357Mag full power loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by vtducrider, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Does anyone know what velocities some of the factory defensive 357 ammo run? I've had good results with 125gr Zero jacketed bullets and Winchester 231 for low/mid range loads, between 800 and 950ft/s (38 and 357).

    I just ordered 1k Berry's plated 158 grainers, and will be working up a high-end load, for practicing with 4" revolvers. Win231 seems to tap out at just over 1100ft/s. Probably will go with a different powder. Wanted to get an idea what full power load means. I saw some data with Win296, and max velocity is almost 1500ft/s. Probably have to fill the casing right up to the rim to get that...

    Any information will be appreciated. Will save me $$$ from making the measurements myself.

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  2. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    Most of the major ammo manufacturers post the muzzle velocities of their SD loads online. I think I saw Federal claim 1400+ for their 125gr load. That probably kicks out of a snubbie.

  3. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    I clocked some Hansen/IMI 158JHP at 1200 from a 4" GP100. You could do that with 2400 at max. I like 2400 better than 296. I've broken 1300 with a 158 using Lil'Gun.
  4. You do not want to load Plated bullets past 1200fps. they will come apart (the plating comes off). I use 2400 and aa#9 and get 1450 fps with 125gr hornady hp and I still have room to run. I can also get 1050fps with 180gr hp using 2400 need to work up some with AA#9 still. None of these rds. show any pressure signs in my gp100 4inch bbl
  5. I have chronoed 125gr hydrashocks in my gp100 they where 1450fps.
  6. Glolt20-91 has some great numbers for .357mag posted on the furniture bullet penetration test thread in Caliber Corner. He also says h110 and AA#9 outperforms 2400 in his tests. I have not done enough testing with either of these powders to back this up but so far I am liking AA#9. Have not used h110 yet though.
    #6 albyihat, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  7. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    Alliant 2400 is my go to powder for full power 357 in any weight.
  8. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    158 grain XTP, 14.6 grains of 2400, Starline Brass, federal small pistol magnum primer, 1.585 OAL and I'm right at 1,250 fps from my 4" 686. The recipe is from Lyman 49.

    No pressure signs, cases fall right out. I will say that's about as far as I'll take it. I've gone up to 14.8 grains with thinner brass (Winchester), but I worked back up with starline as I had a bunch, and I didn't need to go that high.
  9. Berry's and high end loads do not go together. I've used many Berry's bullets. They have a very thin plating. They should not be pushed any, if at all, faster than lead.

    Again, do NOT try to push Berry's to high end velocities.
  10. Thanks for pointing this out. I think I will just stick to Win231 with these bullets, and try to push it close to 1200ft/s.
  11. Well you certainly aren't getting the most out of your 357mag shooting W231. Pushing W231 is pointless, it's just not made for that. Think 158gr @ 1000fps & 125gr @ maybe 1200fps. The only factory 357mags I have shot recently were the Hornady, makes 1450fps out of a 6", just under 1400fps in a couple of 4" guns. Youll need a slower powder, like Longshot & slower to get higher vel & you aren't getting a 125gr to run 1500fps in 95% of all 4" guns w/o sticky extraction & short case life..
    #11 fredj338, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  12. Not a good idea to load Berry's (or any plated) at high speeds. This is especially true of a round that gets a strong roll crimp (vs a taper crimp). The roll crimp may already be cutting the plating (IIRC, Berry's don't have a cannalure either).

    357Mag likes a nice heavy roll crimp to a) get a consistent burn and b) to prevent projectile movement under heavy recoil. A light crimp will get you wide variations in speed, and potential jams in the revolver.

    Berry's are great projectiles. I shoot lots and lots of them. I just don't attempt to push them as fast as a FMJ projectile.
  13. ballisticsbytheinch.com is a very good resource for factory defensive loads of most calibers.

    THey took a TC contender barrel in every caliber they tested and shortened it 1" at a time, keeping records as they went, 18"-2".

    THey also have a spreadsheet with energy numbers that you can download.

    I've been carrying the Hornady Leverevolution in my S&W 327PC. Even with a 2" barrel, I got velocities over 1100fps with the 140 gr factory loads. I haven't tried the critical defense because that only comes in 125 gr. Having 8 rds of .357 magnum gives me great comfort.
  14. I liek their site, but it's generic, only vaguely applies to what you can expect from a revolver. The cyl gap plays a huge roll in final vel. All blls are diff too. I have (4) 4" 357mags, they all give diff vel w/ idnetical loads, one a full 125fps less than the others. It happens to be my oldest one too.:dunno:

  15. That's true, but I would think that it is a good tool for comparison of factory loads.
    for instance, if a Federal 125gr JHP travels 1511 fps out of their 4" barrel, and a Federal 158gr JHP travels 1293 fps out of the same 4" barrel, then a good ballpark guess would be that I'm going to get around 200-230 more fps from the 125 grain out of a 4" revolver.

    I'm only suggesting the sight as a starting point for comparison, removing as many variables as possible (which seemed to be what the OP was getting at in his first post). I'm not suggesting that all guns will get the same results as the website.

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