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Thread: Why don't ammo makers load a .357 Magnum plinker load?

  1. #1
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    Why don't ammo makers load a .357 Magnum plinker load?

    Just getting into reloading for the new 686. As I've written elsewhere, I'm working on two loads (1) 158 grain jacketed with AA9 running around 1300 fps for magnum loads, and (2) 158 grain hardcast SWC with AA5 at around 1000 or so for plinking and target, sort of a .38 spl +p++ loading.

    The reason people don't like to fire .38 spl in the .357 is the extra cleaning required to keep the chambers smooth. So I'm loading all my various loads in .357 cases.

    Why don't manufacturers load a plink/target load for the .357? Would be no trouble at all to duplicate my plinking load.

    Why not?

  2. #2
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    I am certain it wouldn't be profitable, especially when autos are much more popular than revolvers. People can always use the 38 special if they don't reload.
    I load lead bullet mild 357s as well because my Rossi M92 doesn't feed well with .38 spl length ammo.
    Shooting .38 spls in my 357 revolvers has never been a problem for me, even though it is sub-optimal and I know you get better accuracy with the 357 brass.

    Andy

    P.S. 686 = nice!

  3. #3
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    I too like making light .357 loads for plinking in a .357 case vice a .38 SPL for the cylinder rings you mentioned above-nothing significant just for ease of cleaning.
    ETC (SW/AW), USN (1998-2008)
    CVN-65, USS Enterprise

  4. #4
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    Low sales of 357 in general.
    Lower demand for what you’re asking for.
    Most aficionados are reloading for it. Case in point- you.
    If the leading justification is aversion to cleaning that’s a user, product, and method issue.

    Then again, that’s never keep the industry from offering yet another dubious widget.
    2012 National Zumba Endurance Champion
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    Did you look at cowboy action loads?

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    Aren't 38spl out of a 4in barrel doing around a 1000fps to begin with? Most are in the mid 800s out of stubbies.

    I'm not sure they're going to offer a 38spl loaded in a 357 case just for the cleaning. Majority of people are buying 38 because it's a 38 and 357 because it's a 357. Who'd want to pay more for the same thing?

    Cleaning? I guess it depends on how anal you are. I do a few passes with a brush, what comes off... comes off

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Arik; 09-03-18 at 10:08.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arik View Post
    I'm not sure they're going to offer a 38spl loaded in a 357 case just for the cleaning...
    Not my thing, but apparently a lot of the lever-action rifles chambered in .357 won't feed .38s...

    Again, I would look at cowboy action ammo, or load your own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyLate View Post
    Shooting .38 spls in my 357 revolvers has never been a problem for me, even though it is sub-optimal and I know you get better accuracy with the 357 brass.
    I competed in PPC for over two decades. A lot of competitors shot the Distinguished class with Model 19s, and later, with the 586/686 as soon as they were introduced about 1979/1980. Most of them - including me - at one time or another tried .357 brass to see if it would give them better accuracy than .38 Spl brass. I probably fired around a thousand rounds of various combinations of reloads through the club's Ransom Rest looking for the unicorn .357 load, despite being told I was wasting time better spent practicing. They were right.

    Perhaps somebody did find that, in their revolver, 357 brass gave better results - but I never met or heard of the guy who did. If .357 brass would have given them even one or two more points at the 50 yard line - where the Distinguished Match is usually won or lost - everybody would have been reloading .357, at least for use at the 50 yard stage. I doubt that has changed today.

    During my time, WW231 and Bullseye were the powders of choice for both the 1500 matches and the Distinguished match. I didn't see any difference between cleaning my PPC 1500 revolver with custom cut cylinder chambers for wadcutter only and my Distinguished 586 revolver. I still don't.

    If you feel you're gaining an advantage with some sort of target load based on .357 Magnum brass, it's certainly your time and your choice. But you might want to poll the guys shooting the Distinguished class today with L and N frame .357 magnums with the full underlug barrel to see how many of them are competing with .357 brass based loads rather than .38 Special. I'll bet the answer will still be "few or none".

    If you want the finest accuracy out of your .357, Federal's .38 Spl 148 gr wadcutter was generally considered by most to be the go-to round of choice by the serious guys in the running to win at most matches (those who didn't think their reloads were just as good as the Federal stuff, or didn't want to spend that kind of money on match ammo and whose department wouldn't foot the bill for them). For the Distinguished matches where the SWC "service load" was required, it was either whatever manufacturer's 158 gr. SWC ammunition shot best out of that particular gun, or tuned handloads.

    Take from that what you will. Haven't loaded a target load into .357 brass in nearly 40 years, and I have three S&W 357's that I still enjoy shooting and occasionally carry with rhino roller loads in the chamber. .38 Spl for fun, somewhat mild .357 Magnum for more serious practice.

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    They do as "cowboy" loads.

    Usually pricey though.

    Here are some from Georgia Arms:

    http://www.georgia-arms.com/357-magn...-nose-flat-pt/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron3 View Post
    They do as "cowboy" loads.

    Usually pricey though.

    Here are some from Georgia Arms:

    http://www.georgia-arms.com/357-magn...-nose-flat-pt/
    They sure do, and these aren't cheap. My .357 LSWC plinker loads cost me $6.50 a box to reload.

    I'm going to experiment with .44 mag plinker loads, too. A 240 grain LSWC at around 1000 or 1050 fps. .44 mag ammo is expensive and it's powerful.

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