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Carbon ring when using 38s loads in a 357

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BE Mike
mutley
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Post by mutley 3/24/2024, 1:45 pm

I purchased my first 357 Magnum revolver, a new Colt Python.  Up until this point, I've only owned 38 Specials.  I don't have much interest in shooting magnum loads out of it and will likely stick to 38 reloads.  

Regarding the carbon ring that is often cited as a potential issue from shooting 38s in a 357 cylinder... do the 357 loads not leave a carbon ring too?  Is the concern only that the ring left by 38s is far enough back from the shorter case that it could inhibit loading 357s if you choose to later (but you still get a ring just forward of that from 357s)?  

I realize its not much of an issue but trying to understand the nature of the problem.

mutley

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Post by BE Mike 3/24/2024, 2:08 pm

mutley wrote:I purchased my first 357 Magnum revolver, a new Colt Python.  Up until this point, I've only owned 38 Specials.  I don't have much interest in shooting magnum loads out of it and will likely stick to 38 reloads.  

Regarding the carbon ring that is often cited as a potential issue from shooting 38s in a 357 cylinder... do the 357 loads not leave a carbon ring too?  Is the concern only that the ring left by 38s is far enough back from the shorter case that it could inhibit loading 357s if you choose to later (but you still get a ring just forward of that from 357s)?  

I realize its not much of an issue but trying to understand the nature of the problem.
If one shoots .38 SPL wadcutters in a .357 mag. revolver, a carbon ring will build up in the charging holes that will make inserting .357 mag. cartridges difficult, if not impossible. It's not a problem as long as you keep the charging holes clean. I only have extensive experience with .38 SPL wadcutters, but I suspect that shooting a lot of other lead .38 SPL loads would result in the same issue.
BE Mike
BE Mike

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Post by Eindecker 3/24/2024, 11:16 pm

The cartridge fired is always going to leave a carbon and lead ring in the chamber when fired. Its purely a function of temperature and cumbustion gases. 

Its like trying to feed a dog, but not have it need to go outside aftwerwords. 

The 357 magnum case will leave the ring right at the end of the chamber, in the spot that will never hamper a 357 magnum cartridge. But proper cleaning will still find it.

Eindecker

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Post by mutley 3/25/2024, 12:31 am

Got it, thanks guys!

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Post by swissyhawk 3/25/2024, 1:20 am

One thing you can do is use .357 brass and load it using .38 special loads.  Then you don’t have to worry about a .38 carbon ring and you don’t have to shoot magnum loads.  I used to load my .357 brass with as little as 3.0 gr of bullseye.

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Post by Slamfire 3/25/2024, 3:58 pm

The greatest problem I had shooting 38 Special rounds in a 357 cylinder were lead rings. A couple of decades ago I got a great deal on a case of +P 158 LHP factory Zero ammunition. I decided not to shoot the stuff in a 38 Special revolver, instead shot the case up in a M66 Smith and Wesson.

The Zero bullet was a swaged lead hollow point and the cumulative amount of rounds left large lead rings just ahead of the fired 38 Special cases. I forget if the lead rings prevented 357 rounds from going in, or being ejected. Either way the lead rings caused a function issue.  And removing the things were a bother. So called lead removers were ineffective, torpedo brushes worked best. Later I found shooters using brass wool wrapped around bristle brushes to scrub out lead. I have not tried it, but has to be better than what I did.


I guess cast bullets have not caused the problems for others that I had with swaged bullets. Still, after shooting 38 Special cases in a 357 cylinder, bristle brush the inside of the chambers when you clean.

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Post by mutley 3/26/2024, 1:40 am

swissyhawk wrote:One thing you can do is use .357 brass and load it using .38 special loads.  Then you don’t have to worry about a .38 carbon ring and you don’t have to shoot magnum loads.  I used to load my .357 brass with as little as 3.0 gr of bullseye.

Do the 357s not leave rings?

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Post by Eindecker 3/26/2024, 4:30 am

mutley wrote:
swissyhawk wrote:One thing you can do is use .357 brass and load it using .38 special loads.  Then you don’t have to worry about a .38 carbon ring and you don’t have to shoot magnum loads.  I used to load my .357 brass with as little as 3.0 gr of bullseye.

Do the 357s not leave rings?
Yes the 357 magnum cases DO LEAVE a case mouth ring,, the ring is merely in the CORRECT spot for a .357 magnum case.  Still needs to be cleaned out.

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Post by azreddy 3/31/2024, 1:36 am

I use a bronze bore brush attached to a drill to thoroughly clean the chambers.

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