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Discussion Starter #1
As I haven’t reloaded .357 for a while, thought I would get back into it as I had a couple of hundred brass laying around and with some time on my hands. But I was short on bullets, having some 158 gr. SWC on hand but not many. So, I recently bought some .38/.357 (sized .358) SWC bullets from Oregon Trail.

The bullet profile looks similar to what I had on hand from Hunter’s Supply but upon closer inspection, it was longer above the crimp groove (top crimp groove to top of bullet) by about 0.030. Width of the lst drive band above the crimp groove looks to be about the same at around 0.100.

When trying to calculate a cartridge OAL with these bullets using their crimp groove, the cartridge would be longer than the recommended max OAL of 1.590 in my Lyman Reloading Handbook. I calculated with these bullets crimped in the crimp groove would be closer to 1.630. I went so far as to make up a dummy round and it measured 1.628. The brass was Winchester with an OAL length of 1.284

I don’t feel comfortable about this OAL, as the cartridge almost comes clear to the end of the cylinder in my model 28. It has the shortest cylinder out of the other .357s I own. However, the length from the top for the driving band to the base is likely no different than what I had in the past.

Has anybody else had any experience with the bullet? Longer than recommended OAL? Suggestions?
 

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I havent used those exact bullet but I loaded some cast truncated cone bullets that made for an OAL of 1.610 when crimped in the groove. They shot fine loaded with a midrange load of Power pistol
 

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Check with the bullet manufacturer for their loading data with their bullets. Lyman doesn't publish their data for Oregon Trail bullets - they publish their data after testing with Lyman bullets.

The reloading guides are not recipe books. They are documented details of measured tests made by the manufacturers that publish them - and generally the tests are performed with that manufacturer (or group's) products.

The OAL in the case of a revolver bullet still matters in terms of the volume left inside of the loaded cartridge. This will vary the amount of oxygen available for the initial burn, and impact the pressure being generated.

These are somewhat difficult to predict, so measured test data is the best. In the absence of data, your best guide is a crimp band.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all, just an update, I did talk to Frank at Oregon Trail and they do not have specific load data for their bullets, but suggested I use the Lyman manual which I was using. I will try and get some loaded up today, and weather permitting should be able to do a range report early next week. I planned on using about 11 grains of 2400, expecting somewhere around 1000 fps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Loaded up about 50 rounds with 11 grains of 2400, these were Winchester brass that had previously been primed with CCI primers but not magnum primers. Ran these through 3 revolvers, a mdl. 28, a 686 Plus (both having a 6-inch barrel) and a mdl. 60 with a 3-inch barrel. Average velocities were 1174, 1191 and 1008 fps respectively. Fired cases did not exhibit signs of excessive pressure. OAL cartridge length was 1.625 +/- a couple of thousandths.

The vast majority of the rounds were fired through the mdl. 28, from a rest while shooting through the chronograph (10 rounds) and the remainder offhand at about 10 yards. There were no problems with the rounds trying to jump the crimp and tie up the cylinder. This was a particular concern of mine as the cylinder of my mdl. 28 was the shortest of the three, the rounds were over the suggested max. OAL in the Lyman Handbook and the bullet came very near the end of the cylinder. All and all, everything went very well.
 
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