.357 Rem Max

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L. Rivard
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.357 Rem Max

Post by L. Rivard »

A while back an old friend passed away, leaving me a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .357 Rem Max. He was not a Silhouette shooter, having used the revolver for hunting Whitetail deer. I have been shooting Leveraction Pistol Cartridge for years, and our club runs handgun Silhouette concurrently with these matches.
Thinking I would try the Handgun sport,I began searching for loading data for the Max. Everything I found was geared to the 200 yard type match. I reasoned that a 158 gr bullet at about 800 to 900 fps would be more than adequate, but I found no data in that range for the Max. I decided to try Trail Boss at the 70% fill level, which worked out to be 5.0 grs. This worked out well as to velocity, yielding 865 fps average. Accuracy with the initial load was bad. This was with CCI small pistol magnum primers. Standard small pistol primers were just as bad, but surprisingly Winchester small rifle primers tightened things up considerably, although still not good enough for match use.
So guys, any ideas on how to achieve usable accuracy at moderate velocity in a .357 Rem Max?

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Merlin
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by Merlin »

Load up some standard .357 magnums with 5.5 to 6 gr of Solo 1000 or Titegroup and sell the $$ Max cases to someone who loads to max velocities.
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L. Rivard
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by L. Rivard »

Merlin, thanks for the advice. I think i will try the Tight group with a standard small pistol primer tomorrow. Now if I could just remember how to shoot a handgun and hit anything I might be OK.

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Re: .357 Rem Max

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L. Rivard wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:15 pm
Merlin, thanks for the advice. I think i will try the Tight group with a standard small pistol primer tomorrow. Now if I could just remember how to shoot a handgun and hit anything I might be OK.
I think he meant standard .357 Magnum casings, not primers.
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Re: .357 Rem Max

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Sporty wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:36 pm
L. Rivard wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:15 pm
Merlin, thanks for the advice. I think i will try the Tight group with a standard small pistol primer tomorrow. Now if I could just remember how to shoot a handgun and hit anything I might be OK.
I think he meant standard .357 Magnum casings, not primers.
Yes Sir. That is what I actually meant.You don't need your NASCAR engine to go get the groceries.
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by L. Rivard »

Well fellows, I did indeed catch the advise to switch to .357 Mag length brass. I have not done so in order to insure that the leading edge of the bullet is well into the throat at ignition. I tried 6.0 grains of Titegroup today. Recoil is significantly heavier than my Trail boss loads, but accuracy off sand bags was about the same. This time the CCI small pistol magnum primers shot a little tighter, but not much. I have ordered a 30 ounce trigger spring from Brownells as this trigger pull feels pretty heavy, so I will start over when that's installed. Glad I'm retired, this might turn into a project. All advice appreciated and more is solicited.

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Re: .357 Rem Max

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Delete
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Another Dang 9
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Re: .357 Rem Max

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Merlin: "My Car, My Choice!" 8-x
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by Another Dang 9 »

L.Rivard just be aware you will run into the issue guys who shoot 38 sp. in a .357 mag have with the carbon ring. It's a lot easier to see with a wheel gun so removing it should be easier too.
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by L. Rivard »

Just in case anyone is still interested in this tale of woe, let me bring you up to date. Got the light trigger return spring into the Super Blackhawk, resulting in a much more pleasant trigger pull but very little improvement in group size. Shot a Leveraction smallbore silhouette match Sunday and one of our Master class guys strongly suggested trying Unique, which I did at 7.5 grains. No help, if anything wider flyers than I get with Trail Boss.
To date I have been shooting SWC 158 gr bullets. Next step is to try 158 gr round noses. Also, had dinner last night with my friend and gunsmith. He suggested trying some Speer half jackets, which he has in inventory. I can pick them up tomorrow. So far the best load is the cast 158 SWC over 5.5 grs of Trail Boss and a Winchester Small Rifle Primer. So far all testing has been done seated at a bench with the revolver on sand bags. I hate to think what will happen offhand. Once again, any suggestions welcome.

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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by Merlin »

Don't want the carbon ring.... Use Max brass - try Hornady XTP H.P. 158 gr. or 180 gr XTPT H.P. w/ 6 - 6.5 Solo 1000 or TiteGroup or Try ~10 gr of H110 and work upward. Stop at 13 -13.5 or so. Should shoot....

Standard disclaimers should be assumed as I only know this did not blow up in my Marlin CB or my Cimarron 1873 .357 MAGNUM rifles
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by Another Dang 9 »

L.Rivard you didn't state if you were crimping your brass...?
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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by L. Rivard »

Yes Another Dang 9. I started with new Starline brass and trimmed all to match the length of the shortest pieces. Actually there were only about .010" variation to start with. So the standard or "roll crimp" is quite uniform and what I would call moderate to heavy. Another piece of information I have been light on is actual results. I am aiming at a six inch bull at 50 yards, shooting ten shot strings. Best results to date is six shots in the bull with two just out. Not nearly good enough to measure.

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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by Hawkeye7br »

I'm curious as to the physical premise here. The 357 Max case will hold 20 grains of 296 or 4227 with a 180 grain bullet, and you're trying to load it down to 38 Special levels. You're creating an extra long bullet jump from cylinder to forcing cone/rifling. The 158 grain bullets never stabilized in that case as well as the 180. Perhaps the reason you don't find light load info is because it simply doesn't function well.

I shot the 357 Max in IHMSA competition for years with a Ruger revolver, and had the only perfect 80x80 score at the 1998 IHMSA World Championship. I never got the accuracy from Magnum cases and velocities that was as good as the full case Max loads. Running 38 Special ammo was just a spray and pray.

Good luck in your quest.

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Re: .357 Rem Max

Post by L. Rivard »

Hawkeye, I may well be tilting windmills here. The Max case is surely not the ideal size for the lower velocity best for the silhouette game topping out at 100 meters. The max in a Super Blackhawk is what I have. It has sentimental value, and if I can I would like to put it to work. I am using only Max brass to minimize the jump problem you mention, as well as the carbon ring problem entailed in using short brass. The latest trials I have made are with 5.5 grs of Trail Boss and Winchester Small Rifle primers, one variable being a 158 gr cast round nose, and the other a 160 gr Speer jacketed bullet. Both shot over sandbags from the bench. Accuracy on both of these were about equal, ten shot barely in a six inch circle. The search continues. If I can get bench groups down to four inches for ten shots I will start practicing my offhand. I shot NRA bullseye in the 1950's and again in the 80"s. Maybe a bit long in the tooth to get it back, but why not try?

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