Thursday, November 07, 2002

.357 Remington Maximum "Silent" Loads

Range work today consisted of checking impact and accuracy of a proposed squib/"silent" load for the .357 Maximum Contender 21" barrel. Load is the 205 gr. Leadhead GC in Winchester .38 Special cases with 2.5 gr. Bullseye and CCI small pistol primer. The load was not chronographed today due to range "congestion". Accuracy at 25 yards (top photo)was 7/8" for 5 shots (looks like 4, doesn't it?). I think that if you re-sighted this would be perfectly acceptable for small game at this range. Accuracy at 50 yards (bottom photo) was also excellent, the group measured 1 3/8" but might have been tighter if the wind had let up some. Time to impact was noticeable and some workers cleaning the range behind the line did not think I was actually shooting. They had to come over and see what was going on and stood right behind me for 3 shots with no hearing protection. Several shooters stopped what they were doing and looked over at me to see what was "wrong"! Recoil was nil as expected.

Assuming this bullet is moving 450-600 fps, energy would be in the range of 90-160 fpe and recoil was just .66-1 fpe in a 5.5 lb rifle! Surely somebody would have use for this as a training round.

It was suggested that I load these squib loads in .357 Maximum cases. I have thought of that but... I want to do a couple of things here:
1. Avoid the use of fillers to hold the powder against the primer. This would be mandatory in the long Maximum case.
2. Be able to differentiate between the different load types. I already have a full effort load using this same bullet in the Maximum case. It would be very difficult to tell the 2 apart.
3. I also want to use this load, maybe, in my revolvers. I don't have a .357 Maximum revolver but I do have 3 .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolvers.

In fact, that full effort load in the .357 Max is NOT as accurate as these squib loads at these ranges (25-50 yards). I'm going to be using some more case refinement techniques and a different powder in an attempt to improve this.

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