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Old 02-16-2013, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default .357 Mag question

I am fairly new to handloading, and I want to start loading some .357 magnum loads. Most of what I load will be shot through a lever action rifle. Out of the 3 recipe books I have, only 1 has load data for rifle. My question is, is it safe to use the pistol load data with pistol powder to shoot out of a rifle? Or should I stay with the rifle powder? All of the factory loads I have purchased have been shot through both my rifle and my revolver. I have asked around here locally, but I get a lot of unsure answers! Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Iam10-32 View Post
I am fairly new to handloading, and I want to start loading some .357 magnum loads. Most of what I load will be shot through a lever action rifle. Out of the 3 recipe books I have, only 1 has load data for rifle. My question is, is it safe to use the pistol load data with pistol powder to shoot out of a rifle? Or should I stay with the rifle powder? All of the factory loads I have purchased have been shot through both my rifle and my revolver. I have asked around here locally, but I get a lot of unsure answers! Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Yes, standard .357 loads will work fine. For that matter, .38 special will probably work OK as well, check the rifle's instructions to remove any doubt.

"Rifle" data is probably much the same as the "Ruger Only" data you will find in some manuals. It's extremely hot for caliber and very likely, over maximum SAAMI specs. Since you are new to the reloading game I would stay away from them, at least until you have a good grasp on & are comfortable with your process.
Caution: "Rifle" or Ruger Only" loads will need to be clearly marked so they don't find their way into less...robust guns.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
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Thanks overkill. So , I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly. It is safe and you do recommend that I start with the pistol load data and pistol powders, correct? I figured it was, but I really don't want to ruin one of my favorite rifles, or worse, by using pistol powder in a rifle!

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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Thanks overkill. So , I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly. It is safe and you do recommend that I start with the pistol load data and pistol powders, correct? I figured it was, but I really don't want to ruin one of my favorite rifles, or worse, by using pistol powder in a rifle!
Anything that is safe to fire in your favorite revolver will be safe in your lever gun. As long as your within specifications with your loads, the gun won't care what powder is being used.
That said, with your rifle, you will achieve higher performance with powders on the slower end of the spectrum, as they are able to take better advantage of the longer barrel.

I like Alliant 2400 myself, but there are plenty of others that will do the job as well.
If you end up with H110or Win 296, pay close attention to the data, they are a go big or stay home kind of deal.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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Anything that is safe to fire in your favorite revolver will be safe in your lever gun. As long as your within specifications with your loads, the gun won't care what powder is being used.
That said, with your rifle, you will achieve higher performance with powders on the slower end of the spectrum, as they are able to take better advantage of the longer barrel.

I like Alliant 2400 myself, but there are plenty of others that will do the job as well.
If you end up with H110or Win 296, pay close attention to the data, they are a go big or stay home kind of deal.
Good to know! I have the H110 on hand, and since the shelves are pretty bare around here, I doubt I'll be able to find the Alliant. Thanks again. I really appreciate your help.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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The "rifle" data is likely pretty hot, but should be safe in a quality revolver. The rifle data is likely slower burning powders that will benefit from the longer barrel. The same loads in a revolver will likely yield greater muzzle blast due to powder not burning completely in the shorter barrel.

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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Yes it is safe. The factory loads that you have been shooting is all for pistols(most likely). You do not say what brand gun you have so you "might" have to be careful if you have a Win 1873 reproduction rifle as those actions are not real strong.

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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Yes it is safe. The factory loads that you have been shooting is all for pistols(most likely). You do not say what brand gun you have so you "might" have to be careful if you have a Win 1873 reproduction rifle as those actions are not real strong.
It's a Marlin model 1894 that I've been shooting since I was a kid! I saved it about 12 years ago when my dad tried to trade it in on a single shot .223, I believe. I just paid him the cost of the rifle he wanted and took possession of it.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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I've been reloading the .357 Magnum since 1965. Over the years I've tried darn near everything.

About 25 years ago, I settled on H110 as my "go to" powder for .357, and .44 Magnum. It works very well in both. It does however, like fairly hot loads. Not over max, but close to max.

It's also very slow burning, so it will really shine in a rifle length barrel.

It's an easy powder to work up loads with, and flows through powder measures perfectly.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:15 PM   #10
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Iam, when u think about it, how do the factory cartridges know what u r going to put them in?

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