Range Report 45/70 Revolver

mac1911

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Glad your OK but how did you not notice a squib on a 45/70? Wasn't the lack of boom and recoil obvious?
You can get a decent report out of the cylinder gap and recoil. i think where it went really wrong was
Whapidfire..... I had squib on 38 that hardly made the jump ....if it did not hang up the cylinder i most likely would have let the next shot go.
 

yogi

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Very glad you and others weren’t injured. I’d still be sheltering in place. Thanks for posting this as it was a sobering reminder of what can go wrong and highly educational. Enjoy the rest of summer at the range!
 

drgrant

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LOL. If he pays for the gun, he can have it.

If done with care, it will probably still shoot 45/70, not very accurate, but it will. I just tried uploading a video of the gun still working but I can't. :(
Put it on Google Drive or something and then send me the link and I'll put it on my Vimeo Channel if you want....
 

drgrant

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He's close. Its designed that way because of LAWYERS. They don't want to get sued.
Also reputation- if the gun blew up and shattered and killed somebody in the pics of that shit ever got on the internet nobody would ever buy one ever again.... it's just sound engineering for a more graceful failure....
 
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Single stage.
Hand primed.
Weight every powder drop with a beam scale.
Factory crimp.

That is the way I have always reloaded 45/70. I weight every powder drop.
Then you can eliminate any failures on the reloading process or equipment.

Yeah, it seems that the amount of air in the case caused a squib, so my only advice would be if you want to try light loads in the .45-70 again to use a powder purpose built for such a task, which is Trail Boss, and to use it with a magnum primer. I find Trail Boss works best with magnum primers.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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Then you can eliminate any failures on the reloading process or equipment.

Yeah, it seems that the amount of air in the case caused a squib, so my only advice would be if you want to try light loads in the .45-70 again to use a powder purpose built for such a task, which is Trail Boss, and to use it with a magnum primer. I find Trail Boss works best with magnum primers.
Nah not a powder issue. That’s not a reduced load. That’s a common Trapdoor load that’s been around as long as that powder has.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Then you can eliminate any failures on the reloading process or equipment.

Yeah, it seems that the amount of air in the case caused a squib, so my only advice would be if you want to try light loads in the .45-70 again to use a powder purpose built for such a task, which is Trail Boss, and to use it with a magnum primer. I find Trail Boss works best with magnum primers.
I have 10lbs of TB. It is one of the powders I was going to try.

IMR and H 4198 are in my reloading manual for Trapdoor and lever loads. And the bullets I was using are bigger than a 405gr so there was less air. But still enough air that I can shake the rounds and you hear the powder bouncing around.

The only other thing I can think of, and I will not drop any names (so dont ask), the powder I used was purchased from a member here. It was an opened container. It looked fine and the guy is a good person. Could it be it was open for too long and not stored in good conditions? That + space in the case?

Edit to add...

Also, another possibility.... maybe the factory crimp die I used should have been tighter (although it is pretty tight already and in a grease groove), shooting worked the bullet lose, gas escaped through the side and caused the bullet to not have enough pressure behind it to make it all the way out.

But, the rounds I pulled after the barrel blew looked fine. Only one looked like it moved a hair forward.

And when I shoot in my rifle I use the same bullets and don't crimp, the bullets fall off the case if I drop them.
 
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Michael J. Spangler

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I have 10lbs of TB. It is one of the powders I was going to try.

IMR and H 4198 are in my reloading manual for Trapdoor and lever loads. And the bullets I was using are bigger than a 405gr so there was less air. But still enough air that I can shake the rounds and you hear the powder bouncing around.

The only other thing I can think of, and I will not drop any names (so dont ask), the powder I used was purchased from a member here. It was an opened container. It looked fine and the guy is a good person. Could it be it was open for too long and not stored in good conditions? That + space in the case?
Could be the issue. I don’t ever trust opened powder. Just because stuff happens. You never know and a couple pounds of powder isn’t worth it to me.
I’ve literally tossed 30# of powder on my lawn in the last couple years. All half full containers acquired in big buy outs.
 
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Nah not a powder issue. That’s not a reduced load. That’s a common Trapdoor load that’s been around as long as that powder has.
The thing about that common trapdoor load is it's meant for trapdoors, not revolvers with longer jumps into the rifling, a cylinder gap, unknown diameter cylinder throats... IDK how many have used that trapdoor load in a BFR, so it's an unknown. Usually people want to get a respectable velocity for such a large handgun and they'd load the .45-70 up to get it there.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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The thing about that common trapdoor load is it's meant for trapdoors, not revolvers with longer jumps into the rifling, a cylinder gap, unknown diameter cylinder throats... IDK how many have used that trapdoor load in a BFR, so it's an unknown. Usually people want to get a respectable velocity for such a large handgun and they'd load the .45-70 up to get it there.
Not trying to be rude or disrespectful at all.
I’m not buying that at all. The load is meant for trapdoors at trapdoor pressure which is what most factory ammo is loaded at. It has nothing to do with the gun it’s fired in. Cylinder gap and jumps to rifling are moot. Ever see the throat on some of those old trapdoors? Eaten away over the years. Now that’s a jump to the rifling.
Magnum Research built there gun to handle 45/70 ammo made to specs that have been around since 1873. I don’t think they messed up.
Again the fact that You say most people like to load the 45/70 hot in such a revolver is conjecture. There are plenty of people that buy magnum handgun and load them lighter so they can shoot their big guns all Day long. Also plenty of people that shoot with only factory ammo. The factory ammo for the 45/70 being made for Trapdoor rifles. Unless of course you can afford to make range trips with $5 a pop boutique ammo.
That being said I’ve run everything from 12 grains of unique and a 405 to 50 grains of Varget and a 405 to 3 .459” round balls over 9 grains of unique up to HSM +P bear loads all out of a BFR with no issues.

The load data wasn’t the issue. The loader has plenty of experience and more than a lot of other people when it comes to 45/70. He simply had a squib and he followed it up with another bullet. Nothing to over think.
It happens.
 

drgrant

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Not trying to be rude or disrespectful at all.
I’m not buying that at all. The load is meant for trapdoors at trapdoor pressure which is what most factory ammo is loaded at. It has nothing to do with the gun it’s fired in. Cylinder gap and jumps to rifling are moot. Ever see the throat on some of those old trapdoors? Eaten away over the years. Now that’s a jump to the rifling.
Magnum Research built there gun to handle 45/70 ammo made to specs that have been around since 1873. I don’t think they messed up.
Again the fact that You say most people like to load the 45/70 hot in such a revolver is conjecture. There are plenty of people that buy magnum handgun and load them lighter so they can shoot their big guns all Day long. Also plenty of people that shoot with only factory ammo. The factory ammo for the 45/70 being made for Trapdoor rifles. Unless of course you can afford to make range trips with $5 a pop boutique ammo.
That being said I’ve run everything from 12 grains of unique and a 405 to 50 grains of Varget and a 405 to 3 .459” round balls over 9 grains of unique up to HSM +P bear loads all out of a BFR with no issues.

The load data wasn’t the issue. The loader has plenty of experience and more than a lot of other people when it comes to 45/70. He simply had a squib and he followed it up with another bullet. Nothing to over think.
It happens.
Yes but I think it's important for him to figure out why it actually squibbed.... especially if he's dumping his own charges etcetera basically this leaves only two possibilities- the recipe is bad and sets him up for partial ignition or the primers are wonky and sorta kind of spark but not enough to set off the full powder charge... either one of those is in the "hugely f***ey" category. Obviously if he had stopped after each click, the gun wouldn't have blown but it is still kind of a weird failure.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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Yes but I think it's important for him to figure out why it actually squibbed.... especially if he's dumping his own charges etcetera basically this leaves only two possibilities- the recipe is bad and sets him up for partial ignition or the primers are wonky and sorta kind of spark but not enough to set off the full powder charge... either one of those is in the "hugely f***ey" category. Obviously if he had stopped after each click, the gun wouldn't have blown but it is still kind of a weird failure.
I think it’s a great exercise to try to figure it out but unlike wiring up some electrical connections or doing home plumbing, as soon as you pull the trigger most of the evidence is gone.
I think the most important thing is not pulling the trigger a second time. He got into the habit because of the light springs not lighting off the primers. Could that have cause an issue? Maybe the primer lit off and he didn’t hear it because he’s at a gun range and there’s a lot of noise.
It’s kind of like the safety rules. You can have ND but if you follow the rest of them and the gun is pointed in the right direction you’re ok.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is we are kind of beating a dead horse here and we won’t ever know what actually happened other than the second trigger pull. The biggest take away is cover your ass and check everything one more time than you are used to doing.

I’ve had a few squibs in 38 special. I run batches of multiple hundreds at a time. My press hardly ever gets changed from that exact set up. Try as I may I have no clue how they happened two times within a couple weeks I had the same thing happen. There was a ton of unburnt powder (bullseye which is super easy to light off) the primer lit off and the case was NOT split. If the powder were bad I would think I would have seen it in more than 2 of the 600 or so I had shot from that batch. If the primers were bad it’s weird because that would be 2 so close to each other out of the 100k 38s I’ve loaded with that same recipe. I didn’t skip the powder because both times it was all jammed up in the gun.
I did note that the primer alone was enough to jam that 158 SWC about 2” into the barrel.

So I keep it in the back of my head and try to figure it out now and then but really just thank my lucky stars that I didn’t pull the trigger again.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Yes but I think it's important for him to figure out why it actually squibbed.... especially if he's dumping his own charges etcetera basically this leaves only two possibilities- the recipe is bad and sets him up for partial ignition or the primers are wonky and sorta kind of spark but not enough to set off the full powder charge... either one of those is in the "hugely f***ey" category. Obviously if he had stopped after each click, the gun wouldn't have blown but it is still kind of a weird failure.
When I get the gun back. I will shoot the rest of the primers in empty casings. See if I am still getting light strikes even after they fix it.

That might discard the primer issue.

I don't think I will ever know if the powder was the issue. I still have some loaded rounds, but no way to test it. I could shoot them one by one, but at this point I want to get rid of them.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is we are kind of beating a dead horse here and we won’t ever know what actually happened other than the second trigger pull. The biggest take away is cover your ass and check everything one more time than you are used to doing
This.
 

45collector

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Holy crap that sucker opened up!
Glad you’re ok buddy. We still need to team up whenever another Excruciathlon happens. ;)

Years ago a guy standing next to me at the 25 yard range at Sippican KB’d his S&W revolver. He had just gotten back into things after having heart surgery and he had some homeloads he had just made the night before. 2 or 3 went off nicely and then BOOM. From my position next to him it felt like my head was a foot away from the muzzle of a Barret .50.

0086935E-DCB2-4D6E-AD2F-D68DB01FE816.jpeg6FE6CFB9-E424-47A2-8806-CA9F5DC2A41B.jpegF419B8B4-86E3-4A4D-8E65-CB044C7455EB.jpeg93D14654-C9DD-420B-80DC-B19972FEA5B1.jpeg34FC8904-D0D3-485E-B1AF-3A04329D3A23.jpegB19D1360-F566-4742-8736-B98E77FBC8DF.jpeg

I looked over at him and he was shaking, still holding the gun. I reached over and took the gun from his hand and placed it on the bench, then grabbed a chair for him to sit down while checking him for holes. I was afraid his ticker was gonna fail but he was good. He said nothing for a minute and then just blurted out “F*ck!”. We decided it must have been a double charge.
He let me keep the piece of cylinder and I keep it on my loading bench. Never saw the guy again.
 
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I am learning some interesting stuff in this thread, and I don't want to take it off topic, but I am going to make a comment on a theme that matters to me.

I am a Range Safety Officer at my club, and I spend a lot of time telling people to put their safety glasses on. And reminding people that everyone anywhere near the firing line has to wear eye protection, even if they are not shooting. Most people are pretty cooperative, but I do get some comments about "being so uptight." Mostly I just say "those are the rules, I didn't make them."

But occasionally, when there is more time, I say "if you are shooting without eye protection, you have probably never seen a gun blow up." And I tell the story of how I have seen guns blow up twice. Both times were pretty minor, but still enough to drive home that we are messing with 30,000 PSI of pressure. And when that pressure is not properly contained, or some circumstance causes an over pressure many times greater, then very energetic chaos ensues.

I wear eye protection any time I am near an active range, and this thread is a good illustration why. In some ways, it is a testimony to modern manufacturing that the possibility of catastrophic malfunctions never even occurs to most people.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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@Broccoli Iglesias mr. iglesias, you could have greg lop off the barrel to be even with the frame and end up with the largest caliber shopkeepers revolver ever. [thumbsup]
Did you see Demolition Ranch’s snubby BFR? Just enough barrel to fit the front sight on.

I’m with you on this Broc needs to go snubby or go home.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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MR just called me. The revolver is getting shipped back today, should be here on Thursday.

Their customer service was excellent. The guys had a great sense of humor.

At the end he says "we are here for you if you blow it up again". Lol.

I think it is time to reload a few more rounds. Going for the 535gr now.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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MR just called me. The revolver is getting shipped back today, should be here on Thursday.

Their customer service was excellent. The guys had a great sense of humor.

At the end he says "we are here for you if you blow it up again". Lol.

I think it is time to reload a few more rounds. Going for the 535gr now.
That’s the ticket man. Get back on the horse.
 
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