Filler OK in 357 rifle loads?

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  • Last Post 29 March 2017
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max503 posted this 18 March 2017

I've been loading for my 357 Handi Rifle recently and I'm wondering if it is advisable to use case fillers.  Seems that some people use Cream of Wheat as an abrasive to clean out lead.  I thought about trying that, or, I do have some shot buffer powder. 

I've been loading various weight bullets from 105 to 175 grains.  Mostly swc's.  Some very light loads.  These are the ones I would use with fillers.

Opinions?

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R. Dupraz posted this 18 March 2017

 I have loaded and shot many many .357M loads through revolvers and rifles since the sixties and have never  nor will I ever see any need for fillers. Accuracy has always come by adjusting the powders, bullets or loading techniques.

Ed Harris posted this 18 March 2017

If your loads are leading your bullets are probably both too hard and undersized.  Try softer alloy, with a soft lube and fatter bullets. A filler should not be necessary.  

If you are getting erratic velocities then the powder you are trying to use is unsuited for the loading conditions.

For subsonic loads in my .357 rifles I load 4.0-4.2 grains of Bullseye with 180-200-grain bullets cast 8-10 BHN, lubricated with Lee Liquid Alox and seated out.  They are accurate at 100 yards and don't need a filler. 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

GP Idaho posted this 18 March 2017

Max503;  From your handle I'm wondering if you're talking 357max or 357mag. If it's 357mag and subsonic is what you're looking for I've had good results with the Saeco #352 mould sized .358 powder coated seated out to contact the rifling of my Handi 357mag. This over 4gr Unique is in the upper 800s fps and 4.5gr Unique is still well under sonic. The bullet weighs 240gr coated.  I've never thought fillers to be a good idea in such cases. JMHO  Gp

onondaga posted this 18 March 2017

Max503,

Handi Rifles are the easiest firearm to check cast bullet fit. First be aware that bullet fit and alloy selection are what controls leading.  Light loads in .357 need no harder lead than  the PSI of your load equaling the psi ultimate strength  of your bullets. If you can't figure that out, you need to learn how to for cast bullet shooting in any caliber.  To check the fit in your Handi:

Make a dummy load with the front driving band of the bullet exposed. Apply machinist indicator ink or magic marker to the exposed band. Chamber the dummy round. You should feel the bullet sliding in on chambering and the ink should be disturbed from sliding. That is the perfect fit. Any less fit increases leading and decreases accuracy potential in cast bullets. Don't ignore this basic principle of cast bullet shooting, it isn't a myth. Following the principle makes cast bullets shoot cleaner than jacketed bullets unless your barrel really stinks and is rough. Handi Rifle barrels are usually pretty good but polishing also helps. If your bore is not shiny it will lead less and clean easier with a shiny barrel. Try my Bore Polishing Method from the Accuracy section of the forum:

http://castbulletassoc.org/forum/thread/8364-my-bore-polish-method-to-shoot-better/

 

It is the easiest on a Handi and works great for cast bullet shooting. Just make no substitutions and take no shortcuts from the method. Read all the comments on the method and you can easily proceed with confidence.

 

 

Gary

onondaga posted this 18 March 2017

Max503,

Fillers are unnecessary when recommended loads are used. Read the Hodgdon description of their H Titegroup. That powder is specifically engineered for small charges in large capacity cases and has Hodgdon's most excellent results for ignition in those applications. Hodgdon specifically lists data for a 158 gr Lead Semi Wad Cutter RIFLE load with Titegroup but the START loads for all the bullet weights listed for jacketed bullets are fine for cast bullets of similar weight using H Titegroup..Verify the .357 rifle loads at:

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/

The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook #4 also has plenty of cast loads for .357 rifle, Note that Lyman recommends BHN15 #2 alloy or BHN15 hardball pistol for all .357 cast loads. You need that bullet strength to match the loads.

 

Gary

 

max503 posted this 25 March 2017

Max503;  From your handle I'm wondering if you're talking 357max or 357mag. If it's 357mag and subsonic is what you're looking for I've had good results with the Saeco #352 mould sized .358 powder coated seated out to contact the rifling of my Handi 357mag. This over 4gr Unique is in the upper 800s fps and 4.5gr Unique is still well under sonic. The bullet weighs 240gr coated.  I've never thought fillers to be a good idea in such cases. JMHO  Gp

 

It's a 357 mag.  A while back I bought some 357 max brass with the idea that I would measure the chamber then trim some of the 357 max brass down just enough to allow seating bullets into the rifling.  Haven't got around to that yet.

How should I go about trimming the 357 max brass? 

GP Idaho posted this 26 March 2017

Max: That's how I started out with my 357mag Handi (cutting down Max brass)  Then I went to 360 Dan Wesson brass. It's not as expensive as the max brass and easier to find. Others are loading it as is and it's working for them. I trim mine about .010 to even them up. Gp

Ps. The chamber on my Handi  brass up to the end of chamber is 1.408

Dirtybore posted this 29 March 2017

I've used fillers but that use was in rifles using medium burning powders only.   That previous statement was very important.   I'd never use a filler with fast pistol powders due to it's fast burn rate and fast presume jump.  The only pistols I've ever used a filler in is the black powder revolvers but that's a whole different situation.

I suppose fillers have worked in pistol cartridge rifles but in any case, using a filler isn't done for bore cleaning purposes.  It's normally done to stop gas cutting of the bullet.  It's much like having a super sized gas check.  As a side benefit, it does tend to clean the bore but that;s never it's main purpose.  

 

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