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Lionel's Load for .357

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:48 am
by RBriscoe
Back before the Hornet was approved for Hunter's Pistol competition, Lionel from El Paso had a load for a .357 Mag Contender that was very low recoiling. It had wind drift roughly equivalent to a .22 LR. The part I remember is that it used a WW case and a 90gr 9mm (.355) bullet seated until it made contact with the powder charge. The powder was a shotgun powder and was roughly 6 grains, but I do not recall which powder and the exact charge. It had a remarkable muzzle velocity and was pleasant to shoot with a rifle scope in the modified rifle position position (some people called it a "taco hold").

Does anyone recall the details of this?


Re: Lionel's Load for .357

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:03 pm
by Hawkeye7br
I have nothing on your 357 load request.

but I did shoot a 30 Carbine from a TC with 110 grain bullet Hornady spire points and running 5 grains of 700X (a shotgun powder we had left over from the late 1960's). A mild load, perhaps 1.5-2 MOA, would not knock over 100 meter big bore pigs. Used it with a 10x Leupold and Taco hold. Averaged 35x40 with this load until I went to a 22 Hornet.

Re: Lionel's Load for .357

Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:47 pm
by frankmako
i got the load data for the 9mm/357 hunter pistol load. i knew and shot with lowe in the 80's. i have lionel lowe's dot matrix print out in my desk. i use to load the load and i used it in a 10 inch t/c for hunter pistol matches. we used the speer 9mm 88gr hp bullet that was seated flush inside the 357 case. i think the powder is sr4756 and we dropped 7 grains. i might be wrong with the powder and the weight. i still have some loaded rounds from the 80's that i keep for reference. i have look for the speer 9mm 88gr hp to load more but have not found any. the 9mm 90gr might work. the load was like shooting a 22 mag. it is a fast load and i got chronograph data on the load. i will look in the morning for the load data.

Re: Lionel's Load for .357

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:00 pm
by frankmako
i found the print out with the load data.

- 357 mag case
- inside sized to .353 - .354
- 9mm .355 88 gr hp and/or 90 gr bullet
- 7 to 7.5 grains SR 4756 powder
- seat bullet on powder
- do not crimp, only straighten the case mouth
- use small pistol primer

i used 9mm speer 88 gr hp bullet. i did not try any 90 gr 9mm bullets in matches. we found out that other brands of bullets were not round, they were egg shape and did not work. the other brands gave us a lot of flyers. seat the bullet down inside the case on top of powder. the bullet will be inside the case, none of the bullet will be out. the bullet top will be flush with the top of the case.

use a beller/expander die for 9mm, .354. if you use the 357 beller/expander die the load will not work. it will shoot all over the place.

chronograph data - 10 inch contender
7.5 grains SR4756 - 1,658 fps
7.5 grains SR4756 - 1,507 fps (different lot of powder and different chronograph used)
7.0 grains SR4756 - 1,358 fps

good luck on finding any SR4756. not made anymore. i am down to 2 pounds. titegroup might replace SR4756 in the load. i have changed out all my other SR4756 silhouette loads with titegroup.

group size at 100 meter rams from rest was around 2 1/4 inch. i found out later if i resize the loaded round by running the loaded round back through the deprimer die without the deprimer pin the group would go to around 1 1/2 inch or smaller.

this load worked very well for me and lowe. i do not remember anyother person using the load in the el paso area. 22 mag was king in hunter pistol during this time. i later move over to normal 38 special cast lead bullet load with sr4756 because of the lower over all cost.

Re: Lionel's Load for .357

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:29 am
by RBriscoe
Thank you!

I had been trying to recall the details of the load. I know that its use was only for a short period of time because the .22 Mag, especially with the "Rambuster" load, which would not only shoot smaller groups, but was less wind sensitive. Then the .22 Hornet came along and took over from there.

What brought it to mind was a Federal self-defense load, .38 Special +P 130gr HST Micro, which has a jacketed hollow point flush with the case mouth. It looks for all the world like an inverted hollow base wadcutter that is jacketed, like the old practice of seating an inverted hollow point wad cutter even with the case mouth which some people did for a self-defense load in J frame revolvers which might be where Lionel got the idea. Interestingly, Federal credits the increased shot to shot consistency (reduced extreme spread and SD) on the reduce airspace, which, of course, reduces any tendency toward position sensitivity of the powder charge.

I'll have to look around in my powder supply. I may just have a couple of pounds of SR4756 left.

As I recall it, several people shot the load out of a snub nose revolver to see what it would chronograph and the result was quite remarkable. My memory is probably off on this, but I want to say something approaching 1,200 fps!

Thank you again,


Re: Lionel's Load for .357

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:15 am
by Tlee
Rick -

Check your incoming PMs.