200 grain .357 lead bullet problem

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rmc25

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 30, 2000
Messages
128
Location
VA
Years, and I mean many years, ago I bought "copperized" (copper washed) bullets from National Bullet Company. They are out of business now but the lead bullets I bought back then were very accurate in my revolvers. I recently came across a box of 500 200 grain bullets so I went through all my reloading data including newly published data which has reduced the power charges. I wanted to work up a medium load for these lead 200 grainers.

After prepping the cases I found the 200 grain bullets expand the cases to the point that they will not easily chamber in the cylinder. OAL is right at spec. I miked 20 of the bullets and they register exactly the same as my jacketed 125 grain jacketed bullets.

I was planning to use my 357 Maximum but they don't fit well in either my Maximum or my Bisley so I have abandoned this project for now.

Anybody have any experience with 200 grain bullets in a 357 mag revolver? I would like to use them if I can.

rmc
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
The Lee Factory Crimp Die has a carbide post sizing ring that might be able to size the cartridges down so they could fit your cylinder. :D
 

stevemb

Hunter
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,769
Sigh, I miss Nat'l Bullet too. In .44 varieties am down under 500 left here. They were on my way to work, and an awful temptation !
 

mikld

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
947
Location
Oregon
Just thinkin'. A 200 grain bullet is prolly longer than lighter, "normal" weight bullets, and the inside of the cases are tapered. Case walls get thicker nearer the case head so a .357" bullet will expand the case more as it's seated deeper than "regular" bullets. Whenever there is a fit issue, measure. Measure the OD of your finished 200 gr bullet reload and it's prolly too big to chamber. One solution would be to seat the bullet shallower, out so it doesn't expand the case too much. Starting with starting loads and seating the bullet so the cartridge will just fit in the cylinder (length) would be a good place to start...
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,566
Location
missouri
Do the bullet grooves allow seating long in 38 cases? Probably not a max load capable compromise.
 

Chuck 100 yd

Hunter
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
3,251
Location
Ridgefield WA
Have you tried other brands of brass? Possibly the cases internal taper or wall thickness will be different in say Winchester rather than StarLine cases would be.
The Lee FCD idea is a good one. It also irons out any case mouth flair that is left after crimping and seating. Here too, a micrometer will tell you just what the issue is.
 

rmc25

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 30, 2000
Messages
128
Location
VA
Thanks for the suggestions. I made up a couple of test cases (no primer/no powder) and seated the bullet just far enough to allow the cylinder to rotate freely. The cases are still a snug fit but can be pushed in with my thumb. Looks like I will be able to use these old bullets after all.
rmc :)
 

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