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Thread: .38/.357: Lighter bullets are usually louder?

  1. #1
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    .38/.357: Lighter bullets are usually louder?

    From my observations this true, at least with ear pro.

    In .357 mag, given the same length barrel and level of load, lighter bullets tend to be louder than heavy bullets.

    125 gr = intensely loud
    158 gr = pretty damn loud
    180 gr = loud but down to common 9/40/45 levels

    Do you agree?

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    I don't have acoustic level measuring equipment, so this is a seat of pants observation. I haven't noticed bullet weight being a factor. I noticed that higher velocities, higher charge weights and certain powders make the report louder.
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    Lighter bullet yields less dwell/burn time. So it would make sense that more flash/report would noticed all else equal.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    As Markm above mentioned, the lighter bullets spend less time in the barrel and thus tend to have more report and flash compared to heavier bullets.

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    I shot some .357 Magnum loads out of my lever action rifle today. Both 158g and 125g Hornady XTP bullets were loaded with HS-6 to 1350 fps measured on the chronograph. I did not notice a difference in muzzle report.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T2C View Post
    I shot some .357 Magnum loads out of my lever action rifle today. Both 158g and 125g Hornady XTP bullets were loaded with HS-6 to 1350 fps measured on the chronograph. I did not notice a difference in muzzle report.
    I wouldn't imagine you would out of a rifle being that 357 magnum powder is very fast burning and theoretically should be burned off before the bullet exited the rifle. In the case of a much shorter barreled pistol, you still have burn occurring at bullet exit...

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    Makes sense, thanks.

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    Lighter bullet loads are usually meant to have higher velocities so more powder too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thehammer69 View Post
    I wouldn't imagine you would out of a rifle being that 357 magnum powder is very fast burning and theoretically should be burned off before the bullet exited the rifle. In the case of a much shorter barreled pistol, you still have burn occurring at bullet exit...
    I agree. There are actually .357 mag rifle loads that use a slower powder and much larger charge than than you can load with regular pistol powder loads.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Back in ancient tymes, Law Enforcement Officers carried those big round gun things on duty. In .357 Magnum the 158gr to 140gr jhp ammo was loud with some muzzle flash. Rounds like the iconic 125gr Remington jhp didn’t seem to physically recoil as badly but you could feel the muzzle blast in your sinuses.

    I carried a ported 4” M-29 for a while with a 200gr Speer factory load that a friend described as looking like “a dragon sneezing” when fired in low light. The various 240gr factory offerings I carried for anti-vehicle use were less illuminating but recoil seemed worse and time back on target seemed longer. Hornady at the time offered a 200gr load with lower velocity that was quite pleasant to shoot if you could find them in those pre-Internet days.

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