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pharmhand
10-20-2011, 1:12 PM
I am going to try my hand at reloading. I have a Ruger 357 Magnum with a 6 inch barrel and am looking for recommendations for what powder and bullets to buy. I have a bunch of 38 special and 357 brass that I want to load. I want to know if there is one type of powder and weight of bullets that I can use for both to get started.

Thanks

Clownpuncher
10-20-2011, 1:23 PM
You can find load data for 357 and 38 using all the same weight bullet and same powder. Volume of powder used for each is typically the only difference.

First thing you need to do is get a reloading book before you start. It will give you recipe's and let you know what type of equipment you will need.

I use Unique powder and have used 120 gr and 158 gr bullets. If I remember correctly, the 158's only are used in 357 but that is why you need a book. :)

I use regular small pistol primers, most of the recipes in my books call for those vice the magnum small pistol powders.

Dark Mod
10-20-2011, 1:26 PM
i like Winchester 231 with plated bullets, i dont load .38 spl at all anymore, .357 magnum is so much more rewarding

theduece
10-20-2011, 1:27 PM
http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/Powder.aspx?powderid=1
Have used and like bullseye

http://www.hodgdon.com/shotpist.html
heard some good things about titegroup


http://www.wwpowder.com/pistol.html
also used and like 231

all this only in .38spl loads using 158 grain lead.

sorry no 357 loads tried but all three have listings for data. Load a few start low work your way up youll notice when you find a sweet spot.

O and I hope you have read a few books on it first and take all the safety precautions. If you haven't yet done your reading. STOP go buy a few books and read them. Most have load data also.

What factory weight bullets do you shoot that you like? What I like you may not or vice versa.

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 1:29 PM
I am going to try my hand at reloading. I have a Ruger 357 Magnum with a 6 inch barrel and am looking for recommendations for what powder and bullets to buy. I have a bunch of 38 special and 357 brass that I want to load. I want to know if there is one type of powder and weight of bullets that I can use for both to get started.

Thanks

Welcome to the forum. The 38spl/357 is one of the most rewarding calibers to reload for.

It will be hard to find a bullet to use for both because you'll want softer ones of the slower 38spl rounds, but harder ones for the faster 357.

For powders. Unique will work fine in both. But you'll have more fun using different powders for each.

For slow 38spl rounds, Trail Boss is awesome. WST is also great for medium loads. Unique will work for medium to hot loads.

For full powdered 357 magnum loads 2400 is a great powder. Been around for decades and still one of the best. You can push Unique pretty fast as well.

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 1:30 PM
You can find load data for 357 and 38 using all the same weight bullet and same powder.

But bullet hardness will most likely be different.

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 1:42 PM
A few more pointers on the hardness of the bullets.

You want to do everything you can to avoid leading. Bullet size is the most crucial factor, but being that you'll be buying them, you really can't control that.

Second factor is hardness and lube. For velocities between 600 and 900 I like a Brinell hardness of 10.

For medium velocities (900 - 1100) I like a hardness of 12.

Anything over 1200fps I use 18 or harder.

Clownpuncher
10-20-2011, 1:44 PM
But bullet hardness will most likely be different.

True..

But I will caviat my previous statement with "I only use jacketed or plated bullets"

I don't like dealing with leading or having smoke grenades because of the lube used on lead.

theduece
10-20-2011, 2:56 PM
Xd have you tried pushing harder bullets slow? Like an 18bh at below 900?

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 3:00 PM
True..

But I will caviat my previous statement with "I only use jacketed or plated bullets"

I don't like dealing with leading or having smoke grenades because of the lube used on lead.

Leading and smoke indoors can be a problem, but 38spl's and 357's love lead.

With a lilttle patience you can find the sweet spot in which no leading will happen.

I remember when I first starting loading 38spl I also wanted to stick with plated because of obvious benefits. The problem I had was there is very little data for plated or jacketed bullets in 38spl. One of my manuals even warned against using jacketed in 38spl because of the risk of a bullet getting stuck in the barrel.

So because of my love for low recoil game loads I went with lead. Played around with different bullets and powders and got some really stellar results.

Trail Boss is just outstanding for lead loads. And it's donut shape fills the case better than even the bulkiest powders.

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 3:23 PM
Xd have you tried pushing harder bullets slow? Like an 18bh at below 900?

No because the lead projectile must have it's base flattened (obturation) in order to seal the barrel. If the barrel is not sealed, the hot gasses will escape past the sides (gas cutting) and, as with an undersized bullet, atomize the lead and deposit it on the barrel. Typically, a hard cast bullet will not obturate with a slow burn rate powder, and a soft cast bullet with a fast burn rate powder will not be able to hold the developing pressure. Both will end up contributing to leading.

So in short, it would most likely cause leading (depending on the size of the bullet). I hate leading and avoid it all costs. So if all you have is hard bullets, then an uber fast powder may prevent leading. Not the best plan, but it may work, not really sure.

Hardness 10 for slow, 12 for medium, and 18 for hot, and I don't have any leading problems at all.

Hope that all makes sense.

ireload
10-20-2011, 3:24 PM
.38s spl. is the first caliber I reloaded when I first started out. There's a good amount of bullet style for both .38 spl. and .357 mag. You can load .357 mag to .38 spl. level with the right powder and bullet.

Two of the powders I use are Win 231 and Unique. Win 231 for low velocity applications and Unique for medium to high velocity. Since XDRox mentioned 2400, the 6" barrel of your Ruger, I take it's the GP-100, then you can benefit with the 2400 by topping it off with 140 gr. and 158 gr. bullets for .357 mag load. But if you plan on shooting 125 gr. then Unique fits right in. In .38 spl application, light loads like 148 gr. wadcutters Win 231, 700x, Bullseye, etc. are perfect combination. If you go plated bullets for .38 spl you can use lead load recipe. Plus .38 spl you can load to +P or +P+ level. But with +P+ level you are in the .357 mag. territory.

Since my GP-100 has a 4" barrel, I stick to 125 gr. to 140 gr. bullets for .357 mag and Unique powder. The 2400 in my experience and in my GP-100 has a tendency to get several un-burned powder flakes and contributing to difficult case extraction even though I have applied adequate crimp.

When you have enough experience with loading both calibers, you can try your hands with loading #1 buckshot in a Speer plastic capsule. Load 3 - #1 buckshot for a tri-shot load. You can also load birdshot by using #9 or higher number shots for snake loads.

Start slow and watch every step.

ireload
10-20-2011, 3:37 PM
Not to hijack the thread but XDRox I'm sure you have heard of Redline cast bullets that is local to our area. Do you happen to know what Brinnell hardness their bullets fall into?

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 3:37 PM
Since XDRox mentioned 2400, the 6" barrel of your Ruger, I take it's the GP-100, then you can benefit with the 2400 by topping it off with 140 gr. and 158 gr. bullets for .357 mag load. But if you plan on shooting 125 gr. then Unique fits right in.

Unique is just an all around great powder. The only problem with it is it's a little dirty at slower velocities and it doesn't meter as well as others like W231.

For a long time (over 30 years) people have been using this load. It's accuracy is famous and results superb.

158gr Lead SWC over 14.5gr of 2400.

Out of my 4" Smith it chrono's right under 1250fps and is accurate as they come.

Ireload, you may want to give 2400 another shot. I assume you weren't loading it to 14gr, where you? You really have to push it to not get unburnt powder. But I've never gotten any out of my 4".

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 3:40 PM
Not to hijack the thread but XDRox I'm sure you have heard of Redline cast bullets that is local to our area. Do you happen to know what Brinnell hardness their bullets fall into?

I don't. I called them up once to get some prices and almost fell over. I figured since I could just drive there and avoid shipping I could get a deal. With tax it was way more expensive than just ordering online from someone else.

I get all my lead bullets from here:
http://www.missouribullet.com/index.php
If you ever want to try some out I'd be happy to give you a few to try before you order any. They make outstanding bullets at very competitive prices.

theduece
10-20-2011, 3:48 PM
Funny you mentioned hard bullets with fast powder.... I was actually going over my materials on hand to try this.

theduece
10-20-2011, 3:52 PM
It just makes sense to me to keep stock of as few different materials as possible.



* this is probably just my OCD kicking in. Lol

ns3v3n
10-20-2011, 3:55 PM
He'll probably need different primers right???? I"m not too sure on this, other guys will chime in.

XDRoX
10-20-2011, 4:14 PM
He'll probably need different primers right???? I"m not too sure on this, other guys will chime in.

I use SPP for both but it depends on the powder. Some powders call for mag primers but 2400 doesn't.