ANY detrimental effects on firing .38 through a .357 Mag?


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Dr-Science
December 1, 2010, 11:34 AM
I was wondering: are there ANY detrimental effect(s) on firing .38 Specials through a .357 Magnum revolver? I know it's safe to do so and frequently do myself, but is there somehow, somewhere some damaging effect to the revolver besides normal wear? I was originally wondering because the .38 is slightly shorter than the .357; perhaps damage to the forcing cone (despite is decreased power when compared to the .357)?

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yeti
December 1, 2010, 11:42 AM
Other than a couple extra minutes to clean the cylinder, after a lot of .38s before going back to .357s, it won't hurt a thing.

MrBorland
December 1, 2010, 11:55 AM
are there ANY detrimental effect(s) on firing .38 Specials through a .357 Magnum revolver?

Sure is - you'll enjoy shooting it so much more, it'll likely wear even faster. ;)

perhaps damage to the forcing cone

No worries. Before it leaves the cylinder, either bullet passes through the chamber throat, which stabilizes the bullet while aligning it with the forcing cone.

GP100man
December 1, 2010, 06:08 PM
The dredded crude ring that builds up in the .135" space that the 38 case does`nt occupy , It can get very hard to remove especially if it`s there & 357s are force in & shot , which drives pressures up qwik !!!

I used to take a chamber brush & put it in a cordless drill after lettin it soak for a day , now since I started reloading in `83 I load soft 357s;)

BCRider
December 1, 2010, 06:31 PM
Someone had a slick idea of making up a chamber scraper from a .357 casing. The trick was to flare the brass slightly and then sharpen the edge of the flare.

The flare can be easily put in by just running a hard rod around the mouth of an empty casing a few times from the inside while pushing outwards. Or if you have a 3/8 diameter bearing ball a couple of light taps will flare it nicely. From there a countersink drill bit used by hand will soon put a nice sharp but blunt angle scraper edge on the mouth of the brass. Let some powder solvent soak in there for a while and then insert into each chamber and eject and it'll scrape the crud line away.

Or you can play a little game of "Revolver Roulette" where you load 5 rounds of .38Spl and one of .357Mag. Then just before you snap the cylinder into place give it a spin and stop it while looking up or deliverately defocusing your eyes so you can't tell where the Mag round is. I like this option both because bullets come in the ammo boxes in rows of 5 and also because not knowing where the magnum round is going to come up I have to work a bit harder at mentally not giving in to the desire to flinch.

Marlin 45 carbine
December 1, 2010, 06:36 PM
yeah a crud ring as said. load 158's in .357 cases over a light charge of Red Dot for about 1000 fps for target loads and won't have that.
still has some 'grunt' though.

Monster Zero
December 2, 2010, 10:03 AM
Only in the theoretical sense. Clean your cylinders with Hoppe's and a copper brush and you'll be fine.

Dr-Science
January 3, 2011, 08:01 PM
Ahh. So would .38's fired through a .38 revolver leave a crud ring (just to be completely sure)?

Jim Watson
January 3, 2011, 08:11 PM
Yes, but you would not be attempting to chamber a longer round over the crud.

An academic worry, I shot thousands of .38 wadcutters and semiwadcutters at PPC and all it took to upgun to magnums for IPSC was a good cleaning.

Jeff Cooper said the WORST thing about a .357 was that it would shoot .38s. This would lead you to practice with ammunition of substantially less recoil and blast than your duty load and magnum power would come as a shock to you when you really needed it.

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