I went to the range today. I'd loaded some new .44 loads and I also wanted to see of the .38 problem had been a freak occurence.
I had 3 or 4 weak shots out of as many full cylinders. I checked the barrel each time and looked for holes in the target. Each shot had fired and left the barrel, except the last one:
A squibb jammed in the forcing cone. No more .38 shooting after that! It had been quite a weak pop and sure enough when I opened up the cylinder I could see the bullet in the barrel.
I put the gun away and went back to the .44.
Once home I gently knocked the bullet out and had a look in the barrel. I could see distortion in the walls of the barrel. I held the barrel up to the light and look at the gun from "above". Sure enough, the barrel had bulged.
Given that I had checked the barrel each time, this time, this must have happened when I initially noticed a strange shot sound, when my Dad was having a go. Thank goodness no one was hurt and thank goodness it happenbed to my cheapest gun.
However, this does not change the fact that I am sad.
I really liked that little Astra 680 and it was the best little 6 shot I'd ever seen advertised 2nd hand.
I've looked already for replacements: some S&W 5-shots at 4 times the price, and one or two Tauruses.
Moral of the story: beware the squibb. If it sounds wierd. STOP!! And check.
My mistake arose from only realising after the second shot, the first having been fired by my dad. Perhaps had I fired it, I would have felt and heard it differently than I did, standing to his right...
Adios my little senorita....