.357 Multiball


.357 multiball headstamp R-P/ 357 magnum. Picked these up loose at a show and do not really know anything about them. Does Remington still make a multiball round? Thanks wolf


Remington hasn’t offered the Multiball in .38sp or .357M for quite some time.


As far as I have noticed, the Remington .357mag multiball loading was much more common than the .38spl, and probably more of those boxes were produced and distributed? They were generally regarded as being no better at self-defense than other more accurate and common hollow point bullets which had more stopping power. The multi-projectile thing was kind of a novelty which didn’t last long in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Today, Double Tap still produces a 10mm duplex load with a hollow point packed over a separate ball.

I’ll have a display at SLICS on pistol-caliber duplex and multiball cartridges which should show most of them with their pulled projectiles / sectioned cartridges and packaging.


In tests at LAIR, PSF, San Francisco, the Remington Multi-Ball loads usually entered the Gelatin blocks as one projectile, the two projectiles stuck together, and even when separated, basically did nothing. They would, on the basis of those tests, be far less effective for self-defense than a standared .38 Special HP. It is no wonder they were short-lived.


Multi balls do seem to stay together, I don’t know why, perhaps one is sucked along in the slipstream of the leading one.

The first time I noted this phenomenon was in the early 1960’s when I used a single shot .410 shotgun for rats and rooks. As an “experiment” I removed the lead shot from a cartridge and put in two hard steel .375" ball bearings. I took the precaution of rolling the balls through the barrel to ensure that they wouldn’t jam in the choke and than weighed them to be sure that they were no heavier than the shot.

I fired this cartridge at an upside down scrap motor car at a, paced out, distance of 40 yards and then walked forward to see if I had hit the car. The balls had struck the chassis below the door and passed through five layers of pressed steel before coming to rest in the sixth steel panel. The big surprise came when I used a crowbar to dig the balls out. They were stuck together in the steel!

The rear ball seemed to be undamaged, a micrometer showed less then .001" variation wherever I measured it. However, the front ball had a deep spherical depression in the rear where the other ball had hit it and was expanded to a larger diameter. I still don’t know why one ball was still spherical whilst the other was “squashed”. I wish I still had those two balls.

Anyway I decided that firing two bore-diameter balls, of whatever material, was a waste of time, use a heavier bullet or multiple smaller balls.



We played around with these things, as indeed we played with most things that were a bit “off the wall” years ago.
The balls stay very close togeather and don’t really create a double impact but to all intents and purposes create a single hole in the paper.

However, accuracy suffers but we were only shooting at paper. With flesh, close up and personal, it may well be a different story.


I know for this thread that the following information is a bit late, but I just got around to checking on what years the .38 Special and .357 Mag Multi-Ball loads were listed in the Remington catalogs. They were first listed in the 1989 catalog and last listed in 1994.