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Old 06-10-2012, 14:59   #1
Stonewall308
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A new type of malfunction??

So today I had a malfunction that I have never heard or read about before. It never even occurred to me that it could happen.

I purchased a ruger old vaquero in .357 recently, unfired. I loaded it up for the very first time, six rounds. I fired five shots and was happy with the accuracy. The sixth round I tried to pull the hammer back and it wouldnt go. After two tries I started looking to figure out what was wrong. The sixth round had fallen apart inside the cylinder, and the projectile was protruding from the front of the cylinder. As I was trying to cock the hammer the lead was abutting against the frame of the revolver and thereby preventing it from rotating to the position in front of the barrel.

So because the cylinder on the ruger rotates clockwise (viewed from the grip side), the protruding lead prevented me from taking the cylinder out of the frame. I was hesitant to push it back in for fear of compressing the gun powder and setting it off. All I had was a swiss army knife (I was in the woods in the middle of nowhere), and I couldnt get the lead out the front of the cylinder, so I ended up pushing it back in just far enough to get the cylinder out. After I had the cylinder out, the brass and gun powder fell out the back of the cylinder and I pushed the lead out the front using a twig.

So the question is, this is obviously a malfunction of the ammo, right? Not the gun? The ammo is remington brand.
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Old 06-10-2012, 15:08   #2
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Likely ammo. Bullet pull (or 'creep') isn't unusual in super lightweight revolvers in magnum chamberings with violent enough recoil acting as a kinetic bullet puller.
In a large steel gun like the Vaquero, you shouldn't be experiencing that unless the ammo wasn't crimped properly.
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Old 06-10-2012, 15:10   #3
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Not new,bullet creep. Happens to a lot of magnum revolver shooters
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Old 06-10-2012, 15:14   #4
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I agree with the above. This is "bullet pull", solely an ammunition problem, and nothing new. What type of ammo were you using?

A way to test the ammo is to load six shots and fire only five. Then inspect the sixth round for any signs of bullet pull. If there isn't any, repeat the process, but save the same round again and re-inspect. If there is no sign of the bullet coming loose the second time the ammo is probably good to go.
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Old 06-10-2012, 15:21   #5
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I use the Lee Factory crimp die on all my .454 Casull loads to prevent bullet jump.

It works well. I have some heavy loads that push a 300 grain bullet above 1500 fps and don't budge from the case until the powder gets touched off.

I believe S&W warns against using bullets lighter than 130 grains in their ultra lightweight .357 frames for this reason.
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Old 06-10-2012, 20:04   #6
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All my time reading on guns and shooting, and I have never heard of this.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:14   #7
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Yep, you shoot revolvers long enough, you're probably going to either eventually experience it, or hear of someone else having it happen to them.

I'd usually suspect the use of reloaded/re-manufactured ammunition, but a while back a fellow had it happen several times when he was using a box of new factory ammunition (European ammo maker) while shooting his S&W M36 (which has a steel frame and isn't one of the Airlite Ti/Sc/PD guns).
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:29   #8
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Bullet creep is one of the more common reasons for a stoppage on a revolver.

Grit under the extractor star or just about anyplace in the action can also knock a revolver out of commission. Makes me laugh when people rant about how they would never use an "unreliable" pistol. Never mind that 99% of pistol malfunctions can be cleared by replacing the mag. The main reliability advantage a revolver has is if you have a dud round. I only buy top quality carry ammo and rotate my carry ammo regularly (I shoot a mag full every time I go to the range) and have never had a dud round of my carry ammo.

Many revolver malfunctions require a gunsmiths intervention to clear although there are some you can clear in the field. There is a revolver malfunction drill that anybody who carries one for self defense should be familiar with.

http://www.personaldefensenetwork.co...unction-drill/
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:35   #9
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So today I had a malfunction...

...isn't unusual in super lightweight revolvers...

Happens to a lot of magnum revolver shooters...

...you're probably going to either eventually experience it, or hear of someone else having it happen to them....

Bullet creep is one of the more common reasons for a stoppage on a revolver...
Wait. I thought revolvers were the be-all end-all of reliability? I feel like my innocence is now gone.
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Old 06-11-2012, 20:11   #10
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Not new or unheard of. When the 44 Bulldog came out in the 1970's a lot of reloader learned to crimp their round more.

It is an easy fix if you reload.
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Old 06-11-2012, 21:03   #11
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Never mind that 99% of pistol malfunctions can be cleared by replacing the mag. The main reliability advantage a revolver has is if you have a dud round.

The main advantage is that revolvers don't jam anywhere near as often as autos do, esp in gunfights. The fact that a dud can be advanced with the pull of the trigger vs taking your gun apart is just icing on the cake.
I have had a few jams with revolvers, I can count them on one hand in 20+ years of frequent shooting. Ammo issues are screwed no matter what gun you're using, whether it's setback in an auto or bullet creep in a revolver.
I have experienced bullet pull once in the 325PD, it didn't cause any problems, I just noticed it. There's enough freebore in the cylinder that it wouldn't move enough before getting fired.
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Old 06-13-2012, 18:38   #12
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So is it correct to say that this should be very rare in a .357 because it has less recoil than a .44 and others?

I've never had this happen and it has really shaken my confidence in revolvers, honestly.
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Old 06-13-2012, 18:43   #13
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Not every .357, but it should be rare in a full sized steel Vaquero as .357 doesn't generate the violent recoil needed to pull bullets like it would in a scandium/ti J frame snubby that weighs 12oz.
Your gun weighs over 40oz, shouldn't be an issue with a properly loaded and crimped cartridge.
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Old 06-13-2012, 18:44   #14
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What ammo were you using when it happened?

When something like this happens with a specific type of ammo (reloads, remanufactured or specific brand/production lot of ammo), using different ammo is usually the "fix".
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Old 06-13-2012, 18:56   #15
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I had this happen a few weeks back with a Ruger LCR shooting 158 grain lead round nose Remington ammo in 38 Special.

By fifth round cylinder was locked up tight because of bullet creep. Tried a few more cylinders full and then gave up.

Switched to Winchester 125 grain 38 Special +P and no more trouble.

Heavy bullet resists the recoil and tries to 'stay in place' - moves out of case as it follows gun backwards. Lighter round more likely to follow force of recoil and stay united to casing.




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Old 06-13-2012, 18:59   #16
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BTW - The LCR owner's manual warns of this problem and describes the process that H&K 4 Life recommended above.


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Old 06-13-2012, 19:12   #17
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Yup. I've seen this twice this year. It was game over for those shooters. Most concerning was that one of these failures was in a scandium snubby with factory ammo...
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Old 06-13-2012, 19:50   #18
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The main advantage is that revolvers don't jam anywhere near as often as autos do, esp in gunfights.
I shoot a lot out of both, and Id have to say that stoppages with both are pretty rare occurrences these days, especially if you use decent ammo.

The problem with revolvers is, when you have one, youre usually done until you can get it figured out. Auto stoppages are usually quickly solved with a TRB.

Ive had revolvers stop with the bullet jump issue related here. Ive had them tie up because of primers backing out. Ive had the primers from dud rounds drive the bullet into the forcing cone, which required the round be driven back with a brass rod down the barrel. Ive had lead buildup on the face of the cylinder bind the cylinder so it wouldnt turn. Ive had them stop because of crap under the extractor star, 99% of which which is caused by improper reloading of the gun. Ive had the ejector rod back out and lock up the cylinder, keeping it from opening. Ive had a cylinder fall off because the forward retaining screw in the side plate backed out under recoil. Ive had parts break inside the gun, requiring the gun be taken apart to get the live rounds out to send it back.

All that was over 50+ years of shooting, and in a number of those stoppages, they were multiples, and not just a once time thing. You shoot them enough, hard enough, and youll see some of them too. With things like the ejector rod, and side plate screws, Loc Tite is your friend.
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Old 06-13-2012, 20:15   #19
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Originally Posted by Berto View Post
Likely ammo. Bullet pull (or 'creep') isn't unusual in super lightweight revolvers in magnum chamberings with violent enough recoil acting as a kinetic bullet puller.
In a large steel gun like the Vaquero, you shouldn't be experiencing that unless the ammo wasn't crimped properly.
Berto nailed it on the first response.......

You should still have the case for the cartridge that malfunctioned. Look at it closely and compare it to another cartridge. You should be able to determine if the case was crimped at all.....which is what I suspect. Most jacketed bullets intended for 357 have a crimp groove intended to mate with the crimped case mouth. When the bullet is seated to the correct depth, and the case is crimped, it's darn near impossible for the bullet to slip out of the case during recoil......especially for a heavy Vaquero revolver.

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Old 06-13-2012, 20:50   #20
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Originally Posted by ak103k View Post
I shoot a lot out of both, and Id have to say that stoppages with both are pretty rare occurrences these days, especially if you use decent ammo.

The problem with revolvers is, when you have one, youre usually done until you can get it figured out. Auto stoppages are usually quickly solved with a TRB.

Ive had revolvers stop with the bullet jump issue related here. Ive had them tie up because of primers backing out. Ive had the primers from dud rounds drive the bullet into the forcing cone, which required the round be driven back with a brass rod down the barrel. Ive had lead buildup on the face of the cylinder bind the cylinder so it wouldnt turn. Ive had them stop because of crap under the extractor star, 99% of which which is caused by improper reloading of the gun. Ive had the ejector rod back out and lock up the cylinder, keeping it from opening. Ive had a cylinder fall off because the forward retaining screw in the side plate backed out under recoil. Ive had parts break inside the gun, requiring the gun be taken apart to get the live rounds out to send it back.

All that was over 50+ years of shooting, and in a number of those stoppages, they were multiples, and not just a once time thing. You shoot them enough, hard enough, and youll see some of them too. With things like the ejector rod, and side plate screws, Loc Tite is your friend.
+1. That's one reason why I don't use a revolver when it really counts.
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Old 06-13-2012, 21:04   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak103k View Post
I shoot a lot out of both, and Id have to say that stoppages with both are pretty rare occurrences these days, especially if you use decent ammo.

The problem with revolvers is, when you have one, youre usually done until you can get it figured out. Auto stoppages are usually quickly solved with a TRB.

Ive had revolvers stop with the bullet jump issue related here. Ive had them tie up because of primers backing out. Ive had the primers from dud rounds drive the bullet into the forcing cone, which required the round be driven back with a brass rod down the barrel. Ive had lead buildup on the face of the cylinder bind the cylinder so it wouldnt turn. Ive had them stop because of crap under the extractor star, 99% of which which is caused by improper reloading of the gun. Ive had the ejector rod back out and lock up the cylinder, keeping it from opening. Ive had a cylinder fall off because the forward retaining screw in the side plate backed out under recoil. Ive had parts break inside the gun, requiring the gun be taken apart to get the live rounds out to send it back.

All that was over 50+ years of shooting, and in a number of those stoppages, they were multiples, and not just a once time thing. You shoot them enough, hard enough, and youll see some of them too. With things like the ejector rod, and side plate screws, Loc Tite is your friend.
I believe all of that, but most of those things affect both types of handguns;
Parts break
Primers back out, tie up revolver, break fp in auto.
Dud or primer only ties up revolver, rings or blows up bbl in auto.
Bullet pull, bullet setback....both bad.
Stuff loosens up, stops working...ejector rods, base pins, screws (esp strain screws on the N frame) just as pins, plunger tubes, links, slide stops etc go south in autopistols.

You use anything hard enough and esp neglect cleaning...no gun will make you happy.

Auto stoppages are usually quickly solved with a TRB.



I don't absolutely buy this. FTE's and double feeds are not a TRB fix, and they happen all the time...and as much as it's nice to say "just tap rack bang", it's royally screwed when stuff happens in a moment you really need the gun. There's craploads of documented instances of just that, compared to extreme rarity for revolvers in about a century of police use.
I shoot quite a bit, been doing so for approx 25yrs with all sorts of guns both pistols and autos. I agree guns have improved a bunch and handled right with good ammo, pistols are pretty reliable...until you get into the really small ones.
Not sure how much more shooting or neglect I need to integrate into my shooting to have so many problems with revolvers, but I'll keep trying.
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Old 06-14-2012, 00:26   #22
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As an instructor, I've worked many qual courses-of-fire and practice ranges where folks have been shooting pistols and revolvers over more than 20 years.

By and large, the significant number of stoppages and malfunctions I've seen occur throughout the years have involved pistols.

Yes, there are things that can occur with a revolver that can cause it to stop functioning. These things can be shooter, ammunition and gun-related. (Just as with a pistol.)

However, the optimal functioning of a pistol can more easily be adversely affected by the grip of the shooter. Feeding issues can also occur due to ammunition and magazine issues (weakened mag springs, dirty mags, damaged lips, etc).

Also, just because there are stoppages and malfunctions that can be resolved by the pistol shooter, that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen quickly (enough?).

When someone is intently focused on performing a demanding drill with a pistol, it's often amazing how slowly many shooters are to recognize that a stoppage has even occurred, let alone be able to identify and resolve it in deft and timely manner. It may not seem like very long to the shooter, but when you're an observer with a timer, the length of time involved acquires a different perspective.

There are advantages to using a magazine-fed semiautomatic pistol for a dedicated defensive weapon, obviously.

Unfortunately, I suspect that a dismaying number of pistol owners & shooters might have allowed themselves to develop a false sense of confidence due to these inherent advantages, neglecting the all critical responsibilities of the user.

It's still just a handgun.
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Old 06-14-2012, 00:40   #23
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Blasphemy! Revolvers never fail, unlike those new-fangled bottom feeders.
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