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theranch

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Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #1 
With the ever growing popularity of this fine round, I think it would be nice to have a thread for people to list their Max's favorite load.  Please include barrel length and twist rate.

I have two 357 maxis....
-first is a 1:14 twist 20" barrel.  It is on a H & R frame.  Load it seems to like best (so far) is 26.5 grains of AA1680 and Hornady 180 g SP SSPB (about 1/2 MOA)

-Second one is also a 1:14 twist 18" barrel.  It likes 24 g of WW296 and 26.5 g of AA1680 pushing Hornady 180 g SP SSPB also...(3/4 MOA)

Have tried multiple loads with the 158 Remington JSP and cant get good groups out of either of my guns (nothing under 2") =-(....I will keep trying because I know its just a matter of time before I find a good load for this bullet....=-)


I have only been reloading for a couple of years, so have been learing quiet a bit here lately.  So, for those of you at the same (lack of) experience as me, I will jot down a couple things that seem to work for me.  Please feel free to use this thread to put down any secrets/findings that have helped you.
 
-First thing that really seems to be very important is to trim your brass to a consistant (square) length.
-Measure all your loads very carefully
-Ive had my best luck crimping bullets at cannelure
-run bore snake through barrel after each shot and give barrel a couple minutes to cool between shots.

PLEASE use this thread to share anything that you think may be helpful...
vernw

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Posts: 309
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm working with two Max's. One is a Contender Carbine for my dad. It has a 20" T/C Custom Shop standard contour barrel that David rechambered and added a muzzle brake to, I believe the twist is 15". That rifle likes the Hornady 180 gr SSP with 26.0 gr of 296 powder using a CCI-450 primer. Bullets are seated long (short of the cannelure) and taper crimped. Groups are usually 1/2-3/4" if the barrel is allowed to cool between shots and a dry boresnake is run down the barrel every three shots.

The second one is my H&R barrel stubbed rifle. It has David's standard heavy contour stainless 24" fluted barrel with a muzzle brake and a 1-20" twist. It likes the Hornady 140gr FTX bullets with 26.5 gr of 296 with a CCI BR primer. It too is seated longer than the cannelure and hence is taper crimped. Grouping is typically under 1/2" for 3 shots at 100 yards.

I have both rounds seated so the bullet is approx. .015" off the lands.

I, too, use the boresnake when shooting these rifles. Best groups are when running a dry snake down the barrel every shot or two, and running one with solvent down the barrel a couple of times every 6-10 shots and then firing a fouling shot before shooting groups.

Be forewarned - these loads work in my guns but may be too hot in yours. Since I have no control over your loading practices and components can vary from one lot to another, I have no responsibility if you try these loads in your gun. I strongly suggest decreasing the charges by 10% or more and gradually work up from there.

Hope this info helps someone.

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maddog69

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Vern,

I just bought Gaizy's rifle which David had built.
http://www.dandtcustomgunworks.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=5381129

I embedded a link above that hopefully takes you to a pic of the rifle. From reading your post, I believe you have the same barrel. How do you like the length and is the weight an issue when hunting? I was considering having David cut it back to 18 or 20 inches when he had time. I may decide the barrel is a non-issue when I receive it. Are you hunting with yours and have you tried any factory loads? And finally have you tried any of the 180gr bullets even though you have the 1-20 twist? Sorry for all the questions..

Robert


theranch

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Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #4 
Vern,
Thanks for the information
As you put at the end of the thread, please let me second that statement.  EVERYONE, This thread is just to give us 357 Max owners a place to compare notes.  NONE of these loads are guarnteed to be safe in every gun.  PLEASE start low and work your way up.  YOUR GUN will tell you when load is getting too hot.  As ALWAYS, BE SAFE!

Maddog,
Great pick up on that gun.  I was about a hour to late in snagging it.  I cant speak for the 25" barrel, but my 20" is perfect for me.  I plan on hunting with it 90% of the time this year in MS...

Take care!
Theranch
vernw

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Reply with quote  #5 
My barrel is fluted so I don't think it's too heavy. At least not for me. All I've shot much in mine are the 140 FTX reloads. Due to the slow twist I never tried 180 gr bullets. I seriously doubt they'd work very well. I did breifly try some 140 gr Generals and some 158 gr HP but they didn't shoot as well as the FTX did.
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theranch

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Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #6 
Well got to the range today for some more fun
Seems that my .357 Max (1:14 twist 20" barrel H&R Stub) likes 25 and 25.5 grains of AA1680 even better than it likes 26.5....25.5 grains of AA1680 is getting me a pretty consistant 2000 FPS

I have noticed in some of my loads that my FPS seem to have bigger spreads (up to 100FPS difference)  is this normal??? At 25.5 in my gun, the spread was pretty consistant around 10-15 fps... Is this difference in the barrel just liking that load better?  Or something to do with my reloading???? I use a digital scale for every load...TIA
markgarbin

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Reply with quote  #7 
I have a 26 inch 1:20 twist.  With 23.5 gr of W296, over the chrony I am getting 2400 fps with Speer 158 gr HP's.  Tight clover leaf shot groups at 100 yds too.
vernw

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Posts: 309
Reply with quote  #8 
Mark - that sounds lime a sweet load for your setup!

theranch - here's my two cent's worth on your chrono results....

Provided everything else is consistent (seating depth, bullet weight, case length, powder weight, crimp amount, etc.), velocity spreads are indicative of load efficiency for your barrel and chamber. The tighter the spread, the more consistent the load is going to shoot and more accurate I've found the load will shoot. Especially as you increase your yardage.

For loads that approach 100fps spreads, I'd start thinking there was an ignition problem. In that case I'd try a hotter primer, it sounds like those loads are not getting all the powder ignited the same every shot. Some powders, which 296 and H110 are well know for, often require magnum primers for consistent ignition. A lot of ball powders do. Just be sure to drop the powder charge a grain or two and work back up again because a hotter primer can actually increase your pressures, and hence velocity, too. When it does, I always figured that was proof that charge of that powder needed the hotter primer.

At least that's my way of thinking on the subject.

Bottom Line: I've always found this - the more consistent the velocity, the more consistent the load and the better the accuracy. I personally won't accept over a 20fps spread as an acceptable load for my own use. If it's more than that, I keep searching for a better load.

Hope this helps....

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theranch

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Reply with quote  #9 

thanks for the info Vern...

michaelric

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Reply with quote  #10 
Have 2 maxs. 1 is a factory H&R barrel rechambered and the other is one of 1and 14 twist 16 and 1/4 inch long barrel. Got lucking in both of them liking the same load. They like a 190gr. cast bullet and 22.5grs of w296. Anybody using this load please work up carefully.
Peanut

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Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #11 

Gentlemen I just got my hands on a .357 maxium 24" barrel std. taper 1/15twist rate. I'm trying to find a load that will work in the hornady reloading manuel. I'm having trouble finding the 180gr. ssp bullet #3505. How good do the hornady 180gr xtp #35771 bullets and the 158gr. xtp bullet #35780 and #35750 work with AA-1680 powder. Seems to me my research has everbody using that powder. Thanks  Michael MCCammon

vernw

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Posts: 309
Reply with quote  #12 
Don't rule out 296 powder, either. In my two guns it works better than the 1680. About 150-200 fps faster and 100 yard groups well under an inch. I do seat me rounds MUCH longer than the manuals suggest. I seat all of mine .010-.015" off the lands, which has the bullet cannelure well outside the case. The "normal" OAL specs don't really apply when you're shooting a single shot. At least that's my opinion....
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Deerhunter1

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Reply with quote  #13 

I have been using w296 with the 180 ssp bullet. just got some lil gun as it if correct is the powder used in 44mag ftx hornady ammo and it shoots good in my 44 so will try to duplicate it. that said does anyone have any max data with this powder and bullet combo in the max. thanks

Peanut

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Reply with quote  #14 

Hello Deerhunter1, Peanut here on this end. This is the load i worked up for my .357maximum. Powder -AA1680, Powder charge or wt.27.0 grains, primer-remington 7 1/2 sm-br, Bullet-Hornady 180 grain SSP bullet #3505. I can seat my bullets out long my chamber was done by Mike Bellm of Bellms T/Cs. Go to his web site for more info on the .357 maximum. My barrrel is a bergara barrel. Michael MCCammon alias PEANUT

MartyK

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Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #15 
Does anyone have any experience with IMR-4227 in a Max rifle with Horn 180 SSP. I was playing with my load computer program and it looked primising.

Thanks,

MartyK
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