cylinder froze, brass stuck in my GP100


September 20, 2005, 07:22 AM
Shooting very mild loads (feels like a .38 +p or so) from a known, trusted source. Never a problem in the past with them.

Gun was clean. Only shot six before this happened: after firing the first shot of the second cylinder full, I couldn't pull the trigger again. The cylinder was stuck. I eventually forced it out, emptied the live rounds, but couldn't eject the brass that was stuck. I took the cylinder off and had to drive the brass out by dropping a screwdriver into it and hammering it out.

The brass did not even look jacked up. No bulges or anything like I have seen pictures of with overpressures. It might be a little warped, but I don't know if that was from me driving it out, or if it was already like that. Also the spent primer looked ruptured, but again, had to use some force to get the cylinder open, and the brass was what had it welded shut, forced as far back as it could go, so it could have been ripped in the process of forcing the cylinder open.

I don't know what could have happened. That round felt a little more potent, but didn't feel near as strong as even some factory loaded stuff I have shot, like normal stuff from walmart, much less double tap stuff or anything.

Any ideas?

If you enjoyed reading about "cylinder froze, brass stuck in my GP100" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 20, 2005, 07:29 AM
Could the proceeding round been a squib load and thus and obstructed barrel?
Just how "trusted" is the source of the ammo?

I am no gunsmith, but a check of the barrel for signs of bulging might be in order..

September 20, 2005, 08:42 AM
The preceding rounds were all fine I think. Or at least they all made holes downrange, so there was definitely nothing left in the barrel. That's what a "squib" is, when a bullet sticks in the barrel?

Bulging? Don't say that! Would I be able to tell just by eyeing it? I didn't notice anything unusual upon cleaning, but I wasn't looking for anything in particular either. Don't have access to it right now.

September 20, 2005, 08:50 AM
jih-I am glad you are not having to do your typing with one hand after this incident. Might be time to redefine "trusted source."

Generally if you have bulging, you will notice when cleaning since the rod/patch will "jump" when they hit the bulge due to the decreased resistance.

If this was an overcharge, it may be a good thing it was a Ruger. They are tougher than most others....

September 20, 2005, 09:07 AM
Thanks 45. Yeah, main thing is no one was hurt.

I use a bore snake. There are faster and slower spots when I pull that thing through, but because the snake is not uniform it's like that anyways. Wouldn't the rifling look jacked up if it were bulged? I'll double check this afternoon.

If was an overcharge, wouldn't I have felt some crazy recoil? It wasn't even as strong as the remington 125gr jhp, and apparently those are nowhere near max pressure.

I was getting pretty excited about these reloads, about to buy a press of my own. I had bought .357 dies and conversion kit in order for him to make rounds for me in his press, and was impressed with how much tighter my groups were over factory ammo.

Now I think I am just going to cut my losses at the dies, and stick with WWB.

September 20, 2005, 10:13 AM
It might be worth borrowing or purchasing a rod and brush just to see if you have a bulge. Wally World sells them cheap.

Giving up on reloads is not necessary, just make sure they are YOUR reloads and that you are triple cautious. I have reloaded and shot thousands and thousands of reloads in many calibers. Once I had a stuck bullet, but I was looking for a real light load and I used too light a charge. Another time I got a little ambitious with a load and had to send one back to the factory for minor repair. I learned from those incidents. No major ill effects. I double check my loading data before I throw the charges. After I throw the power charge for all the rounds, I get under a good light and look in each case for a charge that is different from all the rest, and I throw out anything suspicious. Then I check my loading data AGAIN.

Reloading can be cheaper, and it can produce ammo that is more accurate than factory. You can also tailor loads to your needs, and I find it enjoyable. But it is not for the careless or easily distracted.

Shooting carries with it responsiblity, and so does reloading. I do not reload for others, though I will help them get started if they are interested. I view it as a very personal thing.

Good shootin'...

September 20, 2005, 10:36 AM
no reason not to make your *own* reloads. just don't use *his* reloads. you've even got the benefit of having already experienced a problem, so you'll be more vigilant from the start.

Working Man
September 20, 2005, 11:01 AM
it may be a good thing it was a Ruger. They are tougher than most others....


September 20, 2005, 11:10 AM
from a known, trusted source

Please reconsider this source. :)

September 20, 2005, 11:37 AM
May be a dirty chamber. Or improperly sized brass. Or a rough chamber (sometimes tiny machining marks get left behind that can cause sticking).

If the gun is well used and this one stuck case was a singular event, I would just give it a good cleaning and assume it was out of spec brass.

September 20, 2005, 06:01 PM

The ruptured primer indicates that the pressure on that round was way high. The sticking case also indicates high pressure. The recoil and muzzle blast from an overpressure round would not necessarily be unusual. The two most likely causes of overpressure that come to mind in this case are; a bore obstruction, and a double charge of powder.

A bore obstruction is likely to be caused by a preceding squib load, usually caused by a complete lack of powder charge, which gives the bullet insufficient velocity to exit the bore. Although most people firing a squib load may notice something funny about it, they usually don't suspect anything, unload the firearm and check the bore; they just try again and fire another round. That's the one that gives high pressure. A bulged barrel or chamber may not be visibly different. Measuring with a bore micrometer works a lot more precisely than visual inspection. After "firing through" such a bore obstruction, you would still expect to see holes in the target from both bullets, though they would be likely to be fliers.

It is amazingly easy to load a double powder charge, especially if you are using a load that fills the case less than halfway. It happens most commonly with fast burning pistol powders. The recoil and blast from such a load would not necessarily be so unusual as to be noticeable; with fast burning powders, the powder burn is over with long before the bullet exits. The brief but very high pressure spike will, however, produce noticable effects on the brass and maybe the gun, giving difficult or very difficult case extraction, blown primers, expanded primer pockets, etc. This kind of high pressure may bulge the cylinder, but is unlikely to bulge the barrel. The bore micrometer, again, can be valuable in investigating the cause of the incident.

I would recommend that you check the gun thoroughly before you fire it again in case it has been weakened.


September 20, 2005, 06:16 PM
I'ld bet on a double powder load.

September 20, 2005, 10:41 PM
1. Is your gun chambered for .357? If so, do you put a steady diet of .38spl through it without thoroughly brushing each chamber upon cleaning? This will cause problems as the rings build up in front of .38 spl cases in the chambers. Eventually, you'll have a bugger of a time trying to get stuck, spent cases out.

2. Ensure that the ejector rod hasn't started to loosen up. If it comes unscrewed, you can have some problems opening the cylinder. (I've had this happen with only one of my revolvers.)

3. The primers were seated correctly,correct? They weren't seated high, were they? If so, they can make it hard to open the cylinder.

Just some thoughts. Good luck.

September 20, 2005, 11:22 PM
it may be a good thing it was a Ruger. They are tougher than most others....

Aye, this is true; but the internet being the internet, I feel a compulsion to post this before someone pipes in with the word "indestructible" and (in the same sentence) a double-digit recipe involving Bullseye. Until you've actually had that conversation, you probably think I'm joking. ("Aw hell, it'll take it!" *shudder*)

At any rate, it brings a tear to my eye to see a damn fine revolver like this SBH resigned to such a fate.

2. Ensure that the ejector rod hasn't started to loosen up. If it comes unscrewed, you can have some problems opening the cylinder. (I've had this happen with only one of my revolvers.)

Yes, I agree. If the extractor on your GP-100 unscrews, there are problems. :p :evil:

September 21, 2005, 12:55 AM
Yeah I do shoot alot of .38spl through it, but even after extensive scrubbing, there is still a line there. It looks like a line is worn into the finish. A ring of a brighter shade in all the cylinders.

The extractor rod is held in with a pin. I removed it before removing the cylinder to drive the brass out.

Everything seems to be ok now, but what is recommended in the thorough inspection before shooting again? If the barrel is not bulged enough for me to notice, and I shoot it, could that be problem? (as I don't have a bore micrometer).

September 21, 2005, 04:04 AM

Re: thorough inspection.

The bore is the less critical part here. If you don't have a bore micrometer, call around gunsmiths or machinists to find someone who has one and knows how to use it. If you still come up short, a fairly tight patch on a jag tip on a cleaning rod will work adequately. Look for a loose zone in the bore. This is not critical to safety, and probably not critical to accuracy, either. However, if the barrel is bulged you may have trouble with lead or jacket fouling in the future.

The cylinder is more important. If it is bulged it is weakened and should not be used unless you like the idea of a handful of high-velocity steel fragments. You could use some snug fitting fired brass to see if it is loose in one of the chambers, but I wouldn't trust it. Look for the micrometer.


September 21, 2005, 04:56 AM
I'm betting on a double charge.

September 21, 2005, 06:35 AM
A squib load is one that has significantly lower pressure. It may be due to a bad primer or low amount of powder .Often , though not always the bullet gets stuck in the barrel. An overcharge has more powder than it should and results in higher recoil ,hard to eject cases and if a double or triple charge of powder has been used it can severly damage the gun !!

September 21, 2005, 09:19 AM
Need more information.
Were you shooting .38 special loads and then switched to reloads using .357 cases??
Lead build-up in the cylinder walls is known to cause the problem you experienced.
.38 wadcutter loads are notorious for this phenom, shoot a bunch of wadcutters and then switching to .38 semi wadcutters or even roundnose loads without first brushing the cylinder walls clean and the cylinder sticking syndrome will suddenly show up.
There may be nothing wrong with your gun that a good cylinder wall cleaning might rectify

September 21, 2005, 09:03 PM
from a known, trusted source.Not any more...

September 22, 2005, 06:34 PM
Well, I would still trust him. With anything. But I am nixing my plans for my own press for the time being. I had actually bought the dies he is using in his press to reload for me. So I wouldhave learned from him anyways.

By the way, found this quote on another forum in looking for answers (not really an answer here, but I guess it's not uncommon):

"I shot comp. for 5 years a watched many of wheelgun have the primers back out and lock it up. In factory fodder, the 44specials by Rem. were noted for that. With that said, one of my favorites is an early Smith 36 ( old chief special), but I mainly carry a Detonics Pocket 9. Very, very dependable. NO jams in 20 yrs. . 2 other favorites is a Delta Elite and my ol' dependable Steyr GB."

Though I don't know if my primer was backed out. It actually looked a little recessed.

September 22, 2005, 10:34 PM
Or somehow, the right charge but, wrong powder??

September 22, 2005, 10:37 PM
"I shot comp. for 5 years a watched many of wheelgun have the primers back out and lock it up.No, that is not at all what happened to you. A primer backing out would simply tie up the cylinder, it would not cause extraction problems or cause the report to sound different.

September 23, 2005, 03:49 AM
I guess it's possible that I made it difficult to extract myself by bending it a little or somethingtrying to get the cylinder open.

But I agree with you. I really had to drive that thing out. I think the brass was tight all theway through.

September 24, 2005, 12:16 AM
I've been reloading since '78 and I've had stuck cases before. Usually .357 Mag. But a few months ago my S&W 13 got locked up and had to be taken to the Gunsmith. He determined that the problem was the .38 Spl. cartridge case(with a modest load) . One which I though had been dumped. The case had exceded its lifespan and had been reloaded just one time too often. Normally upon ignition the case expands and contract with the pressure. This case expaned and stayed expanded. Nothing major on a pistol range with steel plates.

September 24, 2005, 12:34 AM
"...for him to make rounds for me in his press..." Never use anybody else's reloads. Ever. Use your buddy's kit, but load 'em yourself.
Onmilo, has an extremely valid point and I suspect he's exactly right. If you use .38 cases in a .357, there will be a build up of lube in the cylinders. Changing cases without cleaning will give you grief. Doesn't matter what bullet. Loading .357 cases with .38 loads make this go away. Shot 148 grain WC's using 2.5 of Bullseye for eons with my GP. No fuss. No bother.
Either way, don't give up on reloading. It's the only way you'll be able to use the best ammo for your firearm. Just buy an RCBS Beginner's kit. You have the dies. The only thing you'll need is a shell holder, bullets and primers.

September 25, 2005, 06:48 PM
I had the same problem a couple of years ago in my GP100. I stopped using .38 rounds, actually, I load .38 pressures into .357 brass now, and the problem stopped. No more .38 brass for me!


If you enjoyed reading about "cylinder froze, brass stuck in my GP100" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!