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357 AMP handloading

Printed From: AMT Guns information
Category: Auto Mag Pistol
Forum Name: Pet loads
Forum Description: Shooters loads and results.
URL: http://www.amtguns.info/forum_posts.asp?TID=2107
Printed Date: 10 Aug 2020 at 7:22pm
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Topic: 357 AMP handloading
Posted By: Colt_SAA
Subject: 357 AMP handloading
Date Posted: 03 Aug 2016 at 11:47pm
I am not new to handloading, I have been doing it for decades. However I am new to Auto Mags

A month ago I bought a pair of AutoMags(44&357) from a pre-estate sale. The deal was good even though one had a cracked receiver ring. 

I received 7+ boxes of 44AMP ammunition (mostly Norma and AM) but only one partial box of 357AMP handloads 

I noticed that none of the 357 was loaded into 357 brass. Some was reformed 44 and others began life as .308

I have no dies for either cartridge yet. I am asking for you insight into loading dies and forming dies. What have you guys found that works best?

Also if you can point me in a direction for some original brass that won't kill me financially it will be appreciated. 

I have come across a small amount of loading data but would greatly appreciate hearing what you guys like, especially when it comes to the 357AMP. Photocopies out of old loading manuals would be nice as well. 

What projectiles do these pistols favor? 

Is there a particular powder that works better than others? For example, my Desert Eagles like 296/H110 and 2400 for their high gas volume


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www.356TSW.com



Replies:
Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2016 at 12:25am

The best place to get brass is from Starline.  I just checked and it is in stock in 44 AMP.  To make 357 AMP brass you just run the 44 AMP into the 357 sizing die. 

Here is a link to Lee Jurras's newsletters which will help on the reloading end.  Loading both the 44 and 357 are covered.  I think the best way for you to start is by looking through these articles and then come back with questions.  Read through the article on sizing 357 AMP brass thoroughly.  The head spacing varies a lot from gun to gun.

I have found RCBS dies to be the best.  I have both 44 and 357 extra I would sell.

Good luck.

  http://www.amtguns.net/articles/lee-jurras/" rel="nofollow - http://www.amtguns.net/articles/lee-jurras/


Posted By: Auto Mag
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2016 at 2:54am
Welcome to the site and congrats on the Auto Mags!

Lots to learn about them before you pull the trigger, or risk damage like you described (cracked ring)

If you have any questions, come back regularly, we have all been new to Auto Mags at one point and all had to ask or ended up breaking parts along the way,,,

As for that cracked, it can be fixed, so put it aside until you can get the right person to work on it, but beware an improper fix could ruin the frame and maybe other parts as well.

Best of luck, and enjoy!

GH


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Who was that masked man,,,


Posted By: USA 1776
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2016 at 4:13am
Welcome! I don't handload, but wanted to mention...the CDM ammo you have is collectable and usually too weak to cycle the gun(and dirty). The Norma is even more rare, but might be o.k. to shoot(never used myself, so more comments please). If you don't care about collecting, I'd pull and reload the CDM.

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'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.' Ronald Reagan


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2016 at 2:21pm
By the way I just noticed your website.  I too am a 356 TSW enthusiast.

I own a Super "9" three barrel set, 2 - 3566 Limited with 9mm conversion barrels, 2 - 3566 compacts with 9mm conversion barrels, a 356 TSW SD, and a PC940 in 356.


Posted By: jw4570
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2016 at 1:38pm
I use imperial sizing wax when forming 357 AMP from 44 AMP.  works well.




Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2016 at 3:45pm
Originally posted by jw4570 jw4570 wrote:

I use imperial sizing wax when forming 357 AMP from 44 AMP.  works well.



Nothing else works like it.  Great stuff for the hard sizing jobs.


Posted By: 76nova
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2016 at 8:03pm
Check out Midway reloading supplies I just got a new reforming die a few weeks ago they'll have about everything you need it may take a little while but they may have a reforming die in stock now listen to what the fellas are telling you about the Norma and CDM they are collectible good luck


Posted By: jw4570
Date Posted: 11 Oct 2016 at 2:27am
You don't need a form set for 357 AMP if you start with 44 AMP Starline brass.  Just apply Imperial sizing wax per instructions, and form into 357 in the sizing die.  That's it...

And if Beemer doesn't have an extra set of dies, I probably do. 

If I were working up new loads, I'd use new brass.  Cut down 308 may be difficult to duplicate if you don't have the same headstamp, etc....  Reformed CDM is neat (I have some), but why mess with old brass if you are really interested in shooting it.  That's kinda like spending a bunch of time develop a load for 1/2 lb of discontinued powder.  Really?  By the time you get it figured out, the powder is almost gone.

Just my 2 cents.  New brass.

JW


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 11 Oct 2016 at 1:41pm
It looks like he decided to sell his barrel instead.


http://www.gunbroker.com/item/586241475" rel="nofollow - http://www.gunbroker.com/item/586241475


Posted By: jw4570
Date Posted: 11 Oct 2016 at 2:38pm
Hopefully someone will find it useful. I like the 357 over the 44 myself


Posted By: Olestick
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2018 at 1:42pm
just looking for some loads for the 357 automag that make the gun function I have tried some loads with  H-110 and 296 with poor results using 158 gr. JHP
Thank You Jer Ouch


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2018 at 10:31pm
Hey all,
 
I have been searching the site for any help in load data for the 357AMP.  Would you be willing to help me out?  I could have sworn that I read on the forum that someone posted results from some of their 357AMP loads, but for the life of me I cannot find that thread.  This is why I am reaching out.
 
As correct as I could find and study, I have necked down the brass to fit the chamber as everyone has posted about.  I am fairly certain that the brass is necked correctly for my gun.
 
I've searched the Lee Jurras published articles and found his recommendations.  BUT, as everyone knows, he liked his loads a little "warm".  Yes, he suggested "starting" at certain levels, but I am hesitant as I don't want to damage my gun. I found an article that he talks about the different grain bullets and the loads that he ran.
 
He said to start a 125gr bullet at 24.5gr of H-110.  He said to start a 158gr bullet at 22.5gr of H-110.  In the "NOTE" He also stated that when using 308 brass to use 10% less powder.  For some STUPID reason, I grabbed a bunch of 308 brass and started this project (instead of using the starline, that I have a bunch of).  So, taking Lee's advice and starting 10% less, that would be 22.05gr (for a 125gr bullet), and 20.25gr (for a 158gr bullet).  Let's round to 22.0gr and 20.0gr respectively.
 
 
 
I am also reading where everyone says to start loads low and work up to where it cycles and stays open on the last round.  I also read where people suggest that 158gr bullets are a little easier to work with.  Once comfortable, then get into the 125gr bullets.
 
So, I have been working on meticulously making sure that I have everything perfect every step.  The 308 brass was trimmed to 1.298 (the best I could).  Most were right around 1.294-1.296.  Once I necked the brass they grew to around 1.310-1.313 (or so).  So, back on the trimmer they went, and I brought them all back to 1.294-1.296.
 
I plan on loading 158gr Hornady XTP's.
 
Last night I got my brand new RCBS Charge Master out and started spitting powder.  I verified what the RCBS was spitting out on a separate scale.  Now, remembering everybody's recommendation to start loads low and work up, I started the powder at 19.1gr of H-110 (which is even less than Lee suggested starting with).  I loaded 3ea shells at that weight.  I increased powder by 0.2 for 3ea shells, up to 20.9gr of H-110.  (I hope that makes sense).  3 shells of 19.1, 3 shells of 19.3, 3 shells of 19.5, etc.  Up to 3 shells of 20.9.
 
Something that I have questioned myself was, did I need to go as little as 0.2gr of powder for each work-up, or could I have gone 0.5gr increments?
 
I also see that an AOL of 1.6 is optimum.
 
Before seating and crimping I have been searching most of the morning, one last time, for any other info that I may have missed.
 
I am seeing where people are posting (for 158gr bullets) that they are using anywhere between a light load of 22gr of H-110, to as much as 24.4gr.  I could also swear that I read somewhere where someone had reliable cycling and bolt hold-open (on the last round) using 17gr (or 17.5?).  I am questioning if I am starting my loads too high at 19.1gr of H-110 for the 158gr XTP's.
 
I am sorry this is so long, I just wanted to include as much information as I could.
 
Any suggestions that I might have missed?  Any suggestions for starting loads?  Am I on the right track?  Am I confusing starting loads of 17gr H110 load data for 158gr XTP's?
 
Thank you for any help you are willing to pass along!
 
Side info:
1. Mixed rifle brass (I know, next time it will be all Starline's)
2. I have noticed the difference in brass thicknesses between that brass I am using.  I fully expect varying results.
3. Primers are CCI 350 Large Magnum Pistol.


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: omie01
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 1:02pm
I believe my .357 likes 21.5 gr W296 under a 158 gr XTP, I will try to confirm this tonight. The one thing I found when using .308 brass is the wall thickness at the mouth is uneven so I never used it. The starline works awesome!! I ONLY shoot 158 gr. because 125 gr bullets go so fast that they have a tendency to shatter on impact unless you can find thick copper jacket bullets. Not to mention the heavier bullet cycles the gun better. The one thing I learned about head-spacing is to size the shoulder where the bolt just locks on the round. Seems to work well. Good luck!! Oh, and if you can, try to get your hands on a TC die for it as well so you can roll crimp and put a slight taper crimp on it. This works for me!! 


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 1:43pm
I have used both 19.0 and 20.0 grains of H110 with the 158 grain XTP's.  I have never chronographed that load as I was just looking for function and accuracy, not a hunting round.

Both worked great in my gun, accurate and fun to shoot.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 9:21pm
OK, I thought I would share a little more info that I have found and post it here in this thread for all eternity (or until Ian decides to take this site down  Smile )
 
Omie and Beemer, thank you for your numbers!  I will make sure that I pay attention to loads between 19-22.  Of course, being the wimp that I am, I will probably start in the 18.5 range and go up from there.  I may do some 128gr XTP's just for fun.  Like Beemer, I am not a hunter.  So, if anyone has any pet-loads for 128gr, please share.  Thumbs Up
 
Omie, I did get a taper crimp as everyone suggested.  Thumbs Up  I still ran into the problem of the shell not feeding into the chamber once the bullet was set and crimped.
 
As for using rifle brass, I am scrapping that idea!!!  As everyone has pointed out, there are thickness differences, which will have different results because of the differences in chamber space.  I have taken pictures and tried to illustrate the best I could.  I will be starting over with Starline brass.
 
Any one else looking at using rifle brass, heed this warning.....
 
 
 
 
 


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 9:29pm
I have one more picture with info and description.  Of course that is the one picture I cannot get to load. 
Cry


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 9:42pm
Got it!  The site doesn't like to upload pictures with a dash ( - ) in the file name.  But it doesn't mind spaces or underscores ( _ ).
This is the round that I completely messed with.  I hope the explanation and my findings help others.
 
After seating the bullet and getting it jammed in the chamber (3-4 different times) the last time actually put a ring around the brass so I could see where it was dragging.  Looking back, I should have gotten the black or blue felt marker and colored the end to see what was going on.  Oh well, hindsight being foresight....
 
Not this round but a different round, after seating the bullet and taper crimping it, it jammed in the chamber.  When I finally dislodged it, I tried running it through the sizer again.  NO GO!  It almost got stuck in my sizer.  I wasn't going to "force" it anymore and get myself into a serious situation.  So I couldn't get the neck to size to somewhere near the 0.382" case-mouth that I need to fit my chamber.
 
I fully believe that because of the thickness of the brass, and the bullet diameter, once you seat and crimp a bullet into the rifle brass, there will be a bulge just big enough to cause the round to jam and not fully seat into the chamber.  This may be another reason why everyone says to ream rifle brass or don't use it at all.
 
I will be finding out what the brass thickness is on Starline tonight (or this weekend).  My guess is the brass isn't as thick as 0.015".
 
 
 
 
 
Hope all this helps others loading for the 357AMP.
 
Anything I missed?  Overlooked?  Left out?  Please share, I am willing to learn.
 
Thanks!
 


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: omie01
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2018 at 3:19pm
A couple things I see. There seems to be a distortion ring around your bullets from seating, do they push in that hard or is that an optical illusion from the pic? Also the shoulder taper doesn't look as "quick' or "abrupt" as mine. Who made your dies? I'm not trying to be nit-picky, just mentioning it. There really shouldn't be a "bulge" on the case neck, just the roll/taper crimp. As the bullet should fill the neck all the way through. I also checked my ammo last night, I have one box of 158 XTP at 20gr W296, and another at 20.5 W296 also 158 XTP. Both work well in my gun. Good luck. It's a tough road with .357 AMP.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2018 at 7:40pm

Yes, there is bulge around the neck area, just below the crimped area.  I tried to get that to show in the picts (I’m glad it can be seen a little).  By the way, please be nit-picky.  The more perfect I can make them, the better I’ll feel about pulling the trigger.

 

I am using a set of original RCBS 357AMP dies.  Some people may say “vintage” dies.  I am using a CH4D taper crimp that I ordered new and received earlier this week.

 

How far into the taper crimp does shell go?  ½ way (or so)?  It’s not a full stroke, is it?  Mine goes in (I am guessing) ½ way then I can feel the handle get a little harder to pull.  I just “kiss” the lip and pull the shell back out.  Is the taper crimp 2 stepped?  The first “step” to size/straighten the neck, and then further in the die there is the crimp just for the lip?  It doesn’t look like a two-step when looking in the die.  It looks like one little lip that the shell would hit to crimp the lip.

 

When I first made the brass I sized to 1.296” (because I couldn’t hit that magical 1.298”).

 

Then I ran it through the RCBS neck sizer.  This lengthened the brass to around 1.310”.  So I ran it through the trimmer again and brought it back down to 1.296”.

 

I then ran the brass through the RCBS mouth expander so the bullet could be set.  When I set the bullet on the mouth it would fall roughly ½ to ¾ (the length of the bullet) into the shell.  Thinking that the mouth is too wide, I ran the shell back through the neck sizer.

 

When I set the bullet on the mouth and ran it into the seater it seemed to go as I would expect.  Nothing was abnormally “hard” to press into place.  When I got the bullet to 1.595” to 1.6” OAL I stopped.

 

I then ran it through the CH4D taper crimp to just “kiss” the lip.  It doesn’t appear the TC is two-stepped, meaning the shell only goes about ½ way into the die before it “kisses” the lip and makes the crimp.  Or, do you run the shell all the way into the TC, and “one step” straightens the neck, then further up the die it “kisses” and crimps the lip?

 

After crimping the lip I noticed the bulge.  I tried running back through the neck sizer.  I start pulling fairly heavy on the handle until common sense told me “damn this is tight!  It shouldn’t be this tight, should it?”  Then I prayed the bottom on the shell wasn’t going to rip off when pulling it back out of the die.

 

I assume the shell is bulged because the thickness of the rifle brass and the diameter of the bullet.  There is no way to smooth the neck because of those two thicknesses.  I assume that using starline brass (which I measured at 0.0145” – 0.015” thick) will not have the bulge because the brass is thinner?

 

I will be starting over and making dummy rounds with starline as soon as I can free up some time.  I am hoping that the thinner brass will NOT have a bulge.

 

I am hoping that I answered you questions/concerns.  Again, please be nit-picky.  I would rather info be passed along.

 

As a side note, I am using some 357AMP ammo that I assume Lee Jurras loaded.  I assume he loaded it because it was purchased at the same time my custom 100 was purchased by the original owner.  I have no spent shell cases to compare as it is unfired.  If these were not made by Lee, I can assume that they meet all of Lee’s specs and requirements.  I am using them as a visual to compare case length, neck length, taper crimp and bullet seating/height.  I do not know what grain bullet is loaded in them.

 

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you!



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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: omie01
Date Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 1:26pm
You are correct, the TC die should just "kiss" the lip of the case. I usually see about 1/16" witness mark. Sometimes I can barely feel the Taper Crimp. I usually measure before and after, and go by the witness mark. Usually .001-.002 is all it needs. A bullet shouldn't fall halfway or more after using the expander, it should just sit below flush, enough to start the bullet into the neck. I'm glad to hear you have the "Vintage" dies as I think they are probably the best. I could be wrong, but mine work well. I also believe I have the CH4D TC die so no issues there. Never run a cartridge back through the neck sizer with a bullet in place, It will get stuck!! Someone else may chime in with a bit more wisdom, but this is how I loaded mine and it worked. Good luck


Posted By: paul v.
Date Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 3:38pm
Maybe I missed this ,but what happened to reaming the cut down rifle brass(44AMP reamer) either before necking it down with the 357AMP die or reaming the neck of the rifle brass (357 reamer) formed  after being necked to 357? Wouldn't keep it the necks thinner and consistent and not prone to sticking and bulging?


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 17 Dec 2018 at 5:05pm
I have a 357 set of form dies.  Even necking down Starline brass I check it with the ream die and reamer.

In my opinion, the availability of Starline brass is the biggest improvement in Auto Mags since I have been shooting them.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 18 Dec 2018 at 8:11pm
Well, through trial and error I have found that using various rifle brass, starline brass or CDM brass appears to makes no difference that I have been able to find.  I say that, but I have also NOT reamed the brass after necking.  I know what everyone has said about loading for 357AMP, I have read as much as I could on this site, but I have not been able to verify a difference.  (maybe I just haven't found it yet?)
 
I have various brass.  I noticed some bullets are easier to seat than others.  It makes no difference what brass it is loading into.  IE: pressing bullets in brass marked "FA 67" can either be "easy" or have some resistance.  The bullets seat in 308WIN brass just as easy as Starline (as the brass thickness is the same).  I started from the very beginning by sizing the brass, necking the brass, verifying the brass length, seating the bullets and taper crimping, of every round as I made it.  They were all within a few thousandth's of an inch.  I assume that it pretty good?
 
I loaded various dummy-rounds in various brass just to get the feel.  Once they were made I checked them in my chamber.  Some loaded fine, others jammed and would not allow the bolt to fully close.  I measured the brass length, OAL, checked the bullet seat, checked the taper crimp (which is set at about 1/32" - 1/16".  Enough of a "kiss" then maybe a skosh more?).
 
Some rounds that measured short(er) or skinny(er) would jam when loaded.  Others with longer OAL's and thicker neck and body measurements would not jam and chambered excellent. I check the brass thickness in the body of the brass to.  Again, everything is within a few thousandths of an inch.  Some with measured thicker bodies loaded, while some with thinner bodies would jam.
 
I know that I have got to be missing something as there was no rhyme or reason that I could see (or measure) as to why some would jam and others would not.  In all honesty too, it was getting late and as I crawled into bed I was thinking the whole time "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE MISSING SOMETHING.  BUT WHAT???"
 
I ended up with about 20+ various actual loads that loaded in my chamber.  Loaded with 158gr XTP, from 18.6gr to 22.2 gr. (in 3gr increments) of H110.  I will be taking those to the range hopefully tomorrow.
 
Again, thanks for all your help and input.  If you can think of anything, I am all ears!
 
 


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: Ian
Date Posted: 20 Dec 2018 at 9:27pm
There is also this article from Hand Loader just for the 357.

http://www.amtguns.net/articles/shooting-press/handloader/handloader-1975-january/" rel="nofollow - http://www.amtguns.net/articles/shooting-press/handloader/handloader-1975-january/

Ian

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http://www.amtguns.net" rel="nofollow - Ian's AMT Information Page
http://www.glossover.co.uk" rel="nofollow - A little more about me - My corner of the internet


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 12:51am
Well, back to the beginning....

I tore apart all the rifle brass that I formed. They are put "away". I grabbed the Starline brass that I had and started all over. As mentioned/suggested I reamed 50 rounds with the 44 reamer. After 50 rounds there was very little brass "dust".

After a lot of powder load experimentation I was able to find the following cycled each round and locked open on the last round. 18.1gr of H110, using a 158gr Hornady XTP bullet.

At 18.1gr the spent shells looked like there were "waves" up and down the shell. At 18.2gr the shells were fairly "clean" with little markings on the shells. At 18.3gr the shells came out real clean. The only markings appear to be on the rim where the extractor and ejector make contact with the rim and bottom of the shell.

Should I leave it at 18.3gr of powder or do I keep increasing the powder until the shells come out perfectly clean with no markings? Or being 18.3gr seems real clean, just "pop" it up a couple grains and "call it good"?

I only plan to take it to the range and shoot holes in paper. Maybe use it to shoot watermelon's, pumpkin's, etc.

Thanks to all who have helped and gotten me to this point. I am sure a lot of other newbie's will stumble across this thread and find it useful too.


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 1:04am
It is whatever you are satisfied with.

I settled on 19 grains but 20 shot good also.  Powders have varied some through the years but those worked good for me and I would call both loadings as on the lower end.

Good luck.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 2:33am
Thanks for all the help, suggestions and advice.  I've never loaded before and this has been a fun project.  I can see why people say that once you shoot the 357, the 44 seems a little boring.

I may just hold it at 18.5gr and just enjoy it.

One other question, does H110 and W296 load the same?  Or is one a little lower or higher than the other?

Thanks!  Thumbs Up


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: Benny123
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 2:47am
Its not an acceptable practice to download this powder. In a semi auto partial ignition can be dangerous. There are other options if you want a reduced load. I think a 90% Case capacity is proposed as the minimum. W296 h110 load data are generally considered interchangeable. The exception is if you,have old lots. 300 MP from Alliant very similar albeit slight slower

Just be careful


Posted By: XP001
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 4:15pm
Benny, Just asking to learn. You say 90% case fill to avoid opps. I understand the reason why (another topic all together) but are you saying that the loads mentioned above at 18.3 do not met this 90%? Is it best to take the case and fill it then measure and get the 90% from that or is there already a known chart for this? Do powders measure different? Just like to learn, thanks


Posted By: Benny123
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 4:42pm
I check this site periodically to learn about updates to the new Auto Mag and saw this post. There are a lot of details regarding 357 AMP loading details. I’m unfamiliar with that at the moment as I don’t own a automag in that caliber. But a enjoying read for me. 

The load data stood out—loud. In the pistol spectrum, H110 is used for top end loads. It’s rare for it not to be included.  Perhaps for really smaller cases like a 32H&R ot big like the 500SW , where the fast rifle powders start to produce higher velocities with lower pressure than h110/w296.

18 grains of it just sounds extremely low. That is not on the border. I think I load around that amount in a 5 shot 357 Magnum, a completely different and sub caliber. 

I should have been clearer  regarding “where to calculate a min %’” . But first off, heed Hogdon advice before reading internet advice—that includes me.  Though, I’d personally consult the load data from this caliber—-which there is tons on this site from the big names that have passed on—to get a concensus and go with the lowest data for this powder. 

Otherwise , what I was getting it was to measure a top end load , which should be where the powder is against the bullet base but not compressed and take 90% of that. I’m sure 90% is not some magic number but the hallmark point , I believe, is it’s intended to be loaded such that there isn’t much of a gap, if any between he bullet base and it, in the case

THose who load this caliber , or just recall how much the shoulder reduces the original 44s case volume , should be aware that 18 grains of this small grain ball powder ain’t a lot . “Underloading” some powders such as this has big risks. It’s easy to be in experimental mode and do what seems right for what you’re trying to achieve. That can be dangerous. Make sure you consult the powder manufacture loading guide, or advice, before experimenting. Again, this is to avoid injury to you, a bystander and the gun. By the way, I hate when treads go awry and off the intended topic. But felt this was Important enough for the OP . Just choose a powder with a faster burn rate. 


Posted By: CrazyLarry
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 6:00pm
i am in the group who feels under filling a case with H110 is asking for trouble.

I spoke with Hogdon about this a few years back and they specifically warned against this. Please protect your investment by following directions.

If there is a need to slow down a load, use the right powder.

I use Trailboss for this purpose as it avoids powder shifting and still burns completely. It's not cheap, but, Kabooms are much more expensive.

As someone else shared with me when I stated out reloading years ago... "Nobody feels sorry for people who choose to be stupid"

A box of ammo is not worth your life.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 8:38pm
Thanks all for the reminders and advice.  As mentioned, a lot of people  with a lot of experience and knowledge have posted (and written books) about load data for the 357AMP.

I also thought I had read that each of these guns can be unique with the shells and loads.  As everyone also knows when Lee loaded he liked to load a little warmer.  When he suggests that 19gr of H110 pushing a158gr bullet is the lowest I thought I'd take it a little lower and start from there.

I also remember reading that what works in one may not work in another.  So, start under the recommended and work up to where it cycles and holds open on the last round.  Maybe I'm mistaken about this?

Taking into consideration all who have contributed with this (on this forum, data posted on the net, and published in manuals), I should just load the lowest recommended and enjoy.  19gr of H110 pushing the 158gr bullet.

Now, to break out the chrono Santa got me for Christmas and see what I'm pushing. 


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: XP001
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 10:42pm
Luv,  Since you are doing the loading here and said 18.3 was the load you did. How full or empty is the case with that amount. I understand everybody thought( I hope) that you should have 90%case filled to avoid a OPPS which happens when it's not and powder shifts and other bad things. So How full are your cases when using 18.3 NOT that i'm saying to continue doing them as others point there is "real" data listed and use it. What is the cap of the case if you know and what are you % with 18.3? I'm just wanting to learn and see how close it was to OPPS v ok but slow. sounds like .7 makes a big difference? Again just a question as I don't reload and trying to wrap my head around it better.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 11:50pm
I I don't know what the "percentage" was, but it did appear that anything around 18.5gr (and more) would be impossible to double-charge the shell.  I also don't think that 18.3 was no where close to 90% capacity.  I'd say 18.3 was more than 1/2, maybe just below 75%.

I'm going to load the shells at the recommended 19gr.   But, while loading them I will see how much I can fit to the shoulder, and to the lip (hey, while i have everything out I might as well, right? Smile)

I too have never heard or read about this 90% that Benny mentioned.  I guess I need to do some more reading and digging.  Thumbs Up


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 08 Jan 2019 at 12:48am
Fill the case up to the neck with the powder you are using and weigh it and subtract off the weight of the empty case.  You can check your load that way.

It is not the % fill as much as the pressure peak that you are interested in.  H110 and 296 do not ignite well at low  pressures and can cause troubles.  I have loaded a lot of it and never had any problems.

Accuracy does seem to improve at higher pressures.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 09 Jan 2019 at 3:49am
Please remember that i cannot physically look inside the shell casing for exact locations.  I did the best i could.  I used H110 powder.

The Starline brass loaded with a CCI 350 Magnum primer weighed 124.6 grains.

Powder [roughly] loaded to in the large chamber portion of the shell, to the transition area, was [roughly] 28 grains.  The shell with the powder weighed 152.6 grains.

I loaded the shell to the area where the bullet seats.  That was another [roughly] 2 grains of powder for total powder of 30 grains.




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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: XP001
Date Posted: 09 Jan 2019 at 5:55am
So let's say 30 grains, that makes 20 grains a 66% fill and 27 grains a 90% fill. Now that is a big difference. It also sounds like the hot loaders seem to be around the mentioned 19 , where 27 seems way too much. So why did they use this powder that only does the 66% when there are powders that would be safe at 90% which is around 27 grains.



Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 09 Jan 2019 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by XP001 XP001 wrote:

So let's say 30 grains, that makes 20 grains a 66% fill and 27 grains a 90% fill. Now that is a big difference. It also sounds like the hot loaders seem to be around the mentioned 19 , where 27 seems way too much. So why did they use this powder that only does the 66% when there are powders that would be safe at 90% which is around 27 grains.


First of all, I have not done any experimenting with powders for the 357 or 44 AMP's.  I have always used H110 and 296.  I also use them in 357 Mag, 44 Rem Mag, 454, 500 S&W, and probably a few others that slip my mind right now.

I did very little experimenting with loads for the 357.  I started at 19 and went to 20 and 21 grains of H110.  I was shooting a 20+ year old pistol for which no parts were available.  Unlike Lomont and Jurras, I was not looking for a large game hunting load, just an accurate load to use on targets.  I had the gun, I wanted to shoot it and not abuse it.  All three loads shot well and locked the bolt back 100% of the time and met my accuracy expectations.  I stayed with the 19 grain load. The 19 to 21 grain loads I loaded are all considered "mild" loads and not hot.

I know that Hodgdon says 90% fill now, years ago I never heard that from them.  They gave loads and listed them as do not reduce more than 5%.  To ignite H110 and 296 properly, you need a fairly high pressures.  With 19 grains, I feel I am getting it.  When you are not high enough you get a lot of unburnt powder out the end of the barrel and I am not experiencing that with 19 grains.

If there are better powders for the Auto Mags, no one has found them yet. The Auto Mags have a somewhat narrow pressure curve that has to be met to cycle reliably.  To get a "fuller" case you would have to go to a slower powder and most of it would blow out the end of the barrel and pressures would be very low and the gun would not cycle.

A person could go to AA #9 powder or Vitavuori N110 as they ignite easier than H110 or 296.  Loading density would be lower with both of those powders.  I'm happy with H110 at 19 or 20 grains in my guns.  Other AMP's might require a larger load.



Posted By: XP001
Date Posted: 09 Jan 2019 at 4:47pm
Beemer, thanks for that info., I understand don't fix what isn't broken. You mention easy burn powders AA and N110 but they load less dense so that is going the wrong way, correct?
 I appreciate your experience with explaining the power being totally burned without spitting unburned grains out the end of the barrel. It makes sense also. So that 90% stuff is some engineering guy giving the safest condition you can make but NOT always the best for every firearm. I'm sure revolvers would work with any of these loads but semi's have a few more needs. 


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 09 Jan 2019 at 5:08pm
Originally posted by XP001 XP001 wrote:

Beemer, thanks for that info., I understand don't fix what isn't broken. You mention easy burn powders AA and N110 but they load less dense so that is going the wrong way, correct?
 I appreciate your experience with explaining the power being totally burned without spitting unburned grains out the end of the barrel. It makes sense also. So that 90% stuff is some engineering guy giving the safest condition you can make but NOT always the best for every firearm. I'm sure revolvers would work with any of these loads but semi's have a few more needs. 

It is always better to load the case as close to full as possible, you get a more even ignition and a more consistent burn.  In rifles it is much easier to find a powder to meet this than pistols.

For a S&W 629 .44 I had a paper punching load that was a one holer all the time.  It consisted of a 240 grain lead semi wadcutter over 7 grains of Unique.  Now that 44 Rem Mag case is the same size as the 44 AMP so what kind of loading density did I have there?

H110 and 296 must be loaded to high pressures but 90% loading density, it's good to try.

Over at the 10mm Forum some guys were  loading H110 in 10mm carbines and I would not do that.  The case is just not large enough to get enough powder in to achieve the needed pressures.  It did not work either.


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2019 at 12:27am
Beemer, thank you for the Info.

I must say, when I had initially loaded a 19gr load the gun barrel rocked up what I would consider "violently".  Scared the heck out me me.  I thought it may have broken something.  I quickly took the barrel off and inspected the lugs and whatever else I could see.  All looked good so i it put it back together and just assumed I didn't have a tight enough grip.  So I held it tighter and fired off a second round.  Again, it rocked the gun almost like before.  On the 3rd round I held it tighter yet.  It didn't rock the barrel as much, but I do have to say my hands could feel I was hanging on tight.

After those 3 rounds the barrel was hot.  You could hang on to it but not for very long.

These were some other reasons why I was thinking that 19gr was way too hot, and why I started lowering my loads significantly.

Thank you and now I realize that just might be the nature of the beast.

Reading back through this thread I must say that I am shooting a 8.5" non--vent rib barrel.

This may sound like a silly question to experienced leaders but do the loads make a difference with barrel length or should I load the same for my 6.5" barrel too?


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2019 at 12:59am
Barrel length makes no difference, use the same load.

You have to remember what you are shooting, the 44 mag was the hottest round available for many years.  Neck it down to 357 and you still have a hot one.

When I hunted whitetail with a 6" S&W 629 my load was 23.3 grains of H110 pushing a 240 grainXTP and it chronographed at just over 1400 fps.  Believe me, it woke you up.  I would not be able to shoot that today.


Posted By: Luc V.
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2019 at 5:50pm
Luv2shoot,

First I want to say I do not reload the 357 AMP cartridge but out of curiousity
I just ran your loading data through the QuickLoad program and it gives the following result:
Velocity 1218 fps (for a 6 inch barrel)
Chamber pressure 19345 psi
Case filling = 71.4 %
Amount of burned powder when bullet leaves barrel = 69.25 %

If you interested in a full ballistic result for your exact cartridge, send me an email and I return with a screenshot from my computer with full details.

For a correct result I need the grains of water (volume) from your resized 357AMP case, the OAL of the complete cartridge, the load of powder and the type and weight of the bullet. Also the barrel length of your gun.
When I have that I can send the you data for your gun/cartridge.

So far I see it's a fairly low load.

Just one remark about slow burning powders and light loads, be sure to use MAGNUM primers.

The magnum primers make all the different in ignition. Magnum primers have a longer and much hotter flame as others. Just shoot a primed case with the different primers in low light and watch the length of the flame.



Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2019 at 11:56pm
Luc,

Thank you for the info and the offer. I am not an experienced loader either. In fact this was the first time that I have loaded for anything. I figured that if I can meticulously go through the process to load my 357AMP, I can apply it to just bout anything else that I shoot (and feel fairly comfortable doing so).

I do have to say that after firing off the 19gr load and seeing what the gun did, I just can't imagine loading it any higher. After reading everyone's input, I see that it can go higher.

Thank you for running the info through your program. I have no idea what the volume of the case is, but I can see what I can find. I am trying to load these things exactly as published by Lee and other sources. I am loading with CCI 350 Magnum pistol primers. (I do remember reading to only use magnum primers when loading for these.)

Does anyone know what sort of pressures these things can be loaded up to? I thought i remember reading that Lee and Kent were testing/shooting these pushing 30,000 CUP?




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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 3:28am
Originally posted by Luvz2Shoot Luvz2Shoot wrote:

Luc,

Thank you for the info and the offer. I am not an experienced loader either. In fact this was the first time that I have loaded for anything. I figured that if I can meticulously go through the process to load my 357AMP, I can apply it to just bout anything else that I shoot (and feel fairly comfortable doing so).

I do have to say that after firing off the 19gr load and seeing what the gun did, I just can't imagine loading it any higher. After reading everyone's input, I see that it can go higher.

Thank you for running the info through your program. I have no idea what the volume of the case is, but I can see what I can find. I am trying to load these things exactly as published by Lee and other sources. I am loading with CCI 350 Magnum pistol primers. (I do remember reading to only use magnum primers when loading for these.)

Does anyone know what sort of pressures these things can be loaded up to? I thought i remember reading that Lee and Kent were testing/shooting these pushing 30,000 CUP?



Lee Jurras tested some of Kent Lomont's loads in his pressure barrels at Super Vel and he had loads for the 44 and 357 AMP at 65,000 psi.  Glad it was not me or my gun doing the shooting.


Posted By: Luc V.
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 2:39pm
To Luv2shoot, it's easy to know the volume of the resized case, just pour water in the case and fill it to the top. That weight in grains is the maximum volume.
 
To beemer, I'm almost sure Lee Jurras never tested the Automag cartridges in PSI. Back then all testing was done in CUP. There is a Huge difference between the two.
It's a mistake often made to mix those numbers/parameters.
 


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 2:54pm
Originally posted by Luc V. Luc V. wrote:

To Luv2shoot, it's easy to know the volume of the resized case, just pour water in the case and fill it to the top. That weight in grains is the maximum volume.
 
To beemer, I'm almost sure Lee Jurras never tested the Automag cartridges in PSI. Back then all testing was done in CUP. There is a Huge difference between the two.
It's a mistake often made to mix those numbers/parameters.
 

Luc, you  are probably right and I was aware of that when I posted the comment.  I do not remember if I read that or Lee told me that and I do not know where to look for it.

All I know is that Jurras tested some Lomont AMP loads and the were well into pressures that are normally only seen in magnum rifles.  Jurras said they were well beyond anything he would load.

Luv2shoot  -  I understand your concerns.  I will say this, after 30+ years of hand loading I could not come up with a worse cartridge to start on than the 357 AMP.  With head spacing concerns, reformed brass, and user unfriendly powders it is a tough one for anyone.

When I bought my first 357 AMP it came from a girl and it included 2 boxes of ammo from a commercial reloader.  There were only two rounds fired out of the 40 which I found strange.  

I loaded one round and fired it and everything went fine.  I loaded two rounds next and the gun would not fire as it was not in battery.  I started checking the ammo and nearly all had the shoulder too far forward to chamber.  I checked my gun against the dies and the headspace on my pistol was out of spec and I had to remove material from the bottom of the die to reload for it.

When loading for Auto Mags caution is advised.


Posted By: Luc V.
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 5:09pm
If I remember well, I have an email from the late Lee where we discussed pressure in automag cartridges and he said that he usually worked around the maximum of 50.000 CUPs. for the 44
I guess the 357 should be much the same.
Included is an old file about tests he did for the 357.
 


Posted By: Luvz2Shoot
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 9:11pm

Beemer:  About 15 years ago, not too long after I got my first 357AMP, I was at a gun show and on one of the tables a guy had a small plastic bag with shells in it.  Written on the bag was "40CT.  357 Auto Mag. $5".  Needless to say I couldn't get a $5 dollar bill out of my pocket fast enough.  When I got home I checked each shell in my gun.  Each shell allowed the bolt to close and rotate into the locked position.  Right then I knew I got lucky running across these.

Starting this reloading process I started with a different 357 barrel but used those shells as a starting point.  I locked the bolt open and dropped a shell into the chamber.  Very slowly I closed the bolt and it only "hung up" when the extractor went over the rim of the shell.  Once the shell was against the bolt face I closed it all the way and it rotated and locked into place.  I knew that those shells would give me a good starting point at seating the shoulder depth.
 
I set the shell in my 357 necking die and ran the die down to the point that it just touched the shoulder.  I backed the die off about 1/2 of a turn.  I ran the first 44AMP shell into the neck die.  I then put it in the gun to see if the bolt would close and lock into place.  (the first time did not).  Then I turned the die down a little and ran the shell again to neck it just a little further.  Again, I checked for fit.  After about 4 or 5 minor turns of the die I got the neck down far enough to fit into my chamber - but it was tight!  So, I took the die and turned it down a hair more.  The shell dropped in and the bolt was able to close and rotate into the locked position.
 
I then did the "test" that Tim Bell posted in another thread.  With shell in the barrel and the bolt close and locked on it, take the end of the barrel and push it into a towel and watch the travel.  I observed how far the barrel moved before the bolt started to unlock and rotate.  I guessed that with very little "play" before the bolt started to disengage, I got the shell to rest on the bolt face where it is supposed to, and that I had gotten the shoulder fit for my gun correct.
 
I ran a bunch of 44 shells to that neck depth.  I verified that each shell dropped in and checked the "barrel push check" on every shell.  I was assuming that I got everything correct every step BEFORE loading with any powder.
 
Before dropping powder into the first shell I had read everything that I could.  I must have put a good 10-15 hours into reading, searching, and posting on here.  This has been fun and I can't wait to start loading a few hundred rounds for the 158gr bullets.  THEN I'll start to work on some hole-punching loads for the 125gr bullets.  I plan to start at Lee's lowest suggested load (LOL).  And I will go back through and see what other "recipes" people have shared for the 125gr bullets.
 
Luc:  Thank you for posting this.  I noticed they are testing 24gr of 296.  WOW!  In the "pressure" column, do you think that is PSI or CUP pressures?
 
I found this conversion online:
 
CUP to PSI:
(PSI + 17902)/1.516 = CUP
 
PSI to CUP:
(1.516 x CUP) - 17902 = PSI
 
 
By your numbers (above) that you got from your program, I am only right around 24569 CUP.
 
(19345 + 17902) / 1.516 = 24569.
 
 
As Beemer and you have mentioned/hinted, for this gun 19gr of H110 (or W296) should be right around the very lightest we should be using?
 
 


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If you were happy and you knew it, would you clap your hands?


Posted By: BEEMER1
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 12:33am
As far as 19 grains being as low as one should I guess that all depends on the gun.  I was told to start there and work up until I found a load that would lock the bolt back and met my accuracy expectations.  Both 19 and 20 did that in my gun so I stayed at 19.

The springs in my gun probably need changed and after putting in Wolff +10% springs I am sure I would need to go up.

good luck.




Posted By: Luc V.
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 11:36am

Luv2shoot,

The numbers on the supervel file are CUP (copper units pressure) to make it even more difficult there is also LUP (Lead units pressure). Those two terms were used back in the days, depending on the type of crushers used.

One remark about the conversion formule you found, I would not trust this much because there are to much different copper crushers used. With each new batch of proofed crushers you had to be recalculate the whole formule to get the correct pressure. Back then you could not just read the pressure from a clock on the test pressuregun. It had to be calculated from the measurements of the crushed piece of copper.

 

As far as your 19 grains of H110 it might work well. The reason the slow powders work OK on much lighter loads as usual is because you used it in a bottle necked case instead of a straightwall case. I'm pretty sure  a to light load would not work well in a straightwall case.

I have a similar result with my 357 Sig caliber.

Because you have to push all that volume of burning powder throug a smaller diameter the pressure will rise (due to the shoulder in the shell) before the bullet leave the shell, not the barrel. Difficult to explain in words, but try this to understand: take a waterhose and sqeeze it off to a smaller diameter you will see that it will spray water much further because of the rised pressure. If you sqeeze it even more tighter you might burst the hose (if enough water pressure to start with.) I hope this makes you understand somehow the way pressure works...

 

To get back to your 19 grains load, to make it work well and consistent, make sure you have a verry good grip of the bullet in the case. The use of a factory crimp die (I use Lee Presicion) is recomended. If the bullet has to little grip in the case the primer can have enough force to push the bullet foreward before a good ignition of the powder. Then you should find much unburned powder in the barrel. If it burn well and have a clean barrel, you a probably good to go. 

About a case not completely filled with slow burning powder, it fails because there is to much room (airspace) inside the case and primer has enough force to blow the powder foreward and the flame is to cold to short for good ignition. I doubt it it could happen in a 357AMP case with 19 grains H110. Thats why I said to use magnum primers.

In all my reloading experiments I had that happen once with a very light load in 45-70 Gvt cartridge. I worked well when I switched to magnum primers.

It all sound difficult, but its just logic....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would suggest to load 20 or 30 rounds and try them but also look good for accuracy, if they are consistent and good groups, it will work fine. If you have fliers all over the target the pressure (ignition) is not reliable you should adjust the load.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Posted By: paul v.
Date Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 6:40am
This may help.



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