Can firing too much .38 ammo in a .357 eventually damage it?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by CLH, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. CLH

    CLH New Member

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    I have a S&W 686+ that was purchased new about a month ago. Definitely a very sweet piece. I ran across a thread stating that shooting "too much" .38 ammo (I don't use +p or +p+) in a .357 can cause issues and that you should shoot .357 through it every once in a while. Unfortunately I lost track of that thread, so I wanted to turn to the experts and get some opinions.

    I shoot a lot of .38 ammo because it's cheaper and easier to get where I live. There seems to be somewhat of a shortage of .357 ammo around here.

    Thanks all for the input.

    Cody
     
  2. copenhagen

    copenhagen New Member

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    The only issue I could see is that since the casing is a little shorter on a .38 than a .357, some carbon build up and pitting may occur inside the cylinder. Over time I'm sure this could effect the ability to properly seat or even fully chamber a .357 round if it got dirty enough. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
     

  3. CLH

    CLH New Member

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    With that I completely agree...she gets a thorough cleaning after every use. Thanks for the reply copenhagen.
     
  4. s4s4u

    s4s4u New Member

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    Shoot 'em up. Just make sure you clean the holes up good before you go to .357 Mag.
     
  5. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

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    Actually damaging it, no. A standard (non-P+/+P+) .38spl will not damage a gun designed for the pressures of the stronger .357mag.
    Now, like what copenhagen said, the .38spl is about 1mm (I guess, I'm more of the imperial measurement type of guy) shorter then the .357mag and can accumulate suet in that gap, just clean the cylinder after every session and you good as gold.
     
  6. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

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    I have a Taurus 357 Mag that shoots 38's as well. What I have noticed is that the cylinder gets some build up residue at the end facing the barrel when I shoot .38's. When I switch to the longer .357 Mag, the cartidge tends to hang up when trying to eject all of the spent cartridges.

    It hasn't been a big issue, but what I did buy was a .38 bore cleaner brush. Haven't tried it yet.
     
  7. CLH

    CLH New Member

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    Thanks everybody. Sounds like the general consensus is just be sure and keep it clean and there shouldn't be any issues. Glad I joined this forum!
     
  8. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    I load .38 for my .357 all the time and have never had any problems.
    As others have stated shooting a few .357 after a session of .38 and cleaning will eliminate any issues.
     
  9. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

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    Funny, there was an article about this in the Shotgun News magazine, the 4-27-09 issue. It might still be available.
     
  10. Artemus

    Artemus New Member

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    No,no,no,no,no it cannot cause damage.OK was this a trick question?lol
     
  11. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

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    I like my bore snake to clean the "wheelies", one pass and i have no problems at all with .357 in my Security6 after shooting .38
     
  12. questor

    questor Member

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    Remember you need a cylinder brush for the cylinder, the bore brush won't clean all the carbon. therefore when you insert a .357 you have problems.

    Bore brush for the bore and a cylinder brush for the cylinder.
     
  13. BillP

    BillP New Member

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    Actually, firing too much 357 ammo in a 357 can damage it. :eek: I am not fooling with you. K frame 357 S&Ws are sweet guns but they are not beefy enough for a constant diet of full power 357 ammunition. The guns were always popular with police officers but like everyone else, they fired mostly 38 special ammunition. Then the requirements for firearm training changed. For a couple of reasons a requirement for training with the ammunition you carry became the rule.

    That's when officers started to have trouble with the K frame guns. S&W saw what was happening and came out with a 4th frame size (L?) much like the K frame but beefed up in important areas. I don't have experience with any other specific guns but I would be Leary about a heavy diet in any of the older & lighter frame 357s. I don't have to worry about it, my tolerance for 357 ammunition runs out quickly but I love shooting 38 special ammo in my Md19.
     
  14. sakeneko

    sakeneko New Member

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    Oddly, I don't have much trouble shooting .357 practice rounds (Magtech) from my S&W Model 60, which is a little J Frame. It's solid stainless steel, not lightweight, but it is small -- a "stretch snubby" with a 3" barrel. I've shot 50 rounds of .357 through it in one practice session, and my hand didn't get tired, although I noticed the noise/kick/flash.

    Most of my practice and protection rounds are .38, though. Everything I've read and everyone I've spoken with who knows anything about revolvers tells me that good .38 +P rounds are superior for self protection in most cases because the gun is easier to control. None of them, however, have mentioned that the gun might not be able to handle a solid diet of .357 ammo -- only that I might not want to. :)

    Is there something I should know about my Model 60 that I don't know?
     
  15. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    the model 60 is a solid gun and what you hear is correct 38+p will be easiler to handle and yes a steady diet of full power 357 loads will reduced the life span of your gun, yours and just about every other gun made. some may not agree but it will wear out . it's just a matter of when. more than likely it wont be in your life time.
     
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