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Reloading the 358 Norma mag.

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  • Reloading the 358 Norma mag.

    Murphy I need a little help here I have a doctor friend who has just bought a 358 Norma mag and is wanting me to load him some ammo for hunting dangerous game this is a new one for me and I thought it was out of production don't even know if I can get brass for him but seems like I remember it's possible with 338 brass necked up please correct me if I'm wrong.Bullets shouldn't be a problem but I would like your recommendations as well as anyone elses who knows 358s as to powder types and bullets as well as charge weights if you are willing to share that information ,of course I will take the proper safe guards and back off 10% and ease up from that.I have about 15 reloading manuals but don't find any information in those either.He wants to go hunting next month so not much time to work up loads .Temperature is right for it in the 90s down here and he is going to Africa then Alaska so I should get him a good safe load that will work in both places with a little help from you all..Thanks Ronnie

  • #2
    Loading the big Norma


    I have a couple loads for the 358 with 250 grain A-frames and Partitions,
    Fed 215, 75.0 gr of RL-19 or 74.0 of H4350 will be 2700-2750 fps. Reduce by 2.0 grains to start. The Partition will be faster, but the A-frame is stronger. For the 280 grain A-frame I use 73.0 of RL-19 or 71.0 grains of H4350 for about 2550 fps. These two powders almost fill the case and are the most efficient.

    Graf & sons of Mexico, Missouri will have Norma brass for the 358 Norma Mag.
    338 WM brass won't work it's too short to the shoulder by about .045" and overall about .020".

    This is a strong caliber and will take everything over there with good bullets. A-Square company will also have brass and their tough Dead Tough bullets in a 250 and 275 grain.

    It is the beginning of winter on the southern half of the African continent now and temperatures in South Africa can get below freezing at night and very nice during the day, depending how far south one hunts. Equatorial Africa is always hot and humid but there is no hunting there anymore. The southern plains of South Africa, one of my favorite places in the world to hunt, is cold and windy in June and July, much like Wyoming in October. Large herds of Red Hartebeast and Black Wildebeast roam the plains of those wide open spaces. Qua-Qua National Park is open to hunting and can be a very good five species hunt for about $5000.00, including air fare. This is a high plateau of flowing grasslands and hundreds of animals roaming freely. Also on the take there are Springbok, Blesbok and Zebra.

    Sorry, I must have drifted off there into dreamland for a moment. I guess what I was getting at is that temperature won't be an issue any where in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia or South Africa which is pretty much where there is hunting in Africa nowadays. There is a beautiful place along the Molopo River in southwestern Botswana where the terrain is mostly rolling hills of Kalahari sand and long yellow grass spotted with Acacia trees. Where Gemsbok grow long straight horns and Giant Kudu, with deeply spireled head gear, fade like ghost from bush to bush with their heads held high and those piecing eyes on you. There are always lion tracks in the sand and their roar can be heard nightly. This is a great place for Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok and many other species as well......Ok, there I go again.. I can't go back this year...for the second year...since.....I don't know when. I am planning a trip next year and will probably shoot some Buffalo and a Sable may be a Roan and of course a few smaller stuffs.....I wonder if I can still get a Mountain Nyala....Hmmmm!
    Anyway, hope this gets you started. Good shootin'.

    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


    • #3
      Ahhhh, the Dark Continent!

      Great Murphy, you just had to go and get me started day dreaming about Africa, didn't you?

      Lucky dog! Have fun!



      • #4
        Thanks Murphy

        Thanks for the information I don't know where in Africa he is going but where ever it is it has lots of lions thats why the 358 norma got built seems he got into a altercation with a lion last year with his light rifle a 300 weatherby he just loves and almost got eat up 4 shots with the 300 and the finisher with a 458 courtesy of his PH at 10 feet ended up with lion in his lap didn't like the feeling at all so his new light rifle is the 358 norma.He is crazy about nosler partitions but I will try to lean him towards the A frames this rifle is primarily a plains game rifle so I'll probably go with the 250s for over there but he is coming to Alaska on a bear hunt from there I think, do you think the 250s will work ok on a brown bear as he wants to shoot a bear with the 358.He always has four guns with him when he goes to africa light medium heavy and a backup.This time he is going with 358 Norma for light 416 Rem for medium and 500 double for heavy a 375 H&H for a backup so he should be covered pretty well that is his regular set up for over there with the addition of the 358 instead of the 300 for a light rifle.They were hunting plains game when they ran into the good lion and thats when things went a little south he had four good hits on the lion but this lion had attitude and he didn't care how great those 200 grain X bullets were guess he forgot to read the ad he had heart doctor on his menu.This is the first time I've ever seen my friend shook, well there you went and got me off the mark and I've never even had the chance to go to Africa and thanks again to you for the information.Good shooting Ronnie


        • #5

          You have a way of sending guys off to dreamland (Africa) with your descriptive writing of the Dark Continent, makes me want to go there some day. Good stuff Murphy!


          • #6
            Bullets for .358 Norma

            Hey guys, I'm new to posting here but have learned a lot reading. This is the first time I have thought my 2c worth might be worth posting.

            Would wonder if the really heavily constructed bullets would be best in 358 Norma for lion. If the bullet doesn't expand much, the 358 might not be much better than the 300 Weatherby with 200gr barnes. Failure there was probably more the bullet being too strong than the caliber. Didn't someone recently post that some guy was sueing bullet maker because his 458 bullet didn't expand on lion? A-square sells their lion load because they think you need lots of expansion to put a lion down fast. I would think the Nosler partion would be a great bullet in 358 N for lion. Better than the super tough bullets. Lions are big and nasty but not over 500lbs.

            Thanks for all the interesting posts! This one is great!



            • #7
              358 Norma and Lions


              You are 'Zactly right! The Swift A-frame isn't considered a lion bullet. But the Partition is just about right in most calibers. The Swift is a little too tough for soft little kittys. When Ronnie asked about the 358 loads for Africa I didn't know he was hunting lions, the 358 Norma is not usually the round of choice for cats. The extra velocity of the 358 Norma compared to most lion calibers will help to expand the A-frame, but is pretty much uncharted territory as far as I know. I would, if taking the 358 Norma to Africa, load with 275-300 grain Kodiaks when walking in good lion country. I don't think Nosler makes a 275 grain Partition and I would want more bullet weight (more than 250 grains) and less velocity with a rapid expanding bullet for heavy cats.

              As you mentioned A square has the lion loads but I don't know if available in 358. Also, when walking up lions as targets of opportunity, as is often done in Botswana, (no baiting) you may encounter a big Kudu or Eland and we wouldn't want lion loads in the rifle then. Nor would we want to carry the toughest bullets and encounter a good lion. Hold that pose kitty, I've got to switch ammo! Hmmmmm Only one of the problems with carrying a marginal caliber. We can taylor the loads for each of several situations but no one-size-fits-all load can be had when the trophys vary so much in size and disposition.

              You made a very good point, thanks for steppin' in, and welcome to the forum. Good shootin'.

              Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


              • #8
                Clarify 358 Norma

                Guess I better straighten this out my wife says sometimes I don't make things clear bad as I hate to admit she could be right.Doc WILL not go picking on a lion with the 358 ,on purpose anyway,just as he had no intention of shooting one with a 300 but was in a country where 375 wasn't the minimum and the lion was too good to pass up so he took it, by the way all four X bullets did what they were designed to do excellent expansion and penetration just didn't break any bones he found 3 in the cat and had complete penetration quartering on one with large exit hole so it must have expanded too.He wants the 358 for his plains game rifle more horsepower in case this comes up again.His dangerous game rifles are the 416 and the 500.He does want to shoot a big bear with the 358 when he gets back and I wanted to try to load him one bullet that would do all thats why I needed Murphys and everyone elses input never loaded for a 358 Norma almost every other 35 but not the Norma or 358STA and I know they can be hard on bullets up close.He wants me to load the 250 Nosler as most of his shooting with this rifle will be plains game I tried to lean him towards the A frame for big bear but he will not hear of it he is a Nosler man all the way.I hope this clears it up a little sorry for the confusion.Good shooting Ronnie


                • #9
                  If I was you, I'd load up some 225-grain Swift A-Frames at about 3000 fps. Talk about deadily medicine!


                  • #10
                    Factory ammo

                    Just a note with all this talk of handloads and such-the .358 Norma is available at retail (try Cabela's) with a 250 grain a-square bullet and also they offer Norma brass (the best). It ain't cheap-$60 for 50 empty cases and $80 for 20 loaded rounds but in my custom .358 it shoots great. But if you're talking a trip to Africa the cost of ammo is secondary.


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