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Newb having some serious problems.

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

  1. Lame Bucket

    Lame Bucket

    Nov 7, 2009
    Ok so here is my story.

    I ordered a lee classic turret press (which is currently on the way) and I intend on reloading .357 mag. I got it in a kit so its coming with everything I need to start reloading 38spec/.357mag. I also ordered a good scale, for good measure.

    So I went to my local gun shops to get a few needed items (Primers and Powder) When I went to the first shop they said that since I was firing .357 mag out of a Marlin 1894C that I should use a slower burning powder IMR 4227. So taking their advice I got it. Then I went to my next gun shop (because the first was out of primers.. surprise) And went looking for Small Pistol Primers.

    When I got there, I saw a sign above the primers saying that I should be using Small Pistol Magnum primers for a .357 Mag. But in my Lee manual it says I should use small pistol. So at this point I got confused (newb mode kicked in) and I asked for help. I explained what I wanted to do and he suggested I get the small magnum primers. So I took his advice as well (He actually ended up giving me CCI #350 Large Pistol Magnum primers which wont fit in a .357 mag.. and when I noticed the mistake I called them asking if I could return it. They said no because it was an explosive and thus non-returnable. So already I am off to a good start on my reloading career..)

    So I guess now to my question. I hear a lot about people saying that loading .357 mag cases to 38 special loads is good for plinking ammo. Which is something safe I could start out in.. Do I change the powder charge at all when doing this? and do I use a small pistol magnum primer or a small pistol primer? And finally, for my Marlin 1894C do you have any recommendation for projectiles? Or any recommendations at all..

    I'm sorry for the lengthy post, I am all steamed about this primer thing while simotaniously being confused about which primers and load data i should be using..

    Thanks guys!
  2. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Since they recommended the primers, they should eat them. Period. If they want your business, they should compensate you for THEIR mistake.

    As I said on your other post. Put 3.5 grains of Titegroup in your cases and put a lead bullet on top and enjoy accurate, moderate loads for a long time to come.

    You really have some &^%$y gunshops in your neighborhood.

  3. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    While the shops were out of line.... you REALLY need to do your research before showing up at the store.

    Determine what powders others are using... CERTAINLY know what primers you need.

    Getting advice from the clowns that work in gunshops is asking for trouble. Yes, I realize not ALL gunstore employees are clowns, but man... there are so many, I prefer to do my OWN research and decision making, not rely on them.
  4. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Go back to the store. Ask to talk to the owner.

    The Lyman Manual has data for Rifle .357.

    As far as Mag vs Standard Small Pistol. It matters and it doesn't It depends on the Powder and load data. Slower Powders will really benfit from the Mag Powder. It will help insure all that slow powder gets properly lit. I loaded a ton of mid level loads using Titegroup. Both in .38 and .357. Never used a Mag Primer once. Don't try max loads with a faster powder like titegroup. They suck. So if you want to load a milder load with a faster (for .357) powder, reg will work fine. Start using slow powders and Mag primers are better.
  5. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Lame Bucket:

    We all know that you don't want to hear this but it really sounds like you have some homework to do.

    Your loading manuals will tell you which powder requires a magnum primer, (yes, and experienced loader can interchange them with some safe guards but you're not there yet).

    You really should have known what primer you needed before you walked into that gun shop and should have narrowed your powder selection down to three or four powders based on you reading. (Because of availability limitations it's very difficult to limit yourself to one powder.)

    You're doing good by asking questions but you may want to increase your basic understanding of loading before you do something that will damage your gun or injure you.

    Spend a little more time reading... the gun and components will wait for you.

  6. 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.

  7. 45reloader

    45reloader Live Free

    Feb 18, 2009
    PA South East
    Always make a list
    I do even years later
  8. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Man that is pretty crappy they wouldn't exchange the primers, for the proper size primers. Oh well, good reason to buy a .45.. :)

    I'll just echo what everyone said above... Before you walk into a store, you should know w/o question what you want and need...

  9. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Just saw this post... Glad you got rid of the primers... I've only shot 1 .357mag rifle, and it was w/ .357. Personally, I know its nice to load plinkers, but I would load per whatever the manual says, until your comfortable w/ how things work. You've yet to load a single round, and you're talking about "inventing" a load that isn't in your load manual... If you can find load data, then give it a try. I've never saw load data for what you're trying...

    May I suggest you heed GioaJack's wise words that are immortalised forever in my signature...

    Stay Safe..

  10. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    The current load data from Hodgdon should be good for current IMR-4227 but if H-4227 load data is available you may want to use that instead. Here's why. Not too long ago IMR-4227 was changed from made in Canada to made in Australia. See if you can find this on the bottle. H-4227 was made in Australia but has been discontinued. IMR-4227 is no longer made in Canda but is now the same as old H-4227 and made Australia but it is dyed black to look more like old Canadian IMR-4227. Hodgdon claims the load data is safe to interchange. I tried it in my Ruger Blackhawk in 30 Carbine and IMR-4227 made the cases stick in the cylinder. A full charge of H-110 will not stick the cases in cylinder and the velocity is higher.

    Look and see if you can find where the IMR-4227 is made. If it's made in Canada use some older load data that is not from Hodgdon, or use data from a source that list separate load data for IMR-4227 and H-4227. If it is made in Australia use H-4227 load data.
  11. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    Also a good reason to be in the guys face letting him know why he will never see any of my business again, or at least that's me.
  12. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    It's all in how you approach it. Did you charge the primers? Take them back and explain the situation. If you don't get any satisfaction, tell them you are going to leave the primers and file a chargeback with the CC company. They will get hit with a chargeback fee and still lose the sale.

    Give them an option that that favors you, that they want to take. (ie an offer they can't refuse). Think outside the box.

    When you go shopping for components, it's not like ordering off a Chineese menu. Go KNOWING what you want, leave if they don't have it, double check it if they do.

    You wouldn't go out for a steak dinner, and settle for tofu because of the waiter, would you?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  13. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    Also be very careful with the information you get from the guy that works at the gun stores. There are some good ones but they are rare. Especially when it comes to reloading. Welcome to reloading and I hope you enjoy your new hobby.
  14. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    LameBucket, welcome to reloading and glad you were able to work out a trade.

    Here's one more tip to keep in mind anytime you walk into a reloading supply store and you can't find the powder / primers you went for - grab one of their reloading books and spend some time either making another selection or confirming whatever they are pushing. Even if it's wrapped, ask an employee to break it to confirm what they are stating.
  15. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    For mid-power and low-power loads in the .357 and .38 we all use the same loads in each. We get about the same results. This issue is: what kind of load do you want to develop?

    I know lots of guys (lots) shooting 38/357 and don't know anybody who is using 4227 to do it with.

    Unique would have been a good choice because it is such a flexible powder.

    Truncated cone bullets have a flat point and work great in lever guns.
  16. gjk5

    gjk5 Pinche Gringo

    Yep, the truncated cones work great in my Marlin, even as .38's, that gun of yours should feed either .38 or .357 fine and you will find that you'll get far more range pickup .38 than .357. My plinking .38 loads feel like shooting a heavy .22 in my '94.
  17. dougader


    Apr 17, 2004
    If you're loading for a rifle, then in some cases you should at least look at data for the 357 magnum from a rifle.

    Here's a for instance... some pistol data lists real light target loads that are especially meant to be fired from the relatively short barrels of revolvers. Take that same load and fire it from a rifle with a 20" barrel and you'll end up with a bullet stuck in the bore of your rifle barrel. Fire another round behind it and the least you might see is a "ringed" barrel.

    You don't want to load pistol cartridges too light for a carbine or rifle. Speer is a good one for loading data specific for rifle loads.

    In the case of IMR 4227, yeah you probably should use magnum primers and put a good crimp on the bullets. Other powders that benefit from magnum primers are Hodgdon H110 and Winchester WW296.

    In a rifle I'd stick with heavier bullets from 140 - 170 grain jhp or jsp bullets. Do NOT use pointed bullets in a lever action rifle with a tubular magazine.

    I hope you get at least one or two quality reloading manuals and read well before taking the leap into reloading. I like Speer and Lyman especially for starting out. The ABC's of reloading is also a great book to get started.
  18. RLDS45S


    Jun 8, 2003
    IMR 4227 is MADE IN CANADA by a Division of General Dynamics. It can be made by ADI, but the CURRENT LOT IN USA IS CANADIAN MADE!

    Follow reloading data from established sources, ie Hodgdon website. Get the Lyamn 49th manual it is great general purpose manual, especially for lead bullets.
  19. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Friends Call Me "Flash"

    Dec 26, 2008
    East Houston
    I will echo what some of the other guys said. Don't go to a shop and ASK what to buy. Go there with your research complete and TELL them what you want. In the end, the one who will be hurt either physically or financially is YOU. Take responsibility for doing your research and for making the correct decision yourself.

    If you aren't sure about what to buy, then wait until you are.

  20. EOD3


    Oct 19, 2000
    OK, it looks like you currently have IMR-4227 and CCI-500 primers???

    I'm guessing you have 357 Mag and perhaps some 38 Spl brass.

    As for the bullets, you MUST use flat point bullets in the tubular magazine. Are you planning to shoot only lead (low velocity), or jacketed bullets at higher velocity?

    Shooting 38 Special ammo is only useful if you are buying factory loaded ammo because it's cheaper than factory 357. If you're loading your own, you might just as well use 357 Mag brass with reduced loads. DO NOT reduce your loads below the recommended starting loads FOR RIFLE in your manual (or the hogdon site). Reduced loads can leave a bullet lodged in the bore and the next shot will turn your rifle into a bomb. This is more of a problem with jacketed bullets but it's a good idea to make certain the bullet is out of the barrel even when you're shooting lead.

    If you post your components here, I'll help you through the load process if you'd like.