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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been working with this bullet off and on for 40 years now in a variety of .357's of Ruger & Smith and Wesson make, but have never tried it though a rifle or carbine. That all changed several months ago when I acquired a Marlin 1894 CS. This gun was almost new as I received it and showed initial promise with both factory 158 jacketed bullets and some of my standard jacketed loads designed for handguns.

I slugged the bore and found it to be a fairly uniform 0.359". Initially I tried Herco and Unique matching them with Starline brass and Winchester Small Pistol Primers. I have both a Lyman 358156 gr dual cavity mold as well as an MP 358156 GC mold with two types of HP cavity pins. While I've found the MP mold of high quality, I've had some difficulty getting full fill out around the HP cavities, good enough for practice handgun loads but not for distance shooting with the Marlin. A variety of charges using Herco and Unique from mild to fairly robust has given me gps that run about 2" at 50 yds with a 2.5x scope mounted and shooting over the porch rail with just a fwd handguard rest.

Lyman's version of the old Thompson 358156 GC design throws bullets that mic right at 0.3595" when cast from an alloy of 1:2 Pb/WW and I size them in a 0.360" Lyman die and lube with White Label's 50/50 orange lube. While moderate loads using Herco or Unique showed promise at 50 yds, Ken Water's old load of 13.5 gr of 2400 are stellar indeed. Today's efforts, again off the porch rail, resulted in 1-1/4" gps for the first three rounds from a cold but fouled barrel. Continuing to shoot and allowing the barrel to heat in 85 degree heat resulted in less than a three inch group for 7 shots...all at 100 yds.

Here are the components: Lee dies with an RCBS taper crimp die for crimping, WSP caps, Starline brass, 13.5 gr of 2400, and the bullet sized to 0.360". That sizing does not scrape lead whatsoever but does lube the grooves and crimp the Hornady GC in place...an excellent load in this gun I'd say!! It's of note that I had my best groups with a taper crimp only. And by the way, a 0.360" sized bullet in Starline brass chambers OK in two Ruger BH's, and three S&W's, as well as the Marlin Carbine. Leading was not an issue in any of the handguns nor in the Carbine. I've experienced no bullet set back whatsoever with the use of a moderate taper crimp, a concern with any tubular magazine.

Further testing with a standard roll crimp will be tried as time permits. I have tried a roll crimp on the above load but only at shorter ranges up to 50 yds. Accuracy out to that distance hovered around an inch or a little better. Good, but not as nice as the taper crimped rounds.

Best Regards, Rod......as always work up your own combinations after consulting a GOOD manual and considering all the pressure implications..
 
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