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Old November 23, 2020, 05:17 AM   #1
Olive
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Carbon ring... 38 special via 357 cylinder?

How quickly will a carbon ring develop in a 357 cylinder if fed a steady diet of 38 special, target wadcutters (lead HBWC)... would I be better served to model a reduced load using all 357 magnum brass? (Perhaps switching to a non-lead DEWC?). Any special attention require/ suggested when cleaning?

Background: We now have two Kimber K6s revolvers in the house (both 2”)... my wife’s daily carry and she prefers the softness of 38 wadcutters we purchased through Percision Delta. I just ordered my caliber conversion kit for the 650 with 500 pieces of 38 special brass on hand.

New to the revolver world... thanks for the education!
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:18 AM   #2
74A95
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Technically, it will begin with the first round fired. It takes a few runs before it becomes a problem - and by that I mean issues chambering 357 brass in the gun. Even then you can generally load the 357 ammo in it but you'll get some resistance. But folks have been doing this for decades, and the crud will clean up. Some folks do use 357 brass to avoid this, but most don't. It's entirely up to you.

You can speed up the cleaning process in two ways. Rig a cleaning rod and brush for using a electric screwdriver/drill, as described in the article below. A second way to help is to use lead-free primers in your handloads. They'll reduce the crud buildup.

https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2019/...lver-chambers/
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Old November 23, 2020, 09:55 AM   #3
Howard B
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Brownells sells a stainless steel bristle Chamber Brush (not the spiral brush once called a tornado brush) in the common revolver calibers. It works very well for cleaning the short case crud from magnum chambers. The only downside I have found is that as it wears out, it sheds the bristles. But that could be a clue as to time to replace. I only use it for the cylinder.
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Old November 23, 2020, 10:11 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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I shot thousands of .38 wadcutters and many hundreds of .38 semiwadcutters in my Python in my PPC days.
Any "carbon ring" scrubbed out and there is no visible "erosion" affecting shooting and extracting .357 Magnums.

I have read of expanding the mouth of a .357 case until it is tight in the chamber mouth and acts as a scraper in the .38 area. Brass on steel, what's to hurt?
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Old November 23, 2020, 10:53 AM   #5
stinkeypete
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If you have a once-fired .357 magnum brass you could poke out the primer without resizing, dress the mouth edge nice and square and make yourself a little “ring scraping” tool. I hot-glued a bamboo skewer in the primer hole to make it fancy.

The resulting tool is made of brass and it’s fit to your cylinder. There is no wear on your cylinder, it just chisels at the carbon high spot ring. It’s interesting to see that some cylinder holes are maybe not exactly the same diameter! It also acts as a go/no-go gauge in terms of a .38 special ring.

My dad used to shoot .44 special in his .44 Magnum because his indoor range did not allow hand loads. An empty .44 Mag case cleared the ring quick and easy then only a light brushing was needed to make the holes shiny as better than new.
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Old November 23, 2020, 11:42 AM   #6
Olive
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Thanks, very helpful! I did a search and it doesn’t appear hopeful that I’ll find 357 brass so I’ll continue to load 38 special and do a better job cleaning paying attention to the cylinder walls.

By chance, does somebody have a suggestion on a short pistol ride for a 2 inch stubby my traditional pistol rods are 8 inches long and not best suited. To be honest if been using a “pull through” for the barrel. I’ve been taught all my life never to clean a barrel from the muzxle but with a revolver what choice do I have?
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Old November 23, 2020, 12:08 PM   #7
4V50 Gary
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Olive - get a brass muzzle protector so you can clean from the muzzle. I use them for revolvers and Garand type actions.
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Old November 23, 2020, 02:45 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
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"...How quickly..." One shot or so. Not really a big deal as it's mostly lube gunk that comes right out with a regular brass wire .45 calibre brush. No fussing with any case mouths involved.
"...reduced load using all 357 Magnum..." It's not a reduced .357 load. It's a .38 Special load in a .357 case at .357 OAL. Did for eons myself(2.5 to 2.8, usually 2.7, of Bullseye with a cast or swaged 148 grain WC). Makes the lube gunk ring go away.
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Old November 23, 2020, 03:27 PM   #9
FITASC
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Clean the gun and you'll have no issues.
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Old November 23, 2020, 09:04 PM   #10
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I clean mine every 50 rounds or so...using a .40 cal bore brush and some CLP, Hoppe's or Ed's Red. If you plan on shooting a cpl hundred, it's going to be a chore. An alternative is to load .38 spl level loads in .357 brass...using Bullseye powder and wadcutters, I find that increasing the .38 spl load by 0.2 to 0.3 grains works well with no loss of accuracy while maintaining the same velocity.

For especially resistant crud rings, try wrapping a piece of Choreboy kitchen scouring pad on you .357 bore brush. Be sure it's an all copper choreboy. I order mine via Amazon and get a cpl years supply. The ones frequently found in Walmart, Krogers et al, are usually steel with a copper plating...not good!!! Take a magnet off the frig door when you shop for them to test for the all copper ones.

YMMv Rod
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Old November 24, 2020, 06:01 AM   #11
jetinteriorguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
I shot thousands of .38 wadcutters and many hundreds of .38 semiwadcutters in my Python in my PPC days.
Any "carbon ring" scrubbed out and there is no visible "erosion" affecting shooting and extracting .357 Magnums.

I have read of expanding the mouth of a .357 case until it is tight in the chamber mouth and acts as a scraper in the .38 area. Brass on steel, what's to hurt?
I made a ‘scraper’ from a nickel plated case that’s ever so slightly flared and then slightly sharpened using an RCBS deburring tool.
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Old November 24, 2020, 08:30 AM   #12
CajunBass
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I've heard about this for years, but can't say I have ever experienced it myself. I suppose normal cleaning is enough to keep it at bay.
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Old November 24, 2020, 09:11 AM   #13
Arrowhead37
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I've been shooting 38 special in 357 pistols for a lot of years with no trouble at all. I use an ordinary 38 caliber bore brush in the cylinder.
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Old November 24, 2020, 10:07 AM   #14
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I shoot .38 Spl and .44 Spl in Magnum caliber revolvers. I chuck a .38 or .44 Cal Tynex brush in a drill and wrap with 0000 steel wool, using it to clean out the cylinders. Been doing this for many years...it does not damage or scratch the cylinders, but cleans out the gunk in short order. If you feel steel wool is too harsh--you can use fine Bronze wool (available at Ace Hardware).
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Old November 24, 2020, 01:22 PM   #15
T. O'Heir
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"...normal cleaning is enough..." Yep. Loading magnum cases makes it go away altogether. Really only matters if you plan on shooting magnums after the Specials.
There's absolutely no need for steel wool and/or drills. A plain brush will do it in one pass.
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Old November 24, 2020, 02:48 PM   #16
Wallyl
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T. O'Heir

"A plain brush will do it in one pass."

If that were true, I'd agree with you! Never has for me ...ever.
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Old November 24, 2020, 08:22 PM   #17
Olive
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Game changer... I am in Ontario on assignment for 3 years... Canada has brass and bullets in stock! I have 500 pieces of 38 that I could gift to a friend. Talk to me about buying 1000 pieces of 357 magnum brass and 2000 double ended wadcutters from Missouri bullets and just load 357 for my Kimber K6s... I’ve got 4 lbs of Bullseye waiting for me in Michigan... I’m looking to load a practice round in each revolver (his/hers) and carry commercial defensive rounds for EDC (snubby designed). Thoughts?

Last edited by Olive; November 25, 2020 at 07:20 AM.
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Old November 25, 2020, 10:05 AM   #18
Jim Watson
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Yes, I read of the guy who discovered a dealer with primers in stock but was dismayed to see the maple leaf on the site and no sales south of the border.

Practice reloads and defensive factory, that's what I do.
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