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Old May 9, 2011, 08:50 PM   #1
yellowlegs
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cast ball ??? .36

ok. i have been getting to the range every monday. im learning as much as i can while resisting the impulse to buy everything i dont need\. i cast some .380 balls weeks ago and although i cant tell a diff in POA . mostly due to playing with too many varibles at once . i do notice that the ring shaved off dosent just fall off like the swagged .375 balls . the ,380 of my own casting seem to stay attached and get pushed in the cyl . i did dig some out but didnt seem to notice a diff
i just got the front site filed down almost half way , it brought poa up to level but still too many fliers . could someone with more exp. te;ll me if the ring forced round the ball is a real concern ..oh 58 rem .36


thanks ,Wally
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Old May 10, 2011, 07:25 AM   #2
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I think the .380 ball is too large for the chamber. The ball is being deformed and the extra material is being molded or pushed towards the front of the ball as it is forced into the chamber. Kind of like the difference between shaving a piece of wood off a stick or taking a deep cut when whittling, if that makes any sense. This may be a concern in that the shape of the ball will be more like a conical, and the displaced lead may make the ball unbalanced.

I suspect you may have a significant mismatch between the chamber diameter and the barrel groove diameter. Ideally the chamber diameter should be 0.001" to 0.002" greater than the groove-to-groove diameter in the barrel. If the chamber diameter is smaller than the groove diameter there will be gas escaping past the ball in the barrel, reducing muzzle velocity and possibly affecting accuracy. I would slug the bore and chambers and check those dimensions.
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Old May 10, 2011, 11:23 AM   #3
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowlegs
te;ll me if the ring forced round the ball is a real concern
Is there any lead accumulating around the mouth of the barrel or in the forcing cone?
Is lead interfering with the cylinder turning?
The ball may be too large and noticeably affect accuracy or it may not be.

What does your load consist of?
If the large balls were seriously affecting the accuracy then you should notice the difference in peformance when you switch balls.

How far away is the target?
Maybe it's too far away and if you bring it in closer then you will notice the difference in the size of the groups and flyers.
Then gradually move the target back to see where the group size for the different diameter balls start to spread apart and get worse.
Then you can get a better understanding of how the different balls perform and you can work on your shooting skills and loads at the same time.

Most folks say that the .36 Remington is a good shooter.
Just because the large balls are getting swagged and deformed doesn't mean that they're a major problem. If they don't shoot as good then maybe you can use those for shooting at closer range, and use the .375's for firing at longer range.
Did you ever measure or weigh any of the cast balls?
Their large size shouldn't matter too much but that's why I suggested to move the target in closer to see if they're really inaccurate or if there's another reason.
Try setting up the target at 5-7 yards. Then gradually move it out to 10, 12, 15 yards etc... to gather more information about their performance.

Last edited by arcticap; May 10, 2011 at 06:51 PM.
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Old May 10, 2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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on the reduced distance to the target.

When I am new to a revolver, I use less than 15 and go out to 25.
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Old May 10, 2011, 04:45 PM   #5
yellowlegs
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no the ring is nowhere to be found . i do understand the wood whittle comparison. ive had the same results with both .375 and .380 . at 25 yds i can put 6 in a 4 in pattern 3 hi and 3 low . thjanks youy guys . i read all i can and have learned lots
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Old May 11, 2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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I heard the same advice and bought some large .380 balls and my observation has been that the larger ball made no difference. All it did is make ramming the ball more difficult and make thick lead rings stick to the rammer!
No I do own a 1851 Uberti which has one apparentlly large chamber and even the grease accumulated on the raammer sucks the ball forward as I load it. I think these larger balls might work in that particular chamber as I fear that it allows the ball to creep forward during the firing cycle.
The revolver is now broken-down with a broken hand spring, and when I get it fixed, I am going to try the .380's in this gun and particuarlly that chamber!
I think that the standard .375 balls will work just fine in most .36 revolvers and there is no significant advantage to the miniscule weight gain of the .380 balls.
Remember each ball is sized as you ram the ball home and it dosen't expand to the rifling, like an airgun pellet's base when fired.
I am just being lazy and haven't mic'ed the chambers on my .36's. I think that everyone should as it is the only proper way to know which balls to use. Generally speaking, the manufacturers make the chambers to proper specifications. They try really hard to keep Q/C in order and make proper sized chambers.
I think some of the stories we newcomers read are just old wives tales or maybe "fixes" (Like I need on the Uberti cylinder) and we strive to shoot our guns at optimum levels. I know I do and I think sometimes I go too far trying to make each shot exact. These are production revolvers and maybe we should expect just production preformance from them...
JMHO,
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Old May 11, 2011, 11:05 PM   #7
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The .380 is NOT too large for the .36 chamber. It will do just fine.
The .375 inch balls are marginal, often offering little more than a slip fit in the chambers of some revolvers. Years ago, I began using .380 inch balls to simplify my stock and stopped buying .375 balls.
The .380 ball, when rammed into the chamber, creates a wider bearing band than the .375 inch ball. This keeps the ball from moving in the chamber from the recoil of firing the other chambers.
It may also aid accuracy, once again that wider bearing band offering a greater surface area for the rifling to grip.
In any case, the .380 ball does no harm.
As for being harder to seat in the chamber, the difference is negligible. Yeah, you can tell the difference but it doesn't put any appreciably greater strain on the rammer than using a .375 inch ball.
Yes, it does cut a full ring of lead that tends to cling to the rammer but this is a minor inconvenience to ensure that the ball stays put in the chamber and offers greater obturation (sealing) in the bore.
It takes a second to flick off the offending ring of lead with your fingernail or a small screwdriver. If you care to bother with it at all.
For some revolvers, .375 inch works fine. But for others, it's simply too small. My Colt 2nd generation 1851 Navy has chambers of .373 to .374 inch. For it, I use the .380 ball. My other .36s use the .380 with equal aplomb, though some might get by with the .375 inch.
Were I you, I'd stick with the .380 balls if you can. Nothing is harmed by doing so, and there are real benefits to using a slightly larger ball.
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Old May 12, 2011, 03:23 AM   #8
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What Gat said.
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Old May 12, 2011, 05:53 AM   #9
mykeal
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Quote:
The .380 is NOT too large for the .36 chamber. It will do just fine.
With respect, that's not always true. There are exceptions. I don't know if that's the case here or not - as I said, it's just a suspicion. Without knowing the actual dimensions it's difficult to say.

If the .380 ball is not too large, what do you think is causing the situation described by the OP, and what would your answer to the OP's question be?
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Old May 12, 2011, 02:55 PM   #10
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Maybe his lead is too hard.
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Old May 12, 2011, 03:39 PM   #11
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowlegs Post #1
i just got the front site filed down almost half way , it brought poa up to level but still too many fliers . could someone with more exp. te;ll me if the ring forced round the ball is a real concern ..oh 58 rem .36
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowlegs Post 35
ive had the same results with both .375 and .380 . at 25 yds i can put 6 in a 4 in pattern 3 hi and 3 low
There doesn't really seem to be a problem, except for some occasional flyers which considering the 25 yard distance could even be due to shooter's error.

Last edited by arcticap; May 12, 2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old May 12, 2011, 10:35 PM   #12
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I know the .380 is a real tight fit in my Piettia Police chambers, the difficulty ramming such a tight fitting ball (With the short rammer) into that cylinder makes them not worth it. The .375's still shave a nice ring when rammed and seem to seal well.
Perhaps the .380 dosen't fit all chambers universally due to minor machieneing variances and it maybe makes sense to have a supply of both?
I know that in my case, I need both sizes which is OK for me. Perhaps when I get my Piettia London fixed, they will work in it better as the chambers of the Uberti seem to be a looser fit.
Heck, Lead Balls are cheap enough to stock both in your shooting box and use the appropriate ones.
A good point was brought up about the hardness of the Lead. Maybe the .380's I have are a harder alloy?
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Old May 15, 2011, 01:05 PM   #13
Gatofeo
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The Original Poster (OP) wrote: "... i do notice that the ring shaved off dosent just fall off like the swagged .375 balls . the ,380 of my own casting seem to stay attached and get pushed in the cyl ."

I don't understand the problem.
Is he concerned that a larger ring is left by using the .380 ball? How does the larger ring of the .380 ball manage to get pushed into the cylinder?

If anything, the ring left by the .380 ball will cling to the rammer. So, flick it off with a fingernail or small screwdriver blade. This is a common occurrence, even with .375 inch balls.

Sometimes, the cut ring will remain on the top of the cylinder face, and if enough of these rings pile up against the gap between the cylinder and rear of the barrel, as the cylinder is rotated by cycling, it can cause dragging of the cylinder while cocking.

I still don't understand how the ring cut from the .380 inch ball somehow manages to get pushed into the cylinder, when the .375 doesn't.
His description needs clarification.

I just .380 inch balls almost exclusively. Never had a problem with them, and the oversized ball adheres better to the walls of the chambers in my revolvers.
It seems that accuracy is slightly better in some guns too. I first posted this observation about 1999 on the internet, and postulated that the larger ball, when rammed into the chamber, creates a wider bearing band.
This, I suggested, gives more of an area for the rifling to grip, and aids the sealing of the ball in the bore (obturation).
Many have repeated these suggestions as fact. Though I once did too, I've realized that I have no means to prove these suggestions. They sound reasonable enough but I'll stop short of stating them as fact.


An exception to the .380 balls in my inventory is an old ASM 1862 Colt pocket revolver that, because of so little clearance between the frame and rammer, I can't quite get a .380 ball to rotate under the rammer. But a .375 ball will. Barely.
No matter, the .375 ball works okay in the 1862. I don't shoot this revolver much, so it's not a concern.

But for all other .36s, I use the .380 ball. For some, because of their larger chambers, it's required; the .375 ball is nearly a slip fit in some of my revolvers.
To simplify my inventory, I just use .380 inch balls in all but the one revolver.

As for rings of lead clinging to the rammer. That is a common occurence with either .375 or .380 inch balls. I'll continue using .380 balls, for the benefits stated above.
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Old May 15, 2011, 03:35 PM   #14
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Some pistoleros use triple aught (000) buckshot. It is .36 cal. and loads just fine. I know ml rifle shooters who use it. One 25 lb sack will last for a lot of shooting.
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Old May 15, 2011, 04:08 PM   #15
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifleman1776
Some pistoleros use triple aught (000) buckshot. It is .36 cal. and loads just fine.
Would that be in a single shot pistol or a C&B revolver?
I wonder what brand of C&B had such small chambers?
.375's are reportedly too loose for use in most Uberti .36 revolvers, and Pietta's cut a very thin ring with the .375's.
Maybe the buck shot is oversized or the revolver chambers are undersized, tapered or out of spec., and the balls are somehow getting swagged when rammed deeper into the chamber?
Either way it would be a good idea to try the brand of 000 buckshot in the individual C&B before buying such a large bag of them.

http://www.shotgunworld.com/ammo_s082000.html

Last edited by arcticap; May 15, 2011 at 04:25 PM.
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Old May 15, 2011, 07:50 PM   #16
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I still don't understand how the ring cut from the .380 inch ball somehow manages to get pushed into the cylinder, when the .375 doesn't.
His description needs clarification.
I certainly agree with that. I assumed, from his description, that he wasn't getting a cut ring with the .380. Rather, the ball was deformed, or obdurated, by the excess lead cold flowing to form a sort of 'collar' on the front face of the ball. I've had this happen with significantly oversize soft lead slugs used to measure barrel and chamber dimensions. But that's just guessing. As you noted, it's not really clear what's happening.
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Old May 22, 2011, 05:58 PM   #17
yellowlegs
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i havent read replys for a while :mykeal your last post is dead on the ring follows the ball in the chamber and creates a "collar" in front of the ball
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Old May 22, 2011, 06:01 PM   #18
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Maybe you need to chamfer the chamber mouths so the .380 balls wont shave a ring.
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Old May 22, 2011, 06:43 PM   #19
arcticap
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Maybe he could use a .375 mold.
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Old May 22, 2011, 07:03 PM   #20
Hawg
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Some pistoleros use triple aught (000) buckshot. It is .36 cal. and loads just fine.
It will work in a .31 but not a .36
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Old May 22, 2011, 08:04 PM   #21
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Yes to what everybody said!? I have the Pietta Remmie 36 and I use .375 balls in it. I haven't tried .380 because the .375 work fine in mine but - that is my pistol. Someone mentioned weighing your cast balls and if for nothing else than curiosity, I'd suggest you do that. Casting balls isn't hard as you know - but - there are variables. You have to get you mold heated up and as anyone knows when they are running balls, it takes a few until you get your rythm down and can be consistent in putting them out. The next time you cast your balls, try setting some aside from the first part of your run, some from the middle, and some from the end and then weigh them and see if the ones from the three batches are consistent with each other. True, a .375 ball isn't large but you can still get gas porosity in them - i.e. a small bubble or void - which will throw their weight off and can throw the accuracy off. I'm such a bad shot it doesn't make any difference. But where I really start to notice it is in a larger ball such as the one I use in my flint Fusil de Chase. A swaged ball should be consistent in weight and if your cast balls are, then you can start looking at the other variables. Everyone has their own methods and what works for them. Another question I'd have is how are you measuring your charges (I'm assuming you are using BP - that's all I have experience with - I really do need to expand my horizons sometime and try a substitute). Are you using a standard powder measure or are you using a flask. Regardless of the pros and cons of using a flask, I've found over the years that when using a flask, for either a long gun or a pistol, I sometimes will throw an inconsistent charge if from nothing more than the difference in pressure of my finger on the tip of the spout as well as how I tip the flask. A lot of these guys have more experience than I and they've given some excellent things to think about. I look forward to hearing about what you come up with and if your accuracy improves. My Pietta .36 Remmie is a nice shooting pistol and I feel that the pistol is accurate - the main variable is my ability to aim it! Good luck!
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Old May 22, 2011, 09:14 PM   #22
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I think it's time to measure the diameter of one of those .380 balls after it's been loaded into the chamber and deformed.
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