Interesting happening at the range this morning...

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by RevJammer, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    I went to the range with my buddy this morning and one of the guns I took was my Heritage Arms .22 revolver. This revolver is relatively new with only about 100 rounds through it. I fired the first 6 rounds, then a 2nd 6 rounds, when I started on my third cylinder... on the first trigger pull, saw a big(ger) puff of smoke and the loading gate was blown open, leaving a nice powder stain on my trigger finger.

    I knew immediately that something was wrong. I began to unload the weapon and found two expended shells and four unspent rounds. As I started to remove the cylinder so I could double check the barrel, I noticed that the pin that releases the cylinder rod was damaged, I also noticed that this pin was directly in front of one of the chambers in the cylinder.

    Both spent cases were split - one almost from top to bottom. Granted this ammo has some years on it (don't know how old it is) but showed no external signs of any issues. I took the gun to a gunsmith just for a professional opinion, and he said that he could see NO reason the gun would have caused this.

    I am in the process of contacting Federal to get their input. The gun seems to be in safe operating condition except that I need to replace the release and it has a "scar" where the pin contacted the frame.

    Thought I would share here for any input that ya'll might have....


    RJ
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    What about the two case heads? Do both have firing pin indentations?

    Sounds as if one cartridge had a double dose of priming compound which may have led to ignition of the second cartridge?

    Any lead smears?

    Bob Wright
     

  3. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    Only one case had a firing pin indent... Not sure what you mean by "lead smears".

    RJ
     
  4. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Traces of lead from where the bullet skidded past the base pin latch or along the frame or barrel.

    Bob Wright
     
  5. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    None that I could see, looks like it only hit the release pin...

    RJ
     
  6. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    Just to be sure I am with you - did 1 trigger pull result in 2 empty shell cases, one of which had no primer strike??
     
  7. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    From what I would surmise, the first cartridge fired from the firing pin impact, and the case head let go, the escaping gas cutting, and firing, the round in the adjacent chamber. The first bullet went merrily on its way down the bore, while the second shot the base pin latch.


    Ever see a pepper box go "full automatic?"

    Bob Wright
     
  8. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    Merc... you have an excellent grasp of the incident...



    I guess that makes sense Bob... what do you think Federal will say about it?

    RJ
     
  9. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Well, hard to tell. Federal will sure do the right thing, I know, but was it the fault of the ammunition, or the fault of the gun's chamber? My guess is that they will give you a couple hundred rounds of ammunition, maybe a new base pin latch.

    I had some bas .32 H & R Magnums from Federal a few years ago, and they sent me about 200 rounds of ammunition for relacement. No damage was done to my gun, though.

    Bob Wright
     
  10. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How old is the ammunition? 1970's?
     
  11. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    Have no idea....

    RJ
     
  12. tinbucket

    tinbucket Well-Known Member

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    Very unusual for a .22. Either the cylinder chamber is was big or the rims f the .22s were so corroded they had holes at the base. There would have been a lot of green verdris there, most likely. I have a coupld box of Remington .22s from the 1920s. Twenty plus years ago i fired two of the rrounds and not a problem. I am going to say there must be corrosion at the base of the rim or nearby, bad corrossion. Even a plugge bore on .22 would do some tings but not fire the neighboring shell.
     
  13. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    Local Gunsmith checked the cylinder chambers and pronounced them "good to go". No evident issues on the ammo. Not discolored, no debris, they looked factory new (which is what they were).

    RJ
     
  14. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Beat me to it. Old ammo can do werd things .
     
  15. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    What cylinder was in the gun, 22 lr or 22 mag, and what ammo were you shooting, 22 lr or 22 mag? I have seen old rem 22 ammo act similar (as if way over pressure) in a ruger 10/22. I only ask as I had a heritage 22 combo and fired 22 lr in the mag cylinder. I don't think thats the problem here but thought I would ask.
     
  16. RevJammer

    RevJammer Member

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    .22LR cylinder and .22LR ammo....
     
  17. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    A buddy had one of these handguns used to dispatch hogs and critters. Shot only 22 mags in it. He was going to shoot a rattler at there hunt camp and he found the limits of the cheap pot metal frame. Broke the frame at the lower front and top strap at the rear. Replaced it with a ruger.
     
  18. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    There are conditions over which the manufacturer has no control, especially during shipment. I had some ammuntion that had been shipped apparently with a load of caustic material. This led to premature case failure when fired.

    Returned the brass and an analysis determined the cartridges had either been shipped or stored with some caustic material. They replaced my brass, though.

    Bob Wright
     
  19. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    I remember reading about premature ignition in the pepperboxes and early revolvers. (One reason why a radially loaded horizontally rotating cylinder was abandoned). I think that's what happened, a flying spark from the old cartridge detonated the next round out of battery.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  20. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    It had to be more than a "spark." Remember, the old pepperboxes were loaded with loose powder and ball, here we're talking about metallic cartridges.

    The ignition source had to be hot gas, either from the cartridge firing, or an excessive amount of priming compound.

    Bob Wright