Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

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K-Texas
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#16

Post by K-Texas » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:29 pm

Stay tuned in kids! I was want to tell you all that a window to shoot could occur today. I just couldn't be sure, beforehand.

Hey, this is Texas, and about as informative as I can be is to say that we beat the forecast from the NWS, about 90 miles WSW of us in San Angelo, to get the important stuff done with a wind prediction of 15 - 25 MPH.

Unfortunately, it might take me a couple days to post the evidentiary pics. I don't even have a clue as to who's still tuned in at this point, but I think I mentioned that this will become a thread for the Western Powders blog.

So, if it appears that no one's interested, I'll just post a link later. What I'd like to ask you to remember is that the load that I decided on, does not exist. So, to get this beyond ego I will say that it's about trust. My trust of a pistol powder I hold in higher esteem than any other. But hey, no one's paying for my opinions, and I ain't looking to become a commercial success on YouTube.

More than anything else, I'd like to hope that I can still teach handloaders, whom really want to be taught. I extrapolated the powder charge by studying the pressure characteristics of at least 4 other powders, 2 of which were being phased at the time of the SPEER #11 reloading manual from the 1980s. The reason for this is that I'd like to show you fellow Texans what is possible when you put your minds to it.

So, as a small NO-PROFIT, there is not a complaint dept, or I'd gladly take them in light of the pic I hope to get posted. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#17

Post by K-Texas » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:03 pm

Here's the test target front and back. 2 shotshells fired into it that created the same patterns. My shots were maybe a tad low. We didn't have the range to ourselves, so I wasn't able to hang a new target for each test. The reason I mentioned the complaint department in my previous post is because I also tested 5 other JHP loads. Luckily, only a couple got outside the bull, and I can tell you that before testing the JHPs, the saturation of the 7 1/2 shot was pretty uniform throughout.

I made the error of not sending a round over the chrono to get it acclimated first, as is sometimes required in the sunny conditions like we had yesterday. Distance to the target was just a bit over 10' with the chrono set up a couple of feet in front of the target. But, the first round I fired being a shotshell, I believe I had a false reading of 854 FPS. The second shot recorded 1002 FPS which was right in the velocity window I was looking for. As far as the powder charge that I haven't mentioned yet, it was 6.5 grs. of Ramshot True Blue. I couldn't be happier with the results. The outer target ring is 7.5", and as you can see, the vast majority of the shots stayed within that with the exception as I mentioned earlier where I probably shot a tad low. The top of the target that's lettered is how the target was oriented.

These are the first, and as I mentioned there is no load data other than what I've listed. I had to extrapolate the charge of True Blue by 4 other powders that were used in the SPEER #11 Manual. 2 of which were already being phased out at the time, early 1980s. If you have True Blue I definitely recommend it as well as the 6.5 gr. charge. That you can tweak for yourself, but most of the SPEER loads are in the 1000 - 1100 FPS range. Beyond that or the optimum charge of the powder you choose can effect the patterns negatively. SPEER did their testing with a 6" Ruger Security Six and they state that 150 FPS less can be expected from a 4" barrel. My test was done with a 4.2" GP100, so that charge could increase the velocity firing from a 6" revolver. ;-)



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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#18

Post by Boxerrider » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:05 am

What was the distance to target when you shot it with the shotshells?


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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#19

Post by K-Texas » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:03 pm

Boxerrider wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:05 am
What was the distance to target when you shot it with the shotshells?
Just over 10'. Part of the goal was to get tighter patterns than the typical rating of the SPEER shotshells and capsules of 1" of pattern for every foot of distance. In other words, with #9 shot and the capsules, the expected pattern at 10' would be 10". My primary effort is for snake loads, but in another very effective method, copper gas checks are used as the wad between powder and shot, and could be inverted for a wad over the powder charge. Not so good for the handloader who wrote a very informative article about making shotshells without capsules for shooting barn rats. The problem there being that a copper gas check can penetrate 1/2 plywood at 20' according to his tests. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#20

Post by Boxerrider » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:50 pm

It's tough for me to judge the shot density since you shot more than once.
I would expect the longer barrel to open up the pattern, both because of the increased velocity and greater exposure to rifling, but only testing will verify that. I look forward to seeing what you get.


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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#21

Post by K-Texas » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:08 pm

Boxerrider wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:50 pm
It's tough for me to judge the shot density since you shot more than once.
I would expect the longer barrel to open up the pattern, both because of the increased velocity and greater exposure to rifling, but only testing will verify that. I look forward to seeing what you get.
Yeah, like I said before, if I were a large enough entity to need one, I would have given the email address of the complaint dept! But, using the same point of aim, where I might should have used 1" higher, both shotshells gave the same pattern. Being the first test, I already have changes to make even before I shot the 2 test patterns.

But as far as the patterns, they would increase from a shorter barrel. From say a 6" barrel like SPEER used in the #11 manual, patterns would be smaller. I tested with the 4.2" GP100 because it's what I carry in the field. My shooting partner, lucky dog that he is, just won a raffle a couple weeks back for a new 4" S&W 686+ which he is very likely to wear when he ventures to the brush dump for the very small town he lives in.

So, not to worry. I'll post pics after the loads are improved and hopefully, I won't have to fire 2 rounds into the same target followed by 43 JHPs. Evidence is better, I know, but if you look close at the large center hole you may be able to get an idea of what the shot pellets looked like before all of those JHPs eradicated the center of the target. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#22

Post by K-Texas » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:07 pm

Next Batch

Again, apologies for the preliminary pics with all the holes in the target. I was not expecting the loads to do as well as they did, but I knew there would be more tests to come. And I couldn't get to the target stand to hang a fresh target with each test.

At the last minute I decided to change a couple of things. I didn't have any SP primers below 100 count, but I did have a box of 80 CCI 550s. I decided to use the magnums because even in .38 Special loads, I use a magnum primer with True Blue. Same 6.5 gr. charge today. The other change is that I decided not to use a wad atop the shot because I would be using the glue gun this time. It was a bit trial and error, but it didn't take too many tried to get it right, with one small exception. After I applied the hot glue over the shot, I let the rounds cool before applying the crimp with my old and very well used Lyman seat/crimp die. Didn't think of it until I was well in, but the Lyman die came with 3 seating stems. The stem that was in the die, which I didn't change was for a flat nose bullet and was fine for the loads I made and sealed with candle wax. Using the hot glue, be generous with the glue, and after a few tries you'll probably get pretty handy at it. The seat/crimp die helps clean away glue from the case, and next time I will use the round-nose seating plug and see if I can shape the glue into a dome.

Really, really impressed with the new Frankford Arsenal DS750 digital scale. I paid all of $30 for it and when I mentioned it the other day I found it to be on sale for $19.99 at Midway. It absolutely agrees with my RC 130 Balance Beam, and the 50 gram checkweight it comes with passes the calibration test every time, as well as with the 20 gram checkweight from the last Frankford Arsenal digital. Bought the last one in 2008 and IIRC it was also around $30. But this new DS750 blows it out of the water. Really came in handy weighing the shot. And while none of the dippers from the complete set of LEE dippers throws a close charge of shot, I found that my old red one from the .41 Mag whackamoly kit I bought in 1981 is very close. I settled on 98 grs. of shot and allowed =/- .5 grs. That's about as close as you can cut it. But before I applied the glue I found that a few pellets had to go to have adequate room for the glue. Works out to around 75 of the #7 1/2 pellets. Be aware that the .095" diameter for 7 1/2 shot is only an average. They are not completely uniform in size.

I'll shoot some of these new loads as soon as I can, and I am very interested in how that chunk of glue will react. Because I used the magnum primer, velocity will likely be higher, but I don't expect by over 50 FPS, if that. If that chunk of glue holds together it could become a type of pellet itself. If it doesn't work out, the next loads will get a wad over the shot.

This last important point. In case you've never used it, True Blue is very dense. 975 grams per liter or .975 grams per cc dense. It is extremely fine grained as well. It's about as tough a challenge as you'll find as far as preventing powder leakage beyond the covering wad. AA No 5 & No 7 are similar, but you won't find data for them either. In an older article on shotshells at the Western blog, Accurate No 2 was used and it is very light by volume as far as spherical propellants go. 635 grams per liter. What I'm finding is that unless there a cutting tool made for the task, using the sharpened case-mouth will cut the cardboard wads about as effectively as I can think of if you sharpen the case-mouth about every 5th cut using a chamfer/deburring tool. A drill bit can be used to press the wad down over the powder charge. I used a 5/16 bit today instead of the aluminum rod I keep in my range bag. As I mentioned, none of the True Blue escaped from the wad. That's it for now until I shoot, or if anyone has a question. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#23

Post by K-Texas » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:06 am

Made another change after my last post. I decided to cut the excess glue above the case-mouth in order to keep the payload weigh more similar. I did keep one as is to see if it does anything on target. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#24

Post by SRO1911 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:05 am

Are you using the hot glue directly on the shot?
If so, you might read up a little on wax slugs - with the end being glued it might be performing somewhat as a half slug half shot hybrid.
My personal experience with diy shotshells has been with 44 mag brass using the coated paperboard from school pocket folders as as wads and overshot cards then sealed with blue rtv. By the way - rtv is a nightmare to clean up after but will waterproof well enough to repeatedly submerge in the clear fork of the Brazos.
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#25

Post by K-Texas » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:25 pm

SRO1911 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:05 am
Are you using the hot glue directly on the shot?
If so, you might read up a little on wax slugs - with the end being glued it might be performing somewhat as a half slug half shot hybrid.
My personal experience with diy shotshells has been with 44 mag brass using the coated paperboard from school pocket folders as as wads and overshot cards then sealed with blue rtv. By the way - rtv is a nightmare to clean up after but will waterproof well enough to repeatedly submerge in the clear fork of the Brazos.
LOL! I'm not quite close enough to give them the Brazos test, but yeah, I was originally planning to use a cardboard wad over the shot. And, of course, I can still do that but I wanted to try the hot glue alone this time. If some pellets are bonded to the glue, I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing if the pellets land close to center. I'm after smaller patterns than what comes with the shot capsules and #9 shot with the larger pellets having greater mass and momentum.

As I mentioned in the update, if it hadn't been my first run using the hot glue, I could have used the round-nose seating stem in my old Lyman die. Think it just became dedicated for these loads.

I used candle wax over the cardboard wad last time. Maybe it's just me but is was kinda messy. I will stay with the hot glue for now since I developed a technique fairly easily. If I crimped each round after the hot glue application I think I could get a pretty consistent dome over the shot. One reason I went ahead and trimmed all but 1 was to help with consistent weight. The shot varied by +/- 1/2 a grain and I had to remove a couple of pellets from each load to get a consistent height on the shot with room for the Glue, maybe around 1/8" of glue. The cardboard I'm using seems to be about perfect for making wads. Nothing I found from a web search, or was mentioned in an article, that excited me much. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#26

Post by K-Texas » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:25 pm

Took a couple of quick snaps for Rob Behr up at Western and thought I'd share them here. The round where the glue tried to form a dome on its on is on the right in the pics. Think I can do that intentionally with the round-nose seater plug in my Lyman die. ;-)

Image

Image
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#27

Post by K-Texas » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:15 pm

Yesterday's tests were revealing. Referring to the pics above, the dome shaped seal and wad stayed intact and looked like a typical .357 hole in the target but on the outside ring. The loads where the glue was cut back to the case-mouth did just slightly better. Overall, I concluded that nothing was gained with the CCI550 magnum primer. Velocity went up a bit and pattern uniformity deteriorated a bit. Not that they wouldn't work if Magnum primers were all you have. As I mentioned, having a partial container of the CCI550s was a factor as well as the fact that I use Magnum primers when I load True Blue in .38 Special. I did 2 tests where I fired 6 rounds of the first loads with the candle wax seal, and six that had the glue cut back to the case-mouth. All 12 rounds consistently put the pellets within the 7.5" outer scoring ring.

Since I happen to have a partial container of WSPs, they'll be used next. I have as yet found no reason to alter the 6.5 gr. charge of True Blue. One thing that didn't change is that very few pellets land outside of the target's outer ring that measures 7.5" and that is at 10'. So, the next loads will have the glue seal/wad cut back to the case-mouth to give them a wadcutter appearance and the standard WSP will be used.

We also tested some shotgun loads for my shooting partners hog problem. Mostly slugs, some #4 and 00 Buckshot. Some old 000 Buck loads looked "iffy" so we did not fire them. I will be taking the 000 pellets out to use in an experimental load because 000 pellets are .355" diameter. Yep, 9mm. I will put one 000 pellet atop the smaller shot and crimp the case-mouth into the 000 pellet.

Something I still plan to try at some point, if I can find any at a good price, will be loads in .357 Maximum cases where a roll crimp should get case-length below the 1.590" Max OACL of the .357 Magnum. The payload will be greater and will likely require altering the powder charge slightly. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#28

Post by K-Texas » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:29 pm

One last thought here as I shift to finishing the article. Debunking a myth was not what I set out to do here. 7 1/2 shot may not work ideally in the SPEER shot capsules. But it works pretty well by omitting the shot capsules. Even by using a magnum primer, the loads where I trimmed the glue back to the case-mouth still worked very well. I did an approx count for the 7 1/2 pellets and came up with 75, and even with the magnum primer, patterns are mostly less than the 7.5" outer scoring ring on the targets I use. In that regard, the loads are a success and may get better by going back to a standard primer and using the hot glue as both a sealer and the top wad. But the load I tested with the magnum primer and glue cut back to the case-mouth, there are at least 9 holes in the blackened 9 ring and 3 in the 10 ring. Certainly enough pellets to ventilate the head of a snake, combined with the higher energy and momentum of the larger shot. There were only 7 pellets that strayed outside of the scoring ring. That's less than 10% and smaller patterns was one of the primary objectives.

I could live with that load as is, but I expect a bit better uniformity by staying with the standard primer. I'll give an update with a link once the article is posted. ;-)
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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#29

Post by K-Texas » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:30 pm

Test fired the latest rounds at the range Thursday. I definitely got the results I was looking for with 34 of the 77 pellets I last counted at 95.1 grs. going into the 8, 9 and 10-rings.

Submitted the article yesterday with a pic from Thursday's test. Hopefully it will go up early next week. There's already a plan in place for another article, and the loads will be defensive in nature. Charles Schwartz has run potential rounds through his Q-Model and they were excellent to devastating based on what I can accomplish. It won't be rushed because I'm gonna take a break from projects since I now have my snake load and wanna shoot strictly for pleasure for a while! ;-)
https://blog.westernpowders.com/
Anything that can be corrupted by man; will be corrupted.

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Re: Anyone Interested in .357 Mag Revolver Shotshells?

#30

Post by K-Texas » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:01 pm

Anything that can be corrupted by man; will be corrupted.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want . . .

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