357 Rem Max

pastorjeep

Button Buck
We are working on some 180 XTP 360DW brass for this season. Here are most of the bullets that have been tested in our Handi. These obviously exclude the factory ammo and about five other hand loaded bullets that we are out of. From left to right is 95gr Everglades JHP, 77gr Magtech SCHP, 125gr Hornady XTP-SP, 110gr Barnes Tac-XP, 148gr Matts Bullets LHP, 158gr Hornady XTP,158gr Matts SWC-HP, 185gr GT bullets LHP, 180gr Hornady XTP, and 200gr GT RCBS clone LHP. 357 heavy bullet.jpg
 

45/70 hunter

Twelve Pointer
Mine shows a preference to these factory PMC 357 magnum 158's. I'll explore 158's in Maxi cases after the season. I would like to try some cast bullets too.

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pastorjeep

Button Buck
The most accurate so far have been the 95gr and the 148 cast HP. They shot a 50yd group about like the one you posted. I have six children and they have shot about 8 deer with this in the last 4-5 years but that was with factory 357 mag ammo. So this will be our first year with our own loads. I am getting 2300 fps from 158 XTP. That is smoking hot, the factory 158 stuff runs 1750-1900. The 200 RCBS is doing about 1800 but I think we can do better. I a hoping to get around 2000 fps from the 180 XTP which will be a 35 Rem factory equivalent. Believe it or not that little 77gr schp held together at 2500fps.
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45/70 hunter

Twelve Pointer
Good info, thanks. You're getting 2300 fps with Maxi or DW brass? Those 158's must be pretty explosive that fast. I assume Maxi. What's you4 best powder so far? Primers?
 

pastorjeep

Button Buck
I am getting those velocities from mag brass loaded to 1.8" oal. I am going to load the same load into the DW brass at 1.875 (Maxi OAL with that bullet) and start there to see how much increase I get. Best velocities are with the Lil'Gun, but 2400 has turned in the best groups. I have tried three different primers and have not seen enough of a difference to recommend a certain brand. Using Federal SPM primers right now. I have played with 800x and BE86 (800x is awesome in our 45 Super handi) but they are not in the same ballpark. I am looking for some FS11, and some Enforcer right now to try.
 

45/70 hunter

Twelve Pointer
Impressive! More options for me to try. Only used H110, Remington 7-1/2 primers, Maxi brass, and 180 gr XTP so far. I have mag brass, 2400, and small pistol magnum primers. Have to find some Lil Gun.
 
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pastorjeep

Button Buck
I am supposed to be preaching there soon. I'm in Gates County in the beautiful "Great Dismal Swamp". I have a few pounds of Lil if you are interested in one. In a long barrel there is nothing that really compares until you move to maxi case size where the slower powders (1680) can be utilized and even then it holds it's own. A standard length 357 158 XTP load with Hodgdon book 18gr will do 2100fps out of my barrel. That is more power than the 7.62x39. Obviously the ballistic coefficient causes us to have a terrible velocity shed rate, but out to 100-125 it smacks deer HARD.
 

45/70 hunter

Twelve Pointer
Yes sir I'm interested in a pound of Lil Gun. I'd have to check notes but seem to recall high 1700 fps with factory 158 gr and low 2100 fps with factory 125 gr in my 357 magnum Handi. I haven't checked speeds with my 357 Max yet. PM me when you're headed this way and I'll give you my number and plan a meet up to buy that powder.
 

v8stang289

Eight Pointer
I know the 125s are bad for some of the revolvers

I know this is an older post, but the main issues with 125gn 357mag was when lots of hot 125gn loads were shot in K frames such as the m66 or m19.
The forcing cones were known to crack at the thinner bottom where they're clearanced for the yoke, and some exhibited flame cutting on the top strap.
The L frame 686 pretty much came about to address these problems, so you shouldn't have any issues with 125's in it. Though my personal opinion is they're a bit light for deer.
 
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