plain base bullets in the wheelgun from hell, continued

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mtngun
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plain base bullets in the wheelgun from hell, continued

Postby mtngun » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:05 pm

In yet another valient effort to get plain base bullets to shoot well in my 4" S&W M29 with the 0.4336" throats, today I tried using Rooster HVR lube, instead of the homemade lube EL#3 that was used in the previous experiment. Rooster HVR has been the cleanest lube tested to date in other cartridges.

All other components were the same as before, 250 gr. HTWW, deep seated plain base design, case necks turned to allow chambering the 0.434" bullets, 24 gr. H110, CCI 350 magnum primer.

After 5 shots, the barrel looked clean. :wink:

After 10 shots, I could see a few specks of fouling on one side of the barrel. :roll:

After 15 shots, one side of the barrel had a light but distinct coating of lead, while the other side of the barrel was perfectly clean. :(

The fouling wasn't that bad, and I would be willing to accept it if it were stable, but it seemed to be building up as more shots were fired.

Velocity was 1278 fps, 28 std dev, average group at 50 yards 4.8", all 15 shots in 6", the majority of them in a ragged hole. I am probably the limiting factor for accuracy because I haven't practiced with this gun for many years and it is not easy to shoot.

That compares to 1292 fps and 4.6" with my experimental lube EL#3, so Rooster didn't make any difference.

The sensible thing to do here is admit defeat and go back to shooting gas checks, but that would be too easy.

Ray
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Re: plain base bullets in the wheelgun from hell, continued

Postby Ray » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:39 am

The problems you're having with this gun suggest a couple of things. First, there may be some misallignment of the barrel or forcing cone. Another possibility is a rough bore in one area. I'd try fire lapping the darn thing and see if that helps. Also, would check and re-cut the forcing cone if necessary.

I have used H110 and WW296 (same powder actually) for years with plain base bullets without leading. In fact I never clean the barrels of my hunting revolvers when using these powders exclusivly-- no sense to it.

Personally, I would not go to the trouble of reaming cases. Too damn much work! I think I'd stick with a gas check or get rid of the gun. Life's too short....

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Re: plain base bullets in the wheelgun from hell, continued

Postby mtngun » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:33 pm

Ray wrote:The problems you're having with this gun suggest a couple of things. First, there may be some misalignment of the barrel or forcing cone. Another possibility is a rough bore in one area. I'd try fire lapping the darn thing and see if that helps. Also, would check and re-cut the forcing cone if necessary.


Sounds logical, but the gun had been fire lapped decades ago, and it did not improve anything. The barrel has always been mirror smooth, even before firelapping. S&W barrels are usually pretty decent -- it's the rest of the gun that has problems.

I bought a forcing cone cutting kit, but it turned out that the existing forcing cone was grossly oversize -- it will swallow most of a 45 acp bullet. The barrel needed to be set back about 1/4" to eliminate the oversize forcing cone, and that wasn't practical, so that idea was a dead end.

Ray wrote:I have used H110 and WW296 (same powder actually) for years with plain base bullets without leading. In fact I never clean the barrels of my hunting revolvers when using these powders exclusivly-- no sense to it.


Ditto for my experience in a dimensionally correct Ruger 357. If it gets wet, I'll oil it to prevent rust, but otherwise, I never clean it, because it never fouls.

Ray wrote: Personally, I would not go to the trouble of reaming cases. Too damn much work! I think I'd stick with a gas check or get rid of the gun. Life's too short....


100% agreement. The gun had been retired many years ago (I don't think it would be ethical to sell this lemon) and it was only brought out of retirement to do these experiments.

It does shoot heavy GC bullets OK, but it's no fun shooting heavy bullets in a 4" Smith, and the recoil from the heavy bullets would sometimes unlock the cylinder -- yet another known S&W weakness.

This N-frame has since been re-retired, and is not missed.

I thought it was worthwhile to tell the story of this lemon, because there are other people out there struggling to get their wheelguns to shoot cast well, just as I struggled for years until I finally acquired a cast-friendly gun. My formative shooting years were spent reading every word that Skeeter and Elmer and Veral wrote, about how wonderful cast bullets were, and I'd run out and do everything they recommended, and get lousy results. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.

I'm glad you're getting outstanding results in your 38-55's, but there are also 38-55 owners struggling with their dysfunctional guns, and I think someone needs to tell them that they aren't doing anything wrong, they just have a lemon. It may hurt someone's feelings, but it's the truth. You sure won't hear the truth in gun mags.

There are lots of imperfect guns out there. Sometimes we can fix them, or work around the imperfections, but other times it is more cost effective to move on. I would have saved a heap of money if I had gotten rid of this lemon about 20 years ago.

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Re: plain base bullets in the wheelgun from hell, continued

Postby mtngun » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:52 pm

poster's name lost in the server move:

MY OLD S&W would only shoot with 240 remingtons and 24 grains h 110 and with 270 gold dots and 21.3 imr 4227 because of the 433 throats. For some reason it shot very well with those loads. I gave it to my son because he liked it so much. The pc hunter I now hunt with is perfect in all dimentions and every load I try in it shoots very well. The tolerances on a revolver is what I look at nowadays. I will get a Freedom Arms next. A friend of mine is getting close to talking me out of my new frontier. It will be a 45. I like my ruger 41 mag very much but I cant go without a 45. I like them all,357,41,44, but a 45 does not have to be pushed hard to hunt anything. I hope I am not talking too much but when comes to revolvers I get happy.


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