Is .38 Special "Dirtier" than 9mm?

Is .38 Special "Dirtier" than 9mm?

This is a discussion on Is .38 Special "Dirtier" than 9mm? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been going to the range pretty much weekly with my CZ-75B for the better part of two years. Probably a couple thousand rounds have ...

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Member Array Aelbric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    67

    Is .38 Special "Dirtier" than 9mm?

    I've been going to the range pretty much weekly with my CZ-75B for the better part of two years. Probably a couple thousand rounds have fulfilled their purpose as a result. Being a regular, my cleaning routine is pretty standard too. I know what to expect even from firing standard white box range ammo.

    A few weeks ago I was granted my CPL and I had been trying out different platforms. Finally decided on a S&W 442 .38Sp +P and took her to the range this evening. I queued up 50 rounds of Federal FMJ and a box of Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (my intended carry ammo). The 442 is smooth as silk. Even after practicing with the CZ-75 for so long, I was getting nice tight shot groups by the end of the session.

    HOWEVER, after about 10 rounds, I noticed that there seemed to be an awful lot of black "crud" everywhere. Carbon, unburned powder, whatever it was it was everywhere. There were streaks of it on my hands and little flecks of it all over the firing station. It was even falling out of the barrel/chambers as I went to reload. I didn't mind too much as it forced me to start learning a thorough cleaning routine from the start with the 442. Question though: Is all .38 ammo so dirty?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    2,147
    Rather than being more dirty, your .38 Special may just be distributing the dirt differently. In a semi-auto, unburned powder comes out the end of the barrel, or gets ejected with the spent cartridge (a little bit may escape from the ejection port). With a revolver, unburned powder escapes from the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, and the cartridges with unburned powder in them stay in the gun rather than being flung away.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Over here now!
    Posts
    3,616
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    Rather than being more dirty, your .38 Special may just be distributing the dirt differently. In a semi-auto, unburned powder comes out the end of the barrel, or gets ejected with the spent cartridge (a little bit may escape from the ejection port). With a revolver, unburned powder escapes from the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, and the cartridges with unburned powder in them stay in the gun rather than being flung away.
    Good answer, I'll go with that.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  4. #4
    Senior Moderator
    Array pgrass101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    13,489
    Blackeagle pretty much nailed it
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    1,443
    Yep same thing found here. My 642 gets filthy as all get out. It seems to get everywhere.
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!

    -- Theodore Roosevelt --

  6. #6
    Member Array Aelbric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    Rather than being more dirty, your .38 Special may just be distributing the dirt differently. In a semi-auto, unburned powder comes out the end of the barrel, or gets ejected with the spent cartridge (a little bit may escape from the ejection port). With a revolver, unburned powder escapes from the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, and the cartridges with unburned powder in them stay in the gun rather than being flung away.
    Thanks

    Physics and Occam's Razor FTW. Makes perfect sense. Gonna make me wish I was a neat freak though.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,548
    The cylinder vs. slide thing certainly makes a lot of sense.

    One thing that bears additional consideration here are the brands of ammunition being used- an exceptionally dirty-burning .38 and a really clean burning 9mm can accentuate the phenomenon, but neither Federal nor Speer rounds are exceptionally dirty in my experience.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Over here now!
    Posts
    3,616
    When I think of a dirty 9mm round I think of Wolf Ammo.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  9. #9
    VIP Member
    Array nn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    7,120
    Quote Originally Posted by semperfi.45 View Post
    When I think of a dirty 9mm round I think of Wolf Ammo.
    Good one
    When I think WWB, I just go clean my gun.

  10. #10
    JWM
    JWM is offline
    New Member Array JWM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    11
    As been said above, it is not so much a dirty ammo situation as it is a revolver/semi-auto pistol thing. Firing any centerfire revolver and especially the small frame revolvers, is going to leave your hands dirty at the end of a range session. I can fire 100 rds through my Glock or H&K service size pistols and my hands will be as clean as when I started. Then fire 100 rds through my S&W revolvers and I'll need to head towards the sinks in the club houe for some soap and water before leaving for home.

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Ruger selling "Coyote Special" to Texans only
    By paramedic70002 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: October 13th, 2013, 10:41 AM
  2. Anybody know how to find when my Colt Detective Special was "born"?
    By GunnyBunny in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 29th, 2009, 02:53 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: April 8th, 2008, 03:06 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 18th, 2006, 02:16 AM
  5. Improved "Summer Special" Type Holster
    By Jim_Linch in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: September 11th, 2005, 08:38 PM

Search tags for this page

are revolvers dirtier than semi

,
are revolvers dirtier than semi auto
,
federal 38 special dirty
,
is a 38 special than a 9mm
,
the cylinder of my 38 special falls out
,
what is more popular 9mm or .38
,
why are 38 special rounds so dirty
,
why is 38 special so dirty
,
wwb .38 special
,
wwb 38 special dirty
Click on a term to search for related topics.

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!

» DefensiveCarry Sponsors