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Thread: Slugging a Bore

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Salisbury, MD
    Posts
    431

    Default Slugging a Bore

    Any tricks?

    I have a .38 S&W I slugged this morning. I used a 9mm Makarov cast lead bullet that mic'd .367". I drove it through the bore. Not such an easy task, mostly because I was worried the entire time that I would never get it all the way through.

    Anyway, the slug has the rifling imprinted on it nicely and it now mic's .354". The reason for my question is that this is about .010" smaller than I would have expected.

    Any thoughts? Just believe it? Re-do it? Any tips for re-doing it? I just drove it in with a wooden dowel and then pushed it through with a rod.

    By the way, the pistol is a 1911 Colt Police Positive that seems to have been cut down to 2" barrel.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Burnet, TX
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    Default

    Quote
    Anyway, the slug has the rifling imprinted on it nicely and it now mic's .354". The reason for my question is that this is about .010" smaller than I would have expected.

    Why would you expect any thing larger than .357?
    I would have started with an unsized .358 cast bullet or made a cerrosafe cast. What is your objective?
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  3. #3
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    May 2005
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    Salisbury, MD
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    Default

    My objective is to make a sizing die for my lubrisizer so I can appropriately size bullets for this .38 S&W.

    My understanding is that .38 S&W used a slightly larger bullet/bore than the rest of the .38 caliber family. I've seen the bullets listed as .361" so I may have overstated how small I believe the slug to be.

    edited to correct spelling error
    Last edited by chriskat; 12-31-2011 at 08:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
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    9,141

    Default

    According to the Dunlap book, S&W bore is .351" bore diameter and .361" groove diameter. There is no information for Colt specs.

    Lyman manuals recommending slugging the bore as there is a wide variation in bore dimensions. This is evidenced by your results. I would suggest slugging again, possibly with the unsized bullet or Cerrosafe to verify results.

    Here are SAAMI specs;

    http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC...w%20Police.pdf
    Jim H.

  5. #5
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    May 2005
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    Default

    Thanks Jim, I was thiking the same. I'll slug it again and see what I get. What I'm getting now seems small even for a .38 special.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Burnet, TX
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    Default Live & Learn

    Google says, "The .38 S&W is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1877. Though similar in name, it is not interchangeable with the later .38 Smith and Wesson Special due to a different case shape and slightly larger bullet diameter."

    I learned something just now. I didn't know that there was a difference in 38 S&W and 38 Special. In the past I just bought a couple of lubricating dies on size and .001-.002 over and tried them for accuracy.

    It would be intresting if you showed us your build. What lubricator/sizer are you using?
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  7. #7
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    Default Size does matter

    The 22-rim fire is .222-groove diameter. Some early 22-center fires were .222 others .223 before standardizing on the .224 dia.

    When S&W brought out the Mod 53 in the 22 Remington Jet it had a 222-grove diameter so that with cylinder inserts you could also use rim fire ammunition. Remington factory ammunition had an appropriate bullet but was discontinued. Hornady manufactured a 222-jacketed bullet specifically for this pistol. 223 dia. Bullets for the early 218 bee’s were also available. Long story short—oversized jacketed bullets raise pressures significantly. .001 oversized cast lead bullets of the appropriate weight shoot better.

    The gun writers heavily criticized this pistol contributing to its early demise. I cherish mine for varmint-sized game.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Montezuma, IA
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    Default

    Jeff, you need to measure the cylinder chamber exit diameters, and if they are larger than the barrel groove diameter, size your bullet to as close to the chamber size as the cartridge case will let you. This will help give you the best accuracy attainable with your revolver.

    David
    David Kaiser
    Montezuma, IA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Toledo, Ohio
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    Default

    Cartridge nomenclature is a confusing snarl of sizes and descriptions. Simply because a cartridge appears to share a caliber with another does not mean that they have any dimensions at all in common. There is some standardization in the Metric cartridges, but even with them, nothing can be taken for granted. When in doubt, it is always best to slug or make a chamber cast.

    The 22 Jet and S&W Model 53 had a lot of potential and is a good combination. I would love to find an affordable one. The drawback is that, unless the chamber and cartridge are kept clean and oil free, the cartridge case can slide back on firing, jamming the cylinder.
    Jim H.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Default

    Thanks everyone. David, I'll push a slug throught each cylinder mouth and another one through the bore. That done I'll size .001" over the groove diameter or at the cylinder mouth. Hopefully they'll be close.

    Boucher, I'm using an old RCBS Lubrisizer I've had for probably 30 years. I was planning on measuring some old sizing dies and using them as patterns. I have some 4140 pre-hard just laying around that I was going to use. I'm notorious for taking huge amounts of time to finish a project however so don't hold your breath.

    Jeff

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