Needing some start up guidance - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Needing some start up guidance

All,
I'm just getting into trying my hand at some pistol reloading. My son bought me a Lee Classic Reloader kit, the simple one that uses hand tools and a mallet, not a press. The kit is for 357 mag as I have a Ruger Blackhawk with a 6" barrel (that is what it lists as, but it is shorter than a true 6").

While at the Hamburg Cabelas looking to get a scale, powder and ball, one of their salesmen helped me. I had the small reloading table that came with the reloading kit. He said that there were lots of other loads in a book he had there, a single caliber load book. He told me I wanted H110 powder, 550 mag pistol primers, and said that Berry's 158 grain target hollow points were good since I was reloading just for plinking.

Once I got home and started to do some research I realized the Berry's rounds only tolerate up to 1250fps but the H110 powder yeilds closer to 1400fps. Also, I've found lots of folks on line who warn about the sensitivity of H110 powder. Lastly, though I told the salesman I was looking for mostly light target loads, the recommended powder he suggested is a serious mag powder.

I plan on going back to see if I can return the powder and ball, neither of which I opened. I'm looking for suggestions for a someone new to this. Obviously, a bit more forgiving powder might be in order and rounds that can handle the velocity of it would also be good.

The Lee loader came with some recommended powders and round types, is it smart to just follow this? I also have the single caliber load book for 357, should I just go off one of the lines from it? I'm leaning that way. It sort of annoys me that at the store the fellow acted like an expert, steering me away from the clear line on the load data card. Then when I get home, open the book he suggested, and spend time looking on line at load data, I'm left feeling like he set me up with a wrong combination.

Somebody please set me straight. Am I over thinking this? Can I go with what I have? Should I take the stuff back and get something based straight off the load card?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 11:49 PM
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He set you up for hot magnum loads. Hang onto the Berrys and the powder. You can use the Berrys now and you may want to try the powder later.

Do you have any 38 spl brass? I would start out loading 38 Spl target loads. A powder like Bullseye and the 158 Berrys should work out OK. If you don't have 38 brass you can still use your 357 magnum brass. I'll check the manuals tomorrow and post some loads.

BTW I do not think Cabela's will let you return powder. I'd call first before I made the trip.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 11:59 PM
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H110 can be loaded with 12.1 grains for about 1000 fps and work up to 16.5 grains max for around 1300 fps according to the Hornady manual with 158 grain bullets. 1400 fps is a pretty stiff load with a 158 grain bullet. You can make what you have work, but there are better powders available for your intended use.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick feedback. I do not have any 38 brass and I think the hand load set only works for 357 so I think I'm limited in that area.

I think my main confusion is in the data I'm seeing that varies tremendously by source. Since I can't find anything on the Berry's round in any of my loading data (speer, hornady, sierra are all mentioned but not berry) I get a bit confused. The powder bottle says use 14.5 grains for a 158 grain bullet, but that is pretty generic. The Hornady data says I can go down to 8.6 grains for a velocity of 1200 but that is only listed for their 158grain FP XTP, HP XTP and their 160 grain CL-SIL. It isn't even listed with their 158grain LRN, SWC HP, or SWC rounds. Each different manufacturer, whether bullet or powder, has so many varied charge sizes listed but none that relate to Berry.

I guess what I don't know is the proper characteristics of the Berry bullet to compare it to the charts I have. On line all I have found is:
Berry's Superior Plated Bullets are swaged and plated to final weight and re-struck
for accuracy and precision. They are more affordable than jacketed rounds and won't
foul your barrel with lead.
The Target Hollow Point is similar to the flat point profile but the hollow point nose cuts a
cleaner hole through the target and allows the bullet profile to be longer providing more contact
area with the barrel and rifling to stabilize the bullet and improve accuracy.
SAAMI MAX .357 Mag COL = 1.590
SAAMI MAX .38 Spl COL = 1.550
Can withstand velocities up to 1250 fps.


In looking at the Sierra Data, their 158 grain JHC or JSP has H110 as a recommended powder in charges of 13.3 grain (1150 fps), 14.8 grain (1200 fps), or 16.3 grain (1250). So I can go buy some Sierra .357 in JSP and use the powder I have, but I still don't know what I can use to load these Berry's.


Sorry for sounding paranoid and incredibly inexperienced. I'm certainly inexperienced! I could be paranoid!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 02:19 PM
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I'm pretty sure for plated bullets like berrys you are supposed to use cast lead data. If you need some data I can check for you tomorrow as I have the Lyman manual on my bench. 110 is best for hot loads. It may work but watch for leading of the barrel if you push them too fast.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 07:43 PM
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Lead bullets may start to lead the barrel anywhere above 1000 fps depending on the hardness of the bullet itself. You should be fine with Berrys to around 1200 fps since they are a plated bullet. I woudn't be scared to try them at that velocity, but that's just me. I shoot plated 115 grain 9mm at 1100 fps with no problems
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Last edited by PA/MDBowhunter; 01-18-2018 at 07:45 PM. Reason: more info added
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntnfish4life View Post
I'm pretty sure for plated bullets like berrys you are supposed to use cast lead data. If you need some data I can check for you tomorrow as I have the Lyman manual on my bench. 110 is best for hot loads. It may work but watch for leading of the barrel if you push them too fast.
I'd appreciate what your lyman book and experience might say. Thanks for offering the help.

I understand the fear of leading the barrel. I definitely want to avoid that so I'd like to make sure I don't overcrimp the round and cut the plating and I want to make sure I keep the round at 1200fps or lower.

Again, thanks for the help all.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 08:56 PM
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Stick to published loads. Yes there is a lot of variance in published load data, but it is generally safe as it is published from a reputable source. For a beginner its best to follow the published loads to a T. More than likely you can return the bullets but not the powder.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 09:47 PM
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Try this.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 09:50 PM
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I would try bullseye or bluedot but that's just my preference and what I stock. Bluedot is good in 10mm and I believe 44 too
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