12 grains 2400 in .357 Mag

Rex

Member
Anyone load 2400 as low as 12 grains with cast bullets in their 357? We haven't been above freezing for a couple of weeks or so and I got bored. Loaded some 357 cases with 12 grains 2400 (I'm 76 with arthritis in both lower thumb joints), Mag primers because I bought them without my glasses on. I drove over the hill to a spot that I shoot and the ground was frozen and I couldn't drive my target stand legs in so I set up a medium coffee cup at 25 yards. Hey when you are bored anything works. These darn 12 grain loads shot pretty nice for an old man and didn't hurt my thumbs. 2400 burns a lot cleaner with less leading than Unique in my 4" 686. Todays bullet happened to be the 357446 bullet.
Just curious if anyone else had loaded 2400 that low.
Rex
 
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RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
I load the Lyman # 358430 (195 grains) down to 10.0 grains quite a bit with the new A2400. And Lyman 358429 (173 grain Keith) with 12 grains of the new stuff. However I use just standard primers. You can tell if you are using old or new powder by the residue. If you find white or pale yellow unburned kernels, it is Hercules made powder. If there is just black or dark grey ash, it is Alliant made powder. FWIW
 

462

California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
Rex,
Tried 12-grains of 2400 and non-magnum primers while searching for Blackhawk and Vaquero accuracy loads, but the accuracy wasn't there, though 13.0-grains was a big improvement.

Ric,
Thanks for the un-burnt kernel/ash information.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
From 1994 until 2016, my old shop's duty load in 357 Magnum was the W-W Super-X 158 grain JHP. I concocted with chronographic assistance a practice load that duped that duty load's performance using Lyman #358156 atop 13.5 grains of 2400 and CCI 500 SP primers. Velocities in both loads ran about 1225-1235 FPS from my S&W M-686 x 4". 12.0 grains of 2400 is about 89% of 13.5 grains, and since we are in Extrapolation Mode already.....scientifimatically speaking, your #357446 is likely running about 1100 FPS. THAT is a right useful 357 load, right there. I might have to roll some of these with #358429 and run them in the returned 586 x 6".
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
Rex I'd say if it works for you, stick with it! 13.5 2400 in 38 Spec brass with a 155-160 gr 358156 seated to the lower band used to be listed as a "hot" 38 load in some manuals. 357 brass, being 1/8" longer IIRC, and the 477 being 150-155 gr should put you in the same general area of 1200-ish fps, and probably at lower pressure...so maybe a little slower. Sounds good to me.

ETA- looks like I was typing while Depitty Al was posting! Great (or not so great) minds think alike!
 
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Rex

Member
I was guessing around 1100 fps. May have to try that load with a 358429 bullet just to see. At my age, accuracy is just something other people talk about and I wish I had.
 

462

California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
Rex,
Vision has pretty much put an end to my days of accurate accuracy. My competitive shooting has only ever been against myself, and my standards are not as high as they were even as recently as five-years ago.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
IIRC, at the time I cooked up this practice load for the 357s I did 25-round lots of 11.0 grains, 12.0 grains, 13.0 grains, and 14.0 grains. I plotted the chronography, and none of the loads "tipped over" on the x-y axis plot. Splitting the difference between 13.0 and 14.0 grains gave me what I was seeking, and gave smaller sd and ES than the factory loads gave.
 

Wiresguy

Member
I have chronographed three .357 Magnum loads with 12.0 grains of 2400.

Oehler 35P chrono, first screen 10 feet from the muzzle of a Model 27-2 with 8 3/8” barrel.

Bullets were Accurate 36-170J, Mihec 358 156 Plain Base Design, and Mihec 358 640 cast of WW, sized to .358 Carnauba Red. No HP or gas checks.

R-P cases, CCI 500

Velocities, average of 6 shots:

36-170J 1246 fps
358 156 Plain Base 1272 fps
358 640 1238 fps
 
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Wiresguy

Member
You’re welcome, Rex.

Here are a couple of examples of same load, but different barrel lengths:

38 Special, 358432, 2.8gr Bullseye.

M27-2 8 3/8” 749 fps
Heavy Duty 4” 705 fps

44 Russian, Accurate 43-240W, 4.5gr Unique

M629-4 Light Hunter 7 1/2” 734 fps
M24-3 4” 733 fps

44 Special, Accurate 43-240W, 6.0gr Unique

M24-3 4” 813 fps
1926 6 1/2” 867 fps

We can guess and extrapolate, but the chrono can be a real eye-opener.
 

Rex

Member
Wires, we haven't been above freezing for about 3 weeks and there is snow on the ground here. That Chrony is going to have to wait for a little warmer weather. Yes, I've tried to guess the fps by the recoil in my hand but the machine is usually a bit more accurate.:)
 

Wiresguy

Member
Rex, I hear you on the warmer weather! It was pretty nice here today, topped out at about 21 with bright sunshine. The old cabin fever took hold and I went for a leisurely ride in the country and saw a ringneck and 2 flocks of turkey. This winter has wore out its welcome at my house ;)
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Yep, snow every day here since February 8th. Record February snow fall of 34.7", beat out the 1996 previous record of 26". Not been above freezing for over three weeks. Hope to have to county plow out the road to the range within the next two weeks. :sigh: Waiting for spring.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
I can wait.
I'm a big fan of our spring here, other than the mud, the 45-55* days are a pleasure with just a flannel shirt.
the rock chucks are usually sleepily working their way out of their dens, and the fish are starting to cruise the shallow water looking for a bit of warmth and maybe a crayfish or two.
I'm out and about most everyday doin something too.

I done some loads down at 11grs with a 158 swc [the 477] that was pretty nice to shoot.
IMO a hotter primer would have been a big help in that load, the heavier 358429 would have made it a pretty good load too.
easier to duplicate the load with a faster powder though.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
I agree with Lamar's assessment of the 11.0 x 2400 loading. Using CCI 500 primers, velocities were in the 1025 FPS ballpark from the 4" 686 IIRC. A CCI 550 might have cleaned up some of the zombie grit in the bore, and boosted velocities in the bargain. I was always mindful of the Hercules/Alliant mantras about "2400 does not need magnum primers", but the bore trash gives the lie to that in some respects. It is a nice load in terms of performance envelope and "utility/shooting comfort" balance. A LOT of my revolver shooting gets done in this "More Than Special/Less Than Magnum Twilight Zone" using plain-based standard-weight cast SWCs at 950-1100 FPS.

But due to bore grit and components cost, as good and flexible as 2400 can be--there are better fuels for this performance niche. Given that price per pound of 2400, Herco, and Unique are pretty close to one another......per-round powder costs are significantly lower for similar outcomes between 6.5 grains of Unique, 7.0 grains of Herco, and 11.0 grains of 2400. If there is a difference in accuracy between the 3 loads, I can't discern it--nor can the jackrabbits and ground squirrels that have experienced the loads' effects in some numbers. While Herco and Unique are not known for their clean-burning properties, they are less trashy than 2400 in its lower pressure applications. Free info, and worth it, too! :)
 
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RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Not only is 2400 my preferred target and plinking cast bullet rifle load, I use a lot in pistols and revolvers. The reason? It is so cheap! At least here in the PNW, Keith's country, every hand loader had multiple pounds of 2400. But they didn't use much of it, as in how many 44 mag loads will a plinker shoot? At yard sales all the new pistol and rifle powders sell out really quick, but there is usually a bunch of 2400 on Sunday afternoons. Last year I bought five new unopened cans for $40. When the last LGS closed his doors, the powder that was left was 2400, 4198, Norma 200 and Accurate #9. It was $10 a pound.
As a double based powder, it has a very long shelf life if stored in plastic containers, Yes, it is dirty if used below about 20,000 CUP, but I don't shoot more than 50 rounds through a gun when I go to the range, and don't mind cleaning when I get home.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
Ric.
at 10$ a lb that shelf would have been empty when I left.

2400 has been pretty consistently non grata around here for years.
they finally started carrying it at the sportsmans over in Pocatello after about 8 years of my complaining, by then I had enough stashed away from just going elsewhere and other replacement powders [AA-4100] I don't even look at it anymore.