Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BJung, Apr 27, 2022.
The cartridge headspaces on the rim so, as you said, you were able to close the cylinder everything should be properly headspace.
You don't mention the make or model of your revolver, could be a firing pin issue, broken or piece of debris wedged in somewhere it shouldn't be.
Rimmed cartridges, like 38 and 357, headspace on the rim. The rim also sets the proper relationship to the primer.
If the primer wasn’t struck, how did they become hangfires? Hangfire means…click….wait for it….boom. Do you mean misfire in that the bullet was still in the case?
I get light primer strikes and I'm trying to figure out what is wrong with it. There is a spring adjustment screw in the grip, but that doesn't seem to help. Any ideas?
If the primers had a light indent, where they seated fully?
Yeah, it's a mainspring tension screw.
It's supposed to be tight but, trying to get a lighter trigger pull, some folks loosen the screw thinking it's an adjustable screw (it's purpose is to facilitate disassembly) or even remove it then remove material from the end shortening it before replacing it.
Making sure that screw is tight would be the first place I'd start.
Dang, beat by a minute or 2.
Any idea where I could get a new one?
Seems the number one question is, were these hangfires or failure to fire?
This is a Failure To Fire, not a hangfire. A hangfire is a “click”, followed by seconds, then a “bang”. Shooting a flintlock is a very mild hangfire, longer ones have you changing your shorts.
.38’s headspace on the rim. If the cylinder closes, you’re GTG. If you had a proud primer, you’d see a slight indentation from the firing pin but most likely an FTF. How do the indentations look on primers where they fired ok? That tells a lot. No indentation most likely is a gun issue.
You could try Numrich, I found a spring there for my Colt King Cobra. I've used them for other parts as well. Here's a link:
As others have said, try tightening the screw first, it may have just worked loose.
Yes, it is possible but not probable that the mainspring has lost tension/weakened over the years.
Messing around with the strain screw has been a long standing tradition with Smith & Wesson revolvers thinking that was a good way to reduce trigger pull, probably since their inception.
That's always a good first place to look.
If it's tight and your still experiencing light strikes, replace the screw, it's probably been shortened (Numerich, Brownells, Midway USA etc all carry parts like that)
If that doesn't work, a mainspring replacement may be your next step unless you're comfortable popping (NOT PRYING)
the sideplate off (plenty of YouTube videos on how to do this properly) looking for excessive fouling (not too likely) or excessive dried up lube (a little more likely IMO)
While a firearm from the '70's isn't exactly old, there's no telling what previous owners may have done to I over the years.
Use common sense and stay safe.
The Ruger sounds like a gun issue. But I do not know what issue.
I see that you're in California.
I seem to recall an issue with light primer strikes stemming from S&W's attempt to comply with some of California's rather odd gunlaws; specifically a passing grade in a drop test.
IIRC, Smith changed some of the springs and the length of the firing pin to meet those requirements.
I don't know what to tell you about finding out if your revolver is being affected by that but, it would seem to me that finding out what parts were altered and replacing them might help you.
Edit: replacing with factory standard (not more CA compliant parts )
Interesting. I had a similar problem with a couple rounds that did not fire on the first try. I took them out and saw a light strike to the primer. Upon putting them back in the revolver (S&W 686Plus) they both fired and showed deeper, normal looking dents in the primers. The firing pin to back of cylinder has a larger gap in the 686Plus than in my 642, but I can't determine the exact gap as I misplaced my feeler gauge.
The cylinder may not have rotated . Or on firing, the cylinder rotated backwards.
Next time to the range, watch the cylinder to see if it turns & locks when pulling the hammer back.
Also, after firing a shot, check to see if the cylinder is locked in place. Should not be able to move the cylinder with a finger tip.
Clean & lube the action.
Out of time? A Smith & Wesson? IMPOSSIBLE!!! Why, I've been told by some of the smartest and most experienced gun owners (on the internet) that only happens to Colt's revolvers!!
I have had the cylinder on my 629-2 rotate backwards on firing with heavy(er) loads.
It only started happening after many years and a couple thousand rounds though.
Never had that problem with my 629-3 with the"endurance package".
Why go to the range? Go into your bathroom, sit on the throne. Empty the cylinder and point at you jewels and pull the trigger watching for rotation. If you don't follow my instructions, you will only mess up a little area and the misses won't get mad and you will be only be yelling in soprano. lol
The Hammer Block is only an issue if the gun was taken apart recently & not replaced correctly.
Not common problems.
The initial spark from the primer flashed over the forward placed powder charge causing delayed ignition. The lack of firing pin hit was the result of the firing pin/hammer rebounding before the ignition allowing internal pressure to flatten the pin mark.
I’ve seen it before with deteriorated powder. In old .38 cartridges.
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