Author Topic: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?  (Read 350 times)

Offline Black River Smith

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What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« on: November 20, 2022, 12:30:08 PM »
I am thinking of getting a Rossi 357Mag '92 rifle to go with the Uberti 357 SAA I have had for years.  I have only used 38 Spec in the SAA since I got it.  I recently came across a quantity of 357Mag brass.  So now I want to start loading lighter 357 casings to use in both the handgun and rifle for functional reasons.

The thing is, I only have the Lyman 358311 RN 158 grain; the Lyman 358426 RN 147 grain; and the Lee 358-150 RN 150 grain bullet mold's for 38's.  NO FN bullet molds at all.

So the question is ::: what is the most common FN weight bullet used by CAS shooters in the 357 rifles?  And maybe ::: who's design Lyman or Lee? (Lee has both a 125 grain and a 158 grain, don't know the Lyman options and Accurate's are too expansive for just casual usage.)

PS:  I did do a search of the data and did not find a lot of topics or post about the specifics.  Yes, one or two stating 125 gr for less recoil.

Thanks for any comments.

BRS
Black River Smith

Offline Johnson Barr

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2022, 12:46:03 PM »
At CAS ranges the 125 RNFP works great and with lighter powder charges shoots flatter. As if needing to shoot flatter at 30-50 yard rifle targets makes much difference at all. I had my Rossi out yesterday and it has always favored .357 brass length over .38 Special; the Specials tend to hop on the carrier; sometimes stove piping or even flipping end to end. Not a good thing. Even with Steve's action slick-up it hates .38 spl brass. Now if I could only learn not to touch the trigger until on target I would have a much more harmonious outcome.   
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Offline Froogal

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2022, 02:14:11 PM »
I have the LEE mould for making .358-158 grain RNFP. The flat points SEEM to be a bit more accurate than the round nose but the jury is still out. I've also got a 125 grain RNFP mould. I really need to play with that one a bit more.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2022, 07:13:20 PM »

 :)  BR Smith  ;)

Some Lustrum ago or so, whence I was still in to pursuit of the Brass Ring, the "Hot" "Go-To" bullets for .38/357 were the 105Gr Truncated Cone "Snakebite" and the 125Gr Truncated Cone "no Name."   Both very popular (and still are) for both cartridges.  The KEY running anything in the '92 is correct adjustment/positioning of the right side cartridge guide.

To keep the cartridge on the carrier and feeding correctly, the right side guide needs shimmed to to just "kiss" the side of the cartridge case.  This keeps the case from flipping up and out or Stovepiping.  With the guide properly shimmed, the '92 will run and feed most anything you chose to feed it.

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Offline DeaconKC

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2022, 07:19:09 PM »
Well, I'm on my second Rossi 92. The current one has proven to be unfussy when running .38 cases with 130 grain bullets. However, the first hated any 38 Special under 140 grain bullets. Either ran 357 brass without problem. Traditionally fixed sight revolvers were regulated for 158 grain bullets at 800-850 fps.
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Offline Black River Smith

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2022, 10:16:38 AM »
Thanks to all for the comments and recommendations.  The choice is still a diverse one across the weight range.

Deacon,
Your comment was very helpful.  I did not know that about revolvers.  That will play a significant factor in the decision.  Does your comment apply to 'the SAA sights' or mainly to double action revolvers. 

Since, I changed both sights on the Rossi 44/40 Octagon Rifle I have, I will be changing the sight on this new Rifle, also.  That way I can adjust/file it for the 158-grain bullet, I would possibly use.  I would never file a fixed pistol sight.
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Offline Froogal

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2022, 10:46:09 AM »
Thanks to all for the comments and recommendations.  The choice is still a diverse one across the weight range.

Deacon,
Your comment was very helpful.  I did not know that about revolvers.  That will play a significant factor in the decision.  Does your comment apply to 'the SAA sights' or mainly to double action revolvers. 

Since, I changed both sights on the Rossi 44/40 Octagon Rifle I have, I will be changing the sight on this new Rifle, also.  That way I can adjust/file it for the 158-grain bullet, I would possibly use.  I would never file a fixed pistol sight.

I also will never file a front sight on a revolver. If too much is removed, then what?

Offline DeaconKC

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2022, 08:18:49 PM »
For our sport, there are two schools of thought on your front sights.
1. Leave them untouched and adjust your load to hit point of aim. This works well if you can get both guns to like the same load and hit to the same point.
2. Adjusting/filing the sights to hit with your favorite load. I use this method, because I use the same load for all 4 of my pistols and my 2 rifles, so they are all adjusted to the same point of aim. But...that is dependent on my guns using my preferred load.
Now, if I go and sell or trade one of my pistols, the next user will have to either use my load or possibly put a new sight the gun.
PS. The load for my .45 Colt is 7.5 grains of Unique under a 200 grain RNFP from Bustin Head Lead.
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Offline Abilene

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2022, 08:34:40 PM »
The majority of CAS shooters are shooting lighter than "factory load" bullets.  So they will tend to print low and need the front sight filed lower.  As for myself, I've never filed a sight.  Especially these days with closer targets, I just use a sight picture with the front sight raised.  It is quicker for me to pick up that sight picture, anyway.

Of course this thread started out about rifles.  I have several '73 carbines and those rear sights are not elevation adjustable, and mine tend to shoot high for CAS.  So I either add a bead to the top of the front sight or just use a 6:00 hold.

Offline Montana Slim

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2022, 06:19:54 PM »
I have an early Rossi "Baby" carbine & I use Lee Molds. I have a 125 gr TC (9mm) mold & the 158 gr RNFP mold. My latest loads are full throttle in the Magnum cases. The 158 gr bullet has a tendency to flip up at the nose when feeding into the chamber. For this reason I greatly prefer the 125 gr. Bullet.....Although it's designed for 9mm, works great & great accuracy, too whether loading in special or magnum cases. It also works well in 38 S&W... And, 9mm, too  :D

I use homemade BP lube with all my smokeless loads, too 60% deer tallow / 40% beeswax.

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Offline Black River Smith

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2022, 02:37:09 PM »
Again, thanks for all the additional comments.  I am waiting for to see if certain molds are on Black Friday sales and then buy something.

Right now, I believe I still would like the Lee 358-125 to experiment with.  Since I have the Lyman 158gr mold I will be doing some work with it in empty 357 casing for length measurements and other factors.  All this is just test until I can really put my hands of a Rossi 357 Rifle version.  Then the real testing and decisions will be made.

All this is just for fun and general casual shooting without wasting a lot of heavy lead bullets.
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Offline Froogal

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Re: What bullet weight to use in a 357Mag casing for lever rifle?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2022, 04:25:01 PM »
For what it's worth, my Lee mold puts a crimp groove in the bullet, and I seat the bullets to that crimp groove and then use the LEE factory crimp die.

 

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