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Thread: Looking for 357 mg 200 gr hard cast data

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    Default Looking for 357 mg 200 gr hard cast data

    Like the title says, I picked up a box of 200 gr Cast Perf hard cast gas check bullets today and find little or no data in all my load books. The loads will be shot out of a Ruger GP100 with 4" barrel and I am wanting to push them as fast as possible with accuracy taking priority over fps. I have H110, Win 296 on hand for magnum loads, also HS6, Unique, Power Pistol. Thinking the 110/296, or possibly Lil Gun will be the powder of choice.

    The GP100 is basically as strong as a Redhawk frame from everything I have read. Seems I read some old Wichester load data on the web with 200gr cast and 13.4gr Win 296 as max load?

    Smitty, I read you load the 180's, have you had any luck and good loads worked up for 200 gr?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by HUNTERKJL View Post
    Like the title says, I picked up a box of 200 gr Cast Perf hard cast gas check bullets today and find little or no data in all my load books. The loads will be shot out of a Ruger GP100 with 4" barrel and I am wanting to push them as fast as possible with accuracy taking priority over fps. I have H110, Win 296 on hand for magnum loads, also HS6, Unique, Power Pistol. Thinking the 110/296, or possibly Lil Gun will be the powder of choice.

    The GP100 is basically as strong as a Redhawk frame from everything I have read. Seems I read some old Wichester load data on the web with 200gr cast and 13.4gr Win 296 as max load?

    Smitty, I read you load the 180's, have you had any luck and good loads worked up for 200 gr?

    Thanks
    I loaded a hundred of the 200 grain Cast Performance, WFNs with 12.5 grains of H110/Win296, which was the Max load for that powder, that came in the box of bullets from CP. There was also, 9.9 to 11 grains of AA9 but no velocities or other info was given.

    They did OK, in my 6.5" barrel Ruger, but not that well, and the POI was a little high for the sights, at 25 yards.

    They were too long to Stabilize in the 1-30 twist of my rifle, so I lost interest, and decided to use 180s.

    Currently, I am unable to find either the 180s or 200s to buy. They're out of stock.

    I found that data for the 200 grain 357 bullets is scarce, and "All over the Map",,,,, HOWEVER I also have the following, on a slip of paper, from where I dunno, stuck in one of my Loading manuals, and it reads as follows.....
    ************************************************
    "357 Magnum Heavy Bullet Handoads.

    The following information is taken from the Speer Reloading Manual #12.
    Speer recommends these loads only be used in heavy-frame revolvers. The
    Maximum Overall Cartridge Length is 1.680 inches. All loads should use a very
    firm crimp to prevent bullet jump. Always start 10 percent below maximum and
    work up carefully in your particular gun.

    Bullet: 200 grain Speer TMJ Silhouette, .357 diameter.

    Powder Charge, Max-----------Primer-------------------------Velocity
    H110, 14.5 grains--------------CCI, Magnum Small Pistol----1392 fps
    296, 14.0 grains---------------CCI, Magnum Small Pistol-----1370 fps
    AA9, 12.7 grains---------------CCI, Small Pistol---------------1369 fps
    2400, 12.0 grains--------------CCI, Magnum Small Pistol-----1336 fps
    IMR4227, 13.2 grains----------CCI, Magnum Small Pistol----1222 fps

    Velocities are from a Thompson Contender, 10 Inch barrel.
    ************************************************** ****
    I've never loaded any of these. I don't Vouch for nuthun.

    Note that they are MAXIMUM loads, and for the Jacketed Bullet mentioned. (Speer 200 grain, TMJ)

    The stuff is all crammed up together, so don't get it mixed up.

    I hope that helps. Maybe give you an idea of where to start.

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    Thanks Smitty. You must have had some older boxes of Cast Perf bullets. They used to give little load data slips in each box, but no longer do so due to their insurance advice (I emailed the company about 6 months back looking for load data for their 460gr 45-70 bullets and it took 3 months to get a reply), but they will email data if a guy has time to wait.

    They are hard to find locally. I found these at GNG's and they also had a few boxes of larger calibers. Looks like I will pick a good start point and work up using the Chrony. I hope to get 1200-1300 fps out of the GP100 with a 4" barrel with good accuracy. Don't want to open up the 357 vs 44 can of worms again, but the GP100 I have has a beefy heavy frame that looks identical to my Redhawk 44 mag. I want to get the most from it I can and push 200gr bullets for deep penetration and carry it as a woods gun (while out with buddies armed with the super big bore magnums they can't hit anything with! That way, I'll be safe from the killer brown bears since I'm undergunned)

    Don't know if his opinion carries any weight or not, but Chuck Hawk had a good little article on woods guns for animal/human defense. He basically though with heavy cast 180-200 gr bullets going 1200+ fps, a guy was fairly well armed if he could place his shots with precision. My Redhawk 44 mag has the 7.5" barrel and is not as handy as the GP100.

    Thanks again Smitty.

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    I’ve played with 200s a bit in my Blackhawks also.
    My note book shows 200g C/P WFN over 11 to 13 grains of H110/W296 with CCI 550 primers and data came from my Dad’s notebook.
    I went all the way to 13g in my 6” Blackhawks with no problems. It was a good load but hard to find bullets for. Recoil was surprising and sharp, POI about 8” over POA at 25 yards with sights set for 180g fodder. It was fun to play with but having 357 J-frames and rifles 180s are more practical for me.
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    I ended up with one of Cast performances old production molds for that bullet, it's great in the .357. I have an old model blackhawk and use a healthy charge of 2400. I won't print my load as it's well in excess of currently published data, but in strong 357's, i.e. those that are built on 44 mag frames, it's ok. It should be noted the original loadings of the 357 mag were to 45,000 psi, but when the smaller framed 357's came on the market the pressure of the loads was reduced to 35,000 psi.

    For some reason it's hard to exceed what 2400 can do in the .357 mag, but H110/W296 and lil gun should also be viable options. One of these days I'll cast up a mound of those bullets and do a chrono'd workout comparing H-110, Lil gun and 2400. My gun came with an over generous cylinder/barrel gap and endshake, so I want to tighten up those dimensions first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I ended up with one of Cast performances old production molds for that bullet, it's great in the .357. I have an old model blackhawk and use a healthy charge of 2400. I won't print my load as it's well in excess of currently published data, but in strong 357's, i.e. those that are built on 44 mag frames, it's ok. It should be noted the original loadings of the 357 mag were to 45,000 psi, but when the smaller framed 357's came on the market the pressure of the loads was reduced to 35,000 psi.
    That sure is confusing to me.

    Isn't it the NEWER/NEW Model Ruger Blackhawk .357 that is built on the 44 Mag. frame? That's the one I've got.

    Weren't the OLDER, Original frames Smaller? But Ruger started making the NEW mdls (with the Transfer Bar),357s on the same frame as the 44 Mags?

    Are you talking about the latest ones that are being made on a frame that is comparable to the Original Blackhawk 357 frame?

    Are you referring to guns made by other manufacturers?

    ?????????????
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    The original blackhawk, 3 screw, old model, whatever you want to call it, was built as both a 357 and a 44 mag. Later Ruger introduced the super blackhawk, which is a larger frame, and has the transfer bar added. There is also the new model blackhawk w/ transfer bar safety which is smaller than the super blackhawk.

    I don't know if I enlightened or confused, but that's my understanding of the issue. My point was that 357 mags that were and are built on 44 mag frames, can handle loads that are higher pressure than the small frame 357's, and once manufacturers came out with the small frames, the ammo manufacturers dropped the max pressure to 35 kpsi.

    I won't make any sort of comment or infrerences on what levels of pressure the GP100 is designed to handle. I did want to make a heads up that one should be careful on what data they receive for heavy loaded 357's, as some people work up loads to the original pressure of 45kpsi, for guns that were designed to handle that pressure.

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    Smitty, to help confuse you a little further, (I'm always willing to help) I will offer this; The S&W models 27 and 28 (N frame guns) and the Ruger blackhawk will take higher pressure loads than the S&W K frame (38 frame) guns. I don't know what that limit is but I do not think pressures above 35,000 psi are needed to develop a good strong load with 200 grain hard cast bullets. Cast lead bullets, fitted to the bore will move out faster than jacketed at same pressure because of the lower friction with lead. Also I think H110/W296 will not do as well as 2400. Lil'Gun is better than H110. I personally like Vihta N-105 powder for this purpose. H4227 will work but not give the highest velocity but you cannot get enough of any of these powders into the case to hit 40,000psi. I mean compressed loads probably wont. To maintain OAL of the 357 and to seat at the crimp groove of most current hard cast bullets, the bullet extends into the case and limiteds powder capacity. H4227 is very bulky and even compressed it won't hit high velocity numbers. If you have a K frame gun or one of the smaller frame (any manuf.) guns, a steady diet of these loads will shake them loose. This is from recoil more than high pressure.

    I used to load an old Ruger security six with a hard cast keith style bullet, about 173 grains, with AA #9. It chronographed at something like 1300 fps from a 4" barrel. I shot hundreds of them. Got a chance to put a strain gage on a contender 357 barrel and the load traced at about 44,000 psi. The un-ported barrel boosted pressure some so we can't say for sure what was hitting the Ruger cylinder but I'm sure it was too much. This was a 1970's vintage Ruger, it never failed me. I have seen K-frame revolver cylinders busted, along with some other brands, but have never known any of the slowest pistol powders to be the culprit.

    Caution in loading any load that could also be used in lighter, weaker guns. If all your 357's are big frame guns, load away.
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    Thanks for all the good information. Looks like I will need to pick up a pound of 2400 to try out. I only have 1 357 at present, 4" GP100 so I can push for the max load and not worry about mix ups. I have read on the net that a 180-200gr hard cast in 357 will almost penetrate as well as the 44 mag 300-320's if pushed to near max, but obviously smaller hole. Should make for a decent 357 load useful for about anything I will need.

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    Thank You Murphy. (For confusing me further, it keeps me humble.)

    Paul H:
    I understand and can appreciate your warnings.

    I remember the original Blackhawk 44 Mag, and the Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. It was my understanding, they were both bigger than the 357 models. The Super Blackhawks had unfluted cylinders, a longer barrel, and a different, longer Grip Frame.

    I thought that the Transfer Bars came out on the New Mdls, of All frames, and at that time, they stopped making the smaller 357 size frames and put the 357s in the larger 44 Mag. frame.

    I'll hafta study this, and get it right.

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    Now they is lots of nuance, run over, run under, odd ball stuff involved with this stuff so I could be wrong here and there. But here is the “Blackhawk basics” as confused by an industrious gun maker that liked to change stuff on a whim trying to improve it named Bill Ruger. He knew what he was doin even if it is hard for us to keep up!

    1955 to 1962 was the flat top, same frame 357 and 44mag and some others.

    1962 to 1972 was the 3 screw, 357 and others, maybe even the occasional 44 though they don’t clam so.

    1959 to 1973 large frame, in 44mag called Super Blackhawk in 45 (and some odd offerings just called a Blackhawk. This is the boy that messes things up and confuses everyone, he has 3 screws and sometimes a flat top but is bigger. Why Bill didn’t call it “supper” in all offerings beats me.

    So all old model 357 Blackhawks are built on 44 size frames, the original smaller size 44 frame though. From 1959 to 1962 44s were built on two frame sizes though. Then after 62 supposable 44s were only the large frame as a Super.

    1973 on is New Model in all frames. You can always tell a New Model because the loading gate frees the cylinder for loading rather than the hammer at half calk like a Colt SAA. And it says “New Model” right on the frame if you can see close in better than me these days. Here is where the transfer bar that makes it “safe with six” came in but they have been retro fitting bars to old guns for years now also . . . but if the gat frees it it's a New Model. Also all manner of limited runs have been done here and many variations that are about imposable to keep up with.
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    Thank You, AD:

    I think I'll just give up, trying to relate my memories to what actually happened.

    Smitty of the North
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    Hahaha I thought you were right till I looked it up, don't say much about my remberin ether!
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    There is a complete study here with the Ruger Blackhawk series, super or standard. A lot to be confused about and what was published in the catalog wasn't all that was done. I've owned several that were never catalogued. Such as a 10" highly polished large grip frame with square trigger guard, Super Blackhawk in 30 carbine caliber. I bought it new in a black and red box just like my new "Super Blackhawk" 44 mag. Both were old model lock work with three screws. Lots of interesting variations out there.

    The newer, "new model" Vaquero made in 357, 45 Colt, 44 spcl and who knows what else, are on lighter frames. Particularly the top strap and cylinder are thinner and may need load considerations differing from the standard thick cylinder older "new model" Vaquero. (all Vaquero models were of the "new model" lock work). I have some new retro flattop guns (new model lock work, of course). The 1955 vintage cylinder frame and grip frame were remade for a special run for the 50th year models of both 357 and 44 mag. Some wise guy wanted Ruger to make a 44 special on that vintage flattop frame . Cool idea. It's same size as the original 357 with Micro sights on the flat top. Then they made one chambered in 45 Colt. What a nice 45, a matched set. Now I find they make the newer Vaquero in 44 special too.....this will never end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Hahaha I thought you were right till I looked it up, don't say much about my remberin ether!
    The thing I remember, VIVEDLY, about the Original Blackhawk 44 Mag. was that the friend that owned one, had to wear gloves. Otherwise, firing it, drew Blood. HIS BLOOD.

    The Super Blackhawks, in 44 Mag. that I fired, were more managable, but I never had a real urge to own one.

    Smitty of the North
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    Thought I would post some range results from testing. Powder Alliant 2400. Bullet 200 gr Cast Performance LFNGC. Primer Win SPM. The cylinder in the GP100 was just long enough to seat these bullets to the crimping groove with heavy crimp applied and have maybe 1/8" room to spare before being too long for the cylinder (at first I thought they would be too long, I am about 20 thousandths over max COL as stated in the manuals)

    11gr Start 1085 1383?? 988 1352?? 1362??

    11.5gr 1182 1138 1153 1155 1457??

    12gr 1198 1195 1261 1166 1222

    12.5gr 1273 1273 1261 1259 1274

    13gr 1291 1303 1301 1291 1290

    Again, the revolver was a 4" Ruger GP100, the only 357 I own at present. The 13 grain load had stickey case extraction, not hammer out the brass type, but enough for me to not want to increase the powder charge. The most accurate load of the bunch was 12 gr which shot 5 into about 2.5" with 4 of the 5 in a tight group just over an inch. Target was probably an honest 20 yards. My new Chronograph which I have very little experience with was out to the end of the cord for the remote read out thing, about 12-15 feet.

    My questions for the experts here are what in the world is happening when you get a wild reading several hundred fps over what you have been getting? I have had this happen using magnum loads and even mild target loads at times. Can I just attribute this to lighting conditions and a bad reading?

    I'm guessing with this powder, 1200 fps is about the best I can do and still have an accurate load. Was hoping for 1250-1300 fps, but maybe was hoping for too much out of a 4" barrel. Had to drop the rear sight to the lowest setting to get the point of impact right. Thinking of maybe dropping down to 180 hard cast, but maybe the 200gr going 1200 would penetrate better than a 180gr at 1300??

    Thanks for help and any pearls of wisdom anyone might have.

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