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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Taurus Tracker w/ a 4" ported barrel in 357 Magnum and am having trouble w/ reloads. I have a bunch of old brass. The reloads load into the gun quite fine w/o evidence of too little clearance/tolerance but after shooting often stick and even interfere w/ cycyling of the cylinder. I notice a bulge in the very base of the cartridge that is not accessible to any reloading die and think this is the problem. I am using Blue Dot powder and the problem happens w/ both light and full loads. It does not happen w/ factory ammo which I believe rules out the gun. Is Blue Dot too fast a powder even w/ lighter loads and am I generating too much pressure that's causing the problem? Any help appreciated.
 

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reeld said:
....am I generating too much pressure that's causing the problem?......
What you describe is a classic symptom of excessive pressure.

What is your charge weight, what primer are you using, and is it possible you're seating the bullet deep enough to cause a compressed load?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WWB,
Thanks for your response. The problem loads have been with Blue Dot powder and have all been per reloading manual. The loads were 110 gr HP w/ 13.5 gr powder(max in manual is 15-so this is a lite load), 158 gr SP w/ 12.6 gr powder, and 180 gr FMJ w/ 11.0 gr powder. I am using Winchester small pistol magnum primers. When checking cartridge lenghth it is > 1/10 of an inch short but so are the factory loads I bought. Any thoughts? Should I just switch powders?
 

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Double check your load recipes. I don't have all the data available, but I can tell you my .357 158 grain Blue Dot load is 10.3 grains, and that's just a whisker under max. And you're loading 12.6????

Where did you get that data? Check Alliant's website and see what they say.
 

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Those are mighty hot 158 gr loads, I'm not surprised you are having problems in your gun. I find Sierra lists loads that heavy using their jacketed bullets but I would be very hesitant to fire them out of an N-Frame S&W let alone a Taurus. Alliant has a silhouette load using the 158 gr jacketed bullet with 12.0 grs of Blue Dot but I'm guessing it, like the max Sierra loads, is designed more towards a T/C Contender than a revolver. The above loads also call for a CCI-550 primer which is different from the one you are using which could also account for a difference in pressures. I would back off the powder charge to under the 10.6 gr of Blue Dot suggested by most other sources I've looked at, including Alliant. Any finished rounds you currently have would best be taken apart and the components scavenged as they are dangerous to use. Same goes for your 180 gr load, stop using it immediately as the heaviest loading I can find for revolvers is well under 10 grs, again excepting a silhouette load meant for a much stronger frame. Follow the same advice as above regarding finished rounds for the same reasons. The 110 gr load may be within the suggestions of many manuals but it is evidently more than your gun can safely handle. I would adjust the die to seat the bullet to the suggested depth as that is a factor in developing safe pressures for that load. I would also start at the beginning load listed or 10% under the listed load and work up. Not all guns can handle the maximum charge and one can only find out what is safe for their gun by working up from the bottom. Reread your manual regarding safe operating practices or buy a manual that describes how to begin if your source does not have them. Starting out at the top is fraught with problems as you have discovered, fortunately not to the detriment of your health. As for the heavier bullet weights, go back to the manual and start at the bottom along with having the correct OAL. Plus, be aware that your gun has been subjected to tremendous forces which have the potential of causing damage or fatigue to it. I would strongly recommend having the gun checked by a competent gunsmith to determine if the gun has been unduly stressed, possibly damaging important parts or even making it unsafe to shoot.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, I'm going to switch powders to Unique and start at the bottom of the recommended recipes.
 
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