Reloading 357 Mag?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by texaswoodworker, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    I'm wanting to start reloading 357 Mag to lower the cost of it, and make it easier for me to get.

    I had a question about the bullets though. Will cast lead cause serious leading problems, or are they fine for 357?

    How are these bullets. They are kind of funky looking, but the price is really good.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/41...n-lead-semi-wadcutter-hollow-point-box-of-300

    I also found these.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/64...-diameter-140-grain-lead-flat-nose-box-of-350

    All I'm wanting is a decent cheap round for practice. I may want to load it hot every once in a while, but for the most part they will be loaded to normal levels. The max distance I would be shooting at is about 25 yards.

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Don't order the "Cowboy" bullets if you are using a modern handgun. These are very soft intended to up set over low pressure and black powder loads. The hard swage bullets should be OK.
    These bullets are correctly sized at .0001" above the nominal bore demension of your .357. :)
     

  3. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    I cast my one bullets for the wife .357 I use a 92/6/2 alloy that is hard
    enough for the high velocity .357 loads. Now if you are loading on the
    high side you still may want to use jackets bullets. The cast lead loads
    I load are lighter target load.

    I agree with Nite, the Cowboy bullets are for very light load similar to
    old school black powder loads.
     
  4. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Those two bullets are to soft for 357 Mag. velocity,they will work fine for 38 spec. velocity in the 800 to 900 fps. range. On revolvers you need to slug or measure the cylinder throats as they are or should be larger than the groove to groove dia. of the bore.

    I've shot the 158 gr. HP bullet in the past but about 50% of them tumbled and hit the target sideways because they were to small in dia.,that was before I started casting my own several years ago.

    What you need is a hard cast bullet in the 12 to 18 BHN range that fit's if you want to shoot cast lead at 357 mag. velocity.

    I shot these for many years at or near max velocity in my Ruguer BH and had no leading issues. Mine actually measured .359" which is the cast bullet dia. my Ruger likes.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/21...eter-158-grain-lead-semi-wadcutter-box-of-500

    There is also. http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=41&category=5&secondary=10&keywords= and http://www.dardascastbullets.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=dardas&Category_Code=38SWC these last ones you have three size options .357.358 and .359.
     
  5. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    I looked up my notes on the bullet alloy I use mine come out in the 15-17 brinnell range.
     
  6. phideaux

    phideaux Active Member Supporter

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  7. beaglesam

    beaglesam Active Member

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  8. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    For magnum level loads with the bullets you listed? NO!
    They are not cast, they are swaged. Simplistic definition: Soft lead squished into shape. Swaged bullets will definitely lead badly at anything resembling magnum velocities. My dad used the term "sewer pipe specials" to describe what what you can expect your barrel to look like if you push them fast. Mouse fart loads only, with those things.

    A decent, cheap, all around cast bullet for .38 & .357 Mag:

    http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=41&category=5&secondary=10&keywords=
    Push them fast, slow whatever, I've had good luck with them. Missouri Bullets had a great rep for CS as well. They got swamped with the big panic. Last I heard they are finally getting caught up with the demand and shipping times are back down to something reasonable.

    Self serving? Sure a little, but good info nonetheless.
    Cast bullet 101:
    http://www.missouribullet.com/technical.php
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I think the consensus is the cold swaged lead bullets are a very bad idea for the .357. Hard cast is the way to go. I cast both 125 gr RNFP and 150 gr SWC bullets for the .38/.357 I adjust the alloy for the intended velocity. I cast them HARD for high velocity loads and NEVER have a leading problem.
     
  10. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Thanks guys for all the tips. I think I'll order some cast bullets from Missouri Bullet Company. I saw some bullets there I'd like to try in my 1911 too. :D
     
  11. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I cast a .358 147 grain semi-wadcutter with wheel weight metal. I push them well over 1000 fps with no leading. I also cast a 240 grain .429 to over 1000 fps. Again with little to no leading. The main thing you want to worry about is a tight fit between bullet and barrel. A good bullet lube is also needed.
     
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might want to check into Berry and Rainier copper plated bullets. They on the soft side but are copper plated. I recently put up a bunch of max load 38 spl with the Berry 125 hp and they are working quite well even in the rifle. They are not +P although I have loaded some at +P max and they did ok. They are fully encapsulated so you are not handling lead.
     
  13. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    If you are reloading, you are handling lead. The lead residue from the primer is just as hazardous as handling cast bullets. Wash your hands thoroughly after hanling fired brass, bullets, primers, cleaning your guns, etc and you will not have any worry.

    I have been casting bullets, loading same and shooting them for nealy 30 years. I get my lead levels checked anually. My lead level is actually down 2 points in the last couple of years. My high was 6. Doctors don't even bat an eye at any level under 20. They start treatment at 30.
     
  14. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    I have not had the best luck with WW in my .357 mag; not saying it cannot
    be done just my experience. However, my .45ACP does very will with WW
    cast bullets.

    I had trouble with the plating separating just above the case mouth, and
    creating head space issue on my .45ACP, have not tried them with .357 mag.
    I was seating and crimping in separate operations. The separation was with
    the bullet seating operation.
     
  15. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of reloaders don't realize how much better off they would be if they casted their own bullets. The only things I buy are powder and primer. I buy lead at the recycling center. You can buy a 2 cavity mold for less than the price of one box of bullets. I have heard of guys melting lead in a sauce pan on a coleman stove in the back yard. I started with a $20 melting pot.
     
  16. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco New Member

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    I also have used Missouri bullets. With a Brinell 18 hardness they are good for most .357 loads and they are priced right.
     
  17. RaySendero

    RaySendero Member

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    TXww, Here's how I solved that issue:

    My 357M does triple duty:
    Personal Defense - Factory HPs
    Fishing and woods carry - couple of snake shot + some of the factory above
    Practice/Targets - My reloads

    Picked up a couple of boxes of 158 Federal HyS and a box of the Rainier 125 platted bullets. Loaded a ladder of the platted bullets with green dot - I already had this powder in quantity for my shotguns and it provided a wide range of veloicty in 357M loads.

    Used a rest and shot'em over a chrony. At 25yds got the sights adjusted for the 158 HyS. Replaced the target and shot a group of 5 HyS to center of this new target. Then shot the ladder of 125 reloads on this same target. Picked the powder load that shot to the same POA as the factory.

    Now use that reload for low cost practice/targets as it shoots to the same POA as my PD factory load.
     
  18. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Not to foul up a project, but you should be prepared to take 50 yd. shots.........
     
  19. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    For anyone interested, I buy my bullets currently from SNS casting. They are very good quality for my purposes, and extremely reasonably priced.

    http://www.snscasting.com/38spl/

    These are the specific ones I use:

    http://www.snscasting.com/38-125-gr-rn-38_125rn/

    They can be triple purpose. .357 Magnum, .38 Special, and 9mm. I reload them all. No problems as a result of the bullets.

    I plan on smelting my own bullets in the future, though.
     
  20. Shade

    Shade New Member

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    Sorry for being anally retentive...:rolleyes:

    Smelting is the process of converting raw ore into usable metal.

    You will be casting. ;)