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Discussion Starter #1
So I went to a local gun club Saturday with a club member and fired off a bunch of .38 rounds from my old model 66. Had a great time and the gun did phenomenal! Had another friend there who was newer to guns and asked the difference between the .38 and the .357, so I loaded one of each consecutively and handed him the gun. He fired off both and made the "hand cannon" comment, then handed the gun back to me. I unloaded the two empty casings and noticed the casing on the .357 was cracked from the top of the case down, about 3/4 of the way. I quickly inspected the gun for damage, but couldn't find any, and when I cleaned the gun, didn't see any problems.

The .357 round was from a box of Sellier & Bellot .357 ammo. I was under the impression that these were decent rounds, but I'm not sure whether to keep firing these or not. The box came from a friend of mine as a gift last fall, and I went out and shot half the box at the time with no problems. I inspected the rest of the ammo today, and the ammo looks normal to me.

So my questions are, what causes this, does it damage the gun, and should I ditch the rest of the box?

Thanks!
 

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I pick up range brass every time I go to the range. I always find some with cracked cases. Seems to me most of them are nickel cased 9mm and .357 mag both nickel and brass. I never looked at the head stamps to see who they were from, and there is no way of knowing if they were reloads or not.

I personally would not worry about it unless they were unknown reloads, which I wouldn’t shoot in the first place.
 

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It happens, with factory ammo usually the only presumptive explanation is it's defective brass. If it happened again I'd stop, but in any event it's unlikely to do any harm. I'd also toss that brass and not reload it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for the quick response! I will use the rest of the loads and watch for any more defects.
 

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Are the rest of the cases from that box bulging noticeably? If so, they may be out of spec (undersized), or the brass may be too thin.
 

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a lot of variables but normally in a factory new ammo its simply a bad brass case or bad batch of brass if you have several split cases.
but causes can be from over powered rounds, loose cylider(s) in the gun, undersized case, but again normally its just a bad piece of brass.
 
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