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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
    I shoot both handgun and rifle loads in .357. Expect pressures to be higher in the rifle, naturally, with higher velocity. There is no change in loading data necessary, really. As to the Nobel powders: I have been looking in the books I have as far back as 1935 and can't find any data so far. (Nobel powders weren't really popular here) I will keep looking but in the mean time, get something a little more modern. I have been experimenting with Lil Gun as it gives high velocity with low pressures. Very accurate from my S&W's. Yet to be tried in my M-92 Lever gun but that's coming. Alliant 2400 is excellent, as is Unique for lighter loads.

    The .357 is a marvelous cartridge: I've been loading it for 35 years! ~Muir
    Last edited by Muir; 11-08-2011 at 04:40.

  3. #3
    Hi Muir,

    Thanks for that.


  4. #4
    Nobel's loading manual #/14/683 which I imagine translates to June 1983 (my example must have been bought around 1984) gives the following .357 Mag revolver data:

    150gn cast / gas-check
    P2 start 4.8gn, max 5.3gn (916 fps)
    P3 start 3.6gn, max 4.0gn (915 fps)

    158gn cast / gas-check
    P2 start 4.5gn, max 5.0gn (910 fps)
    P3 start 3.5gn, max 3.9gn (830 fps)

    165gn cast / gas check
    P2 start 4.1gn, max 4.6gn (900 fps)
    P3 start 3.4gn, max 3.8gn (894 fps)

    In a very rough comparison, Pistol 3 is similar to Alliant Bullseye and Pistol 2 to Alliant Unique those two old staples of revolver cartridge reloading. Pistol 3 is very fast-burning and I'd advise you'd be best using it with cast lead or the soft electroplated TMJ (total metal jacket) bullets rather than the harder jacketed types.

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