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School me in .357


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I recently acquired a S&W 686 revolver in .357. I understand (and have tried thanks to @Darrell) it shoots .38 special loads as well.

Can I shoot .357 Sig?

I hope to eventually handload once I can get dies and powders again (at reasonable prices), does anyone use Titegroup (what I use for my 9mm loads)? Recommend a particular bullet? I use Berrys copper plated now. What about commercial self-defensecammo? Gold dots and HST?

Any tips and or tricks? Its my first revolver! Love it so far. The SA trigger is so crisp and light.

Thanks.

 

- K

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3 minutes ago, ReeferMac said:

I recently acquired a S&W 686 revolver in .357. I understand (and have tried thanks to @Darrell) it shoots .38 special loads as well.

Can I shoot .357 Sig?

I hope to eventually handload once I can get dies and powders again (at reasonable prices), does anyone use Titegroup (what I use for my 9mm loads)? Recommend a particular bullet? I use Berrys copper plated now. What about commercial self-defensecammo? Gold dots and HST?

Any tips and or tricks? Its my first revolver! Love it so far. The SA trigger is so crisp and light.

Thanks.

 

- K

No. The .357 Sig is a shortened and necked down 10mm case. You can't even neck down a .40 because the pressure is too high for the case head. It's also rimless like the .45acp. The .357 magnum and 38 spcl have rims.

Edited by E4 No More
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3 minutes ago, E4 No More said:

No. The .357 Sig is a shortened and necked down 10mm case. You can't even neck down a .40 because the pressure is too high for the case head.

Ha, I was talking to a friend the other day and said to him, "I wonder why nobody has necked down a 10mm to a 9mm yet, since the .357 sig is a necked down .40" oh well, learn something new every day.

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Titegroup might work good for .38 loads but, if you want full power .357 loads, slower powder like 2400, H110, Win. 296, Blue Dot, IMR4227, etc. I've loaded a thousand or more, .38 Special with Herco. Loaded some .357 too but, it's not the best for full power loads. There's a lot of good cast bullets available(or once was) that will work good. I like 158 gr. swc or flat point. As far as defense loads go, about any 125 gr jhp or similar weight will work.

Edited by Quavodus
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Hodgdon has great data website as do some other component makers. 

hodgdonreloading.com

My favorite load is 125 grain HTP over 22 grains of H110 for 4-8 inch barrel. 23 grains will give you powder burns in anything less than 8 inch bbl and I don't recommend regularly using that hot of a load, even in a Redhawk.

 

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The .357 magnum was born out of a desire to get more power out of the .38 Special.  In 1930 S&W introduced a cartridge called the .38-44 High Velocity. This was simply a .38 Special loaded to current .357 velocity.  In 1935 S&W was concerned about heavy duty ammo being used in cheaply made guns. So they lengthened the cartridge case 1/10th of an inch so that it wouldn't seat fully in a .38 special chamber and the .357 Magnum was born. Other than being just a tad longer, All other dimensions are identical. Yes, .38 Special can easily be shot out of a .357 Magnum. However, the .357 is too long to work in a .38 Special.  

The .357 Magnum is the "Jack of all trades" in the handgun world. You can shoot anything from light . 38 Wadcutter target ammo to 180 gr full house magnum hunting loads.  In the 1930s Daniel Wesson hunted everything in North America, including the big bears, with a .357 Magnum just to prove its effectiveness.  

For defensive use, the full magnum 125gr HP loadings have been rated the #1 man stopper  for many years according to several studies.  That's one of the reasons why a great many LE agencies went with the caliber back when revolvers were still king. 

When reloading, the same bullets work for both calibers. However, don't try to push hard cast lead bullets over about 1100 fps as it can cause serious leading. I don't recommend swaged lead bullets at all.  My favorite powders for full power loads in the .357 are W296, H110 and 2400. 

My own pet load for the .357 is a hard cast 158gr LSWC over 6.0 grs of W231. This is a mid-range load that I've chronographed  at 1100fps.  Wonderfully accurate in all my guns, doesn't lead the bore and is pleasant to shoot.  👍

Edited by Grayfox54
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ReeferMac, I agree with Grayfox on swaged lead bullets. I don't like them at all for over about 850 fps. I have bought a lot of Hornady swaged over the years, like 158 gr. swc and swchp, because they were available. I don't cast either. I like Magnum primers with slower burning powders in Magnum loads too. I use to load a lot of full loads with standard primers, until I got a chronograph and noticed wide variations in velocity. 

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2 hours ago, Moped said:

Everyone should have a .357 mag in their collection! Congratulations on getting a great one!

Absolutely.  The 357 is the greatest handgun ever made, shoots 38 and 357, and made of steel and wood, just as God intended ...

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Kleenbore Lead Away is the best thing I’ve used to clean the front of the cylinder on powder burn.  Use it sparingly on the rest of the frame as it will start to polish it   My 686 no dash dates to 1986. Goes with me most range trips. Welcome to the club!

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15 hours ago, No_0ne said:

Absolutely.  The 357 is the greatest handgun ever made, shoots 38 and 357, and made of steel and wood, just as God intended ...

I had let all my revolvers go when I saw the one I have now on GB and just took a blind faith chance. It was a good purchase. I've had from a 2in .38 special to a 6in vent rib .357 mag and they are terrific handguns. As stated the 357 can shoot anything from light .38s to hot .357s. My new to me ported 4in stainless Taurus has an 8 round cylinder and is a joy to shoot with 158 grain full magnum loads. better then the 6in I had years back. I don't have dies yet, my reloads were done by an old friend but am sure to add this to my limited loading bench.

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5 hours ago, papa61 said:

I had let all my revolvers go when I saw the one I have now on GB and just took a blind faith chance. It was a good purchase. I've had from a 2in .38 special to a 6in vent rib .357 mag and they are terrific handguns. As stated the 357 can shoot anything from light .38s to hot .357s. My new to me ported 4in stainless Taurus has an 8 round cylinder and is a joy to shoot with 158 grain full magnum loads. better then the 6in I had years back. I don't have dies yet, my reloads were done by an old friend but am sure to add this to my limited loading bench.

I have the 7 shot Taurus 627 Tracker with a 4” ported barrel. It’s a cream puff to shoot with 158 gr JSP .357 rounds!

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Love my 686! Purchased new around 1986.

I recently chronoed some loads for it.

158 gr Hi Tek coated SWC bullets from Hoosier Bullets & Training

AA#5 8.0 grs average velocity 960 fps

AA#2 5.9 grs average velocity 1020 fps

I don't have the chrono data handy, but I've used 6.0 grs Unique for 158 gr LSWC as my original .357 handload when I first purchased that revolver.

I too like H110 and 2400 for Mag loads... but I'm running a bit low on those particular powders and 158 gr bullets at around 1000 fps won't beat you or your revolver up. 🙂

Congrats on a great revolver!

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One of my totin guns is an old Ruger Vaquero sheriff stoked with 12.5 grains of 2400 behind the old 173 grain hard cast .358 dia swc stuffed in 38 special cases.  If ya like 357 cases, use 13.5.

These loads mimic the old 38 special hi speed loads for about 1100 fps... Powerful and accurate in a big frame pistola...

leroy...

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22 hours ago, Moped said:

I have the 7 shot Taurus 627 Tracker with a 4” ported barrel. It’s a cream puff to shoot with 158 gr JSP .357 rounds!

I've been wanting a 627 Tracker 6.5" 7 shot for awhile now but, nobody has them right now. 

Edited by Quavodus
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18 hours ago, Quavodus said:

I've been wanting a 627 Tracker 6.5" 7 shot for awhile now but, nobody has them right now. 

I like em too Brother... Weve burned lotsa powder thru the old Smith Model 27s... I'm sure the new light ones are great.

leroy...

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5 hours ago, Quavodus said:

I've put a lot of my loads through my 6" Ruger Security Six.

These might be the closet thing ever made to an indestructible gun.  Ruger used to have an article about a range rental gun which came form a an indoor range which tracked rounds shot closely.  The 4" Security Six had over a million rounds shot thorough it when Ruger bought it back ...

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On 6/19/2021 at 12:43 AM, No_0ne said:

These might be the closet thing ever made to an indestructible gun.  Ruger used to have an article about a range rental gun which came form a an indoor range which tracked rounds shot closely.  The 4" Security Six had over a million rounds shot thorough it when Ruger bought it back ...

I've put some hotter loads through mine, and no problems at all. Ejected easy and everything. I've mostly shot .38 loads in it though.

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I love the Security Six! 😃 I have a stainless 2.75" and a blue 4".  Toughest revolvers ever built. 👍 I'm keeping my eyes open for a good 6" gun. 😉

I've said for many years that the worst mistake Ruger ever made was discontinuing the Six series revolvers. 😡

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