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  #1  
Old 06-18-2019, 6:20 AM
Tommy Gun Tommy Gun is offline
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Default Question about 357 Mag and Win 231

Hey folks.

So it's that time again where I get a new caliber bug and want to get a wheel gun. I've been eyeing the S&W 686 4 inch for about a year and getting close to buying one. My question is that can I get close to Magnum power with 231? I'd probably be reloading with 157s, but maybe one size down depending.

Reason its Win 231 is that I bought an 8lb jug of it because I use it for 9mm and 45 acp already and wanted to keep it in the win 231 family. Loading Manuel's have 231 starting charges almost half of others, probably because it's a faster powder? But in your experiences can I reliably get 1200 to 1400 fps safely with it? This is also for a future lever action i would want to get.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2019, 7:44 AM
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FLIGHT762 FLIGHT762 is offline
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231 is a fast pistol powder. With a 158 lead or JHP you will max out in safe pressures at about 6.7-6.9 grains. You will get about 1200 FPS + - depending on barrel length. Go much higher than that, you'll put your eye out.

Bad thing is you'll have a lot of space left in a 357 case, a very risky situation for a double charge, you'll need to be very careful and work up to those powder charges. Use several sources for your maximum powder charge.

You will NOT get full Magnum velocities out of 231. 1200 FPS is getting close.
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Old 06-18-2019, 7:48 AM
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Use the 231 for .38 spl loads, all 11,000 of them.

For full power, 110, 296, or 2400.

The savings is not worth the wrong powder, for me.
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Old 06-18-2019, 7:56 AM
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I use W231 in .38spl, 45acp, 45colt (rifle) with great success.
For .357 I like 2400 or H110. YMMV.
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Old 06-18-2019, 8:02 AM
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My rule of thumb for a pistol powder is that I prefer not to use any powder that fills to under half the case for the load I make.

It's not law or anything, but just my way of loading for pistols.
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Old 06-18-2019, 8:16 AM
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answer is NO, load the 357 like a +P 38 special is a very nice laod with 231.

Use H110 or WW 296 for magniums
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Old 06-18-2019, 8:55 AM
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2400 is a very good powder for the .357. More forgiving for loads that are not max. 231 really isn't a good choice for .357.
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Old 06-18-2019, 9:40 AM
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God damnit....Guess 8lbs of Win 231 is destined to last me a lifetime. I'll just grab a different powder once I buy the Revolver. Makes sense if I want to utilize 357 for lever gun as well. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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I use powders from #15(TiteGroup) through #141 (H1000). I'll say the 2 pounds of TiteGroup are going to last a really, really long time.

Use up your 8 pounds, just be super careful about a double charge.
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Old 06-18-2019, 1:41 PM
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Used to use it for 45. Kinda dirty with hard cast though. Use hard cast or plated, keep velo around 1000-1100 fps and you should be good.


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  #11  
Old 06-28-2019, 8:15 PM
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Just to resurrect this post, I'm going tomorrow to DROS a S&W 686 6". Looking online for componants I have narrowed down to:

1k mixed head stamp. 357 brass from Diamond K

And from Midsouth Shooters:
750 Magnus 158gr Jacketed Flat Points ( Good reviews, economical and not plated which only is good to 1250 FPS)
H110 x3 lbs
Lee 4 Die

Next question I have is I am also loading for a future lever gun (Marlin 1896) Which I hope to get on sale sometime during the holidays. For Rifle 357 which Grain would you all recommend for up to 200yds; 124s (high velocity almost 2k out of a 10 inch barrel) Or would the 157s at about 1600 FPS shoot almost just as flat at 200yds?

Flat points aren't as aerodynamic obviously and most times I would just be shooting to 100yds which will shoot pretty much like the 124s. But would love your thoughts guys.
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Old 06-29-2019, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Gun View Post
... I've been eyeing the S&W 686 4 inch for about a year and getting close to buying one. My question is that can I get close to Magnum power with 231?

... But in your experiences can I reliably get 1200 to 1400 fps safely with it? This is also for a future lever action i would want to get.
W231 is a powder for .38 Special. You are not going to get 1200 fps.

Last year I got the S&W 686 Plus 4 inch. Really great handgun but it has been used mostly with .38 Special loads.
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Old 06-29-2019, 9:53 PM
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Too late, but unless you really want the last little fps increment, I find 2400 to be more accurate than 296/H110.
I would not use a powder slower than Unique in a .357 unless I was loading wadcutters for .38 Special target loads.
231 works beautifully in all my .45s, with soft to hard 200gn L-SWCs at 750-800fps and is, in fact, the most accurate powder I have found to date for my .45s.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2019, 5:09 AM
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Do you need 1200 fps?

I get to 935 fps with 5.6 grains HP38/158 grain plated bullet, out of a 4" 686.

Shoots like a .38sp +p. Comfortable to shoot paper all day long.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2019, 8:09 PM
Tommy Gun Tommy Gun is offline
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Finally received my shipment and started some handloads.

Man the H110 really binds up the Lee Perfect Powder Measure, had to loosen the tension screw so its a little messy but not crazy. Don't have that issue with Win 748 so was surprised. Also are the crimps good? It definitely locks in at the cannular but doesn't feel overly strong when I run it into the die. See below.

Remington Brass
CCI 550 MagSPP
16gr H110
158gr JHP


.357 mag.jpg
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2019, 6:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Gun View Post
God damnit....Guess 8lbs of Win 231 is destined to last me a lifetime. I'll just grab a different powder once I buy the Revolver. Makes sense if I want to utilize 357 for lever gun as well. Thanks guys.
Try to connect with other reloaders in your area and sell or trade for different powders you can use. You'll be surprised how many guys buy large quantities of powder to save $$ and are always a few who are willing to off some. I recently got two pounds of Win 296 from a guy who used to shoot revolvers but quit due to wrist issues. All he wanted in trade was a pound of Bullseye.
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