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  1. #1
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Cowboy Loads for .357

    I thought I'd try to load some 158 Gr LSWC for Cowboy action shooting with a .357 casing.

    I was using 3.3 gr of Bullseye in a .38 shell, but decided to switch to the .357 to keep my cylinders clean.

    Anyone got any load data for Bullseye or 700X?

    Or for any other powder for that matter. Switching powders means a trip to town, but I imagine I can handle that.

    Another question is, could I continue to use the .38 powder load I've got in a .357 case?

    Thanks,

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

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  3. #2
    220combat's Avatar
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    My reloading guide lists 3.2-3.6 grains of Bullseye for a 160 grain swc in .38 special. Same bullet in 357 mag case shows 4.9-6.9 grains bullseye. None of my charts list loads for 700X

  4. #3
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Thanks.

    I finally found a load in my Spear Manual which seems to meet the requisite <1000 fps. I'm gonna try some 4.4 Gr loads tomorrow. That seems to be pretty close to what you came up with.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  5. #4
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    I thought I'd try to load some 158 Gr LSWC for Cowboy action shooting with a .357 casing.

    I was using 3.3 gr of Bullseye in a .38 shell, but decided to switch to the .357 to keep my cylinders clean.

    Anyone got any load data for Bullseye or 700X?

    Or for any other powder for that matter. Switching powders means a trip to town, but I imagine I can handle that.

    Another question is, could I continue to use the .38 powder load I've got in a .357 case?

    Thanks,


    WM
    The new Speer Reloading Manual #14 lists 4.3 min to 4.8 max Grains Bullseye at 848 to 939 FPS for .357 Mag cartridges.

    I believe Cowboy Action calls for 1000 FPS max so these numbers should work.

    You need to spend some of your pocket change on a chrono and play within that range. Load a few samples at several powder charge steps and see what velocity your revolver produces. While testing velocity check for accuracy as well and use the most accurate load.

    Let us in on all the velocity and accuracy results so we can avoid running those tests.

    5.7 Grains of Vihta Vuori N340 behind Bushwacker brand Hard Cast 158 Grain SWC's in 357 Mag cases loaded to 1.544 OAL (cases trimed to 1.273") Yield 900 FPS avg with my 4" GP100. Accuracy= repeatable .75 inch 5 shot group at 15 yards with sand bag rest etc. with my old eyes. My buddy did better but i'm not saying how much better.


    I use N340 for all my handguns. If I want an exceptionaly hot load I may use different powder numbers but they are VV powder.

    Have a bunch of fun and keep us posted.

    Last edited by TOF; 04-16-2008 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Added accuracy of VV load

  6. #5
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    Regarding your "trip to town". I forgot to mention, I order all my powder over the internet (Powder Valley). No sales tax and reduced prices cancel out the Haz Mat fee rather quickly. I would have to drive 140 miles round trip to the nearest retail powder/primer source and the gas cost far outweighs $20 Haz Mat fee. Some people think primers and powder have to be shipped seperate resulting in 2 haz Mat charges. That is not true, they can be shipped in the same package.

    Enjoy


  7. #6
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Thanks, TOF. I wish your place was a little closer to mine. I need easy access to an outdoor range and a mentor to help me perfect what I'm doing.

    I started with Bullseye at the recommendation of an acquaintance and starte reloading without a full understanding of what different powders are supposed to do for you.

    So far, I've only been interested in BANG (but not too big) and hitting paper.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  8. #7
    TOF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Thanks, TOF. I wish your place was a little closer to mine. I need easy access to an outdoor range and a mentor to help me perfect what I'm doing.

    I started with Bullseye at the recommendation of an acquaintance and starte reloading without a full understanding of what different powders are supposed to do for you.

    So far, I've only been interested in BANG (but not too big) and hitting paper.

    WM
    I'm glad I could help a bit WM. I'm as close as your computer but keep in mind I haven't been at it too long myself.

    I started with Winchester 231 on advice of friends that have loaded for years. I subsequently did quite a bit of research on powders and ended up trying a pound VV N340 for my .40 Cal loads. It left my pistol significantly cleaner than the 231 and produced accurate (consistant) loads. when I looked around and talked to people at the range found it to be cleaner than a number of old formula powders.

    The friends mentioned above are now using VV powders.

    Many different powders can produce similar velocities for a given bullet. As with most things they each have pro's and cons. Some are dirty some produce large flames some are so powerfull you can barely see a full charge in the case.

    I haven't been at it long enough to have personaly tested very many but this is what I have.

    I tried Vihta Vuori N320, N340 and N110. They all burn clean and produce accurate loads at different velocities with no visible flame during daylight and fill the case to the point you can tell it's there and not doubled. I recently purchased some N350 and N105. My intent is to evaluate all of them over time relative to 9MM, .40 and .357 cartridges where applicable.

    I have also tried and discarded 231, Titegroup and 2400

    I Loaded a batch of hot .357's with the N110 and it performed comparable to the old standby 2400 but without the ball of flame 2400 and factory Winchester loads yield. I don't want blinding flames should I need to shoot a bear in the middle of the night.

    One factor I consider a plus with VV powders is being able to select a powder that fills the cases enough you can visualy check for double charges and that powder position at time of firing is not so critical.

    I tried Titegroup last month but had lots of little un burned grannules fall out of the gun as I holstered. I don't plan to use it any more.

    The downside is VV powder is a bit more expensive.

    Thats most of my powder knowledge at the moment. I hope it helps.


  9. #8
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Excellent!

    I was planning on starting a thread this morning asking about favorite powders and you have already answered.

    I think I'll research my loading manuals for suggested VV powders.

    In the meantime, I will go ahead with the other post.

    You wanna come over to my place this evening for dinner? I'll feed you and you can show me more about reloading.



    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  10. #9
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    I shot my .357 158gr SWC with 4.4 gr Bullseye today.

    It worked well. I can't give stats, as I don't have a chronograph and didn't have access to a bench rest.

    But it was a nice load, and grouped nicely, standing at 15 yards.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  11. #10
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    Way to go WM.

    It is fun when things work the way you want them to.

    Enjoy


  12. #11
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    Thanks for the great post guys. I'm starting reloading on pistols again. 10 years, amazing how technology changes.

  13. #12
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    I've been reloading for a litel over one month now, and started, after TOF's suggestion, with Vihtavuori N340 in .38 specials.

    It costs twice as some hungarian powder available rond here, but I won't change it for now, its granular texture (hollow cylinders) is easy to handle, pretty impervious to humidity, made my reloading real easy with a Lee slide feeder.

    My intention is to try N320, some people say with 158 grs SWC's it gives more accuracy because of lesser recoil, but quantities required are lesser and here comes the problem of visual estimate of case filling.

    Anyway, I let the range instructor try my .38 specials LSWC's loaded with 5.3 grs. N340. Offhandedly and in single action, he put all three rounds he fired in a single hole at 15 yards. You can bet I was surprised (and slightly nervous my shooting is so abominable compared to his own).

    BTW, in a specialized Italian site I found some reloading tables for VV not available on their official leaflet:

    158 grns SWCBB

    Vihtavuory Oy N 350 from: 5.8 to 6.7 grains
    Vihtavuory Oy N 320 from 3.4 to 4.3
    Vihtavuory Oy 3N 37 from 6.2 to 6.8
    Vihtavuory Oy N 340 from 4.8 to 5.4
    Vihtavuory Oy N 310 from 3.2 to 3.6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mccoy View Post
    You can bet I was surprised (and slightly nervous my shooting is so abominable compared to his own).
    That just gives you something to shoot for.

  15. #14
    ymaharidr is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    I thought I'd try to load some 158 Gr LSWC for Cowboy action shooting with a .357 casing.

    I was using 3.3 gr of Bullseye in a .38 shell, but decided to switch to the .357 to keep my cylinders clean.

    Anyone got any load data for Bullseye or 700X?

    Or for any other powder for that matter. Switching powders means a trip to town, but I imagine I can handle that.

    Another question is, could I continue to use the .38 powder load I've got in a .357 case?

    Thanks,

    WM
    Now to answer the use of .357 Magnum in "cowboy" question... Winchester 231... 4.2 gr powder and using a 158 gr LFP (truncated bullet).
    I am using Ruger Vaquero's - 4 3/4 inch barrel and achieving approximately 650-700 fps on the chronograph.
    As for my rifle, I have a Henry Big Boy in .357 Magnum and the velocities on the chronograph are from 725-750 fps.
    I have not chronographed the Bond Arms derringer, and that usually is not an issue. Recoil however is not an issue with this load as well...
    I clean everything upon arriving home after a shoot, so the cleanliness of the powder is never been a concern and you should clean all your firearms after use regardless of powder.
    The Winchester 231 seemed to me to work best in an "all around" situation... I wanted a powder that I could use across the board so I could have just one load for all my cowboy equipment... the "one size fits all" seems to be good with this load.
    Happy Trails

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