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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm toying with the idea of working up a load using 180 gr cast RNFP for my 1894, but I'm wondering if I'll see any advantage over my 158 gr rounds. Doing some calculations using the Taylor Knock Out formula the 180 gr actually has less power than the 158 due to it's decreased velocity, do these numbers have any merit?
Perhaps someone with some real world experience can steeer me in the right direction.My hunting work is done at short ranges in heavey cover, so trajectory isn't a problem. I plan on using this round for deer and maybe pigs in the future.
Thanks.
GH1:)
 

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Seems like the 180s, traveling at a slightly lower speed at short ranges, would deliver more energy.

I'm on my phone at moment, but I do have Strelock on this phone so I could run the numbers if I had velocities. I can do that when I get home.

I've actually run a batch or two of 180s. I cannot remember if anyone in my family has used them to take a whitetail ... I think my Son may have. I'll still have that recipe ... plus I've probably got a couple of boxes stashed away somewhere.

I must have loaded them for a reason but I'll have to get home and check my notes. I'm sure I've chronied a few.

I'll get back to you.

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I'm looking forward to seeing real world data on this topic myself. My son just bought a Ruger M77/357 and we're toying with the idea of loading "heavier" bullets for the 1:16 twist barrel.


JD
 
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I have loaded the Ranch Dog 359-175 RFGC bullets for my 1894C and 1894CBL. Using WW metal with 2% tin I get no leading and super groups with 13.5 grains of Alliant 2400 powder and a standard small pistol primer. The 1894C with 18.5" barrel shoots them @ 1616 fps and the 1894CBL with 24" barrel does 1638 fps. My alloy produces a bullet weighing 179 grains lubed and gas checked. I have gotten higher velocities with powders such as WW296, H110, and LILGUN, but the accuracy could not compare to Alliant 2400, so that's been my go to powder. I also have had great luck with the Lyman 358156 SWCGC bullet and the LEE C358-158 SWCGC bullet. My alloy produces bullets weighing 164 grains lubed and gas checked from both molds. For these bullets my testing has me using 15.0 grains of ACC#9 with standard small pistol primers. Speeds are 1780 fps from the 1894C and just a tick over 1800 fps with the CBL. From my 4" S&W 19-4, either bullet shoots fantastic groups @ 1368 fps.

My 1894C shoots a wee bit better with the 164 grain bullets but my CBL prefers the 179 grain Ranch Dog bullets. I'm happy with either load, and use whatever each rifle prefers.

My general walk about load when I'm woods loafing is the Lyman plain base 358477 SWC which weighs 154 grains with my alloy. Loaded over 5.0 grains of Bullseye my speeds are 1018 fps from the S&W 19-4 and 1228 fps from the 1894C. A really pleasant load in both with hardly any recoil yet powerful enough to handle any situation I might find myself getting into.

The Marlin .357 Magnum lever actions has proven to be a most versatile firearm, especially when teamed with a handgun of the same chambering. Easy to load for, economical to shoot with either low velocity loadings or high velocity loads capable of putting deer down for the count. Since I cast my own lead bullets, it is an even more viable choice especially since the same loads work equally well in either handgun or rifle.

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I load the ranch dog 190 TL C. I shoot it in a C, CP, and CB. Loaded with H 110. Accurate and works good on critters.

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Here's a muzzle energy calculator. Punch in the weight and velocity. Bullet Energy Calculator | Ballistics101.com

I've loaded and shot 125g through 180g with my Henry .357. The best velocity/accuracy has been with Hornady XTPs, and I haven't had cast bullets match the accuracy of plated or jacketed. I'm waiting for Hornady flat point 180g XTPs to come back in production so I can try those.
 

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Have had the experience of using .35 cal bullets and 000 buck that did not expand, thou the hits were good and penetration was complete. Blood trailing thru thick brush was difficult and time consuming, due to the sparse blood trail . All to frequently the hide slips over the .35 holes, and the blood just doesn't really get out. The deer were located, and some folks will say, well dead is dead so the bullet worked. Much prefer a large exit wound and associated blood trail. I do not consider the .35 a big bore, and would opt for use of a SP/JHP jacketed or a relatively soft lead alloy that is going to offer expansion and complete penetration over a hard or heat treated bullet for deer. If I lacked the ability or time to cast the bullets and test them in comparison to jacketed bullets, would research tests/field reports of jacketed bullets and select one appearing to offer expansion and penetration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
According to the M.E. calculator I'll have to get 1700 FPS before I realize an increase in energy. Not sure if I can get that using AA#9.
GH1:)
 

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Have had the experience of using .35 cal bullets and 000 buck that did not expand....

I do not consider the .35 a big bore, and would opt for use of a SP/JHP jacketed or a relatively soft lead alloy ...
000 & 35 are apples & uranges Brother.

Your the first I've ever met claim 35 is not big bore (rifle). Heck, I've always considered .338 and larger to be big bore. .270-.308 medium bore

I do agree though, that sweet spot before leading but still soft enough to mushroom would be ideal.


According to the M.E. calculator I'll have to get 1700 FPS before I realize an increase in energy. Not sure if I can get that using AA#9.
GH1:)
If that's the case I wouldn't even go there, wouldn't even bother were I you friend. But for some reason ... something is not computing in my nugget. Are you sure you are using rifle barrel lengths for your data?



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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The calculator uses weight and velocity to determine energy. My current load pushes a 158 gr bullet 1775 FPS. I still can't help but wonder if there isn't more to the story though, that's why I was hoping someone could offer some real world advice. I know better than to rely solely on numbers. The folks at Accurate advise loads between 10.4 and 11.6 for velocities of 1008 and 1145, respectively. Using the muzzle energy calculator the 180 gr bullet will actually provide less energy than a 158 gr bullet.
However, I also know people have used as much as 15 gr under a 180 gr bullet but I have no idea on velocity or pressure involved. I guess I'll have to do more research on this topic.
GH1:)
 

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According to the M.E. calculator I'll have to get 1700 FPS before I realize an increase in energy. Not sure if I can get that using AA#9.
GH1:)
I once shot a deer with a 180 grain cast bullet that left the muzzle @1680 fps.
The deer looked at me and said "Ha! Your bullet did not have sufficient ... energy ... or ... expansion ... to ... " :vollkommenauf: As he keeled over.

J/K, but either load will do the trick at short range.

How much powder in your 1775 fps 158 gr load? I'm guessing it is over the max listed on Accurate's load data site. I'm using 13.2 grains (slightly over max) with 158 cast and, while I haven't chronographed the load, back of the envelope calculations suggest I'm getting in the neighborhood of 1650-1700 fps from my 20" Rossi '92.

The velocity you quoted for the 180 grain load was from a 6" barrel and within Accurate's conservative published maximum charge. Comparing that to your results from your 1894 is an apples to oranges comparison. You should not see such a huge discrepancy in velocity between 158 and 180 gr bullets loaded to similar pressures with the same powder and fired from the same rifle. For a better idea how these loads will stack up, compare Accurate's results for both bullet weights in the 6" barrel.

158 (L)
LC SWC
(start) 11.2gr (vel) 1,104
(max) 12.4
(vel) 1,255 (press) 32,214


180 (L)CP WFNGC
(start) 10.4 (vel) 1,008
(max) 11.6 (vel) 1,145 (press) 31,356

This represents a mere 6% drop in muzzle energy. The difference in energy you will get when you develop comparable loads for your your 1894 should be similar. In theory, some of that will be recouped in improved retained energy downrange for the heavier bullet, but all these differences are negligible.

I'd say develop loads in both weights and see which is more accurate. With proper shot placement, either one will do the trick.
 

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Using the muzzle energy calculator the 180 gr bullet will actually provide less energy than a 158 gr bullet.
However, I also know people have used as much as 15 gr under a 180 gr bullet but I have no idea on velocity or pressure involved. I guess I'll have to do more research on this topic.
GH1:)
Be careful with that 15gr if you are using AA#9. At the SAAMI length Hornady lists 10.2gr as max. If you use the lower groove, you can get quite a bit more in the round safely, but OAL is way past 1.590", and would not chamber in most rifles. I use a 100% load density with the lower band with 2400 and W296, and that works well in my NM Blackhawk, but it's way long in my 77/357.

When you are calculating energy, (KE), speed tops weight every time. It doesn't mean a lot when you pull the trigger.

One of the issues I've had with my 77/357 is it doesn't really shoot well enough with lighter bullets to use the extra speed. Below 140gr, groups open up a lot on the loads I've tried so far. 140/158gr bullets shoot quite well, and out to 100yds have the accuracy and energy to get deer on the ground with a well placed shot. The 180's in my rifle are hard put to crack 1400fps with 2400 or W296 with max listed loads, that operate smoothly from the magazine. I'm sure they would kill deer well, flat shooting, they are not.

All in all, the guys that developed the .357 went with a 158gr bullet as the best balance of velocity and penetration. I suspect from my own collection of .357's, they knew what they were doing.
 

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Doing some calculations using the Taylor Knock Out formula the 180 gr actually has less power than the 158 due to it's decreased velocity
Running my loads through the Pointblank program I find just the opposite.....15.1 for the 158 grain and 15.8 for the 180 grain. Almost the same as the formula goes but on the other hand I personally find the TKO factor useless. You're getting some advice on the 357 mag using revolver data criteria. The 357 mag from a rifle is a totally different ball game than when fired from a revolver. The reason a lot of people, including myself us a 180-190 gran cast slug when hunting something like hogs is because it penetrates deeper and does more damage to the vitals. More energy with less penetration does not always get the job done. Simply put...the heavier bullet is harder to stop and drives deeper. Least ways that's the way I see it and my experience.

A 158 grain slug will get the job done on a deer with a broadside shot but it sometimes fails from a less than perfect angle. At the distance of 100 yards the 357 mag is normally used and sighted at, using a 180 grain Hornady XTP/JHP as a example, ahead of 13.5 grains of H110, there is only a maximum of a 1.7 inch rise of the bullet from muzzle to target so how much flat shooting does one need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lotsa good info, thanks for the replies everybody. The info I got from Accurate advised me adding 325 FPS for a rifle, so I took that into account when I did my figuring. The 13.5 gr load I use cam from my Lyman 49 manual, and while it's a little more than what Accurate recomend it's with the range specified by Lyman. Long range performance isn't really an issue for me, since all my hunting is done in heavily wooded, rugged terrain. 50 yards is a long shot, 25 or less is more the norm.
I think I'm going to stick with the RNFP 158 gr rounds that I've been using, the RNFP seems to shoot better than the SWC profile, for whatever reason. It seems to me there won't be any real world advantage to the heavier round, so why waste time developing it ? My time will be better spent experimenting with loads to tighten my groups up and practicing.
Thanks again everyone.

GH1:)
 

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"time will be better spent experimenting with loads to tighten my groups up and practicing".

Now that sounds like a good plan of action. I could use a little bit of that myself.
..
 

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The only deer taken with a 357 I have witnessed, or performed autopsies on, is with 180gr bullets. It seems like they were 180gr Remington jacketed hollow points but I'm not sure. I have a couple boxes of those Remington rounds and Federal's 180HC lead factory ammo. The deer harvested may have been with both since I know they both shoot to the same POI. Never shot 158gr bullets at a deer so I can't compare.

The 180's do fly slower but I wonder if the greater weight will provide a smidgeon more penetration potential since they are heavier, which should equate to harder to slow down at the time of impact. The "PJ Load" with 158SJHP exits the barrel of my wife's 1894C about 150-175fps faster than the factory 180gr slugs but at the distances we hunt deer the extra velocity and slightly flatter trajectory of the lighter bullet is inconsequential. Either weight should be sufficient if they are loaded to a good velocity, with good construction, and are put where the best damage is done. Boiler room, boiler room, boiler room. :biggrin:
 
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