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.38+P and .357 with what powder?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by RLCbushpilot, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. RLCbushpilot

    RLCbushpilot

    101
    0
    Jan 5, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I'm trying to find a good powder to load .38+P and .357 with. I have Zero 158gr LSWC bullets on hand and I'd like to use those. What powders would you guys recommend? I've loaded some .38 and .357 with Universal but there is no data for .38+P for 158gr LSWC and the .357 loads at max were still a lot lighter than the factory I had to compare them to.
     
  2. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    18,083
    19
    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Unique will do both, but you'll only get somewhere around mid-range in the .357 mags.

    If you want full power .357 mag loads, I recommend Alliant 2400.
     

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010

  3. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,930
    1,046
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    Either Unique or 2400 would be a good choice for max effort 38sp+P. Unique will get you good upper midrange 357mag loads & 2400 for full power 357mags.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Unique for +P and 2400 for 357. Unique for both if you can only have one.
     
  5. nitesite10mm

    nitesite10mm Dog Lover

    2,649
    542
    Jun 9, 2006
    North Alabama
    Good answer.

    BTW, you didn't ask but it bears adding that neither powder needs magnum primers for the .357 loads.
     
  6. RLCbushpilot

    RLCbushpilot

    101
    0
    Jan 5, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for the info. I'm mainly trying to duplicate the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr 38 special +p load but I was hoping to find a powder that was good for both that and .357. I'll have to pick up some Unique to try. I have a lot of Universal on hand and looking at the load data for 125 gr hollow points it looks like Universal will work as well as 2400 or Unique for both .357 and 38+p. Has anybody tried that combination? I'm just looking for a cheap way to train with close to what I carry in my LCR. If I can use the same components for my .357 even better!
     
  7. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    18,083
    19
    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    True, but I do have a little better results with mag primers in .357 magnum. Really only about a 50 fps difference, but accuracy is noticably better for me. Your mileage may vary.
     
  8. FLSlim

    FLSlim

    1,340
    13
    Apr 12, 2010
    FL W Coast
    +1 on Unique and 2400. Universal won't give you the same performance as 2400, but should compare to Unique. I've never used mag primers in the 357, but I'm sure ZSteve is "on target" with his comment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  9. Using Speer data, I'm getting 1049fps with Power Pistol (under max load weight) from a 3"/M64.

    For soft 158gr lead, I like Universal Clays heads up over both W231 and Unique.

    Depending on bullet weights, AA #9 is a go to powder for both .357mag and 44mag.

    Bob :cowboy:
     
  10. vtducrider

    vtducrider

    1,041
    1
    Nov 13, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I just reloaded my first ever batch of 357 Magnum. Zero 125gr JHP, Winchester 231, 6.0gr and 6.2gr, OAL = 1.585", and crimp came in at 0.375". I am hoping to get about 1100ft/s. We will see about that tomorrow. Feels like a good starting point. 231 is probably not the best powder but I have plenty of it here.
     
  11. alank2

    alank2

    958
    15
    May 24, 2004
    Hi,

    My 135gr 38+P Speer GDHP/SB load is:

    .357 Speer GDHP/SB 135gr
    VihtaVuori n340
    6.0gr
    38spl Starline Nickel
    SP CCI 500
    1.437 OAL

    I get 860 fps avg in a 1 7/8" S&W 442.

    Good luck,

    Alan
     
  12. WI-Guy

    WI-Guy Famly Protector

    119
    0
    Jul 19, 2005
    Knowing your barrel length may affect the answer as well. You're using a heavy bullet so you are looking at a slower burn rate but if you have a short barrel you may want a faster burn rate.
     
  13. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Speer publishes data in it's latest manual to duplicate factory ballistics with the 135GDHP. Unique is one of several powders they list. The others are all similar medium burn rate powders and would work well in 357Mag as well.
     
  14. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    4,037
    5
    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    I find 2400 to be be pretty flashy. Unique is alright, not bad but wasn't terrific. With 158 grain bullets in +P 38 and 357 Mag, HS-6 seems the most forgiving.
     
  15. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    18,083
    19
    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Excellent point.

    When you see a 2 foot flame coming out of your snub nose .357, you probably crossed the threshold of diminishing returns. :supergrin:
     
  16. nitesite10mm

    nitesite10mm Dog Lover

    2,649
    542
    Jun 9, 2006
    North Alabama
    Some pics I took sometime last year

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]