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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.357 MAGNUM RIFLE

Author: Brian Pearce
Date: Apr 17 2020

The .357 Magnum was introduced in 1935 as a joint effort between Smith & Wesson and Winchester. Its popularity has been widespread; being chambered in double- and single-action revolvers, single-shot pistols, derringers and even auto-loading pistols. Although it is primarily a revolver cartridge, it has been chambered in several rifle types including single shot, bolt action and pump action, but has been most popular in lever actions. With proper loads, ballistics can be surprising.

Many repeating rifles will accept cartridges that exceed SAAMI or industry maximum overall cartridge lengths. For these rifles the 140-grain Hornady FTX bullet can be seated to the cannelure in standard length cases measuring between 1.280 and 1.290 inch, then crimped for an overall cartridge length around 1.630 inch. However, not all repeating rifles will function with these “long” cartridges. In these instances cases should be trimmed to 1.250 inch, with the FTX seated to the cannelure and crimped for an overall cartridge length of 1.590 inches.

Many traditional .38 Special/.357 Magnum dies will not seat the FTX bullets correctly. For instance either the rubber tip will get damaged or the bullet becomes bulged (as if it is beginning to expand), or they seat slightly tilted. Use either a modified seating plug that matches the profile of the bullet and does not contact the rubber tip, or contact Hornady for a new set of dies (or seater plug) designed specifically to fit the FTX.

Hornady swaged lead bullets should never be used with data intended for jacketed bullets, or excess barrel leading will probably occur, which will result in decreased accuracy and pressures may become excessive and possibly dangerous.