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Recently pulled the trigger on a Ruger LCR .357. It's the shortest .357 I own by far. I know there's a whole raft of loads out there for short barrel .357 that are designed to decrease blast and flash while preserving as much power as practical. 

I'm leaning toward 135 grain Speer Gold Dots and was planning on loading them over about 15 to 15.5 grains of 2400. According to published data this should get me somewhere between 1000 and 1100 fps out of the Ruger's sub 2" barrel. I also have Bullseye, W231, Unique, CFE, and the usual H110, W296 and Lil Gun, but the last three are not my first choice for such a short, light carry piece.

If you've worked up any loads for short barrel .357 please share, and especially if you have chrono data. Next month I'll hopefully be able to get my loads clocked and be able to report back the results. Thanks.

 

 

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I bought this S/W model 19 last summer.  So far the only .357 mag load I have fired in it is a 170 grain cast powder coated bullet. I don't see my chrono figures on this load.    Most of the time I shoot the same bullet in .38 Special with 4.8 grains of Universal.  Its a +P load and clocked at about 800 fps. 

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On 3/24/2019 at 8:11 PM, norton said:

I bought this S/W model 19 last summer.  So far the only .357 mag load I have fired in it is a 170 grain cast powder coated bullet. I don't see my chrono figures on this load.    Most of the time I shoot the same bullet in .38 Special with 4.8 grains of Universal.  Its a +P load and clocked at about 800 fps. 

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Very nice.

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Posted (edited)

So I was finally able to run a few .357 loads rounds over the chronograph using the Speer 135 grain GDHP and Alliant 2400. On the Speer data page, they tested this load from a 2.5" barrel S&W and achieved 1124 fps with 15 grains and 1176 fps with 16 grains.

I chose the 15 grain starting charge, loaded in brand new Starline cases. Average velocity of this load from the stubby 1-7/8" barrel Ruger LCR was 1100 fps. 

Recoil was brisk but by no means punishing, and completely pain free. Prior internet forum research indicated a mix of people that either thought the 17 ounce Ruger LCR in .357 was way too much to handle to those that thought it was no big deal, and no big deal was the way it seemed to me too. At least using this load with the stock LCR grip, it was no problem. There are other considerations shooter's worry about such as blast and followup shot recovery, but those are secondary for me compared to a pistol I can easily carry (and thus always have with me) and is quick and easy to access.

Also there was no evidence of bullet creep. These cases were brand new but run through an RCBS sizer then heavily roll crimped. Shooting 4 rounds then removing the 5th revealed the bullet had not moved at all, which is an essential test regardless of whether you are shooting handloads or over the counter factory.

My EDC is the LCR .357 in a sticky holster parked in my right front jeans pocket. It disappears there and is with me all day.

On the subject of Alliant 2400, I also tested some .45 Colt +P loads from a Super Redhawk. Velocity variation was rather high, and H110 proved much more consistent in the warm .45 loads. But in .357 using 135 grain jacketed bullets, 2400 was amazingly consistent, delivering extremely small deviations and several duplicate velocity numbers. If you load .357 and haven't given 2400 a try, I wouldn't hesitate to give it a spin. 

 

Edited by Highspeedlane

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