View Full Version : stuck cases in a revolver

Joe Portale
August 1, 2000, 09:18 PM
I am having a bit of a problem with reloaded ammo and my S&W Model 13. When I shoot .357 reloads, medium hot about 1200 FPS, At least two cases get stuck in the cylinder. I have to give the extractor rod a solid wack on the edge of the shooting table or on the heel of my boot to free them.

First, this only happens with reloaded ammo, never with new. And nickel cases stick more than brass. As a experiment, I went through a box of MagTech .357 Mags,(HOT stuff!), and not one case stuck. There is no lead ring in the cylinders from shooting 38's through it. The gun is less than one year old and has seen no more than 300 rounds of both calibers put through it.

After all that, the question is, how does one check the cylinders to see if they are different sizes. And what are the allowable tolerances in the cylinders? Also, can one hone the cylinders that are a bit under to correct this?


Joe Portale
Tucson, Arizona Territory

"Those who turn their swords into plow shears,
end up plowing the fields of those who didn't"
Thomas Jefferson

James K
August 1, 2000, 10:30 PM
Some thoughts.

First, see if the chambers in which the cases stick are always the same two chambers. Use crayon or magic marker to mark them.

If they are the same chambers, you might try a little polishing with crocus cloth in a slotted dowel rod. Be careful and don't overdo it. If this doesn't work, check the chambers very carefully; a remote possibility is that the chamber wall is bulged out at the cylinder stop cuts. The only fix for that is a new cylinder. The chambers may be oversize. Chamber diameter can usually be checked with a normal caliper and micrometer or a vernier of dial caliper.

If the chambers are not always the same, then look to your reloads. Hot loads are not always the problem. Dirty cases may be a factor, as could be frosted cases from using a chemical case cleaner. You could have a batch of soft cases.


August 2, 2000, 02:00 PM
Nickle plated cases would be 'slightly' larger in diameter than plain brass cases.
Couple this with what might be a minimum spec chamber, and you get sticky extraction. If polishing the two chambers seems necessary, I may stick with a gunsmith on that one. IIRC, there are special honing tools that do this far more precisely than can be had with the method Jim described. Your revolver is worth it! :)

George Stringer
August 3, 2000, 07:44 AM
Joe, since this doesn't happen with factory ammo you might take a look at your sizing die/set-up. Sometimes a sizing die can back out a little, or maybe you don't bring the ram all the way up to the die. If you have a chamber that is minimum and the cases aren't sized correctly they can stick. George