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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to work up some .357 lead bullet loads for my 1894c but not having much luck. What's working for you guys? I have a new rifle with Ballard rifling.
 

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Your bullets need to be oversized, .359 or .360 diameter. Plain base bullets will work fine at CAS velocities of around 1000 fps, but you are going to need a gas checked bullet for anything approaching full .357 Magnum velocities.

Here's good data for plain based bullets. Your best bet is probably 180 grain bullets.

http://www.gmdr.com/lever/lowveldata.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
imashooter2 said:
What are you trying for... Light plinking loads or heavy magnum loads?
I'm shooting for the heaviest loads I can with plain base bullets. I have a batch of Laser Cast 180gr, and tried several loads from 14.0gr of Lil'Gun on up to a max of 15.0. They work OK in my 6" pistol but suck in the rifle. Not a lot of leading but terrible accuracy. I figured Lil' Gun would be too much "oomfff" for lead bullets, but I already had it on the bench and figured I would give it a try anyway.
 

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pdufren said:
imashooter2 said:
What are you trying for... Light plinking loads or heavy magnum loads?
I'm shooting for the heaviest loads I can with plain base bullets. I have a batch of Laser Cast 180gr, and tried several loads from 14.0gr of Lil'Gun on up to a max of 15.0. They work OK in my 6" pistol but suck in the rifle. Not a lot of leading but terrible accuracy. I figured Lil' Gun would be too much "oomfff" for lead bullets, but I already had it on the bench and figured I would give it a try anyway.
Now I recognize the name... You posted this question over on the 1911 Forum too. Well, I've already given my experiences with Lil' Gun and 180 grain bevel base bullets pushed hard. I have had great results from 180 grain gas checked bullets, but you may as well buy jacketed for the store bought price they command. I have had fair performance from 158 grain RNFP bevel base bullets driven by mid range charges of Blue Dot for about 1300 fps. Start with 8.5 grains and move up to 10.0 max if you can still get groups.

Beartooth bullets will sell you lead sized to .359, .3595 or .360. But once again you are in the "may as well buy jacketed" price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice imashooter2. I should have recognized your handle from the 1911forum. My results for the 180s were identical to yours. I'm really disapointed that they didn't work with the Lil' Gun. It would have been nice if it had worked since I alreay had both on hand.

I have tried 158LSWC LaserCasts with 3.8gr of Titegroup in .38SPCL cases(my standard pistol load) with disapointing results in the rifle also. I'm wondering if the LaserCasts are just too hard? I'll experiment with a different brand of cast bullet with your charge recommendations and the info on the web site recomended by leftoverdj. I'll also try the 180s with some Titegroup since I already have it on hand.
 

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pdufren said:
Leftoverdj said:
Your bullets need to be oversized, .359 or .360 diameter.
Any recomendations on a supplier of .359 or .360 bullets?
I got disgusted with commercial cast bullets a good 25 years ago and have cast my own since.
 

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pdufren,
The only, repeat, only cast bullet that I ever got to shoot with very acceptable accuracy (M.O.A. or slightly larger) at 100 yards is the Lyman 358429.
This bullet, cast from 2-1 (ww-#2), has a base that measured 0.359”+ and the driving bands measure in at 0.358”±. I use 2400 or SR-4759 and CCI-500 primers. Velocity is not blistering and ranges from 1470 fps to 1554 fps. I need no other bullet than this 358429 for my Marlin and several 38/357 handguns. A dang good shooter all around. Good-luck…BCB
 

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A frustration no doubt, but if you follow some rules, you can learn to deal with the 1894C

Bulk lead bullets=mediocre accuracy. STAY BELOW 1100fps. Do not use anything below 158gr.

Any slow pistol powders in any dose = must use gas checks or jacketed.

Slow pistol powders in a carbine push velocity way above what you get in your GP. This is not a reflection of the gun quality, but rather a reflection of its increased ability to achieve more velocity.

I bought a 180gr. gas checked round flat nose from Mountain Molds. That bullet with 16.5gr. of Lil Gun or 16gr. of H110 will send that big bullet down the tube at 1800 plus. If you are wanting more velocity, you simply must buy the right bullet or make it yourself. I size to .359, and would do the .360 if I had it available. My accuracy is acceptable, but not in the league of my other longer receiver Marlins.

My solution with my bulk buy cast bullets was to melt them down into real bullets!

If I didn't cast, I would use 158gr. softpoints. They can be driven over 1800fps or more slowly, and seem to give the accuracy I need. The bulk buy cast are plinkers at best.
 

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Dr. A said:
A frustration no doubt, but if you follow some rules, you can learn to deal with the 1894C

Bulk lead bullets=mediocre accuracy. STAY BELOW 1100fps. Do not use anything below 158gr.

Any slow pistol powders in any dose = must use gas checks or jacketed.

Slow pistol powders in a carbine push velocity way above what you get in your GP. This is not a reflection of the gun quality, but rather a reflection of its increased ability to achieve more velocity.

I bought a 180gr. gas checked round flat nose from Mountain Molds. That bullet with 16.5gr. of Lil Gun or 16gr. of H110 will send that big bullet down the tube at 1800 plus. If you are wanting more velocity, you simply must buy the right bullet or make it yourself. I size to .359, and would do the .360 if I had it available. My accuracy is acceptable, but not in the league of my other longer receiver Marlins.

My solution with my bulk buy cast bullets was to melt them down into real bullets!

If I didn't cast, I would use 158gr. softpoints. They can be driven over 1800fps or more slowly, and seem to give the accuracy I need. The bulk buy cast are plinkers at best.
Doc, could not have said it better myself. Only point I disagree with you on is that I prefer the Rem bulk 180 JHP in carbines to any 158.

A rather surprising number of people have had custom moulds made for very similar 180 RFGCs, and they all seem happy. Jeff223 is shipping a group buy of custom Lee six holers right now. I was in on an earlier buy and am getting about 2 MOA from a Maxed Handi at right around 2000 fps with water quenched WW.
 

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DJ,

I've really enjoyed my Buffalo Classic. Is the 357 not made anymore? I have thought about that... :wink:
 
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I have a Lyman mold for a 215 grain gascheck semi wadcutter that shoots well in my 1894CB and 1894P. Only problem is the nose is a bit long and to get them to function thru the action you have to seat deeper then the crimping groove or trim the cases extra short :? But it seems to be a pretty accurate bullet in my 2 rifles. Also the 180 grain Nosler Partition bullet shoots really well in the 1894P.
 

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Dr A, NEF is not making .357 rifles any more, but they do sometimes have .357 accessory barrels.
 

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For what it's worth, I have just begun to reload for .357 and have asked for some experience in loading with Trail Boss initially. (Because I have it lying around for my 45 colt Taurus).

My experience with store bought ammo (until now) was that anything less than 158gr in my 1894C didn't group very well. These were all jacketed bullets since the micro groove rifling doesn't seem to behave well with plain lead bullets.

I hope to duplicate loads for my 1894C that I am getting from Sellier & Bellot 158gr SJSP rounds. They are pretty fast and very accurate. Essentialy straight shooters all the way from 35 yards to 100 yards. I don't have to compensate for distance up to 100 yards at all. The Rem (180gr SJHP) and Federal (180gr HC lead) rounds I bought for hunting are just as accurate but seem to drop an inch or so at 100 yards. The Remingtons seem to be a bit more accurate than the Federal lead only rounds though.

My $.02.

Jeff
 

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NailGun:

Was this group made with an 1894C? ...Microgroove or Ballard? .38 Spec. or .357 brass?

Interesting group.
 

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NailGun:

Thanks, looks like a real useful plinking and small game load for the 1894C. I'm going to try it!
 

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Great Low Cost Plinking Load for .357 : 158gr Lee Cast LSWC over 6gr HS-6 w/ Fed S.P. Primers.
Produces Approx 1000fps in my in 1894CS w/ 1in groups @ 50yds.
 
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