Shooting light .38 Sp target loads out of a SW N-frame .357 Mag


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Min
September 10, 2008, 02:10 AM
Anyone tried this? How was the recoil?

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ljnowell
September 10, 2008, 02:27 AM
It is amazingly a lot like shooting .38 spl. :neener: Just playin man. Most of us that have .357 do that. To be honest, its cheaper if buying off the shelf. Even if reloadin, beating the heck out of a fine firearm with full house loads just to punch holes in paper isnt cool. at all.

ArchAngelCD
September 10, 2008, 03:11 AM
From a 6" M27 shooting light .38 Special target rounds almost feels like shooting .22 LR rounds. It's not quite that light but close!

Snapping Twig
September 10, 2008, 02:41 PM
You want an out of body experience - shoot light wadcutters out of it. You have to go by the noise and smoke to know it fired. ;)

bflobill_69
September 10, 2008, 02:48 PM
Yeah the .38 special ammo out of a even a k frame .357 is pretty mild.

I shoot a lot of wadcutters, but boy do those puppies lead foul alot!

Anyone have good suggestions for cleaning after using wadcutters?

FMJ ammo seems to be a lot less tough on the bore.

Bflobill

Elvishead
September 10, 2008, 03:01 PM
ArchAngelCD

From a 6" M27 shooting light .38 Special target rounds almost feels like shooting .22 LR rounds. It's not quite that light but close!

Ditto

cerberus65
September 10, 2008, 03:05 PM
I shot a couple hundred LRN .38's through my .357 and after that decided to not ever shoot non-jacketed bullets again. I might change my mind if someone has an easy way to clean all the lead out but I'm not holding my breath.

Mines a j-frame so .38's aren't quite like .22's but they're definitely softer than .357's. Lots of folks seem to download that way.

jjohnson
September 10, 2008, 03:47 PM
Well, gents, those of you that are shooting wadcutters and noticing crud are seeing a phenomenon caused (in large part, though there's other factors) by incomplete combustion.

Those factory .357 rounds are jammed with quite a bit more powder than your mid-range, low-power .38 wadcutters. I'm sure you noticed the difference in the recoil and fireball :eek:

Putting a smaller powder charge in there, particularly with some powders, causes lots of unburned powder to form crud in there. You'll find that if you reload, the closer you get to the factory loads in terms of power, the less you have in your bore, until you get to the point where you're fouling with lead instead of powder (this happens). What you're seeing though is unburned residue that you're going to have to scrub with a bore brush (nylon brush on the other surfaces) and a good solvent like Hoppe's. For the bore, you might try some of the more recent foams and "crud blasters," but you will find they all take elbow grease. :scrutiny:

Cerb, you're likely not seeing lead, but powder residue. If your lead loads ARE hot, lead residue is easily scraped out with a lead remover from Brownells - http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=21587&title=LEWIS%20LEAD%20REMOVER
it's like a bronze screen patch on a cleaning rod, and it will rip that lead out like nobody's business :evil:

hamourkiller
September 10, 2008, 04:03 PM
Shoot the 38's until time to go. Then run a couple of cylinders full of .357 jacketed loads through the Smith and it will be clean of lead / crud.

rcmodel
September 10, 2008, 04:29 PM
Anyone have good suggestions for cleaning after using wadcutters?You should not be getting any leading at all with target load 148 grain wadcutters, or 158 grain LRN.

Something is wrong with your powder charge, bullet lube, bullet size, or gun.

We shot it by the truck-load in the service pistol teams and all you had to clean up was the bullet lube mess.
No leading whatsoever.

rcmodel

cerberus65
September 10, 2008, 04:40 PM
jjohnson, thanks for the link. That looks promising.

Some of what I was seeing was definitely lead, though. There were bits of lead residue around the forcing cone. I haven't seen that come back since I've been sticking with jacketed bullets.

jjohnson
September 10, 2008, 04:49 PM
No sweat, Cerb.

Lead will eventually collect in your barrel, and I found that the Lewis remover gets it all out in a couple of passes - and I mean all of it, stuff that's been in there for years.:evil:

Jacketed bullets won't "lead," by definition, but if you shoot lead for economy, comfort, or whatever, solvents and nylon brushes will take an eternity - and in some cases just leave clean, shiny lead in your barrel :banghead:

I don't personally believe that shooting some hot JHPs down the barrel of a leaded bore will 'clean it out.' My guess is that the effect would be more like making solder - that it would crush the lead in place even better than it was before... but after 46 years of handgunning, I guess I have a lot to learn.

Try the Lewis remover. Just remember it's bronze, so don't go leaving it in cleaning solvent overnight or it, too, will turn green. :cuss:

rswartsell
September 10, 2008, 05:16 PM
+1 for jjohnson,

I shoot a lot of practice .38 spl from ammodirect.com and it is really dirty. I also suspect the SWC bullets are pretty soft, so the Lewis Lead Remover and I have some meaningful "quality time" between us.

I find it helpful to use a spray can of one of the "crud blasters" on the piece immediately after firing while still warm and wipe down, the Lewis gets used when I get home.

wnycollector
September 10, 2008, 05:22 PM
jjohnson, thanks for the link!!!!

I shoot LSWC 90% of the time in my pistols. This should do wonders for them!

MCgunner
September 10, 2008, 05:24 PM
2.7 grains bullseye under a Lee cast plain base 148 wadcutter is my most fired round, .357 or .38 chambered revolvers.

JustinL
September 10, 2008, 05:26 PM
Don't forget about fouling in the cylinder chambers. I recently bought a nice model 28 which probably hadn't digested a .357 in years. The first time I shot .357s the casings refused to be ejected b/c they got caught up on the crud from the shorter .38s. Despite repeated cleanings over the past month I am still getting crud out & still cannot fire .357s without this happening; I will get there soon I hope.

rcmodel
September 10, 2008, 05:33 PM
Get there today.

1. Get some 0000 (Extra Fine) steel wool.
2. Wrap a tuft of it around a short cleaning rod section.
3. Dip it in solvent.
4. Chuck it up in an electric drill and Gofer It!

This is a very old gunsmith trick for spotless chambers, and before you ask, no, it will not harm your gun in the slightest!

rcmodel

kcshooter
September 10, 2008, 06:01 PM
Anyone have good suggestions for cleaning after using wadcutters?Wipe it off. You should not be getting any leading at all with target load 148 grain wadcutters, or 158 grain LRNAgreed.
Most likely it is due to the lead you are shooting. Check out the Technical page at www.missouribullet.com to see why this is happening.

Shoot better lead. I have yet to have a lead deposit that I have to resort to anything more than solvent on a patch followed by a few quick brushes.

DJW
September 10, 2008, 06:18 PM
For lead removal buy some "chore boy" cleaning pads at the supermarket. Cut a small piece and wrap it around your cleaning brush and run it through a DRY bore several times. The bore will shine like new. If the bore is wet it may smear and make more work for you. Cheap and not labor intensive. Have been shooting 148 gr. hbwc for almost 50 yrs. and learned this the hard way.
Best, Dave

Jim March
September 10, 2008, 10:39 PM
There's actually a problem: if you crank out light loads FAST, as in "as fast as you can yank the trigger six times", you'll slowly beat the gun up.

The cylinder is heavy, and when it slams to a stop from high-speed rotation too often, the action parts get the crap beat out of them.

When PPC and other rapid-fire revolver competitions were in vogue, common practice was to start with a K-frame and then add weight to the barrel. The K doesn't have the "blowup resistance strength" of an N-frame but the lighter cylinder beats the gun up less when starting and stopping.

Shooting 38s at moderate rates of fire is no problem whatsoever.

wep45
September 10, 2008, 11:07 PM
I fire 38 special rounds out of my S&W 686PP 6 " barrel all the time. Recoil is next to zero. Clean up is not much of a problem, but I do it on a regular basis. ;)

chriske
September 11, 2008, 06:10 AM
I shoot lots & lots of .38Spl/148 WC out of both a 6" S&W 28 and a 4" S&W 586.

They're very very accurate, much more affordable (both factoy & handloaded) & great fun.

IMHO most of the "crud" left in the guns after extensive shooting (200 plus rds/range session) comes from bullet lube & carbon or soot (from burnt powder).

Sure ther is SOME lead as well.
Shooting a couple of cylinders of jacketed ammo (after shooting WC & before cleaning) does help, but I don' like it : I worry aobout higher pressures due to the fouling.

I found that vigourous brushing with a tight, DRY brush, (before any Hoppe' n 9 or whatever) gets more lead (& assorted crud) out than trying to remove it with solvent right away.

chriske
September 11, 2008, 06:17 AM
Oh yes, forgot :

You can also clean the forcing cone of your barrels from the back : remove the cylinder, drop a .22 LR bore brush (in a .357 barrel or a .32 or .38 brush in a .44-.45 barrel) down the muzzle, grab hold of the bit that drops (bottoms out) aginst the recoil shield & brush away .

I do that because I don't have that mysterious-cum-magical Lewis Lead Remover

Deanimator
September 11, 2008, 07:36 AM
I shot a couple hundred LRN .38's through my .357 and after that decided to not ever shoot non-jacketed bullets again. I might change my mind if someone has an easy way to clean all the lead out but I'm not holding my breath.
If you're getting that kid of leading, either the bullets are too soft or the load too hot for lead.

I shoot LOTS of .38 Specials in my .38s and .357s and I don't have anything like that kind of leading. Even soft HBWCs don't lead excessively if you load them to appropriate bullseye velocities.

loneviking
September 11, 2008, 09:53 AM
Leading is caused by loads that push the bullet over 1,000 fps. I handload my leadwadcutters, keeping the fps between 800 and 900 fps, which results in only a tiny bit of leading---and is probably more powder fouling than anything. Unique is the powder I use.

jjohnson
September 11, 2008, 10:43 AM
Yeah, it's actually one of those very few cleaning doodads that does what it's supposed to.:what: Brownell's is the only supplier I found for them, but then, I didn't look past there.

And you can get the kit for one caliber, then accessories for other calibers so you don't have to buy the whole thing again. They also have a carbine length kit for us lever action SASS type shooters. The kit comes with a cone cleaner as well as a bore cleaner.

Steel wool and copper scouring pads to work, but this thing was designed for the job, and is fairly cheap, considering the eons of time it takes to clean heavy fouling out.

If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting light .38 Sp target loads out of a SW N-frame .357 Mag" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!