357 Mag 3K FPS velocity - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default 357 Mag 3K FPS velocity

I searched and searched for some info on light bullet high velocity hunting loads for the 357 Handi to no avail. So decided to do some experimenting on my own and document it here. Going to be trying two bullet designs with a couple different powders. I got the idea while reading a MGM barrels load data report on long loaded 357 Mag/Max in one of their Encore barrels. I started thinking what would a 110gr Barnes do with a similar load? The searching began and came across the MagTech 77gr SCHP for 380. Hmmm, could I load that and approach 3K fps? So here we go.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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This is test that got me to thinking. I have tried a couple of these and got similar results. https://matchgrademachine.com/encore...pment-results/
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-27-2020, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default initial test

First test in the books. Barnes 110gr TAC-XP at 2300 fps (4 jugs) and MagTech 77gr SCHP at 2100 fps (3 jugs with the first two looking like they were hit with .223). The 77gr turned the first jug into ribbons of plastic. It was the most dramatic handgun caliber explosion we have seen with dozens of different loads. The main problem with the 77gr was blow by/poor case obturation and some signs of being unstable at 50 yards. Though my 10 year old shot a 1 1/2" group with them.Two bullets showed what looked like instability but definitely not key holing. Not sure if the twist rate will work with such a light bullet.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 01:58 PM
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I may be wrong, but I believe bullets for the 9mm autoloader rounds are .355 inch instead of .357. Which would mean the instability is due to loose fit in the bore
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 06:39 PM
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You're right, but the .357 bullets I shoot are .358, so that's quite a lot of slop. Besides instability, you've got blow-by, reducing the velocity you're looking for.

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 07:17 PM
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FWIW I have been shooting 145 gr .355 diameter bullets in my .357 handi conversion to .350 Legend with good accuracy.

The OP's accuracy issue could be from a long jump in an unsupported chamber before a bullet finds the rifling.

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Lt. that is definitely one issue. This Handi (like most?) has a ton of free bore.I am loading the 110 Barnes and 158 XTP out to 1.750 and not touching! My thinking is bullet jump or twist rate. The bearing surface on these bullets is obviously tiny. I am hoping 360 DW brass will help. I am getting 2150 fps with the XTP's and 2300 with the Barnes with 2 grains more of powder left to work up to. I believe the bore on the Handi is .355? have any of you actually slugged your bore?
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 07:03 AM
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Do you have Max brass that could be trimmed a bit short to reduce the jump?
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 07:59 AM
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Speed is not required for penitration. In fact it is contra-indicated.


I know speed is easy for the shooter. At 2000 fps the difference in hold between 100 and 150 or 150 to 200 is minimal.


I used to like speed myself. Crow sized targets at 300 to 400 yards out of a .243win loaded with Hornady 60 gr boat tailed hollow points over 30 grains of dupont 3031, was cranking so fast at 31 grains that we were losing about 1 in 5. Never made it to target. A little puff of gray and it was gone.


IMO you would do better with a 200 gr cast bullet of .358 or .359 size at 13-1600 fps. You'll have better penetration, bigger holes, less recoil and muzzle blast. And it will anchor deer.


Trying to turn a .357 into a .223 is not going to end really well IMO. Also there is the matter of cost. Filling the case with a slower powder is going to cost more that 4-6 grains of Red Dot.


And you may discover along the way that the light loads of Red Dot behind a good sized cast bullet is quiet, and has exceptional accuracy.


Or you can ignore me and go back to what you were doing. Ain't going to hurt my feelings. And you may find trying to turn a caliber into something that it is not, ie reinenting the wheel can be a long discouraging process. When that happens remember this thread.


Remember, the Buffalo were not erradicated from the plains using high speed mornern smokeless rifles.
It was done using large for caliber bullets over black powder in the 1200- 1400 fps range at long range.


Yes speed is easy,
Big fat and slow is effective, only real drawback is it has a bit of rainbow. But you can learn that rainbow.

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Started with .223 Ultra Bull barrel. Added .357 Talo barrel. Added an action and stock set bought here, 7.62x39 barrel. Then bought complete guns .444 Marlin and .300 Blackout. Leaving me at 4 complete rifles plus a barrel. Plus a 9mm stub job bought here, and I have been finding and buying H&R shotguns at our local pawn shop where they seem to go cheap.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 11:21 AM
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I'm going with the Ghosth on this one. In the first place, 3000'/sec with a 357 is not imo, most likely attainable. In addition, its effect on live game may dang well not be what you think it will be. Soft point and hollow point pistol bullets may often deform before penetration and not give you the effect you thought it would have. They may also be too frangible at those velocities to hold together and penetrate.

You are shooting a pistol caliber from a short rifle. There is no practical velocity difference between your Handi and a Rossi, Marlin or Winchester lever action in the same caliber and the faster you try and shoot them the faster they will slow down, further limiting your bullet effect as your distance to target increases. Yes, they may work on small game and varmit to 50 or so yards but unless your Whitetail are midgets, you may lose them. Water jugs are not live game and the first jug of 'ribbons' might only become a cavatated skin shot on a whitetail.

I only shoot one bullet from my 38s and 357s, and it is a 200 grain Keith style semi-wadcutter cast by Colorado Cast Bullets. Mt. Baldy Bullets also used to cast them out but I don't know if they still do. Some say the 200 gn 357 slug was made for the 357 Max but that is incorrect - the first 200 gn 38 caliber slugs were shot from police snub nosed revolvers, and then loaded into 357s. From a 6 inch revolver you could get slightly better than 1300'/sec from the 200 gn 357s with Winchester factory loads. The same load fired from my Rossi M92 with a 20" bbl gets 1,400'/sec, just what the Ghosth recommended. Now, from a 3.5" S&W Model 27, those 200 gn loads flat anchor whitetail to 50 yds, if I can hit them. If I have the M92, I extend the range to clear visibility and acceptable distances. As for accuracy, I used to shoot those heavy 357s to 200 yds with a revolver during the metallic silhouette matches and when they hit, the targets would go down. I doubt you will be able to ring the steel at that distance with your light loads. Just sayin' ....
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