I have many many .357 caliber bullets lying around. From 125 grain Hornady XTPs to 180 grain Gold Dots, and cast bullets from light full wadcutters to 190 grain pin busters from Richard Boothroyd.
For this little rifle, I figured cast was the way to go. This keeps cost down -- but of course keeping the cost down means not using gas checks, and that means keeping velocities low. And that, to me, means that the 190 grain bullets are the best choice.
So much for theory. In practice, 10 grains of MP200 gives around 1200 fps, with the 190 grainers, but the bullet arrives at the 50m mark going sideways. Not good for accuracy. 180gr XTPs at 1450 fps also tumble -- there's nothing wrong with the bullets, it's just too heavy for this rifle.
On the other hand, the Rossi loves 158 grainers, at both 38 Special and 357 Magnum velocities. 5 grains MP200 with a 158 grain SWC gives 1100 fps, 16 grains of S265 with a 158 grain JSP gives 1650 fps. Both of these loads give me about 2" at 50m with open sights. Same thing with factory 38 Specials.
I then read across Junior Doughty's article where he pushes cast bullets lubed with Lee Liquid Alox to just short of 1600 fps. Sounds like a plan.
I experimented with loads giving me from 1450 to 1550 fps, and 13.6 grains of S265 at 1525 fps gives me the best accuracy -- around 30mm (5 shots) at 50m with open sights.
During the course of all of this experimenting I broke the firing pin and had a new one made by Adlow Engineering for R700.