I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

1
I picked it up yesterday. It is a Ruger 77/357. I got it from used from a guy who never shot it and it looks like it is indeed brand new after cleaning it Gorgeous gun , less than 6 pounds comes with it's own scope rings and has a 5 round rotary magazine like the 10/22.
As far as rifles go, I've only owned a Ruger 10/22 and a Henry Big Boy in .357 so this is my first bolt action rifle.
I can't wait to play with it!
I already load for my Smith n Wesson revolver and until recently for my Henry Big Boy. I recently got rid of the big boy, I wanted to love it but I don't think I will miss it.
Attachments
77-357 1.jpg
77-357 2.jpg

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

5
Aw, you're going to have fun with that rifle. The .357M round is very easy to reload, too, so if you have a stock of reloading components, you're good to go.

Firing .38 Special out of it...you hardly feel it. It's great.

If you do put glass on it, I'd recommend a 2-7x33 or similar. The effective range of a .357M rifle is about 150 yards.
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http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
---------------------------------------
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Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

8
CowboyT wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:47 pm Aw, you're going to have fun with that rifle. The .357M round is very easy to reload, too, so if you have a stock of reloading components, you're good to go.

Firing .38 Special out of it...you hardly feel it. It's great.

If you do put glass on it, I'd recommend a 2-7x33 or similar. The effective range of a .357M rifle is about 150 yards.
I have a few hundred 38 special double ended wadcutters , and 357 SWCs, all coated lead and less than a thousand primers left. I would like to get some 158gr or 180gr FMJs, someday...

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

10
Hmm interesting gun. Clearly a bolt gun is designed for scopes but the round is good for under 200yds hunting. Iron sights probably fine. I can also recommend the Nikon Prostaff for a nice inexpensive scope with a beautiful picture.

Of course you know to avoid mixing 38 and 357 ammo through the rifle in the same range trip. Or don’t go back to shooting the longer casing after you’ve shot the shorter. Bad outcomes may occur.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

14
Yeah, crud ring. Consider it lucky if you get a stuck case that you have to pound out with a brass rod or wooden dowel down the muzzle. Not lucky... your extractor is strong enough to rip the base clean off the empty and have to get creative removing the rest of the brass from the chamber.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

15
Bisbee wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:08 am Yeah, crud ring. Consider it lucky if you get a stuck case that you have to pound out with a brass rod or wooden dowel down the muzzle. Not lucky... your extractor is strong enough to rip the base clean off the empty and have to get creative removing the rest of the brass from the chamber.
That helps thanks. I was hesitant to use 48 special because I thought it would be much harder to clean on a rifle than on a revolver so I'll avoid it. Even though I clean my guns after every range trip 95% of the time.

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

16
First impressions firing the 77/357

So I decided to not even shoot with the iron sights and installed the scope. I took it to the range for the first time yesterday and. It took a few rounds to get used to the rifle and the 7.5 pound trigger. You have to operate the bolt action rather frankly with a firm hand or it doesn’t feed well, (is it because it is new?). The 158gr coated lead round nose fed ok and were pretty accurate at 25 yards, most of the bullet holes were touching each other. The 130gr coated lead truncated cones did not feed well and made terrible groups. After 50 or 60 rounds the accuracy went out the door completely with either bullet. The barrel was pretty dirty with traces of lead and polymer coating. Could it be because the bullets got damaged while feeding? I cleaned it really well and polished the feed-ramp.
Next, I’m installing a volquartsen trigger and upping my powder charge.

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

17
Pomme wrote:First impressions firing the 77/357

So I decided to not even shoot with the iron sights and installed the scope. I took it to the range for the first time yesterday and. It took a few rounds to get used to the rifle and the 7.5 pound trigger. You have to operate the bolt action rather frankly with a firm hand or it doesn’t feed well, (is it because it is new?). The 158gr coated lead round nose fed ok and were pretty accurate at 25 yards, most of the bullet holes were touching each other. The 130gr coated lead truncated cones did not feed well and made terrible groups. After 50 or 60 rounds the accuracy went out the door completely with either bullet. The barrel was pretty dirty with traces of lead and polymer coating. Could it be because the bullets got damaged while feeding? I cleaned it really well and polished the feed-ramp.
Next, I’m installing a volquartsen trigger and upping my powder charge.
I’d try some jacketed bullets to see if the feeding is eating the lead bullets upon feeding. That would at least eliminate that variable. If that’s the problem it’s a bummer Becuase part of the charm is using the same rounds. A jacketed round will not deform.

I’ve had accuracy go down hill with my own cast bullets Becuase of leading - in both .357 levergun & revolvers. I don’t have any way to test the hardness so they leave a lot more foulness in the barrel than factory lead hard cast. Usually after about 50 rds. If I wanted to continue to shoot - break free and a few passes with the boresnake.

Every .357 I have likes 158gr hard cast.


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Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

18
INVICTVS138 wrote:
Pomme wrote:First impressions firing the 77/357

So I decided to not even shoot with the iron sights and installed the scope. I took it to the range for the first time yesterday and. It took a few rounds to get used to the rifle and the 7.5 pound trigger. You have to operate the bolt action rather frankly with a firm hand or it doesn’t feed well, (is it because it is new?). The 158gr coated lead round nose fed ok and were pretty accurate at 25 yards, most of the bullet holes were touching each other. The 130gr coated lead truncated cones did not feed well and made terrible groups. After 50 or 60 rounds the accuracy went out the door completely with either bullet. The barrel was pretty dirty with traces of lead and polymer coating. Could it be because the bullets got damaged while feeding? I cleaned it really well and polished the feed-ramp.
Next, I’m installing a volquartsen trigger and upping my powder charge.
I’d try some jacketed bullets to see if the feeding is eating the lead bullets upon feeding. That would at least eliminate that variable. If that’s the problem it’s a bummer Becuase part of the charm is using the same rounds. A jacketed round will not deform.

I’ve had accuracy go down hill with my own cast bullets Becuase of leading - in both .357 levergun & revolvers. I don’t have any way to test the hardness so they leave a lot more foulness in the barrel than factory lead hard cast. Usually after about 50 rds. If I wanted to continue to shoot - break free and a few passes with the boresnake.

Every .357 I have likes 158gr hard cast.


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Yes, as soon as I can find some. I've been searching for FMJs since September.

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Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

22
INVICTVS138 wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:38 pm I’d try some jacketed bullets to see if the feeding is eating the lead bullets upon feeding. That would at least eliminate that variable. If that’s the problem it’s a bummer Becuase part of the charm is using the same rounds. A jacketed round will not deform.

I’ve had accuracy go down hill with my own cast bullets Becuase of leading - in both .357 levergun & revolvers. I don’t have any way to test the hardness so they leave a lot more foulness in the barrel than factory lead hard cast. Usually after about 50 rds. If I wanted to continue to shoot - break free and a few passes with the boresnake.

Every .357 I have likes 158gr hard cast.
I cast my own bullets, so I've been able to try various hardnesses of lead alloy, as measured with a Lee Hardness Tester. I get no lead-fouling and very good shooting precision. Here's what I've found.

First, for .357M, the hardest you want to go is BHN 12. Anything harder than that and you won't get good bullet obturation (gas seal). I've gone as low as BHN 9 with fine results. Actually, I also use the BHN 12 alloy with my ".45 Colt Magnum" loading. Originally I'd used BHN 15-16, but I got all sorts of lead-fouling and horrible precision until I reached 21.5 grains of 2400, and it really settled in at 22.0gr. My loading is about like Buffalo Bore, approximately the power and pressure of .44 Magnum full-house rounds. Therefore, BHN 15-16 appears to actually start obturating properly at about 30,000 to 32,000 PSI. BHN 12 does even better at those same pressures.

Second, proper bullet lube is key with cast bullets. I cannot emphasize this enough. That hard wax lube that you see on a lot of the "hard cast" bullets? That's not good bullet lube. I use about a medium coat of Liquid Alox on all my cast bullets, enough to get 'em pretty decently ambered, but not so much that they're turning brown. I do this on my bullets with traditional lube grooves as well as the "tumble-lube" grooves (all my dies are either Lee or MP-Molds).

Finally, you want your cast bullets to be, if anything, a bit on the larger side vs. the smaller side. This is, again, for a good gas seal upon firing. My Security-Six, for example, has chambers of 0.3595", as measured by the diameter of cast bullets whose rounds will still physically fit in the chamber without pressing them with a finger. My measuring tool is a vernier micrometer that goes out to four decimal places. So, I cast them at 0.3595" to 0.3600, and I run them through a 0.359" bullet sizer, which appears to actually size them to 0.3595". That's perfect for my gun. Other guns are right at 0.3580" (the spec), and some are a bit small at 0.357"; I've actually seen that. Rugers tend to be a little on the generous side. If your chambers run small, though, take your gun to a gunsmith to have that fixed.

So, to sum up, you want the following things when using cast bullets.

1.) Proper bullet hardness (or softness)
2.) Proper bullet lube
3.) Proper sizing of the bullet

By the way, I use the same cast bullets, with the same bullet lube, in my leverguns. Just like with the revolvers, I get no lead-fouling and good precision.
"San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
---------------------------------------
A true Liberal must back the Second Amendment 100%!

Re: I just bought a .357 Magnum bolt action rifle.

23
CowboyT wrote:
INVICTVS138 wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:38 pm I’d try some jacketed bullets to see if the feeding is eating the lead bullets upon feeding. That would at least eliminate that variable. If that’s the problem it’s a bummer Becuase part of the charm is using the same rounds. A jacketed round will not deform.

I’ve had accuracy go down hill with my own cast bullets Becuase of leading - in both .357 levergun & revolvers. I don’t have any way to test the hardness so they leave a lot more foulness in the barrel than factory lead hard cast. Usually after about 50 rds. If I wanted to continue to shoot - break free and a few passes with the boresnake.

Every .357 I have likes 158gr hard cast.
I cast my own bullets, so I've been able to try various hardnesses of lead alloy, as measured with a Lee Hardness Tester. I get no lead-fouling and very good shooting precision. Here's what I've found.

First, for .357M, the hardest you want to go is BHN 12. Anything harder than that and you won't get good bullet obturation (gas seal). I've gone as low as BHN 9 with fine results. Actually, I also use the BHN 12 alloy with my ".45 Colt Magnum" loading. Originally I'd used BHN 15-16, but I got all sorts of lead-fouling and horrible precision until I reached 21.5 grains of 2400, and it really settled in at 22.0gr. My loading is about like Buffalo Bore, approximately the power and pressure of .44 Magnum full-house rounds. Therefore, BHN 15-16 appears to actually start obturating properly at about 30,000 to 32,000 PSI. BHN 12 does even better at those same pressures.

Second, proper bullet lube is key with cast bullets. I cannot emphasize this enough. That hard wax lube that you see on a lot of the "hard cast" bullets? That's not good bullet lube. I use about a medium coat of Liquid Alox on all my cast bullets, enough to get 'em pretty decently ambered, but not so much that they're turning brown. I do this on my bullets with traditional lube grooves as well as the "tumble-lube" grooves (all my dies are either Lee or MP-Molds).

Finally, you want your cast bullets to be, if anything, a bit on the larger side vs. the smaller side. This is, again, for a good gas seal upon firing. My Security-Six, for example, has chambers of 0.3595", as measured by the diameter of cast bullets whose rounds will still physically fit in the chamber without pressing them with a finger. My measuring tool is a vernier micrometer that goes out to four decimal places. So, I cast them at 0.3595" to 0.3600, and I run them through a 0.359" bullet sizer, which appears to actually size them to 0.3595". That's perfect for my gun. Other guns are right at 0.3580" (the spec), and some are a bit small at 0.357"; I've actually seen that. Rugers tend to be a little on the generous side. If your chambers run small, though, take your gun to a gunsmith to have that fixed.

So, to sum up, you want the following things when using cast bullets.

1.) Proper bullet hardness (or softness)
2.) Proper bullet lube
3.) Proper sizing of the bullet

By the way, I use the same cast bullets, with the same bullet lube, in my leverguns. Just like with the revolvers, I get no lead-fouling and good precision.
All good points -

I’ve slugged my revolver barrels and most of them are close to .358 as measured by my micrometer. I have not slugged my .357 Henry. The sizing die I have is a .358. I use several factory cast bullets and my own “150 gr” Lyman mold. I use the Lyman brand lube in my lubricizer. I find the alloy I have - pure lead mixed with varying amount of Linotype to produce accurate but fouling results. The Lyman lube has a peculiar at smell to it when fired. Perhaps it’s not leading, but the barrel is much dirtier than the lead, 15 BHN or even the 12 BHN bullets that I buy.

I use the “finger nail test” for hardness - but perhaps I should get a hardness tester. I do not cast a lot as one of my adopted daughters has high lead toxicity & I am very careful as we have had a long road to get her completely lead free. Plus, I find it to be a pile of work ...


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