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356 Win

30 May 2012
@ 04:30 am (GMT)

Jim Snyder

Got a Marlin 336ER barrel in 356 Winchester that I will be putting on a 336 this summer. I have read everything on the internet concerning the 356. The funny thing is there really isnt all that much LOL. So I keep peaking in to see if you have any 35 cal updates on the knowledge base her. I plan to use this gun for black bear, mule deer and elk assuming I can get it working well and find a good load for it.


30 May 2012
@ 01:54 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 356 Win
Hi Jim, sorry I have been slow with the uploads. I am a big fan of the .358's.

Will cut and paste bits and pieces from my draught/notes to keep you going for a bit. These will be edited before being uploaded to the KB and will look quite a bit different in the end:

....Performance of the .356 depends largely on matching suitable bullets to game. Various hunting authorities state that it has been a shame to see the factory 250 grain load dropped as this bullet weight is more effective on larger game. While the smaller bores loaded with hunting projectiles often produce fast killing at impact velocities of 2600fps, showing a steady decline performance as velocities approach 2400fps, the .358's perform extremely well at low velocities due to increased frontal area initiating great trauma.

However, as the velocity of .358” calibre bullets drop below 2200fps, wound channels and bleeding decrease in line with smaller bore diameters and bullet designs. The result is slower kills. Due to the fact that the .356 produces moderate velocities to begin with, it is most effective at close ranges. As ranges exceed 50 yards, kills can be slightly delayed. Nevertheless, this is a clean killing cartridge...

The sole remaining factory load reflects not only the demand for a fast moving, fast expanding bullet, but also to a great extent explains what sized game the .356 is commonly used on. While the .356 loaded with heavy bullets is adequate for large game, this cartridge’s greatest popularity comes from its use for woods hunting medium game up to 180kg (400lb)...

...The 200 grain Powerpoint bullet is fast expanding and suitable for hunting game up to 180kg. At point blank ranges the Powerpoint is a fast killer but as ranges exceed 50 yards, low velocity leads to slower kills. The 200 grain Powerpoint will handle raking but not tail on shots on game up to 180kg and is adequate for hunting Elk sized game with broadside and lightly quartering shots...

...The .356 is far more useful when handloaded as both lighter and heavier bullets can be made to work to great effect on a variety of game...

...The .356 produces extremely good results when handloaded with Hodgdon’s H335 powder while ADI 2206, IMR4895 and W748 provide similar burning rates. Cases are still available but can also easily be formed from .307 Winchester brass.

From the 20” barrel of the M94, realistically achieviable velocities include 2550fps with 180 grain bullets, 2350fps with 200 grain bullets, 2250fps with 220 grain bullets and 2150fps with 250 grain bullets. Winchester engineers warn against the use of round nose bullets in the M94 which has enough recoil to cause detonation of cartridges in the magazine nessecitating the use of true, flat pointed bullets...

Speer’s 180 grain .358” flat point Hotcor bullet is an excellent performer, working far better on light/lean deer than Winchester factory offerings, the Hotcor produces greater performance simply through its potential to be launched at higher muzzle velocities. The Hotcor produces high wound trauma and high shock out to a range of around 100 yards. This bullet cannot be relied on for tail on shots but does allow the hunter room for error on crossbody and quartering shots by causing a wide fast bleeding wound. The Hotcor is a good allrounder for game up to around 90kg (200lb) but will tackle larger animals up to 180kg (400lb), limited by a lack of SD thereafter. Loaded with the 180 grain Hotcor the .356 displays the useful virtues obtainable from a medium bore when used on lighter medium game at woods ranges...

...The 200 grain Hornady roundnose Interlock is often used in the .356 against Winchester Warnings. For those who wish to use this bullet in a safer manner the tip of the Interlock can be flattend off with a few strokes of a file with no resulting change in performance.

The Hornady 200 grain bullet is often touted as being too stout for lighter medium game however this bullet is extremely soft. Slow Kills with this bullet, the PowerPoint and Sierra Prohunter are a result of velocity dropping dramatically within the first 40 yards of travel which effects both shock and wounding. The 200 grain Hornady is not a spectacular killer at .356 velocities, suitable for hunting lightweight game if tail on shots are to be expected. For general use the Hornady is adequate for heavier animals weighing between 90 and 180kg (200-400lb) but is too soft for heavily raking shots, inferior to heavier 220 to 250 grain bullets.

The 200 grain Sierra round nose Prohunter is stouter and slightly superior to the Interlock where tail on shots are to be expected on light game as well as for general use on game up to 180kg. The Prohunter will handle raking shots on game weighing 180kg but not tail on shots, again adequate but not as suitable as a heavier bullet...

...Heavy bullets in the .356 are useful on game weighing between 90 and 180kg where raking shots are to be expected. These bullet weights will cleanly kill game up to 320kg (700lb) and heavier however the .356 does not have enough velocity to push these bullet weights into vitals at high speeds for traumatic wounding which can result in delayed kills. The 220 grain Speer Hotcor flat point bullet is ideal for large bodied deer at woods ranges and is economical to reload. Penetration of the 220 grain Hotcore is very good but end to end penetration cannot be expected on game weighing over 90kg (200lb)...

The 225 grain Woodleigh Weldcore round nose bullet produces very deep penetration along with adequate expansion for fast bleeding / fast killing. For safety in the M94 magazine, the Weldcore round nose bullet tip needs to be filed flat. Although the weldcore is a deep penetrator and seems to be quite a heavy bullet weight, this projectile still lacks a very high SD and cannot be relied on to always penetrate vitals from tail on shots on game weighing above 90kg (200lb). One might expect the switch to a 250 grain bullet to be the fix for an 'any angle' bush/woods rifle but this compromises wounding potential due to low velocity. The 225 grain Woodleigh is an outstanding bullet in its own right and barring tail on shots, will tackle everything up to Elk sized game without fuss...

...The Hornady 250 grain round nose Interlock is not very well suited to the .356. The Interlock develops too great a frontal area at low velocity which inhibits penetration on large medium game...
31 May 2012
@ 02:58 am (GMT)

Jim Snyder

Re: 356 Win
Wow Nathan, no need to apoligize. Thanks for the info! I've been pointing people toward your site when I get the chance. I had been leaning toward the Hornady FTX 200grain bullets. I will seriously consider the 180 Speer FP now. My biggest concern with the 180 Speer FP was Sectional Density. Most mature black bear around here are somewhere in the 200 lb range but you aways hope to find that rare 600lb brusier. Also, I will only have a spike bull elk tag so I cant expect that to be much over 300lbs if that.

31 May 2012
@ 12:29 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 356 Win
Hi Jim, please use the FTX bullet. Thats the trouble with cutting and pasting from my early draughts, the draughts lack more recent updates and field notes.

Relevant info you need:

The jacket of the FTX is thicker than all competing brands, minimizing the risk of bullet blow up.

The front section (notched ogive) produces fast expansion, ensuring that the thick jacket does not inhibit expansion.

Penetration is on par with the 200gr Sierra. Good for all bar tail on shots on large medium game.

I always find it a bit tough explaining the FTX bullets to hunters as it is easy to become confused. For example, the notched ogive gives fast violent expansion- but so does a flat soft point at the same ranges. The FTX has a higher BC than other 200 grain bullets but it still breaks 2200fps at 50 yards (if you load your .356 to 2350fps) so the higher BC is somewhat moot. So the question is, if it doesn't really shoot any flatter and doesn't really produce a dramatically wider wound than (eg) the 200gr Interlock FP, then what is its point? Well the advantage lies in the thick jacket. Its much like the Partition (not in design) in that the FTX is able to produce both full expansion, a level of weight loss for high energy transfer yet without losing jacket integrity.

I have had 180gr soft point Interlocks blow up on impact in the Whelen, the 180's really do lack a good SD for high velocity use on medium game but they are OK for light/lean game work, giving exceptionally fast kills. Personally however, I am always mindful of SD limitations of .358 projectiles after seeing how projectiles performed in the (albeit) faster Whelen. At lower velocities, while surface bullet blow did not occur, excessive weight loss was still a problem during cartridge testing. Speer get around this via a very good 180gr bullet design, the light weight bullet can be driven faster resulting in faster killing (due to hydrostatic shock) further out than the slower 200gr bullets. But as game weights break the 200lb mark, a heavier bullet is the right way to go.

I should mention that I have had a lot of fun using the FTX bullets (.30 through to .458) driven faster than intended. They work very well at high velocities producing dramatic wound channels without risk of bullet blow up on medium game.

The sectional density of the 200 grain FTX will be better for your purposes. I would stay clear of the 180 grain bullets on the off chance that you do come across something in the 600lb range.
08 Jun 2012
@ 01:44 pm (GMT)

pete clarkson

Re: 356 Win
Hi Jim, I have a few 356 cases here if you are interested
cheers, pete
12 Jun 2012
@ 08:55 am (GMT)

Jim Snyder

Re: 356 Win
Pete, Yes I am interested. What do you have and how much do you want for them? Are you in the US or NZ?
28 Aug 2012
@ 01:26 am (GMT)

Lowell Lefler

Re: 356 Win
I have a Marlin 336er .356 winchester I bought back in the late 80's. I have killed many whitetail with it. I use speer 220 FP. This is a great all-around bullet. It will take any black bear the walks. Accuracy is great. It will shoot these 220's in a ragged hole at 100 yards. I load 46.0/IMR 4064, CCI-200 primer. Velocity is around 2,300 fps.
04 Sep 2012
@ 12:43 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 356 Win
Hi Lowell, sounds like a great load. There is nothing like a sweet shooting .35 is there.

If you get a chance, please collect autopsy photos and email them too me. I will post them on the site for others to view. I would be very grateful as would other readers.


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