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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About 5 years ago my late 50's vintage S&W Mdl 28 began showing forcing cone erosion. Within 2 years I had to lay it aside because it was spitting lead and fragments so bad it made me blead. :(

It took almost 20 years and thousands of rounds of full house jacketed and lead magnum loads for this to happen.
I took it to several gunsmiths who agreed it was burned out. None of them agreed about why.
One said, gas cutting, another said unburned powder was the abrasive cause. A third said yes to the first two then said it was agravated by excessive barrel cylinder gap.
Finally I got the barrel set back a turn, the b.c. gap reset and the forcing cone recut to what looks like 11 degrees.

My old compaion is now shooting up to par again. :D

Much of the ammo I have fired in this gun has used the old Win 630 before it was discontinued, 2400, and Blue Dot. There were minor ammounts of 231, Unique, Herco, and PB.

Recently I read in a post somewhere that the powder / bullet combination should cause the powders pressure peak to occur either before or after the barrel / cylinder gap, not right at it. The article stated that this was what caused the top strap erosion on the Ruger .357 Maximum when Remington switched to a different powder. Since my revolver suffered both top strap erosion and rear of the barrel erosion, I'm thinking this may be what happed.

Now my questions: I shoot mostly 158gr jacketed, and 158-168 lead bullet magnum loads. I almost never shoot 38's out of it.

Does anyone know of a powder or powders that when used with the above bullets will not cause the forcing cone erosion like happened before.

I don't like to use 296 or any real slow ball powders, because when I did I saw the signs of forcing cone erosion within a couple hundred rounds. I usually avoid real fast ones like Bullseye too.

I don't intend to retire this revolver yet, and I would like to load ammo that will minimize the likelyhood of future forcing cone erosion.

Please forgive this long post. I get wordy sometimes.


***"If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride"***
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Hello!

Just two months ago I got my first model 28. It is a -2 series and in near new condition. It could very well be a safe queen, but I believe in shooting them or getting rid of them.

My 28 shoots all varieties 357 very well, and like you, if i'm gonna shoot .38's, wel that's what my model 14 is for.
:D
I've found the 125grainers to be very accurate.

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As far as powders go, I use Hodgdon products. The Clays and Universal clays are clean and efficient. H110 is HOT and I personally have not used it in anything other than some hot loads for the 94 and the Ruger.

Wish I could help more:(

Chris~
 

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I would shoot whatever you want out of it. The repair you mention is standard maintenance for a handgun made in that era. It wasn't until the early 90's that Smith finally made a Model 29 that you could really put the 44's through without if getting loose in a hurry. The quality of the metal in the older guns is nowhere near what it is today. The top strap cutting you mention will occur with all magnum revolvers. It usually reaches a certain minimal level and pretty much stops at that point in my experience. When the 357 Max was canned by Ruger it was panic and a poor decision. I have a new on in the box in my safe, and one I've shot quite a bit. The top strap cutting occured to a minimal level after less than 500 rounds and quit after that. To date there has been about 2800 rounds throught the revolver with no additional cutting since the initial 500 rounds. If I had a revolver that started to get deep cutting, I would be concerned however. I have a Bisley Vauqero that has never seen anything but 800fps 44 specials, aside from a couple hundred full power 44 mags, and it shows an equal amount of cutting and it is used little. It seems to me that the concern in the 357 maximum came from people trying to load them to the moon with 110 and 125 grain bullets, creating a situation that would exacerbate any erosion problem that did exist as a result of trying to burn massive quantities of slow burning powders in a short barrel with a cylinder gap. Of the people I knew who used the Dan Wessons in that caliber for slammin' steel, none of them ever "had" to use the second barrel that was included with the guns, or had any top strap cutting other than what I previously mentioned. There again, these guys weren't using any light bullets either, mostly 180's or better. If you're still concerned, give the AA#7 a try if you don't need the absolute maximum velocity as it works quite well in the 357,41,44 if the absolute maximum velocity is not a concern. You won't see much velocity loss, and I believe it operates at a lower pressure in general. It's worked well for me with near-max loads with hard lead and jacketed bullets. A side benefit is that it can be loaded down quite a ways if desired with much better results than the potentially dangerous act of doing the same with 296 or H110. It does not require mag primers either, not that that's a big deal.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I thought I remembered reading that there were some discontinued Winchester ball powders that had a terrible reputation for erosion/flame cutting in revolvers? Was 630 one of them, or was it 295 (predecessor to 296), or something else entirely?

The thread that I think I remember reading talked about how the revolver shooters had to give up on the stuff, but it was fine in Contenders and other fixed-breech guns.

Anybody shoot a lot of single-base powder through a revolver, and if so, any comparison to Ball powders for erosion/flame cutting?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MikeG,

I think you are right about the 630 and flame cutting. I used it in several .357s and there was forcing cone erosion on all of them.

kciH,
Thanks for the information about the .357 Maximum. I've never seen one, let alone shot one. By the time I knew they were out, they had been dropped and were being scarfed up by shooters and collectors.
I do, and will, shoot what ever I want out of this old gun, but since I am getting low on .357 ammo and will soon be stocking up on compenents for a marathon loading binge, I want to find a powder that will minimize the erosion on the back of the barrel.
I have used AA5 and AA9, but no AA7. I really would like to get away from ball powders in my revolver cartriges. I load .357's to magnum velocity most of the time, rarely loading them light.

m141a,
My Mdl 28 is a no dash "S" frame, 4 screw. I even have the original grips for it...................somewhere.
Thanks for the suggestion of the Hodgen powders. I have used very little Hodgen powder. I think it's time it tried some.
 

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FWIW

Just had to say something about an error I have seen several times. There isn't any such thing as an "S" frame S&W. They are "N" frames with an S prefix! To be correct, the model 28 is on the N-T frame, which means it is cut for the adjustable rear sight. I have no idea what people would call the newer guns with the three alpha serial numbers.
 
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