key holing

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by iceboxx1953, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. iceboxx1953

    iceboxx1953 New Member

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    I have a S&W 38 4" barrel and it key holes.I have reloaded using 4.5 grains of universal powder. What causes this.
     
  2. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    What bullet?
     

  3. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    My .380 will do that if the barrel isn't thoroughly clean, but it's a 2" semi-auto.
     
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Assuming this is a new symptom, first look at a severely fouled barrel. The next is to look at the load. What bullet? I am presuming you mean Universal Clays powder?
     
  5. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Bullets are to heavy (I doubt this)

    Fouled barrel (High On my list)

    If using lead bullets maybe wrong size (Sized wrong).
     
  6. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    If you mean, why the keyholes, rather than why you use Universal powder, probably:

    1. Bullets are too soft for the speed, so the rifling strips out.
    2. Bullets to small in diameter, so they get gas cut to a smaller diameter and the rifling stips out.
    3. Bore is so lead foulded it sizes the bullets down too small, crating both conditons listed in 1 & 2.

    Try firing one straight down into a 5 gal. bucket of water and retrieve it. Take a look at the rifling grooves, bet there ain't none.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  7. iceboxx1953

    iceboxx1953 New Member

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    i am using 125 grain fmj bullets.What would be the best method to cean the barrel ,and what cleaners.
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Lewis lead remover, but I'm not sure they even make them any more.

    Brass/bronze brush and Shooters Choice bore solvent. Scrup repetedly to loossen it up.

    Lead free cloth (the yellow ones) cut into patches and forced through the barrell with a tight patch spud. You should see chunks of lead stuck to the cloth.

    Repeat.

    Check that the bullets are not .356 diameter rather than .358. .002 makes a HUGE difference.

    125gr FMJ's? Sounds like .356 bullets or plated bullets. Are you trying to push the plateds to max velocity? I don't think the plating is going to take that.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    +1 on the Lewis De-Leader. Bronze screen over a leather plug, T handled rod, use one to de-lead a S&W Mdl 66 after shooting a LOT of real soft wadcutter. You can SEE the little bits of lead on the screen. When bore gets fouled, bullets not spinning. Acurracy sux, but stopping power of bullet increases!:D BTW, if you can't find a Lewis, use good solvent, bronze brush, stroke all the way thru and back about 50 times, or until elbow gives out. If you can find it, product called KROIL- a super penetrant- slop in bore, let set overnite, THEN use bronze bore brush. Stuff can actually get under lead/copper fouling and loosen it up.
     
  10. seedy

    seedy Member

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    you didn't say whether it was a ,38 S&W or a S&W .38 special. These two calibers do not use the same bullets, I think the .38 S&W uses a heel based bullet. In the past there was alot of interchanging , the most famous example was the gun that Lee Harvey Oswald used to murder Officer Tibbits. I have never seen one that was so used but can guess a .357 sized bullet might yawl in a oversize barrel. CD
     
  11. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

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    38 loads

    +1 For Bill M. After through de-leading process, use ONLY .357 dia jacketed bullets-ONLY .358 dia cast bullets. Have good acc. with both in my 4" S&W 681. As said before don't load too hot. Try the mid-range listings in your load book/chart.:)
     
  12. WILDCATT

    WILDCATT New Member

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    lead

    why would he clean the lead out??????????????hes using 125 gr jacket.
     
  13. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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    i study firearms and ammunition and the 38 s&w is not a heal type bullet however they USUALLY have a .360 groove diameter. the instance you refered to about oswald i have never heard before. can you explain. sounds fasinating. i had just heard he used a 38 revolver.
     
  14. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

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    Oswald Gun?

    30-30, Just googled it .38 Colt Cobra was used by Jack Ruby to shoot L.H. Oswald. It was up for sale last year (March 08) by some Fat Cat Fla. real estate devel. Did not bring the $1Mil. reserve he had on it. Must be some GOOD Colt. Cane will probably buy it, if it comes up again:D He REALLY likes Colts!:eek::eek:
     
  15. jjohnson

    jjohnson New Member

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    Lewis Lead Remover

    Brownell's sells them. It's THE most useful cleaning accessory I've bought in 40 years. No point in trying to remove lead with chemicals - the Lewis will physically scrape that stuff out. Done deal in a 20 minute job. Unbelievable what you can scrape out of a bore you thought was either "clean" or "shot out."
     
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Most 125 gr FMJ's are .356 diameter intended for 9mm apps. Could easily key hole through a .357 barrel

    If they are not actually FMJ, but plated they might be getting pushed too fast. Plated bullets cannot hold up to the same kind of velocities as jacketed.

    After thinking about this situation, I am leaning toward undersized bullets being the cause.
     
  17. seedy

    seedy Member

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    I can refer you to a March 2009 edition of Gun World in the questions and answers by Jan Libourel. He states that the case diameter of a 38 special is .379 whereas the case diameter for a S&W .38 is .386. According to him many of the conversions were made from S&W victory models from WWII. And yes the most famous of these was the revolver that Lee Harvey Oswald used to murder Officer Tippits during the manhunt after the Kennedy assassination. CD