Taurus M444


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towusa
September 24, 2007, 05:57 AM
Subject: Taurus M444 ULTI .44 Magnum Titanium Revolver

I bought this revolver, new, at a gun show on July 15, 2007. I cleaned the weapon and took it to the Shooting Range on July 27, 2007. It was fully loaded and a first shot was attempted. The revolver blew up in my hand and was totally destroyed. Fortunately no one was in the immediate vicinity and no bystanders were injured. I received a small one inch cut on my left thumb that bled a small amount and was not serious.

I proceeded to analyze the revolver failure and took several photos.

The barrel indent shown in the attached PDF file shows a clear indication that the bullet lodged against the inner sleeve and resulted in excessive pressure that caused the cylinder to fracture and led to subsequent structural failure. A caliper measurement of the indent width was 0.0932 inches and matched the measured diameter of the 240 grain semi jacketed nose from one of the recovered cartridges. This indicates the bullet lodged in the cylinder due to an obstruction caused by the possible misalignment of the barrel to the cylinder. The semi-circular shape of the indent also matches the characteristic of the round nose of the bullet. I believe this is the cause of failure. I checked the barrel by trying to insert an unspent .44 Mag cartridge into the cylinder end of the barrel. It did not fit nearly as well as a similar attempt with a .357 mag cartridge in a Rossi revolver that was used for comparison purposes. Is a chamfer needed at the cylinder end of the barrel to allow the bullet to start its journey with less pressure? Has anybody had a similar problem?

This is the first time I have ever had an incident of this nature. Repeated attempts to contact Taurus have not resulted in a straight answer in over two months. They keep saying it is in review. My main concern is getting my money back (or getting a replacement) and getting Taurus to review their design. If it is a problem and a safety concern that could present a hazard to the shooting community then be forewarned I would recommend checking the alignment of any new Taurus revolver of this type before firing the first round.

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