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357 Mag won't chamber

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by total recoil, May 28, 2013.

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  1. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    I was going slightly nuts till I figured out this one. It does not happen with 38 special brass, but manifests itself with 357 mags.
    I was unable to chamber the rounds in My Smith 19 and Rossi M92 rifle. The last 1/4" of the cartridge would not chamber. One out of 10 would chamber fine. The problem was on the bullet end. No matter how lightly belled I made the brass this problem would occur. Using a roll crimp made the problem worse. Omitting the expanding operation fixed the problem. Later I found that some RP cases were not gripping the bullet tight enough so I bought a taper crimp die.
    Much later I found that I could get rid of the chambering problem by using the taper crimp die with a very mild crimp. So finally I can bell my cases to start the bullet easier and also tighten the grip on the seated bullet.
    I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.

    Your problem is probably with un-trimmed brass and the roll crimp die.

    Long cases get so much crimp the cases buckle imperceptibly at the base of the bullet.

    You may also have hard carbon rings in your .357 chambers from shooting .38 Special.

    Clean the chambers with solvent and a .40 cal bronze bore brush chucked up in a cordless drill.

    There is no logical reason to ever need to taper crimp revolver rounds, unless one of the two above factors enter into the picture.

    Or, you are using auto-pistol bullets that don't have a crimp groove or crimp cannulure rolled into the bullet to roll-crimp into?

    Further, a taper-crimp does not 'tighten up' the grip on the bullet.

    Case neck tension should prevent any possible bullet slip, before crimping.

    If you taper crimp more then that?
    You are squashing the bullet too, and making it under-size for the bore.

    rc
     
  3. murf

    murf Member

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    do you seat and crimp separately, or together? if together, try it separately. if separately, never mind!

    murf
     
  4. joed

    joed Member

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    Thought I had the problem figured but I do not.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well, I was just guessing too.

    Lets hear your theory.

    One is often as good as another when dealing with stuff like this we can't see ourselves and have to guess about.

    Your guess might be better then mine.

    rc
     
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    One step at a time.

    1 Size a fired case and see if it chambers. (I expect it will.)

    2 Bell the case mouth and see if it chambers (I expect it won't.)

    3 Seat a bullet to the proper cartridge length, but apply no crimp whatsoever. Examine the sides of the cartridge case to see if there is any bulge where the base of the bullet is.

    4 Using the roll crimp/seating die with the seating stem backed WAY out, and the die body backed out to apply no crimp, but adjusted just to remove the case mouth bell, straighten the case mouth to remove the bell. Try chambering the cartridge. (I expect it will.)

    5 Apply the amount of (I presume it will be roll) crimp you normally want. Try chambering the cartridge. (I expect it will.)

    If you get an unexpected result, look there for the problem (and the solution).

    Can you post pictures?

    Good Luck

    Lost Sheep

    Is your name a play on the Arnold Schwartzenegger version or the Colin Farrell version?
     
  7. Broken Bottles

    Broken Bottles Member

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    I have an M92 as well and was getting issues chambering .357s too.
    When I lengthened the round(still below the max OAL and still in the cannelure) the rounds chambered fine. I'd measure but I don't have any loaded right now and I doubt you're using the same powder and bullet as I am.

    Some things that I've read/heard helped other people(these rifles can be a bit finicky if you didn't know already) were using a mild roll crimp with slightly shorter rounds. Changing bullet profile can make a huge difference as well. Changing the crimp intensity and type.

    Little things to try with two or three dummy rounds.
     
  8. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    How long have you been reloading? And is this the first attempt at this cartridge?

    Something I do think is necessary when working with magnum wheel gun brass, is trimming the brass to the same lengths, so that the crimps are the same depth. A case that is .005" longer than another is going to get a whole lot more crimp and possibly over crimped enough to cause issues. Where as, one that is .005" shorter may not get enough crimp to close the bell, which is where I think the problem lies.

    GS
     
  9. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Find out where its sticking, either at the base end that has too much bulge, the most common situation for a loaded cartridge, or at the bullet end.

    The base end is usually from an improper resizing job of not getting the case into the die far enough and is the most common and one simply needs to adjust the die closer to the case holder.

    Rounds bulged at the bullet end usually do not fit in the camber very far from the beginning as the chamber is not tapered for the .357 mag.
     
  10. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. It will take some time to try out all your suggestions. I have been reloading for about 20 years. My old RCBS Rock Chucker is kerosene powered! Loading 357's tho has been quite new to me.
    All the bullets I am loading are Berry's plated and have no crimping cannelure. All cases have been trimmed. I tried a gentle roll crimp as I wanted to avoid bullet setback or pull out. The problem is at the bullet end and is completely cured by skipping the expander step, however, occasionally the bullet would not be held tightly enough in RP cases. I could feel this condition while seating the bullet, and prove it by pressing the bullet into the brass with thumb pressure.
    After buying the taper crimper I can apply the least amount of crimp and the slight bulge is GONE! FIXED.
    Others who use Berrys bullets suggest a slight roll crimp to prevent bullet movement. The amount of crimp can be seen in a fired bullet as a ring caused by the case mouth. The ring does NOT puncture the plating nor does it make the plating come off in the gun. Aside of the rifling marks the bullet skin is pristine.
    The taper crimp definately removes any bulge that keeps me from chambering the round and definately fixes the RP case problem.
     
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Your expander must be too big.
    The bottom line is a factory crimp die will actually lessen neck tension.
    Oh, I see you stopped expanding them.. what I said is true though.
    That "bulge" is proof that it's being held with maximum tension.
     
  12. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Since it doesn't occur with 38's, are your cylinders clean? No carbon ring from shooting 38s? :banghead:
     
  13. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Ditto with what Jesse said. Many times when shooting 38 in a 357 mag, the 38's leave a carbon ring in the cylinder/chamber at the position of the 38 mouth. Clean your cylinder/chamber well and make sure there is no ring left in there. Then shoot only 357's. If that works, shoot some 38's, then try 357's again. I'll bet that's your problem.
     
  14. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    well, I thank you tons for your advice or is it advise? Wherez the spell checker on this board?
    I have a Lee Zip Trim and it has failed to remove anything but the minimum, if anything, from my 357's. (generally no trimming on almost all cases.) I do not load 38's or 357's any hotter than 3.5 to 5.0 grains of Bullseye per the two and I consider this a mild load. My brass does not grow as much as my 50BMG brass grows, but I shoot the little brass more times before retirment.
    I have never heard of carbon rings, but willcontinue to use my bronze brushes on both guns with Nitro Solvent or Hoppies with swabs after every range event.
    My wife can't stand the smell of Hoppie's, so I have to use Nitro when she is in the living room. I think Hoppies smells GREAT! almost a good as gunpowder burning!
    I believe there was an article in one of my shooting magazines about this pungent aroma and it hit spot on with me. Long live the shooting sports!
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Sometimes the hard carbon rings are very difficult to see after normal cleaning with a bore brush & solvent.

    If you want to make sure they are all out of the chambers?

    Clean them with a new .40 cal bore brush & solvent.
    While the brush is chucked up in a cordless drill and spinning at 500 RPM!!

    I GayRonTeeYa it will take everything out of the chambers the manufacture didn't put there.

    And nothing more.

    rc
     
  16. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    You could also chuck the brush into a drill and rotate it in the chamber/cylinder to clean out the carbon ring.
     
  17. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I have gone to a stainless steel brush to clean out the carbon rings. But you can't spin it in a drill. The best way to see them is to use a fiber-optic flashlight attachment, so the light is concentrated at the right spot in the chamber.

    If you're not familiar with carbon rings, they occur in a cylinder when you shoot a round that is shorter than the chamber, such as 38 spl in a 357 mag. After firing, a ring of burnt carbon is left in the gap. That is why some don't recommend shooting 38 spl in a 357 mag. I do it, but be sure to lean the cylinder chambers.
     
  18. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Personally, I've never had a problem with case length variation vs roll crimp. I have been re-stuffing 38 Specials since '69 and my favorite all time cartridge is .44 Magnums, got my first in '86, so I'm familiar with all kinds of crimping.

    Your best tool for this problem is a micrometer. Find out where and when the problem arises. Measure a case after each operation and see what's causing it to become too large to chamber...
     
  19. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

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    Ill have a swing of .005 or so in case length with the ammo I roll crimp and I've never had any problems with it. My guess would be over crimping.
     
  20. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    Try M-Pro 7 gun cleaner (black spray bottle) to clean out the carbon rings (and everything else). I used to scrub with a brass bore brush, but the M-Pro works like a charm. Spray, let it soak for a few minutes, and it does the work for you. Makes the job very easy. And no smell.
     
  21. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    I have found that my rings are at the end of 357 mag case lengths of the chambers. All I had was a 38/357 bronze bore brush. Chucked it up in the variable speed with a piece of undershirt moistened with solvent and spun it good. This looked strange as I had a 12" piece of cleaning rod screwed to the brush. I tried Hoppies, Nitro Solvent, and carbureater cleaner on the swabs. The swab came out very dirty each time I changed the swab,but I could see no reduction in the ring. I was surprized to see a dirty swab as I always run a patch through the chambers after each firing. I, however, am not the first owner of the Smith model 19-5. Prior owners may not have done the work that I have done in cleaning!
    Now- one last question. I have loaded some 125 grain jacketed flat point bullets with 7.8 grains of Bullseye for use in my Rossi model 92 lever action with 20" barrel. This load performs well in the rifle. Do you consider it too hot to fire in my Smith model 19?? I was loading in the hopes of about 1500 fps.
     
  22. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    It should be fine. Alliant says a max load of BE with 125 grain JSP's is 8.4 grains. I don't think you'll get to 1500 with it, but you never know.
     
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    You might get 1,500+ in a carbine.

    But you won't get 1,500 in a revolver even on a good day.

    rc
     
  24. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    To remove the carbon ring you need a larger brush. I usually grab a 40 cal brush. If that doesn't get the carbon out use some bore paste with the brush and patches.
     
  25. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Or take a .357 case: sharpen the inside of the case mouth with a tapered reamer or a countersink bit, expand it so it just fits the chambers, push it home a couple of times to scrape the carbon out.

    The "sharpen the inside" step is optional, but it helps. It also helps to swab some bore cleaner or transmission fluid in first and let it soak in for a while.

    It's a lot easier than using a brush.
     
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