Cilinder rings on Ruger SP101, IS THIS DAMAGE?


December 29, 2006, 11:43 PM
So I shot around 400 - 500 rounds through my Ruger SP101. I shot .38 Special, mostly, and about 25 - 35 magnum rounds. I notices the inside of the cilinder has a *ring* sort of carved into it. Is that a bad thing??? Will that mess me up later when I want to shoot .357 magnum through it???

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Old Fuff
December 30, 2006, 01:00 AM
As I'm sure you know, the .38 Special is shorter then the .357 Magnum. So when you shoot .38 Special's in a Magnum chamber it leave fouling in the area between the front of the .38 case up to the front of the .357 chamber. This is particularly so if the .38's are loaded with lead bullets. This doesn't harm the chamber, but if you don't clean ALL of the fouling out and then fire .357 cartridges the longer case will fireform around the ring of fouling and make extraction difficult. I avoided the problem by handloading .38 loads in .357 cases. If you don't reload consider buying so called "cowboy" .357 Magnum cartridges that are in effect downloaded to almost .38 levels using lead bullets.

December 30, 2006, 01:42 AM
No one else will probably reply to your question because Old Fuff told you everything that needs to be told. There's nothing else to add.

Mad Chemist
December 30, 2006, 02:39 AM
A .40 cal brush and some Break Free usually works for me.

December 30, 2006, 04:04 AM
Just clean between the .38 spl and .357 mag rounds. If you reload no problem if you don't just clean between as stated above.

Old Fuff
December 30, 2006, 09:46 AM
The .40 caliber brush is fine, but only use it to clean the chambers, not the bore... :scrutiny:

Jim March
December 30, 2006, 01:37 PM
Because the crud is black, you've got an optical illusion going on where you think the ring is "etched into the cylinder bore wall". It's not, it's a deposit on top. I sure hope so anyways, if it IS etched in, then you've been shooting corrosive ammo and not cleaning it or something. Very unlikely.

Clean as directed by others and look again. Should be fine. It's possible you'll still have discoloration in there but take a toothpick or needle or something and physically probe it, see what's going on once cleaned.

December 31, 2006, 02:18 PM
It is a lot more visible on a stainless steel gun.

I also think the stuff hardens over time, as hundreds of times, while at the range, I fired a few boxes of 38 special and then a few boxes of 357 and never had a problem with cases extracting. Now, let it set for a few days and i am not so sure.

It also seems to me that fouling builds up on stainless steel guns quicker and is much harder to get off. I had a taurus m66 357 blued, and id go to the range, yadda yadda, come home and clean etc. I then picked up a Taurus Tracker (regular, not extra light)and i had to scrub three times as hard to get the cylinder clean, as well as other areas. I also had tons of carbon buildup on the outside of the ported/compensated barrel. I kinda figured taht buildup there wouldn't matter, as long as the holes stayed clear.

I just wonder if there is something I can put on beforehand, or something, that will prevent it from caking on so hard, either at the front of the cylinderholes, or on the ports

December 31, 2006, 02:38 PM
The best thing i have found to clean the cylinder is a .40 brush wrapped with a patch of Lead-Away cloth, and a bunch of elbow grease!

December 31, 2006, 03:35 PM
I have found that the easiest way to remove the powder fouling between the end of the .38 Special case and the step to the cylinder throat is with a Lewis or Hoppes lead remover. I run the cylindrical tool (with a brand-new brass-gauze patch) up to the step to the throat, rotate it clockwise, then back it out while still rotating it. If you pull it forward, out the front of the chambers, it will size down to the diameter of the throats and not remove the fouling as effectively on subsequent chambers.

December 31, 2006, 04:01 PM

can you provide a link to the product you are referring to? I would be very interested in it.:cool:


Old Fuff
December 31, 2006, 05:20 PM
The Lewis lead remover is available from Brownells at:

Also a lot of other good stuff. Order a copy of their soft-cover catalog.

Steve C
January 1, 2007, 03:19 PM
I notices the inside of the cilinder has a *ring* sort of carved into it. Is that a bad thing?

It sounds more like you are describing the cylinder throat rather than the fouling left by the shorter .38 spl cartridge. The chamber cylinders in a revolver have a restriction or throat at the end of the chamber that's slightly smaller than the bullet diameter. Try and push a bullet through the back end of the cylinder and you will find its a tight fit while it drops right in from the loading end. This is likely the ring you are seeing and is normal. The fouling from the .38's is easily removed with a bore brush or patch and bore solvent. The fouling also will not look like its carved into the cylinder.

The picture below shows what the cylinder throats look like.

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