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I got a new to me Freedom Arms 97 in 357 mag. I have multiple mag loads that shoot great. I am trying to load up some mild plinking loads and am not getting anything very accurate. I have tried berry 158 plated, hsm 158 plated and Missouri bullet company coated. I have used hs6, 2400, blue dot, w244, w231 and unique.
It seems like when it is loaded "warm" it shoots 1.5 or less and when its mild everything opens up to 3 inches or more. Any suggestions?


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158 lead, 3.5gn bullseye, 38 special case has worked for me.


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Originally Posted by dogwater
I got a new to me Freedom Arms 97 in 357 mag. I have multiple mag loads that shoot great. I am trying to load up some mild plinking loads and am not getting anything very accurate. I have tried berry 158 plated, hsm 158 plated and Missouri bullet company coated. I have used hs6, 2400, blue dot, w244, w231 and unique.
It seems like when it is loaded "warm" it shoots 1.5 or less and when its mild everything opens up to 3 inches or more. Any suggestions?

What is the diameter of those bullets? If they are slightly undersized, they may have to be booted in the ass hard enough to "slug up" to bore diameter. It may be that .38 pressures just aren't high enough.

It could also be that your gun does not like .38-length brass in .357-length chambers, at least with non-jacketed bullets. I have a new Ruger Blackhawk .357 which is pointing that direction.


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Im loading everything in 357 starline brass. Some additional test loads have a couple good options, the best was with rimrock bullets and W244 powder.

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If 244 is kind of working try tightgroup.

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load & shoot some quality bullets & the Freedom Arms Model 97 will shoot/group well.

Of the bullets that you listed,I wouldn't waste the primer,powder to shoot them thru a Ruger or a Colt let alone a Freedom Arms.


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These, properly sized, should shoot very well.

https://www.montanabulletworks.com/product/357-158gr-swc-pb/


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Originally Posted by EdM
These, properly sized, should shoot very well.

https://www.montanabulletworks.com/product/357-158gr-swc-pb/
Those are good. May try to get a sampling of the 3 offered diameters.

I’ve gone the other direction with mine, full house 180 gr., both jacketed and cast. Had to get a taller front sight from FA. They knew exactly what I needed. Changed it out with an Allen wrench. Works for correct POI.

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Agree on Montana Bullet Works, especially being able to select the diameter. If you know your throat diameter, this is easy. They shoot extremely well.

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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
Originally Posted by EdM
These, properly sized, should shoot very well.

https://www.montanabulletworks.com/product/357-158gr-swc-pb/
Those are good. May try to get a sampling of the 3 offered diameters.

I’ve gone the other direction with mine, full house 180 gr., both jacketed and cast. Had to get a taller front sight from FA. They knew exactly what I needed. Changed it out with an Allen wrench. Works for correct POI.

DF

DF,

Measure your throats. If you need the proper "tools" to do so I would be happy to send/loan you a few pin gauges to do so if needed. I have done this before with another member. Cost of shipping each way.


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Originally Posted by EdM
Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
Originally Posted by EdM
These, properly sized, should shoot very well.

https://www.montanabulletworks.com/product/357-158gr-swc-pb/
Those are good. May try to get a sampling of the 3 offered diameters.

I’ve gone the other direction with mine, full house 180 gr., both jacketed and cast. Had to get a taller front sight from FA. They knew exactly what I needed. Changed it out with an Allen wrench. Works for correct POI.

DF

DF,

Measure your throats. If you need the proper "tools" to do so I would be happy to send/loan you a few pin gauges to do so if needed. I have done this before with another member. Cost of shipping each way.
Thanks, Ed.

Don’t know if I’d know how to do that.

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Send me a PM with where to send them and I will give a large range to try. They push through or they don't.


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Originally Posted by DANS40XC
load & shoot some quality bullets & the Freedom Arms Model 97 will shoot/group well.

Of the bullets that you listed,I wouldn't waste the primer,powder to shoot them thru a Ruger or a Colt let alone a Freedom Arms.

Curious; what's the problem with Missouri bullets?

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I am able to load and shoot the Hornady xtp pretty good which for my ability is under 1.5 at 25. Sometimes a little under an inch. I can get them for about $35/100. I was hoping to get some cheaper bullets and a lighter load that would shoot as well, or at least somewhere close. I am sure the $55/100 Montana bullet works customs would be good but not what I am looking for. I might just have to settle for some expensive hot loads that shoot good and some plinking loads that don't.

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I’d load’em hot enough to shoot good. .357 not that big a kicker to begin with.

I remember a cowboy action shooter with a pair of FA revolvers. Those guys shoot mouse fart loads and he seemed to do pretty well.

Getting the right diameter bullets may solve your problem.

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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
I’d load’em hot enough to shoot good. .357 not that big a kicker to begin with.

I remember a cowboy action shooter with a pair of FA revolvers. Those guys shoot mouse fart loads and he seemed to do pretty well.

Getting the right diameter bullets may solve your problem.

DF

I use the largest diameter hard cast that will chamber. Never had an accuracy issue. Hard casts between 20 to 24 brinnel



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Originally Posted by jwp475
Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
I’d load’em hot enough to shoot good. .357 not that big a kicker to begin with.

I remember a cowboy action shooter with a pair of FA revolvers. Those guys shoot mouse fart loads and he seemed to do pretty well.

Getting the right diameter bullets may solve your problem.

DF

I use the largest diameter hard cast that will chamber. Never had an accuracy issue. Hard casts between 20 to 24 brinnel

Agree but kind of nice to know that diameter before buying bullets hence my offer above.


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Ed is right, and a good bullet fit in the cylinder throats is conducive to accuracy, prevents leading, allows a softer alloy. I also use pin gauges, happy to loan them out.

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Originally Posted by EdM
Agree but kind of nice to know that diameter before buying bullets hence my offer above.

I generally get soft lead bullets, 1 more than the number of chambers in the cylinder, whack 'em so they slug up, then drive one through each cylinder throat and one through the bore. Brass rod and a ball peen hammer works fine. Then mic 'em to see what the cylinder throats and tightest part of the bore measure. I put those in a ziplock bag and toss 'em in the box the gun came with so I always have a zero point to return to.

Tom


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Freedom Arms revolvers in .357 have an intended bullet diameter of .357 shown in their spec chart. Revolver-Spec-Chart.pdf

Best to take EdM up on his offer and/or just try some cast that was sized to .3570 or .3575.


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