September 20, 2005, 08:37 AM
How many of you shoot reloads from you revolvers? I have a 637 Airwieght. Would it be safe to shoot reloads from it. My buddy had a 3" Ruger SP101, and he shot less than a box of .38 reloads through it before it peeled the finish of the inside of the cylinder (if that makes sense).

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September 20, 2005, 08:53 AM
I shoot several thousand reloads per round of factory ammo in my revolvers. I have never had an issue of any kind using reloads.

Reloads done right equal and often exceed the quality of factory ammunition.

September 20, 2005, 08:55 AM
PlasticPistolPacker, welcome to the board. Never had a problem with reloads in a revolver.

September 20, 2005, 08:55 AM
From what I understand, if the reloads are done right, they are especially safe in a revolver. But read my thread on my cylinder locking on my gp100. That was with a reload.

Interesting you mention damaging the finish on the inside of the cylinders. I was curious if all revolvers did this, because mine have little rings almost to the ends of the cylinders where the finish is worn. I assumed this was normal. (I have shot both factory and reloaded ammo in mine, so I cannot speak to the correlation).

I'm sure it is safe to use reloads, but I personally am done. WWB value packs are cheap enough, and i have never had a problem with them, whether reloads had anything to do with it or not.

September 20, 2005, 09:00 AM
I shoot "handloads" in everything I own. I will not shoot "reloads" from an unknown source in anything I own. You have to trust the person doing the loading with your life. I have see two Ruger Super Blackhawks with the cylinders blown to bits. I talked to some guys one time that bragged they used "double loads" in their shotgun and one time even used a "tripple load" but when they opened the action after fireing it "the case was gone". Too many idiots out there. If you have a friend that is an avid reloader and not a "thrill seeker" his loads may be safe. Use your own judgment. Handloads should do no more or less damage to your guns finish than factory loads (probibly less).

September 20, 2005, 09:18 AM
I was under the impression that taking brass that has been fired once or more, and loading it, again, was a reload, regardless of who reloads it.

Handloads, I though were anything loaded "by hand", or anything not factory.

I guess if it's not a "reload", and just a "handload", that means only using new brass. That sounds most safe to me.

BTW do you use reloads/handloads in your "plastic pistol", plastic pistol guy? Surely if they are ok in that they are ok in a revolver.

September 20, 2005, 09:36 AM
I guess I just don't like the term "reload"...but you are right...anything in a used case could be considered "reloads"...especially if done by a factory. :scrutiny: I like to think my "handloads" are a bit above that as they are being custom loaded to my specifications for my guns. I believe most other serious handloaders would feel the same. To get the best performance (in a rifle) the case has to be first fireformed in the rifle being loaded for all custom loads would be in a used case! :)

September 20, 2005, 03:24 PM
That's what else I was confused about. Handloads VS Reloads. I don't know which they are, but they're on the shelf at my local dealer. He says he sells a lot of them and has never had any problems. I only shoot/carry factory loads in my G30, because we know how often GLOCKS blow up for NO reason :rolleyes: , but when they do KB (which is rarely considering the amount of people who own them) it usually has to do with reloaded or handloaded ammunition (Yes I LOOOOVE the kool-aid). I carry .38 125gr +p gold dots in my 637, but would like to shoot some handloads for practice. Didn't know if the $1/box savings was worth the risk. Thanks for the help guys

September 20, 2005, 04:15 PM
I have four S&W M629 .44 Mag revolvers, two 1911's in .45 ACP including a new Wilson Classic, and three high power rifles. I shoot them regularly but haven't fired any factory rifle or pistol ammo in 30+ years. Did buy 2 flats of new WIN AA shotgun shells recently for my shotgun. These are being reloaded also as they are fired. The ONLY factory ammo I use regularly is .22 LR.

There is nothing inherently wrong with handloads/reloads. They are as good as the person makes them. Judging from accuracy, performance, grouping, and safety, my reloads are as safe/good as factory loads and perhaps better. Loading ammo hotter than factory loads is not a safe approach to reloading except for a few factory loads which are intentionally underloaded due to the number of old soft-steel rifles/pistols still being used.

Good shooting and be safe.

September 20, 2005, 04:47 PM
That post right there seals the deal for me. 30+ years :what: . If something goes wrong I'm blaming it all on you!!! Haha, I'll try some this weekend and let you know how it went.

Standing Wolf
September 20, 2005, 06:28 PM
I've been shooting home-rolled ammunition three decades without encountering a single problem—other than disappointing my ex-wife, of course.

September 20, 2005, 09:31 PM
Quote: "There is nothing inherently wrong with handloads/reloads. They are as good as the person makes them."

Nope, can't blame me if something goes wrong because I won't be the one making your reloads. I load ONLY for myself and my son and will NOT shoot anyone else's handloads in my guns under any conditions!! MAY shoot their handloads in their guns but ONLY if I know and trust them with my last set of hands and eyes. Good luck with your handloading. Know and do NOT exceed the appropriate limitations and safety precautions. NEVER USE ANYONE ELSE'S LOADING DATA UNLESS IT IS WITHIN THE SAFE RANGE AS LISTED IN AT LEAST ONE MAJOR RELOADING MANUAL!!!

I have been safely reloading for 40+ years. During the first few years I would buy one box of factory ammo for each new rifle or pistol but about 30 years ago I discontinued that practice. My new (very expensive for me) Wilson Classic pistol has not been fired with anything but my handloads since I got it. Even Wilson's original test firing was done with handloads very similar to mine and using the same bullet that I load.

Good Handloading/Shooting and Be Safe.

Guy B. Meredith
September 20, 2005, 09:46 PM
That discoloration in the end of the chambers is probably just 'dirt' from the shorter .38 spl rounds. No problem as it is just the same as the discoloration on the front of the cylinder-just keep it clean.

Regarding handloads/reloads vs commercial ammo. I quite honestly don't know where to buy commercial ammo. Of any given type that is. I'd have to search around or just take pot luck. The last commercial ammo I bought for .38 spl or .357 mag other than 40 rnds Hydra-Shok was about 30,000 rounds of reloads ago.

Also, when I reload I know what I am getting with zero travel or telephone time and it is always available.

September 20, 2005, 11:11 PM
Oh, it's certainly not discoloration. It is definately Metal flake something. It looks like 'paint' from the inside of the cylinder. Almost like metal shavings. Discoloration, he could deal with...peeling he could not. Sold it for a G19 ;)

September 21, 2005, 12:16 AM
The SP-101 is a stainless steel revolver so it has no finish on it. Were the reloads loaded with cast bullets and what you saw was possibly lead?

September 21, 2005, 12:28 AM
No, I can definitely relate to what he is saying. It may not have a finish, but there are definitely rings of a lighter color there when the dirt is cleaned off on my GP100. Don't know if it's the same, but that's what I'm seeing in mine.

September 21, 2005, 12:48 AM
I have fired thousands of my own reloads through my SP-101 and have never had any problem, especially with "finish" coming off the inside of the cylinder.

September 21, 2005, 07:10 AM
I stand corrected. It was a blued GP 100. Sorry, still new to this revolver world. So I assume it was the bluing that was removed? Either way, I'm going to try some handloads this weekend.

September 21, 2005, 07:27 AM
If it was a blued revolver, I've seen the flame cutting take the bluing off (at least that's what it looks like), but you just end up with a dull grey. No real big deal. Actually, my 629 .44 Magnum, nice bright stainless, has nice, solid burn rings on the end of the cylinder now, along with a light ring from shooting .44 Specials. Sometime I'll get a chamber brush and get at those. Of course Magnums still fit and fire fine.

Oh yeah, I've fired tons of my reloads with only a few problems, all traced back to loading on a cheap progressive. (It was 3 rounds total; 2 .223s and a 9mm.) I went to Camp Perry and had nothing but reloaded ammo for my AR-15, and I have never fired a factory round in my 629. Actually, I can't remember the last time I fired factory rounds out of anything but my shotgun.

Ben Shepherd
September 21, 2005, 07:35 PM
If I didn't cast and roll my own, I couldn't afford to shoot!!

lee n. field
September 21, 2005, 09:21 PM
How many of you shoot reloads from you revolvers?

That's close to all I shoot through mine. No problem other than accumulated filth. I only shoot my own handloads.

September 21, 2005, 10:03 PM
So far I've gained that it is perfectly fine to shoot handloads. Now to what extent would you trust ones you bought at the gun shop? Is it worth the $1 savings/box 50? For what its worth, this ammunition has been circulated through this specific gun shop since I've been going could one assume that no one has had any severe problems causing the loads to be pulled from the shelves?

Edit: Where would be a good place to buy bulk reloads online? Anywhere you trust specificly? IIRC there is a small mom and pop store out of Georgia(?) that a lot of people order from? Mostly rifle ammuntition but they do have handgun too.

September 22, 2005, 08:53 AM
One such place is

National Bullet Company
1585 East 361 St. Eastlake OH 44095
Phone 440-951-1854 Fax 440-951-7761

Note they will load your brass if you have it.

September 22, 2005, 08:56 AM
For what you're looking for, I'd almost suggest looking at CCI Blazer and WWB, especially if what you're saving is $1 per 50. There are places online to order from; Georgia Arms sells reloads, IIRC. Natchez Shooters Supply is also a good source for various ammuntion and other shooting accessories. Save your brass and shoot long enough, and you will get your own press in time. You can't avoid it! :o

BTW, where in NH are you?

September 22, 2005, 10:18 AM
How many of you shoot reloads from you revolvers?

I can't remember the last time I bought a box of factory loads for anything from a dealer. I might buy a box of 32 Remington, 22 Jet, 256 Win Mag, or other rare discontinued stuff at a gun show, but usually don't shoot it. Any other factory stuff odds and ends that I might get with a gun or in a trade is only used for chronograph comparisons. :cool:

September 22, 2005, 02:44 PM
"...the bluing that was removed?..." Bluing isn't a coating. It doesn't flake off. I'd bet your seeing lube if you're buddy is using .38 Special cases. The lube will build up in the chamber if you use .38 cases in a .357 chamber. Possibly bits of burnt powder. Maybe, but not likely, bits of bullet.
I've had a GP since they first came to Canada 20 some years ago. Handloads only. No fuss. No bother.

September 22, 2005, 03:14 PM
WanerinWalker, you have a PM.

September 22, 2005, 03:50 PM
The only commercial centerfire ammo I have bought in years are the 158gr LHPSWC +P .38 Spcls and 200gr GD .44 Spcls I keep for PD/HD. Otherwise, none of my new revolvers have seen a commercial round since they left S&W or Ruger.

I started reloading initially due to the cost and local availability of .45 Colt rounds, but I have recently added what may be my most important reason to handload - for the level I want or need. In my case, this is less than commercial levels. For example, I love shooting .45 ACP 230gr FMJ's from my 4" 625 - but I don't need the 850+ fps of typical 'ball' ammo, so I load my own at 800fps - very comfortable and accurate. The same goes with my 'wimpy' .357 Magnum and .44 magnum loads. I also load my own in oddball calibers - like the .45 Auto Rim and .44 Russian, or the really hard to find, 7.62x38r for my 1895 Nagant revolvers.

I know GA Arms reloads a lot of ammo, but they also load 'all new', ie, new brass, as well. Great folks - and excellent ammo. I have bought mostly their cast bullets as components in the three years since I bought my new Dillon 550 press. That purchase was the first time I had ever touched a reloading device of any kind. Thus far, I have made two bad rounds... one, the primer wouldn't fire... turned out it was missing it's guts. The other had a primer fire, pushing the lead bullet partially into the barrel - and leaving some gooey black yuck in the case. It could have been some WD-40 overspray. Diligence is important in loading, as is quality equipment. By comparison, I have had several bad rounds in one commercial ammo box before - and at least one bad round from every commercial source I have ever used, prior to my reloading hobby's beginning.

The carbon and lead build-up before the case-step in a .357/.44 Magnum chamber caused by shooting Specials in them can and should be cleaned out with a bore brush and solvent prior to loading them with longer cased Magnums. If that build-up is your problem, it is easily solved. If it is the blast residue between the forcing cone and cylinder face, which presents as grey-ish rings around the cylinder exits, and you have a blued finish, you must be careful. Decent polishes, as you would use on a SS cylinder's face, can go right through the blueing, which is actually just a controlled oxidation on a highly polished virginal carbon steel face. A safer bet is to let a decent cleaner/solvent, such as Hoppes #9 or BreakFree, and keep it wet for ten or more minutes while it softens the residue. Use a nylon M16 style brush - or tooth brush - to 'help'. The key here is to give the solvent time to work... and make sure it is 'okay' on blued finishes first.


September 23, 2005, 07:59 AM
Firearms are notoriously stupid. Contrary to what the Million Moron Mommies would have us believe, they have no powers of reasoning at all.
As long as the ammunition is withing SAAMI specifications there is no way the gun can tell who loaded it.

And blue doesn't flake off.

So, until we know exactly what WAS happening there is no way we can offer any real solution.

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