Revolver chambering issues with cast bullets, article two, the plan to fix it.
This is article two of a series on my Dan Wesson revolver. It outlines the problem and decision making process to arrive at the solution. Observe, identify and correct.
Article one outlines the problem with my Dan Wesson 44 magnum cylinder throats. I have made the decision to fix the throats. I don’t want a revolver with different sized throats, whose diameter is smaller than the bullet is sized at, that are poorly cut. We make premium cast bullets and this revolver will shoot them well when we are done!
To clearly identify the problem we will use pin gauges to determine the exact diameter of each chamber and throat. When the pin gauge is inserted in the throat end of the cylinder we will look down from the chamber end to see if the pin gauge is centered in the chamber. We will check the chamber diameter and roundness too. Based on inserting loaded ammo into the chambers I don’t expect to find any problems with them.
Throat reamers will only correct problems with throat diameter. They are designed to be guided by a pilot bushing in front of the reamer that will align the reamer with the throat. Under ideal conditions the throats are centered and cut smooth. If this were the case I would have purchased multiple sized pilot bushings and used them. You simply select the pilot bushing that fits the throat diameter and passes thru without sticking. The reamer, inserted from the chamber end, will properly align and cut the throats.
My research shows that the pilot in front of the reamer may not be the best solution for guiding the reamer. What if the throats have a rough finish and the bushing selected has to be smaller than desired to pass thru properly? What if the throat isn’t centered on the chamber or cut exactly straight? Think of any issue that may exist in the throat that would cause the reamer to take an undesired path. Instead what I will do is drill the bottom of a trimmed to length case. I will insert this modified case into each chamber and use it to guide the reamer on center with the chamber. I will have to check the fit to determine if the case should be sized or fired. I need a tight fit from the chamber to the case and the case to the reamer. Perhaps it will require a partially sized case. When I get to this stage of the process I will again have to observe, identify and correct to get my rear guide correct. Another advantage to running the reamer thru the case is protection for the chamber. With the reamer inside of a case that extends the length of the chamber there is little chance of damaging it.
With the reamer sized at .431 it will be ideal for shooting cast bullets. If they offered a reamer sized at .430 I would have selected it instead. However one wasn’t offered and I believe what I have will work just fine. As a rule of thumb cast bullets are .001 or larger in diameter than jacketed ones in the same caliber. I don’t want the cylinder throats to squeeze the cast bullet down before they hit the forcing cone. If you have a revolver with the same problems as mine you will have to decide what to do. The purpose of this article is to inform you of what I chose to do and what the outcome was.
Next in our series will be the actual measurements and fitting of the case to guide the reamer.
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