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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2009 at 21:21
lucznik View Drop Down
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O.K. so, I have a theoretical question here.  I have lots of brass for my .357 Mag but, I was just thinking about things and decided to post the question simply for the sake of discussion.  First the background...

As I understand the history, original loads that would eventually become the .357 Magnum were initially developed in heavy .38 special revolvers.  When introduced to the public, the magnum cartridge was lengthened, not to hold an additional quantity of powder, but rather to ensure that these heavy loads would not accidentally be chambered in smaller, lighter .38 Special guns that were not designed nor capable of withstanding the pressure.

I have no true .38 Special handgun.  Nor can I imagine a circumstance where I would ever buy one.  I only have my heavy, L-Frame 686+ so, there is no chance of accidentally putting a too-hot round into a gun that can't handle it.  But, I do have lots of .38 Special brass lying around. 

So, now the question(s)...

Is there any technical reason why I couldn't load these .38 Special casings super-hot as was done in initial development of the Magnum cartridge?

Wouldn't I be able to (in theory) load these just as hot as I do my true ".357 Mag"-stamped casings?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2009 at 21:39
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My understanding is the .357 mag brass is thicker and stronger.  I guess you can take a caliper and measure the thinkness adn see for sure.  Cut one in half down near the case head and see if it is thicker.  Also see if the actual primer pocket area of the head is thicker.

I only use the .357 mag brass.  Then i just load some of them to .38 +p loads and some to magnum velocity.  That way I never have to worry about having two types of brass.  I use berrys bullets in the slow stuff and hornady or Magtec in the mag loads.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2009 at 22:01
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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you won't have any problem loading 38 to +P+ loads which is pretty close to 357, the biggest problem is -- in getting to 357 you need something like 296 which requires 100% load density and as much as you can get into a 357. In order to duplicate, as you cannot use as much 296, a 357 you must use a slightly faster powder, such as universal or hs6  which usually shows higher pressure. In most instances it doesn't matter if the barrel length is 4 in or shorter as 357 mag velocities are not attainable and most +p loads get you about as fast as it will work. Really long heavy bullets such as silhoutte 180 gr work well in 38 cases because the slow powder load such as 296 can be used at the same charge level with the bullet seated out to 357 over all length. This is not theory -- but has been done by reloaders for 30 yrs. some 357 cases nickel plated (actually cadmium plated) are thiner than 38 special brass cases, and 357 max. cases are the thickest and heaviest of all.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 07:43
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It's a dumb idea.  If somebody, some how, got a hold of these loads they might get hurt.  I "know" it could "never" happen, but then, there is that Murphy's law thing. 
 
Then you get the whole blasting away the chamber from running a .38 in a .357.  The .38 eats away that .10 of an inch.  What you are talking about will only make matter worst.  It is better for the gun to down load the .357 case than to up load .38.
 
I'd look at AA#7, Blue Dot, True Blue, Some of the "N" powders, Power Pistol or Hurco.  They burn better than H110/296, AA#9 or 2400 which is a bit slow in the .357. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 08:41
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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a 38 doesn't blast away the chamber , it can leave residue from wax build up than causes difficulty in seating the 357 round. The thinner forcing cones on a some of the older mod 19 would erode pretty fast with 125 gr 357 loads and blue dot, (burns hotter than 296)  296 and 110 are the best powders for 357,44, and 454
the combinations of 38 cases long silhoutte bullets and 296 was pretty common in the years of hand gun IMHSA. Hate to tell those guys and the 1000 and 1000 of rounds they shot thru T/C Dan wessons and Smith 27s (686 hadn't been invented yet) they didn't know what they were doing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 08:55
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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although somewhat different, here is a good source and read about using different cases in the 38 series of revolvers. Note these cases are "weaker" than 38 sp cases.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 14:23
silver View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

a 38 doesn't blast away the chamber , it can leave residue from wax build up than causes difficulty in seating the 357 round.
 
Dale you can clean my 686 that has seen alot of +p .38s and let me know why that "wax" is still there.  Don't know why there would be any "wax" because all it gets is jacketed.  It's the same as shooting "shorts" in a .22lr.  It takes alot of them, but it does wear the chamber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 18:18
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also forget to mention the use of 1000 and 1000 and 1000 of 38 super in 27 and the new 627 in IPSC revolver class , doesn't wear the revolver cylinder any more than a solid barrel in an auto.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 18:24
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 I think after enough rounds, there may be some erosion of the front of the chamber by the combustion gases. This rough spot could then collect lead and powder fouling, causing  chambering difficulties with the longer .357 cases later on. I've seen .22 Long Rifle chambers in which many .22 Shorts were fired, and there is some real damage there, beyond a mere accumulation of anything. It is definately corroded, eroded, burnt away,worn away or whatever. It was a very old rifle though, so I guess it may also have been caused by corrosive .22 Short ammo of some sort...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 18:43
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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the forcing cone will go a long time before you see any erosion in revolver chamber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 21:59
lucznik View Drop Down
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You make some good points silver.  As I said, this is a mostly theoretical/educational question for me as I have lots of .357 Mag brass.  I just was curious how feasible the concept was... you know, just in case.

It would be a very unwise person who just casually slipped any of my handloads into their guns.  I run my loads pretty hot so as to be legal for big game hunting in Utah and Wyoming.  I push a 180 gr. Hornady XTP or Nosler Partition out of my 4" barreled 686+ Mountain Gun at 1295 fps so that I can meet the 500 ft/lbs @ 100 yd. legal minimums.  My dad once tried one of these rounds in a 4" model 19 he owned.  It locked up his cylinder pretty good.  He was eventually able to get things worked out, but he never shot anything but factory loads out of that gun after that.   He sold that model 19 not long after that incident and got himself a 4" 686+ similar to mine so that he could shoot my handloads.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 22:25
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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none the less the answer is still yes you can load the 38 super hot, just like Keith did when he started with the 44 sp which became the 44 mag. and Casull did with 45 LC before it became the 454, just like Wesson did with the 357 before it became the 357 max. , just like winchester did with the 38 super before it became the 9x23,
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