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Avoiding 38spec crud buildup in .357

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SmokeRing, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. SmokeRing

    SmokeRing Active Member

    I just bought a new Marlin 1894C in .357/38spec. and want to avoid the "crud ring" in the chamber by shooting only FMJ 38 specials, WWB. This is primarily a fun plinking rifle but I want to be able to fire 357's without extraction problems etc. In a handgun I was always able to use bronze wool or a steel chamber brush to keep the ring down. But a rifle chamber is tougher. Will not using lead bullets make a difference? Any opinions welcomed. TIA
  2. sm

    sm member

    Sharing a tip I learned from revolvers - works in rifles as well . .38spl / .357 and .44spl/ .44mag.

    Take a fired .357 case. Using a triangle needle file cut "teeth" in the mouth.

    "Teeth" will cut that burn ring.

    Drill a pilot hole into the primer. Using a long small dia threaded screw start into this hole until secure. Bend screw to ~ 30* whatever angle that allows to get into chamber and rotate the teeth.

    Best used while firearm is warm. Easy to sharpen teeth with file...easy to make another.

    .44spl/ .44mag - same principle works.

  3. SmokeRing

    SmokeRing Active Member

    sm, Thanks for the info. Sounds like a good "tool" and I will try it. Was really looking for ways to minimize the "ring" buildup which I thought came mainly from the melted lead from the base of the bullet. By using only FMJ or at least base jacketed bullets I was hoping to avoid lead buildup. Powder burn rings would still occur but would be less of an effect if I decided to shoot .357 mag ammo later on, SHTF etc. Thanks for your input.
  4. SDC

    SDC Well-Known Member

    If you clean the chamber well beforehand, then polish the chamber up, the crud from the 38 Specials will be less likely to stick to the chamber walls in the first place, and will be easier to clean out when it DOES stick. You might be able to do this with a cleaning rod from the muzzle, mounted in a drill.
  5. RON in PA

    RON in PA Well-Known Member

    Remember that one nice thing about Marlin lever action rifles is the fact that it is easy to clean them from the breech because the breech bolt is easy to remove. Shouldn't be hard to keep that chamber clean.

    I also think that problems due to the ring left in the chamber of .357s after shooting .38s is very overblown. If you clean your gun after each range session you won't have problems.
  6. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    FMJ will not solve the problem, the base of all inexpensive FMJ bullets is bare lead of the soft swaged variety, so it burns more than a hardcast lead bullet does.

    The real cure would be to take up reloading and load a .38 spl, velocity in a .357 mag case. I use 4.0 grains of titegroup in a .357 mag case with a 158 gr bullet to get a good .357 plinking load.

    But like previous posters said if you clean well using a brush after each range session the buildup should not become a problem.
  7. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    There's a simple four-step solution to your problem (though it is probably an overblown problem, as Ron suggests) that has enormous side-benefits, will save you a ton of money, enhance the fun and utility of your rifle, and make you a better rifleman and an all-around better person.

    A) Get a reloader.

    B) Throw away the very last piece of .38 brass you have.

    C) Load everything from the mildest light lead .38 cowboy loads to the stompinest heavy jacketed Mooseslayer loads in your .357 cases.

    D) Wonder why it took you so long to start.

    Edited to Add: MasterBlaster and I posted at the same time--Kismet!

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