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.44 Mag split case

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by twodawgs, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. twodawgs

    twodawgs Well-Known Member

    I carried this over from 24hr campfire.

    I was talking with my son today and he told me he had a problem with a .44 Mag round he shot through his Ruger Bisley SBH. He said it was a reloaded round, about 10 to 12 years old. He had been packing "just in case" and hadn't fired it in a year or so. He claims the barrel was clean and not obstructed. He hasn't really checked out the cylinder for cracks yet, or the barrel for any irregularities or obstruction. He's going to send me the case so I can get a look at it. He did say there was a lot of smoke out of the cylinder area.

    If I recall correctly, assuming the bore was clean, this may have been a case of "under loading", not using enough powder. However, it also sounds like the primer backed out and jammed the cylinder.

    Any thoughts?
  2. X-Rap

    X-Rap Well-Known Member

    If it was underloaded it still could have been over presure and pushed the primer. I believe the reason is the additional exposed surface area of powder that is ignited by the primer in a to lightly loaded case.
    It could have just been a case loaded one to many times, I often get split cases in .38spl but haven't had blown primers.
  3. tlen

    tlen Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you might want to explain the problem in more detail.
  4. twodawgs

    twodawgs Well-Known Member


    I didn't get much more info. He said the case is split all the way down the side. He couldn't remember if it was a LSWC, a Rainier, a JHP or a JSP. It makes a big difference to me because we loaded them together and I still have several boxes of them. If I'm going to start tearing them down I'd sure like to have a starting point.

    We used to load the LSWC with 7.0 gr. of Unique giving ~899 fps. Back then we didn't know too much about the Rainier's and likely overloaded them but we shot several boxes of them without any problems. We went at or near max. loads for the JHP and JSP. When he got the gun it was in excellent shape. I know, it was mine.

    Since he has the gun and I haven't seen it, everything so far is just guessing on my part.
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    It could have just been a case loaded one to many times, I often get split cases in .38spl but haven't had blown primers. X-Rap

    I second that. My 38 Spl brass is good for about 8 reloads on average.

    A blown primer and/or a slit case would account for the extra smoke. Be sure and check the gun for a barrel obstruction (squib) before firing the gun again.
  6. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Throw it away and don't worry about it.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    When straight wall cases like that fail, it is normally a split, either part way or all the way down the side, starting at the case mouth. Probably just died of old age. That can be a few firings, or many, depending on pressure.
  8. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    OR- If it sat in a leather loop in a gunbelt for the whole year, that'd do it. Some tanning products have chemicals that are VERY bad on brass.

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