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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys,we are headed in the other direction now.Never did reach 3K fps with light bullets. Though I found the most accurate load fired in this rifle yet. A 95 gr JHP from Everglades went 2500 fps and about 1/2 inch at 50 yards. So I ordered up some GT bullets 185 and 200 gr bullets along with some 180 XTP's as well as Rem 180 SJHP. Honestly it will be hard to find something better than the 158 XTP on top of a stout load of Lil'Gun but this is all in the name of science. This is how we teach our children the scientific method,while preparing for deer season. So give me some recipes for your favorite heavy bullet loads. Right now we have Lil'Gun, 2400, HS-6, BE-86, 800X, Titegroup, and CFE Pistol available. I will pick up some 296 when I can find it and am interested in trying FS-11 and Enforcer/4100.Both of those seem promising for heavy bullet loads.
 

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A old Winchester factory load for the 200 gn bullet in the 357 Magnum is 12.4 gns of W296 powder. You can also use H110 and silhouette loads for heavy (N-frame S&Ws, Rugers and single shots) take H110 to 14.5 gn and W296 to 14 gns for velocities near 1400'/sec. or better from a longer barrel. 12 gns of 2400 powder also gets you near 1350'/sec and these loads were from a 10" Contender so you should be able to get better. Hope this helps.
 

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When I was playing with 200 yard shots with a .357 a long time ago I was using a self cast 170+ grain self cast Kieth style bullet on top of a near maximum by the books of that time load of 2400. It was just slightly better than a 158 grain slug, but not much.

It was fun than and I expect you will have fun now. If anything, you will probably find that you have better components to work with these days. I will look forward to your results!
 

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I use Lil Gun with 180 gr SSP (DISCONTINUED) with good results. One powder that i didn't see mentioned is 1680. The best as far as I'm concerned. H110 is a stellar powder per other posters. This is all out of a maxi. Do your self a favor, scientifically as well. Rent the reamer and create a maxi. You will find that this could improve that well shooting mag and 38s. It will make you the most versatile caliber in your arsenal. 38,357 mag, 360 DW, and the beloved maxi. It really cleans up what the factory started in the throat as well. Another great bullet is the Dennis Fury 180s and 170s, and they look like a Hornady SSP.

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Not heavy but hard to argue these 158 gr PMC 357 mags out of my factory Maxi at 50 yards. Sorry for the sideways pic, idk why it's doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Scratch, I have not honestly considered reaming it. B'Mike that 2400 load looks promising. I have had great success with that powder out of a 2 1/2 barrel .357 believe it or not. Berry,we don't have anywhere to try 200 yd shots,though it sounds fun. I have printed ballistic calculations for these heavier bullets to get an idea of zero and drop at range. Stew,I am not familiar with 1680 but I am googling it now! Also going to look up Fury bullets. 45/70 that is some good shooting! Good replies here guys.Thanks!
 

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I always used ALLIANT MP300 in my Marlin Cowboy with homecast 180 grain gas checked bullets similar to an LBT style RNFP and was super stoked with it. My load did 1720 FPS with that powder/bullet combo and was super accurate. Vhitvouri N-120 did just as well but cost more. Same MP300 load also works most excellent in my 10 inch 357MAG Contender for putting deer to the dirt.
 
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The GT 200 looks to be a nose rider, so hopefully you can seat to the crimp groove.

The AOL will be well beyond normal for a 357 magnum.

The longer the AOL, the better when trying to get maximum performance with heavy bullets and slower powders in the 357 mag.
 

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Pastorjeep: years ago the late owner of Crown City Arms wrote a article for one of the gun magazines that favored the slower burning powders for the 357 magnum in shorter barreled revolvers and snub nosed revolvers and found he actually got better velocities with the slower burning powders than the faster burning ones. H110 or Winchester 296 are also great for those heavier slugs. Good luck.
 

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pastor jeep, if you do ream to a maxi, I will be glad to donate you some maxi brass to get started with, just cover shipping

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My powder for cast in the Magnum is BlueDot. Work up and respectable results can be acheived.

I like a Lyman 358627 mold. Thats a 215g bullet dependent upon your alloy. Its a stomper! Truth told, I have used it more in the Maxi.
My favorite Magnum Bullet is a Lyman 359429 and its HP version. These weigh 170 & 155 again, Dependent upon your alloy. These shoot real well with BlueDot in my Handi, Marlin, Colt and S&W 357 firearms. Even my Savage 24 shoots this load at 1600+ from its 24" Bbl into 3/4" @ 50 yards.

I never have been too impressed with speed alone. Especially speed from a super light for caliber bullet.
Torque and FPE excite me. Combine that with a wide meplat and Some weight for caliber & you have something!

CW
 

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Discussion Starter #13
P Flados,even without a reamed chamber I am able to load OAL of 1.750! That is smidge over .360 DW OAL. So I always try to load the bullet as far out as I can safely seat it.
 

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Most of those handi rifles in .357 are perfectly capable of chambering loaded.360DW brass. All my heavy bullet accurate rounds are loaded in .360DW brass. Made a dummy, kept tapping it in slightly more until the rifle would close without leaving rifling marks on the lead bullet. At that point it was crimped in place and used to set my dies. Just a thousandths or 2 off the rifling.


200 gr Gas checked RCBS clone put 3 into one hole at 50 yards. Does just as well with my 158 gr round nose.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Most of those handi rifles in .357 are perfectly capable of chambering loaded.360DW brass. All my heavy bullet accurate rounds are loaded in .360DW brass. Made a dummy, kept tapping it in slightly more until the rifle would close without leaving rifling marks on the lead bullet. At that point it was crimped in place and used to set my dies. Just a thousandths or 2 off the rifling.


200 gr Gas checked RCBS clone put 3 into one hole at 50 yards. Does just as well with my 158 gr round nose.
Yep
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A little update. First a little rant,man inventory and shipping for bullets right now is baaadddd! Ok, with that out of the way. We tried some initial loads of GT bullets 200gr RCBS clone pointed hollow point with gas check and their 185gr cast hollow point. We tried 2400 and Lil'Gun at 50 yards. Velocity was right where expected for starting loads 1600-1700 fps and accuracy was a little erratic,but for now I will attribute that to shooter error. Hope to do some penetration and expansion test this week. We are abandoning the milk jugs (can't drink enough even with six kids) for a plastic barrel filled with water. Hope to post some results.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Let me resurrect this from the dead. We did some test and the 200gr RCBS looks like it will be a go to bullet this year. The 185gr lead HP turned into a shower of lead ribbons at 1600fps. The alloy is just not hard enough for what we a pushing it at. On the other hand am going to see how it performs at 1000-1100fps in a revolver. Pictures to follow. It has just been too hot in eastern NC to get out and shoot.
 

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Interesting! How does the 200 grain bullet compare to the 158, lengthwise? I ask because the rifling twist for a long bullet should be faster than for one which is shorter, so if the barrel is rifled for 158s then 200s may give larger groups. Of course, speed of the bullet has a bearing on that also. Keep us informed!
 
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Interesting! How does the 200 grain bullet compare to the 158, lengthwise? I ask because the rifling twist for a long bullet should be faster than for one which is shorter, so if the barrel is rifled for 158s then 200s may give larger groups. Of course, speed of the bullet has a bearing on that also. Keep us informed!
good question. i had a friend load me up some 140 ftx rounds, only get about 3" groups. so im not sure if short or long would do better. i know it likes 158s.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Winterhawk, I will try to get some pictures today. I am working on some 45 Super 230gr XTP's right now. But have the 180 XTP on the bench and just finished another round of test with the 200gr RCBS hollow point. I keep loading the bullet longer in the case and bumping up the powder charge until I see the velocity plateau or pressure signs. With both the Lil'Gun (1750) and 2400 (1550) we hit a velocity plateau before pressure signs. The primers were good,case head expansion normal, and extraction normal. I found the same issue with extra light bullets. We would top out on velocity and no amount of extra powder gave corresponding increases in velocity.
 
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