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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
If I get around to making the 357-5.45x39 round I most likely will make an undersized chamber reamer and make a sizing die, or try to modify a 5.45 die set. Either way it's a lot more work than using off the shelf die sets. Here's a pic of the five 357 reamer attemps including the screw ups. The top reamer is a 3-flute that I tempered too much and ended up too soft. The 2nd down is the reamer I chambered my test barrel with which was a 357 1-20" twist with a .346" bore and .356" groove diameter. The 3rd reamer down I feed in the wrong amount and knew it right away so I just used it as practice. The 4th reamer blank down I snagged the cross feed knob on my jacket pocket which caused it to feed in slightly and leave a mark on the begining of the rifling leade. The bottem reamer is the one I used to chamber the finished rifle in the pic which has a 1-14" twist, .350" bore and .358" groove diameter. A 1-20" barrel is supposed to stablize up to 160gr, and some 180s but not all. I wanted to shoot mainly 160-200gr so I went with the 1-14" twist. The headspace gauges were also easy to make for a straightwall case. I only made a go and no-go gauge since I'm chambering a new barrel. If the bolt ever closes on the no-go I'll make a field gauge. The bullets next to the gauges are top sierra 200gr rn, middle hornady 180gr psp, bottem hornady 158gr sjhp.
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I finally got a chance to go and shoot the upper at paper. I kept the cheap red dot on the upper so this isn't really an accuracy test as much as it was a functioning test since the dot covered the target. My first impression firing from a bench was that it kicks more than a 223, but not a whole lot more. I'll need to work on the feed ramps a little as it isn't feeding as well as my test barrel was. I'll just have to look at the test barrel extension and modify this a little more like that one. The red dot was also a little low which caused me to have to contort in order to see the dot. I have a riser mount somewhere to bring it up to a more comfortable heigth. I'll also have to dig around to find what extra scopes I have laying around to see what kink of accuracy I'm getting. The 180gr feed well, but I was having trouble with the 158gr feeding smoothly. It shouldn't take much to get it feeding like the test barrel was though. My helper also was throwing a few 22s my way :ak47:
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
No short stroking, the stubby 158s weren't sliding up the feed ramps smoothly. I was a little more conservative with the feed ramps on this barrel than I was on the test barrel. I just need to change the angle on the feed ramps a bit more and it should feed the 158's just as well as the test barrel did. The test barrel initially did the same thing until I got the angles right. I probably won't get to work on this barrel again until next week. I'll also have to load up some ammo since I shot it all off.
 

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3/6 Infantry
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If you get to where you can make these bbls for people I'm in for 1! This is one sweet idea.
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks mtdew! Still a few things to figure out and finalize first though. If everything does work out well , there might also be some premade 357AR brass available for those barrels!
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I updated the pistol thread, but not this one. I used the 18" 357AR rifle as allowed in the MI shotgun zone this past season. Put a 3-9 Nikon scope on it and sighted it in. Made a heart/lung shot on a 6pt opening day with a Hornady 180gr SSP bullet. The bullet went through the deer and buried itself in the ground. I'll have to go back in the spring with a metal detector to find the bullet. I was very pleased with how it performed.
 

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Now that I look at it I really like the idea of that caliber. Just straighten out the 223 case. Lots of bullet options as well. Will the 9mm Mauser rifle bullets work in this? 300grns probably going over 2000fps would really thump just about anything!
 

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Gunco Irregular
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Sure, as long as they're the right diameter. But I'd check with the bullet manufacturers for specific recommendations at whatever velocity you're expecting.

Paper targets don't care, but a proper hunting bullet needs the correct core hardness and jacket thickness to make a clean kill.
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I only ever worked up to 250gr bullets at a max of around 1600-1700fps, so it's likely a 300gr bullet is going around 1400-1500fps on a guess. If you weren't stuck with the COL of the 223 and sat the bullet out further you might gain back a bit of velocity. Bullet construction and the speed it is driven at is also a good point. That's why I went with the Hornady 180gr SSP (single shot pistol) bullet to try first. It was designed to open up at lower velocities. MOST of the 357 hollow points lighter than 158gr would likely also perform poorly on deer as they'd be too lightly constructed for the velocities they'd get driven in this cartridge.
 

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aka: SDK1968
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Dan,

refresh my brain... have you tried the semi jacketed 158's in this thing? g357b__31130.1404689277.1280.1280.jpg
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Yep, one of the first bullets I tried left over from a ruger 357 I had back in the early 90's. The feed ramps need a little more polishing and smoothing out so that the soft wide blunt tip doesn't catch anything v/s a 158gr XTP that has the jacket all the way to the hollow point. I've only ever shot the 158Gr SJHP at paper and they shot well. The old (80's vintage hornadys) SJHP looked very much like the ones in your pic. Couldn't seem to find a pic of them on this computer, but I think there is a pic in the 357max barrel thread over on WG. So far I've shot the 158gr SJHP & XTP, 180gr SSP & XTP, and 200gr sierra rn. The best feeding so far in order is the 180gr SSP, 200gr rn, tie for 158 and 180 xtp. I have some 140gr xtp bullets and some GC 210gr cast bullets to try once it warms up some.

So far case forming has been the only pain as I've been lathe turning the cases to get he neck thickness correct. After using a 44amp case reaming die to make some 444-1BG cases I'll be making a reaming die for 357AR as well. It's a lot faster.
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
The 357AMP (Auto Mag Pistol) is based off of the 308 or 44 automag case IIRC and wouldn't be legal for me to hunt in the shotgun zone since it is a bottleneck case. Google it, it's been done before.

Back to the die stuff. The expander dies and cases are for the 357AR, but the reamer dies (top pic) are for the 44 automag that I'm using to form the longer 444-1BG since it's basically a longer 44 automag. It is the type of die and reamer I'll attempt to make soon to make case forming easier. The 357AR cases will have a wrinkle in them from where the shoulder was unless you roll it out. It's mostly cosmetic and is visible in the pic of the cases with the expander die and stems.
 

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Where's my lathe?
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I like it.
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I ended up cheating and got one of the GM gunsmith 9mm blanks to use to make the reamer die out of. It was reasonably priced and already had a hole through it that would work for the floating pilot reamer(pic). The 4140 should also get hard enough for the amount of use it will see, and I'll still have more than enough left over to make a 9mm barrel for something. I'll have to make a reamer similar to the 44 automag case reamer in the earlier post.
 

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gunco irregular
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I'll probably remake the reamer and the die, but there is now a reamer die in 357AR. The reamer turned out ok, except I will have to make another expander arbor to expand the cases up a little bit so they stick to the die walls and don't start turning once you get the reamer in about 1/2". I used a standard 9mm reamer, but custom made case reamer like the 44 automag one a couple posts up would be easier to use with a tap handle and have a non-fluted area for better side load support from any torque from the tap handle. I also tried out a new threading tool which broke and boogered up the threads a bit, so I went back to my old one. I used a section of a 1" 4140 GM blank and hardened it when I was done. The pic shows the reamer used to make the die and the die with a case and a reamer in it. This die will make case forming a little easier and faster.
 

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I like it.
Same here. It seems like the biggest thing you can do with the standard 5.56 setup. Other than the barrel everything else should work mags, BCG,etc. I think the right powder could push it faster but it seems like a nice effective thunker. Not quite a thumper but way more effective than the poodle shooter. Some 350gr subsonics would probably really put some slapdown on a critter and be downright quiet with the right can then it could be the 357 blackout.
 
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