Undecided on Old Rifle

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by ZigZagZeke, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. ZigZagZeke

    Curmudgeon Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I had this old Remington rolling block sporter restored a while back.


    The gunsmith who did the metal work and I had a long discussion about what to chamber it for. Since it was originally a .38 rimfire, and I wanted to keep it as close to original configuration as possible my first thought was .38 SPC. Then I figured why stop there? Why not .357 Magnum then? So after a discussion about pressures, renewing the heat treating, and barrel liners, we decided to put a liner in the barrel and chamber it for .357 Magnum. Since I got it back from the gunsmith I'd shot nothing but .357 Magnum in it, and I chronoed it at 1800 fps muzzle velocity. It's pretty close to .30-30 ballistics with .357 Mag cartridges. So far it's shown no sign of any undue stress, but I still feel like it's pushing things a bit.

    I shot some .38 SPC in it for the first time yesterday, and it was like heaven. With .38 SPC it's like shooting a .22 LR, and it's very accurate. I like it so much with .38 SPC that I'm finally thinking about marking the barrel with the new caliber. I was hesitating to do that because the old mark is simply "38" on the bottom of the barrel, and X-ing that out and adding ".357 Mag" just didn't appeal to me. For one thing, I'm not certain the rifle won't wear out prematurely shooting .357 Mag. For another, I understand that this rifle is experimental and that I need to keep a sharp watch on it for signs of stress. It's built and spec'd to handle 150% of .357 Mag pressures, but that's 300% of .38 SPC pressures. But would the next owner understand these things? So I'm leaning toward marking it with a new "SPC" underneath the old "38" marking, and just letting it's .357 Mag chambering be my secret. What do you guys think?
  2. xlsbob

    coos county
    Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Since it's already been altered I would add the "spc" if it were mine. You have a cool old rifle brought back to life, 38's will make it last forever. I do lighter loads for all my old guns no matter what caliber they are.
    orygun and ZigZagZeke like this.
  3. orygun

    West Linn
    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I like to push things a bit, but I believe that you are correct in marking and shooting 38 Specials out of this rifle. However, you know that you'll pull the trigger on the occasional 357, and that's a big plus.
    ZigZagZeke likes this.
  4. BigBull 301

    BigBull 301
    Long gone from PDX
    Well-Known Member

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    Leave it as is.
  5. 20buellteam

    Near van mall

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    Very nice rifle and a shooter too. Due to its age & original markings I would hesitate to add any extra caliber designation. I would definitely hang on to any documentation for the work you have had done.
    ZigZagZeke likes this.
  6. Certaindeaf

    SE Portland
    Well-Known Member

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    Since that design was originally offered to include cartridges approaching the 30-06 in power, I see no reason to mismark it or not shoot .357 out of it.. nice gun. I hear you though about shooting .38.. accurate and fun!. and very easy on the "old" girl.
    ZigZagZeke likes this.
  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
    Member Emeritus Silver Supporter

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    Nice rifle! No reason to beat it up with .357's. Enjoy shooting it!

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