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Shifty Bob

1873 Uberti 357 powder choices

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Hi,
New cowboy shooter here.

I have not reloaded 357 before. I have loaded for my Vaquero's 38 special, but I just purchased the lever gun.

I have several kinds of power on hand, but would like to just pick one and proceed to learn to shoot instead of load development.(sure I need to come up with a load powder weight)

I read several posts here on found quite a few recommendations. Just looking for a simple load, no high power needs.

I have seen Unique and Trail Boss mentioned.

Is there an overall powder that most people use? I have quite a bit of trail Boss, will that be a good choice?

 

Thanks partners.

 

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38 cases or 357 cases? 

 

I don't care for Trail Boss myself.

 

My preference is Clay's 2.7 gr 125 gr bullet 38 case.

 

Then Winchester 231, then real Black Powder. I use Unique for 44 Russian and 44-40; never used it for 38/357.

 

 

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Howdy Shifty and welcome. Most of us use the same 38sp 125gr TC in our rifles that we use in our pistols. Just make sure to load it long enough if your rifle is OAL sensitive, 1.423 works for me. However I usually shoot 158gr Big Lubes and real BP, for smokeless powder I use Red Dot. Good Luck:)

 

J:ph34r:R-E

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If you've got any Clay's I'd suggest 3.2-3.4 gr would be a pretty good load.

 

Screenshot_20190411-211836_Chrome.thumb.jpg.d568593f53d44753d2723ab396f41841.jpg

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My first day shooting the Uberti was short as the 38 specials jammed in the rifle. The range gunsmith recommended using the 357 cases and 158 GR rnfp bullets. So I stocked up on them.

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5 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

If you've got any Clay's I'd suggest 3.2-3.4 gr would be a pretty good load.

 

Screenshot_20190411-211836_Chrome.thumb.jpg.d568593f53d44753d2723ab396f41841.jpg

 

 

Is this 357 case?

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4 minutes ago, Shifty Bob said:

 

 

Is this 357 case?

Yes

 

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol

Pick .357, 158 gr bullet  and it'll give you all kinds of loads. Trail Boss is in there as well; 3.5 gr of that is probably good but stay towards the middle range with TB.

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There are probably dozens of suitable powders.  The Trail Boss is fine.  There are also powders that are similar to Clays including Clay Dot, Promo, Red Dot, and Bullseye.

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3 grains of any fast powder that you have will work for this game.

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3 grains of clean shot under a 125gr bullet in a .38. I actually got this load from Scarlett's website and it works great.

 

If you don't have clean shot, 3.0gr titegroup will do the same as will 3.3 grains of win231.

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There are probably well over 20 powders that will work just fine for Cowboy Action loads.

 

Bullseye

W231

Red Dot

Promo

Clays

Clay Dot

700X

Titegroup

American Select

Solo 1000

IMR-Red

Trail Boss

WST

Unique

Titewad

IMR Green

Green Dot

International Clays

HP38

Herco

Power Pistol

AA#2

AA#5

VV Tin Star

 

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Posted (edited)

I like to know where my bullets are going.

 

Most competitors use 125 grain bullets or less in the .38 Special and .357 Magnum to minimize recoil.  Pick a bullet then find the powder that gives small groups close to your point of aim, especially if you are using fixed sight guns.   Even with big close targets, accuracy is important.  You will shoot more confidently and faster if you don't have to use Kentucky windage.  That means practicing with various loads at match speed, because your point of impact when shooting fast is going to be different than when you are shooting more deliberately. (usually the POI will be higher when you are shooting fast because you are not taking time to refine your sight alignment.).  If your powder, bullet, and gun combination doesn't give you a small grouping, then you have effectively reduced the size of the target significantly.

 

My rifle and revolvers like Titegroup when shooting smokeless powder, but your mileage may vary.

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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A great many shooters shoot .38 brass in their .357 cal '73's. You may need to load the bullet long - crimp between the crimp groove & the lube groove. Many many shooters shoot 105 to 140 gr. bullets loaded to OAL of about 1.45 to 1.50.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Shifty Bob said:

The range gunsmith recommended using the 357 cases and 158 GR rnfp bullets.

 

That "range gunsmith" was not knowledgeable about how to load for Cowboy rifles!!!

 

Most of the Uberti 73s in 38 caliber will handle a round with an overall length of 1.46" or more.  Very easy to get that length with .38 special cases and lighter bullets.  Which gives you a lighter shooting round with cheap components. 

 

Sorry you got such expensive advice.  

 

For powder for light .38 special loads, I recommend one of Clays, Clay Dot, Red Dot, or 700-X.   Clean, easily available, fast enough burn rates to run light loads.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I use 38 cases, but at a length of 1.510-1.515 with  a 105 gr. bullet.   Use 125 for knockdowns at the same length.  Try different loads and find out how the work in your rifle.

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3.5 grains of Titegroup and 125 gr. Chey Cast bullets  with Federal primers in .38 sp. in both my Ruger pistols and 73 rifles, Very accurate dependable loads!   SCJ

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9 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Maybe @The Original Lumpy Gritz will come along and give you a Unique load.

I'll take that one! lol. 3.5 to 4.0 grains Unique will do ya just fine. 4.0 of TB is a winner. 3.5 grains Red Dot is good too.

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Same load as Mr. Tyrel but I use Clay Dot not Clays. Red Dot works also.

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Gee all great advice.

 

I am stuck with a few things from not so great advice that doesn't match what you all have advised here. (I should have asked here first!)

 

I have a large amount of:

357 brass

158 GR lead RNFP

TRAIL BOSS

 

 

Should I work with this or change one of the components. $

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1 minute ago, Shifty Bob said:

Gee all great advice.

 

I am stuck with a few things from not so great advice that doesn't match what you all have advised here. (I should have asked here first!)

 

I have a large amount of:

357 brass

158 GR lead RNFP

TRAIL BOSS

 

 

Should I work with this or change one of the components. $

 

Use the Trail Boss and 158gr bullets. When you use up the bullets, don't buy anymore that size; switch to 125gr or lighter.  Personally I'd use the Trail Boss up too and never buy any more, but that's just me. I'd probably switch to 38 cases at some point as well.

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4 minutes ago, Shifty Bob said:

Gee all great advice.

 

I am stuck with a few things from not so great advice that doesn't match what you all have advised here. (I should have asked here first!)

 

I have a large amount of:

357 brass

158 GR lead RNFP

TRAIL BOSS

 

 

Should I work with this or change one of the components. $

Use what you have. Because you have it. Your not going to slow yourself down with a very little increase in recoil. TB is good powder, 158 are good bullets, .357 cases run in your guns. All good stuff.

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I have and shoot  32-20, 38 Spcl, 45 Schofield, and 45 Colt in various cowboy guns and my first powder choice in all of those calibers is Trail Boss. I even use Trail Boss in my Sharps 45/70. Now my second powder choice is Unique simply because that is what I use to reload my shotgun shells with. All of the Uberti 1873 rifles I observe, including mine, work pretty well with 38 Special cartridges so I don't quite understand why you jam with 38's. You probably just need to experiment a little with cartridge length. Also 125 or 130 grain TC bullets will work just fine and are a lot cheaper on the wallet than 158 gr bullets.

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11 hours ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

TiteGroup 

+1 .  Tite-Group

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Maybe @The Original Lumpy Gritz will come along and give you a Unique load.

I would be happy to--

With the 158gn lead bullet in .357 mag case. Try 3.8-4.0gn of Unique and use a firm roll-crimp 

That load works just as well in a .38 Special case......

OLG

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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2 hours ago, Shifty Bob said:

 

I have a large amount of:

357 brass

158 GR lead RNFP

TRAIL BOSS

 

Should I work with this or change one of the components. $

 

I suggest finding some data for a cowboy action load using these components and loading some test cartridges.  I’d roll crimp  in the crimp groove assuming the bullets have a crimp groove.  You can even start by loading a handful of dummy rounds without primer and powder.  Go to the range and see if your rifle will feed them.  If not you have to change something.  Is so shoot them and confirm that you are getting the desired velocity.

 

If your rifle won’t feed this case/bullet combo you can use it in your revolvers, assuming they are .357s.

 

Most folks use a lighter bullet than the 158s; I usually use a 105 but the 158 grain bullet has its advantages.  My fixed sight revolvers shoot pretty much to point of aim with 158s; the popular light bullets tend to print low.  If you encounter a tough pistol/rifle knockdown target the 158 gives  you a little more oomph.  Last, I like the 158s when loading Frontier Cartridge ammo because the longer bullet takes up more room in the case so I use less of that expensive powder.

 

You can make a suitable load with what you have.  If you later feel the need to work up an “ideal” load, you can.  I am able to achieve the same mediocre score with either one.  I’m having fun doing it.

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Save your 158 for knockdowns.  2.6 grains of clays will do.   Save overall length as above.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Shifty Bob said:

Gee all great advice.

 

I am stuck with a few things from not so great advice that doesn't match what you all have advised here. (I should have asked here first!)

 

I have a large amount of:

357 brass

158 GR lead RNFP

TRAIL BOSS

 

 

Should I work with this or change one of the components. $

‘I shoot these bullets in 357 brass in a ‘73.  While I use Unique, I am sure Trail Boss would would fine.  Follow the manufacturer’s loading instructions and go shoot.  Your loads should work fine.  They will easily take down any rifle knockdown targets.  You can experiment with lighter bullets if you dislike your loads.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971

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