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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just measured some of my NEF barrels tonight and was surprised to see the .357 is 22" long!!!

Considering how long it is, I think I need to rethink developing loads for it! I have just been loading for the GP100 and using them in it. I think I'm missing out on it's true capabilities accordingly.

So have any of you developed loads just for your .357 NEF? If so, do you have any suggestions on where to start? Maybe some different powders, etc.

Thanks much!
 

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Well...that's a deep subject!

Lots of discussion here about the infamous NEF/ H&R long throated .357 mag chamber. Many convert theirs to .357 maximum. If you try yours out first as is you can get an idea if yours might benefit from a rechamber.

As far as reloading let us know what powder you have to work with. We can recommend all sorts of different powders but what's the use if you can't get them.

If you want a shorter barrel you won't lose much velocity. 16" to 18" seems best to me.
 

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For heavier jacketed bullets look for some loads with slower magnum powders like 296 / H110 as a starting point. I used one of those to work up a load for my Marlin 1894 years ago. Powder selection may come down to what is available and obviously desired bullet weight and type. Be careful with those powders - they are known to be a little finicky about too low of charge weight. Also plan on magnum primers. H110 will give some impressive muzzle flash with higher powered loads.

Hodgdon gives a starting load for H110 of 15g in a 18.5" barrel using a 158g bullet for a velocity of 1616 fps at 28,600 cup using Win Small Pistol Magnum primers. That came straight off their reloading data center.
 
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Well...that's a deep subject!

Lots of discussion here about the infamous NEF/ H&R long throated .357 mag chamber. Many convert theirs to .357 maximum. If you try yours out first as is you can get an idea if yours might benefit from a rechamber.

As far as reloading let us know what powder you have to work with. We can recommend all sorts of different powders but what's the use if you can't get them.

If you want a shorter barrel you won't lose much velocity. 16" to 18" seems best to me.
So when you run barrels in the 16-18” range are you just using faster burning powders? It doesn’t seem like that would effect accuracy But can you keep the speeds up when you drop 4-6” off the barrel?
 

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I also have a 22” 357. Is there a point where it can be to long? Or just depends on the type of powder and bullet your using ? Or is it just the shorter barrel length works better for that particular caliber
 

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For most commonly used powders, 16-18" will probably more than suffice. After that impact of barrel length is pretty minimal and can potentially even slightly slow down the projectile. 110/296, maybe lilgun would be the most typical choices.
 

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I was using win 296 and was told not to undercharge or you could stick a bullet. So always stayed towards the higher side
With H110 and 296 never go below starting charges because you can get high pressure spikes.
 

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Lil'gun can even best H110 with lower pressures too. Less dangerous and you don't need Magnum primers. Many find they do with h110. Unique is great for lighter loads.
 
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In my NEF 357 Mag I got the best velocity & accuracy using a max charge of Little Gun and small rifle magnum primers. As far as pressure spikes I have never seen that with H110,296 or LG in 10" Contenders or 22" NEF barrels. Remember the NEF guns are also chambered for high intensity rounds like 25/06 and other high-pressure rounds. You may try some Dan Wesson 360 brass in your NEF barrel and see if it fits OK. Some of the NEF 357 mags are long enough to us the 360DW in them. A friend and I determined the chamber length of his 357 Mag, which was 1.42 and we used trimmed 357 Max cases and Hornady 180XTP's in his loaded with 360 DW loading data to take several southern white tail deer. However, those are experiments I would relegate to an experienced reloader only!
 

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Ive found it will probably handle .360 DW so I have brass on the way accordingly. Ill see how that goes and should be able to get some good performance out of it accordingly!
Hope you post any results you get with the 360 DW. I have a10" contender that I love, And a 26" encore in 357 max that I use for silhouettes, I just got a 24" contender, in 357 mag that I want to rechamber to 360 DW
 

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Hope you post any results you get with the 360 DW. I have a10" contender that I love, And a 26" encore in 357 max that I use for silhouettes, I just got a 24" contender, in 357 mag that I want to rechamber to 360 DW
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I received the brass and was disappointed to find the rifle would not completely close on the empty brass.

Ill start by giving the chamber a thorough cleaning and try again. I shoot a LOT of Specials.

Then Ill try trimming one bit by bit until it will close to get a better idea of the actual chamber length.

I’ll figure out where to go from there…Im open to options, including a chamber reaming…

Thanks!
 

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any updates?
remember, once you have the brass fitting, you still may be able to seat the bullet WAY out there...

as long as the base of bullet is at the same location, any modern case, 38Spl/357Mag/357Max will all shoot pretty much the same. Modern cases are made very similar in the head dimensions
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
any updates?
remember, once you have the brass fitting, you still may be able to seat the bullet WAY out there...

as long as the base of bullet is at the same location, any modern case, 38Spl/357Mag/357Max will all shoot pretty much the same. Modern cases are made very similar in the head dimensions
Deer season was upon us and next is muzzleloader season, so Ive been and will be busy. Ill get after the load development over winter.
 
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