Heavyweight Bullets In The .357 Magnum

One of the first manufacturers to offer suitable silhouetting sixguns was Dan Wesson, with their 8″ and 10″ heavy-barreled .357 Magnum. These were superbly accurate revolvers, however there were problems. An occasional pig, and not so occasional ram, would quiver and then settle back down without toppling, even when hit dead center with a full-house load with a 158-gr. jacketed .357 Magnum bullet. We soon learned the answer was a heavier bullet, however another problem surfaced, which was the lack of suitable bullets. It would take a while for manufacturers to offer 180- and 200-gr. full metal jacket .357 Magnum bullets, and even bullet casters found they had little to choose from. One bullet placed in the service was the RCBS #35-200FNGC (flatnosed gas check) designed for the .35 Remington lever-action rifle. It had the weight, but it was also overly long for the cylinder of the .357 Dan Wesson.

The solution was to seat it deeply in .38 Special brass. This, of course, did not leave much room for powder, however we were able to get muzzle velocities of around 900 fps. When shooting at 225 yards it seemed like it took forever for that bullet to reach the rams, but when it got there it did the job! That slow-moving, heavy bullet never failed me. It took down every pig and ram I hit. If I didn’t hit, it was not the fault of the bullet or the sixgun. That was the beginning, and we soon had heavyweight bullets available from a variety of makers.

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One thought on “Heavyweight Bullets In The .357 Magnum

  1. Mike Witt

    I shot a 357 maximum TC contender 14″ barrel for years, 180 speer point bullets at 1700 fps. All the deer and hogs I shot were under 60 yards and they all feel in there tracks on impact.
    Should have never sold it as now no one makes it.
    I recently purchased a TC encore nine inch barreled 357 magnum and am shoting 180 Buffalo brand bullets at 1400 fps.
    very very accurate out to 100 yards as that is the longest distance at the range where I shoot.
    I never shoot anything at more than 50 yards with a bow so if I keep my shoots with the 357 magnum to under 60 yards and place the bullet it should do the trick .
    PS–The TC encore being single shot is the perfect gun for compressed heavy loads safely.

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