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I got a chance to sample some new loads today


44 special-
200 grain lead power point/7.5 grains unique/1.51"
300 grain lead hard cast/5.0 grains unique/1.58" (my new fav)
180 grain fmj/8 grains unique/1.45"
180 grain/7 grains unique/1.45" (great plinking round)


357 mag- (all 38 spl brass-mag primer)
155 grain LFN/15 grains unique/1.50"(excellent)
125 grain fmj/6 grains unique/1.47"(very timid)
180 grain LRN/13 grains unique/1.50" (vicious recoil)


45-70
430 grain hardcast/38 grains RL7/2.54"(groovy load)
350 grain BFN/11.2 grains unique/2.54" (plinker)
405 grain BFP/13.3 grains unique/2.45"(excellent accuracy mild recoil)
470 grain LSGC/30 grains 4198/2.55" (good)
470 grain LSGC/40 grains RL7/2.75" (good accuracy vicious recoil)


No pressure signs with any loads. All showed acceptable accuracy
firearms used:
H&R handi 45-70
Taurus 445
Taurus 617
Smith Pro Series 627
 

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Try 5.0 gr of Bullseye with the 200 gr in the .44 Special. When I had a .44 Special Charter Arms Bulldog I used that load with a 215 gr SWC and it would print sub-inch groups at 25 yards.
 

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.38 special brass loaded to .357 mag pressures? I'm interested. How did that work out? and do you feel safe shooting it? Is that a normal practice? I'm new to reloading, so I'm always worried that the next round I chamber is going to be a grenade lol
 

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.38 special brass loaded to .357 mag pressures? I'm interested. How did that work out? and do you feel safe shooting it? Is that a normal practice? I'm new to reloading, so I'm always worried that the next round I chamber is going to be a grenade lol
The concept has been around for a long time. It mostly came about due to relative availability of .38 brass over .357 in the post war period as .357's became available more quickly than the ammunition.

this old-time gun writer was a big proponent (out of necessity).

A Letter From Skeeter Skelton
 

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If I recall correctly, the 357 mag was developed by Elmer Kieth using the 38 special case. It was decided to use cases slightly longer for the final release of the 357 to keep folks from shooting them in guns designed for the significantly lower pressures of 38 special. That being said, be careful loading 357 loads in 38 special cases, so that they never get shot in a 38 special gun, or very bad things could happen.
 

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The single most renowned and highly used heavy 38 Special load developed by Skeeter Skelton was the Lyman #358156 cast gas checked 158 gr. SWC over 12.5 grains of 2400 to be used only in 357 magnum revolvers. The 358156 has two crimp grooves, seated and crimped in the lower crimp groove it makes the cartridge longer, it won't chamber in most 38 Special cylinders. The load was developed shortly after WWII, 357 brass was in very short supply. This heavy load is a very special load and effectively replaces 357 ammunition with 38 Special but is visibly different even to a casual observer. I tried the load in a Ruger BlackHawk 357 about 35 years ago after I read about it in an article in Shooting Times Magazine. The article was written by Skeeter Skelton and verified by Bill Jordan. Both men had served as Border Patrol and LEO along the Arizona/New Mexico border with Mexico in the period after WWII. As an additional point, Bill Jordan is generally recognized as the motivational force behind S&W building their Combat Magnum revolver, later named the Model 19. Trivia!!!!!!!!
 
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Guesser,
When are you going to write a book? You have 50 years of knowledge and it seems a waste to keep it all to yourself.
My hat is off to you.
 

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Guesser, John Taffin has a short article on that bullet in American Handgunner MAY/JUN 2013. He calls it the "Real Magic Bullet" and says it was designed by Ray Thompson. Talks about a couple of other Ray Thompson designs, a few favorite loads, even a little about loading for lever guns. Pretty good for a one page article.
 

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That bullet has been my mainstay for 357 and heavy, heavy 38 Special loads since I first started casting .358 diameter bullets. It works well in everything I have ever used it in, even my microgroove Marlin 1894C. I have owned 4 different molds in the # and everyone of them has been a sweet heart to cast with. I have loaded that bullet in 35 Remington for use in 14" Contenders and also in Marlin and Remington rifles. I loaded it in 357 Herrett for a Contender and I used it as a plinking bullet in a custom built 35 Whelen. Good bullet, it does everything well.
 

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That being said, be careful loading 357 loads in 38 special cases, so that they never get shot in a 38 special gun, or very bad things could happen.
That's the only concern I'd have. You know how loose rounds end up in the bottom of your range bag. If somebody were to be gathering up that stuff and forgot about it being .357 Mag loads in a .38 Special casing it could get a little hairy should it find it's way into a .38 revolver. Brass is to cheap to take a chance like that for me. I know that some how 10 years from now I would forget all about it and if I were running low on ammo one day at the range I'd start scrounging around and one of those rounds would end up in the wrong gun for sure.
 

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I thought I would address something from earlier in this thread....although the pic below is not of a 38 special and 357 magnum cartridge for comparison, the difference between 38 and 357 is about identical to the two shown.

The 38 special casing looks more like the casing on the left. Notice the open area on the side of the primer pocket. This open area allows more powder there, but it also weakens the case substantially. The 357 magnum casing looks like the one on the right. There is solid brass on the sides of the primer pocket and this strengthens the case considerably.

Hope this helps.


 

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If I recall correctly, the 357 mag was developed by Elmer Kieth using the 38 special case. It was decided to use cases slightly longer for the final release of the 357 to keep folks from shooting them in guns designed for the significantly lower pressures of 38 special. That being said, be careful loading 357 loads in 38 special cases, so that they never get shot in a 38 special gun, or very bad things could happen.
Elmer Keith never claimed nor accepted credit for the .357; that was entirely done within Remington and Smith and Wesson. He had a hand with some bullet designs and really liked the results but swore the .44 Special and .45 Colt were far better law enforcement rounds when loaded to his specifications. It did give him the idea for a .44 Magnum, which he did push hard to create and convinced Remington to produce the ammo if Smith and Wesson would wrap a gun around it, which they did.
 

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I thought I would address something from earlier in this thread....although the pic below is not of a 38 special and 357 magnum cartridge for comparison, the difference between 38 and 357 is about identical to the two shown.

The 38 special casing looks more like the casing on the left. Notice the open area on the side of the primer pocket. This open area allows more powder there, but it also weakens the case substantially. The 357 magnum casing looks like the one on the right. There is solid brass on the sides of the primer pocket and this strengthens the case considerably.

Hope this helps.


The casing on the left is an old-style balloon-head casing. These were used for black-powder loads and handle low pressures nicely. This form is still found on occasion in old factory ammo; the design was abandoned in favor of solid-head cases to handle modern, high pressure loads. The last modern loads that I saw with ballon-head casings were from the '50s.
 
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