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Thread: Rebore .351 to .357

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  1. #11
    Member fritz1255's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
    Lee sells custom bullet sizing dies. You can order one in 351 or 352. That's what I did. It can be used for either cast or jacketed bullets.
    What I meant to say is that a larger bullet like 357 can be swaged down to 351 or 352 using one of these dies


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  3. #12
    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    If you have a nice bore and chamber in your 351 SL why not restore it back to original configuration ? Numrich sells buffers and Wolff has springs plus repro
    wood is available. Some shooters are using the 360 S&W to forum brass while some get by with 223 brass if it will work in your rifle. You could blue it yourself
    or have someone blue it close to original color

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  5. #13
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    I’ll definitely be purchasing reproduction wood for it.
    I won’t be rebluing it. The finish isn’t that bad.

    As far as the caliber, I have no desire to start reloading. It just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

    If I can perform a one-time conversion that operates reliably and safely (I realize that part is up for debate still) and allows me to shoot 38 Super for 30 cents a round...well that sounds like a fun project!

    Thanks for the input though. These are good looking and interesting rifles that don’t get the attention they deserve.

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    Member fritz1255's Avatar
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    These rifles are relatively inexpensive compared to other US made rifles of the same vintage mostly because ammo is unavailable. I have no idea whether converting to 38 Super would work, but reloading is the only alternative for 351 WSL. Just be aware that your rifle has to be able to feed and eject as well as shoot 38 Super cartridges, so you may end up having to reload anyways to get your rifle to function properly.
    Last edited by fritz1255; 10-30-2019 at 07:37 AM.

  7. #15
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
    Just be aware that your rifle has to be able to feed and eject as well as shoot 38 Super cartridges....
    Making that work is the fun part!

  8. #16
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
    to feed and eject
    I had no trouble there at all. It never failed that. The bolt face was good like it was. I expect the 38 super will be even better as it has even more snap and is longer than 9mm.
    Regards, Jim

  9. #17
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I expect the 38 super will be even better as it has even more snap and is longer than 9mm.
    Exactly and exactly my thoughts.
    Other than being shorter, the 38 Super is almost a dimensional clone of the 351. It's just a touch bigger throughout. I will not be surprised if it drops in without putting a reamer in the chamber, actually.

    I'm going to pick up some ammo this evening and see how it fits -- the takedown feature will make this safe and easy to try!

  10. #18
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    It'll probably hammer in with the forward energy of the whole slide though. Minor swage...get a box and give it a try on singles or mag fed... I had some that chambered up in a model 10 HB that I had, fired just like factory .38 Spl+P... Try and see...worst case is a slight ream, that would be a 9mm ream anyway isn't it? Maybe 9x21?
    Regards, Jim

  11. #19
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    As expected, the 38 Super drops in all on it's own. Literally I can drop it into the chamber and it settles right in.
    I can also get two or three to feed in from the magazine with no modification at all.

    So the next hurdle is the magazine.

    My (somewhat megalomaniacal) vision for the project is a three-parter:
    1. Cheaply get these rifles shooting a cheap, off the shelf, caliber.
    2. Feed from an outwardly original magazine that has been modified internally so as to not ruin the original aesthetics of the rifle.
    3. Lighten the rifle.

    Part three is a fun one I've been doing some research on.

    A fella named Newton had something to say about it. With all reactions having an equal but opposite reaction I'm able to calculate the speed at which the bolt is moving after firing.
    Ignoring the spring for the moment, I obtained load data of the original round and also weighed the bolt.

    *Bolt Weight = 38.7 Ounces
    *Original Bullet Weight = .4114 Ounces
    *Original Load Velocity = 1,870 ft/s
    Since the .4114 ounce bullet is moving at 1,870 ft/s, we can calculate that the 38.7 ounce bolt is moving backward at 19.87 ft/s.

    Here comes the fun part:
    *38 Super Bullet Weight = .2857 Ounces
    *38 Super Velocity = 1,200 ft/s.
    This load with a 38.7 ounce bolt would clock the bolt movement at 8.86 ft/s.

    Apparently though, the design can handle 19.87 ft/s. By starting with the 38 Super data and working toward a 19.87 ft/s bolt speed, we see that I would need a bolt weighing only 17.25 ounces! A reduction of 21.45 ounces!!

    Now, obviously I don't want to hot rod the ol' girl and with a .357" bullet in a .351" barrel I may be getting more than the published velocity out of that 38 Super.
    Still, if I aim for a bolt travelling at 15 ft/s, I'm still reducing the bolt weight by about a pound.

    Published data on the rifle puts the total weight at 7.5 to 8 pounds.
    So it looks possible to convert these to 38 Super and reduce the weight to 6.5 pounds. That would be a sweet little rifle.

    My next step is to find a bit of land where I can tie this thing to a stump and fire off some rounds. I need to observe extraction and ejection before adding in any more money.

    Project Cost Tally Thus Far: $150
    Last edited by rcathey; 10-30-2019 at 11:10 PM.

  12. #20
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I reduced the slide weight by transverse drilling large holes and made it considerably lighter.

    The new magazine could be held inside the original by a couple ways and then you have the original look. Maybe you could use a block at the back of the original and hold cartridges forward. Maybe you need to add feed lips at the front, I forget what the original looks like. An insert mag would be from a Gov't model...

    You can't lighten the rifle up without changing things outwardly. Don't worry about tying it to a stump, just arms length for the first couple. You'll see. I held mine and watched it cycle...
    Regards, Jim

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