Need good loads for .38 and .357

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Hylander

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
313
GP-100 6"
158gr. Cast no gas checks.

What are some of your favorite accurate loads.
Will be shooting this gun in cast bullet Silhouette matches, steel at 50yds.
Right now I have Win. 231, HP-38, Power Pistol and 2400, but what other powders are good ?
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,018
Unique is good,,, but I'd try different loads with different powders to see what the gun preferred.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,124
W-231 and HP-38 are the same powder according to Hodgdon. Good for 38special and 38+P loads. Of course powder varies lot to lot.

My favorite load in 357mag with a 158gr copper plated bullet is 13.0gr of Accurate #9. I'm sure this would work well with a hard lead bullet also. Max is something like 13.8gr so there is a large margin of safety there. :D
 

WESHOOT2

Hunter
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
2,124
For more velocity than W231, along with high accuracy potential, I'd be playin' with Power Pistol.
 

SweetWilliam

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Messages
1,609
I asked a similar question over on cast boolits site.
I'm looking for a good load using 170gr. Keith's & Unique. I think I'm gonna load up some with 7grs. & see how they shoot.
 

m657

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
1,412
Do you need to knock the steel down or just make it ring?

If 'just hit it' is the game, velocity/slug weight is of less concern.

Accuracy with 6" handgun usually is adequate for 6-8" steel targets at 50 yards if your eyes are good. 12-18" targets are way easier & not so critical on other factors.

I like titegroup with 130 conical cast in my 38s; and any you list is fine choice as well. Universal Clays does well for me. Recently loaded promising hot 38 special loads with the CFE & 158.

Recently I was surprised to see how well 147 DEWCs grouped at 30-50 yards as well, although in truth I simply do not shoot the hot 357 magnum loads as accurately as even full-bore 38 loads.
 

Hylander

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
313
m657 said:
Do you need to knock the steel down or just make it ring?

If 'just hit it' is the game, velocity/slug weight is of less concern.

Accuracy with 6" handgun usually is adequate for 6-8" steel targets at 50 yards if your eyes are good. 12-18" targets are way easier & not so critical on other factors.

I like titegroup with 130 conical cast in my 38s; and any you list is fine choice as well. Universal Clays does well for me. Recently loaded promising hot 38 special loads with the CFE & 158.

Recently I was surprised to see how well 147 DEWCs grouped at 30-50 yards as well, although in truth I simply do not shoot the hot 357 magnum loads as accurately as even full-bore 38 loads.

Gotta knock them down, 8X8 steel plates at 50yds.
Looking for the best Accuracy
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,784
Hi,

I load mostly Unique in both calibers with cast bullets. It works well enough for my purposes (more plinking and killing cans than anything else.) It's helpful to remember to give the cases a firm crimp, especially the .38s, when using Unique. It'll never be a really clean powder, but it can be surprising how much better it burns with that little bit of initial resistance.

On to 2400: I don't load it, but a buddy uses a lot of it in .357 Mag and .44 Mag. He found when shooting IHMSA silhouettes it CAN be very accurate, BUT may take some experimenting to find the load that works. He reports a window of about 1/2 a grain, topped out about a grain below max, gives him the best results in the .44. The .357 acts in a similar fashion, though I forget the load he settled on. Going much either way outside that window is rather disappointing. Again, a firm crimp is a good idea. That's in HIS gun, of course, so the YMMV disclaimer's mandatory.

Rick C
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,550
My .357 Mag. load is 14.0 gr. of A2400 and a 158 gr. bullet. (Lyman 358156, a gas check bullet) Works just fine with plain based bullets as well.
W231 and HP38 are just different lots of the same powder which is why load data at the maximum levels are slightly different.
With the same bullet as the one I use in the .357 Mag., I like 5.0 gr. of Unique. The load is accurate in my S&W M60 and does not recoil terribly hard.
Paul B.
 

sailorb

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
154
I find 3.8-3.9 gr of 231 the best for .38 Spec with a 158 gr SWC. It shoots well out of all my .38s. It's my go to load. 3.2 of Titegroup also does well. Trail boss works well too, but I don't remember the loads.
 

swoter

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 19, 2004
Messages
98
I really like 8 grains Unique under a lead swc. Shoots very well in my Blackhawk.
http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/taffin.asp?Caliber=357%20Magnum&Weight=158&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=
 

GP100man

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
1,386
I`ve found alot of powders in the 357 have a sweet spot between 1000-1100 fps .

My most accurate in 357 is a noe358429 & 12.5gr 2400 using a WW mag primer. This load averages 1050 fps.
 

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