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Old 04-10-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
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Shooting .38 special in .357 revolver?

I've heard lots of opinions, guesses, and remarks about shooting .38 special loads in a .357 revolver. Many of them boil down to "Just because it will fit doesn't mean you should do it" with no further clarification. Others go on to add that a regular diet of .38 special will make it hard to chamber .357 when you want to. Reading some shop manuals lately I encountered the idea that the buildup before the cartridge case of .38 special in the chamber of .357 can cause a constriction of the case mouth and a subsequent potential extreme increase in pressure of an otherwise normal .357 load--with the result being a catastrophic failure of the shell case and possibly the revolver.

Does anyone know of any studies of the effects of reduced chamber diameter in a .357 and how severe the pressure increase could be? How much .38 special (lead, RN and SWC) would it take to effectively jam-up a .357 chamber?

Or if you haven't got any hard scientific research, how about colorful apocrypha and 3rd hand stories?

Thanks.
Dave
 
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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GunShows....GunStores...A lot Of Gun Forums , PoolHalls , FernAnChrome gyms , LiveStock Auctions an a lot of other venues are CESSPOOLS OF MISINFORMATION....Regular diet of 38Ss...Here We need to determine what a regular diet is...1rd per day , 100 rds per day....1000rds per day? Buildup in the chamber? If the 357 cartridge drops in there can't be much constriction , can there?....Granted there are FOOLS that would force the 357 in if it took a 200ton press....if there is enough neglect in a chamber to cause a failure , I hate to think what the barrel looks like since in theory buildup should be six times worse than a chamber....so My answer ...on a revo, maintained as it should be there won't be any problems...not maintained ?...Who knows..

The only studies I know of this is like this ....somebody knows a rocket scientst that bags gros. at the A&P when He's laid off that knows somebody that knew somebody tthat inheirtd a Colt that that had a mispelt Kolt on makein it rare and worth millions, carry the new somebody on an on, finally this mispelt Kolt exploded from bein left under a Giddeon bible tooo long , an investigation showed beyond doubt a 357 blew the cyl. apart , wrecked the topstrap and launched the toliet roof over into Tippydoo parish...Un fortunately all the real data from this research was stored in the musty archives of the racket scientists rectal cavity.....Misinformed in the beginnin...Hand repaired tennis rackets thus , racket scientist

Wild Bill
 
Old 04-10-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Bill Caldwell View Post
My answer ...on a revo, maintained as it should be there won't be any problems...not maintained ?...Who knows..
Wild Bill
Kinda what I was thinkilng, WB. You got kin in the Shreveport area? You talk like some of my East Texas cousins.
Dave
 
Old 04-10-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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Ain't likely that Billy's got kinfolks in Tejas. His family tree ain't got any limbs on it...

The .357 Magnum is nothin' more than a stretched out .38 Special...done to keep foolish young men from stickin' six of'em in a Victory Model and de-fingerin' his hands.

Just run a brush and a patch through the chambers when ya get done shootin' and the gun'll never
know the difference.
 
Old 04-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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I'm much less experienced here than the previous posters, I'm sure. I have however been shooting three different .357s from 3 different manufacturers for over 20 years, and countless others during that same period that have come and gone. I've run a couple thousand rounds of .38 through 'em, and never had an issue when going back to the magnums. I've heard this mentioned a time or two, but personally never had it happen or was able to even hear of a specific "second hand" story of it. I wish I could come up with as colorful a way of saying it as ol WB, but the point os still the same, I believe.

Damn, he does have a way with words though, don't he?
 
Old 04-10-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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I have an old article by Russ Gaertner where he mentions he did ruin some .357 chambers by shooting too many +P .38s in them. He didn't give any details.

Accuracy can vary widely according the gun and load.
 
Old 04-11-2011, 04:18 AM   #7
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ret...He probably experiencerd some chamber erosion behind the throats. It also happens when firing too many .22 Shorts in a LR chamber...but it takes a helluva lot of it.
 
Old 04-11-2011, 06:03 AM   #8
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Come On Tree Trimmin Johny....CYLINDER Erosion , unless caused by a Victor Cuttin torch with a#4 tip will not cause a Quality made Revo to simultaneous disassemble....A 357 case will withstand so much PSI...How much I don't recall an that point is not important to this discussion...Granted cly. erosion will cause difficult extraction but a BLOWUP , come on people....I've picked up Smiths with badly eroded cyl....Sleved cyl . and the revo runs as long as a new one will , due to My short memory , and due to bein good at slevein holes seldom was the repair detectable and sometime the revo was sold without the buyer bein aware a repair had been made , not due to larceny in My heart but due to My short memory...

Wild Bill
 
Old 04-11-2011, 08:04 AM   #9
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Yep, Billy. If a forcin' cone will erode...and a topstrap will flame cut...so will a chamber.
I had a 1942 USGI Colt send the barrel downrange once after the steel had been eaten through the leade area. Found it stuck in the berm with the bullet still in it. The spooky thing was that the slide cycled and chambered the next round...and I woulda fired it if I hadn't seen the front 2/3rds of the barrel arc toward the berm.

Avoid the hot-rod +P stuff and stick with lead bullets and the barrel will likely be worn smooth before it causes a problem.
 
Old 04-12-2011, 04:58 AM   #10
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JOHN....If anybody else in this World had told the BARREL TO THE BERM story I would have cast the JAUNDICE Eye upon them but from time spent around You I've came to know You as a True Paradigm of Truth....I also know the Meticulous care You bestow upon Your weapons so HOW IN THE HELL DID A BARREL CUT UP THAT BAD ESCAPE Your closer than most GunHands scrutinty....Just for learnin 's sake I would have had to fire the one that chambered....Back to the OPs question....I don't know the PSI a 357 case will take but for instance I know a 9x23 is rated at 45000psi...Everything starts happenin' in the case , question was about the chamber erosion caused by 38 Specials erodein' the chamber cause the revo to BLOW UP..This question is some distance from Top Strap cuttin' and throat cuttin or constriction.....like You I've seen first hand the damage caused by the later two....Far as that goes I've shot a lot of 9x19 in 9x23 chambers with no apparant damage , if the extractor headspaces the cartridge it will fire , Now to Jihack this thread futher , keepin' a commander frame the same height so we can mag 8 rds but shorten the slide and barrel as much as possible and hand cycle after each rd , this is to get the shortest 1911 possible , what do You think.....I don't mean as a commercial venture , just the shortest 1911...I think with pratice and at close range a GOOD HAND could hang with a Single Action.....lots of Us do 1 second reloads , Lt Bolton is a lot faster than
one second.....Think about HOT 45s loaded in cutoff 30/06 cases just for close in work

Wild Bill
 
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