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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  The Shootin' Range (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Texas Lawdog)  |  Topic: .38 Special in an 1894 Marlin .357 Carbine 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: .38 Special in an 1894 Marlin .357 Carbine  (Read 14802 times)
Trooper Joe
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« on: December 13, 2007, 10:45:32 am »


Hi Gang--

(Corrected topic--from "1893" to the correct "1894"--Sorry about that--Thanks for bringing this to my attention "Slim". Smiley.

Years ago this issue came up with no real resolution.  I was wondering what experience the CAS shooters have had by using .38 Special in their 38/357 lever guns.

I have taken the liberty to copy the below listed post from the Marlin Owners Forum. The post is very well written and gives you something to think about.

"
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Well, you'll find probably 100 guys that'll tell you that the only problem is a hard fouling build up at the front of the chamber that'll cause 357's not to chamber untill it's scrubbed out. This is true, but "Definitely" not the only problem that can occur from shooting 38's in a 357 chamber.

38's, especially when loaded at lower pressures can "burn" a nice ring into the upper wall of your 357 chamber. I think it's a combination of not enough pressure to seal off the gasses from being forced back past the case mouths, and a powder with a high flame temperature. I'm only speculating on the cause, although from the evidence I've observed in two seperate rifles, I feel sure this is it.

The first rifle was my own(the last one I owned). I had fired pretty much nothing but full house 38 specials through it for at least a couple years when I got the notion that if I found just the right sub-sonic HP load, it'd be perfect for night time predator hunting in populated areas. After several weeks of experimenting I had a very nice cut in the top third of my chamber that matched up perfectly with the case length of a 38 special. This was no "fouling build up", but a "cut" that was a good .003" deep.

It's a shame that I didn't actually notice it at that point. One of the last brainstorms I had whileworking on that perfect sub-sonic load was to trim my 38 cases back to 1 inch, and try a slow burning magnum powder just to see how slow I could really get a .357" bullet to leave the barrel while maintaining a consistent velocity, and some form of accuracy. I shot exactly 50 rounds of these 1 inch cases packed full of IMR-4227. I can't remember the exact bullet, or primer I used now.

After abandoning this quest for the perfect quiet load, I decided to switch back to full house 357 magnums for some reason. I was short on brass, and when I'd fired all I had, I resized them, and noticed a crack in one just about where the base of a seated bullet would be. When I checked the rest, I found that every single one had two shiny rings about a third of the way around them, and about .01" apart. Of course when I checked my chanmber I was shocked to find the reason for it.

The amazing thing was that the shorter cases did more damage in 50 rounds than all the other 38 cases combined. The ring at the end of the 1 inch cases was at least .005" deep or more.

I showed it to quite a few people till a friend of mine told me I was crazy even after seeing it for his self. He bet me that I couldn't duplicate it in his rifle. I loaded up exactly the same load in the 1 inch cases, and proceded to burn exactly the same ring in his barrel.

Sorry so long, but I felt like you, and anybody else that doubts this should at least know what I've found out about the matter.
 
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What do you guys think about this issue?  (I have shot some .38 SPecial rounds in my Marling but I may stop doing that.)

Thanks,

Trooper Joe
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Trooper Joe
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2007, 01:50:45 pm »

I was shooting .38 spl in my '94 Marlin then changed to using .357 cases at the max allowable velocity for SASS.

No problems using either .38 or .357
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2007, 07:52:25 pm »

Most likely if this is a problem, it is from rounds so low pressure they don't seal, the flame hitting at that angle might cause problems because it is directed right at the steel like a cutting torch.  That makes sense to an old welder. Wink
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2007, 02:26:52 am »

I've got 4 Marlin 1894s.  I have shot nothing but 38spl in them.  The oldest one has over 10,000 rounds through it.  None of them have any"rings" or ay other problems in the chamber.  I shoot a 158gr movin at about 750fps so ya know they ain't heavy loads. 
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Delmonico
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2007, 10:05:32 am »

I've got 4 Marlin 1894s.  I have shot nothing but 38spl in them.  The oldest one has over 10,000 rounds through it.  None of them have any"rings" or ay other problems in the chamber.  I shoot a 158gr movin at about 750fps so ya know they ain't heavy loads. 

No, not heavy loads but should have enough pressure to fully seal the chamber.

For an experimint to explain how this works grab a cutting torch and a piece of pipe. (Don't use galvinized, it wile make bad fumes)  Run the torch up the center like a proper sealed load will do, see how long it takes to get hot.  Now turn it slightly so some of the flame is directed at the side of the pipe and see how long it takes to get hot.  Remember even a mouse phart load has a lot more pressure to allow the hot metal to erode.
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Leo Tanner
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2008, 06:13:00 pm »

     Off the Marlin topic but close...  All the liturature on my Vaquero pistol says 357 mag/38 spl, even the stuff direct from Ruger.  The barrel it's self is only stamped 357 mag.  I have had one person tell me to keep away from the 38's for reasons simalar to the above.  Any comments on the dangers of letting my wife fire the smaller rounds through this OMV?


Leo
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2008, 11:51:39 am »

     Off the Marlin topic but close...  All the liturature on my Vaquero pistol says 357 mag/38 spl, even the stuff direct from Ruger.  The barrel it's self is only stamped 357 mag.  I have had one person tell me to keep away from the 38's for reasons simalar to the above.  Any comments on the dangers of letting my wife fire the smaller rounds through this OMV?


Leo

Most cowboys do shoot .38s in their .357.  You will probably ring the cylinders with lead from the .38s being shorter and if you decide to go back to shooting the .357s if the ring is bad you may have to remove it first before you can get the .357 to load but it's not going to permanently harm your gun.
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2008, 06:36:51 pm »

BTW an old brush of the same caliber as the gun and some 0000 steel wool is still the best lead remover I've ever found.
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

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The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Leo Tanner
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2008, 11:40:35 pm »

Thanks.  All cylinders load fine so far, but one of 'em can be a might tough to eject .357 mags.  Beins that it's a used pistol I have no idea what was fired through it regular in the past and if .38s might have anything to do with it.  I'll try the brush and steel wool to see if it makes an improvement.


Leo 
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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


Sam Westley
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2008, 10:23:54 pm »

  Just had to stop by, I have been shootin .38s in .357s fer years, even as a trainer in the military...the best thing I have found to keep my .357 cylinders and (if you can get at it) rifle chambers clear of excess lead and buildup is chamber reamers, like the ones sold by Brownells.
Sam
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N40W111
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2008, 11:41:51 am »

I'm new to CAS but NOT to Marlin 1894C.  I've had two of them and I've never had a problem with them shooting anything I could scrounge up...no rings or chambering problems either.  I shoot both .357 and .38's of all bullet types and loads and I never have any problem at all...maybe I'm lucky by reading some of the horror stories I read here about problems chambering this and that in the Marlin 1894C...mine loves everything I stick in it and I've never had a custom job done on either of my rifles.  Both have had thousands of rounds through them.  Bought my last one at Big 5.  I couldn't be happier with a rifle. Smiley
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WyrTwister
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 10:35:28 pm »

     I load both .38 and .357 brass for a lever gun and a wheel gun .  I load all to .357 OAL , they feed better that way , in the lever gun .

     But I load all at about 75% of the pressure of factory .357 ammo .

     I do not consider this to be a safety issue , since I do not own a gun chambered in .38 Special .

God bless
Wyr

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Leo Tanner
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2010, 03:47:46 pm »

I have a 95 Marlin and it is stamped for both calibers.  It is very quiet with out of the box 38 spl in 158 grain cowboy loads.  It has not caused any damage to the rifle.  It will still load standard 357.  I got hooked on Marlins when I got my 30-30 for hunting and I can say they make a very fine rifle.
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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  The Shootin' Range (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Texas Lawdog)  |  Topic: .38 Special in an 1894 Marlin .357 Carbine « previous next »
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