Load Development for .357 Revolver

rogerstv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
205
Location
south central IL USA
Been down the center fire rifle rabbit hole for years. Just started reloading for a Smith & Wesson 686-4 in .357 mag. I topped the gun with a Burris 2 x 7 handgun scope. Using H110 and Hornady XTP in various weights. My COAL is 1.578. My first trip the range was promising.

Does the COAL factor on a revolver similar to a rifle?

I suspect I can adjust powder loads and shoot over a chronograph looking for velocity nodes.

Thoughts and suggestions ??
 

CodyMac746

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
239
Location
WA
Are you crimping? If so, you're coal would come into play depending on your bullet selection/ cannelure location.
 

JasonAL

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
234
Location
AL
You cannot adjust COAL too far out with a revolver because the cylinder has to rotate. Also there is a ton of jump because the bullet has to leave the cylinder and enter the barrel.

I don’t have a lot of actual experience but have read a bunch.

I’ll load with the brass to the middle of the cannelure, all your brass has to be the exact length to be consistent with this. And a light crimp the roll the edge of the brass into the cannelure, to prevent the bullets from moving forward during heavy recoil, limp wrist shooting. It will lock the cylinder up.
Happened to my mom once with her .38 special with rat shot. Locked up after the first shot. All the other rounds she had I could pull the plastic shot holder out of the brass, didn’t seem crimped at all.
 

Lefty7mmstw

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
5,486
Location
Dakota del norte
I am not crimping.
You'll want to crimp... bullet jump will eventually be having you jamming up the cylinder... As far as h110 you will also want to stay within a few % of top load to keep powder burn uniform. Lighter loads will call for a slightly faster burning powder like herco or unique. Even stick powder like 4227 and n110 is more forgiving in this respect. I just picked up a keg of n110 this spring and it's shown promise in my srh 44mag but kinda puked in the m65 357; I'll work with it and another couple primer/bullet combos soon.

I've run many bricks of primers through 357's. Right now I'm running 4227 with cast pills. my 4" m65-2 likes a 150 Lyman swc pill and my 686 likes either a 140 lee swc or a 158-160gr commercial cast. I will probably work with the 150 Lyman more with the 686 to see if a powder switch brings it in. Should work but I've got other irons in the fire and haven't worked it over yet.
 

HSmithTX

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
364
Location
Texas
The advise to crimp is spot on, doesn't need a ton but roll the case mouth into the cannelure a few thousandths at least. I roll the case mouth on revolver rounds right over until the case mouth slightly dents the serrations in the cannelure and 5-6 good hard whacks with the kinetic bullet puller doesn't move the case mouth out of the cannelure. A good crimp also helps powder burn with H110/W296, combine that with a Lee U-die for even more resistance to bullet movement and you will likely see consistency improve. The advise to stay near the top of published data for H110/W296 is also spot on, it won't burn consistently without some pressure even after you get a good start with tight neck tension and a good crimp. I have ventured well north of published data as well looking for a full cylinder of cases to have a slight drag on ejection, back down a bit until there is very little to no drag and run there with very high velocity and really good accuracy.
 

SSgt G Cody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
258
Location
Asheville, NC
I use H110 and W296 on my .357 and .44 Mag hunting rounds with 180 and 240 jacked flat-point bullets, Win Mag primers, and have had great success with them. However my favorite, and most accurate, loads are with H414. So far every one were one-shot kills, at 30 - 80 yards!
 

spladi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Messages
352
Location
USA
I think it's best to consult a loading manual for the COAL when using a specific bullet.
 

Muddyboots

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
5,410
Location
Michigan
Don't overlook Ramshot Enforcer for .357 Mag as well. Getting really good results with it plus seems readily available. I am running it in both .357 Mag and .357 Max.
 

SSgt G Cody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
258
Location
Asheville, NC
Lefty, Yes. I shoot a beefy 6 in. Dan Wesson .357 in the P+ range. It shoots 2 in. 5-shot groups at 200 yds. No sign of overpressure, etc. I load these only for myself.
 

cohunt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
3,858
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
-You should crimp, it does not need to be in a canalure groove though.
-You can vary the coal as long as you keep the rounds shorter than the cylinder
-You can "slug" each cylinder and the bore to see differences in actual diameter
- you can enlarge the small cylinders to make them the same size as the larger cylinders - this will make your revolver more accurate
- you can also go 1 step further and fire lap the barrel as most revolvers will have a slight constriction where the threads are on the barrel

Lots of stuff to accurize a revolver before building accurate reloads

If you are gonna shoot lead bullets you should at least slug your bore to know what diam bullet to buy.
 
Top