180 gr 357 mag loads

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by ggtgary, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. ggtgary

    ggtgary New Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    I am interested in loading Sierra 180 gr fpj bullets for a 357 revolver. Has anybody had experience with Hogdgon lil gun powder with this bullet? I have found data for Nosler 180 gr partition bullets with this powder, but not for the 180 grain Sierra fpj. What I have found is Alliant 2400 powder data, but it has higher pressure and lower velocity than the lil gun powder with the Nosler bullet. I have a stock of the Sierra 180 gr fpj bullets and want to know if using the lil gun powder would be safe. My interest in this load is for defense (not hunting) against large dangerous animals at close range, so extreme accuracy is not an issue.
  2. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    SW. Florida
    I've been reloading for 30 years and have never heard of a Hodgdon powder called "Lil". I have a bunch of old & new loading manuals and none of them mention a powder call "Lil" either.

    For .357 Mag's. with 180 fpj's I'd use H-110 / W296, 2400 or Blue Dot. IMO experimenting with unknown powders would be dangerous. :eek:

  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Snakedriver, Hodgdon Lil'Gun is about in the same burn rate range as H110/WW296. It's one of "them new powders" that they came out with a few years ago targeted mainly at the big-bore revolver cartridges. Honestly, it looks to be a near-twin to H110 in performance so I'm not sure why it was introduced...

    I don't have any data for Lil'gun for .357Mag in my manuals but Hodgdon's online manual has loads for that powder and 180gr Noslers (I'll guess that's where you got the data from?)

    As for swapping in the Sierra 180gr for the Nosler. That shouldn't be a problem, both have a very similar shape/jacket style. Just start with the recommended starting loads for Lil'Gun and a 180gr and watch for pressure signs as you work up.

    I've used the .357 180gr Sierra on steel plates & silhouettes (Don't ask...I was just experimenting on a wheelgun load for plate matches that didn't really work as I planned...I went back to 140gr & 158 FMJs instead).
    I was using AA#9 & Blue Dot though. This was a few years back, before Lil'Gun was on the scene. Either one of those powders would also treat ya well too, as would H110/WW296, VV N110, or 2400.
    It's a heavy hitter on steel, and I'm guessing that you're looking at it for the extra penetration from that tough jacket. (the 180gr FPJ was designed for silhouette shooters, not as a hunting bullet.)
    For a similar bullet and data to use, check the latest Hornady manual for their 180gr .357Mag 180gr loads...no Lil'Gun data though.

    A lot of assumptions from me for lack of more info in your post, but this would be for a last-resort bear load?
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  4. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    SW. Florida
    Huh, well there you go! It's never too late to learn something new. Thanks for adding your knowledge and info. Bindernut. Good stuff! :)
  5. ggtgary

    ggtgary New Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Yes Binder, that is it exactly, a last resort bear load. Just for protection, not hunting. Hope the bear spray works and the pistol isn't necessary. Wife and I do a lot of hiking. I would really like a 44 mag, but then there is the wife! I have way more guns than I need, but I really could use the 44 mag. Maybe If could trade something for it, I could slide it by the wife.
  6. scrat

    scrat New Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    never heard of lilgun. and you have been reloading for 30 years and you admit to that. wow. I would have stayed quiet. I got a bottle in my reloading cabinet.
    very similar burn ratio to h110
    any way here you go.
    180 grain JFP (Jacketed Flat Point)
    Bullseye 6.3 gr. 1,135 FPS
    Unique 7.0 gr. 1,125
    H4227 12.7 gr. 1,247
    H4227 13.0 gr. 1,240
    H4227 13.7 gr. 1,308 max
    W296 & H110 13.0 gr. 1,352
    W296 & H110 13.5 gr. 1,396 max
    Lil'Gun 13.0 gr. 1,279
    Lil'Gun 15.0 gr. 1,422 max
    Titegroup 5.0 gr. 948
    Titegroup 5.5 gr. 1,020 max
    2400 12.5 gr. 1,300
    No. 5 8.0 gr. 1,040
    No. 7 9.4 gr. 1,023
    296* 14.1 gr. 1,380
    * use magnum primers
  7. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    SW. Florida
    Well, what can I say, I'm an honest guy. I looked in some of my 6 or 7 loading manual, some new and some old, not one had any loading data listed for something called "lilgun". I've never seen it in any gun shops or places that sell gun powder either. Apparently, it's something new that hasn't gained wide acceptance in the loading community. I prefer to use known powders that have worked well for me and others for many years. :confused:
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  8. Labpups

    Labpups New Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    Hogdon Lilgun is an excellent powder for the 357 Mag, 357 Maximum, 44 Mag and 45 LC (Blackhawk and TC) Great velocity and and consistency. Data is on Hogdon Website and newest Hornady RL Manuel.
  9. Texxut

    Texxut Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    "The devil is in the details"
    I think this is an excellent example of why, when we talk reloading, we need to be sure to use the exact terminology. Like, IMR 4895 or H 4895, and not just 4895. Shortcuts, even in language, lead to bad things happening. Had ggtgary said "lilgun" instead of "lil" it would have been clear just what powder he was talking about.
  10. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Actually, he did say lil'gun...just with a space thrown in the middle instead of an apostrophe. That space did cause a little confusion almost 4 years ago.
  11. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    Gotta love them there new members:D
  12. Texxut

    Texxut Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    Well excuse me.
  13. lcn

    lcn Active Member

    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington State
    H110 is my powder to go to for all of my magnum loads. And it is the only powder that I use in my Hornet. Remember that when you use H110 that you cannot use reduced loads. The case must be nearly full to compressed to get consistant ignition and results.
  14. at_liberty

    at_liberty Member

    Sep 5, 2013
    Lil' Gun is adapted from .410 shotshell. That is the premise for its introduction according to the company's product description. It is dense and designed to avoid compressed loads for full performance of the caliber. That makes it a candidate for use in magnum handgun loads. It differs from H110 applications in being able to use standard primers with the attendant differences in burn and pressure characteristics.

    The "little gun" part probably is referring to the small bore, .410 shotgun.
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