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Range Report - 200gr FTX in a .357 Mag TC Contender

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  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,579 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Correction, my friend. I love Contenders!!! I was very displeased with the Encore. I LOATH Thompson Center and their customer service/quality control since S&W bought them.

    They can choke on sand for all I care in their current state.

    Just ran across this http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=396301671
    right up your alley

    Sako
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Except, I'm not interested in the .357 Maximum. I have .357 mag ammo and therefore .357 Mag brass. But, that is a nice price, though!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Correction, my friend. I love Contenders!!! I was very displeased with the Encore. I LOATH Thompson Center and their customer service/quality control since S&W bought them.

    They can choke on sand for all I care in their current state.

    Ah. Based on our last discussion on them, I thought you didn't have much use for the pistols themselves. I've always liked them, meself, but never got one, but I've always enjoyed my friends' ones, from .22lr thru .44 magnum all the way up to .45-70 and .223!
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Alright!!!! I have the forend from Shooter and the dies from my friend.

    My friend loaned me a set of Redding dies. Whisch I wanted to try, as my .35 Whelen dies are from Redding. The plan was to take the seating stem out of my Whelen dies and try them in the .357 Mag dies. Unfortunately, that doesn't work. The rifle seating stem is too short. Though it fits in the die perfectly, the stem doesn't reach the bullet sitting on the mouth of the case. So, plan "B".

    357Magand200grFTXloadsystem4_zpsd2343736.jpg

    It's a Vikerman Inline Bullet Seating Die. Pretty darn sweet!

    357Magand200grFTXloadsystem3_zpse8357951.jpg

    And it works like a champ!!!

    I have the next set of test loads ready for the range tomorrow.

    12.5gr
    13.0gr
    13.3gr

    QL listed 13.5gr of H110 to be a max load. We will see what happens when I reach 13.3 grains. If I can go higher...........I will.

    What signs should I be looking for in this science project to let me know I've reached a MAX load?

    Flat Primer?
    Sticky Extraction?

    Same as any other load?

    I'll fire these off tomorrow afternoon. If the 13.3 shoots fine, I'll go home and load some 13.5gr and give them a try.

    Once I have a final load, I'll chronograph them. I'm planning to push these as fast as safely possible with practical accuracy for 100 yard shooting.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    This maybe your coolest project yet.

    Your kids are going to kick butt at science fairs if you guide them.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    What signs should I be looking for in this science project to let me know I've reached a MAX load?

    Flat Primer?
    Sticky Extraction?

    Even when I got up to the bruised/cut hands level with my 300 grain .45 Colt Blackhawk ammo, I didn't see any of the classic overpressure signs. Straight wall cases just don't give much warning of pressure problems. If you get to the sticky extraction point you're already into dangerous pressures, according to what I've read from several sources. If that happens, it's prudent to back off a little.
    Jerry
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Alright, I went ahead and loaded up some test loads at

    13.5gr
    14.0gr

    If things are going peachy with the increase, having these with me will save time. If things get hairy at 13.3gr or 13.5gr................I can always pull the heavier loads when I get home. I'd just as soon get as much accomplished at the range as possible. This way, I hope to determine a max load today and the next range trip will be to chronograph that load.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Alright!!!! I have the forend from Shooter and the dies from my friend.

    My friend loaned me a set of Redding dies. Whisch I wanted to try, as my .35 Whelen dies are from Redding. The plan was to take the seating stem out of my Whelen dies and try them in the .357 Mag dies. Unfortunately, that doesn't work. The rifle seating stem is too short. Though it fits in the die perfectly, the stem doesn't reach the bullet sitting on the mouth of the case. So, plan "B".

    357Magand200grFTXloadsystem4_zpsd2343736.jpg

    It's a Vikerman Inline Bullet Seating Die. Pretty darn sweet!

    357Magand200grFTXloadsystem3_zpse8357951.jpg

    And it works like a champ!!!

    I have the next set of test loads ready for the range tomorrow.

    12.5gr
    13.0gr
    13.3gr

    QL listed 13.5gr of H110 to be a max load. We will see what happens when I reach 13.3 grains. If I can go higher...........I will.

    What signs should I be looking for in this science project to let me know I've reached a MAX load?

    Flat Primer?
    Sticky Extraction?

    Same as any other load?

    I'll fire these off tomorrow afternoon. If the 13.3 shoots fine, I'll go home and load some 13.5gr and give them a try.

    Once I have a final load, I'll chronograph them. I'm planning to push these as fast as safely possible with practical accuracy for 100 yard shooting.

    Remember when he was like "so whats the big deal with reloading anyways?"

    Now look at him. Mad scientist.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I would chrono EACH load. See what the minimum (baseline if you will) is, then make sure you are getting an increase in velocity with an increase I powder charge. You may be using a half grain more powder for no gain in velocity.
    You've got a damn chrono, use it you stubborn .

    meh-jason-leonti_zpsbcf85cb6.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Heading to the range.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Hehehehehehe.............hohohohohohohoho..................

    :jigdancing:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    I'm heading back to the range to chronograph and shoot water jugs to catch a bullet.

    Results this evening.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • TSchubTSchub Senior Member Posts: 783 Senior Member
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I'm heading back to the range to chronograph and shoot water jugs to catch a bullet.

    Results this evening.

    Well, it sounds like my barrel survived the day. That's a good thing! :up:
    I'm anxious to hear the velocity numbers. It would surprise me if that bullet expanded much at 10" barrel velocities, but hey..... you have the white lab coat on.
    Did your final loads have the tips removed as you did initially?

    Re-checked your photo, tips are still there.
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member

    FINAL REPORT

    At the range, I fired the 12.5gr load first.

    IMG_0821_zpsf3cbc6ad.jpg

    To say I was pleased, would be an understatement.

    Then, I fired the 13.0gr load without a hitch. Seeing no issues, I went straight to the 13.5gr load which QL listed as a MAX. That one fired with no problem. So, I went for gold and fired the heaviest load I had with me.

    A load of 14.0 grains of H110.

    IMG_0820_zps4901aa64.jpg

    I was pretty darn happy and decided to stop there. That final load was the only one that I started to see the primer edges come up towards flat. But, no extraction issues or anything hinky.

    As for accuracy, the groups gradually increased from .300" to .573" as the charge increased. But, we are talking a difference of .273" between all 4 loads!

    Happy with the 14.0 grain load, I ran home and loaded some more with that charge. Returning to the range with my chronograph and empty gallon jugs.

    In the process, I'd loaded 3 rounds with CCI-Small Rifle Primers and 3 rounds with CCI-Small Pistol Magnum Primers in order to see if there was a difference in velocity between the two primers.

    Fired the Small Rifle Primer loads first:

    IMG_0817_zps7f435904.jpg

    I was ecstatic!!! I was hoping to get near 1,300 fps with this endeavor. I never anticipated hitting darn near 1,400fps!!!!

    Next, I fired the Small Pistol Magnum Primer loads:

    IMG_0818_zps73e12ecb.jpg

    You can draw your own results but, a difference of 1 fps between the two primers ain't a lot. I did notice that the SD was lower with the Magnum Primers. Maybe they ignite the powder a little more efficiently? Don't know. You tell me.

    Either way, I was pretty darn happy with these results. Time to set up the water jugs at 50 yards.

    I set up 6 jugs in hopes of catching the bullet. Fired the round and, POOF! Went down to see the damage and found 4 jugs destroyed and the bullet nicking the 5th jug as it veered off to the right. I was unable to find that bullet.

    With only 4 jugs left, I lined them up and put a sheet of 1/2" plywood behind them. "BOOM", the jugs exploaded! Went down to claim my prize and saw a hole through the plywood. Not good! Walking slowly down range, I saw nothing until I came to the 100 yard berm. There at the base of the berm was a divot of fresh dirt. Digging my fingers into the dirt, I located the bullet about 3" underground. Darn near fully intact...........except the tip.

    IMG_0822_zpsb86883f6.jpg

    Well, that dashed my dreams. I was hoping for some expansion. The deformation to the tip, I'm pretty sure was from either the plywood or the ground. Nothing to do with the water.

    Did I expect expansion? No!

    Was I HOPING for expansion? Yes!

    Oh well. This was an exceedingly fun project for me. I learned a great deal and ended up with a cool load. I tell ya what, it may not be a hunting load...............but this sucker will penetrate!!!!! There is no question about that.

    I exceeded my goal of breaking 1,300fps and kept my body parts in the process. I exceeded my accuracy goal in the process as well. I was hoping for 1/2" and I beat that. so, I didn't get the expansion I hoped for...........but I got penetration!!!

    2 out of 3 ain't bad!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Dude! Those are some smokin' fast loads from a short pistol barrel. And the velocity difference isn't worth writing home about between rifle and pistol primers. Decent accuracy to say the least. You're right; two out of three ain't bad!
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,296 Senior Member
    So, would you still use this load on a hog? I am surprised that this did not expand in the least hitting 4 jugs and a piece of plywood:uhm:. Good effort on your part and your assitants:up:.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Dude! Those are some smokin' fast loads from a short pistol barrel. And the velocity difference isn't worth writing home about between rifle and pistol primers. Decent accuracy to say the least. You're right; two out of three ain't bad!

    If you want, I'll load you up 5 rounds with the 14.0gr charge and send them to you to test in your rifle. That is, if you feel safe and comfortable shooting them in your gun. It would be interesting to see the increase in velocity. Maybe you can get them to expansion speed?

    Your call.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    4 water jugs and a sheet of plywood? That is some wicked penetration. I would not have expected that.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    So, would you still use this load on a hog?

    I'd probably still use them for hogs under 50 yards. The jugs exploded pretty well, so there is some hydrostatic shock. If from nothing other than speed and frontal diameter. I think they'd kill a pig well enough. Especially on a frontal shot!!!! Haha!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    4 water jugs and a sheet of plywood? That is some wicked penetration. I would not have expected that.

    I'm downloading the videos to Photobucket. I'll post them when finished. Just taking forever!!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,296 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I'd probably still use them for hogs under 50 yards. The jugs exploded pretty well, so there is some hydrostatic shock. If from nothing other than speed and frontal diameter. I think they'd kill a pig well enough. Especially on a frontal shot!!!! Haha!

    Yes please, the next logical step in the process.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    The penetration is similar to my .338 Federal water jug tests with that 225gr Deepcurl. Granted, my expansion was almost an inch. I may have to send you some of the 200gr roundnose I got for my 35 Remington. I bet they open up at a slower velocity than those spire points (which appear to have been designed for .35 Whelen velocities).
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I bet they open up at a slower velocity than those spire points (which appear to have been designed for .35 Whelen velocities).

    Hornady told me these bullets were designed for the .35 Remington and supposed to have a velocity threshold of 1,800-2,600 fps.

    My Whelen pushes them at 2,841 fps.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Yes please, the next logical step in the process.

    Wait until you see the videos of the jugs being struck. I'll explain my finding then.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Hmmm. 35 Remington is a pretty weak load. I am surprised that a bullet designed for that doesn't open up in water going close to 1400fps.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Hmmm. 35 Remington is a pretty weak load. I am surprised that a bullet designed for that doesn't open up in water going close to 1400fps.

    At 50 yards, it has 1,300 fps upon impact. Just food for thought.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,581 Senior Member
    [h=2]Ballistics Results - .357 Mag 200gr FTX[/h]

    Range (yards)
    Velocity (fps)
    Energy (ft.-lb.)
    Trajectory (in)
    Come UP in MOA
    Come UP in Mils
    Wind Drift (in)
    Wind Drift in MOA
    Wind Drift in Mils












    Muzzle
    1388
    856
    -1.5
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0


    25
    1342
    800
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0


    50
    1300
    750
    0.3
    -0.5
    -0.1
    0
    0
    0


    75
    1259
    704
    -0.7
    0.9
    0.3
    0
    0
    0


    100
    1221
    662
    -3.1
    3
    0.9
    0
    0
    0

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Hodgdon is listing 35 Remington loads with the 200gr FTX starting at 1839fps and the fastest load at 2116 (and that is using Leverevolution powder). An 1800-2600 velocity threshold bullet is a bad match for that cartridge.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
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