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.357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 22 Sep 2017 15
by Iplayfarmer
This is in reply to Longfield's thread from a few years ago about using .357 mag for long range shooting in Cowboy Action competitions. I just finished a two day match with the Twin Butte Bunch in Idaho and I used my Rossi R92 chambered in .357 for the long range shoot.

They had the match split into a "Tom Horne" match which used 30-30's and a pistol caliber rifles match which, of course, used rifles chambered in pistol calibers like .357, 45 colt, etc. I shot my super light TrailBoss loads and got 7 out of 10 shots. I aimed at the top of the plate in order to ring it. I'm pretty sure I tied the guy who won, but he beat me on time.

The fact that I tied the winner for accuracy using light loads tells me that this gun and this caliber are up to the challenge of long range shooting. We were shooting about 200 yards out.

The true talent of the day were the guys shooting the Tom Horne Match. They were consistently ringing targets 400 yards or more away.

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 22 Sep 2017 17
by GasGuzzler
I don't do competitions but with a 1:30 twist in a pistol caliber lever, I'd use my 180-ish grain at possibly over book loads (under pressure limit) for 200 yds with a .357.

If you did OK with sneezers then maybe just get faster at the process?

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 23 Sep 2017 08
by GRV01
What was your bullet weight?

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 24 Sep 2017 12
by Iplayfarmer
I use 158 grain LRNFP over a mid-range load of trailboss

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 24 Sep 2017 14
by GRV01
thats interesting. I was using 158gr over HP38 (don't have my data, whatever the .3CC dipper throws) and I was shooting very low at 100yds but with something zippier (HS6) I was hitting consistently. I chalked it up to the slow twist rate and low velocity

still eager to try trail boss

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017 12
by Iplayfarmer
GRV01 wrote:
...still eager to try trail boss


I personally really like Trail Boss powder. The recoil is so light, but it still seems pretty accurate for my purposes. Others have mentioned the cost, but I don't think it's more expensive for me. A can of Trail Boss is 9 oz. vs. 16 oz. of other powders like HP-38, but a typical Trail Boss charge weight is about 60% of what you'd expect with HP-38. AND around here a can of Trail Boss is a little cheaper than other powders.

I think it's definitely worth a try. Everyone has their preferences, and if you find you don't like it you're not out much money for trying.

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017 16
by Ranch Dog
The only negative I've found with Trail Boss is that it has problems dropping from a die mounted dispenser. It's very light for the volume of the charge and it hangs up on its way into the case. So far I've only used it with the 218 Bee, 25-20 Win, and 32-20 Win. There is absolutely no way to get it to drop in that 22 caliber case, you must carefully and slowly pour it in. Of course, this is about the 357 Mag and I've used it quite successfully with round balls in that cartridge!

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Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 27 Sep 2017 15
by Iplayfarmer
That's a nice group there Ranch Dog. I also really like the .357 mag cartridge. I don't know all the science between the case length, bullet weights, etc., but it sure seems that in my hand the .357 is pretty versatile.

Re: .357 for long range competition

PostPosted: 28 Sep 2017 08
by Ranch Dog
Iplayfarmer wrote:That's a nice group there Ranch Dog. I also really like the .357 mag cartridge. I don't know all the science between the case length, bullet weights, etc., but it sure seems that in my hand the .357 is pretty versatile.

Thanks, I had a very stiff wind blowing across the range, right to left, while I sighted that in. The whole purpose for the round ball load was to shoot raiding raccoons out of my pecan trees while using a load that allowed me to shoot without ear plugs (that's where the Trail Boss comes in). The killing authority of the round ball was awful, even with plumbers lead. I mean awful! The cartridge functions through the rifle well until it was pointed up toward the top of the tree, then on the cycle, the fresh cartridge would continue out the top of the receiver. Don't know how many live cartridges I have laying around the bases of pecans!

I switched to my Marlin 1894CL 218 Bee using my 50-grain cast bullet with a 100% load of Trail Boss. That is a very accurate load, head shots are easy, and they are done. The velocity is 1250 FPS as I recall so you get that supersonic crack which requires earplugs. The Trail Boss doesn't meter through the 22 caliber case neck worth a hoot. Once my ammo is used up, I'm going to see if how Trail Boss meters through the case mouths of the 25-20 and 32-20 Win cartridges.