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Copper jamming between barrel and cylinder
May 5, 2018
3:57 pm
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MJK
Detroit, MI
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Last time I took my DW (357 CTG) to the range I was shooting 38 specials and the cylinder jammed and wouldn’t turn after firing a few rounds.  I found pieces of copper wedged between the end of the barrel and the front of the cylinder.  I removed them but after firing a couple more rounds same thing happened.  That sounds like something that would happen with too much barrel clearance but I took the gun home and checked the barrel clearance – it was OK – nice snug fit with the feeler gage.  Never had this issue before.  Could it be the ammo?  They were brand X reloads bought at the range. 

May 5, 2018
6:17 pm
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JohnD
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Was your ammo copper jacketed? That is the only place I can think of that copper could come from.

I usually just use coated lead for the .38 special plinking and practice. Of course you then can get lead fouling in the barrel. After scrubbing the lead out by cutting strands out of copper scrubbing pads and wrapping them around a brass brush several times I found a better way. I have some Magtec 158 grain SJSP .357 Magnum cartridges and I shoot 6 to 12 rounds that at the end of my session. It wakes up the firing line and cleans out the lead fouling completely. Haven’t had any lead to scrub out of the barrel since. 

The only issues I have with the .38 special reloads is that the primer sometimes hasn’t been seated correctly and sticks out too far or the casing won’t fit in the cylinder. The primer issue binds up the cylinder and won’t let it turn freely. 

I would stick to plain lead or coated lead bullets because lead is easier to deal with than copper.

May 6, 2018
7:22 am
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rwsem
SOWELA (Southwest Louisiana)

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If you are experiencing “shaving” it could indicate the timing is a bit off or you have a little free play in the cylinder at lockup.

Free play:

Ensure the gun is empty and then check it again. 

Pull the trigger in DA and keep pressure to the rear.  While holding the trigger to the rear, try to rotate the cylinder- there should be none to very little- the revolver is in “lock up”. If there is too much rotation, it may indicate you need a new bolt.

Timing:

Ensure the gun is empty and then check it again. You’ll need a small flashlight this time. 

Same procedure as above- pull the trigger and hold to the rear, keeping the revolver in full lock up.  This time you look down the muzzle end, through the bore and cylinder to the recoil plate. You’ll need the flashlight to put (indirect) light between the back of the cylinder and recoil plate. Everything should line up.  If it appears the cylinder holes don’t line up with the bore, your revolver may be out of time and a new hand a/o ejector may be needed. Check every cylinder.

If that’s all OK, keep in mind the cylinder and bore gap shrink as you heat things up.  Try a wider gap to see if that resolves the issue.

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

May 6, 2018
12:20 pm
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MJK
Detroit, MI
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If that’s all OK, keep in mind the cylinder and bore gap shrink as you heat things up.  Try a wider gap to see if that resolves the issue.  

Took your advice and increased cylinder gap.  This time instead of a snug fit for the feeler gage I did a “very loose” fit.  Took it to the range this morning, used Winchester  FMJ ammo instead of the no-name reloads and – no jams or hangups.    

May 6, 2018
2:30 pm
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Steve

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MJK said

If that’s all OK, keep in mind the cylinder and bore gap shrink as you heat things up.  Try a wider gap to see if that resolves the issue.  

Took your advice and increased cylinder gap.  This time instead of a snug fit for the feeler gage I did a “very loose” fit.  Took it to the range this morning, used Winchester  FMJ ammo instead of the no-name reloads and – no jams or hangups.      

Please check to be sure that you have the correct solution. “very loose” may give you misleading results. 

Is the gap (measured cold) uniform and consistent on all six chambers?

Does it stay uniform and consistent throughout an extended shooting session? Not consistent to “cold”, but as consistent chamber to chamber as it heats up?

Also, is your cylinder locking in firmly and cleanly? The small slot that the cylinder latch locks into can accumulate residue and allow the latch to engage but not exactly align every chamber consistently. This might lead to a minor misalignment of some chambers and cause bullets to shave.   

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman "Were is the Self Help Section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

George Carlin

May 7, 2018
12:07 pm
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PAbowhunter
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I would double check the timing.  First in single action, then in double action.  The gap should have no effect on copper build up.   However, a timing issue could have the bullet leaving the chamber prior to lock up and shaving copper as the slightly out of alignment bullet gets shaved by the forcing cone.  

“We cannot but pity the boy who has never fired a gun; he is no more
humane, while his education has been sadly neglected.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“When some of my friends have asked me anxiously about their boys, whether
they should let them hunt, I have answered, yes – remembering that it was
one of the best parts of my education – *make* them hunters.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

 

May 11, 2018
10:12 pm
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SCORPIO
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I’ll throw in my vote for a timing issue as well.  Shaving is usually related to timing problems.  

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

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If a man designed it, and a man built it, then a man can fix it.

My grandfather

July 10, 2018
2:17 pm
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MJK
Detroit, MI
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Update – I recently put two boxes (100 rounds) of Remington 38 Specials thru it with no issues.  

July 10, 2018
4:34 pm
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Ole Dog
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Sounds like crappy ammo. When I started reading and you mentioned the nice snug fit of the Guage I though uh oh. If the fit is too tight you are pushing the dedent ball in and getting a smaller gap than .006. That may not be the cause of the copper issue but it can cause the cylinder to bind when the cylinder expands after a few rounds. BTW, I often forget, but always take your tool to the range with you. 

July 11, 2018
9:02 am
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snake-eye
Fort Myers, Florida

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If the larger gap solved your problem, then I would think that the shaving was a result of the gap being too small and as the cylinder expanded it started to drag on the barrel and eventually it did not quite line up when the round fired resulting in the shaved copper. Try to set the gap as close to the standard .006 as you can without resulting in drag. As Ole Dog said, be sure you are not forcing the cylinder back and compressing the detent ball when checking the gap. Note that it is common for the face of the cylinder not to be exactly square at all points, so you should check the gap on all chambers.

Congratulations on solving your problem.

If you plan to shoot 357s, remember to carefully clean the chambers after shooting your 38s or you can have trouble getting the 357s to fit.

July 12, 2018
2:57 pm
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photohause
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Go to the range again this Friday..It is the 13th. If all goes well, you are set for life!

   What new gun my Dear, this old thing?

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