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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently using Hornady 158gr XTP HP's loaded over 17gr of Lil Gun. I am shooting these out of a NEF Handi and would like to start hunting with a cast bullet load. I would like for this load to be able to be used in my revolver as well. The only heavy 357 mold I currently have is a Lee 358-158-RF. My casting alloy is WW with some 50/50 solder added. What velocity do I need with a 158gr cast for 100 yard shots with the rifle? Can I use the plainbase bullet I have or am I looking at GC levels?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Aaron
 

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since no-one else has responded..I will tell you what I would try. Personally, I would stay with the 158 grain XTP's if I didn't want to move up to a heavier bullet..Looking at the Hornady 7th edition manual in the .357 rifle section, they are getting up to 1650 fps from a 158 XTP, but when looking at the lead bullets they are only running them at 1100 fps..probably because all of their lead bullet in .358 diameter are swaged not cast..therefore softer lead is used..the other option that comes to mind would be to purchase some Cast Performance bullets ( or similar brand) that are both gas checked and heat treated. It has been my experience that you can use jacketed bullet data with these bullets and not have any problems with leading. Have used them in a Contender with .357 , 357 MAX and .35 Remington loads, though I used the 200 grain bullet. I would try a box of whatever bullet weight I preferred and then you could purchase a mold later on if your rifle liked that bullet. Just some rambling thoughts!
 

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I failed to see this until the new post brought it to the top again.

I do not recommend HPs from the rifle but would suggest using the XTP-SP rather than JHP or use the cheaper Remington 158 SPs that Jerry Lester always recommends.

Now to cast bullets. In this caliber a 158 is not considered a heavy you'll need to go to at least a 170 to call it a heavy. It's hard to say if your plain base bullet will lead or not as that is very dependent on your lube and your barrel. It might or it might not. Give it a try and see. If you want to use cast tho I'd go to a heavier one with GC personally whether to buy them or cast them yourself depends on how many you plan to shoot. If you'll be shooting a lot casting your own will be cheaper even considering the cost of mould but if you're shooting only a few to get sighted in then for hunting you'll find it cheaper to just buy them.
 

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I took a lot of whitetail deer and a couple mule-deer with a 357 and used factory HP-ammo of the cheap variety for nearly every one. Never saw any difference in performance, they all went through the "10-Ring" and out the other side (with only one notable exception.)
This was in the '80s before the "good" HPs were being developed.
Never saw any indication of expansion either except once with a Silver-Tip.

If you make a good shot it won't matter much what kind of bullet you used.
These days my first choice [for deer and larger] is always a flat-nose of some type and think of all HPs as "special-purpose" loads.

The other replys are giving good advice and I cannot improve on it.
I'm beating the drum for Shot-Placement.
 

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size up some 357s and load them with a full load of 110 and a 158 grain soft point then stick them in a box and put them on the shelf and grab a 44 mag and go hunting. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lloyd said:
size up some 357s and load them with a full load of 110 and a 158 grain soft point then stick them in a box and put them on the shelf and grab a 44 mag and go hunting. ;D
I think my next Handi will be bigger. I am thinking 45/70 should do. ;D
 

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mrloring said:
I found somebody to cast me up some RCBS 200gr RNFP's to try. He said they actually weigh about 213 lubed and checked.
Back in my IHMSA days, I shot that bullet at 214gr out of a 8" Dan Wesson 357mag using Mil Surp 38spcl brass. I could watch the bullets in flight going to the 200m rams. Made me wonder how I ever hit anything watching that bullet wander all over the sky before it knocked over them rams! Gave me a new appreciation for "ranging" and an understanding of what happens when you miss guess distances in the open desert.

Regards,
Sweetwater
 

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I have some 185 wfngc and with a case full of Lil Gun don't think that there's a deer out there that will notice the difference between that bullet and a 44 cal swc when it is placed in the right spot. The metplat is even the same.

I really believe this.

However, in the big buck county I hunt in, Buffalo County Wisconsin, I do what Lloyd says, I put those bad bullets up on the shelf and grab my 94 Trapper in 44 magnum loaded with 310 hardcast wfngc. I don't always, (don't usually) get broadside shots to place the bullet in the boiler room. The 44 will get it there from any angle presented.
 

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I have a 357429 mold that is a HP and throws a 165 gr HP out of #2 alloy, that will shoot well, but it just passes through. I would stay with the XTP for deer hunting. In fact, my 9 year old grandson just took 2 does in the 1st 2 days of our Mo Deer season with 158 gr XTP- HP over 13.6 gr of 2400. Works well. The cast will do the job, but you will not get the effect of that XTP, unless you take head or spine shots. That is why I use a 45/70.
 

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If your barrel is like mine, accuracy will drop off with extra heavy bullets . 180gr. and under shoot well, 200 and 220 not nearly so well. Of course, minute of deer is still possible under 100yds. with either.

I have yet to shoot a deer with mine, but when I do, it will be with a 180gr. JSP.
 

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mrloring said:
Lloyd said:
size up some 357s and load them with a full load of 110 and a 158 grain soft point then stick them in a box and put them on the shelf and grab a 44 mag and go hunting. ;D
I think my next Handi will be bigger. I am thinking 45/70 should do. ;D
If you can't kill a deer at 100 yards with a 357, you probably couldn't kill it with a 460 Weatherby either.
 

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When I was an Ensign and JG, I only had one handgun, Smith 686 with six inch barrel and I used it to kill a passel of hogs in south Florida, my load is and has always been a 180 grain LBT WFNGC bullet with a .4 inch length bullet nose over a case full of H110. It shoots clear through a pig and Virginia deer also. I don't like using jacketed bullets in handgun hunting, I think a big flat melpat hard cast bullet will never fail, can't say the same about some jacketed ones.

regards,
Graycg
 

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Since you are wanting a load for both rifle and revolver I suggest you load for accuracy in the rifle not exceeding published revolver loads and then accept that loads performance, what ever it does, in the revolver. If you want to use cast bullets then I'd suggest a GC bullet. It will give the best accuracy out of the rifle and the revolver with top end hunting loads. I'd also suggest you cast soft with a WW/lead alloy at 50/50. Use a good lube like Javelina. Quite frankly I've killed a lot of deer with the .357 and have never found the Lyman 358156 SWC to be wanting out of revolvers, 10" Contenders or 20" rifles. Mine weighs 160 gr cast of the alloy mentioned and can be pushed to 1950 fps out of a 20" barrel with published revolver loads. Now you might want to understand that that is faster than the original 30-30 load with the same weight bullet. That 358156 cast soft is a deadly 200 yard load for deer, big or small. The sililar weight Lee GC'd bullet may do as well but I've no real experience.

I do have a lot of experience trying to get PB cast bullets to shoot well above 1500 - 1600 fps though, all miserable experience even when they are cast very hard.

I also concur with Lloyd on the use of the HP XTP in the rifle. If you drive it above 1500 fps it will be too explosive. The XTP JFN is the choice and the 158 gr is an excellent choice. Again, work the load up in the rifle using published handgun loads and then just accept it's performance in the revolver. Odds are it will shoot well in the revolver.

Larry Gibson
 

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mrloring said:
I found somebody to cast me up some RCBS 200gr RNFP's to try. He said they actually weigh about 213 lubed and checked.
I don't know what you are using for data for that cast bullet, but many folks that have 35 Remingtons have sworn by it. I use it in my 35 and it's every bit as accurate as a coreloct--if not more so.
 

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mrloring
I run that LEE 158gr out of my Marlin 94 CB at 1750 fps 15.5 gr H110 CCI Mag primer. It's WW water cooled and doesn't lead the barrel at all! Very accurate and I have no doupt it would kill a deer out 125 yards! I also shoot the Lee 125 gr cast of the same alloy at 2213 fps over 20 Gr H110 CCI mag Primer. It would also be a great deer load! Both will easily break both shoulders and zip through a deer;D
 

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manatee1947 said:
I have a 357429 mold that is a HP and throws a 165 gr HP out of #2 alloy, that will shoot well, but it just passes through. I would stay with the XTP for deer hunting. In fact, my 9 year old grandson just took 2 does in the 1st 2 days of our Mo Deer season with 158 gr XTP- HP over 13.6 gr of 2400. Works well. The cast will do the job, but you will not get the effect of that XTP, unless you take head or spine shots. That is why I use a 45/70.
Your alloys too hard. Try cutting the #2 about 50/50 with pure lead & see where that takes you. You might even need to go as far as 60/40 or even 70/30 & try adding about 2% tin to help the mould fill out. You really want to be around 10 bhn for cast hollowpoints. #2 is around 18 or so, depending on it's exact mix.
 

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This subject is old (dec. 09) but here goes anyway.
How about those 180 gr. XTP bullets, they have 2 crimp grooves.
Develop a good load w/ that bullet loaded to the lower crimp groove, that will give you more room for powder and then more velocity. I've used them in a Contender .357MAX. and they are more accurate than anything else (jacketed that is).
 
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