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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Although I haven't actually bought my 686 4" yet (I've had my eye on one all too long) I will likely do so soon. Before I pick it up, I've got make sure I have some ammo on hand. I can't go buying factory crap ammo, so I was just hoping to get a few ideas on loads and get myself set up before I get my hands on this nice little jewel.

For starters I'm probably most interested in lighter bullets (110-125gr) and would like some advice on something cheap and reasonably accurate. Rainier? Berry? Rem? Win?

Brass: I imagine I'll come across a fair amount at the range after I start looking, but will probably pick up a few hundred new pieces beforehand. I hate to go too cheap, but was thinking Starline or Magtech might fit the bill. Any of you had any issues with either of these? Should I stick with Rem or Win instead?

Powder: What's a nice versatile powder for the .357? Up until now I've only loaded for rifle so I'm not all that familiar with pistol powders. It would be nice to get a few pounds of something usable for a wider range of bullet weights. I'll likely end up tinkering with my loads in time and would hate to have a bunch of powder lying around not getting used.

Dies: I've used Lee in the past for my rifles and will almost surely use it for .357. The question is whether to go with the 3- or 4-die set.

I guess I'll probably have more questions after I get started, so I hate to flood you all with too many ???s!

Thanks in advance!
jameson
 

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Go with 158gr Nosler through Midway, Win. brass, CCI Mag primers, and follow the books on using 2400 powder.
A mag load requires that you use a stout crimp or the recoil will seperate the round to where it won't rotate the cylinder.
I load by 1. size/decap 2. flare mouth 3. clean primer pocket 4. set primers 5. charge powder 6. set bullet 7. crimp.
I save a lot through Midway on brass and bullets, dies, etc.
Powder and primers you have to buy locally or pay hazmat fees to ship.
After your bench is set up and you have 500 components, you can make hot .357's for about 1/2 of store prices.
Another way to get some 'me' time, get away from the tube. and she will think your being 'frugal'.
 

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Me again. Lee is good. I use a turet with a sizing, powder/flare, seating, and crimp. 4 dies.
No phone at my bench and to cook up 100 rounds takes about an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply. I've been reloading rifle cartridges for a while now. With rifles you normally try and match twist rate to bullet length (weight) to get good accuracy and that was partly what I was after here. Maybe that's not such a factor for pistols with their shorter barrels combined with the fact that shots are shorter.

2400 is a pretty good all-around powder? I was kinda after the 'IMR4350' of the pistol world.

You recommend I stay away from cheap brass and get Win, huh? Win is pretty much the most bang for the buck in rifle brass too, so that makes good sense.

Thanks also for the load data - I'm a sissy and a noob so I'll probably start light and work on form for starters.

Thanks again!
jameson
 
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