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Messages - mikefamig

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Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 29, 2021, 09:25:16 pm »
After all of the time that I spent trying to come up with a good recipe for hard cast lead bullets in a 357 magnum I decided to not use the bullseye powder and instead go with 3.8 to 4.2 grains of Trail Boss powder with a 158 grain lswc.

 I understand that there are many tried and true combinations of powder and bullet that I can use but supplies are not available at any price right now so I am restricted to using the powders and bullets that I have on hand which is Bullseye, Trail Boss and hard cast lead bullets. ~16 BHN.

I used a vernier caliper to measure how much powder fits in the case and 4.2 will give me a nice safe load. I used a charge bar that is made for a large load of 2400 powder and made shims in the lathe to meter 3.8 and 4.2 grains of TE.

 Alliant doesn't recommend that you use Bullseye with a bare lead bullet and that bothers me so Trail Boss it is.


Stars Want to Sell/Want to Buy / Re: Should I Stick With Star?
« on: January 16, 2021, 11:22:00 am »
i personally can't think of why I would change to a different progressive press other than the fact that I would be able to buy generic die sets at a lower price than the cost of Star parts.

 I did consider buying a single stage press when I had hundreds of old shells to decap in order to wash them. It would also allow me to use a powder measure to fill casings individually and get away from needing a bunch of charge bars.


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 16, 2021, 08:18:41 am »
I also have a 3.5 grain Bullseye charge bar and will load a couple of them.

I also did some research on Trail Boss powder and found this at

If you don't see Trail Boss data for your favorite cartridge we have a formula for developing loads for all cartridges and it's simple to follow.  This formula may be used in both rifle and pistol applications:

Find where the base of the bullet to be loaded is located in the case and make a mark on the outside of the case at this location.  Then fill the case to that mark with Trail Boss, pour into the scale pan and weigh.  This is your maximum load.  Pressures will be below the maximum allowed for this cartridge and perfectly safe to use!Take 70% of this powder charge weight (multiply the maximum load from step 1 by .7), and that is your starting load.Start with this beginning load and work up to your maximum charge, all the while searching for the most accurate reduced load.  Once found, the fun begins!''

I did this test and found that the 357 magnum casing held about 5.3 grains of Trail Boss which bothered me becasue the IMR web site calls for a maximum load of 4.2 grains not 5.3. I then filled a 38 special casing and found that it did hold about 4.2 grains of powder which is the same as the maximum recommended for 357 magnum. Then it occurred to me to look at the web site for the maximum load for the 38 special and it was the same as the maximum for the 357 magnum (4.2).

I do not know why they have the same maximum load for both 38 spc and 357 magnum but if you can believe the above procedure then the maximum for the 357 is more like 5.2 than 4.2 for Trail Boss powder.


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 16, 2021, 08:01:58 am »
Your Question: I don't recall ever loading 7 grains of Bullseye for The 158 gr LSWC in 357 mag, I think that would be a little to hot.  Never had to get to 7 grs.
When developing a load for 357 mag using Bullseye I normally start with the suggested start load in "Alliant Powder reloading guide" and work up.
4.8 gr of Bullseye behind Your 158 LSWC should give a velocity of around 940 feet in a 6 inch barrel. Use Your 5 gr powder slide, load a dozen and give them a try. check for over pressure signs, check for leading, leading near the forcing cone  will indicate you need to increase the amount of powder, leading near the muzzle indicates high pressure. and then start tweeking the powder charge for accuracy.
I bought My first Star loader in 1956 "still have it" and a few more.

Good Shooting



Thanks again for the reply. I called Alliant and actually got a call back from a human being. I was told that the 4.8 grains recommended on the web site is the maximum load. It's amazing to me that the web site just puts the number out there without saying if it is a starting point or maximum so I got that cleared up.

When I pointed out to him that the Lee manual stated that you could load between 5.8 and 6.5 he explained that it is because they are testing with a harder bullet. Alliant is a sister company to Speer so Alliant load data is for use with Speer lead bullets.

I learned that higher pressures are needed to obturate a harder bullet and that Lee must be testing with a harder bullet than Alliant. I bought stateline bullets and they are BHN 16 which is a relatively hard lead bullet so I'll be wanting a moderate to high pressure load.

To sum it up I think that you are correct to start with the 5 grain load and see how that goes. I loaded some 38 special with the 2.7 charge bar which is dropping more like 3.8 and 3.9 Bullseye and I have not seen any leading but I did not look closely. I'll have to have a close look at those guns.

Thanks again, Mike.

Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:56:06 pm »
For anyone who might be interested, I found a bit of information today that explains why there is such a wide range of loads recommended for the BE powder, 158gr swc in a 357 magnum casing. The answer lies in the hardness of the bullet. Larger loads call for harder bullets to withstand the heat and pressures of the load.

My bullets are BHN 16 which is relatively hard and capable of being fired at the higher end of the scale of powder loads. I am not certain if it is a problem to use hard bullets at lower load/pressures but I am convinced that it is a problem to use soft lead at higher load/pressures.

Now I'm close to making a decision but not quite there yet. I have three Bullseye charge bars that fall into the range of 357 magnum loads for 158gr lswc bullets, 3.5, 5.0 and 6.0.

Has anyone here used any of the above combinations who are willing to share their experience?


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 15, 2021, 11:50:53 am »
Reading around the net I'm seeing accounts of using from as little as 2.7 grain 38spc loads thru 7 grains of Bullseye powder with the 158 grain LSWC in a 357 magnum casing which is not much help to me. I have however seen more than one recommendation around 5gr for a nice accurate load. Seems to me the 357 casing is very versatile.

Any other suggestions?


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 15, 2021, 09:47:00 am »
Using the 148 grain SWC You have on hand, I suggest a starting load of 4.8 grains of Bullseye, watch for leading near the forcing cone, if it leads, try increasing the powder by .5 grains until leading stops. Don't exceed  7.0 grains.
Use this suggestion at Your own risk ! 

Good Shooting



Have you personally loaded as much as 7 grains of BE with this bullet or are you going by the Lee table? I would love to hear some real life experience as opposed to data. This is my first time loading these and have no idea of what is reasonable.



Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 15, 2021, 01:25:15 am »
I have a 5gr and a 6gr charge bar so I'll start with the 5. I am still curious why the Lee book calls for 5.8 to 6.4 grains. Based on that I was prepared to start with the 6 grain charge bar. How is Lee so far from the 4.8 recommended by Alliant?


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 14, 2021, 08:31:55 pm »
Thanks Lindy but it is a 158 grain bullet, not 148. I think that your numbers are still good though.

Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 14, 2021, 07:22:58 pm »
Thanks Dave. These still have a waxy substance filling the groove and don't look bad, I just wonder if the lube would do it's job after so many years. I like the idea of just massaging them in some new lube.

Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:44:22 pm »
Another question

I have a bunch of old bullets that were sized and lubed about 40 to 50 years ago. The lube is brown and I'm hesitant to use them because the lube looks a little dry. Do you guys think that it would matter? I've been loading the stateline bullets that I bought up to this point but I'm tempted to use the old ones.


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:32:29 pm »

Sorry for the oversight. I'm using 158gr LSWC that I bought from stateline bullets


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / 357 magnum load data question
« on: January 14, 2021, 03:20:42 pm »
Forgive me if this is a beginner question but I am a beginner reloader.

I just got my star press set up for 357 magnum ammo that I'll be using in a revolver and now I'm looking at load data and  I have two powders on hand, Bullseye and Trailboss

I found two sources of data for the bullseye powder - Lee modern reloading and the Alliant web site and only the Hogden web site for the trail boss.

What bothers me is that the Lee manual says to use from 5.8 to 6.5 grains of BE while the Alliant web site says to use only  4.8grains. Of course the velocity is greater with the larger loads but why such a wide range? Why does Lee show a minimum of 5.8 while Lee shows a minimum of 4.8? 

Bottom line is that I have a 6.0 BE charge bar for my star press that I am hoping to use. According to Lee I should be fine but the smaller 4.8 recommendation from Hogden bothers me.

So a few questions

1 Is 6.0 grains of Bullseye safe? Do i believe Lee or play it safe and go with Hogden's smaller load?
2 Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 357 magnum and is it good bad or ugly?

Being that I can't find supplies to buy anywhere Iam limited to what I have on hand.

Any help?


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: problem crimping 357 magnum
« on: January 14, 2021, 12:19:06 pm »
Something I'd like to add

I noticed that when I pressed the bullet into the casing with no crrimp the bullet fit very tightly. I could not even spin it with my fingers and it was not crimped yet. The 38 special casings that I loaded previous to this were much looser and definitely needed the crimp to hold the bullet in place. I'm thinking that these 357 casings are a harder brass material that the 38's.


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: problem crimping 357 magnum
« on: January 14, 2021, 12:09:43 pm »
Thanks much, I'll work with it some more today and let you know how it goes.


I had at it again and things went much better.

I started by removing and carefully cleaning the crimp and the seating stem and re-assembling. There was some muddy stuff in the stem and it is all clean now.

Then I placed a sized casing (no flare) in the shell plate and adjusted the crimp die to just touch the case and locked it in position. I  did not turn it down at all as I don't want a crimp yet. The seating stem i raised as high as it could go at this point.

Then I flared the same casing, placed a bullet in it and put it back in the press.

Then lowered the press and brought the seating stem down to just touch the top of a bullet.

Then I repeatedly lowered the press adjusting the seating stem about 1 or two turns at a time until I got the OAL that I want (1.565).

Then lastly I turned the crimping die down about a half turn while raising the seating stem and equal amount.

I'll do a couple more before loading any powder but it looks good. Thanks all for the help


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