View Full Version : Ammunition age???

July 12, 2008, 04:34 PM
Carried a old break top Forehand chambered in .38 S&W to the range today. Bought it for $20 a few weeks ago and after having it checked and testfired by a smith I figured it was time to shoot it a few times.

The ammunition I had for it was old Remington stuff that I bought at a gunshow a while back spicifically to shoot through this gun once I was sure it was safe. Paid $10 for a box of 50. All Remingtons but two different head stamps.

So I load the old pistol up and start pulling the trigger. Much to my surprise it starts belching blue smoke! Three of the first five rounds blew blue, one was obviously smokeless and one was a dud.

Ran the rest of them through the gun after taking note of the different headstamps and segreating out the smokeless. Of the 40 or so black powder rounds 5 or 6 would not fire even with repeated hits of the firing pin.

All the smokless fired fine.

Interesting thing. After about 20 of the black powder rounds the darn thing got VERY hard to cycle. Had to break out some cleaner and oil to get her running right again. That gave me some indication of how hard it must have been to fight a war with black powder weapons.

So my question is......how old do you think that Remington black powder .38 S&W ammunition was?

July 12, 2008, 04:45 PM
Hard to say but I think they loaded BP ammo later than some would suspect as there were plenty of pre 1898 guns around for awhile that needed that type of ammo. Sure it is prewar but maybe as late as the 30's but more likely not much later than the 20's. The black powder rounds that were duds is not suprising, what is more interesting is that some of them lit off, giving you a unique experience.

Harry Bonar
July 13, 2008, 05:38 PM
Clean that revolver with soap and water to get rid of the black powder fouling or it'll be rusted over-night.
Harry B.

July 14, 2008, 04:40 AM
Soaked it in hot soapy water and then scrubbed the heck out of it. Pulled the grips and made sure it was DRY and then used regular cleaner and oiled it up.

If black powder was all I had to shoot I might lose intrest real quick!!! What a mess.