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Old February 19, 2017, 05:53 PM   #1
GTNMUDY
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issues with .44 mag, blackhawk and reloads

Maybe someone can help here.
I have a .44 mag super blackhawk that I have had for 50 yrs now.

I have been reloading for it for the same years now.

My only load is 21 gr, 2400, 240 gr JHP, cci priner.

I have shot this revolver for many years and last week I ran into a problem.

At least 1 or 2 times in 6 shots the cyl will get real hard to turn, I am unable to cock it using the hammer. In most cases I need to either take the cyl out or turn it by hand with assist of the hammer cock.

When I go back home I checked the brass thinking maybe the cases had streched after the round went off.

After checking 30 cases every one was within case specs.

Length was constant 1.285 or less

I then did a case width at the base and every one was .458 or less.

I then did a resize on some of the cases and after a full length resize the case was .457 in the width.

I checked the cyl for build up and see none.

I checked the cyl width and it comes out .458 - .459

After removing the old cases and inserting live rounds in the cyl it will cock and turn easy.

My thought was after the round goes off the brass case is pushed back against the frame and does not go forward back into the cyl when I recock it.

I'm going to really scrub the cyl and take it back out to the range.

Any ideas
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:04 PM   #2
JeepHammer
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*IF* I'm understanding the post correctly,
The only time the jam is happening is when fired?

Two things come to mind right away...

1. When fired, your cases are getting old and allowing the primers to creep backwards.

2. Your crimp isn't holding the bullets in place,
When fired, the bullets are walking forward out of the cases into the frame/barrel edges.

3. You didn't say you use the same primers/bullets every time,
When primers back out, undersized or sloppy primer pockets, they leave a track around the frame face, back of the cylinder, real distinct.
Some primers are a tad smaller in diameter than others.

Bullet manufacturers ASSUME you are going to measure cartridge length every time, so they move canalures up & down the bullet, leave more lead sticking out of the jacket, so sometimes you can use the same brand or type of bullet and get 'Long' seating.
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:17 PM   #3
243winxb
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Quote:
My thought was after the round goes off the brass case is pushed back against the frame and does not go forward back into the cyl when I recock it.
Old, tired. nickel brass may not spring back after firing, as much as plain brass.
May cause the condition quoted above.
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:26 PM   #4
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May be an issue with the revolver and not with your handloads
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:29 PM   #5
GTNMUDY
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I will rule out the case crimp. I do a heavy crimp due to also having a Marlin 1895 in .44 mag.

I thought about primer too.

Checkd and they are all flat and seated after the shot.

In fact the show the milling marks on the face of the frame at the firing pin location.

I did find some of the brass that was slightly wider about 1/3 up from the base and was difficult to insert back into the cyl.

I did notice at the range that when the cyl was stuck their was no gap between the base of the brass and the frame.

I will admit that some of the brass I have is about 30 yrs old

I started reloading back in the 70's...
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
May be an issue with the revolver and not with your handloads
I would suspect that also. In the early seventies I had a S&W Model 58 (.41 Magnum), that I bought used. I found that if I shot the identical cast lead bullet handloads that the Winchester cases would eject normally whereas the Remington cases would stick in the chambers hard enough that I would have to use a piece of wood to tap on the ejector rod. I suspected that the cylinder had developed too much barrel/cylinder gap and the difference between the rims of the Remington to Winchester brass was enough to make the difference in extraction. I got rid of that gun.

If your gun had no issues for fifty years and now all of sudden ties up the cylinder, I would check the cylinder/barrel gap...I suspect it has shot loose.
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Old February 19, 2017, 07:14 PM   #7
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Checking the gap would be easy to do.

Do you know what the gap should be?

Second thought I can get it when I go back to work.

I'll just measure the gap on a new one and compare to mine.

My gap is .003

I work in a gun store part time.
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Old February 19, 2017, 07:58 PM   #8
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I would make sure to clean the front and rear faces of the cylinder and the face of the forcing cone. Lead and carbon can build up on the forcing cone and front of the cylinder and cause the cylinder to get sticky just as you describe. Use a stiff brass brush to clean those surfaces and see if that helps.
The only other cause I can think of, and it's a long shot, is that carbon or lead is building up on the cylinder pin, between the pin and the cylinder or on the cylinder stop bolt. A thorough cleaning of the action and light oiling should take care of that.
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Old February 19, 2017, 07:59 PM   #9
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Well I noticed that your load is pretty much at or near the red-line according to my Hornady manual. I'm not saying it's too hot, but just maybe... try loading perhaps 24 rounds, which would be four cylinders full, at 20 grains powder which would be a full grain less than usual. Starting from a clean gun, shoot them all off to see if the problem repeats itself. What brand of brass are you using? Mixed brass? Segregating your brass could isolate the problem to one brand. Maybe get some brand new Starline brass. After decades of shooting jacketed bullets, I suggest cleaning the gun thoroughly and then re-cleaning the barrel with a copper-solvent. Your barrel/cylinder gap is very good, better than most new revolvers.
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Old February 19, 2017, 08:28 PM   #10
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The load I'm using has been my accuracy load that I have tested for several years back in the late 70's. My gun likes this load the best.

I got the load from my Speer #8 manual. It is the lowest load they list for the 2400 powder (21.0 - 23.0 gr) using a CCI 350 primer

Mow when I look at the newer Lee reloading manual it does not list the Alliant 2400 powder that I have been using for the last 30 some years.

The Alliant website also lists it a 21 gr for a 240 gr bullet.

I know that due to liability issues now a days companies are reducing all there data to a lower level than what it was back in the old days.

Hell, I even loaded 27 gr of 2400, with a 240 gr bullet. it was a compressed load that was in a Elmer Keith article that I read back in the late 70's.

I only shot 20 of them, they made my hand sting after the first shot.

I think the issue may be the old brass. The brass is mixed and has been reloaded several times.

I think I'll try some new brass and see what happens.
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Old February 19, 2017, 08:31 PM   #11
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Primers Not Seated Correctly

This should be easy to diagnose hands-on, but nothing but guessing here . . .

However, I have seen this exact symptom numerous times, and it is pretty simple - check your primers BEFORE you fire the rounds; what they look like after is meaningless.

If your bullets are not pulling out from recoil and binding the cylinder, the next most common issue is simply the primers not being seated quite flush with the case, and they bind up on the frame as the cylinder rotates.

I know you said you have been loading these rounds for a bazilion years without problems, but maybe your equipment is wearing and getting sloppy, or maybe the primer pockets are getting heavily fouled, or maybe you are just getting old and do not use the same force to seat primers anymore? Lots of possibilities, but next time you feel it binding up, just stop and look.
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Old February 19, 2017, 08:53 PM   #12
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I think you saying that it is not the load that just went off that is causing the bind but the next one being rotated to the fire position has the primer back out due to the recoil?.

In my case I don't think that is the issue because one I get the fired bullet off the fire position it will rotate the new bullet easily. It seems that it is the bullet that is fired is not moving back into the cyl to give me a gap .

If you look at the primers on my loaded and the ones I just shot you will see that the milling marks are on the fired primers. This would tell me that the recoil of that shot has pressed against the frame when the case moved back.

I know that it isn't a primer seating all the way in during my reloading because if that was the case then the cyl would not rotate freely when it is loaded with the bullets. In my case it does rotate freely until I fire a shot off.

As stated earlier it is not every bullet that I have issues with, it is maybe 1 or 2 that will cause the issues.
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Old February 19, 2017, 08:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Old, tired. nickel brass may not spring back after firing, as much as plain brass.
May cause the condition quoted above.
^^^This, especially with stiff loads like 21 gr of 2400 under a 240 gr pill. Doesn't have to be nickle plated brass either. Old work hardened regular brass will do it also.
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Old February 19, 2017, 08:56 PM   #14
GTNMUDY
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Quote:
Old, tired. nickel brass may not spring back after firing, as much as plain brass.
May cause the condition quoted above.
^^^This, especially with stiff loads like 21 gr of 2400 under a 240 gr pill. Doesn't have to be nickle plated brass either. Old work hardened regular brass will do it also.

I think this is the answer....
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Old February 19, 2017, 09:09 PM   #15
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As far as primers not being seated deeply enough goes.... that usually shows itself while loading the single-action revolver, before a shot is fired. A lot of us even make it a habit to spin the cylinder upon loading to be doubly sure. Some guys go so far as to do this as a final inspection of their reloads before they go back into the box for storage. But you have to rotate the cylinder a little bit for each round loaded and even if you don't spin the cylinder, some of the rounds as they approach the final position before firing will be dragging if they have a high primer. Still, it's a good habit to give the cylinder a brief spin after loading. It's not a show-off-flourish; it has a purpose. It takes no time or thought once it becomes a habit. I only really think about it if, for some reason, it doesn't spin smoothly, or, in this case, to explain its purpose.
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Old February 19, 2017, 09:10 PM   #16
243winxb
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In photo- bottom row- 3th from left.

Shows primer flow in to the firing pin hole. This may bind up the cylinder.
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Old February 19, 2017, 09:16 PM   #17
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Been loading 44mag SBH since the 70's. I'm on my 4th one and I've never loaded max loads more than 5-7 times. My top load was 24-25 gr of H-110. I had some trouble with the factory base pin getting loose. Since I went to Belt Mountain, haven't had any issues with it or my 5 other Blackhawks.
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Old February 19, 2017, 09:17 PM   #18
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Maybe. It might just look that way in the picture. Worth looking at, though.
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Old February 20, 2017, 10:50 AM   #19
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Simple to Diagnose; No Point in Arguing

You have been given numerous suggestions on what could be causing the issue, but it seems like you just want to argue how none of them could be true. Why?

Unless your SBH is somehow different than mine, this could not be much more simple to diagnose. There are very few places that a cylinder could bind up. With the exception of something like galling on the center pin or broken mechanisms, it can only be at the front by the barrel face, or at the rear between the case heads and the frame. When you hold the gun sideways against a light background, you can see an air-gap at both places UNLESS something is protruding too far and binding. So just look, and put this to rest. (Make sure the muzzle is pointing down when you do this, as the simple weight of the loaded rounds in the cylinder will cause them to slide back and close that gap if the gun is pointed up.)

On the slight chance that your eyes are not good enough for such a simple test, an alternative is to load the gun with ammunition that allows the cylinder to fully turn without binding, then grab a set of feeler gauges and select one that will easily slip through the gap both front and rear. Next time you feel it bind up, just slip that same feeler gauge in and you will instantly find the problem.

You briefly mention in post #5 that you actually looked at this gap, but apparently did nothing with what you found. If somehow a fired case was forced backwards out of the cylinder, and then stuck there because your cylinder is damaged or fouled, then you would easily be able to measure the "missing" gap between the case rim and the cylinder face. If the entire cylinder is being forced back and then bound up by the mechanism, you would easily be able to measure the "missing" rear gap in the greater front gap at the barrel.
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Old February 20, 2017, 11:10 AM   #20
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Yes, I would first identify the mechanical issue, i.e. where it binds, and then speculate on the causes. Not really following the age of the brass angle. Whenever I have had similar issue, it was a proud primer, a bullet ogive that was too long, or the base pin had edged loose.
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Old February 20, 2017, 11:21 AM   #21
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Another VERY simple test is to simply paint the full case head and primer of every round with a black magic marker before you load the gun, then shoot as normal. Keep this up until you get a bind. At that point, just use your hand to assist in turning the cylinder and rotate it through at least one full rotation (with the gun pointing down), giving each case, fired or not, a chance to slide by all points on the rear frame.

Now just eject the cases and inspect the heads for scratch marks in the black coating. Not only will this tell you exactly what was binding, but if you pay attention to which case was in which cylinder hole and collate this information between several full loads/binding, you will identify if it might be specifically related to a single chamber.

I will also note that on both my .44 SBH and .357 BH, there is a slight ledge milled into the rear frame just below the top firing position, making the top two positions by far the most likely places for any binding (assuming that all SBHs are milled this same way). When I have a proud primer, it ALWAYS shows up just before that round is rotated into the firing position.
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Old February 20, 2017, 10:12 PM   #22
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Here is another thought, the base pin has a spring loaded pin in the tip. Its purpose is to push the transfer bar rearward. If the pin is not doing its job, fouled or worn spring. Then the transfer bar can move forward and bind when you cock the hammer, IF the barrel is tipped down. Tip the barrel upwards when you cock the hammer when it binds the next time if it's the transfer bar the hammer will cock and the cylinder will finish rotating.
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Old February 21, 2017, 12:08 AM   #23
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That's a good point, Master Blaster. But if it's an older 3-screw model without a transfer bar it might not apply.
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Old February 21, 2017, 12:46 AM   #24
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I would first give the cylinder's chamber throats a VERY good scrubbing, getting out ALL the crud. They might cause the fired case to stay back against the firewall after expansion.
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Old February 21, 2017, 01:05 AM   #25
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The OP is an 30+ year reloading veteran.
Believe me, he immediately will notice if he did something wrong.
Even I with my less than 1 year reloading experience know exactly what I am doing.

The gun is most likely an SAA 1873 similar model as is my Pietta 357 magnum with transfer bar.
Thosr have lots of screws and springs which like to get loose.
I had my gun falling apart on the 4th cylinder. After locktiting screws and springs nothing looses anymore.

However internally are lots of springs and screws as well. Most likely something has gotten loose or is broken.
There is a phenomena with the SAA 1873 variants as well called Barrel Cylinder gap Endshake.
Simply the cylinder has too much play from years of use that it needs a shim (Endshake).
Here is a little info about endshake http://www.grantcunningham.com/2007/...e-of-endshake/

Or the gun has an cylinder wearing problem or some things got internally loose or broken.


OP is the autor and propietary of this photo.

BTW this is how my primers look like as well only 357 mag load in 38 spl cases. You are on the upper part of powder load. Those reloads are fine. Its the gun what fails.

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