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Old August 12, 2013, 11:14 AM   #1
guncrank
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Dye inspection for metal fatigued

Any one have a dye penitration test??
Welling to do it fo a another me x.
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:44 AM   #2
Dixie Gunsmithing
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What are you wanting checked?

If you do this sort of often, then you can get a Spotcheck kit from Zoro Tools for around $80.00, with everything needed. The kit will more than pay for itself on barrels and receivers.

http://www.zorotools.com/g/00035751/...FchaMgod2HsATA

Last edited by Dixie Gunsmithing; August 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM.
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Old August 13, 2013, 06:53 AM   #3
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I have a magna-flux machine, for non-ferrous metal I visit an automotive machine shop.

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Old August 13, 2013, 06:57 AM   #4
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Customer has old 1903 he wants checked
Not willing to pay for the whole kit
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:27 AM   #5
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The 1903 is ferrous, and I know you know that, if I did not have the magna-flux machine I would go to an automotive machine shop. I understand the owners concern, I have never seen an 03 with a crack, all of the Eddyystone M1917 receivers I have found to be cracked had visible cracks.

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Old August 13, 2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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guncrank,

It's been awhile since I was in the Louisville area, and I'm trying to remember someone in that field, close to you, that might do it free, or for a few bucks for you. By the time you ship it, two ways, and pay for the test, the guy will surely balk at the price. Most places will charge at least $50.00 for the testing on one small part, like a bolt body, etc. If it's for the entire gun, or barrel, frame, and bolt, then you're looking at a good amount due to the chemical cost. A spray can of dye is what is so expensive, as a lot is wasted when its applied.

If you know anyone working around pressure vessel manufacturing, they might be able to take it into work, and have it done for free.
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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Maybe I am ignorant, but AFAIK a dye test checks for cracks in metal, not for "metal fatigue" which may or may not involve cracks.

Further, if that is a so-called "low number" M1903, there is a chance (a long chance, but a chance) that the receiver is brittle and may shatter if subjected to a sharp blow, sudden gas escape, or a cartridge loaded with fast burning powder. Pressure alone is not a factor, and neither is metal fatigue.

But if that is the case, a dye test will not detect the condition. (If it did, the Army would have used it.) The bad receivers are brittle, like glass. There is no test that will determine whether glass will shatter if struck a blow (we know it will). The same is true of brittle receivers; they will shatter under the right conditions, the question is whether a given receiver is of that nature and, again AFAIK, no non-destructive test will determine that.

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Old August 13, 2013, 12:38 PM   #8
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Jim K

At the customer request I said I would look into it.
I know the history of this rifle as I talked to the original owner.
He had fired the rifle.

The current owner has not and asked me if there where any test to check for cracks.

Metal fatigue or not he was advised by me not to shoot a low number 1903 but is determined to do so.
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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I'd take it to an autoshop for magnafluxing.

The other way is to see if you have a buddy who is an X-ray tech.
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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If you advised him of the possible problem with that rifle, I strongly suggest you (or better, your attorney), have him sign a statement to that effect.

In fact, you should have an attorney draw up a general release form saying something like:

I have been advised by Joe's Gun Shop that ___(riflle) ________ Model _______ Serial Number _________ is or may be unsafe to fire and that firing it could result in damage to the firearm and/or death or injury to the user or bystanders. I fully understand that advice and accept any and all responsibility for any damage that results from my firing or allowing anyone else to fire the named firearm.

Signed____________


That can cover stuff like Damascus shotguns, old junk pistols, cheap SNS revolvers, or any other gun you consider dangerous if fired.

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Old August 13, 2013, 03:28 PM   #11
Dixie Gunsmithing
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There are pre-printed unsafe tags available, but whether they are in line with the laws of the state of residence, I don't know. As James says, you're better off getting a local attorney write up something.

The problem with Magnafluxing and X-Ray is the expense of it, but are the safest routes. X-Ray would require at lease three views around the axis (0, 45, and 90 deg.), and each film will cost a stately sum. You about have to have a buddy in the business to do it for reasonable cost, and have read X-Rays before to find the faults. If you know a local welding engineer, that would be the berries, as they do this for a living. Back in the 90's, industrial X-Ray's were around $90-100 per film, and that was for around 16 inches of length per film.
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Old August 13, 2013, 09:21 PM   #12
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Again, I am no expert, but I don't think there is any way, not dye, not magnaflux, not X-ray, that will determine if an SHT Springfield is brittle or not. AFAIK, the only way would be to cut out a piece of the receiver and have the crystalline structure analyzed under a high power microscope. And that does the receiver no good.

And "metal fatigue" doesn't enter, either, even if it could be determined, since those receivers don't "fatigue" like metal bent and re-bent, they just break, like a piece of glass.

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Old August 13, 2013, 09:58 PM   #13
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Jim,

The only way to know for sure, is to fire it with a round while in a fixture, or fire a round with a 25% over charge to see what it does, but the use of a firing fixture would be a must for safety sake. Any testing will only show internal flaws in the steel, but will not show a proof.
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Old August 13, 2013, 10:57 PM   #14
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Even a proof test won't always detect those brittle receivers; they were all proved when they were made and obviously passed.

When a normal round or even an overload is fired in them, the result is a "push" against the bolt. The receivers will stand up to that. (Think standing on a soft drink bottle - a hundred plus pounds doesn't break it.)

It is a sharp blow that shatters them. That can come from rapid gas escape from a blown case head, firing a round with a light load of pistol powder, or even a blow from a hammer.* (Think that same bottle hit with a hammer.)

*I once broke one of those receivers by hitting it on the right side rail with a light hammer; it shattered into three pieces. Yet a friend and I had fired a couple of hundred rounds from it the day before.

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Old August 13, 2013, 11:51 PM   #15
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341348

Suddenly, all at once and without warning, I am sure there is one answer for everything.

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Old August 15, 2013, 02:32 PM   #16
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The SHT Springfield blowup that the Rifleman reported was fired with what the owner called his "rat shooting load", 9 grains of Bullseye and a round ball, almost identical to the old .30-'06 guard cartridge. The round might have been double charged, but Bullseye is even faster than Blue Dot and just the sharp blow of that fast powder could have spelled trouble for the brittle SHT receiver.

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Old August 15, 2013, 03:48 PM   #17
Dixie Gunsmithing
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Quote:
I once broke one of those receivers by hitting it on the right side rail with a light hammer; it shattered into three pieces. Yet a friend and I had fired a couple of hundred rounds from it the day before.
Yes, but Jim, do you think that it might have been ready to give after the last round, and you were lucky enough to find it before it was fired again? Probably never know, but it's enough to make your hair stand up just to think about.

Generally, after firing off a round, a resonance can be created from the barrel, back, that could do the same on something brittle, but then again, it would need to reach the correct frequency to effect it. A tuning fork effect if you will.

I had a Remington model 7 years ago, in .22-250, that would ring like a bell after it was fired, maybe for about 3 seconds, and it really affected it's accuracy, so I got rid of it. I wonder what that would do to a brittle frame?
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:06 PM   #18
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I don't know if our hair stood up, but we felt a bit ill looking at those pieces on the floor and knowing we had been firing that gun. The way it came about was that at that time anyone having a low-number receiver could send it (just the receiver) in through DCM and the Army would return a DHT or NS receiver in exchange. They didn't care about the shape as long as they could read the serial number, so before we packed it up I decided to see if the stories were true. I hit the receiver on the right rail and it broke; the left rail remained intact but the left rail broke at three points, one in the middle and the others at either end of the rail.

Anyway, I have mentioned this a couple of times on these sites and been told that it couldn't happen, it is all a lie, there is no such thing as a brittle receiver, it was some kind of conspiracy by Hatcher, and that I am nuts, an idiot, or a plain liar. Oh, well, such are the problems of posting on "the net".

I wish I had kept the pieces or at least recorded the serial number, but I didn't. A new NS receiver arrived in a couple of months.

Jim
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:29 PM   #19
Dixie Gunsmithing
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Quote:
Anyway, I have mentioned this a couple of times on these sites and been told that it couldn't happen, it is all a lie, there is no such thing as a brittle receiver, it was some kind of conspiracy by Hatcher, and that I am nuts, an idiot, or a plain liar.
I can think of all kinds of reasons for it to have happened, the same as you, I imagine. Anywhere from the wrong chemistry in the steel, to too much hydrogen being present when the melt was made, and even being hardened and not tempered afterwards, or not tempered to the correct hardness (tempered but too hard). It's just like making a leaf spring for a double, and hoping you got the tempering right, so it wont snap in two with a vise test.
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Old August 16, 2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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Hatcher pretty well nailed the metallurgy involved and nothing has changed AFAIK. Springfield was not doing anything new with those receivers; they were using the same techniques they had used with the Krag. And as long as the workers were highly skilled and experienced, and the cartridge relatively low pressure, there were few if any problems. But when a new cartridge was adopted, and then production increased with the advent of war and new workers hired, the old "it looks OK" method of heat control wasn't good enough.

Jim
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