimp Ray Thompson design (358156) in 38 cases and was happy with the results.

I would prefer to use a dual crimp, or crimp in a lube groove, rather than having an extra long front band, to reduce bullet distortion when it engraves the rifling.

You could also simply try shooting a standard bullet in 38 cases and see if it shoots OK. The jump may not be all that important providing the bullet is the correct diameter and the gun is cast-friendly.

Re: special loads in 357

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:52 pm
by cooksey
Well, your solution to just buy a bunch of 357 brass for what another mold would cost kind of instilled a "duh" moment for me. Thanks for the reply and sorry to waste your time. Think I'll order a mold from you for 357 and if it shoots decent out of 38 brass will consider myself blessed. The gun hasn't shot a cast bullet too well, but all I've tried so far has been commercial SWC and WC offerings.

Re: special loads in 357

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:19 pm
by Alicxesmine
I have been using 38 special cartridges in my 357 magnum revolver for practice, but have been unhappy with the carbon ring that must be removed on each chamber every time I clean the gun. The problem is that the 38 special cartridges are shorter than the 357 cartridges and when fired the end of the chamber becomes the beginning of the barrel. A possible solution is to only use 357 cartridges.

The question is: is it ok to load 357 mag cartridges to 38 special or 38 special +p power levels?

For example:
Powder: HP-38
Bullet: 125 gn JHP
38 Spec
Min Charge: 4.3 gr Velocity: 826 fps Pressure: 13300 PSI
Max Charge: 4.9 gr Velocity:934 fps Pressure:16300 psi
38 Spec+P
Max Charge: 5.3 gr Velocity:1018 fps Pressure:19800 psi
357 Mag
Min Charge: 7.3 gr Velocity: 1335 fps Pressure: 33800 PSI
Max Charge: 8.8gr Velocity:1514 fps Pressure:42700 psi

I would propose loading my 357 cartridges with 5.9 gr of powder (38 spec+P charge plus 10% to account for the cartridge case size difference) and expect to have a power level equivalent to the 38 Special +P load.

Will this work and is this a good plan?

asp expandable baton

Re: special loads in 357

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:16 am
by mtngun
Sure it will work.

I shoot full house loads in my 357 snubbie, but that's just me. :lol: