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357 help needed

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jimhead88, Mar 16, 2012.

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  1. jimhead88

    jimhead88 Member

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    Hi,

    I was reloading my first 357 bullets last night and everything was going swimmingly. I ordered hard cast 158gr. LSWC and new starline brass from Missouri Bullet company. I was using a Lee classic reloader and everything seemed to be going fine. The problem is that the bullets did not fit into the cylinder of my S&W K-frame. They go almost all the way in but do not seat all the way, we're talking less then 0.1". I'm pretty sure I did everything properly: resized, flared, seated the bullet, then crimped.

    My hypothesis is that the cases are too long. Does this happen often? Because I couldn't really find anything about this problem in my internet searches. I actually tried a couple dummy bullets and seated them deeper into the case (to see if bullet fit was causing the issue) and the bullets didn't go in any further than before(they were actually worse due to there not really being a crimp). I also measured the brass and it was 1.285", which is under the maximum length.

    I'm thinking the solution would be one of those simple lee case trimmer and holder. It seems to me that they trim to one specific length; does anyone know what that length is? Does anyone have any other suggestions? I hear that there are a quite a few people who never even trim their brass in pistol bullets, it would seem weird that I'm having this issue if some people never even bother trimming cases.

    Thanks a lot for reading and responding!
     
  2. 4895

    4895 Member

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    Welcome to THR!

    (1) Your crimp might be too harsh causing a bulge near the mouth.

    (2) You may have shot many rounds of .38 special in the revolver and caused a buildup of carbon/gunpowder residue near the end of the cylinder.

    (3) A picture of the completed round would say a thousand words.

    I would mic the case near the crimp and see how much, if at all, that it is bulged. I would then look at the cylinder more carefully and scrub it out with a .40 caliber brush, copper (chore-boy) type of mesh wrapped around the brush, coated with wd-40 and chucked in a drill. (careful here)

    Best of luck
     
  3. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    Nothing you said above points to out of spec brass. Either (or both) 1 and 2 above are your most likely culprits.
     
  4. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I have to agree with the other posts here.

    HTML:
    You may have shot many rounds of .38 special in the revolver and caused a buildup of carbon/gunpowder residue near the end of the cylinder
    This is why I won't shoot 38 specials out of my 357mag revolvers.

    I would think that if the cases were over crimped that they would be tight all the way in, not just at the end of the chamber.

    I would definately check this though as 4895 said but my money is on carboned up chambers from shooting short cases through it.

    (Sorry for the weird looking text wrap, I clicked the wrong wrap button.)
     
  5. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Measure the diameter of a completed round just above the bullet base, now measure the diameter at the case mouth. The case mouth measurement shouldn't be any more than .001 or .002"
    I trim most of my 357 mag brass to 1.280" because the lengths can vary from 1.278-1.287"
     
  6. jimhead88

    jimhead88 Member

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    Thanks a lot guys. I'll look into over crimping but I have a sneaking suspicion that carbon build up is the culprit, since the last 300 rounds or so have been 38 specials. I'll report back tonight after I mess around with it.
     
  7. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Boresnake the cylinder or use a brush with Hoppe's #9 to clean out that fouling. I'll bet those rounds will drop in nicely after that.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    A bore snake won't touch hard carbon rings.

    Use a cordless drill, a .40 bronze bore brush, and powder solvent.
    Wrap the bore brush with 0000 Super-Fine steel wool if you want everything out Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson didn't put in there on purpose.

    I would bet the farm case length has nothing to do with your problem.

    When you said "Lee classic reloader" do you mean the one you pound cases in with a hammer?

    That right there might be the problem.

    rc
     
  9. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    I think rc probably nailed it, I bought and used one for my first go round at reloading and had the same problem.

    You have to make sure that you drive that case all the way into the resizer, it takes a good dose of lube and you have to have a heavy mallet and really set down on it to get the case base level with the mouth of the die. Once you do that then the ?problem? will go away.
     
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I would spring for an inexpensive single stage press, if it were me. Even if you buy a C style press, it will work better than those funky Lee kinetic things.
     
  11. jimhead88

    jimhead88 Member

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    Yes, I'm "pounding cases with a hammer". I was given this as a gift and figured I would give it a shot. I really think it is the carbon ring though. If it is, then I think this little loader works great. It was really easy to up it all together... apart from it not working. But we shall see, I will get back to you guys tonight.
     
  12. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I've also got one of the old Lee mallet driven die sets, in fact quite a few of them.
    For some reason the 357 loader won't resize correctly.
    I never miked the cases, but it takes a finger push usually to get a round fully chambered in my S&W.
    Rounds done with my Redding dies fall right in.
    This with cast BTW. Jacketed never showed that problem on the Lee Loader set.
    That slightly bigger bullet was just enough.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    What K frame revolver are you shooting? Is it really a .357 Magnum, you didn't list the model number.

    I'm asking because you said the round is .1" off seating which sounds like you're trying to load .357 Magnum ammo in a .38 Special cylinder. Sorry if I'm completely off base... If it is indeed a .357 Magnum revolver I would then tend to agree a Carbon ring might be the culprit. That is easily cleaned so there's no reason to stop shooting .38 Special ammo in a .357 Magnum. I have shot 10's of Thousands of .38 Special rounds in many .357 Magnum revolvers without issues.
     
  14. jimhead88

    jimhead88 Member

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    It was definitely the crud ring. I soaked it with hoppe's no.9 and put part of the cleaning rod in my drill with the .40 cal brush on the end and gave it a good 10-15 seconds with the drill; I repeated this process 3 or 4 times, along with an over night soak. This has completely solved the problem, thanks for the help! I bought the gun used and have only shot 38 special out of it, so who knows how long it has been since it has seen 357 mag. Again, I really appreciate the input.
     
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I use a trick someone posted on here. Keep a .357 round that you fired in the gun in question, the longest one you have and preferably a nickel plated one, unsized. Mark it with a sharpie as "cylinder bore cleaner" or similar. You could even affix some sort of handle into the primer pocket.

    When you have crud rings, gently tap this into each bore as a first step in cleaning them out. It scrapes the majority of the crud out because it is fire formed to be exactly the right size.
     
  16. 4895

    4895 Member

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    Glad it all worked out for ya! Now, time to try some H110 powder, 19.5-21.0 grains, behind a 125 grain Hornady XTP with magnum primers. Give it a firm roll crimp at 1.585" oal, IIRC. Nice fireball, good kick. Mine shoots like a laser with 19.4 grains. Powder sprays your face around 21.6-22.0 grains(max). WOW!

    300 bullets = $54
    300 primers = $10
    1 lb. H110 = $25

    300 rounds of hold the heck on = priceless
     
  17. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Glad yours was so easy. When I bought my used M28-2 the rings were so bad it took 2 days of alternately scrubbing, soaking and scraping with a flared case to get it to chamber .357s.

    Of course, some on the internet still say "the ring" is a myth...:cool:
     
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