Why do my .357 mag cases swell?

This is a discussion on Why do my .357 mag cases swell? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've never had a gun that did this, but I am shooting factory ammo, cheap walmart factory ammo at that. My Taurus 605 (which has ...

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Thread: Why do my .357 mag cases swell?

  1. #1
    Member Array funklab's Avatar
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    Why do my .357 mag cases swell?

    I've never had a gun that did this, but I am shooting factory ammo, cheap walmart factory ammo at that. My Taurus 605 (which has been a nightmare to own) spits out .357 cases with the back of the case visibly swollen.

    It just seems to be Remington ammo that does this. Winchester seems to work fine, georgia arms is hit or miss (a small percentage of starline brass has a rim too thick for my gun), and Fiochi ammo locks up the cylinder every other shot.

    Is there something wrong with the gun?
    Could the Fiochi ammo be causing the cylinder to seize up for the same reason?
    Is it okay? If it is okay, can I reload these cartridges, after resizing them of course?

    Thanks in advance for all the help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    I've never had a gun that did this, but I am shooting factory ammo, cheap walmart factory ammo at that. My Taurus 605 (which has been a nightmare to own) spits out .357 cases with the back of the case visibly swollen.

    It just seems to be Remington ammo that does this. Winchester seems to work fine, georgia arms is hit or miss (a small percentage of starline brass has a rim too thick for my gun), and Fiochi ammo locks up the cylinder every other shot.

    Is there something wrong with the gun?
    Could the Fiochi ammo be causing the cylinder to seize up for the same reason?
    Is it okay? If it is okay, can I reload these cartridges, after resizing them of course?

    Thanks in advance for all the help!
    The brass is to thin for the load, 7.62x54r Winchester does the same thing, they are sticky shells, on the other hand surplus ammo, the stuff for real battles performs well

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    yes you can reload the cases. they will size up with no problems. now for the gun, sometimes the cylinder will be out of spec.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I have 2 .357s (both Rugers) and I've never had that happen with any ammo.
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    Sounds like the chambers may be reamed just slightly oversized and the brass is fire forming to fit the chambers. The brass is safe to reload but if they are expanding that much expect short case life.
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    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    .357 is powerful shot. I know in a .38 snub if you shoot many rounds real fast, 50+, the gun heats up and the small tolerances of a snub may cause the cases to become hard to extract. Perhaps the .357 is heating up the gun and that's part of the problem? Never really heard of the case swelling though.

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    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    None of my 357s have ever done that.
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    That doesn't sound good.

    All fired cases expand to a certain amount, but it sounds like different brands are having problems in one gun. I had a .357 Blackhawk and I never had anything like what you describe, even with my hottest reloads. While there are minute differences between brands of cases, I've never had issues with any and shoot them all.

    As far as the Fiochi locking up, are you having bullet jump, where the crimp is insifficient and the bullets slip forward under recoil from a previous shot? That could certainly lock up a cylinder. Load the gun with Fiochi, fire a few shots, then compare the unfired rounds in the cylinder against fresh rounds from the box. If the rds from the gun are longer than the ones from the box, that's your problem there with Fiochi.

    Since you've described the Taurus as "a nightmare to own," perhaps you need to look for another revolver brand, for piece of mind at least.

    Can't recommend reloading the cases without seeing how much "swelling" has occured. Like I said, they all expand, thus the need for resizing.
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    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    Don't fire that gun until a reputable smith has gone through it. You are running the risk of a catastrophic failure. Those cases should not be doing that to that degree. Man, I wish Taurus would get their act together.

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    Member Array Striker543's Avatar
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    I've experienced this shooting OLD Blazer 44 mag's before. The ammo was probably 10-15+ years old. Every shell would swell and crack a little down the side after it was fired, to the point to where I had to use a little force to get the wheel to empty the ammo.

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    What you might try doing is firing that ammo in a different gun. If the cases swell it's probably a problem with the ammo. Otherwise it means a problem with the gun, which is the direction I'm leaning. It sounds like the cylinder holes may be out of spec, too large. They're allowing the cases to expand too far. As for reloading, that depends on how far they expanded in your gun. If it was to the point of significantly weakening the case wall, the next firing might result in a split case, especially in that gun. Best to have a 'smith take a look at the chamber dimensions.
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post
    Don't fire that gun until a reputable smith has gone through it. You are running the risk of a catastrophic failure. Those cases should not be doing that to that degree. Man, I wish Taurus would get their act together.
    Big +1 on that! ^^^^^^^^^

    In order for shells to swell that much, that means either the frame is WAY too far from the cylinder or the cylinder chambers are not to spec. Don't shoot it anymore and have it looked at to make sure the tolerances are not exceeded!
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