380 cracked cases

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by edteach, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. edteach

    edteach Member

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    I just got back from the range shooting one of my 380s. After about 50rds I noticed that about 1/3 the cases were split. here is a photo of a few. I will not say what make the gun was, many will either excuse it because they like it or condemn it because the hate it and I do not want a biased opinion. The gun functioned flawlessly. The ammos was Fiocchi 380 95gr. It seemed a bit hot as the gun jumped more than I remembered it jumping and I had to hold on with both hands. It is a mouse gun but I do not remember it jumping like that. Any opinions will help, thanks.
     

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  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Do you have pictures of primers? How is it with other .380 ammo? Most splits like that are from brass that has been overworked.
     

  3. edteach

    edteach Member

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    Primers were fine. The rounds were new not reloads or I would have thought the same. But it did kick hard. I wonder if it was hot loads? Nothing on the box said they were.
     
  4. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    Is the chamber damaged in the gun?
     
  5. edteach

    edteach Member

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    No the chamber is fine.
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    What does the vendor say?
     
  7. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Ed,

    Could have been the wrong powder but as you know you should see pressure signs on the primes. *Preaching to the Choir here, just thinking!
    I had an agency call the other day about two of their ARs blowing up or as we call it in the industry a "Catastrophic Event"! One was a Bushmaster and I forget what the other one was I think it was a Colt but anyway they blew up withing 5 minutes of each other.
    We started evaluating by telephone as he stopped the training! "GOOD MOVE" and advised he purchased the ammunition form a local dealer they normally buy from and was all from the same Case and Brand. Then I ask if they were reloads and he advised not they were new. We went through the drill of die marks on the cases and etc. So I had him go through the case and look at the boxes they were all the same brand and etc. Then I had him look at the head stamp on the casings and guess what! They were all various manufacturers in several of the boxes. "RELOADS SOLD AS NEW". In your case I would try another brand and or lot of 380s in your pistol. It could be that the casing processing on the FIOCIs were not correct. That is kind of what it looks like. Are there any visible signs on the unfired rounds of case mouth stretch or slight splits. If the ammo test works for you it was the casings. I hope they are not as dirty as some FIOCI 9mms I had for my grandsons AR.

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  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    how old is your recoil spring?? lots of small guns need frequent spring replacement every 500-1000 rounds. combinition of slightly hotter loads with a weakened spring on a direct blowback weapon MIGHT make the slide come back just fast enough for the case to still be under higher pressure to cause uniform splitting as they emerge from the chamber.

    just taking a poke. im prolly wrong
     
  9. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    After a second closer look and I am not doubting you one bit because you bought them as new. But from the semi-blurry picture and what seems like a distinct line on the side of them sure look like either reloads or maybe the dirty element from the ammunition powder that I mentioned may have had your chamber all grungy? Seems like something also made a horizontal mark/s on all casings at exactly the same location if you look closely. Could just be the picture since there is some glare and a little fuzzy. As stated just clean your barrel and chamber and try another brand of ammunition. This will tell you immediately. I do not think it is your pistol.
    Good Luck!

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  10. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    It sounds like you got ahold of a bad batch of ammo. It could be powder screwup or brittle brass. DO NOT shoot any more of it. Try other ammo that you know will work ok. If it has the same problem then it's your chamber.
     
  11. edteach

    edteach Member

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    I am leaning to the idea of it being the ammo. It did not do this on any other ammo that I put through it. The ammo is about 15 years old. Has anyone ever heard of ammo gaining potency over time?
     
  12. edteach

    edteach Member

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    It is a new gun and has had less than 300 rounds through it. Should not matter what gun it is though and I know some will jump to blame the make or model or to excuse it because of biase.
     
  13. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Not sure why you're being so secretive about the gun but I'd still suspect something about the gun's chamber is out of specs. To crack, the brass must have room to expand...
     
  14. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    This may be a stupid question...but the gun is a .380 right? You are not trying to shoot .380 out of a 9mm are you? You do know that the chambers are not the same size right? I am not trying to insult you. I don't know your level of expertise.

    I am mainly asking because you don't want to tell us the type of gun.
     
  15. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I have to agree with Rick. The cases do not look like they were supported all the way. The 9mm is not straight walled like the .380ACP. the lower 3rd of the case looks like they were not supported.

    If this was a test of using the incorrect ammo in a firearm, please don't do that again.

    You may get lucky once.
     
  16. edteach

    edteach Member

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    Yes the gun is a 380 and Yes I know the difference. The gun is a Ruger LCP that I borrowed from a friend of mine to see if I wanted one. I know that many are either giving this gun a pass on anything or demonizing it for the smallest thing and I wanted an unbiased ideas of what may be wrong. I own a TCP and have heard a lot about the LCP being superior. I still do not think this is the guns fault. It did not happened to the owner before and it was my old box of Fiocci ammo I used. It was all factory no reloads.
     
  17. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    It looks to me like a weak spring allowing it to open too fast, a chamber that is not the correct size, or the ammo was way too hot for the cases it went into. I'm not a Ruger basher but I would want to have a gunsmith look at it and check the chamber and recoil spring. If the spring is bad you could end up with frame damage aswell as funky cases. I've not heard much bad about the LCP but as inexpensive 380's go I lean more to a Bersa. It's a snappy round in a really small pistol. So the margin for an error is not much.

    If that is no what you want to do just yet look for another brand of ammo and see what happens then. It might have just been a batch of bad cases. But I would want to try another brand of ammo first thing. But one swelled or cracked case again and it needs to see the smith. And fast.
     
  18. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    Really. Quit acting like these are state secrets.

    Who really cares if someone comes in here and says LCP is crap.

    Here's a no brainer....... TRY IT WITH DIFFERENT AMMO.
     
  19. edteach

    edteach Member

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    Ruger sent a return label, but I still think its the ammo. When I shot it I even got some spray from the ejection. So it could be a weak spring not holding it closed long enough for the pressure to reduce. Will its not a state secret, but I know how people are about defending or deriding a gun on a name instead of on the facts. When I owned my Sigma the posts were horrible against this gun just because it was the "cool" thing to do. I really don't see why its important to know the manufacture anyway. The principals of operation are the principals of operation.