The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 7, 2012, 06:38 AM   #1
Whirlwind06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 750
Shooting .38s in a .357 carbon ring build up?

So I have a shinny new GP-100 and I'm have a great time buying different flavors of .357 to see what it and I like. So far the 158 grain JSP seems to hit POA with my fixed sight 3 inch GP.

I'm also shooting my .38 reloads for no other reason then I have a lot of them. So is there any rule of the thumb on mixing .38s and .357? I have so far shot all of the .357s I had on hand before switching to .38s. If don't have time to completely clean the gun I run a .45 brass brush through all of the cylinders when I get home.

Does it take hundreds of .38s to get the carbon ring build up?

Last edited by Whirlwind06; July 7, 2012 at 07:17 AM.
Whirlwind06 is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 06:49 AM   #2
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,067
It must take a lot of 'em.

I shoot a lot of .38 with cast bullets and don't clean my guns after every range trip. I've never experienced trouble chambering or firing .357 in my revolvers. Maybe I've just been lucky, but this is a problem I've never experienced first hand.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 07:02 AM   #3
FlyFish
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Overlooking the Baker River Valley
Posts: 1,485
You can certainly shoot enough .38s in a .357 to build up a crud ring, but it does take a while and you need to be pretty casual about cleaning. I've never had the problem because I've always been a reloader and it's a simple matter to make up .38 Special-equivalent loads in .357 cases, but I know plenty of shooters who shot .38s and eventually got the ring, which can be a pain to remove but will eventually come out.

One trick I've heard of but have never had to use is to flare the mouth of a .357 case so it just barely chambers and force it fully into the chamber to scrape out the crud. Otherwise, it's brushes, solvent, and elbow grease.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Life Member
SASS #84900
03 FFL
Pemigewasset Valley Fish & Game Club
FlyFish is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 07:37 AM   #4
oldgranpa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 209
Here's what I do...reload .357cases to a .38spec level and use them for range practice. This prevents the carbon ring buildup. My reload uses 6.5gr Unique powder and 158gr Speer bullets.
Of course you have to be a reloader to do this. Otherwise you're stuck with shooting 38's for range practice to reduce the recoil.
og
oldgranpa is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 08:13 AM   #5
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,436
Actually it doesn't take many 38s to build up the ring, which as you know it also doesn't take much of a ring to grip the 357 case making it hard to extract after firing.

Cleaning after each session of 38s helps. The longer the ring sets in the cambers the harder they are to get out.

To clean the ring, I take a spent 357 case, bell it (a little more then you would bell it for reloading) where it has to be forced in the chamber. Pushing the belled 357 case into the chamber(s) cuts out the ring pretty good.

To help, I use cut the inside of the belled case with a chamfering tool to make it cut easier.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 08:17 AM   #6
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
Quote:
Cleaning after each session of 38s helps. The longer the ring sets in the cambers the harder they are to get out.
"The cleaner you keep something, the easier it is to keep it clean". I've found this to be true with guns, motorcycles, and housework!
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 08:49 AM   #7
CajunBass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 6, 2005
Location: North Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 3,422
I keep hearing about this, but I can't say I've ever experienced it, and I'm pretty casual about cleaning my guns. I'll run a patch soaked in solvent through the chambers after shooting, but that's about it. I'll brush them once in a while, but nothing much more than a lick and a promise.

The ONLY gun I've ever had a problem with was a S&W, 22 Combat Masterpiece I bought used. That one had the chambers so fouled that it took a lot of cleaning to get the empties to eject smoothly, but I'm not even sure that was the same problem.
__________________
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
CajunBass is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 09:17 AM   #8
KyJim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 7,573
I run a brass brush soaked in solvent through each cylinder a couple of times and have never had a problem.
__________________
Jim's Rules of Carry: 1. Any gun is better than no gun. 2. A gun that is reliable is better than a gun that is not. 3. A hole in the right place is better than a hole in the wrong place. 4. A bigger hole is a better hole.
KyJim is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 12:55 PM   #9
Whirlwind06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 750
I reload so once I get a supply of brass built up I'll be all set. The factory .357 loads have a nice thump compared to my .38 reloads.
Whirlwind06 is offline  
Old July 7, 2012, 03:29 PM   #10
M4BGRINGO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2011
Posts: 241
Guess you need to shoot a ton of .38's to cause this problem.

We have easily put 250 rounds of wadcutters through our 686 and there was no ring of crud, and with the amount of smoke we get out of these rounds I would have expected it.

I do clean it every other time to the range but have never had any issues with .357's in it.
M4BGRINGO is offline  
Old July 8, 2012, 12:10 AM   #11
vladan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2010
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 805
Never had problems with crud ring when shooting .38 from my .357 guns but I reload and usually load all my rounds in .357 cases even to their .38 power levels so when i actually shoot .38, it is not a whole lot
vladan is offline  
Old July 8, 2012, 06:12 AM   #12
Salmoneye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,345
Quote:
Here's what I do...reload .357cases to a .38spec level and use them for range practice. This prevents the carbon ring buildup. My reload uses 6.5gr Unique powder and 158gr Speer bullets.
According to Alliant's current online data, and their 2004 paper reloader's guide, 6.5gr of Unique under any 158 bullet is well over .38+P levels...
Salmoneye is offline  
Old July 8, 2012, 06:17 AM   #13
Salmoneye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,345
Quote:
I run a brass brush soaked in solvent through each cylinder a couple of times and have never had a problem.
I have found the issue to become pronounced when you fire a number of .38's, and then fire a few .357's...This seems to 'bake' and pressure seal the carbon to the cylinder...If you do not remove it occasionally, it indeed will at some point make it very hard to chamber .357's, and raises pressures uopn firing them...

I too have used the belled .357, but if the carbon has not been 'baked' on by firing .357's after .38's, the rings usually come out with Hoppe's and a brass/bronze brush...
Salmoneye is offline  
Old July 8, 2012, 04:23 PM   #14
oldgranpa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 209
quoted again....
Quote:
Here's what I do...reload .357cases to a .38spec level and use them for range practice. This prevents the carbon ring buildup. My reload uses 6.5gr Unique powder and 158gr Speer bullets.

According to Alliant's current online data, and their 2004 paper reloader's guide, 6.5gr of Unique under any 158 bullet is well over .38+P levels... (end of quote).

The Alliant powder list may be right for your case. And yes, I'm trying match 38spec+p velocity doing this There are many references for reloading .357mag....

http://stevespages.com/page8a.htm

http://www.reloadammo.com/

are just a few.

Remember, I'm reloading a .357case, not a .38spec case. Does make a difference. Also the bullets I'm using are Speer JHP which is what are available, also used Hornady XTP with similar results. The Speer are more accurate. I've also tried this with 125gr bullets with more velocity but still work good. And with 180gr bullets, not as good.

Several of us have tried this with good results. When I first tried it with 6.4gr of Unique, recommended by a friend, with my Ruger Blackhawk 6.5"barrel I got less than the 1000fps velocity I wanted. Using the 6.5gr (accurately measured) I get velocity up to 1060 with the Ruger. I have the std. Shooting Chrony, normally set at about 9'.
Factory .357mag loads, like Federal American Eagle gets up to 1500fps, lots of recoil, again with the Ruger.

With my S&W M&P360 snub nose, I get around 915fps with the 6.5gr Unique in the .357case. Makes sense with the shorter barrel. With a factory Rem .357 125gr GS load I get around 1210fps. So I can even use the special reloads in my snub for practice while avoiding the carbon buildup with 38spec ammo. I don't try the factory Fed AE .357loads in my snub, recoil is way too much.

There are always those around here trying to dispute what some people post and make them look stupid. Sorry if that's your objective. Try these reloads yourself and see what you get. Might even like it.

Cheers,
og...who is old but not stupid
oldgranpa is offline  
Old July 8, 2012, 04:35 PM   #15
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,184
Quote:
One trick I've heard of but have never had to use is to flare the mouth of a .357 case so it just barely chambers and force it fully into the chamber to scrape out the crud.
That works. It works even better if you chamfer the inside of the case mouth a little too, and if you swab the cylinder first with transmission fluid or whatever you favorite cleaner is and let is soak in.

I'm pretty lackadaisical about cleaning my guns (unless I've been shooting black powder or corrosive primers) and I shoot a lot more .38's in my guns than I do .357's. But I've never had trouble loading a .357 Magnum after shooting a bunch of Specials in my guns.

Once, I was at the range and the couple at the next lane had a .357 Magnum and was shooting .38's in it. He asked (or maybe I offered, I don't remember) for a couple of .357 Magnum rounds just to try them out, and they wouldn't chamber in his gun. They almost chambered, but wouldn't quite seat all the way, so they looked OK but the cylinder wouldn't close. I didn't figure it out at the time, but that was probably the dreaded carbon ring in a gun that had *never* shot full-length Magnums and had never had the chambers cleaned properly.

Last edited by zxcvbob; July 8, 2012 at 05:00 PM. Reason: spelling
zxcvbob is online now  
Old July 8, 2012, 04:51 PM   #16
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,992
Case volume effect on pressure and performance.

[QUOTE=oldgranpa, post #14
There are always those around here trying to dispute what some people post and make them look stupid. Sorry if that's your objective. Try these reloads yourself and see what you get. Might even like it.
[/QUOTE]
I don't think Salmoneye (post #12) was trying to make anyone look stupid. I suspect he was genuinely alarmed at a charge weight that (in the smaller 38 Special case) would be high-powered indeed.

Many loaders do not appreciate the SUBSTANTIAL effect that case volume has on the pressure peaks and the pressure curve over time. I loaded for a couple of decades before I even gave it a second thought, and the first thought was not very deep or long.

Decreasing the case volume (e.g. seating a bullet deeper) can geometrically increase pressures. Likewise, using a longer cartridge case can substantially reduce pressures, even to the point erratic burn rates.

I did not appreciate this myself until I was researching around for a good powder with which to teach a friend to load for his 500 Smith & Wesson.

Lost Sheep

p.s. I picked Trail Boss for its low energy to volume ratio. You can easily inspect the case to see a too-high or too-low powder charge. AND it gives velocities in the 800 fps range with a 325 grain bullet. Recoil is like a 22 rimfire in that heavy X-frame Smith. He still uses the powder for fun and letting curious people get used to the gun before upping the ante with medium, then full-power demonstration/education loads.
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old July 8, 2012, 06:22 PM   #17
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,481
I've only had it happen once in my S&W 686 and I shoot mostly .38s out of it. While I clean mine after every range trip it eventually built up enough to make it difficult to chamber .357s. A little extra cylinder attention solved the problem when I got home.

I'd suggest cleaning it after each range trip but you don't have to over do it on the cylinder.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old July 9, 2012, 06:08 AM   #18
Salmoneye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,345
Quote:
quoted again....
Quote:
Here's what I do...reload .357cases to a .38spec level and use them for range practice. This prevents the carbon ring buildup. My reload uses 6.5gr Unique powder and 158gr Speer bullets.

According to Alliant's current online data, and their 2004 paper reloader's guide, 6.5gr of Unique under any 158 bullet is well over .38+P levels... (end of quote).

The Alliant powder list may be right for your case. And yes, I'm trying match 38spec+p velocity doing this There are many references for reloading .357mag....

http://stevespages.com/page8a.htm

http://www.reloadammo.com/

are just a few.

Remember, I'm reloading a .357case, not a .38spec case. Does make a difference. Also the bullets I'm using are Speer JHP which is what are available, also used Hornady XTP with similar results. The Speer are more accurate. I've also tried this with 125gr bullets with more velocity but still work good. And with 180gr bullets, not as good.

Several of us have tried this with good results. When I first tried it with 6.4gr of Unique, recommended by a friend, with my Ruger Blackhawk 6.5"barrel I got less than the 1000fps velocity I wanted. Using the 6.5gr (accurately measured) I get velocity up to 1060 with the Ruger. I have the std. Shooting Chrony, normally set at about 9'.
Factory .357mag loads, like Federal American Eagle gets up to 1500fps, lots of recoil, again with the Ruger.

With my S&W M&P360 snub nose, I get around 915fps with the 6.5gr Unique in the .357case. Makes sense with the shorter barrel. With a factory Rem .357 125gr GS load I get around 1210fps. So I can even use the special reloads in my snub for practice while avoiding the carbon buildup with 38spec ammo. I don't try the factory Fed AE .357loads in my snub, recoil is way too much.

There are always those around here trying to dispute what some people post and make them look stupid. Sorry if that's your objective. Try these reloads yourself and see what you get. Might even like it.

Cheers,
og...who is old but not stupid
No one suggested you were old or stupid...

My simple point was that Alliant does not recommend that you refer to that load as a ".38spec level" in any way...

The next person to come along and try that load in an old .38 Special revolver may just find that out in a hurry...

BTW...

Very familiar with your links, and many other sources...

Steve's Pages lists a top ".38spec level" load for 158gr bullet at 6.4gr Unique...

ReloadAmmo lists nothing approaching your above +P load as ".38spec level"...
Salmoneye is offline  
Old July 9, 2012, 09:49 AM   #19
oldgranpa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 209
thanks, again... reloading .357cases is what I'm doing for my .357mag revolvers with a lighter load than recommended for a "full" load with a 158gr bullet. For range practice mostly but it's accurate up to about 20yds.
Right, the second ref doesn't show my specifc load, only some typical loads and velocities expected. No need to nitpick my post, I'm old, not perfect. Hope anyone reading this thread understands I'm NOT recommending reloading spent .38cases. That's a waste of time with 38ammo still pretty cheap. Just get a .38special revolver if that's what you want to shoot and lower recoil too. I have a S&W model 37-3 that my wife and daughter shoot the 38's and they appreciate the lower recoil. No carbon ring to clean and safe since a .357 round will not fit the chamber.

BTW, I forgot to mention, crimping the case after bullet seating will also make a little difference. So I put a light crimp on mine. Will also prevent bullet creep from recoil of prior rounds during shooting.

Anyway, shooting 38's in a .357 is fine if you don't mind a little extra cleaning of the cylinder bores. Best to use a bronze brush if carbon is there. I just got sick of having to do this everytime after a range trip with my Ruger Blackhawk or S&W M&P360, so I chose the special .357 reloads instead. Just normal cleaning with a patch now.

AGAIN, DON'T USE MY RELOAD DATA IN A .38SPEC CASE, IT'S FOR .357MAG ONLY!!

Cheers,
og

(Been here since 2006 but don't post much, mostly like to read threads unless it's something I can offer that might be useful. My previous site where I was a moderator, usrange, is closed now so maybe I'll be here more. Thanks firingline for being a great site!)

Last edited by oldgranpa; July 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM.
oldgranpa is offline  
Old July 9, 2012, 01:08 PM   #20
JWT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,147
If it gets crudded up enought after shooting .38s that the .357 won't chamber you can removed the cylinder and soak it in Hoppes or MPro 7 or a similar solvent overnight. A bronze brush will easily remove the crud then.
JWT is offline  
Old July 10, 2012, 03:07 PM   #21
hogdoc357
Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2011
Posts: 36
I tend to clean my revolvers after each shooting or at least before the next shoot. So, I do not experience the build up.
__________________
HogDoc Olliday
NRA*SASS*IDPA
hogdoc357 is offline  
Old August 1, 2012, 09:16 PM   #22
fishbones182
Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 98
I buy cheap non chlorinated brake cleaner works great and cheaper then any "firearm product". I have shot thousands of 38spl loads in my ruger gp100. I use 3.5 grains of bullseye and oal at 1.42. The bullet is a 158 lswc. Im going to try a lower load in a 357 mag case and see. I have always loaded the 38s for my young son and daughter that loves to shoot. Not to mention i get almost 2k rounds per pound of gun powder to boot with the 38s that makes it cheaper on my pocket for sure.
fishbones182 is offline  
Old August 2, 2012, 02:25 PM   #23
Straightshooter629
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 475
I'm with Hogdoc... I clean my weapons after every shooting session so I have no problem with the buildup.
Straightshooter629 is offline  
Old August 2, 2012, 02:32 PM   #24
Leejack
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: The Alamo!
Posts: 2,024
I've done this for years with the Blackhawk.

I clean after each range trip.
Leejack is offline  
Old August 2, 2012, 02:34 PM   #25
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 809
I shoot mostly .38's in my .357's. I don't clean after every outing, probably after about 200 rounds and I don't have any problems with them. 586, 686.
I do have a pet model 19 and a Python that I load everything in .357 cases. Long time ago I convinced myself that even light loads were more accurate in .357 cased. This proved to be wrong, the 586 and 686 are both very accurate with .38 cases. Clean them once a month and don't worry about it.
pete2 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13475 seconds with 7 queries