Sunday, June 26, 2011

Newly Added Hodgdon Load Data, and Benchrest Bags (Big Boy Bag)

Load data from Hodgdon continues to be the primary source of load data for my loading needs.  The 357 Magnum Revolver and Rifle recipes are incredibly helpful, even though not every bullet weight has cast recipes. I admit to working up the jacketed recipes with cast.  Work up the charges slowly, looking for pressure signs, keep the changes small and be safe!  Before reaching the maximum charge accuracy often falls off, depending on the powder.

Hodgdon recipes are THE reliable source when loading Hodgdon powders.  I do have several others manuals, but they always get checked with Hodgdon as a "failsafe".

Don't exceed the maximum charges, work up to them slowly and you'll get the most from the powder.

The most accurate loads are often light and well below any potential pressure problems, so they are not an issue.  H110/W296 (they are the same powder) and Lil'Gun are the slow burners and high velocity powders.  They do best at the upper end, so work up carefully and you'll be good.  H110 has proven to be incredibly accurate, provides high velocity, and around here is easy to find.  It's the only magnum powder in my powder cabinet.

The only thing I don't like about the Hodgdon charts is that the data isn't sorted by velocity.  So below are 2 links, one for 357 Magnum Revolvers and one for 357 Magnum Rifles.  Each is sorted within a bullet, by velocity.  I've found this to be very helpful when deciding which powders to test.  Its a small thing, but very helpful.

Also, the powders recommended by Hodgdon are what they have listed.  You will notice many are missing from the Rifle data.  That doesn't mean you can't use them.  Just that Hodgdon believes they don't work as well in a rifle.  You may not agree.

Load data sorted by Velocity for each Bullet:

357 Magnum Revolver Hodgdon's Recipes

357 Magnum Rifle Hodgdon's Recipes

Big Boy Benchrest Bags:

These posts are all about accuracy when casting, handloading and shooting 357 Magnums.  My approach is to test a few loads at a time.  The results are measured with calibers and force ranked, top down.  The best performers are then tested against other "best performers".  All at 25 yards off a rest.  After many thousands of test rounds, my rolled up carpet "cheapo" rest is retired.

I've bought a few other rests, and didn't like them.  After searching high and low, here it is.  And wow!  I love these bags.  I filled them to be softer than pictured.  They've been working out really well, so I though I'd pass along the info about the Big Boy, Flat Bags, and Rifle Stock Squeeze Bag.   These aren't my guns, but are from the manufacturers website.

These bags a AWESOME!  Fill them to meet your needs.  Soft or more full for a firmer rest.  Flip them, stack them, put them on their side, it all works.  Did I mention how great these are.  Look for your self:

Shoot tight groups, and have fun with your shooting.  Oh, a great ballistics spreadsheet for the most accurate 357 Magnum loads is coming soon, stay tuned.

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