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The following are excerpts from today's email with Mike (used by permission).

AA # 1680 Powder: One advantage with 1680 is its more gradual pressure curve that continues to accelerate in longer barrels. +/- 20” is where velocity gains drop off with Winchester 296/H110, and the gain per inch over 20” with Lil Gun is only a scant few fps/inch.

The 180 GR. XTP, yeah they can come apart at high speed impact, but certainly do the job well…. FAR better than most all the other revolver type bullets with only a .012” thick jacket and no “interlock” created by a cannelure.

Where the XTP shines is toward the outer range limits where impact velocity drops well below where rifle type bullets fail to expand much if any at all. The down side is the XTP is as aerodynamic as a flying beer keg, so drops faster, making range estimation more critical.

Better Bullet Choices? : Fury Custom bullets have been the proven performers for accuracy, longer range expansion, and least drop combined. For a custom bullet, the price is reasonable as well. I have good solid feedback from a number of sources using their .35 and .375” bullets (including my own work with them) and limited but excellent feedback from their .44 cals.

Cutting Edge monolithic .358” bullets are probably the best overall for the longer cross fields/cross valley shots, though your budget will likely relegate them to longer range special purposes.

A couple comments:

1) Their sealing band concept has a lot of accuracy potential. One issue we tend to overlook is the initial gas seal as the bullet starts moving from the case to the chamber throat. The initial leaking around the bullet accounts for at least some of the variances you see when chronographing loads. That and initiating enough pressure to expand the case neck’s seal in the chamber to minimize powder gas blow-by that you often see down the sides of fired cases.

Side note: Begs the question about case neck annealing. Is the real benefit of case annealing longer case life, or, in reality quicker neck expansion & gas seal the secret to better accuracy? Either way, annealing necked up .30/30 or necked down .375 Win. brass is a good idea!)

2) Second point is in regard to my throating which is always on the long side & a real plus with long-for-their-weight monolithic bullets. I have not done much with Cutting Edge bullets but have tried them in my .35 cal. throats. They typicaly can be seated out enough to not take up too much case powder capacity.

Bear in mind that even my own chamber throats are not all created equal!

Each throat is cut separately & to no specific length, other than +/- one caliber length, .350” long. Added to the variances are the fact that I am continually sharpening cutting edges for smoother throat finish and monitoring throat alignment with the bore. I bore scope the majority of my chambers, literally focusing on the throat.

I have only recently even heard of them, but the report was nothing short of ecstatic.

About 1/3 less than the price of Fury’s bullets, they are worth trying for sure.

There are other custom jacketed bullets of course that I’m not as well acquainted with, as well as cast lead options that give more velocity for their weight than jacketed, but generally limited to around 2000 fps unless given a coating of some sort to stop barrel leading.

The roll (pour) your own folks swear by a large bullet meplat, claiming it kills as well as jacketed bullets….. but assumes of course they are probably limiting shots to, guesstimating, around 150 yards due to reduced muzzle velocity.

When it comes to .35 cal. bullets for .357 Maximum, .350 Legend, and .360 Buckhammer. I continue to lean toward 180 gr. as the optimum bullet weight for most applications.

Given bullet construction for the distance factors & long range bullet expansion. On one hand I see no need for 200 gr. bullets, other than for the largest bucks & hogs, and on the other hand generally less expansion at longer ranges with most 200 gr. bullets. But, “Your mileage may vary” applies.

My thought backing some of my recommendations:

To my way of thinking, for example, I look at 180 gr. .30 cal bullets on deer with a jaundiced eye and have to ask why???? Why, when 150 gr. and appropriately constructed lighter bullets can be shot more accurately in the field by most shooters and do the job just as well.

I’ll add, for another example, my .30 Bellm cartridge for the Illinois deer hunters. I developed it around now discontinued 130 gr. bullets, then went to 125 gr. Nosler Ballisitic Tips with excellent reported kills approaching 300 yards from handguns, no less. Add to that, one animal damage control hunter using just 110 gr. bullets for about the last 20 years & who knows how many deer kills.

To your best shooting,

Mike Bellm

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Can you use .357 bullets in the BH? Or does it have to be .358


16 Kas 2023

Mike-I just took delivery of a 10 year project rifle in 357 Herrett. Had the 360 BHMR been in the wind back then I might have gone that direction but that is hind-sight. The rifle is a M94 Winchester, the barrel is a Lothar-Walther and a PPG reamer. This rifle has taken all of 10 years, maybe more to bring to fruition and was born at my desk at Sierra Bullets. Thus far it has been a no go with several gunsmiths but to my dismay Top Gun Armory in Warsaw MO accepted my project and Mike executed it to perfection. Currently, I am using StarLine 375 Winchester brass and the forming operation has been completely uncomplicated. After firi…

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