gun show amo

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by mhandley, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. mhandley

    mhandley Guest

    OK I bought this beautiful S&W .357. A model 19-5, a real nickel plated number, with a 5" barrel.

    Fired some Remington 150 grain full metal jacket ammo. All is good.

    Bought a bag of frangible rounds with stainless cartridges at a gun show from a local guy who loads ammo, a pretty big player. This guy had probably 250,000 rounds at the local gun show. All cals, bullet sizes, etc.

    At any rate, I bought a bag of these frangibles. Took the handgun to the range. After double checking my varmint gun, went to the 25 yard lanes.

    The frangible rounds fired great.

    Clicked the cylinder open, and the cartridges are STUCK!

    I managed to push them out with a screw driver, but that's not optimal!

    I thought, "well I'll be darned, these dang cartidges just aren't coming out, I got ripped off.

    Word to the wise.

    I am a metallurgical engineer by education. I made an assumption that the stainless would be atleast as strong as the brass. But that was a bad assumption.

    But from you experts out there - is it in general a bad idea to use stainless cartridges in this circumstance, or is did this guy supply me with inferior cartridges - like thin gage steel for the cartridge?

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. matt g

    matt g Guest

    As a metallurgical engineer, you should know that stainless is 'harder' than brass and therefore deals with stresses, like explosions, by cracking or permanently deforming, whereas, the 'softer' brass will have more spring back and overall resiliency.

    Now, couple the 'harder' steel casings with a powder charge that they weren't designed to contain and you're in potentially a bad place. At the very least, I'd call the guy up and ask "WTF were you thinking?" Something like that can lead to a serious breakage in a firearm. A trip to the ER to have a hammer or cylinder pieces removed from your forehead isn't really worth buying super hot ammo at a cheap price.

  3. hillbilly68

    hillbilly68 New Member

    I'm puzzled with the metal, are you sure it wasn't nickel plated brass? I wouldn't buy reloaded ammo from an individual, period. Some of the bigger manufacturers (eg Remax) are reputable for reloads, but an individual has no responsibility. It is truly shoot at your own risk.
    He probably over loaded the rounds, had nothing to do with the metal (nickel plated brass). Either over loaded, seated the bullet in too deep, etc. Is there evidence of a backed out primer? Are the cases split? Is there evidence of any wear on the unfired ones you still have?
    I wouldn't shoot any more of those things. If you can't get your cash back, throw them away properly.
  4. Righteous

    Righteous New Member

    +1 I agree
  5. mhandley

    mhandley Guest

    A little metallurgy

    Whoa, wait a minute. Let's take it easy. Processing factors such as whether the stainless and brass was cold rolled and therefore work hardened, or annealed, or normalized after cold rolling - all will affect how these metals will react to the force of an explosion.

    The springback effect is a formal metallurgical term that refers to the trip back down the elastic portion of a stress-strain curve. Contrary to your statement about softer brass having more springback, a strong material has more springback than a lower strength material.

    Now a little lesson on mechanics, if the brass is softer, it would deform more readily than a harder stainless material. Whether any material is nearing cracking - otherwise known as - near UTS, is impossible to know without conducting destructive tests.

    With the metallurgy lesson out of the way, I was looking for some info on casing materials, not a lecture.
  6. Goomba

    Goomba New Member


    OK, so how do you properly dispose of unfired ammunition.???
  7. Dgunsmith

    Dgunsmith New Member


    you didn't mention IF the cylinder was clean before you started shooting ?

    IF 38 special rounds had been fired and the cylinder NOT cleaned, it is VERT common to have extraction problems after firing HOT 357 mag rounds as the brass expands and graps the shorter 38 special carbon rings inside the cylinder.

    The extractor rod is how you eject fired cases....not a screw driver !

    You might have to pound on the rod with a piece of wood or a small hammer to loosten the brass.

    If you examine the tool marks left on the extracted cases, you will probably see they expanded into carbon in the cylinder.

    Clean the inside of the cylinder with a brass brush and some powder solvent.
    You may need to use a stainless steel brush if the cylinder is very dirty but use it sparingly.

    Always clean a 357 cylinder before shooting mags IF 38 specials have been fired and it should minimize the ejection problems.

    If not, have the revolver inspected by a gunsmith. Be VERY cautious of RELOADS not done by a commercial reloader with product liability insurance.

    JMHO :D A longtime revolver shooter
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter


    Never heard of stainless steel used for cases. Likely nickle plated brass. Could be a number of causes. Dirty cylinder charging holes (technical term) or maybe rough finish. Clean the cylinder very well and look ant the inside of the charging holes. The nickle may have flaked off leaving an irregular surface. If that is the case the only solution may be to have it re-finshed, good luck with that. There may be a ring of carbon caused by excessive firing of .38's. Try Shooters Choice bore solvent. Take the brush and rotate it inside the charge holes near the front. Do not attach it to a drill. You will cause excessive wear.
    It could be over pressure ammo. Check the fired primers. Excessive pressure will cause flattening of the rounded edges (not really bad) and flow if the primer metal into the gap between the hammer nose (firing pin) and the hole in the frame it protrudes through. Excessive primer flow can be a sign of dangerous overpressure. Pics would help.

    A 5" Smith? I think you should send it to me and I will display it in an appropriate manner. It may be unsafe to shoot so I would be happy to take care of it for you.