Ruger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been shooting 125 grain .38 Special reloads from my 4" GP100 for about a year now. I would like to move up to .357 Magnum reloads using HP-38 or CFE Pistol. Should I stick with the 125 grain bullets or should I go with a heavier bullet such as a 158 grain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,662 Posts
I have been shooting 125 grain .38 Special reloads from my 4" GP100 for about a year now. I would like to move up to .357 Magnum reloads using HP-38 or CFE Pistol. Should I stick with the 125 grain bullets or should I go with a heavier bullet such as a 125 grain?
Do you mean heavier as in the 158 grain? Hornady makes a 140 grain in their FTX series and I've shot many a 180 grain load.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Using 125 gr bullets is okay. I use 158 gr JHP bullets. Currently I shoot a Ruger Match Champion which has a 4" barrel. I have been working up loads using CFE Pistol. My current load is 6.7 gr pushing the 158 gr bullets. I can't recommend this load at this time because I haven't completed testing it. I will post test results when I complete them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should also ask. How much more felt recoil is there between a 125 grain 357 bullet and a 158 grain 357 bullet?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,167 Posts
What are you wanting to do with your .357mag? If you're just plinking, then shoot whatever you find cheap. But in that case, why upgrade from 38spcl to 357mag in the first place?

Also, if you're reloading, then you can run light charges under the 357mag that would essentially replicate the 38spcl, clear up to loads that would have ~4 times as much free recoil energy.

So... What are you wanting to do? For whitetail deer hunting, 158grn to 180grn pills have an advantage, but 125's to 140's will also do the job. If you're just plinking, then shoot whatever you want, but a lighter pill will have less recoil. If you're shooting steel, then a midweight bullet at a respectable velocity will balance reactive target knockdown power and recoil.

It's a GP100 - the recoil isn't that bad even with 180grn full house loads. I'll let you know it's barking, but it's not unmanageable, or even unreasonable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Varminterror,

What are you wanting to do with your .357mag? I general i jut want to shoot 357 Magnum loads to mix things up a bit as I have always been shooting .38 Special from my GP100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Based on all the info I've received so far can I consider the following load valid and "safe"?

Bullet type: X-treme 125Grain FP Copper plated
Powder: HP-38 test loads from 7.3 to 8.4 grains
Primer Small Pistol (not small pistol magnum).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,167 Posts
Based on all the info I've received so far can I consider the following load valid and "safe"?

Bullet type: X-treme 125Grain FP Copper plated
Powder: HP-38 test loads from 7.3 to 8.4 grains
Primer Small Pistol (not small pistol magnum).
If you've found this EXACT recipe in a manual published by a reputable commercial supplier - as in powder or bullet manufacturer = NOT JUST ON THE INTERNET - then you can consider it to be as safe as any other load in the book, but as always, start low, work up, and keep your eyes moving. By EXACT, I mean EXACT - not a different bullet of the same weight. Plated bullets often get kicked around as "load the same as lead," or "load the same as jacketed under a certain speed"... You don't have COAL listed or bullet length, what if you're looking at data for a short & fat bullet that has more case volume than your X-Treme's? What if that data is for a super slick jacketed bullet, but your X-tremes have more obturation and rifling drag? You could bump your pressures significantly without intent, into unsafe load levels. Or what if those limits are in excess of what a plated bullet can handle without bullet damage?

I would venture that this is NOT a recommended load for a Plated bullet, as I'm pretty certain 8.4grns of HP-38 has to be max or near max, and should put you over 1500fps, whereas most folks recommend keeping plated bullets under 1200-1250fps. X-Treme's own recommendation suggests keeping their bullets under 1500fps, but I'd proceed with extreme caution and shoot more than 5 test rounds per step as I walked up.

Of course, you do need to be gentle with the crimp tension you apply, and type of crimp, with plated bullets, lest you damage the plating. A gentle taper crimp is all that should be applied, just enough to keep them from setting back.

EDIT: I pulled out my books, I can't find a single reference in Hornady, Speer, Nosler, or Lyman for a 125grn jacketed or plated bullet with HP-38/W231. The only references I have on hand are from Hodgdon, 4.6grn up to 5.5grn with an LRN-FP lead bullet, and 7.3grn up to 8.5grn for a Hornady 125grn XTP.

Considering a 3grn spread between those max charges, aka 45% load difference, for a lead vs. an XTP - when there's usually only 1-2grn difference between max loads for 357mag lightweight lead and jacketed bullets, AND considering that the XTP in general is an "odd bullet" for load data most of the time, I wouldn't go into loading 125grn plated bullets with XTP data without confirming and reconfirming with actual component suppliers first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good catch Varminterror. X-treme bullets are plated and I probably would not go near the max load for 357 magnum. I seem to stay near the mid to low end of the powder load scales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
My two cents. I have three 357 magnum revolvers. None of them is as accurate with 38 special cases as they are with 357 cases. Lighter loads in 357 are usually the most accurate, however not always. Heavy loads with 300-MP or similar powders are accurate.
As to bullet weight 125 JHP or JSP are fun because of higher velocity and they are accurate. My favorite bullets are 158 SWC. I have had good results with LSWC from Missouri Bullet.
My newest bullet is the Hi-Tec coated 158 SWC from ACME bullet. I have not loaded them with CFE Pistol yet. I have used CFE Pistol with great success in 9mm and 40 S&W, both with Xtreme plated bullets.
I have only loaded the Hi-Tec bullets with Unique, W296 and Accurate #9.
I load some light loads with HP-38, but not above medium loads. When I load 357 magnum that is what I want most of the time, magnum loads. I would recommend the CFE over the faster powder. Use load data from Hodgdon and see what is the most accurate in your gun. Many reloaders are having good luck with the Hi-Tec coated bullets. They do not lead my barrels and shoot straight. I have loaded them to good solid magnum velocities with no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
805 Posts
I long ago settled on 158 gr. jacketed bullets in the 357 and cast 150-158 depending on the mold I use. I use 231 for the cast stuff and Blue Dot or 296 for the jacketed bullets. I use data straight out of either the Hornady manual, the Alliant or Hodgdon sites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
How much more felt recoil is there between a 125 grain 357 bullet and a 158 grain 357 bullet?
Loaded to the top, the differences are very difficult to "feel", and the extra powder mass and velocity of the 125gr bullet actually make that the bigger number by some comparisons. If you throw the 180gr bullets in the mix, the case holds so little powder, the reduced velocity makes that even more of a difference.

But, again, the difference is quite small, and I can't tell the difference myself. In my larger .357's, the GP100/6" and BH/6.5', recoil with even the most powerful loads is manageable by most shooters, and some think a hot .38 Special is too much. In my SP101, top end loads are all a bit much with the stock grips. Recoil? It depends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
I have a Rossi .357 Mag and I know your asking about a GP100 but I don't see any difference when talking ammo but my question is why are you shooting .38 ammo ? I shoot both .38 and .357 in my Rossi but I always use 158gr.

If your just wanting a lighter recoil stay with .38 but if your able to handle the recoil of a .357 then go with that . I only use mine for target practice and I usually start out the first 100 with .357 then i'll switch to .38 and it's a lot easier on the recoil .

If your using it as EDC then .38 with smaller grain is fine and even better if using SJHP or Jacketed Soft Point . When I practice tho I like using any but I like lead round-nose bullets and brass casings best cause they are not as dirty as steel . But when I carry for vehicle or use for home protection I keep Hornady .357 Magnum 125-Grain XTP JHP loaded .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
I tend to use "standard for caliber" type bullets in my handguns. This means I stay away from extremely light for caliber and extremely heavy for caliber bullets. For .357 that generally means 158s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
649 Posts
I tend to use "standard for caliber" type bullets in my handguns. This means I stay away from extremely light for caliber and extremely heavy for caliber bullets. For .357 that generally means 158s.
What he said, good advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
recoil isn't a factor with any 357 mag bullet weight...unless your shooting a j-frame snubbie or something

get some 125, 140, & 158gr,....load and test them all

i like Hp-38/win231 for mild
unique for mid-heavy
and win296/H-110 with a FIRM CRIMP for full magnum loads
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
I think 125gr is the best, that is after all the bullet weight that can get you that 96% OSS power factor when loaded correctly in a HP.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top