Accurate Handloads for .357 GP100 that May Be Suitable for Hunting Medium Size Game - Ruger Forum

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Accurate Handloads for .357 GP100 that May Be Suitable for Hunting Medium Size Game

This is a discussion on Accurate Handloads for .357 GP100 that May Be Suitable for Hunting Medium Size Game within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and have recently purchased a 6" GP100 in .357, my first revolver. I got it because I was ...


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Old October 16th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #1
 
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Accurate Handloads for .357 GP100 that May Be Suitable for Hunting Medium Size Game

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and have recently purchased a 6" GP100 in .357, my first revolver. I got it because I was recently complaining that I couldn't find a high-powered handgun that would shoot like a .22 so someone said you'll have to get a revolver and I did. I asked what kind and everyone said Ruger. I've had some really great guns made by Ruger so I didn't do much further research. My first serious venture into high-power handguns. Well like everyone else I want everything in the same package so what I'd like is a suggested starting point for handloading a round that will still be supersonic at 100 meters, will shoot no worse than 1.5" at 50 meters, and is no less than 125 grains. I've handloaded some stuff using WIN296, and behold, it is a sight to see, but now I'm ready to develop some serious ammunition. Iowegan had an impressive thread on WIN296 and H110 that brought me to this forum, and well, besides spending half the year below freezing I thought it wise to investigate some different propellants. I've come partial to Sierra bullets in my rifles and have taken their suggestions as to jacketed soft point handgun bullets to enhance accuracy over the popular hollow points, and their load manual suggests No. 7 as the propellant for accuracy loads in 125 grain bullets. Now I know eveyone says 25 meters is the range to check group size but we all here shoot soda cans at 50 - 100 meters with our handguns with open sights so if there is anyone else in the same boat, I'd sure appreciate some suggestions before I have to start making lots of different rounds. I'm all too happy to share the results.



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Old October 17th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #2
 
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Well the twist in the GP`s barrel lends itself to heavier bullets & to stay supersonic at 100yds ??? there`s probably only a few !!!!

The geneal design & flat bases don`t lend thereselves to slippin thru the air .

I shoot lead exclusively & find IMR 4227 a very easy powder to work with , not neccassarily to measure but to get loads to work !!

Another good performer is IMR 800x.

Last edited by GP100man; October 17th, 2010 at 09:24 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #3
 
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Thanks a lot for the info, I will start with some IMR4227. Why do you only shoot lead? I guess I hadn't done my homework on handgun twist rates. I was sort of stuck on the idea of using a 125 grain bullet to try and get similar ballistics to the .22 LR, and to try and simplify by using one bullet. This way I can just pick up the gun and go shoot without worrying about resetting the sights. If I'm not going to get accuracy with a light bullet like that then I'll work my way up. It seemed like it was only the lighter bullets that would stay supersonic out to 100 meters, as estimated with Hornady's on-line ballistic calculator, and only with a hefty load of propellant. I gathered that a non-hollow point makes better accuracy than the hollow-point hunting bullets. This is sort of contrary to my understanding of gyroscopic rigidity but no doubt the the aerodynamics of blunt base/blunt nose are a powerful factor. Seems fewer people shoot lead but those who do stick with it.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 04:51 AM   #4
 
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Why shoot lead ??? At first it was economics , then I got serious & done some tests !!!

Quality lead boolits won , the Lyman 358446 160gr. swc & the 358429 170gr. swc sized to 3585" will knock a hole in most things I shoot at with authority !!!

Don`t think I`m an advocate against lite bullets they have there uses , but just not in the Hunt of wild & potentually dangerous game .

& on the powders don`t look over 2400 it was developed for the 22 hornet but was the factory powder for yrs. It leaves kernels of yellow unburnt powder at it`s lower load weights but will clean up as pressure goes up !!!

Always remember a good ,clean kill is bullet placement , hunt within your abilitys & it`ll be more rewarding in the end of it all !!!!

Be Safe , Take Ya Time & Have Fun !!!!!

& WELCOME TO THE RUGER FORUM .net!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old October 18th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #5
 
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GP100man

The bullets you listed are my two favorites and I have used them with good success for the last 40+ years. You are absolutely correct that more important than anything else is shot placement.

Back in 1935 Doug Wesson killed some pretty large game, Elk, Moose and Grizzlies with the .357 and the 158gr. SWC, those loads produced just over 1500 fps in an 8 3/8" barrel Mod 27. (not sure it that gun had the Mod 27 designator back then) and a number of those kills were one shot at ranges over 100 yards.

The GP 100 is probably every bit as strong as those old "N" frame guns and a 4" or 6" GP can pretty well duplicate those velocities.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #6
 
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2400 is great stuff. You can load it down to a point, and it's reasonably forgiving. And when you wanna get hot 'n' heavy...well, my .45 Colt Magnum load just got chrony'ed this Sunday at 1,250 fps with a 250gr cast boolit out a 7.5" SRH. By contrast, my "hotter" .38 Spl load chrono's at about 1,025 fps with the 150gr boolit. Very little, if any, unburned powder in both cases, and both are very precise loads.

And why cast boolits? Several:

1.) You can match your alloy hardness and your load pressure. This gets you proper obturation and helps to reduce leading.
2.) Economics. I save a lot of money by casting my own, from .38 Spl all the way to .45 Colt.
3.) Your barrel will never, ever wear out from shooting cast boolits.
4.) It's fun! :-)
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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #7
 
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Speaking of .38 special/357 pills (Same animal) The GP100 was custom built for 158gr. cast lead bullits or so I've been told. so that is what I usewhen shooting mine and they IMO leave very little to be desired in terms of accurecy and light recoil.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:57 PM   #8
 
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So Far......

I haven't had good results with 125G so far. I've tried AA7, WIN296, and 2400. All three got at best 4" groups at 50M, and only at the maximum loads listed in my Sierra book (I'm using Sierra 125 and 158 JSP) but the cases were sticky and this wasn't the accuracy I was looking for. In addition, with the 125G, I was shocked at the 'wind' bewteen 25 and 50 meters. If the group was 2" left of center at 25 meters, it was 6" at 50 meters, with no apparent change in elevation. Is this normal?
I've had better results with 158G bullets on all three powders but only slightly better than the 125G, except, with a 158 JSP on 14.5G of 2400 gave 1" groups at 25M and 2" groups at 50 meters. I wouldn't be surprised, except that at 14.0 and 15.0 of the same powder, the groups were about 4" at 50M.

Has anyone encountered this? Are revolvers really this sensitive to propellant? I was shooting 3 round groups at 25M and 7 round groups at 50M with open sights, from a rest, same as all my loads. I don't think I've seen such an extreme sensitivity with rifles before.

Its a relatively new 6" GP100 and I've shot about 300 rounds through it. I've only done sight work on it (to eliminate that annoying free play in windage, doesn't anyone fit anything by hand anymore?).
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Old December 14th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVID RUSSO View Post
...except, with a 158 JSP on 14.5G of 2400 gave 1" groups at 25M and 2" groups at 50 meters. I wouldn't be surprised, except that at 14.0 and 15.0 of the same powder, the groups were about 4" at 50M.

If you're getting 2" groups at 50m, I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Take what 14.5g of 2400 is giving you and BRAG about it!
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Old December 16th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #10
 
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I am curious about your requirements for your load because they are very demanding and often mutually exclusive. For a load to remain supersonic at 100 meters, you would need to know its BC and muzzle velocity and that latter requires a chronograph. Are you chrono'ing you loads? And why do you require suprsonic velocities at 100 meters?

From your discussion it looks like accuracy is more important. There is a gent on the Cast Boolits forum who goes by the name 44Man who tests the way you have been. He regularly reports on finding the sweet spot in terms of accuracy at less than max loads. That is what it sounds like you have found. More shooting with it will tell you if it really is as accurate as you think.

In the .357, you can drive a 158 gr jacketed bullet to around 1300 in a 4" and probably around 1370 or so in a 6" GP. Perhaps a bit more, depending on the particular powder. If you were running your load right at peak, you would still be in the supersonic region at 100 meters. That depends on the exact BC of your bullet, of course, but you would be close to your goal. Drop the muzzle velocity much to get the max accuracy, and you wold drop into the subsonic range.

So which criteria is more important?
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Old December 16th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #11
 
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7.2 GRNS of Unique
158 GRN SWC
or
158 GRN LRN
or
158 GRN Plated RN
AWSOME to shoot and very accurate!!!
JMO
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:09 AM   #12
 
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I wish I could shoot a 4" group at 50 , I know the revolvers able !!!

Getting old ain`t no fun , 5 more yrs until lasik on the eyes so the doc tells me !!!
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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:01 PM   #13
 
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Yea

Well I wrote a lengthy reply the other day and as usual I got logged off the forum and lost it. Disappointing. This is the only forum I've ever participated in, ever, so maybe I don't know how they work.

Anyways, I assumed that like rifles, remaining supersonic throughout the expected working range was necessary for accuracy. Perhaps not, I only want a 3" group at 100M, not 0.5". I thought I was working with max loads, as detailed in my several loading manuals (hornady, Sierra, Speer). I don't have a chronograph, I go by what the loading manuals say, but with fudge factors for having a different barrel (I have a BS in Aerodynamics). I want maximum accuracy and am willing to sacrifice ballistics to get it, to a point. I got the 357 magnum for its ballistics. I am not stuck on 357 magnum, but I like it. I'll work to make it work, if not I'll get rid of it. No point having a 357 that has to shoot like a 38 'Special'.

Next I'm going to try 140 grain bullets, and I'll work to confirm my previous loads on 158 grain with 2400. I wanted flat trajectories and high velocities, but looking at the difference in trajectory for a 125g and 158g, they don't seem much different. Seems the silhouette shooters know a lot they're not telling, I see what they can do but can't find much info about loading for it.

I got the BC's from the loading manuals and used some online reloading software, Hornady I think, to help estimate the trajectories and velocities.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:07 PM   #14
 
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GP100Man, I found my eyesight starting to deterirorate so I started practing shooting more (without optics). Works wonders for some people. In fact for some conditions the doc gives eye exercises! I was an infantry soldier in the 101st Airborne (1/187 Rakkasans), and everyone qualifies at 400M with open sights, glasses or not.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:21 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVID RUSSO View Post
......
Next I'm going to try 140 grain bullets, and I'll work to confirm my previous loads on 158 grain with 2400. I wanted flat trajectories and high velocities, but looking at the difference in trajectory for a 125g and 158g, they don't seem much different. Seems the silhouette shooters know a lot they're not telling, I see what they can do but can't find much info about loading for it. ....
What did you find out? I have a GP100 6 inch barrel.
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