.357 & FTX

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Jack D
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Post by Jack D » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:12 pm

bgreenea3 wrote:Primers are good indicators of pressure but case expansion near the base should be watched too as a good indicator, at least that's what I've read over the years from ken waters and others smarter than I am. The primer troy pictured looks like its starting to show some pressure signs of flowing around the firing pin to me maybe just a little. I wouldn't go any hotter.
I agree. The case is full, in fact slightly over full and therefore slightly compressed. I've compared the firing pin impression with standard loads and it is similar, so I believe it is just normal. The case, too looks normal and is loose in the chamber after firing with no signs of sticking. Many owners of this rifle will ream them to .357 maximum with pressures around 48,000 cup without problems. I've not considered doing this, but I'm not aganst fine tuning for maximum performance. I believe I've found the max. load for this powder, now to fine tune for accuracy. Backing off the powder charge a bit and seating a little deeper and I just might have something.

One thing that is bugging me now is that some folks have told me that the FTX bullet cannot be pushed over 1600 fps. Gander Mountain advertises the FTX at 3000 fps. I've written Hornady to get there input.
Jack
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bgreenea3
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Post by bgreenea3 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:54 pm

1600 from a pistol is a fast speed. The rifle loads should be a bit more like 2000 due to the extra bbl length and the stronger action...... Just don't mix up the rifle Nd pistol rounds!

3000 may be a bit optimistic that's faster than a 308..... :shock:
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Jack D
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Post by Jack D » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:08 pm

bgreenea3 wrote:1600 from a pistol is a fast speed. The rifle loads should be a bit more like 2000 due to the extra bbl length and the stronger action...... Just don't mix up the rifle Nd pistol rounds!

3000 may be a bit optimistic that's faster than a 308..... :shock:
No. No. You misunderstand me. Gander Mountain says the FTX can be fired up to 3000 fps velocities.....not caliber specific....the FTX bullet in general. I would expect ~2000 from a .357 handgun cartridge.

I did write to Hornady, asking what velocities it could be loaded to in a single shot rifle without OAL length constrictions. No reply yet.

I was wondering what the throat depth of my rifle was. I dropped a bullet into the chamber, letting it rest on the lands, then measured from the base of the bullet to the back of the chamber. It is a full 1/4" deeper than the 1.875 OAL of my handloaded cartridge.....a full 1/4" bullet jump, even with this long cartridge.

I bought this rifle used (like new) from Cabela's. I'm now wondering if it hasn't been reamed to .357 Maximum. I think I'll make a chamber cast with lead to see what this rifle is chambered for.

Update. It is chanbered for .357 Mag. (not Max.) with a very long throat.
Jack
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Post by Jack D » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:50 pm

Reply from Hornady:
The Hornady item #35745 .38 cal. [.357" dia.] 140 gr. FTX bullet is designed for the .357 Magnum cartridge and in the Hornady reloading manual we are calling for the maximum velocity of 1600 fps muzzle, but, we have a cushion of around 2000 fps.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Hornady Manufacturing, Inc [mailto:webmaster@hornady.com]
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 10:46 AM
To: tech
Subject: "Technical Inquiries" Contact from Jack Davis


This is a response sent by Jack Davis using the feedback form on the website. The details of the message follow below:

Subject: Technical Inquiries
First Name: Jack
Last Name: Davis
City: Elmira
State: OR
Postal Code: 97437
Country: United States

Comments:
I'm reloading for a .357 magnum Handi Rifle and since it is a single shot, I'm not constrained by COL for a revolver or lever gun. I've found that with the FTX 140 gr., by seating the FTX shallow, I can push the 140 gr. FTX well in excess of 2000 fps. The COL is 1.875. Signs of excess pressure are non-existant. There are other reloaders that might like to use this bullet in a .357 Maximum.

Some have told me that this bullet should not exceed 1600 fps. Gander Mountain advertises that it can be pushed to 3000 fps. If it is used in a .357 Maximum or a .357 magnum that does not have COL constraints, is there any reason it cannot exceed 1600 fps?

Thanks
Jack
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Post by bgreenea3 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:30 pm

that sounds like the Standard "we've tested it to these pressures beyond that you are on your own" answer to me. if you want more power in that riflle step up to a acketed 180 gr bullet or if speed is what you want try a 125gr boolit.... what kind of groups are you getting out of the 140's?
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Post by blue68f100 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:41 am

The 125gr could be pushed almost to 2000 fps in a pistol, so 2000+ out of a rifle is not of range.

I think you can push it up till you start showing pressure signs and back off once they start showing up. A test chamber would be nice to actually know what's going on. The powder your using is a middle of the chart in burn rate, just under W296. You may want to try a magnum primer to make sure all of the powder is being burned. Since your already at compressed load you may want to switch powders so you can set the bullet deeper and use a heavy roll crimp. You really need to use a crony to proceed on. The crony will show some scatter as it gets to the upper end before pressure signs show up on the brass. As for the jump it's quite common in a lot of rifles. One way to fix it is a heavier longer bullet but 1/4" is a long ways to make up. The jump may not hurt anything. There is a lot of factory ammo that has to make long jumps in rifles and are still accurate.

Proceed with caution....
David

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Jack D
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Post by Jack D » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:30 pm

I haven't done any accuracy testing. No range near me, and to keep the neighbors from complaianing, I need to take it into the woods.....about a 15 minute drive. Not a problem, except that at my age, it isn't a good idea to go into the woods alone, especially with a ticker problem. I can fire an occasional shot into the bank outside my shop for load pressure tests and that is all I've done with this load.

I've been trying to find other "spitzer" type bullets in various weights for the .357/.358 and the only others I've found, so far, are 200 grains and over. The 200 gr. FTX is interesting, but heavy for this carrtridge. Might make a pretty good deer cartridge out to 200 yards, however. And the .357 magnum can't be considered a long range cartridge. Probably in any load 200 yds. would be maximum. In my area (PNW timber country) a 200 yd. shot is long.

Considering my age and health, I doubt I'll ever go deer hunting again, although it's possible if given the opportunity. So this rifle is mostly for fun....a camper gun, and survival gun, should the need ever arise. It's mostly for fun, so I'm just tinkering...trying to find its limits.

If anyone knows of a "spitzer" bullet in .357/.358 under 200 grains, I'd be interested in its location. They seem to be hard to locate.
Jack
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Post by Jack D » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:17 pm

My order for 200 gr. FTX's will be in tomorrow....the fun begins then.

Update: Order didn't arrive as promised. Still waiting.
Jack
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Post by Jack D » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:22 pm

Finally got the 200 gr. FTX today and worked up a load for the rifle.

The bullet touches the lands at 2.25" COAL, but is just barely seated. To get a good seat, I seated the bullet to get 2.15" COAL.

A starting load of 16.1 gr. of IMR4227 didn't show any signs of excess pressure, so I jumped to 17.1 gr. Still no signs of excess pressure. Next up, 18 gr....still OK. Then I went to 18.5 gr. With this load, I noticed a slight bulge at the web, but not sure if it was there before I started. Much of my fired brass shows this bulge (more a shiny ring than a bulge). Anyway, 18.5 gr. filled the case to the bottom of the bullet and I decided that was enough.

Then I tried to match that powder charge with the discs in the powder dispenser of my Lee Turret. One charged over 19 gr. and the next smaller charged at 16.7 gr. Close enough, Don't really want to weigh each charge. Maybe later, I'll get the stacked disc. kit,.

The finished load is as follows.

Case RP 1.285", primer CCI 400, IMR4227 16.7 gr., bullet 200 gr. FTX, COAL 2.15"

Shorter is the finished load, Longer is touching lands.
Image
Jack
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Post by blue68f100 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:18 am

I believe I would seat them deeper. Re cases are thinner which means they do not get sized as far as other. This also means the neck tension will be lighter too. I know of a lot of reloads that don't use the expander when using Rem cases for this reason, or they turn down the expander. With the long body it will contact the lands before it clears the case. I don't believe you have enough engaged to build up proper pressure in the case. But since this is a Single shot it does/may not matter as long as it stays together. Compressed loads are good in some respect as it prevents set back. Set it on deeper till it gets hard without bulging the case.

At the base where you see the bulge is maybe where the sizer die stops. This is also where you can get separation, even though I have never seen it in straight wall brass.

Let us know how it shoots that's the most important thing. Accuracy......
David

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Post by Jack D » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:21 pm

blue68f100 wrote:I believe I would seat them deeper. Re cases are thinner which means they do not get sized as far as other. This also means the neck tension will be lighter too. I know of a lot of reloads that don't use the expander when using Rem cases for this reason, or they turn down the expander. With the long body it will contact the lands before it clears the case. I don't believe you have enough engaged to build up proper pressure in the case. But since this is a Single shot it does/may not matter as long as it stays together. Compressed loads are good in some respect as it prevents set back. Set it on deeper till it gets hard without bulging the case.

At the base where you see the bulge is maybe where the sizer die stops. This is also where you can get separation, even though I have never seen it in straight wall brass.

Let us know how it shoots that's the most important thing. Accuracy......
My loader is the Lee Classic Turret, 4 die. I don't know if it uses an expander. But the bullets are snug and firm......at least I can't move them by hand. Perhaps the .258 bullets are a help in that regard. There is plenty of room to play with seating depth. I need to get to a range. Wish there was one close by, but 40 miles one way is the closest. Much closer to the woods (15 minutes) but no marked ranges there.
Jack
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Post by blue68f100 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:47 am

Jack, I think you meant 0.358", which yes that extra 0.001" makes a huge difference. You only need 0.002" to get proper neck tension if you seating depth is the dia of your bullet. Most of the die sets I have worked with give you any where from 0.002"-0.003" using std size bullets. So if you are using lead you may have a problem depending on how there sized. Your through expander/powder die does the expanding. Now if your not running it down far enough to expand the mouth of the case, starting the bullet may be hard. But if properly set it's should give you a case ID of around 0.354"-0.355". This can vary depending on how much the case has been work harden and whether the brass is thin (Rem).

That too bad the range is that far away. I only have a indoor range near me, 2.5mi.

Let us now how it shoots. This has been an on going project for you for some time now.
David

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Post by Jack D » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:29 pm

Yes. .358". FFF (fat fumble fingers). I'm flaring the neck only slightly to start the bullet and seating slowly to avoid collapsing the case. In the crimp die, I'm only taking out the flare.

My cases are mixed brand. The RP case just happened to be the one I used to work up the load. I used the same case throughout the process. I loaded 50 cartridges and a couple of cases would not enter the crimping die....must have been thicker (Winchester) and a few others were tight in the crimping die. But this has been a problem with even the .357" bullets. I should take that die out and look it over real good. Maybe it needs cleaning. I have two sets of dies, one set for .38 spl's and the one I use for mag. loads. Maybe I'll switch the crimp dies to see if that makes a difference.

I think I would consider 18 gr. of 4227 to be maximum in my rifle, since 18.5 gr. did flatten the primer more and showed some impressions from the breech in the primer. 18 gr. looked normal. No cratering, just scratch marks on the face of the primer where it was flattened.
Jack
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Post by blue68f100 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:04 pm

The ones that do not enter the crimp die, look to see if the cases are flared a little more. May use your calibers and see if they measure slightly larger. If a case is longer it causes more flare. With over size bullets this magnifies every thing.
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Post by Jack D » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:30 pm

blue68f100 wrote:The ones that do not enter the crimp die, look to see if the cases are flared a little more. May use your calibers and see if they measure slightly larger. If a case is longer it causes more flare. With over size bullets this magnifies every thing.
All of my 400+ cases are trimmed to 1.285". A few were undersized and I discarded them. I'm flaring just barely, to get the bullet so it just sits on the case, then slowly press it in. The base of the bullet is radiused some so it doesn't take much flare. When I use the crimp die, I just barely take out the little flare there is. Not sure why some stick and, at least one (one in 50) wouldn't enter the die at all. Doesn't seem to be a problem, however. They all chamber OK.

The first few of the 140 gr. FTX bullets I loaded, I noticed the seating die was flattening and deforming the tips. I removed it and drilled a hole in the center to clear the tips and now it presses on the copper jacket instead of the polymer tips.
Jack
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