Ruger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Today I fired a 2nd round from my .357 Blackhawk and the sound was normal like the 1st round but I couldn't pull the hammer back and move the cylinder to fire the next round. I pulled the cylinder removal pin but the cylinder would not budge (it wouldn't turn or come loose from the gun). When I got home I was able to remove it by tapping on it with a rubber mallet. From this I found 2 things a split case and a fractured revolver cylinder. This is what it looks like:
153895

So now I need to get my revolver repaired. I've read that most of the time a replacement cylinder will just drop in and work. The Ruger web site however, indicates that the cylinder must be fitted to the gun. Could a hot load have caused the fractured revolver cylinder or possibly an aggressive crimp or maybe weak brass? Has anyone ever seen this before? I plan to make arrangements to send it in for repair since cylinders are currently unavailable from parts vendors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
771 Posts
How many times did you reload that piece of brass?

I am guessing there are a variety of things going on here or one major failure.

The first, I have experience with, is case failure. I had a factory loaded 17hmr split down the side sticking the bullet in the barrel and the expanding gasses went through the base of the case sending hot gas down the firing pin channel, the magazine was blown out of the mag well and the stock was split. Now imagine that in a 357 Magnum.

Powder Charge, Titegroup has a max charge of 7.5 grains with a 125 grain bullet with some data showing that at 1497 FPS! People say at 7.1 grains the same load is much more mild. That is a touchy powder charge with not a lot of room for error. I know of at least one digital powder dispenser that can walk and will throw. A 7.7 grain charge but show it as 7.5 on the screen. It is easy to over load or under load this powder. Low charge can lead to a detonation. The bullet unseats but stops the pressure spike behind it causes damage but dislodges it out of the barrel sometimes when the base of the brass cartridge holds.

Aggressive crimp causes too much pressure to build too quick causing a case rupture

Weak crimp with light bullet could cause the bullet to “jump” and move forward under recoil from the other chambers.

Missed crack in case, you may have missed a flaw in the case and loaded it, or the brass was overworked and it’s usefulness spent. It let go this last firing.

leading in the forcing cone. If you have been firing a lot of cast in the Blackhawk there might have been enough to cause a problem or just build up from a lot of use.

Retarded burn caused by moisture, oil or lube introduced in the case at loading.

position of the powder in the case at the time of firing. Some like higher volume powders to combat this problem.

There are many possible reasons or a few minor problems combined that could cause that to happen.

It could have also been a flaw in the cylinder. Note where it ruptured on the notch. That’s the weakest point.
 

·
Registered
Mk II, Wrangler, LCPII .22 LR, EC9S, Security 9, P-85, RAR .17 HMR + .22 LR, + 10/22 Sporter
Joined
·
1,247 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,300 Posts
As long as you weren't hurt anything can be fixed. Other then backing off on the powder I don't have anything to offer. Again glad you were not hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
Are you sure that wasn't a hot factory load. Well over a year ago,maybe two local range sold some Bro***** 38special ammo. Store counter man said it was a little hot. A two foot fireball spewed forth from the muzzle. That was a jolt, still have one of the two boxes that I bought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,092 Posts
I've had several cases split, didn't know it til preparing them for reloading. Prolly an overload, it would be easy to do with Titegroup. Titegroup is for light target loads, You will be happier with 2400 or 296 for full mag loads. Glad you weren't hurt. I hope Ruger don't stick you too badly for an new cylinder.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,970 Posts
NormalNorm, You have a classic going on there. First, TiteGroup is a very fast burning powder intended for light target loads and is NOT a recommended powder for magnums. It generates very high chamber pressure and if you got a double charge, (which I suspect you did) pressure won't double .... it will skyrocket to as much as 10 times normal pressure. Another issue is your primers. Magnum primers should only be used with slow burning powder ... never with powder that burns as fast as TiteGroup.

Once you get your Blackhawk repaired, buy some slow burning powder like W-296 for magnum loads or Power Pistol for mid-velocity loads. You will need a magnum primer with W-296 but not with Power Pistol. Stay away from TiteGroup and other fast burners unless you want light target loads with 3 grains of powder.

FYI, brass cases do not contain pressures by themselves .... they depend on the strength of the chamber to contain pressure. Just a couple thousand psi on an unsupported brass case will blow it out. In other words, your case blowout was caused by the cylinder failure, not the reverse.

Your load, 7.5gr of TiteGroup with a 125gr bullet and a standard primer runs right at 33,000 psi, just a few K psi short of the SAAMI max pressure of 35k psi. A magnum primer would put you over the 35k psi limit. 7.5 g fills the case to 49% of capacity and still leaves enough room to seat a bullet so you probably wouldn't notice a double charge unless you weighed every charge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,716 Posts
I didn't think it would be possible to crack the cylinder like that... with the wall thickness. Must have been a double charge, or a very defective cylinder.

As above if you are going to shoot 'magnum' loads, use a slow powder (2400, 4227, H110/W296). If loading general, then medium burn powders (like True Blue or Unique), and light loads use fast powders (like Titegroup/Trail Boss/Red Dot). Nothing 'wrong' with using Titegroup for .357 ... just use it for how it was intended to be used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I didn't think it would be possible to crack the cylinder like that... with the wall thickness. Must have been a double charge, or a very defective cylinder.

As above if you are going to shoot 'magnum' loads, use a slow powder (2400, 4227, H110/W296). If loading general, then medium burn powders (like True Blue or Unique), and light loads use fast powders (like Titegroup/Trail Boss/Red Dot). Nothing 'wrong' with using Titegroup for .357 ... just use it for how it was intended to be used.
I appreciate your counsel as well as the counsel from others!! The recipe I used and have been using for years is printed on the front of the Titegroup powder container. I weigh each charge before putting it in the case. The brass has been reloaded about 4-6 times. I agree with you that it was likely a double charge with the magnum primer that did the damage. Using other powders that occupy more space in the case will make it harder to accidentally load a double charge. I tried but stopped using H110 because of the occasional squib load. I like using the gun for its magnum capabilities so I'll try 2400 in the future.
Thanks Again to all !!!
153920
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Are you sure that wasn't a hot factory load. Well over a year ago,maybe two local range sold some Bro***** 38special ammo. Store counter man said it was a little hot. A two foot fireball spewed forth from the muzzle. That was a jolt, still have one of the two boxes that I bought.
I'm sure thanks for your comment
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
NormalNorm, You have a classic going on there. First, TiteGroup is a very fast burning powder intended for light target loads and is NOT a recommended powder for magnums. It generates very high chamber pressure and if you got a double charge, (which I suspect you did) pressure won't double .... it will skyrocket to as much as 10 times normal pressure. Another issue is your primers. Magnum primers should only be used with slow burning powder ... never with powder that burns as fast as TiteGroup.

Once you get your Blackhawk repaired, buy some slow burning powder like W-296 for magnum loads or Power Pistol for mid-velocity loads. You will need a magnum primer with W-296 but not with Power Pistol. Stay away from TiteGroup and other fast burners unless you want light target loads with 3 grains of powder.

FYI, brass cases do not contain pressures by themselves .... they depend on the strength of the chamber to contain pressure. Just a couple thousand psi on an unsupported brass case will blow it out. In other words, your case blowout was caused by the cylinder failure, not the reverse.

Your load, 7.5gr of TiteGroup with a 125gr bullet and a standard primer runs right at 33,000 psi, just a few K psi short of the SAAMI max pressure of 35k psi. A magnum primer would put you over the 35k psi limit. 7.5 g fills the case to 49% of capacity and still leaves enough room to seat a bullet so you probably wouldn't notice a double charge unless you weighed every charge.
Very well said. I'll take your advice.
When using 2400 powder use standard primers not magnum primers.
Thank You I'll make a note of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
I have had many cases split like you show, in .44 Magnum as well as other calibers, and there was no problem. The splits occurred due to metal fatigue of the brass and no damage was done to the cylinder. And this is the first example I've seen of the cylinder wall split as it did. Most pressure damage takes half of the cylinder as well as the top strap.

Bob Wright
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top