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357 AMP handloading

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jw4570 View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
Callahan's Auto Mag


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jw4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2016 at 2:38pm
Hopefully someone will find it useful. I like the 357 over the 44 myself
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Olestick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olestick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2018 at 1:42pm
just looking for some loads for the 357 automag that make the gun function I have tried some loads with  H-110 and 296 with poor results using 158 gr. JHP
Thank You Jer Ouch
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Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luvz2Shoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2018 at 10:31pm
Hey all,
 
I have been searching the site for any help in load data for the 357AMP.  Would you be willing to help me out?  I could have sworn that I read on the forum that someone posted results from some of their 357AMP loads, but for the life of me I cannot find that thread.  This is why I am reaching out.
 
As correct as I could find and study, I have necked down the brass to fit the chamber as everyone has posted about.  I am fairly certain that the brass is necked correctly for my gun.
 
I've searched the Lee Jurras published articles and found his recommendations.  BUT, as everyone knows, he liked his loads a little "warm".  Yes, he suggested "starting" at certain levels, but I am hesitant as I don't want to damage my gun. I found an article that he talks about the different grain bullets and the loads that he ran.
 
He said to start a 125gr bullet at 24.5gr of H-110.  He said to start a 158gr bullet at 22.5gr of H-110.  In the "NOTE" He also stated that when using 308 brass to use 10% less powder.  For some STUPID reason, I grabbed a bunch of 308 brass and started this project (instead of using the starline, that I have a bunch of).  So, taking Lee's advice and starting 10% less, that would be 22.05gr (for a 125gr bullet), and 20.25gr (for a 158gr bullet).  Let's round to 22.0gr and 20.0gr respectively.
 
 
 
I am also reading where everyone says to start loads low and work up to where it cycles and stays open on the last round.  I also read where people suggest that 158gr bullets are a little easier to work with.  Once comfortable, then get into the 125gr bullets.
 
So, I have been working on meticulously making sure that I have everything perfect every step.  The 308 brass was trimmed to 1.298 (the best I could).  Most were right around 1.294-1.296.  Once I necked the brass they grew to around 1.310-1.313 (or so).  So, back on the trimmer they went, and I brought them all back to 1.294-1.296.
 
I plan on loading 158gr Hornady XTP's.
 
Last night I got my brand new RCBS Charge Master out and started spitting powder.  I verified what the RCBS was spitting out on a separate scale.  Now, remembering everybody's recommendation to start loads low and work up, I started the powder at 19.1gr of H-110 (which is even less than Lee suggested starting with).  I loaded 3ea shells at that weight.  I increased powder by 0.2 for 3ea shells, up to 20.9gr of H-110.  (I hope that makes sense).  3 shells of 19.1, 3 shells of 19.3, 3 shells of 19.5, etc.  Up to 3 shells of 20.9.
 
Something that I have questioned myself was, did I need to go as little as 0.2gr of powder for each work-up, or could I have gone 0.5gr increments?
 
I also see that an AOL of 1.6 is optimum.
 
Before seating and crimping I have been searching most of the morning, one last time, for any other info that I may have missed.
 
I am seeing where people are posting (for 158gr bullets) that they are using anywhere between a light load of 22gr of H-110, to as much as 24.4gr.  I could also swear that I read somewhere where someone had reliable cycling and bolt hold-open (on the last round) using 17gr (or 17.5?).  I am questioning if I am starting my loads too high at 19.1gr of H-110 for the 158gr XTP's.
 
I am sorry this is so long, I just wanted to include as much information as I could.
 
Any suggestions that I might have missed?  Any suggestions for starting loads?  Am I on the right track?  Am I confusing starting loads of 17gr H110 load data for 158gr XTP's?
 
Thank you for any help you are willing to pass along!
 
Side info:
1. Mixed rifle brass (I know, next time it will be all Starline's)
2. I have noticed the difference in brass thicknesses between that brass I am using.  I fully expect varying results.
3. Primers are CCI 350 Large Magnum Pistol.
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omie01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omie01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 1:02pm
I believe my .357 likes 21.5 gr W296 under a 158 gr XTP, I will try to confirm this tonight. The one thing I found when using .308 brass is the wall thickness at the mouth is uneven so I never used it. The starline works awesome!! I ONLY shoot 158 gr. because 125 gr bullets go so fast that they have a tendency to shatter on impact unless you can find thick copper jacket bullets. Not to mention the heavier bullet cycles the gun better. The one thing I learned about head-spacing is to size the shoulder where the bolt just locks on the round. Seems to work well. Good luck!! Oh, and if you can, try to get your hands on a TC die for it as well so you can roll crimp and put a slight taper crimp on it. This works for me!! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEEMER1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 1:43pm
I have used both 19.0 and 20.0 grains of H110 with the 158 grain XTP's.  I have never chronographed that load as I was just looking for function and accuracy, not a hunting round.

Both worked great in my gun, accurate and fun to shoot.
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Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luvz2Shoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 9:21pm
OK, I thought I would share a little more info that I have found and post it here in this thread for all eternity (or until Ian decides to take this site down  Smile )
 
Omie and Beemer, thank you for your numbers!  I will make sure that I pay attention to loads between 19-22.  Of course, being the wimp that I am, I will probably start in the 18.5 range and go up from there.  I may do some 128gr XTP's just for fun.  Like Beemer, I am not a hunter.  So, if anyone has any pet-loads for 128gr, please share.  Thumbs Up
 
Omie, I did get a taper crimp as everyone suggested.  Thumbs Up  I still ran into the problem of the shell not feeding into the chamber once the bullet was set and crimped.
 
As for using rifle brass, I am scrapping that idea!!!  As everyone has pointed out, there are thickness differences, which will have different results because of the differences in chamber space.  I have taken pictures and tried to illustrate the best I could.  I will be starting over with Starline brass.
 
Any one else looking at using rifle brass, heed this warning.....
 
 
 
 
 
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Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luvz2Shoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 9:29pm
I have one more picture with info and description.  Of course that is the one picture I cannot get to load. 
Cry
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Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luvz2Shoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2018 at 9:42pm
Got it!  The site doesn't like to upload pictures with a dash ( - ) in the file name.  But it doesn't mind spaces or underscores ( _ ).
This is the round that I completely messed with.  I hope the explanation and my findings help others.
 
After seating the bullet and getting it jammed in the chamber (3-4 different times) the last time actually put a ring around the brass so I could see where it was dragging.  Looking back, I should have gotten the black or blue felt marker and colored the end to see what was going on.  Oh well, hindsight being foresight....
 
Not this round but a different round, after seating the bullet and taper crimping it, it jammed in the chamber.  When I finally dislodged it, I tried running it through the sizer again.  NO GO!  It almost got stuck in my sizer.  I wasn't going to "force" it anymore and get myself into a serious situation.  So I couldn't get the neck to size to somewhere near the 0.382" case-mouth that I need to fit my chamber.
 
I fully believe that because of the thickness of the brass, and the bullet diameter, once you seat and crimp a bullet into the rifle brass, there will be a bulge just big enough to cause the round to jam and not fully seat into the chamber.  This may be another reason why everyone says to ream rifle brass or don't use it at all.
 
I will be finding out what the brass thickness is on Starline tonight (or this weekend).  My guess is the brass isn't as thick as 0.015".
 
 
 
 
 
Hope all this helps others loading for the 357AMP.
 
Anything I missed?  Overlooked?  Left out?  Please share, I am willing to learn.
 
Thanks!
 
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Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omie01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2018 at 3:19pm
A couple things I see. There seems to be a distortion ring around your bullets from seating, do they push in that hard or is that an optical illusion from the pic? Also the shoulder taper doesn't look as "quick' or "abrupt" as mine. Who made your dies? I'm not trying to be nit-picky, just mentioning it. There really shouldn't be a "bulge" on the case neck, just the roll/taper crimp. As the bullet should fill the neck all the way through. I also checked my ammo last night, I have one box of 158 XTP at 20gr W296, and another at 20.5 W296 also 158 XTP. Both work well in my gun. Good luck. It's a tough road with .357 AMP.
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Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luvz2Shoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2018 at 7:40pm

Yes, there is bulge around the neck area, just below the crimped area.  I tried to get that to show in the picts (I’m glad it can be seen a little).  By the way, please be nit-picky.  The more perfect I can make them, the better I’ll feel about pulling the trigger.

 

I am using a set of original RCBS 357AMP dies.  Some people may say “vintage” dies.  I am using a CH4D taper crimp that I ordered new and received earlier this week.

 

How far into the taper crimp does shell go?  ½ way (or so)?  It’s not a full stroke, is it?  Mine goes in (I am guessing) ½ way then I can feel the handle get a little harder to pull.  I just “kiss” the lip and pull the shell back out.  Is the taper crimp 2 stepped?  The first “step” to size/straighten the neck, and then further in the die there is the crimp just for the lip?  It doesn’t look like a two-step when looking in the die.  It looks like one little lip that the shell would hit to crimp the lip.

 

When I first made the brass I sized to 1.296” (because I couldn’t hit that magical 1.298”).

 

Then I ran it through the RCBS neck sizer.  This lengthened the brass to around 1.310”.  So I ran it through the trimmer again and brought it back down to 1.296”.

 

I then ran the brass through the RCBS mouth expander so the bullet could be set.  When I set the bullet on the mouth it would fall roughly ½ to ¾ (the length of the bullet) into the shell.  Thinking that the mouth is too wide, I ran the shell back through the neck sizer.

 

When I set the bullet on the mouth and ran it into the seater it seemed to go as I would expect.  Nothing was abnormally “hard” to press into place.  When I got the bullet to 1.595” to 1.6” OAL I stopped.

 

I then ran it through the CH4D taper crimp to just “kiss” the lip.  It doesn’t appear the TC is two-stepped, meaning the shell only goes about ½ way into the die before it “kisses” the lip and makes the crimp.  Or, do you run the shell all the way into the TC, and “one step” straightens the neck, then further up the die it “kisses” and crimps the lip?

 

After crimping the lip I noticed the bulge.  I tried running back through the neck sizer.  I start pulling fairly heavy on the handle until common sense told me “damn this is tight!  It shouldn’t be this tight, should it?”  Then I prayed the bottom on the shell wasn’t going to rip off when pulling it back out of the die.

 

I assume the shell is bulged because the thickness of the rifle brass and the diameter of the bullet.  There is no way to smooth the neck because of those two thicknesses.  I assume that using starline brass (which I measured at 0.0145” – 0.015” thick) will not have the bulge because the brass is thinner?

 

I will be starting over and making dummy rounds with starline as soon as I can free up some time.  I am hoping that the thinner brass will NOT have a bulge.

 

I am hoping that I answered you questions/concerns.  Again, please be nit-picky.  I would rather info be passed along.

 

As a side note, I am using some 357AMP ammo that I assume Lee Jurras loaded.  I assume he loaded it because it was purchased at the same time my custom 100 was purchased by the original owner.  I have no spent shell cases to compare as it is unfired.  If these were not made by Lee, I can assume that they meet all of Lee’s specs and requirements.  I am using them as a visual to compare case length, neck length, taper crimp and bullet seating/height.  I do not know what grain bullet is loaded in them.

 

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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