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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 Remington Maximum (in a Ruger Blackhawk)(using Hornady bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Jul 12 2013

The .357 Remington Maximum was developed in 1982 as a joint effort between Sturm, Ruger & Company and Remington Arms. The case is based on a lengthened .357 Magnum case, but with a Small Rifle Primer pocket. It was initially offered with a single factory load containing a 158-grain JHP bullet at an advertised 1,825 fps. The gun was basically a Super Blackhawk with a stretched cylinder frame to accommodate the unusually long revolver cartridge, and was available in 7 ½- and 10-inch barrel lengths. It was intended to catch on with handgun hunters and silhouette competitors, which it did to some degree. Soon Dan Wesson, Thompson/Center Arms and others also began offering guns. But the revolvers were too large and heavy for general-purpose use (hip carrying) and ammunition was known to cut the top-strap above the barrel cylinder gap, all of which limited its popularity. Ruger discontinued manufacture of its Blackhawk by 1984, and other companies soon followed. Ammunition for the .357 Maximum is now discontinued by Remington and Federal Cartridge; however, brass is still available from Remington, leaving it a handloading proposition only.

Industry maximum average pressures for the .357 Remington Maximum are established at 48,000 cup. A Small Rifle Primer is suggested to better handle this level of pressure and also gives more reliable powder ignition.

Large extreme spreads and notable flame cutting of the top-strap were observed while developing loads with the 110-, 125- and 140-grain bullets. A substantial increase in accuracy with the 180-grain Hornady HP-XTP bullet was also noticed, particularly with maximum powder charges containing Hodgdon H-110 and Winchester 296 (exactly the same powder), Lil’Gun and Alliant 2400.

Standard die sets for the .357 Magnum and .38 Special are suitable for handloading the Maximum. A heavy roll crimp is suggested to keep bullets in place during recoil and aids with proper powder ignition and helps to lower extreme spreads.