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Author Topic: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.  (Read 8035 times)

RMc

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185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
« on: August 23, 2010, 08:31:20 pm »
185 FNGC @ 1100 fps

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When loading for my 4" S&W 686, I want a smooth balance of controlability and penetration. For my purposes a hard cast, heat treated 185 FNGC with a .28" meplate at 1100 fps fits the bill. The load I developed with the New Beartooth Bullet 185 FNGC works extremely well in delivering fast and accurate double action fire.  Frankly, I find it easier to track and hit a moving target with the smooth roll of a well tuned double action trigger.    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/


Distance to chronograph screens 10 ft.
Temp: 78F           Six rounds.
Firearm: S&W 686 4 inch barrel .357 Magnum

"New" 185 BTB FNGC, 13.0 grains of H4227, new Starline brass, and Winchester Small Pistol Magnum primers:

1103 FPS average, 27 fps extreme spread, Low 1091 FPS , High 1118 FPS.

Bullet / cartridge measurements: .358" diameter, .728" long, and 1.566" oal seated in 1.278" Starline cases.


This is a comparatively soft recoiling, low muzzle blast load that leaves surprisingly little powder residue.  Also, 13 grains of H4227 measures exactly 1.0 cc by volume - handy for adjusting the  powder measure - checked with a scale of course.

Hogdon's online data manual shows a Maximum load of 13.7 gr. of H4337 with a 180 Nosler Partition and WSPM primer.  This load was derived from the Hogdon data.

The new 185gr. BTB FNGC bullet has the same meplate size as the original Keith 250 grain .44 special/magnum bullet.  So if both bullets completely penetrate most game at 1100 fps, then both should have equal terminal effect!

 

« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 03:38:05 pm by RMc »
Alabama

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 12:00:19 am »
    Impressive.  Have you worked with 296 or 2400 behind this slug?  I'm inclined to try it with Vit  N110 myself.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    RMc

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 11:30:55 pm »
    Impressive.  Have you worked with 296 or 2400 behind this slug?  I'm inclined to try it with Vit  N110 myself.

    I have loaded the BTB 185FNGC with H110 (same as 296) and was able to gain roughly 150 fps from the short tube of my 686. The gain was offset by a great increase in muzzle blast and much larger extreme velocity spreads.  Longer barreled revolvers would be better suited to H110/296.

    I think the 4227/185 combination achieves a reasonable balance of velocity, meplat area and penetration given the "launch platform" used.  

    There is more on my load development with this bullet at:
     
    http://shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=64175

     
    Alabama

    RandySBreth

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 07:41:04 am »
    You might also try AA#9 as the fuel for that one. It tends to produce less blast and flash, while still giving good velocity.
    My website: http://ozarkoutdoorjournal.blogspot.com/


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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 07:59:53 am »
    If you're after low flash/blast, you really should try Vit N110 with that gas-checked slug before you completely settle in with 4227.  That powder is a bit spendy, but it is the cleanest burning, bar none, I've used in 357, 41 and 44 mag loads.  VERY low flash to boot.

    Also, consider this http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=185588 for a crimp die.  I use these dies exclusively with straight wall handgun calibers as well as my 444 Marlin rifle.  They do amazing things with lowering ES and SD numbers.

    « Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 08:31:54 am by THE NORSEMAN »
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    RMc

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 09:54:16 pm »
    If you're after low flash/blast, you really should try Vit N110 with that gas-checked slug before you completely settle in with 4227.  That powder is a bit spendy, but it is the cleanest burning, bar none, I've used in 357, 41 and 44 mag loads.  VERY low flash to boot.

    Also, consider this http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=185588 for a crimp die.  I use these dies exclusively with straight wall handgun calibers as well as my 444 Marlin rifle.  They do amazing things with lowering ES and SD numbers.



    I have heard about the Redding profile crimp die, I will have to try it.   It just may tighten up those errant H110 loads more than the Dillon crimp die I currently use.
    Alabama

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 01:41:08 am »
    How's your neck tension?  It's critical when working with heavy slugs and slow powders in magnum pistol loads.  I'd say it's as much or more so important as a proper crimp.  ESPECIALLY when dealing with cylinder gap losses and short barrels.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    RMc

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 11:27:27 pm »
    How's your neck tension?  It's critical when working with heavy slugs and slow powders in magnum pistol loads.  I'd say it's as much or more so important as a proper crimp.  ESPECIALLY when dealing with cylinder gap losses and short barrels.

     I believe the picture in the first post shows strong neck tension - to the point the lube groove locations can be seen in the fit of the brass.

     
    « Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 04:42:30 am by RMc »
    Alabama

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 12:15:36 am »
     :doh You're right.  Having clicked on the thumbnail just now to enlarge it-

    YUP.  Neck tension's perfect I'd say.  Anybody want to know what proper neck tension is for a magnum pistol round looks like?  Take a look at that picture. ;D
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    RMc

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 12:53:43 am »
    The new 185gr. BTB FNGC bullet has the same meplate size as the original Keith 250 grain .44 special/magnum bullet.  So if both bullets completely penetrate most game at 1100 fps, then both should have equal terminal effect!

    Agree or disagree   ???
    Alabama

    JesseL

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 01:07:10 am »
    The new 185gr. BTB FNGC bullet has the same meplate size as the original Keith 250 grain .44 special/magnum bullet.  So if both bullets completely penetrate most game at 1100 fps, then both should have equal terminal effect!

    Agree or disagree   ???

    That's a big if, but assuming the bullet achieves the same penetration and the alloy allows for no flattening/expansion I'd agree.

    I think it may be a bit optimistic to expect 185 grains of bullet mass to push a given frontal area through as much meat as 250 grains would, but if the .429" bullet is achieving way more penetration that it ever needs anyway...
    Arizona

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 07:02:27 pm »
    Through and through with the same size hole?  I'd say equal terminal effect at that velocity, or close enough the critter you shot and your freezer will never know the difference.  Where the bigger 44 slug would have the advantage is in it's better resistance to deflection.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    RMc

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 12:19:27 pm »
    In comparing the .357 to the .44 Mag. I deliberately compared those with the same meplat diameter, an apples to apples comparison.  The small meplat Keith .44 has been around so long as to take on a mythical reputation.  The best of today's WFN .357 bullets equal the .44 Keith SWC in real world tissue destruction and totally penetrate most game animals sought in the lower 48.  On the other hand, today's .44 WFN cast bullets with .340"+ meplate diameters outperform the Keith SWC in tissue destruction hands down and in equal weight bullets, give up very little in total penetration.

    When Elmer Keith was writing about his bullet design in the 1930's he used a simple lead/tin mix for about 14 BHN. The norm for heat treated lead, tin, antimony blends is 22+ BHN.

    Alabama

    RMc

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    Re: 185 FNGC load for the 4" .357 Magnum.
    « Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 02:08:48 pm »
    Some follow on comments:

    This is a smooth recoiling load - without the abrupt recoil and muzzle flash that ultra slow powders like H110/WW296 generate in a 4" revolver. This makes for an easy to shoot load that can be readily mastered in fast double action fire. I find it easy to hold <2" double action groups at 25 yards with the 40 ounce, slightly muzzle heavy, 4" S&W 686.

    Frankly, I prefer the smooth roll of an S&W double action for superior field accuracy. The round butt Hogue Mono-Grips give me perfect trigger reach for first joint contact with the trigger for precision double action work .

    Hogue also makes a lanyard loop replacement for the Monogrip stock screw that is quite handy when traveling by canoe or other watercraft!

    In addition to hunting use, the .358" 185gr BTB FN / 13.0 grain 4227 / WSPM / Starline Brass / 1100 fps load is my favorite .357 revolver load for the occasional bowling pin shoot. 

    With all the emphasis on autoloading pistols, I suspect many of today's handgunners have never experienced the smooth trigger pull and accuracy of a well tuned double action revovler.
    « Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 01:17:25 pm by RMc »
    Alabama

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