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.357 mag help

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Lame Bucket, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Lame Bucket

    Lame Bucket

    Nov 7, 2009
    I dont know if my first post made it on.. but i'll post a more condensed version of what it was.

    Basically I am reloading .357 mag for a Marlin 1894C. I went to a local gun shop and they said that since i was using a rifle to use IMR 4227. I want to load 38 special loads into 357 mag brass, for plinking purposes.. I was wondering what primers I should use (small pistol magnum or standard small pistol) with IMR 4227 and if you had any recommendation for projectiles? Oh and do I need to alter the charge amount due to the larger brass?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Wow. Find a different gunshop!!!!

    It's a pistol round. It doesn't matter if you shoot it by hitting the cartridge with a hammer, it's still a pistol round.

    Get some Titegroup and a Hodgdon's manual. Any small pistol primer will work.

    If you haven't opened the powder, insist that they take it back since it was their stupid idea that you buy it.

    Other pistol powders that are popular for low power loads for the 38/357 are Red Dot, Clays, and N140.

    U got a bum steer.

  3. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Do not use any type of TC style bullets in a tubular magazine fed rifle. Some sort of flat point bullet is the safest.

    Three-Five-Seven is right on with the powder. The longer barrel will allow you to use some of the mid-burning powders, Unique comes to mind but .357's suggestions are excellent. (I'm not familiar with N140 however.)

  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I agree, another idiot gunshop employee. You load it like you would for a revolver. I would NOT go w/ TG, just my prejudice, too fast, too small a column of powder in the larger case, burns too hot for lead bullets (increased leading). If you are shooting lead bullets for CAS, TrailBoss has a good following. Fills the case nearly full & works well w/ lead bullets. Nothing wrong w/ good old Unique either. One of the better powders for accuracy & lead bullets.
  5. Lame Bucket

    Lame Bucket

    Nov 7, 2009
    Thanks for the help guys! I know I shouldn't have let those guys talk me out of what I was going there to buy in the first place (small pistol primers and unique) but when you are new and a guy who is supposed to be the shops expert on reloading shows up and tells you that you are wrong.. well you tend to side with him.

    I put the primers on craigslist and found a guy who was selling CCI #500 (exactly what I wanted in the first place) So I messaged him and he was interested in trading!

    Phew! Looks like I lucked out today..

    So I guess my last question is, Have you ever used IMR4227 in your .357 loads? How is it? and if I were to use a 38 special load in a .357 mag (I hear its good for plinking ammo) would I increase the charge by 10% due to the larger case of the .357? Have any of you done this?

    Like I said before, Thanks for all of the help! Looks like when I have a question my Lee reloading manual doesnt have an answer, I'll turn to you guys.. not some jerk in a store.


    (P.S. Sorry for the double post, my internet was being goofy and I wasnt sure if the first one went through!)
  6. rg1


    Aug 5, 2003
    This site has a PDF download that's useful. It's the last Handloaders Guide produced by IMR. It's worthwhile to download or print out a copy. You can just download certain sections and not the entire Guide with shotshell data etc. They do list IMR 4227 in .38 Special data plus .357 Mag data. They use small pistol primers for .38 cases and Mag primers for .357 Magnum. May be useful to you.
    I'd also recommend common pistol powders such as Unique for your reduced loads in .357 Mag cases with standard small pistol primers.
    My Marlin .357 Mag loves 158 Hornady XTP's with Accurate Arms #9 powder with standard CCI 500 primers using Accurate Arms data available on-line from their powder site. My loads are .357 Magnum full power loads though. Use .38Spec. data for .38 Special cases and only data for .357 Mag for the magnum .357 cases.
    forgot to add the link:
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  7. dougader


    Apr 17, 2004
    Slow spherical, or ball, powders are not well suited to downloading too much. I'd stick with the starting load listed in your loading manual using IMR 4227 powder, magnum primers, in 357 magnum cases. The recoil won't be bad in a heavy rifle like yours.

    First off, I don't think you're going to find any data in 38 Special with IMR 4227 powder. Second, when you use 38 Special data (which is a shorter case with less case capacity, or room for powder) when loading a longer case, like the 357 magnum, then pressure falls off. You don't want to use less than a starting charge for 357 mag data in your rifle barrel.

    So look up your bullet weight, with your powder and start with the listed starting charge and load 5 or 10 and see if they function and fire well in your rifle. If all is fine, then you can adjust the load up if you want. You shoul dbe able to work up some great loads with IMR 4227, mag primers and - for example - 158 grain jacketed soft point bullets.

    My Speer 14 manual shows a start charge of 15 grains with a 158 jhp or jsp bullet loaded to 1.570 - 1.575" overall length. This should give you close to 1400 fps from your Marlin. MAX is a compressed charge of 17.0 grains of IMR 4227. NOTE: this Speer manual list the use of standard primers... CCI 500 primers.
  8. Lasercast #1 manual lists I4227 with WSR primers, but other powders perform better using lesser amounts, like between 2grs to 4grs less.

    Read Speer 14 manual's warning regarding 158gr non-bonded, jacketed bullets in long barrelled .38 Special, it's probably not a good idea with your carbine.

    I'm also a big fan of AA #9 and H110 (not with lighter bullets because of gas cutting) in .357mag revolvers.

    Unique works well in .38 Special; however, personal preference is Universal Clays, Titegroup and W231 because they are cleaner and meter consistantly.

    Bob :cowboy:
  9. bambikilr


    Oct 29, 2009
    agreed^ i love H-110...18.7grains with Hornady 140gr XTP...& 15.9grains with Nosler 158gr...very accurate...glad ya got the primer thing worked out, there is alot of free info out there, just research somemore & enjoy
  10. rg1


    Aug 5, 2003
    I see the edition of the IMR Handloaders Guide I linked to above doesn't list IMR 4227 with all loads. Here's some published loads from the 1990 and 1997 editions. Use at your own discretion:
    38 Special using IMR 4227 in Rem .38 Special cases, RP 1 1/2 primer
    Hornady 110 HP oal 1.460" ---IMR 4227-11.1 grains--1020fps--15800 psi
    Rem 125 gr sjhp oal 1.525"----IMR 4227-10.8 gr-----930 fps---16000
    Speer 140 jhp 1.455" oal----IMR 4227-10.3 gr------800 fps---15600
    Speer 146 jhp oal 1.395"------IMR 4227-10.3 gr-----880 fps----15700
    Sierra 150 gr JHC oal 1.445"---IMR 4227-10.0 gr----770 fps----15900
    Hornady 158 JFP oal 1.465"---IMR 4227-9.7 gr------705 fps----15900
    I'm not listing the lead bullet loads
    .357 Magnum using IMR 4227 in Remington cases, RP 5 1/2 mag primer
    --6.0" revolver
    Hornady 110 JHP oal 1.590"----IMR 4227-21.0 grains compressed-1510-35600
    Rem 125 SJHP oal 1.580"------IMR 4227-18.5 compressed-1325fps-35400 psi
    Speer 140 gr JHP oal 1.590"---IMR 4227-17.2 gr------1210 fps-35700 psi
    Sierra 150 gr JHC oal 1.590"--IMR 4227-15.9 gr-------1130fps--35600
    Rem 158 SJHP oal 1.580"-------IMR 4227--15.3 gr. compressed-1075-36000
    again I didn't list the lead bullet loads given
    THE IMR GUIDE RECOMMENDS REDUCING 10% and working up to these levels
  11. I4227 seems to be a rather inefficient powder for the .38 Special, even with a 6" barrel.

    Power Pistol is a much faster burning powder than I4227, compare this chronograph data from 1-08-2008 with the above.

    S&W M64-3/3"
    4400ft, 66F, Win virgin brass, CCI 500, COAL 1.448", Power Pistol 6.2grs, Speer Gold Dot 135gr (short barrel);
    5 shot string
    1049fps/330fpe, ES 39fps, SD 14fps

    In this comparison, by going to a faster burning powder, substantially less powder gave substantially faster muzzle velocity from a short vs long barrel.

    At Powder Valley, cost of Power Pistol is $5.00/lb less ($14.00/lb vs $19.00lb) than I4227.

    Bob :cowboy: