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Posted: 4/21/2016 12:29:02 AM EDT
I'm finishing up my first batch of 357 mag. Never loaded handgun loads before - only rifle. There are a couple things I'm wondering about.

First, I'm loading 158 gr JHP. Some are Hornady XTP and some Nosler. I'm using CFE Pistol powder.

I noticed when crimping that I was getting some very fine copper shavings off the bullets (see image below). It was a bit more obvious with the XTP but both did it. Any idea why? If it matters, my press is a single stage from the early 1980s and the ram sits at a slight rearward cant. I can sometimes feel a small catch on the downstroke. I'm wondering if the case might be tilting slightly and catching part of the die. If so, not sure what to do about that. The shaving are very thin and I can't even see where on the bullet they came from.

For brass I have some cheap Perfecta (which actually seems decent) and some Hornady from American Gunner rounds. For whatever reason the Hornady cases were about 0.04" inches shorter than the trim length as well as the Perfecta cases. In order to seat the XTP bullet at the cannelure I ended up with a O.A.L of 1.555" instead of 1.580" per the load data. Factory American Gunner ammo is actually only 1.545" (based on the ones I have and measured) so I'm assuming it's okay to be a bit short on O.A.L. Not sure why Hornady does this. Maybe make just a bit cases cheaper. They seat their bullets with very little cannelure showing. I went more towards the middle so they wouldn't be quite as short. Any issues with any of this? They chamber fine (I have a Ruger Blackhawk).

I double and triple check my loads, but the CFE only fills about 1/4 of the case and a double charge isn't that obvious. I did one on purpose to compare. I'm just wondering what would happen with a double charged load in a Ruger revolver (aside from scaring the shit out of me). I've heard stories they are no worse for the wear but wondering if that's more internet lore. Obviously something to be avoided.

Link Posted: 4/21/2016 1:38:27 AM EDT
Looks like the case mouth is shaving a sliver of copper from the bullet. Could be from not belling the mouth of the case quite enough when using the expanding die. Could the cases have burrs that may need deburring? Usually the case mouth isn't belled enough and bullets aren't started straight?
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:45:17 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By rg1:
Looks like the case mouth is shaving a sliver of copper from the bullet. Could be from not belling the mouth of the case quite enough when using the expanding die. Could the cases have burrs that may need deburring? Usually the case mouth isn't belled enough and bullets aren't started straight?
View Quote


Ah, thanks. That does make sense. I was trying to use a minimal bell to not overwork the brass. Might need to open it up just a bit more. I'll try that on the next batch.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 8:05:09 AM EDT
That looks like a piece of your brass to me, it looks yellow not red. Got a picture of your crimped reload?
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:43:12 AM EDT
tipped bullet during seating?   Might want to check the fit of your seater plug to the bullet shape.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:47:55 AM EDT
Don't worry about over working your brass with the mouth flare. I use a generous mouth flare on all my pistol brass (mostly because Ioad a lot of cast bullets) and really don't see any premature splits.

Motor
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:58:06 AM EDT
I would recommend you move to a more filling powder like H110 or 2400 for 357 mag. CFE pistol would be a good plinking powder with a coated or plated bullet. I wouldn't waste the expensive bullets on CFE Pistol.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 1:42:22 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By 3221:
That looks like a piece of your brass to me, it looks yellow not red. Got a picture of your crimped reload?
View Quote


It's definitely copper. May not be obvious in the pic but on close inspection it's copper. I think the lack of a good case flare is the likely issue. I'll open up the next batch more and see if that fixes it. Here's a pic.

Link Posted: 4/21/2016 1:47:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By djryan13:
I would recommend you move to a more filling powder like H110 or 2400 for 357 mag. CFE pistol would be a good plinking powder with a coated or plated bullet. I wouldn't waste the expensive bullets on CFE Pistol.
View Quote


Went with CFE because of those I could find it was the one that used the largest charge which I was hoping meant more volume but other might have been less dense. I'm looking for some H110 but haven't found any yet. Also heard 2400 is good and not as finicky. I'll look for some.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:12:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 3:46:14 PM EDT
FWIW- I've found Hornady brass to be a bit lacking. Seems the case walls are thinner than other's,

I always have to adjust crimping die (Lee FCD) quite a bit to properly crimp Hornady brass.

Don't use Hornady brass anymore, bought a bunch of Starline. That's good brass.

For powder, I've gotten great results from AA #9 across all bullet weights.

I'm shooting a Ruger GP100, so I'm using older load data that's quite a bit hotter than 'modern'

data. And don't believe anything that says to use a standard primer with AA #9,

it's much, much better with a magnum small pistol primer.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 9:32:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2016 9:32:55 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
Check the case mouth after seating.  You may see the little half-moon at that point in the process.  It may still be adhered to the cartridge.  It could be that crimping just shears it off.  That would explain why you think it's the crimp that's causing it, because that's when you see it, but it is unlikely to be the cause.

Pistol case mouth belling can be problematic because very few people trim their brass.  This means the shortest case gets the least flare.  That lightly-flared, short case could be the one causing the sliver.  




Are you seating and crimping in the same die or in separate dies?
Link Posted: 4/22/2016 12:40:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2016 12:40:46 AM EDT by phdog]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Are you seating and crimping in the same die or in separate dies?
View Quote


Separate dies. I have the lee "deluxe" set which comes with factory crimp die.

I found a place with some good powder selection so picked up some HS-6, Accurate #9 and H110. Going to try some different loads/powders and see how it goes. I want to use the jacketed bullets first to get a sense of how each shoots with the different powders and in my revolver. Later, I'll get some plated bullets for plinking and compare. Any particular load suggestions for those powders?
Link Posted: 4/22/2016 9:58:58 AM EDT
What make/model .357 Mag you shooting?

If it's a Ruger GP100 or tougher, it can handle Accurate Arms data version 3.2.2

for AA #9 loads.

Any other make/model revolver, stick with current data.
Link Posted: 4/22/2016 7:25:05 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By johndm1967:
What make/model .357 Mag you shooting?

If it's a Ruger GP100 or tougher, it can handle Accurate Arms data version 3.2.2

for AA #9 loads.

Any other make/model revolver, stick with current data.
View Quote


Ruger Blackhawk. Assuming that's one of the "tough" models based on what I've read.

Assuming you are referring to the change from 3.2.2 and 3.5 where the starting load for 158gr XTP apparently changed from 13.5 gr down to 12.4. gr.

On a related note, I like how they always say don't go below the minimum and then new data comes out that is lower. Begs the question how low could one go...
Link Posted: 4/22/2016 11:53:23 PM EDT
Do yourself a favor, buy Alliant 2400 for 357mag!
Link Posted: 4/23/2016 12:24:30 AM EDT
I will when I can find some.
Link Posted: 4/23/2016 3:53:41 AM EDT
If you find or decide to go with H-110 or W-296 make sure to not use low charges. Try to keep the cases near a full load. Both have been known to have a spontaneous detonation, when they were utilized at a reduced or "plinker" (as some call it, load.
Link Posted: 4/23/2016 11:08:25 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By phdog:


Ruger Blackhawk. Assuming that's one of the "tough" models based on what I've read.

Assuming you are referring to the change from 3.2.2 and 3.5 where the starting load for 158gr XTP apparently changed from 13.5 gr down to 12.4. gr.

On a related note, I like how they always say don't go below the minimum and then new data comes out that is lower. Begs the question how low could one go...
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By phdog:
Originally Posted By johndm1967:
What make/model .357 Mag you shooting?

If it's a Ruger GP100 or tougher, it can handle Accurate Arms data version 3.2.2

for AA #9 loads.

Any other make/model revolver, stick with current data.


Ruger Blackhawk. Assuming that's one of the "tough" models based on what I've read.

Assuming you are referring to the change from 3.2.2 and 3.5 where the starting load for 158gr XTP apparently changed from 13.5 gr down to 12.4. gr.

On a related note, I like how they always say don't go below the minimum and then new data comes out that is lower. Begs the question how low could one go...


Simple answer is: As low as the most current data.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that technology improves all the time and that better testing equipment sometimes proves old rules to be simply wrong.

This is not some sort of misprint in just one data source. Look at current data from several well established publishers including Hodgdon and it becomes very apparent that some of the "old rules" have changed.

Motor

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