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forcing cone erosion? bad, ok,?

This is a discussion on forcing cone erosion? bad, ok,? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; i have a service six made in 1985, i just recently found out about forcing cone erosion. i checked mine and it has some, but ...


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Old February 8th, 2015, 11:50 AM   #1
 
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forcing cone erosion? bad, ok,?

i have a service six made in 1985, i just recently found out about forcing cone erosion. i checked mine and it has some, but i wasn't able to get a pic of mine that was viewable. so i found one online that looks kinda like mine, mine isn't hardly as bad as this pic but is close. i shoot 158 grain hollowpoints and softpoints from federal. so with mine similar to this pic what should i do? keep it and shoot as it's not bad, sell or trade to another newer gun that doesn't have erosion? i am not able to have something like this fixed as money is too tight right now. thanks for any help




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Old February 8th, 2015, 11:54 AM   #2
 
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Does it shoot okay? Who said it needs fixing?
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Old February 8th, 2015, 12:04 PM   #3
 
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gun shoots great, most accurate handgun i've ever owned. a friend this morning was telling me how older guns have erosion and when i looked mine does. he said it could cause a cone to crack. but i wanted to others advice that have seen this before.
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Old February 9th, 2015, 04:00 AM   #4
 
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You could get the forcing cone recut for a small fee at your local gunsmith.
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Old February 9th, 2015, 06:14 AM   #5
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It is the best shooting handgun you ever owned, doesn't sound like the finances are in good shape at the moment and the pic isn't even of your handgun so why in the world worry about it? The Six is a great handgun, shoot it and enjoy it.
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Old February 9th, 2015, 06:55 AM   #6
 
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The fix is not to recut the forcing cone. Removing enough metal to clean up the erosion would leave it with an incredibly large forcing cone and create more problems than it solves.

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The correct fix is to set the barrel back, reface the barrel (removing eroded bits, then re-cut the forcing cone. It's a pretty complex job that requires specialized tool and a very talented revolver smith who knows what he's doing.

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With this level of erosion I would not be worried. If it starts to increase and gets to the point it's a significant portion of the way across the barrel face (1/3rd, 1/2, etc), then I'd consider getting it fixed. As it is, it has a lot of life left in it with .357 Magnum loads, and essentially unlimited life with .38 Special loads.

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High pressure loads and in particular, high pressure loads with ball powders, seem to accelerate forcing cone erosion. Any powder will potentially create gas cutting, but the problem is thought to be worse with slower burning powders where a portion of the powder is still in a granular state as it goes past the cylinder gap.

In the .357 Magnum 125 gr bullets seem to get most of the blame, with the theory being that heavy charges of slow burning powders used to propel them combined with the shorter bearing surface of the 125 gr bullet compared to a 140 gr or 158 gr bullet results in more time available for gas cutting, and that greater time exposure results in greater heating of the steel, and theoretically more erosion. Add 125 grain bullets with stiff charges of a ball powder like Win 296 and you theoretically have more potential for throat erosion.

Slow powders of any kind pose more of a threat than fast powders and ball powders, given how they burn, have the potential to be more abrasive. I do know that Win 630 had a horrible reputation for gas cutting and was discontinued because of it. But I'm not sure how much worse a ball powder like Win 296 is over other slow burning powders.

I'm not convinced that 125 gr bullets are any worse than 110 gr bullets, 130 gr bullets or 140 gr bullets. I think they take the rap because some of the most popular law enforcement loads in the .357 magnum used 125 gr bullets, and they were in use in the late 60's and early 70's around the same time that police department started training with .357 Magnum loads instead of just carrying .357s and training with .38 Special.

This steady diet of full power .357 loads had a negative effect on the S&W Model 19 revolvers that were very popular at the time. The Model 19 has the lower edge of the barrel milled off to provide clearance for the yoke, and that thin spot in the barrel face increases the potential for a cracked forcing cone, particularly if barrel erosion starts thinning this area further, while adding stress risers in the form of the V shaped gas cuts.

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If you want to reduce throat erosion, stay with lower pressure loads and stick with faster burning flake powders.
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