|Coyote Cap posted the best explanation for these blow ups
OK, here we go !
Not many are going to want to hear this, especially the factories and
gunsmiths that have been
around for a lot of years and do supersmooth action work.
While doing experiments into this blow-up problem, I accidentally came upon
the cure a couple years (and 300,000 rds) ago this August. It is kind of like
searching for the cause of cancer and stumbling upon the cure. I got real
excited,and then down, when so many well respected shooters laughed at the
explaination I gave them. I shelved my thoughts, (except to (7) close
friends) until just recently when all thoughts came together for the CAUSE
and BOTH CURES. We now have enough combined rounds loaded and successfully
fired to prove my theory.
I let a whole bunch of cats out of the bag at EOT (see the posting about
Kanada Kid not getting his Colt) when I could not hold it in any longer. I
confronted all the factory reps about the problem and both cures. At first I
got the usual stone silence. That is until I showed them how every gun on
their displays I could accidentally (on purpose) over-rotate the cylinder and
fire the gun misaligned with the forcing cone and barrel. All of a sudden,
they got real interested and called in their gunsmiths (who could not
duplicate what I did).
7 grs. of whatever X (3) = 21 grs. of trouble
250 grs of whatever X (3) = 750 grs. of pure hell on the frames of .44 & .45
The hand spring is too light and allows the cylinder to spin too fast and
over-rotates to the point when the hammer is dropped, it contacts the left
edge of the primer and discharges the round out of battery. That round splits
in the forcing cone and frame, causing the lead to slam backwards into the
adjoining cylinders left and right. This action pushes each adjoining rounds
bullet backward into the case and discharges these rounds also, which also
impacts the frame on both sides. (hence, the 750 grs. of impact all at once).
What you have here was ONE load of 21 grs of powder, with a 750 gr. bullet.
The noise was incredible, the recoil dislocated the finger and shrapnel from
the rebounding (brass casings) lacerated the hands. The barrel was bent down,
the REAR of the backstrap was torn upwards and the ejector housing and rod
were torn off. Because the cylinder walls are thinner on .44/.45's, than
.38/.357's, they could not take the punishment of three rounds going off at
the same time into the frame. The two remaining rounds had the bullets almost
pulled out of them from Kinetic energy, and most probably where sticking out
of the bottoms of the remaining cylinders. Because there was (2) rounds
remaining and the whole top of the gun was gone, and the explaination states
that it was the SECOND round that did the damage, must mean that the shooter
accidentally fully loaded (6) rounds into the gun, firing one, then
over-rotating the second and hitting the left edge of the third, which
discharged all three, (the second, third and forth rounds). Or else, it was
the FIRST round over-rotation that struck the primer on the RIGHT side of the
SECOND round, that would have caused all THREE to take off at once. If I were
to advise the shooter about what happened, I would have the hand spring and
star wheel checked out first, BEFORE sending the gun to the factory.
I think they owe him a new gun. (unless he had an action job done, and the
gunsmith lightened the hand spring and polished the star wheel too much in an
effort to get the cylinder to spin real fast).
(1) Obviously the factories have got to slow down the cylinders on all
revolvers and gunsmiths have got to learn not to slick them up so much that
the cylinders spin too freely. Because the hand works on the lever principal,
the difference in action work is almost unnoticable.
(2) Get the chamber pressures under control by using a filler between the
powder and bullet. This also fills the dead air space in each casing and
prevents an accidental discharge from forcing the other adjoining bullets
backwards into the cases.
Don't have your friend take all those rounds apart. He won't find the cause
Interestingly, I was watching a lady shooter who would cock her husbands .38
Colt and hear a click each time she fired it. Her husband got mad and accused
her of cocking the gun wrong, so he showed her by firing the gun each time.
He reloaded and she did it again. They were shooting .38's so none of the
primers were hit on the side accidentally. She got mad at him and the gun and
gave up shooting cowboy. This is where I got the idea for the cause of these
accidental discharges. (so, I can't claim it is my own idea).
By the way, I took the lady aside and talked to her and showed her what she
was doing wrong, plus a few other pointers.
She is back shooting again AND beating the pants off her husband. What she
was doing, was to cock the gun quickly for the first 1/3rd of the way back
and then slow down the rest of the way. (She was apprehensive about shooting
What I showed one of the factory venders at EOT was to take an empty unprimed
casing, place it in the bottom cylinder of one of their display guns, do the
lady cocking trick and the empty case would rotate almost 180 degrees around.
Gomer Pyle said it well (surprise, surprise)
I guess I better post the results of the test loads we all used in the other
1/2 of the cure to this blow-up problem.
A note of interest here, we feel these loads will change the safety aspect of
Not only are they extremely clean burning, but accuracy is improved.
I gave some more (test) rifle and revolver ammunition to Ben Amonette (of
Alliant Powder) at EOT to do some more pressure testing before we publish our
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