how would the 357 max be in a 6 1/2 inch barrel? what kind of velocity could I expect with 158 gr. and would it hurt the chamber to shoot very light .38 special, using trail boss or unique? or can you make super lite loads like those in the max cases?
I have a Contender 357max and a DW in max also. The Contender has the 14" bull barrel and still kicks more than the DW with any barrel except the 6" and it's a bear with full blown mag loads and a 180 or 200 grain bullet. I would be wary of downloading the max cases too far. Better to use the 38's and do a good scrub of your chamber after firing. I use 357 mags and 38's in both my guns for practicing; accuracy suffers some with the 38's due to the long travel before engaging the rifling, but i've done this for years and have seen no decline in accuracy with the max loads at the range and during hunting season. I was warned not to use jacketed bullets with the 38 and 357 mag because of possible pressure spike at contact with the rifling with the harder jacket as opposed to the lead, no problem, since I cast most of my bullets except some of the Contender's pointed loads, that works well with the 357 max in a Contender.
I shoot a 10" bull in 357 Max and even without full blown loads, I get a bit of 'jump' or recoil. It's not unpleasant but you'll know it's there. Another thing to consider, in the Contender, is the actual length of the barrel when you subtract the OAL of the cartridge. With a 6 1/2", you could actually wind up with a 4+" barrel.
A forum community dedicated to the great outdoors and hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about hunting, fishing, survival, archery gunsmithing, optics, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!