Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recoil Therapy.

Od NFO talks about recoil therapy and I'm in the mood for some. I got a pound of Lil'Gun powder off the freight truck yesterday and this afternoon I loaded some of the Ranch Dog bullets (Lee's designation would be TLC358-180-RF) over a max charge of powder. It's a big ole honking bullet, 180 grains, gas checked with a wide, flat meplat. I intend to shoot it my Model 28 and my Marlin 1894. This is a bullet that Ranch Dog designed for the .35 Remington, but some of us have adapted it to the .357 magnum.

I had tried this bullet with Blue Dot but wasn't happy with the velocity. It was running about 1100 fps and recoil was easily controllable in that big revolver. Some folks recommended Lil'Gun and Junior sings rave reviews on it. I'm just under Hodgdon's max charge and I'm going to compare the velocity from the 6" Model 28 and the velocity from the 16" Marlin carbine. It should be an interesting experiment.

This is my first time out with Lil'Gun powder and I'm excited to see what it'll do. The Hodgdon data center tells me that I should expect velocities in the 1400 fps range out of the pistol. What it might do from the carbine is yet to be seen.

I'll shoot them on Saturday morning.


Anonymous said...

I have a 357 carbine I would like to hog hunt with. I am can't wait to read your report on these loads.

Old NFO said...

Enjoy the 'therapy' and looking forward to the range report :-)

Termite said...

Ranch Dog has discontinued the TLC359-180-RF.

I wonder if Lee Precision still has a copy of the mold dimensions, and if they would make some more.

Rivrdog said...

Is there a factory-made bullet of 180-gr for the .357?

Strangely enough, my thoughts had just turned to the .357. I'm going to do some road-tripping in a couple of months, and my Ruger SP101 plus my Marlin 1894C carbine are my road companions on these Southwestern soujourns, which take me through Kali (both weapons are legal there).

In fact, a buddy in Phoenix is going to scour the Crossroads of the West gun show for me this weekend to look for said 180-gr bullets.

I have a standard load for the rifle and pistol for traveling. It is the Federal 125gr JHP. It was the EffBeeEye's favorite load during the days when they carried .357s. LEAA research said it had the best combo of wounding characteristics and penetration. It works well in snubbies, and screams out of the carbine barrel at over 1600 fps (by calculation, not measured).

This load is not for bringing down a well-muscled wild hog, for that one needs weight. It is a people stopper. The lower recoil from the lighter bullet gets the defender back on target quickly for the second and third shots.

Now, Dakota Cor-Bon also has some hot, light loads for the .357, and I tried some of their Self-Defense 125 JHP. It's about 100-125 fps faster than the Federal, but I was FAR more accurate with the Federal in the carbine, so that's what I carry. The Cor-Bon is also 25% more expensive, and is NEVER discounted.

The carbine holds 9 rounds in the tube, and I am considering upping the weight of the bullets in #4-9 to 158-gr FMJ-FN Sellier & Bellot (# 31110). It leaves a pistol barrel (unk length, prob 6") at 1270 fps with a muzzle energy of 560 foot-pounds. Very respectable, and will shoot through moderate cover, such as a car door.

The .357 Remington magnum is THE most versatile handgun cartridge ever made, and it does fine in carbines, too.