Monday, May 03, 2004

I've recently been working with the .357 Maximum and Lil'Gun. Loads shown at the Dan Wesson page show a max of 23 gr. with 180 gr. bullets and 21.5 gr. with 200 gr. cast bullets. My experimentation took me to these limits with the 180 gr. Hornady SSP and 200 gr. Hornady RN. However, there was a problem with "sticky" cases. IOW, pressures are too high. So I dropped a grain for each and the 200 gr. Hornady still does 1939 fps (excellent) for 1670 fpe, 24 fps AD and a 28 SD. The hotter charge was better in that regard but one does not want to be forced to aid in the extraction of cases. You should just pluck them from the chamber without the use of descriptive phrases!

With the 180 gr. SSP, I only dropped the charge by .5 gr. and in a repeat of the previous experiment, velocities did not change (increased slightly!) but also the AD and SD increased substantially. I'm going to drop this charge the other .5 gr. (as I should have done) and try again. If all goes as before, velocities will average just below 2100 fps and the AD and SD numbers will be similar to the load with the 200 gr. Hornady.

I think it is very interesting that I can beat FACTORY .35 Remington loads with this case. Still, there are limits to what you can do and reloads in the .35 Rem. will only do about 2000-2100 fps with loads safe in both my M8 Remington autoloader and the Contender carbine. However, I have pushed the 200 gr. Hornady RN to 2200+ fps in the Contender.


I received the first 50 of 100 bullets from Stone Fence today. I think I'll be getting 100 new cases and loading them all with this bullet and 32 gr. of RL-7. That will probably do me with this cartridge for the rest of my days.

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