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Thread: Reloading .357 magnum for Marlin Cowboy model rifle

  1. #1

    Reloading .357 magnum for Marlin Cowboy model rifle

    Hi all,

    This is a long shot, but will be appreciated if someone can advise on this.

    I used to be a handgun shooter and was reloading .357 magnum for my revolver in the early 1990's, but all this activity was finished in 1997.

    I have hanged on to my reloading gear as well and still have 1 tin of Nobel Pistol 2 and 1 tin of Nobel Pistol 3 powder in my locker.

    At the time, I was loading 3.6 charge grains of Pistol 3 powder with 158 grains soft nose bullet and 4.6 charge grains with the Pistol 2 Powder with the 158 grains bullet. They were fine for target shooting.

    Now after 14 years, I have moved on to deer stalking with 6.5x55 mm rifle and also have acquired a Marlin Cowboy model .357 magnum rifle.

    The price of factory ammunition is expensive and I would like to start reloading again first with the .357 magnum calibre before I try the 6.5x55mm calibre for a bit of nostalgic fun.

    My questions are: -

    1) I have reloaded .357magnum for revolver rounds but not for rifle. Are there any difference in the powder load for revolver to the rifle round. If so, will that be less or more?

    2) Has anyone got any load data on the Nobel Pistol 2 and 3 Powder? I believe Nobel was made by ICI (as stated on the tin). The powder is still good and it seems a waste to chick it out.

    Any information will be gratefully received.


  2. #2
    Looking through my books, the data given for .357 Mag. rifle & revolver loads is identical for the bullet weight you list. The velocity data is of course different due to different barrel lengths. However, Nobel propellant is not listed.

    Although it was usual to crimp .357 Mag. reloads anyway, if you're doing so for any rifle with a 'Tube' magazine, the reloads MUST be crimped.

    I can't see anything wrong with using your propellant as long as there is no strong noxious odour from the can. I still use H4895 in cardboard tubs, I know to be more than 20 years old & as far as I can tell, the performance is not affected.......certainly not to any noticeable degree. But, I know the conditions of my storeage & don't know under what conditions you have stored your Nobel.
    Hope this helps. Cheers,
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  3. #3
    Hi Makkamwah,

    There should b no difference in loads at all. These carbines were intended to complement a hand gun in the same calibre such that the same ammo could be used in either gun, depending on whether you were shooting whitetails or injuns.
    I've not used the Nobel stuff, but if it's of any use to you I use 4.3gn of Vectan AS in magnum brass behind 158gn RNFPs with reasonable results, also in a .357mag Marlin underlever. Note that this is a powder puff load designed to be well within indoor range energy limits, so is not a true magnum load.
    As ever, you're loading for a new gun, so start low and work up.

  4. #4
    Strangely enough I recently found an old tin of Nobel Pistol Powder No.2 (13oz for £3.50 in the 70's) and found a load out of my old Nobel loading book. Try 4.2gr No. 2 Pistol with a 158gr RNFP cast boolit. They chronograph around 1000fps out of my 20" barrel Marlin.
    I can supply the boolits if you are interested as I cast and sell them. You are just down the road from me.

  5. #5
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the information so far.

    So there is no difference in the load data if I load this round for a rifle - this is good to know. I can use up the powder as it is shame to bin it if it is still good.

    One further question, if I to shoot this calibre indoor (20 metre range), I have to reduce the charge - anyone got data on the reduced load?

    Dodgyrog, I have recently borough 500 bullets (158 grains) from my local club in Sunderland, but would be interested on your bullets if you PM me with details. Thanks in advance on this.


  6. #6
    What club is it?

  7. #7
    It is the Mayfair Shooting centre in Sunderland.

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