The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Check out and contribute to our new Wolfekipedia:
http://thementalmilitia.com/wiki/
or
https://thementalmilitia.com/wiki/

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special  (Read 3461 times)

Bear

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7653
  • Curious Bear
Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« on: June 14, 2008, 11:03:52 pm »

On the sneaking suspicion that I may get a gift card for Father's Day, I'm
researching some powder and primer combinations that will work for my
.357 Mag and .38 special loads.

Ideally:

* I would like to use the same powder and primer in both, to keep things simple
   and give me the most flexibility.

* All else being equal, I want to use a powder that requires a larger charge
   to accomplish the same energy, since I've read this gives more consistent
   results.

   Also, the same measuring error in a larger charge makes a smaller percentage difference.

Here's the choices I've got so far:

Maker: RAMshot
Powder: True Blue
Primers: Fed 200 (.357) Fed 100 (.38)

Maker: Alliant Powder
Powder: Blue Dot
Primer: Fed 200 (both)

Maker: Accurate Powder
Powder: #9 (.357) #5 (.38)
Primer: CCI 500 (both)

Maker: Hodgdon Powder
Powder: HS6, or Longshot, or Universal
Primers: Winchester SPM (.357)  Winchester SP (.38)

Comments?

Bear

Logged
"There is no good idea so perfect, so pure,
that Government can't do it badly."
-- Bear

Bill St. Clair

  • Techie
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5539
    • End the War on Freedom
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 05:33:55 am »

I'm a Hodgdon fan. Don't have much experience with other manufacturers, but Hodgdon has worked fine in all my calibers, so I use it.

If you're using at least 146 grain bullets in your .38 special, you might consider H4227. It uses nearly-case-filling charges. For light, cowboy-action, loads, IMR Trail Boss works well, also with case-filling charges (Trail Boss has very low density).

I've never loaded for .357 magnum or .38 special, but I use both H4227 and Trailboss in my .44 magnum loads. I verified that they work in .357 and .38 at http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
Logged
"The state can only survive as long as a majority is programmed to believe that theft isn't wrong if it's called taxation or asset forfeiture or eminent domain, that assault and kidnapping isn't wrong if it's called arrest, that mass murder isn't wrong if it's called war." -- Bill St. Clair

"Separation of Earth and state!" -- Bill St. Clair

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5718
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 10:12:36 pm »

If you want one powder to do it all, Unique is your friend.  With Unique, you can load .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, 9mm, .40 S&W....well, I'm getting long winded.  Basically, any handgun or shotgun round should find an application for Unique.

That said, I've yet to load any .38 Specials with Unique.  I've been loading them with a medium charge of Bullseye.  It doesn't fill the case, so you'll probably want to stay away from it, given your requirements.  I load my practice .357 Magnum loads with 6 grains of Unique and a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter.  For full power .357 Magnum ammo, I usually like to go with 2400 or Hogdon's Lil'gun powder and 158 grain jacketed hollow points.

As for primer, with Unique, a regular small pistol primer will do the job.  I usually use Winchester because they're usually what I have around.  I've also used Federal and CCI primers and I've come to the conclusion that a primer is a primer.  Use a magnum primer if the powder requires it, but otherwise, I haven't really noticed any large difference in primers for regular handgun loads.
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

Bear

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7653
  • Curious Bear
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 12:07:19 am »

Guys,

I ended up getting a pound of Blue Dot and a box of Federal #200 primers. I'm sure there are other
combinations that would work with both cartridges, but I was able to find the data at one source
that spelled it out. I do plan on experimenting a little after I get some experience, but to start with,
I want to stay in well charted territory.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Bear

PS: I also learned that Blue Dot does well in shot shells, which is something else I intend to reload
a little further down the line.


Logged
"There is no good idea so perfect, so pure,
that Government can't do it badly."
-- Bear

possum

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2008, 05:32:54 pm »

Bear, you did not mention your method of loading.

All of mine has been done on a Dillon 650, but I just bought a Lee hand priming tool for loading the odd hundred rifle rounds on a single stage and they specifically do not recommend using this tool with Federal primers due to their sensitivity. Just a word of caution if you intend to use a hand priming tool.

I've loaded several thousand Federals on the press and never had a problem, for what it's worth.

Can't speak to the loads for .38 and .357 but i have tried Accurate #5 and found it to be a bit too fast burning. Have better luck with #7, at least in my Glocks.
Let us know how the loading's going, and best of luck to you.
Logged

jimp220

  • Guest
Re: Powder for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2008, 12:40:44 am »

Be careful with low grain loads of Blue Dot in the .38 spl cases.  When you get down to below 3 grains or so, a phenomenom known as 'detonation' can occur whereas the powder explodes due to the horizontal position of the case allowing the primer to flash over the surface area of the powder instead of burning from the primer forward.  Something like a grain elevator explosion.  I have heard of guns being damaged by this so I would use cotton or dacron batting above the powder charge to keep it compressed against the primer.  That got to be a pain so now I use Blue Dot only for .357 and Unique, Universal Clays or other powders for .38. 

I did load some .357 rounds with a close to maximum load of Blue Dot and was asked not to shoot them at the indoor range, rocked the whole building!
Logged

Bear

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7653
  • Curious Bear
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 10:09:36 am »

jimp220,

Thanks for the heads up on the flash over. Not an obvious problem,
but makes sense once it's explained.

Guys -

After I got the cartridge holder for the Lee Auto Loader (the hand held thing),
I loaded 60 Federal primers without incident. I did take a couple of precautions,
though.

1. I only put 10 primers in the pan at once, instead of filling it I figured that if
it did go badly, I'd be limiting the damage.

2. After shaking 1 primer on to the piston, I engaged the piston just a little to
make sure it wasn't catching an edge of a primer before I put the empty
cartridge in the holder. This way I could SEE what was going on rather
than trusting to luck.

Bear

Logged
"There is no good idea so perfect, so pure,
that Government can't do it badly."
-- Bear

jimp220

  • Guest
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 09:16:14 pm »

I wear safety glasses when doing priming.  I've had a few go off in my experience and was glad to have the glasses on, losing an eye would negate any savings realized by reloading!
Logged

Bear

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7653
  • Curious Bear
Re: Powder and Primer choices for .357 Mag and .38 Special
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2008, 11:05:17 pm »

Quote
I wear safety glasses when doing priming.  I've had a few go off in my experience and was glad to have the glasses on, losing an eye would negate any savings realized by reloading!

Ditto. I didn't mention it, but I did wear safety glasses when re-priming.

Bear

Logged
"There is no good idea so perfect, so pure,
that Government can't do it badly."
-- Bear
Pages: [1]   Go Up