Strange 357 MAG FMJ S&B


#1

Hi!
What is this? Reload? The bullet seems to me like a 9x19 bullets, cupro-nickel plated mild steel.

Any info about that?

Cheers!


#2

Its the first Sellier & Bellot .357 Magnum I recall seeing, so I can’t comment on the bullet. However, the primer and its seal would rule out a complete reload, and it is hard to see why they would just swap a bullet.

Incorrect information deleted to limit confusion - see later answers by Leon Geisler and John Moss


#3

A lot of .357 FMJ ammo gets sold in Britain (Privi, S&B, Magtech and Fiocci) because now we don’t have pistols a lot of people have lever action carbines and use them on indoor ranges in the same way as you would a pistol, ie standing. An event known as gallery rifle which is also quite popular in parts of Europe. Its shot recreationally and competitively up to International level.

Over here we cannot use these rifles for hunting because .357 is not deer legal so FMJ (or lead solid) ammo is mandatory because we cannot have HP or SP for target shooting. A few other european countries have similarly quirky laws.

However, I can see a couple of problems with this round for use in lever actions. First the bullet profile is not really suitable for a tubular magazine, most FMJ ammo is FN truncated cone. Secondly, by eye I would say it looks a bit longer than max COL which is critical in a lever action because the lifter cradle which raise the round from the magazine to where it is pushed into the chamber by the returning slide is a set length. The round can be a bit smaller, they feed .38 Special OK, but not longer or it will foul on the bottom of the barrel.

Therefore my thoughts would go towards the Desert Eagle pistol in .357 and then the bullet profile might aid feeding. Again, given those quirky laws about using FMJ in some countries might explain why its FMJ.

In Europe in general a lot more ordinary pistol ammo has always been FMJ, not for military or police reasons but just out of preference. Look at your collections and I think you will find a lot of European civilian pistol ammo has always been FMJ since early days. The just like it.

On the round pictured the cannelure on the case looks in the right place for the bottom of the bullet giving support to the view that it is a factory load and possibly supports to the view that it was intended for some magazine fed application where set back may be a problem.


#4

Iv4o,

Thanks for sharing those photos. Hopefully we can get a confirmed answer as to whether or not this is an actual S&B factory loading.

John Moss,

Hi. The current S&B .357Mag FMJ load is of the truncated flat point semi-wadcutter profile bullet. The newer MFS2000 .38Spl & .357Mag use a very similar profile bullet that S&B has.

VinceGreen,

I remember when Action Arms Ltd. first started importing the IMI Desert Eagle pisol in .357Mag here in the U.S. The ammo they imported specifically for the D.E. pistol (made by IMI of Israel) was a 170gr JHP and 170gr round nose FMJ. I recall that 170grs seemed to be the heaviest bullet weight that any commercial manufacturer was loading for the .357Mag at the time in the U.S. (though I could be wrong about that).

P.S.: Im still looking for that 170FMJ by IMI if anyone knows where I can pick up one.


#5

Looking at the headstamp again I see a strange mark by the “B” of S&B. The B is also distorted or incomplete. To me it looks like an ejector mark, or is it a damaged bunter. S&B headstamps are usually pretty neatly done aren’t they?

gravelbelly


#6

Leon - you are, of course, correct. There is no 140 Grain Sellier & Bellot .357 Magnum. Sorry about that evo.
The S&B catalog is hard to read. There are 12 different listings for the .357 Magnum, and then immediately
after those is the .357 SIG, which is the load that has the 140 grain bullet. Each line in the listing is about 2 mm wide and the print is inside those lines - no god for 71-year old eyes, even with reading glasses. I should have used my magnifying glass.

I can’t explain the bullet in Ivo’s load. It doesn’t match any S&B load and yet the primer in that case, with its red seal, is absolutely factory. Primed brass sold to reloaders by most firms, even if they seal their factory ammo primers, are not sealed like that, but I don’t know what S&B does, since we don’t see their primed brass at all in our area.

Sorry for the mistage.

Vince - it is not the underside of the barrel that interferes with the lifter of a lever-action rifle that is holding a round with the bullet seated out too long, it is the inside of the magazine tube. Part of the cartridge (bullet) in the tube prevents the lifter from feeding the round at all - generally, you can barely throw the lever back forward at all. We see this all the time with new shooters and their first reloads at our CAS practices. In the Winchester 66/73-types, the nose of the bullet is actually the bullet stop to keep any of a second round from feeding from the tube until the lifter starts up, at which time the front of it becomes the bullet stop. And, you are absolutely right, especially at full .357 velocities, the bullet in Ivo’s .357 would not be suitable for a tube loader - it is far too pointed. There would be great danger of detonation of rounds still in the magazine tube from inertia in recoil.
OAL of ctg. is quite critical in most lever action guns - any with tube magazines.


#7

[quote=“LeonGeisler”]The ammo they imported specifically for the D.E. pistol (made by IMI of Israel) was a 170gr JHP and 170gr round nose FMJ. I recall that 170grs seemed to be the heaviest bullet weight that any commercial manufacturer was loading for the .357Mag at the time in the U.S. (though I could be wrong about that).

P.S.: Im still looking for that 170FMJ by IMI if anyone knows where I can pick up one.[/quote]
I remember that ammo well, it was pure dynamite, sorry though I haven’t got any samples. All the ammo of that type we had went down the range years ago