.38 special loads in 357 magnum cases - Pistolsmith

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Old 01-08-2004, 07:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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.38 special loads in 357 magnum cases

I am wondering about loading some light target rounds of 357mag.,would like to use 38 special or +p data. Any input would be apreciated. Would use Winchester brass and Winchester 125gr JHP bullets. Some older manuals I have(60`s) suggest doing that with some of the cast bullets but none of my newer manuals have any info on this. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 964
I do this all the time. I don't always need or want the recoil and blast of full powered magnums and I don't want to buy 38 brass and set up my dies for the shorter brass. I have found that if you take the data for any 38 Special load and add about 0.5 grains to that load, put it in magnum cases and use a standard small pistol primer, you will be very close to duplicating the 38 ballistics.
Old 01-10-2004, 09:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: California
Posts: 54
My favorite target load in the 357 is a Remington 148gr. HBWC bullet on top of 2.8 grains of Hodgdon Clays with a Federal 100 primer in a Winchester 357 case. It does 725fps from a 4" barrel and shoots six into an inch at 25 yards.

It shoots this well from every 357 I have shot (6 so far, S&W and Colt). I tried to replicate this load with other components, but nothing shoots as well. The recoil is similar to a 22LR.

In my experience, Unique is the best powder for medium 357 loads using jacketed bullets. My favorite Jacketed 357 load consists of the Sierra 110grJHC bullet on top of 10 grains of Unique, a CCI-500 primer and a Winchester case. It shoots like the above mentioned target load, but at 1250fps. I used to hate Unique, but its performance with jacketed bullets proved to be phenomenal. And, you always have a full case so powder positioning issues are nonexistent.

Try Unique with those 125 grain bullets. You'll love it.

Old 01-11-2004, 08:12 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
Thanks to both of you for the response. I am in the procsess of trimming brass now. Have a surplus of Red Dot so am going to try and work something up with it to begin with, will see how it goes. May have to go to store and buy some powder!
Old 01-16-2004, 05:00 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 32
Red Dot should work fine.
Old 01-29-2004, 06:08 PM   #6
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Location: IA. U.S.A.
Posts: 2
i use 3.5gr. of bullseye under a 150 gr. homecast swc in a magnum case. makes a great milder than magnum load.


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