Is your S&W prone to flame cutting?

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Mercator, May 12, 2020.

  1. Mercator

    Mercator Well-Known Member

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    Didn’t know about flame cutting until I researched Model 27. Did not notice any on my GP100 or the Pythons or the 686.

    So it’s when the cylinder gap allows the flame to get around the cylinder face and onto the side where it leaves indelible burn marks. Does anyone’s SW do that , and is it a problem at all?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  2. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know all revolvers will do it eventually. It isn't a problem as much as it is a condition; like wear. You can minimize it with minimum cylinder gap clearance and light loads.
     
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  3. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    It was a “problem” that only became an issue when Ruger started selling .357 Maximums which used to cut the top strap viciously. It was a self limiting problem (it only went so far and then stopped) and it never got to the point where the gun was unsafe, but it was the death of the gun and cartridge. Some revolvers are somewhat prone to it like the S&W scandium guns and a few come with a replaceable shield in the usually affected area. Don’t have any guns that have exhibited any flame cutting but all my guns have tight gaps and I only shoot factory ammo in them.
     
  4. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    Shoot a steady diet of full power .357 mags in a SW yep the back strap will be toast. Seen it a,few times on my ex bro in laws SW 357.
    Ruger security six I had then buried two of his SW shooting hot 357 loads.
     
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  5. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    Years ago when we were living in Colorado a guy I knew was shooting really hot H-110 powder loads in his Python, I warned him that he was going to ruin the Python because the backstrap was really getting flame cut and as far as I was concerned, I wouldn't have bought it, certain powders, like H-110 and probably 296 really put out a lot of flame, I've seen huge fireballs come out of the barrels. I use mostly 296 in my Redhawk and have only had very minimal flame cutting, the best powder I've used is Accurate #9, it burns clean and doesn't show much flame coming from the cylinder gap, the only problem is that I seldom see the powder in reloading supply stores and I already have an 8 pound can of unused 296 to take care of my .44 reloading for years to come. Yeah, don't get all carried away by always shooting the hottest load possible because you can also pound your favorite revolver to pieces as well as ruining it with a huge flame cut.
     
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  6. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    Just a small point. It’s the TOP strap of the frame that gets damaged.
     
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  7. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    I've seen the barrel get flame cutting around the forcing cone as well, certain powders can be like sand blasting to the top strap and barrel gap. I've used moderate loads of 296 behind 245 grain Elmer Keith SWC hard cast lead bullets in my Redhawk since I bought it in the mid 80's, hundreds of rounds shot and the barrel, top strap and function are as good as when I got it. I have seen Colts and S&W's with bad flame cutting, but the owners told me that they had used very hot loads and I told them to back off or they would just be owners of junk or perhaps have one blow up.
     
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  8. rock185

    rock185 Active Member

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    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 3:21 AM
  9. rock185

    rock185 Active Member

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    Not a problem. I shot my S&W 1972 production model 66 a lot over a period of several years, most all Magnum ammo. I wore it out and sent it to S&W for overhaul. They replaced everything except the frame and side plate. It had noticeable gas cutting. It still has the same frame, with the same gas cutting. I still shoot it when the mood strikes, with no concern whatsoever about "gas cutting". I have a 1976 production model 27, purchased new. It has etching/gas cutting to the top strap. I have no concern about it whatsoever. I'll report it to the internet as soon as gas cutting causes any issues with these 44 and 48 year old S&W revolvers. Probably let go any time now;)
    66, 1972 (6).JPG Model 27 (2).JPG
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 3:23 AM
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