Ruger malf-don't think so


September 22, 2005, 08:25 AM
I have an old model Ruger Blackhawk in .357. It has been well used but not abused. Fired thousands of rounds, mostly reloads and some of them quite heavy ones. It is still in perfect mechanical shape with good, tight lockup.

At the range, it became jammed. That is, you could not cock the hammer due to the cylinder not rotating. After jiggeling and shaking, it resumed normal function only to happen again after a few rounds.

CLOSER inspection revealed a piece of bullet jacket jammed between the end of the cylinder and the end of the barrel. Cleared it, after a few more rounds, it happened again.

I was shooting some old 158 (appx) grain half jacketed bullets reloaded long ago (by me). I noticed that a few of the remaining rounds had green growing crud between the jacket and the bullet. It seems as if the jackets were coming apart upon firing and pieces jamming the gun. I only had a few left at this point and soon ran out with no more problems.

After, I fired over 100 rounds of other ammo of various types with no problems whatsoever.

Anyone ever have the same type problems? Be cautious if you find corrosion between the jackets and bullets of any ammo, reloaded or otherwide.

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J Miller
September 22, 2005, 11:25 AM

I have indeed had that type of problem. Shooting Ranier Coper plated bullets from my OM Blackhawk .45 I had a big section of the copper plating tear off and imbed itself in the forcing cone, and around the edges of same.

This caused a jam like you described and also caused the next rounds to spit fragments of bullets and powder.

It was almost impossible to remove all the imbedded copper from the forcing cone. It's almost as if it became fused to the steel.

The cause was my roll crimping the bullets and that caused the bond between the copper plate and the lead to break. Ranier told me to never roll crimp the bullets, but to taper crimp them.


September 22, 2005, 03:06 PM
JM, thanks for the reply. I, too, was roll crimping those reloads. I'll bet that my crimp probably had a role in the jackets coming loose or apart upon firing. As I have said, I've never had that happen before or since but I have never used those half-jackets any more either.

Again, thanks for the info.

September 23, 2005, 07:05 AM
Jacketed bullets should be roll crimped.
Lead bullets should be roll crimped.
In fact revolver ammo in general should be roll crimped.

Which is why I don't shoot plated bullets. I just can't see any advantage to them over good quality llain lead bullets.

J Miller
September 23, 2005, 10:55 AM
Which is why I don't shoot plated bullets. I just can't see any advantage to them over good quality llain lead bullets.

I can think some advantages:
>no leading in the chambers-throats, or barrel.
>less expensive than high quality cast bullets.
>far better than swauged lead bullets.
>more consistant than the cheap commercial cast bullets.

However I don't use them much either, I simply don't have a ready source of them. Shipping charges kill any price bennifits.


September 23, 2005, 04:52 PM
Since Berry's Plated Bullets has free shipping, and costs less than the Rainier plated bullets from MidwayUSA before shipping, I go with Berry's. Also I like the cleaner bore and chambers as opposed to the leading, bullet lube, and airborne lead vapors of cast bullets. For cheap range practice, cast used to be the only way to go. Not any more....unless you cast your own...and even then there is still the lead vapor risks...during casting AND shooting. The copper plated bullets are cheap, clean, feed well in semiautos, easy to reload, fewer health risks while shooting, and look great in clean brass. What's not to like? Oh yeah....that roll crimp semi-autos, you should lightly taper crimp anyway. In the wheelguns...taper mild to medium practice loads, a taper crimp will do just fine. And the brass will last longer to boot.

September 24, 2005, 06:18 AM
My point is that good high quality lead bullets don't have the "leading" problems that cheap ones do.

What most people assume is leading is a deposit of cheap bullet lube combined with powder residue.

But then too many people try to push plain base lead bullets at jacketed/gas checked bullet velocities in which case they will lead and they they blame it on the bullet.
I have never found the cleanup after shooting good lead bullets at a rational velocity to be any big deal.

September 24, 2005, 03:58 PM
no leading in the chambers-throats, or barrelThe absolute worst case of barrel leading I have ever encountered was using plated bullets. Literally turned my pistol into a smoothbore. Plating may reduce the chances of leading, but unless the plating is fairly thick and the underlying lead is reasonably hard, it can cause leading just as bad as from unplated bullets.

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