38 Spcl WC Keyholing

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38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by lanjo on Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:46 am

Hi All,

I have a K38 which I would like to use for center fire conventional pistol. I have had the gun worked on by a revolver gunsmith to recut the forcing cone, adjust the timing and cylinder stop. I have been practicing with it for a few sessions and noticed that the holes the bullets are punching from this gun seem to have evidence of keyholing. Here is an example...






The dark smudge seems to be on one side of the hole from the lead WC bullet. The paper is not cut where the smudge is, it is just a smudge from the lead WC bullet. The smudge is not on all holes and is not always at the same position (6 o'clock) but varies from hole to hole.  Is this evidence of keyholing? Of is it just due to differences in the firmness of the target where the bullet is hitting.

Best,

Joe Landry
Richmond VA

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by dronning on Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:23 am

Unfortunately this could be due to the shooter just as well as the gun. 

Is this at 50 or 25 yards?
What load?
What bullet - HBWC or DEWC and make

- Dave

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by james r chapman on Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:09 am

That 18 3/4" twist is notorious for not stabilizing the148 as I recall. You might try a tenth or two more powder.also leading can cause it to shoot all over.

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by DavidR on Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:04 am

more powder!!

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by Jon Eulette on Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:13 am

Is every shot keyholing or just occasionally? Also as asked above, what's the distance?
Jon

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by fc60 on Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:15 pm

Greetings,

The scuff mark is normal for a full length wadcutter. The bullet base rotates as it flies through the air.

I have many 10X groups at 50 yards that exhibit the scuff marks.

You need to test the gun from a Random Rest or a good hand held sandbag rest.

Cheers,

Dave

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by Russ OR on Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:49 pm

2nd to Dave's reply. In Gil Hebard's "Pistol Shooter's Treasury" he talks about full wad cutter "tipping".  Without checking the article, as I recall Gil said every load tested exhibited tipping to some degree. -- - Tipping & all, the 148gn HBWCs (52 or 14-3) are my favorite round to shoot. 
Russ 

ps- nobody told me about this when I got my 52 years ago- -. So when I noticed the scuffed bullet holes --- -- -major concern. - I'm glad I got Gil's book & saw the article soon after.

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by james r chapman on Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:00 pm

Always like the old Colt revolver twist, 1-14?

And, shoot in the black, you won't notice the scuffs.,

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by Jon Eulette on Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:02 pm

My old Clark .38 longslide with 1:10 twist has no keyholing. If I try to sling'em I can barely get to tip. It seems twist rate has a lot to do with it.
Jon

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by Christopher Miceli on Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:00 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:My old Clark .38 longslide with 1:10 twist has no keyholing. If I try to sling'em I can barely get to tip. It seems twist rate has a lot to do with it.
Jon
Probably another reason Jerry is making himself custom 38spcl barrels

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by Jerry Keefer on Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:21 pm

I started shooting PPC in 1980... Nearly every gun on the line was a 10 twist Douglas, or Shilen. In later years Shilen stopped offering the 10 twist.. We could smoke the long line with 2.9 grains of 231 or 2.7 grains of WST That put the 148 HBWC at less than 700 fps. in many guns.
The HBWC is approx.  .625 long.To shoot low recoil,  low velocity loads, and stabilize that long bullet,  the rpms  must be up.. Even with the 45 , we are shooting loads in the 500fps range, but the 14 twist barrel is making up for the loss in speed. I have a 12 twist almost ready.. Jimmy Clark senior was not the first to set up the 1911 in 38, but he was definitely on the ground floor and soon over whelmed the game.. All of his guns were 10 or 12 twist..
Our 14 twist 52 is shooting very well, and a 10 twist is soon to follow, depending on some luck...
Keyhole and yaw are two different animals.. According to the scientific brainiacs, all projectiles display some degree of yaw. Rifle and or pistol..
Now, I see a lot of theory on light loads.. It takes some serious effort to get down in the low fps  and light load with lead.. My slides are all lightened. All hammers are scalloped...Firning pin stops have as much radius as mechanically possible.. Magazine springs are reduced..Optics are on the frame..the chambers are free bored and all dimensions are minimum SAMMI spec diameters and lengths are reduced to the minimum possible via use  of customer reamers.. The 45 will propel a 185 gr lead SWC out of the barrel with enough force to deform the nose, with only the primer..
Do not reduce the recoil spring to compensate for function.. Ligthened slides enabled us to still use 14 lb springs to insure feeding. recovery, and lock up.

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by C.Perkins on Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:26 pm

I get bullets tipping out of my M52.
Use 2.8 gr BE with regular or magnum primers in Remington cases.
No leading at all in the barrel.
It is just the nature of the beast using 148 gr full wadcutters.

The best thing about tipping is that it can work in your favor.
Have had quite a few shots that were not a 10, but tipped into the 10 ring Smile
And yes, it is a 10, it is in the rule book under scoring targets.

Clarence

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by Jerry Keefer on Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:57 pm

C.Perkins wrote:I get bullets tipping out of my M52.
Use 2.8 gr BE with regular or magnum primers in Remington cases.
No leading at all in the barrel.
It is just the nature of the beast using 148 gr full wadcutters.

The best thing about tipping is that it can work in your favor.
Have had quite a few shots that were not a 10, but tipped into the 10 ring Smile
And yes, it is a 10, it is in the rule book under scoring targets.

Clarence
Jon mentioned this in another post a day or two ago.. The model 52 has numerous issues from the factory.. The 18.75 twist barrel is ridiculous.  It will never shoot to it's potential as a result of the twist alone..It is common internet myth to blame the projectile, when in fact it is the barrel/twist/bore diameter. 10/12 and even 14 twist revolvers cut super clean holes in the target... The chamber, rifling, leade are not close to match quality.. The thick wide lands disrupt the projectile beyond what's necessary.. and we aren't even into the very poor lock up yet..I am not trashing your 52.. I am blasting S&W for claiming it is a target pistol.The idea was great, but the actual application was very poor.. This is why the 52 failed...If you have been following my posts on the 52 over the last year, I have tried to illustrate the numerous modifications required to get the gun to shoot accurately and function..

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by C.Perkins on Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:24 pm

Jerry;

I understand where you are coming from.

Not blaming the projectile.
"Nature of the beast" is shooting 148 gr full wadcutters out of a model 52.

With that said; all bullseye guns could be improved upon(case by case basis).

No one that I know of does any work on model 52's, so I just live with what I have.
To be honest I would not spend the extra money to have anything done on my 52 cause it works when I do my part.
I am no where near the shooter I was 2+ years ago but the 52 still impresses me to this day every time I take it out.

Hope you understand where I am coming from.

Clarence

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

Post by L Valdez on Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:30 pm

james r chapman wrote:Always like the old Colt revolver twist, 1-14?

At our state games, in Centerfire Pistol there is only slow fire and duel. No timed or rapid, so I compete with my Colt OMM against the model 52's and the revolver treats me good.

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Re: 38 Spcl WC Keyholing

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