.38 Special in a .357

.38 Special in a .357

This is a discussion on .38 Special in a .357 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This issue came up in another thread and I just wanted to get some more opinions on it. I have always been told that shooting ...

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  1. #1
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    Question .38 Special in a .357

    This issue came up in another thread and I just wanted to get some more opinions on it. I have always been told that shooting .38 Special out of a .357 was perfectly acceptable and wouldn't cause any harm to the revolver. But recently in a thread I read that firing .38's out of a .357 and then loading it with .357s can cause problems because of fouling further down in the chamber due to the shorter cases. Has anyone else heard of any problems with shooting .38 rounds out of a .357?
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    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    That is interesting and I haven't heard that before but I have shot a mess of both .357 and .38 special's in the same shooting session and my 686 is good to go. I honestly can't see how that would affect anything whatsoever shooting them.


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    Yes it is true, shooting 38spec in 357 can cause problems in firing 357. It is caused by excesive fouling. If you shoot a lot of 38special and don't clean the revolver then try and shoot 357Mag, sometimes the fouling can stop the longer cartridge from chambering, or if it does chamber it may jam on extraction.

    As long as you keep the fouling out of the chambers you can swith back and forth without a problem. Just keep a good cleaning regimen. There is anothe problem that may occur as well, that is metal cutting. If you shoot a lot or mostly 38Special the metal in the chamber over time may become pitted, then if you fire a 357Mag the casing may expand into the pits left by the 38Spec and cause an ejection problem.

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    Clean your chambers well after shooting

    I believe the problems result from dirty chambers with a ring of powder residue where the .38 caliber case ends. If you just clean your chambers well with solvent and a brush after each shooting session, you should avoid the problem. Hold the gun up to a light and look down the chambers to make sure you got it all out.

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    Ditto here..... The level of fouling will depend on the quality of the ammo. The Department issued .38 reloads for practice. Those rounds were the dirtiest, nastiest lead roundnose you can imagine (also the cheapest on the planet)! The fouling was terrible. I always ended each range session with 25 rounds of duty ammo (.357 JHP) and had loading and ejection problems. The only way out of it was a thorough cleaning. You will find the same problem, albeit to a lesser degree, shooting factory .38 then switching to factory .357. Cleaning your lifeline is critical to proper function - and your survival.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye07 View Post
    This issue came up in another thread and I just wanted to get some more opinions on it. I have always been told that shooting .38 Special out of a .357 was perfectly acceptable and wouldn't cause any harm to the revolver. But recently in a thread I read that firing .38's out of a .357 and then loading it with .357s can cause problems because of fouling further down in the chamber due to the shorter cases. Has anyone else heard of any problems with shooting .38 rounds out of a .357?
    Yes, I have had the problem when using lead bullets. This leading caused problems firing more than one shot, recoil set back of rnds in the cylinder would prevent it from turning . A good cleaning and using semi or full jacketed bullets solves the problem.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    sure it will espically with lead bullets all ya got to do is clean the chambers and go no big deal most the time the 357 wont push into the cylinder all the way

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    Well, I tend to shoot WWB FMJ when I use .38 loads. And I give all my firearms a cleaning after they get taken to the range. It makes sense, I just hadn't thought of or heard of that before.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    I see what your saying now. I haven't had that problem as I keep my gun's clean and in working order all of the time as well as shoot decent ammo though them. I would think it would take a serious amount of rounds of .38 and not clean it a few times to cause a problem. If that happens then you are to stupid to have the gun in the first place as you won't take care of it as you should be to prevent this from happening.

    My chambers on my 686 are so loose with the rounds in .357 that when loading you could tip the cylinder backwards and the rounds will fall to the ground on their own so there is plenty of clearance in at least my 686 chamber's to work just fine shooting both .357 and .38spcl and not have a problem unless seriously neglected which that will never happen.



    Ti.
    Last edited by Ti Carry; December 23rd, 2006 at 07:35 PM.
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I probley have shoot 2k rounds of jacketed though my smith and the 357's just drop in

    now this is with out cleaning the cylinder as it doesnt apper dirty at all neither does the gun

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White View Post
    I probley have shoot 2k rounds of jacketed though my smith and the 357's just drop in

    now this is with out cleaning the cylinder as it doesnt apper dirty at all neither does the gun
    Try it with soft lead bullets.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Yeah i know lead bullets will do it as i said above i was using the jacketed as a example couple cylinderfulls of lead and it wont do that

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    i got a s&w model 19 and a tc in 357 mag. i shoot 38sp in these guns about 95% of the time. when i do shoot 357 mag ammo i do not have any problems. i do clean my gun after each use, no matter how many rounds i shoot. so clean them and they will no give you and problems.
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    I have never heard this but it is very good info to have.

    I can not tell you how often I have fired .38 ammo from one of my .357's. I wish I had been aware of this possibility before. But, at least now I do know.

    Thanks!

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    My daughter practices all the time with the .38 sp in her SW 649 she as shot thousands of the rounds through the gun with no ill effects, just clean it after every session and the .357 will be no problems.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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