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Flame cutting

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Ruger GP100 fan, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Ruger GP100 fan

    Ruger GP100 fan Well-Known Member

    While cleaning my GP 100 after my last trip to the range I noticed that the strap over the cylinder has a cut across the strap that is visible when viewing from both sides. From what I've been told this revolver can hold up to a regular diet of properly loaded rounds using Win. 296 powder. Anyone else seen this kind of damage to your GP? Will it stop before it becomes deep enough to make the gun unsafe? At my last outing I shot 100 38sps,then 50 rounds of magnum loads with the starting load of 21gr of 296 for a 125 gr Horn.HP XTP according to Winchester's chart here: http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp , all within a little over an hour. The gun got very hot,but I just assumed that was normal. I've read post about other revolvers being cut by flames but not to this make/model. It made me so sick to see it that I just finished cleaning it and put it away for a couple of weeks not wanting to think about it.
  2. Ruger GP100 fan

    Ruger GP100 fan Well-Known Member

    A little more info. The gun has about 1500 rounds through it. About a quarter to third were 38 sp,the rest mostly a variety of weight bullets with 296 powder and CCI 550 primers. All cases trimmed to length and lead seated with a little more than half the width of the cannelure buried and hard crimped.
  3. springfield30-06

    springfield30-06 Well-Known Member

    From what I understand this is normal. I don't have a Ruger but my revolvers have the flame cutting that you are talking about. I'm not an expert on this subject but I've read in other threads here on THR that it only cuts into the top strap so far and then stops. I don't think that you have anything to worry about.
  4. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member

    From what I have read, 296 powder and 125 grain bullets is THE surefire way to get topstrap cutting. The topstrap of a GP100 is steel, the same as the top strap of a S&W; it's not impervious. I've read 296 reaches peak pressure just as the base of a 125 grain bullet enters the forcing cone.

    You could change powder or bullet if it worries you, but I think flame cutting there is inevitable in that combination. Where the difference in guns lies is that I don't think you will ever have to worry about splitting your forcing cone; unlike S&W K-Frames.
  5. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Slow pistol powders in magnum cartridges flame cut. Its simply the amount of hot gases produced by the larger amount of powder. While flame cutting is an indication of the level of loads used and a bit aesthetically distracting its not something that will damage the revolver enough to affect its safety or function. After a certain point the cutting will stop and not get any deeper.
  6. Ruger GP100 fan

    Ruger GP100 fan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the comments. They have really eased my mind. I am having trouble finding an in between bullet such as 140gr. The 158s seem to have more recoil. I'll stop using 125s with that powder. Best to go heavier or do 110gr not cause problems? I just really like the sound and flash produced by 296,but I'd toss it in a hurry if it meant ruining my GP. Many gun shop owners have told me not to worry about hurting a GP 100. It came on so sudden. At first I thought I had loaded too heavy,but 21gr is the suggested start load and I'm aware that under-charging with 296 can be worse than max charge. Thanks again. I'll take a pick and post it.
    One good thing came about because of it: I had picked up a very nice 22-250 and scope outfit at a very good price and I was able to spend more time getting familiar with it. A fantastic round,I think. They leave the barrel in a hurry,yet recoil is nearly non-existent.... and the round is fun to load!
  7. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I asked my gunsmith about it one time. he said it's normal and self limiting. my 686 shows more cutting than my security 6.
  8. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Well-Known Member

    Find a Marlin 1894 in .357 and shoot those 296 powered 125s to your heart's content. No flame cutting to worry about in that gun.
  9. Surefire

    Surefire Well-Known Member

    Does bullet weight make a difference?

    I love shooting .357 magnum, but I pretty much only use 158 grain, 180 grain, or 200 grain bullets.

    My GP 100 has easily 5,000 rounds through it and I do not notice a problem.

    Could it be lighter bullets at high velocity is part of the issue?

    Or is this due to just certain powders as some posters suggested.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010

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