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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an interesting question. Look at the following .357 magnum data.

According to the Sierra manual:

Sierra JSP or JHC 125 grain
Case- Starline
Primer CCI 550
Alliant 2400. 16.2-19.0 Grains

I used 18 grains of 2400 and a Sierra 125 grain JHP. Even though the JHP was not specifically mentioned intuition Sierra. I figured since it was Sierra it would okay.

I then looked in the Hornady manual:

Hornady HP-XTP or FP-XTP 125 Grain
Case-Frontier
Primer Winchester WSPM
Alliant 2400 13.9-16.9 Grains

The powder charges only overlap .9 grains. According to Hornady I went over the Max load by 1.1 grains but was still below Sierra's Max load by 1 grain. I realize different bullet manufacturers and different reload recipes for their bullets compared to other manufacturers but that is quite a big difference. I worked the load up and when I fired the Sierra load with 18 grains of 2400 the case fell out of the cylinder from just gravity. The primer looked good. It seamed to work just fine.

Also I have read you should not use magnum primers with 2400, yet both Hornady and Sierra both used magnum primers.

Just to cover my backside. Don't use this data I listed without referring to the manual.

Any thoughts would be appreciated cause I am trying to approach maximum loads while still staying a step or so back and I am trying to be as safe as I can

Thankyou
 

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Well Aliant says 17.5 of 2400 with a Speer GDHP with CCI 500 primer is 1409 fps out of a 10 inch barrel. I wouldnt be too scared of going .5 over what they list.

Thats why I use 2400 in my .44 because you dont need magnum primers with it.
 

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Just some FYI .... just because a reloading manual lists a max load, it doesn't mean that load is at the SAAMI max chamber pressure. It does mean the load was tested in a SAAMI approved lab with the exact components listed (case, primer, powder, and bullets which are seated to the listed COL) and did not exceed SAAMI limits.

From my experience, I've found Hornady lists loads on the conservative side. If you notice, Hornady uses magnum primers in all their 357 Mag loads ... no matter what powder they specify. They do lab test each and every load so you can be assured the load will not exceed SAAMI pressure specs. Sierra and Speer do the same thing, although their loads are typically hotter, but not over SAAMI specs. Speer specifies magnum primers for only a select few powders, which I think is a better practice.
 

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Any thoughts would be appreciated cause I am trying to approach maximum loads while still staying a step or so back and I am trying to be as safe as I can
There are a couple things I have encountered over time that make max loads less than appealing.

A max load is a recipe that produces acceptable pressures in the test gun when followed to the letter. Max loads followed to that level are not likely to be dangerous in any firearm in decent shape. The .357 Mag has actually been reduced over the time it's been available, mostly because the ammo was killing K Frame's at an unacceptable rate, and many medium quality revolvers were also experiencing problems. They won't blow up, but they can shoot loose at a surprising rate. All .357s currently available will likely sustain the pressures from the legacy ammo, as a safety issue.

If you deviate from "the recipe", in any way, you are on your own. You will not likely blow up your gun, but shooting it loose is a risk. Primers, brass thickness, jacket composition, bearing surface, seating depth, and even ambient temperature can all impact pressures. In some instances the pressures could be way lower than book, in a perfect storm of combinations it could damage your gun, or blow a primer. The rationale for working up. The problem is the average shooter has no way of actually knowing what is going on in there.

I try to minimize variation from a recipe when loading/shooting hot rounds. Especially in my lighter guns. I never even try to load +P ammo for my J Frames. I load some +P stuff for my SP101/.357. I have no real concerns for my BH .357 with anything closely duplicating a recipe, if I'm only changing a primer or case. With different bullet manufacturers, I don't even consider swapping one 125gr bullet for another, or any other weight for that matter. I think, I believe, that Hornady, Sierra, Speer, Nosler, etc. all know what a max load is with their own bullets. They have no idea what a Speer bullet and a Nosler load will do. Neither do I, and neither do you.

I have lots of Remington bullets. None of them are loaded above the max load for any bullet of equal weight, of the lowest max in the several references. I have no data available for any of them.

It's your gun, and your fun, but recipes for loads at the top, I never assume.
 

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montana, you're using the same bullet SIERRA did. They refer to their bullets as JHC rather than JHP. With 2400, the magnum primer is not needed but I understand you following the load data to the letter. You might want to add a Lyman 49th edition or the Pistol & Revolver III. Lyman only specifies magnum primers for loads where they are needed. Typically with harder to ignite dense ball powders. ;)
 

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When using 2400 I get better performance out of the Speer loads over the Hornady loads. And when using MP300 much better performance using Alliants loads over Hornady's in my 6" .357 magnum with 125 gr bullets and Starline cases. By nearly 300fps over my Chrony but both quite accurate.
 
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