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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought and used one of those 357/38 Flex-Hones for revolver cylinder chambers, (with cylinder removed from frame).
I didn't even need to use My drill press for the honing, just My battery powered drill motor, set on a lower speed.
Using a small amount of honing oil in each opening, within just minutes, the cylinder bores were very smoothly polished.
After wiping the bores clean, I test fitted a bunch of different rounds, which now dropped into the chambers with a normal feeling amount of clearance.
Those same loads, before honing the chambers, wouldn't seat without thumb pressure, and after firing, the 38 special mtys ejected without an issue, 357's were always tight.

I didn't re-blue the bores yet, because I need to range test the handgun with some magnum loadings.
I'm very pleased with the results though, and it only cost about $25 for the re-usable hone. :D

The handgun btw, was one of My Colt Trooper Mark IIIs.
 

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I didn't re-blue the bores yet

I wouldn't recommend or bother trying to blue the chambers.
The only reason chambers are blued is because it's just easier for the factory and bluing has no adverse affects on the chambers, so they save time and money by not having to plug the bore or chambers.
In other words, the chambers and bore aren't blued for any reason other than because it's easier and causes no harm.

If you're intending to use a cold blue, cold blue will cause trouble with actually promoting rust and in any case won't last long. I'd just clean the chambers and keep a light coat of oil in them as normal.

For those considering buying one of these ball hones, make VERY SURE you buy the special honing oil that is sold for them. Normal oils and honing oils don't work and the hone destroys itself.
A discussion on another forum some months ago asked what substitute would work, and no one could offer anything else that worked. Several people had experimented with other lubricants without success.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't re-blue the bores yet

I wouldn't recommend or bother trying to blue the chambers.
The only reason chambers are blued is because it's just easier for the factory and bluing has no adverse affects on the chambers, so they save time and money by not having to plug the bore or chambers.
In other words, the chambers and bore aren't blued for any reason other than because it's easier and causes no harm.

If you're intending to use a cold blue, cold blue will cause trouble with actually promoting rust and in any case won't last long. I'd just clean the chambers and keep a light coat of oil in them as normal.

For those considering buying one of these ball hones, make VERY SURE you buy the special honing oil that is sold for them. Normal oils and honing oils don't work and the hone destroys itself.
A discussion on another forum some months ago asked what substitute would work, and no one could offer anything else that worked. Several people had experimented with other lubricants without success.
Thank You!
We'll leave 'em nekkid then. ;)
 

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No.
These are hones made up of a series of small ceramic balls. They're used only for polishing holes like chambers to a finer, smoother finish. They aren't intended to remove large amounts of metal, but if over used can ruin a chamber.
To convert one caliber pistol chamber to another requires a chamber reamer.

I was once told by another gunsmith who worked in upper Michigan that he'd seen several Winchester lever action rifles "Re-chambered" by Billy Bobs who lived and worked the woods by using a "rat tail" round fie to file the chamber out.
He said they considered the job acceptable as long as the cases ONLY split when fired. Since they didn't reload, no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Finally took My Trooper Mark III which had tight chambers (prior to honing), to the range.
Shot a box of home brewed 38 special cast lead loads, inter-mixed with a box of factory loaded Sellier & Bellot 357 magnums.
All fired cases easily ejected from the cylinder bores of the revolver.

fwiw: I continue to admire S&B ammo for it's excellent performance, plus it's very clean burning propellant and primers. :cool:
Now, to find a .22 sized chamber hone for My S&W model 17.....which also has tight chambers.
 

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The factories have some sort of specialized .22 chamber hone, but I don't know what they use.

What most gunsmiths use is to make up a brass rod with a slot down the center. Insert FINE abrasive cloth in the slot then wrap it around the rod.
Chuck it up in a drill and run at slow speeds in the chamber just like the honing tool.
You want really fine abrasive cloth, often sold as crocus cloth, or even finer.

You have to be careful of the sharp step in the chamber so as not to damage anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The factories have some sort of specialized .22 chamber hone, but I don't know what they use.

What most gunsmiths use is to make up a brass rod with a slot down the center. Insert FINE abrasive cloth in the slot then wrap it around the rod.
Chuck it up in a drill and run at slow speeds in the chamber just like the honing tool.
You want really fine abrasive cloth, often sold as crocus cloth, or even finer.

You have to be careful of the sharp step in the chamber so as not to damage anything.
Many Thanks for the excellent tip!
Will do, and yes, I keep crocus cloth around just for those special projects.

Another method I was thinking about was to use a clean wool oiling tip on a .22 cleaning rod, and use Simichrome or Flitz polish as the medium.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Simichrome is an excellent product but it will REMOVE bluing! Be careful. Nick
The blueing inside the chambers will be going away, no doubt.
However, I'll be extra careful with the exterior of the cylinder regardless of the method used to smooth the chambers.
 

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Metal polish may shine the chamber but it really can't smooth the chamber.
There's a difference.

You might give a metal polish a shot first, it may be enough.
 
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