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Standard bullet weight .38/.357?

s1xty7

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I prefer fixed sight revolvers in 357. I always heard that fixed sights were designed for 158gr projectiles. I don't reload, but all the factory rounds I have in 38 special and 357 are 158gr. I've also heard that lighter, hotter rounds can cause more gas erosion on the frame and forcing cone.

Just my 2 cents from what I've read.
 

ma96782

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When my PD stopped using the .38 Special for our on duty holster 4” S&W reviolvers we were being issued the .38 Special w/158 grain lead hollow point semi wadcutter loads (aka:FBI loads).

For my off duty loads in my .38 Special S&W Chief’s Special 2” I was using a 125 grain semi jacketed hollow point. But the regular duty loads were also GTG.

Aloha, Mark
 

DLS

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... I've also heard that lighter, hotter rounds can cause more gas erosion on the frame and forcing cone.

Just my 2 cents from what I've read.
Gas cutting effects increase with higher pressure and with higher gas temperatures. Since "hot" light projectiles use faster powder than loads with heavier projectiles you typically see an increase in temperature. For the most part the pressures are the same for high end loads regardless of bullet weight.

So, yes the "hotter" load increases gas cutting but the amount is usually so negligible that it can be ignored. If you actually shoot a revolver enough that gas cutting becomes an issue you most likely have already had other problems crop up with end shake, timing etc. In other words the revolver has been worn out from other issues.

There are exceptions, such as the .357 Remington MAXIMUM (not Magnum) that was created for the metallic silhouette crowd. This round took a .357 Mag and lengthened the case to gain more powder capacity and ran at pretty high pressures and temps. Ruger quit chambering their revolvers in this round due to excessive gas cutting. The round lived on in TC contenders and the like where gas cutting was not an issue.
 
I have more issue with my levergun and .38s than I do with any of my revolvers. Just because it is just a tiny bit harder to get into that part of the chamber on my leverguns. Revolver is easier to brush and inspect the cylinder. But it is not really much of an issue either way.
 

41mag

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I suffered thru a long bout of 'carpal tunnel syndrome' about 15 years ago, such that even lower recipe 158g 38s were an issue for me the next day ( & the next.....etc).

Finally discovered the low end of the recipe chart for such as Trail Boss & 130g lead. Worked enough better I could enjoy the range time more.

"Good enough" accuracy was never really a problem as I became pleased with the steel plates more than the mute witness of the paper target bulls eye. Eventual surgery fixed the neurological symptoms, and I bumped my 130 loads up to their published max loads.
 

DeanMk

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Gas cutting effects increase with higher pressure and with higher gas temperatures. Since "hot" light projectiles use faster powder than loads with heavier projectiles you typically see an increase in temperature. For the most part the pressures are the same for high end loads regardless of bullet weight.

So, yes the "hotter" load increases gas cutting but the amount is usually so negligible that it can be ignored. If you actually shoot a revolver enough that gas cutting becomes an issue you most likely have already had other problems crop up with end shake, timing etc. In other words the revolver has been worn out from other issues.

There are exceptions, such as the .357 Remington MAXIMUM (not Magnum) that was created for the metallic silhouette crowd. This round took a .357 Mag and lengthened the case to gain more powder capacity and ran at pretty high pressures and temps. Ruger quit chambering their revolvers in this round due to excessive gas cutting. The round lived on in TC contenders and the like where gas cutting was not an issue.
I wouldn't mind a '94 Marlin in .357 Maximum.
I don't know if you can get loaded ammo for that, but I bet you could cook up some great 180gr. & 200gr. hunting loads with that round. :s0155:

Dean
 
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DLS

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I wouldn't mind a '94 Marlin in .357 Maximum.
I don't know if you can get loaded ammo for that, but I bet you could cook up some great 180gr. & 200gr. hunting loads with that round. :s0155:

Dean
None of the big names manufacture this round anymore, but there are custom makers that do. Brass is available from Star Line and others so you are not out of luck and there are a ton of heavy .357 bullets available. You can always cast your own as well! A marlin in this caliber sounds like fun!
 

DeanMk

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Thanks DLS, however further research shows that the Marlin doesn't possess the room to successfully action this round, since it is built around the shorter handgun rounds.
However, I believe T/C still makes an Encore available for all the "Super Magnum" rounds (Maximum included) and that gun has always intrigued me.
 
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