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Old July 5, 2011, 06:01 PM   #1
studman5578
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Cylinder Leading in a .357

All,

I hope this shouldn't be in the hand load section, but I think its more related to the general use of both 38 and .357. I have a S&W .357 Mag (I don't have the frame style handy because I'm out of town) and I've been experiencing what I believe to be leading in the cylinder of the revolver. I shoot cast hand loads that I use a lee factory crimp on. They're sized to .358". I have trouble putting the magnum rounds into the chamber of the gun when I'm loading it, and some just won't accept the round at all. All of the 38 spls load without a problem.

Has anybody else experienced this problem? Like I said, I don't shoot factory so this might be more related to the fact that I shoot cast bullets, but any feedback/prevention methods/tips would be appreciated because scrubbing the lead out of the cylinders is a major pain.

Also, I'm not sure if this is the actual cause. I only came to this conclusion about a week or two ago so I'm not sure if this is entirely valid, and haven't had a chance to get out and test the theory. Let me know your thoughts on the issue. Thanks!
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Old July 5, 2011, 06:08 PM   #2
Quantrill
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Lewis Lead remover or clone thereof works for me to get rid of lead in the cylinder, forcing cone and barrel. Also check cylinder hole diameter and bullet diameter, they should be the same.
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Old July 5, 2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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the spl case is shorter than the mag case.
shoot a lot of spls and a crude ring builds from the end of case towards the forcing cone area of the cylinder.
now when you try to put a mag case in it the crude inhabits that, and some times can prevent a mag from fitting.
it's simplily a matter of brushing out the cylinder holes, problem solved.
shooting lead will increase this issue more than shooting jacketed spls.
since you hand load, there is no reason to use special cases, just reduced loads in mag cases....unless you are running super powder puff loads in the special cases.
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Old July 5, 2011, 06:33 PM   #4
Newton24b
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leading in the chamber will be an issue when using a shorter cartridge in that longer chamber.

unless you make sure to clean it correctly each time, you will have issues getting that 357 in. also applies 32 mag, 327 federal, 32 long, 32 sw, 44 mag 44 special 44 russian 45 colt 45 schofield.

on the other hand you have to look at the other possible. do the 357s have a hard time loading immediately after shooting 38 specials in it without a cleaning? or do the 357 handloads refuse to seat in the chamber even when its clean?
if its the second issue, the cases or the overall length is to much.
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Old July 5, 2011, 07:14 PM   #5
studman5578
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The 38 specials dont have any issues chambering, it's only the 357s that do. I think I will start to load 357 mag cases only now, so thanks for that advice. I did notice a layer of crud building up in the chambers, which is what lead me to believe what I did.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old July 6, 2011, 04:29 AM   #6
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studman

You`ve been cruded !!!!!

It`s an age old problem with the magnum rounds .

To clean it out , first soak it for 24hrs. , then flare a 357 case to the point ya just can get it into the cyl , push it forward & "scrape" the crude out as much as possible , follow with a good brushing (I do it with a cordless drill)

I personally don`t use 38s in mag chambers anymore , as I believe the crude ring if not cleaned properly drives up 357 mag pressures , as the case can`t let go of the bullet as intended . I had some cases stick hard in the cyl once , coulda been from the crude , coulda been from pressures spiking ???
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Old July 6, 2011, 06:02 AM   #7
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Here's a cure-all for you:

Buy a Chore Boy copper kitchen scrubbing pad. They are made of pure copper; most other brands are copper-plated steel. Take a magnet to the store with you to test before you buy: only buy pure copper!

The pad is put together sort of like a rolled up pair of socks. With a little care you can get it apart. What you then will have is a knitted tube, just like a wool sweater. Find the end of the "yarn" and pull carefully; it will unravel just like that sweater. Pull out 8 or 10 feet.

Wind the copper strand around an old bore brush of the caliber of the gun you are trying to clean. Dip the brush in some solvent and scrub it through the dirty chambers a few times. Cleans the lead right out, and the soft copper won't hurt your cylinder or barrel.

Once again, BE SURE THE PAD IS PURE COPPER!
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Old July 6, 2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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It's common, and its easy.

I smile when I see people jump through hoops cleaning the crud out of 357 (and other type magnums).

I've tried the Lewis Lead Remover, I've tried everything, the most simple, easiest, fastest is simply take a 357 case, bell the mouth (like you were going to reload it).

Bell the case to where you have to really force (the empty case) into the cylinders of your revolver. Push it in, eject it and you'll find the sharp mouth of the case has cut the crud from your revolver cylinders.
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Old July 6, 2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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I think I'm going to try belling out the case mouth, seems to cost the least of the options, haha. Thanks for all the great advice though. I'll let you all know what ends up working.

For those who've had this problem, will it continue if I use exclusively 357 mag rounds?

Thanks
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Old July 6, 2011, 07:49 PM   #10
brian45auto
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no.
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Old July 7, 2011, 07:51 AM   #11
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That crud is probably not lead but carbon buildup. As others have said, it's the residue left over from firing .38s in the longer .357 chambers. One solution not discussed is to brush out the chambers with a bronze brush of a larger caliber diameter than .357. I find a .45 cal. brush to be quite effective. It probably won't pull straight back and forth. Force it in and then rotate it (about 20 complete rotations should do the trick). If you want to really get a pristine result, after you brush the chambers with a dry brush, run a swab through them that is coated with J & B bore compound, then brush again. That should do it.

Btw, there is really no problem with buildup from .38s if you brush the chambers regularly. I brush mine after each trip to the range and they show no buildup at all. So, it's fine to shoot .38s just so long as you brush the chambers.
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Old July 7, 2011, 02:57 PM   #12
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For those that advise scraping the chamber with a flared/sharpened magnum shell.......

Doesn't that just move the crud ring up a couple of millimeters? Won't the crude ring just continue to build in the forcing cone part of the cylinder? Guess the bullets will blast it out before it could ever inhibit a bullet, but still... doesn't the crud ring still grow and solidify - just a little further up?

I just cleaned mine out for the first time (only about 300 rounds through the gun) with a .45 brush and drill.... works pretty good, but still a wicked pain. Many times back and forth with solvent, drill, cleaning patch.

Really love shooting my .357, but I think I'll be going back to my semi-auto more just because it's easier to clean.

(One last thought on the Mag casing to scrap... how about punching the primer out and putting a nut/bolt through the hole. Then using pliers or vice grips on the bolt, you can more accurately control your scraping against one side of the chamber wall at a time.)
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Old July 7, 2011, 03:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Doesn't that just move the crud ring up a couple of millimeters?
No. It scrapes it 'off' the walls. Then run a patch through to clean up the residue.
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Old July 7, 2011, 03:25 PM   #14
reppans
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Quote:
No. It scrapes it 'off' the walls. Then run a patch through to clean up the residue.
Yes, I can see how it will take care of the cylinder wall part, so mag shells don't stick, but there's still a lot of "real estate" (forcing cone area) in there between the top of a mag casing and end of the cylinder to crud up..... it just seems to me that using a mag casing to scrape doesn't address the rest of the crud that will build up a bit higher.

Having said that, this is my first revolver and before I cleaned it out, it did seem like that the worst cruding from shooting .38 specials, was just in the small area between two shell sizes. Perhaps the force of the bullet naturally scrapes the chamber's forcing cone area so crud never builds up there?
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Old July 7, 2011, 04:24 PM   #15
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A little unorthodox perhaps, but I chuck the end section of a cleaning rod in a power drill, screw a bore brush into the rod, apply solvent & slowly spin the drill to rotate the brush while passing it back & forth a little in the chambers. It cleans the whole inside from rim to mouth & if you use a nice long section of rod you'll never contact the finish of the revolver. Do this every time you clean & you'll never have the problem again.
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Old July 7, 2011, 07:11 PM   #16
GP100man
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The cyl contains first the chamber which is the length of the 357 case ,then the throat which is the dia of the bullet 357 .

There is a very small ramp (if that`s what it`s called)between the the 2 different diameters.

When you insert a 38 case which is .135" shorter than a 357 case & fire it carbon, lead. copper builds up in this area.

The throat is scraped cleaned by the bullet on each shot ,hopefully lining the bullet up to hit the forcing cone dead center .

Firing 357 without brushing this buildup out subjects it to hi pressures & compacts it into a very hard "crude" ring .

Scraping removes it to the "ramp" or throat step & probably loosens the buildup on it enuff it`s brushed away more easily.

It`s also removed easier if cleaned well before firing 357 rounds , but most shooters like to "warm-up" on 38s then go to the magnum stuff .

Choreboy while excellent for cleaning crudy bores & throats ,it`s still faster/easier to scrape it out .
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Old July 7, 2011, 09:18 PM   #17
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I just chuck a short piece of cleaning rod with a 38 bore brush in it into a battery operated drill, add break free and move it back and forth like honing a brake cylinder. Fast, efficient and does not hurt the cylinder.

Sorry Wog didn't see your post before posting mine.
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Old July 7, 2011, 10:19 PM   #18
reppans
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Thanks for the explanation GP100man... appreciate it.
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Old July 8, 2011, 08:27 AM   #19
wogpotter
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Great minds...................
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