Reloading The .357 Magnum

Posted on: Thursday January 7, 2021
The .357 Magnum
MD Smith

MD Smith


The.357 Magnum

Left to right:– 160 gr. SWC+GC, 160 gr. JSP, .357 with JHP, .357 with JSP. 357 Armour Piercing(no longer legal or available), 160 gr. JHP, 125 gr. JHP

(WC= WadCutter, SWC= Semi-WadCutter, HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose), SP=Soft Point, (JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point and if GC indicated, means Gas Check at bottom of lead bullet)

Loads for .357 Magnum:

(Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)(2009 Note: Some of these loads are from 1996 and in the passing years the powder companies have reduced their maximum loads particularly ones that have been around a long time like Unique. The loads are not updated yearly.)

(See note on Powders below or read all about various
Powders.)

Bullets are .357″ for jacketed and .358″ for lead in diameter. Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer type and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up.

(There are some loads for a 90 gr. cast, but bullet is unstable and not
recommended)

(you can try 3.3 gr. Clays OR 5.0 gr. of TrailBoss)

(Note H110 & W296 are the same as of 2008 as is HP-38 & W231)

(IMR 4227 is same as H-4227 if made in Australia)

110 grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point)
Bullseye 7.0 gr. 1,343 FPS
Bullseye 8.7 gr. 1,403 Max
Unique 9.0 gr. 1,545
Unique 9.7 gr. 1,447 Max
2400 19.5 gr. 1,670 max
Universal 7.5 gr. 1,465 start
Universal 8.0 gr. 1,536 max
HS6 10.6 gr. 1,612
HS6 11.5 gr. 1,776 max
HP38/W231 7.9 gr. 1,414
HP38/W231 8.0 gr. 1,541 start
HP38/W231 9.0 gr. 1,652 max
No. 2 8.8 gr. 1,324
No. 5 10.8 gr. 1,340
231 8.8 gr. 1,575
H-4227 1,774 start 18.9 gr. 1,774 start
H-4227 21.0 gr. 1,900 max
W-296 22.0 gr. 1,992 start
W-296 23.0 gr. 2,078 max
Zip 7.7 gr. 1,373 start
Zip 8.6 gr. 1,525 max
True Blue 10.3 gr. 1,347
True Blue 11.3 gr. 1,475
True Blue 12.1 gr. 1,583 max
125 grain Lead RNFP (.358″)
Unique 6.9 gr. ~ ~ light load
Universal 4.8 gr. 1,046 Hodgdon start
Universal 6.8 gr. 1,401 Hodgdon max
HP-38 & W231 4.6 gr. 1,052 start
HP-38 & W231 5.5 gr. 1,185 max
Trail Boss 3.5 gr. 874 start
Trail Boss 5.3 gr. 1,035 max
Titegroup 4.0 gr. 1,055 start
Titegroup 5.4 gr. 1,274 max
Clays 3.5 gr. 984 start
Clays 5.3 gr. 1,260 max
Autocomp 6.5 gr. 1,311 start
Autocomp 7.5 gr. 1,456 max
125 grain JHP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point)
Bullseye 8.4 gr. 1,550 FPS (this is very hot)
Unique 9.6 gr. 1,585 MAX (not recommended)
2400 17.5 gr. 1,409 max
Universal 7.1 gr. 1,394 start
Universal 7.6 gr. 1,453 Max
HS6 9.8 gr. 1,493 start
HS6 10.0 gr. 1,542
HS6 10.9 gr. 1,629 max
HP38/W231 7.0 gr. 1,267
HP-38 & W231 7.3 gr. 1,335 start
HP-38 & W231 8.5 gr. 1,514 max
Titegroup 6.8 gr. 1,425 start
Titegroup 7.5 gr. 1,497 max
No. 2 8.2 gr. 1,312
No. 5 10.6 gr. 1,446 max
No. 5 10.1 gr. 1,322
No. 5 9.6 gr. 1,273 start
No. 7 10.9 gr. 1,278 start
No. 7 12.0 gr. 1,236
No. 7 12.1 gr. 1,453 max
No. 9 14.1 gr. 1,370 start
No. 9 15.6 gr. 1,567 max
231 8.1 gr. 1,460
H-4227 18.0 gr. 1,692 start
H-4227 20.0 gr. 1,839 max
W296* 18.5 gr. 1,800
W296 21.0 gr. 1,881
W296 22.0 gr. 1,996 MAX
Zip 7.1 gr. 1,276
Zip 7.9 gr. 1,418 max
True Blue 9.4 gr. 1,168 in Hornady JHP
True Blue 10.4 gr. 1,226 is Max in Hornady JHP
True Blue 11.3 gr. 1,262 +P for some bullets
True Blue 11.5 gr. 1,472 max
Enforcer 16.2 gr. 1,483
Enforcer 17.0 gr. 1,567 +P max for some bullets

* use magnum primers (standard is OK)

135 grain LRNFP (lead)
Universal 4.8 gr. 986
Universal 6.5 gr. 1,314 max
HP-38 & W231 4.1 gr. 946
HP-38 & W231 5.3 gr. 1,027 max
Titegroup 3.5 gr. 906
Titegroup 5.2 gr. 1,186 max
Clays 3.4 gr. 914
Clays 5.1 gr . 1,207 max
135 grain Speer Gold Dot HP
Unique 7.8 gr . 1,185 max
PowerPistol 9.6 gr. 1,291 max
2400 16.0 gr. 1,377
140 grain JHP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point)
Power Pistol 8.2 gr. 1,125
Power Pistol 9.5 gr. 1,288 max
Unique 8.0 gr. 1,185 max
2400 15.1 gr. 1,298 max
H-4227 16.2 gr. 1,541
H-4227 18.0 gr. 1,685 max
W-296 & H110 17.1 gr. 1,597
W-296 & H110 19.0 gr. 1,762 max
Universal 6.5 gr. 1,218
Universal 7.0 gr. 1,299 max
HP-38 & W231 6.5 gr. 1,219
HP-38 & W231 7.7 gr. 1,378 max
AA #9 14.0 gr. 1,305
AA #9 14.9 gr. 1,358 max
Titegroup 6.3 gr. 1,262
Titegroup 7.0 gr. 1,376 max
Enforcer 14.4 gr. 1,311
Enforcer 16.0 gr. 1,457 max
True Blue 9.3 gr. 1,250
True Blue 10.3 gr. 1,389 max
146-148 grain LWC (Lead Wad Cutter)
Bullseye 5.7 gr. 1,475 FPS (max – hot)
Unique 6.4 gr. 1,465 (very hot – max)
Universal 3.5 gr. 880
Universal 4.0 gr. 989
HP38 & W231 3.0 gr. 845
HP38 & W231 3.4 gr. 908
Titegroup 2.9 gr. 830
Titegroup 3.3 gr. 909

(bullets seated deeper = higher pressures) (I don’t recommend lead at over 900
FPS) (unless at least using a Gas Check) (with pure lead wadcutters, do not
use hot loads)

158 grain LSWC or LRN (Semi-Wad Cutter or Round Nose)
Bullseye 4.8 gr. 939 max with plain lead bullet
Bullseye 5.8 gr. 1,102 FPS MAX
Clays 3.2 gr. 867
Clays 4.6 gr. 1,079 max
Unique 6.0 gr. 1,034
Unique 6.8 gr. 1,295 max
Universal 4.0 gr. 890
Universal 6.2 gr. 1,247 max
Universal 6.7 gr. 1,297 max +P
PowerPistol 7.4 gr. 963
TrailBoss 3.2 gr. 754
TrailBoss 4.2 gr. 865 max
Titegroup 4.5 gr. 1,028
Titegroup 5.0 gr. 1,108 max
No. 2 5.8 gr. 1,074
No. 5 8.2 gr. 1,239
No. 5 8.0 gr. 1,100
No. 5 9.0 gr. 1,220 max
No. 7 9.1 gr. 1,041 start
No. 7 10.1 gr. 1,183 max
No. 9 11.2 gr. 1,104
No. 9 12.4 gr. 1,255 max
HP38 & W231 3.9 gr. 846
HP38 & W231 3.4 gr. 796
HP38 & W231 5.0 gr. 1,109 max
2400 14.5 gr. 1,178 good load
2400 14.9 gr. 1,232 near max
231 6.7 gr. 1,275 +P max
231 6.1 gr. 1,075 (plated, actual in 7″ bbl revolver)
296* 14.5 gr. 1,560 * use magnum primers
ZIP 6.3 gr. 1,176
ZIP 7.0 gr. 1,307 max
True Blue 8.8 gr. 1,176
True Blue 9.8 gr. 1,307 max (Enforcer load below is SWC + GC )
Enforcer 13.5 gr. 1,295 Hi=1360, Lo=1249, ES=110
158-160 grain JHP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point)
Bullseye 6.8 gr. 1,250 FPS (high pressure)
Unique 7.7 gr. 1,040
Unique 7.8 gr . 1,280 max (high pressure)
PowerPistol 8.5 gr. 1,078 max
2400 14.8 gr. 1,265
2400 15.2 gr. 1,535 max
Lil’Gun 17.0 gr. 1,254 max in one manual
Lil’Gun 18.0 gr. 1,572 MAX (WARNING on this one)
Universal 5.8 gr. 1,026
Universal 6.3 gr. 1,133 max
Titegroup 5.4 gr. 1,135
Titegroup 6.1 gr. 1,229 max
HP38 5.4 gr. 1,020
HP38 & W231 1 6.2 gr. ,108 (as of 2008 HP38 & W231 are the same)
HP38 & W231 6.9 gr. 1,220 max
W231 6.1 gr. 1,013 (Actual in 7″ bbl revolver)
HS6 9.0 gr. 1,240
HS6 9.5 gr. 1,370 MAX
H4227 14.5 gr. 1,402
H4227 16.0 gr. 1,520 max
AA #2. 6.9 gr 1,088
AA #5 8.6 gr. 1,084
AA #5 9.7 gr. 1,256 max
AA #7 10.5 gr. 1,139 max
AA #9 12.4 gr. 1,202 start
AA #9 13.8 gr. 1,367 max
W296 & H110 15.0 gr. 1,418
W296 & H110 16.6 gr. 1,610 MAX a Commercial JSP load averages 1,503 fps
True Blue 8.1 gr. 1,164
True Blue 9.1 gr. 1,262 max
Enforcer 12.5 gr. 1,206
Enforcer 12.7 gr. 1,148
Enforcer 14.2 gr. 1,320 MAX
180 grain JFP (Jacketed Flat Point)
Bullseye 6.3 gr. 1,135 FPS
Unique 7.0 gr. 1,125
H4227 12.7 gr. 1,247
H4227 13.0 gr. 1,240
H4227 13.7 gr. 1,308 max
W296 & H110 13.0 gr. 1,352
W296 & H110 13.5 gr. 1,396 max
Lil’Gun 13.0 gr. 1,279
Lil’Gun 15.0 gr. 1,422 max
Titegroup 5.0 gr. 948
Titegroup 5.5 gr. 1,020 max
2400 12.5 gr. 1,300
AA No.5 8.0 gr. 1,040
AA No.7 8.2 gr. 980 start
AA No.7 9.2 gr. 1,100 max
AA No.9 10.8 gr. 1,059 start
AA No.9. 12.0 gr 1,202 max
296* 14.1 gr. 1,380 max * use magnum primers
Enforcer 11.4 gr. 1,075
Enforcer 12.7 gr. 1,190 max
180 grain Lead + Gas Check
ZIP 5.6 gr. 1,042
ZIP 6.2 gr. 1,158 max
Lil’Gun 15.1 gr. 1,193
Lil’Gun 15.3 gr. 1,219 max
True Blue 7.6 gr. 1,046
True Blue 8.4 gr. 1,162 max
No.9 10.4 gr. 1,008
No.9 11.6 gr. 1,145 max
No.7 8.3 gr. 938 start (LCFP, no gas check)
No.7 9.2 gr. 1,067 max (LCFP, no gas check)
187 grain Lead FN + Gas Check
Enforcer 12.3 gr. 1,208 Hi=1244, Lo=1179, ES=65 (good load)
200 grain LEAD (SWC or RN)
231 5.5 gr. 1,060
296* 12.4 gr. 1,335 max

* use magnum primers

Discussion: Universal and Unique are good for lighter bullets, but if you want
a slower burning powder, I suggest H-4227, Lil’Gun, W-296,2400, HS6 or No. 7.
Several of these can also be used in rifle cartridges, so it’s good to have
for the magnum pistol loads and for rifle. I prefer the Unique or Universal as
all purpose, and I also use them for .38 special, just less of it. If you have
a lightweight .357 or older gun, you may want to start with 13% less than
amounts listed above (but not where it says “start” load), and work up to the
full loads. – – – Below, are three loaded rounds. The armor piercing round was
bought commercially (in the 70’s). It has a steel core and will pierce an
engine block.

For any loads over 900 FPS, I suggest using a jacketed bullet. Jacketed bullets create a bit more wear on the bore, but it’s better than trying to wire brush out a bunch of lead build up. At the VERY least, use a copper Gas Check lead bullet or a copper plated bullet. There is also the issue of lead vapor to breathe if on an indoor range. Full copper plated bullets are a good idea for .357 loads instead of plain lead. Just depends on what kinds of loads you plan to shoot.

The.357 Magnum

* Bullseye, Unique and 2400 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders. Clays, Universal, HP38, HS6 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders. IMR TrailBoss are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No. 2, No. 5, No. 7, #2230, and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company WMR, 760, 748, 231, 296 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.
Note: Hodgdon as of 2009 controls IMR and Winchester Powders.

References: 2009 Hodgdon Website .357 Magnum loads Accurate Arms Co. 1996
Reloading booklet – – Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders’ Guide (1995) – – Hodgdon’s
Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) – – Speer Reloading Manual, #12 – – Winchester
Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition – – Lyman Piston & Revolver
Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. – – VihtaVuori Oy Company, reloading booklet
(1995) – – Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and
personal loads where noted.