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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine who owns a S&W .357 magnum said she was told by 2 different people to limit the amount of .38 that she shoots in it. I don't claim to know a lot, but in all my years I have NEVER heard from a credible source that shooting too much .38 can be bad for a .357.

One was a police officer friend of hers, the other was at the shop she bought the gun.

Other than a gun shop/range wanting to sell more .357 ammo, is there any science to why shooting .38 out of a .357 can be bad for the gun?
 

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The only thing is the 38's will leave a ring of 'crud' in the cylinders from powder residue because the cases are shorter. Nothing that a good cleaning wouldn't take care of.
 

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People have been shooting .38 out of .357s since, well... forever. As stated, it will leave a ring of crud that will need cleaned if 357s are chambered. There are many waays to clean this buildup. A brass chamber brush is a good way. It is different than a brass bore brush. Some like to use Chore Boy(copper kitchen scrubber pad) wrapped around a smaller caliber bore brush. .38s are fine in a .357.
 

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.38's are fine in .357. I take recommendations on shooting from cop friends with a grain of salt. Cops that don't shoot for a hobby fire their weapon once a year to qualify and that's it. I think most the people on here are more knowledgeable about guns than most police officers.

Ask your friend to go back and ask their friends why it is bad. I would be curious to know their reasoning.
 

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Another way to look at this is apparently those that feel 38's are bad for a 357's do not clean their gun. My response to those that caution the use of 38s in a 357 is clean your gun. Once the "crude ring" builds up enough in the cylinder trying to load a 357 rd will not seat all the way in the cylinder. This means you did not clean your gun. Bottom line clean your gun especially the cylinder after shooting 38s and you will be fine. ;)
 

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Some would contend that shooting (and properly cleaning after shooting) 38 specials is GOOD for 357 revolvers. I would make mention of older S&Ws, Colt Pythons, all the Tauri, Rossi, Llama, and I suspect the Ubertis (although I don't have any experience with them). 38s help these wheelguns going.

When S&W rolled out the 586 in 1981 we were very impressed with the big frame strength and the full lugged barrel. Heavy and confidence inspiring, we felt we could shoot full power 357s all the time. Never thought it could get better until the GP100 came out...

Reminds of the 44 specials being used in the 629, although that was equally for the shooter's sake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess since I consider it important to clean my guns and keep them in good working condition, I didn't even think that the crud buildup might be the issue. Hmmm
 

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As others have stated, it's only bad if you don't clean the cylinders to keep the crud from building up and, since 38s use lead bullets, instead of jacketed bullets you find in typical 357 loads, you'll also want to keep that bore clean, but, then, you'd have to that with any gun that shoots 38s. I've shot a lot of 38s out of my GP-100 and it just means a bit more of a cleaning job, afterwards. No big deal.

In general, you won't get quite the accuracy with 38s, shooting them in a 357, compared to shooting 38s in a 38 only gun, but unless you are shooting in competition, not enough difference to worry about. I'd be willing to bet that more 38s are shot out of 357s every year than are shot out of 38s.
 

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A .40cal bronze brush will clean out the residue in a short order. Also after cleaning, I always lightly oil my revolver chambers, then wipe them out before loading or shooting. The little sheen of oil means I'd have to shoot a LOT of .38spl before experiencing any problem chambering .357mag rounds (I know I have shot up to 200 rounds of .38spl in one session in one of my GP100s, then been able to drop in .357mag cartridges without a hitch).

I also usually clean my revolvers the same day as I shoot them. If you let the crud ring build up, or let it sit for a long time so it hardens up like mortar, it will make it a lot tougher to get it all out.
 

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The only thing is the 38's will leave a ring of 'crud' in the cylinders from powder residue because the cases are shorter. Nothing that a good cleaning wouldn't take care of.
^^ THIS ^^ But you should scrub the cylinder chambers out after prolonged .38 sessions before you load it back up with .357. ;)
-Bruce
 

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I've fired both in my GP-100. I bought some reloaded ammo, and hey...the .357's didn't fit very well. I was using G96 for cleaning. I bought some Hoppes No. 9. And with the bore brush went through a bunch of times and I noticed it took off a lot of crud. (Some manufactured ammo like Remington seems really dirty)

Now the reloads fit just fine. So I guess an all purpose cleaner doesn't always get all the crud out. Just clean your revolver with a good solvent and it should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. I'll pass the info along. It's good to know if I ever get a 357 myself.
 

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Thanks everyone. I'll pass the info along. It's good to know if I ever get a 357 myself.
You'll love it. I'm hooked now. It's a great round. Now if I could just get a .357 rifle, life would be good!
 

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The only thing is the 38's will leave a ring of 'crud' in the cylinders from powder residue because the cases are shorter. Nothing that a good cleaning wouldn't take care of.
Exactly right! I shoot 38's out of my Security Six all the time. As soon as I get it home I douse the cylinder with Ballistol and let it soak. Then I use a bore brush to scrub the crud rings out of the cylinders. It's not a problem.
 

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...I take recommendations on shooting from cop friends with a grain of salt. Cops that don't shoot for a hobby fire their weapon once a year to qualify and that's it...
Most of the LEOs I work around qualify at least quarterly (4x/yr).
 

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I've probably run 5 times as many .38 specials out of my Python as .357 (usually lead target loads). As I always brush clean the cylinder and barrel after every session, I've never had a problem switching back and forth.
 

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A .40cal bronze brush will clean out the residue in a short order. Also after cleaning, I always lightly oil my revolver chambers, then wipe them out before loading or shooting. The little sheen of oil means I'd have to shoot a LOT of .38spl before experiencing any problem chambering .357mag rounds (I know I have shot up to 200 rounds of .38spl in one session in one of my GP100s, then been able to drop in .357mag cartridges without a hitch).

I also usually clean my revolvers the same day as I shoot them. If you let the crud ring build up, or let it sit for a long time so it hardens up like mortar, it will make it a lot tougher to get it all out.
yep this is what I do as well. I have a S&W .357 N Frame and shoot .38 all the time for the last 7 years, probably a couple of thousand rounds through the barrel and all with no problems. Just do as gwnorth mentions and you will be fine!
 

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ijustdontknow, I noticed you wrote .38 and .357. I, until my gramps pulled out a book and showed me, thought 38sp was in fact .38 caliber. Wrong. I asked because I thought it made no damn sense to shoot such a different diameter or round. The 38sp actually has a .357 cal round. 38sp is simply a name given based off other criteria, of which I do not recall exactly what.

I noticed .38 is the proper reading. Seems weird they would name it as such. Edit: it's the approx case diameter. Mystery solved! Amazing what a little reading will do for you.
 

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ijustdontknow, I noticed you wrote .38 and .357. I, until my gramps pulled out a book and showed me, thought 38sp was in fact .38 caliber. Wrong. I asked because I thought it made no damn sense to shoot such a different diameter or round. The 38sp actually has a .357 cal round. 38sp is simply a name given based off other criteria, of which I do not recall exactly what.

I noticed .38 is the proper reading. Seems weird they would name it as such. Edit: it's the approx case diameter. Mystery solved! Amazing what a little reading will do for you.
I think they just rounded it up to make it sound bigger. ;)
-Bruce
 

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I've learned that some of the worst people to get gun advice from are gun shop workers and LEO.

Of course not all are clueless, some are very knowledgeable gun people but many I've run into think they know a lot but don't.
 
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