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Old January 6, 2020, 11:25 PM   #1
DirtyHarold
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Case bulged in one spot?

Hi folks.

Recently I shot a 158 gr 357 mag American Eagle round out of my SP101 and it caused quite a difficult extraction. I was able to get it out finally and I noticed that there was one particular spot where the case was bulged about 3 mm above the rim of the case. It was not all the way around the case.

It was a mixed box of ammo and there only happened to be one American Eagle round in there, none of the other loads did this, I think they were fiocci 125 gr, but I know that American Eagle loads are typically HOT. does this just sound like it’s a weak spot in that one case or does it sound like an issue with the cylinder getting weak?

I once had a 44 mag blow up in my hands so I’m looking for opinions first before I go out and just try it again. I’m not interested in that happening twice.


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Old January 6, 2020, 11:43 PM   #2
chrisintexas
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Were you injured when this .44 magnum blew up in your hands?
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Old January 6, 2020, 11:48 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Chamber bulged into bolt notch?
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Old January 6, 2020, 11:53 PM   #4
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Picture, please.
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Old January 7, 2020, 08:13 AM   #5
rodfac
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Quote:
I know that American Eagle loads are typically HOT.
Any documentation on that claim...American Eagle ammunition has never seemed "HOT" in any of my guns.

On another note, is there a chance that this was an unknown provenance handload, as your post seems to indicate that this was a single round.

Lastly, is there a chance that the cylinder was damaged prior to the episode you've recounted? Best regards, Rod
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Old January 7, 2020, 01:59 PM   #6
DirtyHarold
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Unfortunately I can’t find the case at the moment to post a picture. I looked last night before I posted. I’ll look again....

I was not injured when the 44 blew up. I was however peppered with tiny bits of shrapnel but that’s about it.

Good idea to look at the cylinder where the timing notch is. I’ll check that when I get home.


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Old January 7, 2020, 03:43 PM   #7
pwc
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In which one of the 6 holes did it occur?
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Old January 8, 2020, 10:51 AM   #8
DirtyHarold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodfac View Post
Any documentation on that claim...American Eagle ammunition has never seemed "HOT" in any of my guns.

On another note, is there a chance that this was an unknown provenance handload, as your post seems to indicate that this was a single round.

Lastly, is there a chance that the cylinder was damaged prior to the episode you've recounted? Best regards, Rod


Look up chrony data on this load. I just now looked and it seeing 1350-1450 FPS out of 3 and 4 inch barrels. That is absolutely smokin for a 158 gr load. Also, my hand recoil gauge says that they’re very stout compared to almost any other factory 357 load I’ve shot.


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Old January 8, 2020, 01:45 PM   #9
T. O'Heir
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"...1350-1450 FPS out of 3 and 4 inch barrels..." Federal says their JHP .357 AE runs at 1240 FPS MV out of a 4" barrel. It's not going to be 1350-1450 FPS. Typical 158 jacketed bullets run a lot slower than 1350-1450 FPS out of 3 or 4 inch barrels. Tested by BBTI with Federal 158 grain Hydra-Shok at 1122 FPS for a 3" and 1332 FPS of of a 4".
http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html
Fioochi 125's run at 1,450 FPS though. Look at the head stamp.
Mind you, any 158 or 125 grain .357 will seem "hot" in a 3" revolver weighing 27 oz.
Excess velocity doesn't explain a bulge anyway. You need to look closely at the cylinders for damage. Or possibly(probably more likely and preferable) a bit of crud got into the cylinder.
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Old January 9, 2020, 10:30 PM   #10
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DirtyHarold, The Federal 158 has been my most used factory 357 load for years. It seems very average compared to similar Remington and Winchester 158 I've used. Chronographed velocities with the Federal have been in the neighborhood of the 1240 FPS Federal publishes. I don't have a 3" .357, but I retested it in Dec. of '18 in two 4" revolvers. Velocities with different guns vary, but FWIW this is what the Federal averaged in a couple of my guns....

4" Colt averaged 1220 FPS

4" S&W averaged 1267 FPS.

My thoughts on what you report are along the same lines as rodfac's. 3MM being nearly .120", and "above the rim of the case" is a LOT, especially for a revolver. I would closely inspect all chambers to determine if any appear out of round, or for any other anomaly.

ETA, Just recalled that some years ago we tested the Federal 158 in an acquaintance's 3" S&W revolver. Found the notes; it averaged 1134 FPS in the 3" gun. I realize it might very well be your 3" gun produces higher velocities with the same ammo. I've seen all kinds of unexpected results in chronographing...
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Old January 14, 2020, 04:07 PM   #11
J.G. Terry
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Blown Chamber

I have had to deal with three "blown" cylinders. Basically, a chamber(S) was bulged from excessive pressure. Extraction difficult. Some times a case would split All three guns were used S&W's. That's not a hit on Smith. It's mostly what I shoot. Hope I never come across a blown cylinder again. Should that happen, the gun would be returned to the factory upon discovery. That is, before the set of the sun. Expect to spend some money.

Added: Back in the day the 38/44[38 Special Case] round in a N Frame Smith had the level of performance reported for the Federal 158 gr. 357 Magnum round.
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Old January 14, 2020, 06:54 PM   #12
gwpercle
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No photo of case in question ?
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