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Rex
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 7:11am | IP Logged Quote Rex

My S&W has small cylinder throats and a real tendency to lead. Wade helped me find a bullet that works well in it. The mystery, when I load lead bullets in a .38 special case it seems to put a lead splash on the cylinder face where the same bullet at similar FPS in a .357 case doesn't. Is this my imagination or has anyone else seen this?
Some years ago when working with a different revolver, Mr. Elmer Keith told me that Unique burned hotter than 2400 and tended to lead a lot more. This has seemed to be the case but I don't like full throttle loads anymore and 2400 hasn't done well loaded "down".
Ain't life fun to have all of this to play with?
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richhodg66
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 8:08am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Rex, honing cylinder throats to where they are all uniform and proper size seems to be a bread and butter task for quite a few pistol smiths and can apparently make a big difference from what I have read.

I always use .357 brass in .357 revolvers, but that's mainly because it just seems right.


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Paul B.
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 3:03pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

"I always use .357 brass in .357 revolvers, but that's mainly because it
just seems right."

Me too.
Paul B.
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RECURVE
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 3:53pm | IP Logged Quote RECURVE

Me also
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 4:56pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

That depends on how hot a load you shoot a 38 spl round in
a 357 magnum revolver.
I only use 357 magnums in most of my 357 magnum revolvers but in the case of my S&W M 640, well 38 +P are more controllable.
My target S&W M 14 only has 3.5 gr of BE.
Cleaning the cylinder of any lead is just something to
keep me busy in the long winter months in the NW....    

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 5:03pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

REX, I just recently rented a cylinder throat reamer from 4D Reamer Rentals out of Kalispell, Mt. So simple to use and I can almost bet you will cure most of your leading difficulties. In case the bore is a bit tight where the barrel is screwed into the frame and you ever planned on shooting some honing bullets, the throats need reamed out uniform prior to that journey anyway.

They let you have the reamer for up to 7-days after arrival. Rental was $36 plus $8.95 for shipping for total of $44.95. Very simple to use. They send various sized bushings that you fit to the individual cylinder throat and a simple T-Handle is all you need, plus some good reaming oil of course. Just place the correct sized bushing for each throat onto the reamer and point the cylinder throat down then start the reamer into the chamber end of the cylinder and the bushing enters the throat and sets the reamer up for a perfectly centered cut of the throat. Rotate the reamer only clockwise and letting gravity pull it through the throat with plenty of reaming oil dripped into the reamer grooves as she goes and it is a piece of cake.

I checked out and reamed eight different revolvers. My old model flattop Blackhawk throats were almost right on and the .431 reamer only touched the throats slightly in certain places as they had been worn a bit oval after 55 years of use. My new Charter Arms Bulldog let the reamer pass through with hardly scratching the throats, which was really surprising. It has not given me any leading problems and I guess I now know why. The old Flattop has always been a mostly lead free shooter if the bullets were sized large enough.

One of my Buddy's Super Blackhawks was almost perfect .431. He got it used and thinks it was already reamed. His other Super Blackhawk had three throats that were slightly scratched by the reamer, two were .4295 and one was a bit tighter at .4290.

Another Buddy had one Super Blackhawk that really only had one throat that was undersized, the others just almost allowed the .431 reamer to pass through without removing anything. His Redhawk had two throats that were a bit small.

One other Buddy that also has a Super Blackhawk had four throats that needed just a small bit removed, but two were certainly tight and they required the most metal removed of any of the ones I had done so far.

Final revolver was from another friend that had a Colt Anaconda. All six throats required reaming with two being really tight at .4285, another one at .4290 and the other three at .4295. He reported that revolver as a fire breathing lead burner. But the throat reaming cured his problem. He said it now barely had any noticeable leading at all. I suggested that he shoot no less than .430 sized bullets and .431 if possible and he will likely not see enough leading to even speak of. He was happy.

Well, that was certainly a lot of revolvers done in a short span of a few days, but actually other than the Colt Anaconda, most of the others only had a couple of throats each that were the cause of most of their leading difficulty. And as expected, the ones that required little or no reaming, such as my two revolvers actually were already great cast lead shooters.

Edited by Ham Gunner on March 16 2018 at 6:04pm


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Rex
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 6:10pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Thanks for the info Rick.
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richhodg66
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 8:22pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Yes, thanks. I have a nice Blackhawk in .357 that never shot well and I suspect undersized chamber throats is why. I'll have to do this when I get around to it.

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Rex
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Posted: March 18 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Cheap as I am I broke down and bought a few gas checks, cast up some 358156. Thanks to Mr. Ray Thompson, I shot a lot yesterday with 6.8 grains Unique and the revolver was as lead free as could be. A little clean up with Hoppes #9 to remove the soot was it. Yes, Skeeter Skelton was right about that bullet. I don't use it for my everyday practice load. That load is 4.5 grains HP38 in a 38 special case with a 357446 bullet. That bullet also works well with the 357 load but if I get plumb lazy and won't want to clean a trace of lead I'll use a gas check.
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richhodg66
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Posted: March 18 2018 at 5:23pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

They do make a big difference in some loads, but plain based are generally fine for the velocities revolvers give provided they're sized right and have decent lube.

I'm with you, I like to avoid using them if I can but for rifle bullets they are generally necessary.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: March 18 2018 at 7:29pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Gentlemen, over the years I have found using shorter
Special length cases in magnum chambers, cast plain based
bullets will deposit more lead in the breach area and
cylinder faces. I suspect this increase in lead deposits
is a result of bullet bases and sides being exposed to
the 1/10" gap in the wider chamber walls expanding and
destorting prior to entering the more narrow throats of
the chamber. Using magnum cases places the bullet well
into the throat with little or no gap remaining to allow
pre-expansion that is smeared in the chamber and into the
breach gap of the forcing cone and cylinder face. This is
where there exists a rapid release of rogue metal
displaced by the gap induced expansion by taking the path
of least resistance, the barrel/cylinder gap. Thus the
lead appears more often with special cases.


The above hypothesis has been proven to be somewhat
correct when magnum cases are used and no special cases
used during shooting sessions. When special cases are
introduced the lead deposits do increase exponentially.
In a .357 Magnum revolver using .38 Long Colt [even
shorter than a .38 Spl], the displacement is even more
pronounced. This is the best assessment of this issue I
have.

Ok, enough "egghead" talk.... Going back to my more
unreserved and radical self! Next input will be totally
haywire!

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richhodg66
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Posted: March 19 2018 at 4:57am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Everybody here knows this, but may be worth repeating, it is absolutely safe to use .38 Special data in a .357 Magnum case. The vast majority of what I shoot in my .357s would be stiff .38 Special loads ballistically speaking.

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Rex
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Posted: March 19 2018 at 6:04am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Guys it ain't just the short case that gives me grief. The long case will lead also, yes I suspect I may have some barrel choke and I know the throats are small. I size .357 and they are still tight in all throats. My alloy is a mystery but, hey, it's free. With the addition of a check I can shoot all day with a clean barrel and cylinder throats. AS far as accuracy, I'm not good enough to benefit much from spending money reaming or throating the barrel. 30 yards is about my max range, hands have a slight tremor and eyes have to squint to clear up the sights. I can keep most everything on a 6x6 steal plate at that distance if the arthritis isn't hurting too bad that day. They put me right in business for a few pennies and I'm happy with that. Don't know what Skeeter's problems were that he used the checks.
Actually I would lead very little if I used 2400 instead of Unique but the arthritis in the thumb joints and wrist don't care for those loads. So as I suspect an old Ranger would say "adapt and overcome".
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Old Ranger
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Posted: March 21 2018 at 3:05pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Think a lot of that lead smearing is also due to lousy
lead mix. For the longest time everything I cast was
crap. But so was the lead I was getting from sources that
"claimed" it was 100% WW. Yeah, and I'm also the Emperor
of Wyoming!
Unless it comes from RotoMetal I don't trust it!

Just finished cleaning my .22 single action and it had
lead all over the frame, cylinder face, and bore. Was
shooting those crappy Federals again! Winchester doesn't
do this, just Federal.

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Rex
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Posted: March 21 2018 at 3:34pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Lead quality or lack of, lube quality, bullet fit, firearm fit and condition.....too much for this old man to figure out. Just find something that works and go with it. With all of the above problems that 357446 bullet with 2400 seems to come the closest to being the right answer without a gas check but I need a little better bullet lube to go with it. Using home made right now.

Edited by Rex on March 21 2018 at 3:35pm
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Old Ranger
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Posted: March 22 2018 at 5:32am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I understand.

Still making the beeswax & Vaseline mix?
Me too until Rick fixed me up with his special blend.


You're pan lubing correct, with Lee push-through dies if
I remember right. Ya ever added a dose of LLA to the
heated up mix? I did, and it worked pretty good. Not
great, but better than before. Just a thought.

Ha! Now your thread's gonna spin off into a lube thread!


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John Van Gelder
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Posted: April 05 2018 at 7:01am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

It seems to be a common failing with revolvers theses days that the throats are tight. Brownells sells the reamers and it is not a big job to open them up.

There will always be some issues shooting .38 brass in a .357, there is always a certain amount of gas blow by with the shorter cases.

It may sound like I am banging on the same drum, but I have found that does not happen with paper patched bullets.
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