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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While practicing last week using a mix of plated and lead bullets loaded down to about 115PF in 38spl cases I had the following happen and not for the first time. Grit got under the star exrtractor and the cylinder wouldn't close. Problem was solved with a cleaning brush. I keep this area dry with no lubrication. This happens after less than 50 rounds. I have had it happen before with this gun yet never with a S&W. Is there something in the Ruger design that causes this to happen or is it just a fluke and likely won't happen again soon.

Take Care

Bob
 

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Never happened to me with my GP and I've run 100's of rounds through it at a time. Is your powder extra dirty? Does the extractor sit perfectly flush normally?
 

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If you are using loaded down 38 Specials, it could be unburned powder getting under the extractor. Some powders do not burn good at the lower pressures of reduced loads. If this keeps happening try another powder. I have not had this happen with any of my GP-100's, but I use higher pressure loads.
 

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Has happened to me, every now and then at the range, shooting bulk 158 grain 357s. Just a matter of cleaning out the gunk under the star, now and then. In my case, the cylinder would still latch shut, but the cylinder wouldn't turn as easily as it normally does. Don't know if there is a cure, but I can live with cleaning as needed in an otherwise super revolver.
 

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Unburned powder would be my bet as well. I've had this happen to S&W snubbies when shooting lots of +P out of them - not fun when you're trying to qualify. It's not uncommon at all for revolvers, and not unique to Ruger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. I'll live with it and carry a brush in my bag when I am close to a safety area and there is a break in the action.

Take Care

Bob
 

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An old revolver trick that some cops used was to have the barrel pointed straight up when they punched the ejector rod. Most of the unburned powder grains stay in the cartridge case this way and are less likely to fall under the extractor. Unique powder caused me a lot of headaches at one time with cylinder binding. This technique helped alleviate it.

Now I use HP38 most of the time. It burns more completely so there are fewer grains to jam things up. I still keep the muzzle vertical when I extract the cases though.

Best Regards,
ADP3
 

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Has happened to me many times. Sizable crud gets under the extractor "star" wheel and the cylinder binds.
SUX bigtime. Some kind of blow-by is contaminating the ejector area.
 

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Try some jacketed bullets after cleaning the crane, the ejector and the star. I bet the plated bullets are cracking up and sending tiny particulate copper plating backward, some of which builds up under the star... I might be full of pudding, but this awareness helped me.

Plated bullets were a bane to me until I finally learned something... If driven too fast plated bullets will start to fall apart. That is, the thin plate of copper shatters and splatters. In an auto it can splash back, and I have had the bloody bumps to show. In a revolver the plated bullets hit the forcing cone and shatter. If going too fast the splatter will blast everywhere back toward the shooter, including the ejector and star which is exposed for this splatter for a brief second while the brass slams against the recoil shield. As we know, this will cause a stuck ejector after a few shots.

So, since learning to reduce the velocity all these troubles are gone. Numskull here now sees remarks throughout the loading data about using loads for modest lead loads. Some plated loads are available in the load manuals.

This problem reminds me of issues with lead loads leaving lead to obstruct the cylinder gap on revolvers.
 

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I'll add this: The .38 case was originally a black powder round and needed all that case volume for acceptable performance.

With smokeless powder there is an excessive amount of case volume and I've seen cautions about using powder that might not get set off by the primer because it just isn't close enough.

Food for thought at the least....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Try some jacketed bullets after cleaning the crane, the ejector and the star. I bet the plated bullets are cracking up and sending tiny particulate copper plating backward, some of which builds up under the star... I might be full of pudding, but this awareness helped me.

Plated bullets were a bane to me until I finally learned something... If driven too fast plated bullets will start to fall apart. That is, the thin plate of copper shatters and splatters. In an auto it can splash back, and I have had the bloody bumps to show. In a revolver the plated bullets hit the forcing cone and shatter. If going too fast the splatter will blast everywhere back toward the shooter, including the ejector and star which is exposed for this splatter for a brief second while the brass slams against the recoil shield. As we know, this will cause a stuck ejector after a few shots.

So, since learning to reduce the velocity all these troubles are gone. Numskull here now sees remarks throughout the loading data about using loads for modest lead loads. Some plated loads are available in the load manuals.

This problem reminds me of issues with lead loads leaving lead to obstruct the cylinder gap on revolvers.
The issue with plated bullets and revolvers came to my attention about a month ago and I think you are on to something. My loads, at a power factor of around 110 are right on factory loadings for the .38spl. Using the .38spl in .357 cylinders does cause the 1/10th" jump to the front of the cylinder even before the bullet hits the forcing cone. I know my gone is far more accurate using my lead RN 158 gr cast boolits vs the plated bullets in the same weight. I will do some side by side testing next week to see if I can determine if the problem is induced quicker using plated vs cast bulets.

ADP3 - Thanks for the tip. I'll remember that as well.

Take Care

Bob
 

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I used to use G96 to clean my revolver. I bought a bulk order of reloaded .357's and they wouldn't fit the chamber in the cylinder completely. I bought some hoppe's #9. I couldn't believe the gunk that came out of there. So I cleaned the whole revolver including under the star even more throughly. Now there's no problems. So like the Ruger video says. Use a solvent and a good gun oil. All in one products don't seem to remove the gunk as well as it should.

That's just my 2 cents.
 

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I've had that happen a few times but not sure which ammo I was using. I've also had .357s stick in the cylinders and difficult to remove. Looks like a brush and boresnake in my range bag are good ideas. One time, the .357 brass expanded and pushed rearward in the cylinder so far that I had to pound the cylinder on the wooden bench to get the crane open.
 

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Been there done that...working up loads some time ago with 231...had some really light loads...lots of unburned powder and crud....ever 20 rounds or so required cleaning....now my 231 loads which are nice medium to warm loads don't misbehave and all is dandy...that star area is sort of sensitive...When I load Unique I seem to have problems unless I'm right up near max. Also I do not lube the star or the rod....I've been told it draws gunk like a magnet...so I just clean it well, wipe it down and call it good...seems fine .... I've had the same sort of issues with other GP's I've owned.
 

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While practicing last week using a mix of plated and lead bullets loaded down to about 115PF in 38spl cases I had the following happen and not for the first time. Grit got under the star exrtractor and the cylinder wouldn't close. Problem was solved with a cleaning brush. I keep this area dry with no lubrication. This happens after less than 50 rounds. I have had it happen before with this gun yet never with a S&W. Is there something in the Ruger design that causes this to happen or is it just a fluke and likely won't happen again soon.

Take Care

Bob

One more thing that can cause unburned powder is a weak crimp. I had this problem with some of my reloads and I could see specks of unburned powder left in cases and around the cylinder. After doing some reading I found an explanation for inconsistent ignition caused by a weak crimp. Since then I use a fairly strong crimp on all my .38 and .357 cartridges and the problem has gone away. I use a Lee Factory Crimp Die in a four die setup.
 

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I have some serious doubts that plating from a bullet is the culprit. Much more likely to be unburned powder. Unique seems to be a common problem in that area, unless loaded close to the max. Also the crimp issue mentioned by Desert GP100 should be looked at. My son and I have fired a thousand rounds a month through GP100s for years with both cast and plated bullets, and have occasionally had gunk under the ejector cause problems. They were always when I was working up a new load, or using a new powder, or trying a light load.

Let us know how things go, because new info is always good.
 

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An old revolver trick that some cops used was to have the barrel pointed straight up when they punched the ejector rod...
That's how I learned to do it: hold the gun, muzzle up, in the shooting hand (right) and slap the ejector rod down with the palm of the left hand.
 

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Some factory ammo, like the Remington UMC, also has some wierd dark yellow flakes that can get under the ejector star after rounds have been fired..........I don't know what it is, but it's always in the bore and chambers when I fire UMC.

I once fired an old box of Kleenbore and saw the same yellow flake things, it's am mystery to me but these flakes could easily jam a revolver up if they got under the star.

That's why the defense ammo is so expensive, they use clean burning powder that won't gunk up your gun, unlike the reloaded "range and practice" ammo like A-Merc that uses the cheapest crap powder they can find.
 

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A number of years ago seems I recall Massad Ayoob mentioned somewhere there was a fix some gunsmith did to help prevent the problem by milling under the ejector star or something. The person may have been Rick Devoid of Tarnhelm as he has a familiarity with Rugers.
 
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