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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gents....

I have 1894 CSS in 357 made in 2009 and cannot find a cast bullet load it likes. Plugged the barrel and it came out .356.
The bullets I have tried are all 158 gr. My cast Keith style SWC .3575, Rim Rock .358 RNFP and Dardas.359 RNFP. I have tried 473AA which works well in my 45ACP and 38 spl., Unique and 2400 which are the powders I have on hand and have good luck with for many years. Don't really want to switch to new powders.

The rifle shoots magnum loads with 13.0 gr. 2400 well using a Zero 158 gr jacketed bullets. Same load with any of the cast bullets is like shooting a shotgun.
Would like to find a 38 spl cast load for it as I have another Marlin with microgroove that shoots the magnum load very well and more accurate than the CSS.

I have attached pictures with loads of 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 gr of Unique. The CSS does shoot 9.0 gr of 2400 with the Zero jacketed the best.

I don't mind the extra cost of the jacketed bullets but have several hundred of each size of the RNFP cast I would like to shoot up.
Targets were shot at 50 yds with Weaver 1-3x20 on 3 power
photo 1(1).JPG photo 2(1).JPG photo 3.JPG
Any thoughts?

Mark
 

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What velocities were you getting with the cast loads?
 

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Try the Rim Rock .358 RNFP over 6-8gr HS-6 or 10gr H-4227.
The HS-6 Load Shoots Great in my 1894C w/ a Lee 158gr RNFP sized to .359.
Also Try Sizing your Boolits Down to .357-.358.
UncleSarge58
 

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.

What is the best load in the rifle with 357 cases and jacketed bullets? Then substitute the jacketed bullet for cast...everything else the same. A cast bullet in the jacketed load. The 357 and 38 Sp loads in a 1894 can be finicky..
 

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Definitely try the .358 diameter, AND if you want to try something really wild, ask Lucky13 bullets if they'll send you some 9mm(.38cal) 147gr LRN bullets that they oversize for .38's.
 

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I always have better luck with home cast. However, mine really just started shooting after fire lapping.
 

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When you go back and forth from jacketed and cast do you give the barrel a really good copper lead cleaning? Your barrels rifling could be fouled. Lead over copper fouling is double trouble.

Also pushing a cast bullet too fast for it's hardness will cause leading.

Do you know the BHN of your bullets? Do they have gas checks? Are you staying within the velocity the bullets alloy can handle without leading?

Do you use a chrony or go from load books on velocity? Is it handgun data which will show less velocity than rifle.

So many variables....cover all the bases!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Gents....
I always clean the rifle between bullet types and fire a couple fouling rounds before testing loads.

The loads have not been chronographed but none of the 38 spl loads should be going fast enough to cause leading and I have never seen any after shooting them.

As stated in my post I have tried .358 and .359 RNFP and have also ran both through my saeco sizer die for my pistols that is .3575.

I know many folks here shoot cast bullets with decent groups but from the bullet sizes and powder charges I just sorta feel the dang rifle flat does not like them nor will shoot a decent group with them.

By the time I try a bunch of different powders, bullet brands and hardness to test I would probably be money ahead to give up and shoot jacketed bullets.

Mark
 

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I don't reload for .357 yet but once all my factory ammo is gone I will. The Magtech ammo I use shoots fantastic. On the box it claims 158 gr jacketed bullet moving 1233 fps from a 4" barrel. I am using a 24" barrel. I can only guess but im probably 1600 fps? I will chrony it next time.

The Alliant site doesn't have a lot of loads but I would check a loading table and go from low to almost max before ruling out the Unique and 2400. Maybe a slower powder? I would try IMR 4227 next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lever addict...
Those are charges for magnum loads.... I am trying to find a 38 spl load. I have tried magnum charges with 473AA, Unique and 2400 with cast bullets and it is like shooting a shotgun.

Both my microgroove and ballard shoot 158 gr Zero jacketed with 13.0 gr 2400 very well (2" group at 100 yds) but not with cast bullets.

Mark
 

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Still Say that Y'all Need to Try HS-6w/ Cast 158gr RNFP Boolits.
Especially if U R Lookin' for 38Special Velocities.
Either that or Go to Trail Boss. Both Are Very Accurate in my Rifle.
3-4gr TB or 6-8gr HS-6 Shoot to 3/4in @ 50yds & Just over 1.5in @75yds.
Also Shoot Great in my SAA Pistol.
IMHO 100yds is a Stretch for 38Spec.
US58
 

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malk415 - my '94/.357 was by far the most "challenging" rifle I've ever fed cast bullets. ANY 158 gr. SWC or lighter bullet (with or w/o GC) made groups that were better described as patterns at 50 yds. and darned lucky to hit the paper at 100. ANY 140 gr. and up JSP shot well; BUT I wanted a good cast bullet load.
I finally decided to "go heavy for caliber" and utilized the Saeco 180 gr. (#354 GC).
After all my testing, the best CAST bullet load has been the Saeco 180 gr. RNFP w/GC (sized .358"), 15.0 gr. of Lil'Gun, and either the Rem 6½ primer or the CCI 550, with OAL of 1.570". This load gives +/-1,675 fps. in my rifle and groups 1.5-2.0" @ 50 yds. and +/-2.5" at 100 yds. Your results may vary.
I hope this helps and good luck!
Skyhunter
 
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