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Reloading The .357 Remington Maximum



photo © MDS - 2009
L to R, .38 special, .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum

This is the monster long round that is longer and badder than the .357 Magnum. Came out in early 80's. The case length is 1.605" and will only chamber in .38 caliber guns that are made for it. Ruger made a Blackhawk starting around 1983 for a couple of years in this caliber and then discontinued it. There are some contender barrels for this caliber and a sprinkling of others that were made in the past. You will see loads for bullets up to 255 grains. These heaviest bullets are for contender barrels only. I have read that this caliber is really for heavy bullets, and certainly a super hot load with a 110 to 125 grain jacketed bullet, is not what this caliber was intended for. The light bullets are not very stable. There have been reports of the hot loads gas cutting the top strap of the Ruger Blackhawk and because of the original specs on the revolver. I can not document this discussion. It's presented FYI only. Use lead bullets with gas checks for hot loads. For mild plinking loads, use .38 special cases & .38 special loads and save the big cases for serious work.

DIES: Since it's the same caliber as .38 special and .357 mag, you can use even your .38 special dies to reload this round. (.357 mag dies are better) You just can't full length resize the case (only what will fit in the resizing die), and adjust the primer decap pin. In the other dies, you just move them out until the bell, seat and crimp dies work as you would with the shorter cases.

(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 Maximum:

(Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullets are .357" for jacketed and .358" for lead in diameter. Some loads use bullets of .358 for jacketed and .359 for lead. 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.


(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) ----------------------------------------- 125 grain JHP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point) Blue Dot 13.6 gr. 1,665 FPS Blue Dot 14.9 gr. 1,852 Max 2400 18.6 gr. 1,804 2400 20.4 gr. 2,071 max W-296 26.0 gr. 2,219 W-296 28.0 gr. 2,377 max H-4227 25.0 gr. 1,968 H-4227 27.0 gr. 2,126 max H-110 27.5 gr. 2,014 H-110 28.5 gr. 2,163 ----------------------------------------- 158 grain LRN (GC suggested) 2400 14.0 gr. 1,577 H-4227 20.0 gr. 1,702 Unique 6.0 gr. ~ ~ plinker Unique 7.0 gr. ~ ~ plinker ----------------------------------------- 158 grain JHP, XTP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point) 2400 16.4 gr. 1,596 2400 17.8 gr. 1,772 near max 2400 18.2 gr. 1,861 MAX 2400 18.0 gr. 1,443 in revolver 7.5" Hi=1465, Lo=1423, ES=41.4 2400 18.0 gr. 1,761 in Contender 14" Hi=1801, Lo=1742, ES=58.7 Lil'Gun 23.0 gr. 1,722 max Lil'Gun 22.6 gr. 1,624 in revolver 7.5" Hi=1649, Lo=1595, ES=54.4 Lil'Gun 22.6 gr. 1,961 in Contender 14" Hi=2035, Lo=1874, ES=160.4 W-296 *17.5 gr. 1,622 *NOTE, IN A .357 MAGNUM CASE, THIS LOAD ONLY. W-296 21.5 gr. 1,883 W-296 23.4 gr. 2,037 max 5744 21.0 gr. 1,825 max 5744 20.5 gr. 1,345 in revolver 7.5" Hi=1380, Lo=1322, ES=57.7 5744 20.5 gr. 1,597 in Contender 14" Hi=1632, Lo=1560, ES=72.0 H-4227 20.8 gr. 1,592 near max H-4227 21.9 gr. 1,712 Max H-110 & W296 22.0 gr. 1,894 start H-110 & W296 23.5 gr. 2,048 max Enforcer 14.5 gr. 1,531 Enforcer 17.7 gr. 1,751 max ----------------------------------------- 160 grain JSP (Jacketed Soft Point) 2400 15.6 gr. 1,582 2400 17.3 gr. 1,754 max H-4227 20.3 gr. 1,685 H-4227 22.5 gr. 1,814 max H-110 22.0 gr. 1,643 H-110 24.0 gr. 1,886 max ----------------------------------------- 170 grain JSP or FMJ 5744 20.5 gr. 1,772 max 2400 14.8 gr. 1,587 2400 16.5 gr. 1,652 max H-110 20.5 gr. 1,659 H-110 22.3 gr. 1,892 max H-4227 19.0 gr. 1,638 H-4227 21.0 gr. 1,748 max Enforcer 14.4 gr. 1,516 Enforcer 16.6 gr. 1,667 max ----------------------------------------- 180 grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) W-296 18.5 gr. 1,567 W-296 19.0 gr. 1,670 (max in 2006 manual)46,900 CUP 2400 14.5 gr. 1,437 (Old 1995 Speer book) 2400 19.0 gr. 1,442 2400 19.5 gr. 1,468 2400 20.0 gr. 1,520 max (beyond max in some books) H-110 18.5 gr. 1,544 H-110 20.5 gr. 1,692 max H-4227 18.0 gr. 1,551 H-4227 20.0 gr. 1,645 max 5744 18.5 gr. 1,440 5744 20.5 gr. 1,765 max Enforcer 13.6 gr. 1,390 (Nosler Partition Bullet) Enforcer 15.7 gr. 1,571 max Enforcer 13.4 gr. 1,398 (Sierra jacketed FP) Enforcer 15.5 gr. 1,572 max ----------------------------------------- 187 grain LFP+GC (lead with gas check 2400 17.0 gr. 1,452 in revolver 7.5" Hi=1483, Lo=1398, ES=85.4 2400 17.0 gr. 1,702 in Contender 14" Hi=1721, Lo=1683, ES=38.1 5744 17.8 gr. 1,243 in revolver 7.5" Hi=1266, Lo=1206, ES=59.7 5744 17.8 gr. 1,961 in Contender 14"" Hi=2035, Lo=1874, ES=160.4 Lil'Gun 20.5 gr. 1,517 in revolver 7.5" Hi=1546, Lo=1504, ES=42.0 Lil'Gun 20.5 gr. 1,901 in Contender 14"" Hi=1935, Lo=1862, ES=73.5 TrailBoss 7.8 gr. 881 in revolver 7.5" Hi=893.7, Lo=861.1, ES=32.6 TrailBoss 7.8 gr. 1,002 in Contender 14"" Hi=1011, Lo=993.4, ES=18.3 ----------------------------------------- 200 grain Sierra RN W-296 16.0 gr. 1,213 start (Speer book 1995) W-296 19.9 gr. 1,300 W-296 21.2 gr. 1,350 (careful with these)(beyond max in some books) W-296 22.3 gr. 1,400 max-max (careful-not verified) H-110 18.0 gr. 1,411 H-110 20.0 gr. 1,604 max H-4227 16.0 gr. 1,280 H-4227 18.0 gr. 1,440 max 5744 18.0 gr. 1,497 max Unique 10.0 gr. 1,150 Unique 12.0 gr. 1,402 max W-680 25.0 gr. 1,688 RL-7 24.9 gr. 1,308 2400 15.0 gr. 1,495 near max ----------------------------------------- 210 grain RN GC (Gas Check Lead) 5744 17.0 gr. 1,518 max W-296 18.0 gr. 1,541 W-296 19.0 gr. 1,602 max ----------------------------------------- 215 grain RN GC (Gas Check Lead) W-296 19.0 gr. 1,686 (different measurements) W-296 19.8 gr. 1,432 max ----------------------------------------- 220 grain Speer FN SP H-110 16.5 gr. 1,332 H-110 18.5 gr. 1,538 max W-296 16.0 gr. 1,310 W-296 18.0 gr. 1,497 max 2400 13.0 gr. 1,190 2400 15.0 gr. 1,360 max IMR-4227 16.5 gr. 1,251 IMR-4227 18.4 gr. 1,421 max ----------------------------------------- 250* grain Hornady SP (Contender only) W-296 17.5 gr. 1,334 W-296 19.2 gr. 1,462 max W-296 21.0 gr. 1,520 max (VERY careful with this one) H-4227 18.0 gr. 1,359 RL-7 24.9 gr. 1,521 ----------------------------------------- 255* grain RN GC (Gas Check Lead)(Contender only) W-296 20.0 gr. 1,610 W-296 20.5 gr. 1,647 max (Caution) RL-7 24.0 gr. 1,582 max * Loads NOT tested or verified. Be VERY careful -----------------------------------------
Discussion: This caliber was meant for bullets in the 180 to 200 grain weight category. I would not use less than a 158 grain bullet. The really heavy (and long) ones are for contender barrels, because seated properly, will stick out too far for a revolver chamber. Some of the load info is from the 80's and some more current. That's why you will see some loads in conflict with others in the same bullet weight category.

I use Hodgdon's "Lil'Gun" in my .460 and .500 S&W magnum pistols, and it should be well suited for the heavy bullets in this magnum round. I intend to do further testing with big bullets and Lil'Gun and will post on site when I have data. (7-3-09)

*
Bullseye, Unique and 2400 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
H-4227, Universal, HS6, Lil'Gun are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company is now owned by Hodgdon (2009).
No. 2, No. 5, No. 7, #5744, #2230, and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WMR, W-296, 760, 748, 231, 296 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div. (also owned by Hodgdon 2009)

References: Powder companies Web sites of 2009
Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet - - Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders' Guide (1995) - - Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual (1996)&(2006) - - 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.

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This page created on 7/2/09 by M.D. Smith and last modified on March 27, 2011 ©