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i just read the post, and then ordered the book. as soon as i read the book look for an order for supplies. and oh,yea the post is a good one. finally got me in gear to do some long overdue firelapping.
 

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Cylinder throats opened up? How far?

I have been reading this article and Marshall's article on fire lapping Rugers. I have a brand new Ruger Blackhawk in 357 - shoots about a 1 foot group at 25 yards. :(

So Bill - your cylinder throats started at .358 against a .357 bore - sounds perfect to me? How far did you have Dave open your cylinder throats? If Marshall's lapping bullets are .360 - should you go all the way to .360? What will that mean for .358 diameter slugs later on?

I just recieved approval from our budget steering comittee at home, and I will be ordering a fire lapping kit soon.

Thanks,
Rusty.
 

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Lapping kit ordered. Question on cylinder throats?

Ok - I ordered the lapping kit.

Now I am grabbing calipers and some existing slugs and going after the cylinder throats. I was thinking of only opening the throats all to .359 for now. Does that sound ok?

I havent slugged the bore yet - but I am betting it's a .357 from what I have seen for other Rugers. I will slug it when the stuff arrives.
 

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I followed Marshall's instructions on honing cylinder throats from his article on Ruger 'kit guns'. I got all six throats to have the same consistent force required to push a .3585 bullet through them. I had to keep grabbing and measuring fresh cast bullets out of my pile as after you pushed one through a few times - the bullet itself was reduced in diameter and gave the impression the throat was opened. I went to 3 stores and no one had emery cloth anymore - so I bought wet-dry sandpaper instead. Used lots of WD-40 as Marshall advised.

Now just waiting for the lapping kit to arrive.
 

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Lapping kit arrived

So my lapping kit arrived on schedule on the evening of the 10th of May.

I read the Technical manual and then realized I needed some more supplies before I started.

I went to Bimart and bought a 5/16 hardwood dowel, all of their .357 bore brushes, a copper chore boy scrubber, a pound of Bullseye, and a brick of primers.

Now I am almost ready to "slug" the bore.

I guess I'll have to stick the revolver in my vise - I am a little concerned about squeezing it tight enough to not wiggle/move during the pounding for the slugging - and not marring or bending the revolver frame in the process. Has anyone found a good way to secure the revolver during the slugging process?
 

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how to de-prime without sizing cases

The techical guide for fire lapping said to deprime some cases that were fired in the gun, without resizing the cases. At first I wondered how in the heck am I going to do that? Then I realized that the Lee brand sizing dies are made so you can easily remove the decapping pin & and that they are made tough enough to pound a stuck case out of the dies. So I pulled the decapping rod out of my LEE 357 die - then I grabbed a shell holder so i could set the case in it and it would have a space to allow the primer to be driven out. The shell holder has a small base - so it was kinda wobbly - so I also found another tool to add to the stack. The big black base is a Park Tool bicycle rear cog remover. The shell holder fit into it perfectly - and it allowed a lot of room for spent primers. So I could put case after case in and drive the primer out - without removing it to sweep away the spent primers.
Hmm - i can't figure out how to load the photo - but the description almost stands alone.
 

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Slugging the gun shouldn't involve beating the daylights out of it. I just turn the revolver so that the barrel can be gripped in the vise, with safe jaws made out of wood and then an old towel on top of those. Try not to scrunch up the ejector rod housing ;) I don't bother to take those off but you might feel more comfortable in doing that.

That's what I do..... if you have to hit it very hard, something is wrong. Frankly I wouldn't use a wooden rod as there is a chance of it splitting and jamming in the bore. If using a steel rod makes you uneasy, just wrap a spiral of electrical tape down it to keep it off the bore.
 

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Slug success! Now what laods for fire lapping?

I clamped the revolver into my vise by the top strap - wrapped with heavy leather. Pre lubed both bore and fish weight and set it on top of the muzzle, set a hard wood block on that then whacked it. It took a couple of decent hard whacks to get it into the bore, but once in it slid easily down until the point the barrel is screwed into the frame. Significant contriction there.

I am proceeding to fire lapping - hopefully next weekend.

Does anyone know what the approximate weight of Marshall's lapping bullets are in 357? My powder scale only goes to 100grains :(. I am going to guess they are 158 grains.

So for 158 gr linotype bullets my lyman manual says 4.9 gr Bullseye is starting load for 357 and gives 821 fps. Lyman manual says 2.8 gr Bullseye is starting load for 38 spcl and gives 656 fps. I am thinking of going right between those - 3.8 grains? Does that sound about right?
 

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Lapping compound - will it foul powder?

Hi again,

I just started attempting to apply some of the lapping compound to the lapping bullets. It is very much like a medium weight grease - what is the right amount to leave on the bullet? I am trying to keep the base clean - but I end up wiping some of the grease out of the groove when I do it.

Is it ok to load these up and set them on the shelf for a week or more until I can get to the range to fire them? Or will the grease react with the powder in a bad way?

Thanks,
Rusty
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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You can probably start around 2 grains of Bullseye. Been a while since I lapped a .357 but I think that was in the range of what I used.

Stuff a pinch of dacron (pillow stuffing) between the powder and bullet. Helps.
 

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lapping load powder charge.

Thanks for the information on a lapping charge Mike!

Did you see my other question - about the amount of lapping compound to leave on the bullet, and any negative effects it might have on the powder?

It would seem that the lube groove should be full of the compound - but it is awful soft/messy stuff - just touching it with anything, like a finger or the paper towel i use to clean the base of the bullet - pulls the goop right out of the lube groove. :(

Thanks,
Rusty
 

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Thanks for the information on a lapping charge Mike!

Did you see my other question - about the amount of lapping compound to leave on the bullet, and any negative effects it might have on the powder?

It would seem that the lube groove should be full of the compound - but it is awful soft/messy stuff - just touching it with anything, like a finger or the paper towel i use to clean the base of the bullet - pulls the goop right out of the lube groove. :(

Thanks,
Rusty
I didn't bother to clean the bullets. I left the lube rings filled with compound. Just use dacron on top of your charge and seat bullet in case. Then you can clean case and shoot. It is messy as all get out but it works.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Lube groovess full is fine. Wipe off the base. The pinch of dacron will help keep the compound away from the powder, and helps clean the bore as you go, anyway.
 

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Thanks for the responses guys.

I still have a huge supply of the polyester batting left from when I used it on reduced 444 and 45/70 loads. Glad I have a new home for some of it! Some of the 45/70 loads were so mild - I think I could have picked up the batting and re-used it!

I'll just try to leave as much of the compound on the bullets as will stay there. Handling the bullet to get it seated - some comes off on my fingers, try to only hold it by the nose I guess.

Rusty.
 

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Loaded 75 lapping rounds - and fired them.

Update - I finished loading 75 lapping rounds & made it to the range. Fired 6 shots and realized I forgot my cleaning equipment. :( 90 minutes later i was back at the range with a perfectly clean gun. Proceeded to fire 1 cylinder full (6 shots) and vigorously clean cylinder and barrel - repeated until all 75 rounds fired.

I noticed after about 50 lapping rounds - my lapping loads started to actually shoot a group! (yes I was actually aiming at a target).

I have not finished the final polish or the subsequent 29 shot break in yet - so I am not ready to claim success yet.

The range I shoot at, won't allow me to slug the barrel on the premises. In fact - the gun may only be uncased on the firing line on a hot range - and the muzzle must ALWAYS point at the bullet impact berm. Made cleaning rather interesting!
 

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75 lapping loads was not enough.

I just got back from the range. groups may improved a tiny bit, but not as much as I had hoped. I was also getting leading in that same spot as before - just in front of where the barrel is screwed into the frame.

I took one of the original slugs I made - and pushed it through the barrel - sure enough - it slid real easy right up to the same point as before & I had to use significantly more force to push it past the constriction point.

I guess this means I need to make another batch of lapping bullets. Hmm - I used half or more of the jar of Beartooth lapping compound on the first batch. I hope I have enough left - maybe some local autoparts houses carry the clover brand?
 

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132 more lapping loads prepared.

I used up all the rest of my 2 boxes of lapping bullets and made up 132 loads. Hopefully get to the range this weekend and shoot them all.

I found out that if I pushed down too hard or rolled them too long in the lapping compound - I actually sized the bullets down. :( I have about 3-4 that are just loose in the cases. It happened in the 1st batch I made too. When I was shooting the 1st batch 1 round actually backed out of the case and tied up the cylinder, but I was able to open the loading gate and spin the cylinder backwards and use my finger to "reseat" the bullet and carry on.

If there is still a constriction after this round - I guess I will be ordering more lapping bullets and compound!
 
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