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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reloading 38's for a while but going to start loading some 357s with H110. I have a few hundred 158 XTP's to load up but they are rather pricey compared to bulk FMJs. I use Berry's for everthing else but know you're not supposed to push those past 1200 FPS. I don't want to shoot lead if I can avoid it. I like 158gr but open to suggestions.

What do you use for .357 plinking that you can buy in bulk (not 100 round boxes), jacketed preferred, and reasonably priced?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
125 Gr. Berry's FP also use them for self defence loads.. or I use 125 HP Either way they are very good and accurate.

wPm
The problem is that even the botton range of the loads for H110 and 125gr is well in excess of 1200fps that you are suppose to limit Berry's too.
 

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I use x_treme plated bullets from freedom munitions loaded to speer data(x-tremes rec.) and they shoot like a champ.
 

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You've pretty much elimited everything except plated. Any name brand jacketed bullet will be priced more than plated, even when buying in bulk. I shoot lead bullets (not because of cost but because I like to cast my own) and if they are sized properly, to fit your gun, they are no more problematic than plated and can be driven to magnum velocities...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You've pretty much elimited everything except plated. Any name brand jacketed bullet will be priced more than plated, even when buying in bulk. I shoot lead bullets (not because of cost but because I like to cast my own) and if they are sized properly, to fit your gun, they are no more problematic than plated and can be driven to magnum velocities...
Yah, I'm starting to realize that.

I guess I will be shooting this more outdoors than in the indoor range so leads not as big of a deal. I also don't like raw lead around the house, but may need to make an exception for 357.

Thanks. Still looking for other options if anyone has them!
 

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Lead ain't dangerous. I've never heard of a chunk of lead attacking someone as they walked by a stack of ingots. Actually there's a lot more items around your house that can cause more harm than casting lead. The current "lead poisoning" scare is largely driven by politicians riding a wave of fear, and do-gooder anti-hunting groups.
 

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Lead ain't dangerous. I've never heard of a chunk of lead attacking someone as they walked by a stack of ingots. Actually there's a lot more items around your house that can cause more harm than casting lead. The current "lead poisoning" scare is largely driven by politicians riding a wave of fear, and do-gooder anti-hunting groups.
+1000. All I shoot is lead.

Plinking load? Mine is 5.0g Red Dot under 158g SWC. That's a 'plinking', steel smacking, accurate load :) . As far as I know H-110 isn't for plinking.
 

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Lead ain't dangerous. I've never heard of a chunk of lead attacking someone as they walked by a stack of ingots. Actually there's a lot more items around your house that can cause more harm than casting lead. The current "lead poisoning" scare is largely driven by politicians riding a wave of fear, and do-gooder anti-hunting groups.
+1000. All I shoot is lead.

Plinking load? Mine is 5.0g Red Dot under 158g SWC. That's a 'plinking', steel smacking, accurate load :) . As far as I know H-110 isn't for plinking.
I love shooting lead. I shoot it almost exclusively. It's in my carry gun.

5.5-6 gr of Unique under a homecast, .158 gr LSWC is my round. :)
 

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After using hard cast and Berry's I have switched to Montana Gold. You have to be able to buy the 3000 count to make it cost effective. I switched because a bullet feeder die did not work with the larger diameter bullets. Then I realized I did not miss cloud of smoke while shooting or the gun that looked like it shot black powder when done shooting hard cast.
 

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Whats wrong with shooting lead? I cast several swc bullets, a roundnose and a wadcutter for both the 38 spl and the 357 mag. I load the Keith bullet with heavy loads of 2400 and 4227 with no leading at all. If I had to rely on store bought bullets for shooting I wouldn't be shooting! Mine are cast hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will probably be ordering some 158 SWC Lead from Missouri Bullet Co to try out. They are cheap and people seem to like them.

I've gotten mixed reviews on using H110. What powder would you use for these bullets? I want actual 357 level loads, not 38 special loads.
 

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I see some problems in the making here, You have been advised to not use the H110 or it's equivalent 296. These powders have a short loading window and it's not advisable to reduce loads below what the book says.
First you say you want plinking loads, then you state you want magnum performance.
Make up your mind or use the correct terminology. Have you slugged your barrel to see what the groove size is ? Have you slugged your cylinder throats ? Those two things at minimum should be done before you shoot lead bullets so you know the proper size bullet to shoot. In order to have a nice day and not have to scrub lead from your barrel a little care must be put into the loading process, also use the correct powder and load them to a velocity conducive to lead bullets.
You have been given some good advise from some casters of lead bullets and I have been casting and shooting lead for a LOooong time. Do it right and don't be one of those people that mess up and swear lead bullets don't work--cause they do.
Fit is king when shooting lead, .001---.0015 over groove and sized to fit the throats.
Keep the Vel. window within the range for the lead bullets. Hard cast with crappy crayon lube is not the answer nor will it help an ill fitting bullet.
Yes you can drive lead bullets quite fast, but tell the truth I don't think your ready for it, not from what Ive read so far.
In no way am I trying to slam you or be negative, and I'm not saying you don't know how to re-load. Just shooting lead can present a few challenges that can be overcome with a little work on the part of the shooter. Some folks buy lead bullets just because they say 38 or 9MM or 45 on the box, some get lucky and have no problems, some don't and swear off lead bullets, one size does not fit all. Good luck and good shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I see some problems in the making here, You have been advised to not use the H110 or it's equivalent 296. These powders have a short loading window and it's not advisable to reduce loads below what the book says.
First you say you want plinking loads, then you state you want magnum performance.
Make up your mind or use the correct terminology. Have you slugged your barrel to see what the groove size is ? Have you slugged your cylinder throats ? Those two things at minimum should be done before you shoot lead bullets so you know the proper size bullet to shoot. In order to have a nice day and not have to scrub lead from your barrel a little care must be put into the loading process, also use the correct powder and load them to a velocity conducive to lead bullets.
You have been given some good advise from some casters of lead bullets and I have been casting and shooting lead for a LOooong time. Do it right and don't be one of those people that mess up and swear lead bullets don't work--cause they do.
Fit is king when shooting lead, .001---.0015 over groove and sized to fit the throats.
Keep the Vel. window within the range for the lead bullets. Hard cast with crappy crayon lube is not the answer nor will it help an ill fitting bullet.
Yes you can drive lead bullets quite fast, but tell the truth I don't think your ready for it, not from what Ive read so far.
In no way am I trying to slam you or be negative, and I'm not saying you don't know how to re-load. Just shooting lead can present a few challenges that can be overcome with a little work on the part of the shooter. Some folks buy lead bullets just because they say 38 or 9MM or 45 on the box, some get lucky and have no problems, some don't and swear off lead bullets, one size does not fit all. Good luck and good shooting.
Thanks for the comment. Let me clarify a few things.

By plinking, I meant cheap and in bulk with my targets being paper or 2 liter bottles. Not planning on hunting or defending myself with them, so no need for the high end hollow points.

By magnum loads, I just meant I want them to feel like a 357, not a 38. I've got plenty of good light 38 loads I use a lot.

I originally wanted something other than lead because that's what I am comfortable with and you don't deal with lube/sizing/etc. I've now thought about lead because of the price and price alone, but as you picked up on, I'm new to lead. I've used Berry's and a light load almost exclusively but wanting to get into something stronger for fun. I've had supplies to make 357 for quite a while but been putting it off since I've never loaded hot rounds and they aren't as forgiving IMO.

The gun is a GP100 4" SS that I would shoot these out of.

I'm doing a lot of research on loading for 357. So far, it looks like my choice of buying a lb of H110 may not have been a good one for first time loading magnum rounds. I may pick up something else and save the H110 for a little later.

I don't mind constructive criticism by the way, if I did I wouldn't be posting questions on a forum :)
 

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Andy if it helps any, here's what I use. 5-6 gr of Unique over a 158 gr LSWC that I cast myself.

I've also used Speer Cast bullets that you can buy 500 of for about $45. Casting is something I recommend. All I do is cast 'em and then tumble lube in Lee Alox. I don't size them or expand the case mouth. It's really easy and very economical.

I shoot a few different .357 revolvers, GP100 is one of them. The loads that I shoot do feel like like 38s (except in my LCR). However, I shoot a metric ton of them. :)

Good Luck
 

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I will probably be ordering some 158 SWC Lead from Missouri Bullet Co to try out. They are cheap and people seem to like them.

I've gotten mixed reviews on using H110. What powder would you use for these bullets? I want actual 357 level loads, not 38 special loads.
Make sure you purchase the right diameter for your gun (.358", .359"?) 2400 and Ram Shot True Blue should get you magnum velocities.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm thinking of picking up some 2400 as that seems to be a pretty common powder for these bullets.

Then again, I may just start out with the W231 I already use. I don't they'll get me the magnum feel I'm looking for, but may be a start.
 

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I have been tinkering with Missouri Bullet Company 158 grain SWC bullets for a year. I got the BH 18 bullets and not the BH 12. I tried till I gave up to get them to work well with Unique. They shot fine, but the leading was terrible. Tried everything from 5-7 grains and always got lead in my barrel (Ruger GP 100 6"). I couple of months ago I decided to try W296 and magnum primers with the lead bullets and wow! No lead and a nice stiff load (chronograph 1300 fps). I recently began to run low on W296 and picked up a pound of AA#9 since it is very close to W296 on the burn rate scale. Same results, very nice full power load with no lead whatsoever. Shot lots of these in my GP and my brother in law's Blackhawk with no leading issues at all.
 
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