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Blown Primers Damaged My Revolver?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by rod5591, Feb 5, 2012.

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  1. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    In 2007 I bought 4 boxes of Winchester Super X .357 Mag 157 GR JHP

    Today I tried to shoot a box and about 30 rounds into the box my S&W .357 jammed. The firing pin was melted and fused to the primer.

    It turns out my ammo was not Winchester it was reloads. The primer melted my firing pin, I have to send it back to S&W to fix. Below is my order info.

    What would you do if you were me? I am PISSED :cuss:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    1. Winchester® Super-X® Handgun .357 Magnum 158 Gr. JHP 50 rds.
    Product: WX2-13954
    In Stock.
    Quantity: 4, Unit Price: $31.32, Total Price: $125.28
    Adult Signature and Receipt Service is required.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Winchester® USA Pistol .38 Special 130 Gr. FMJ 50 rds.
    Product: WX2-12044
    In Stock.
    Quantity: 2, Unit Price: $12.80, Total Price: $25.60
    Adult Signature and Receipt Service is required.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Payment Information:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Merchandise Total: $150.88
    Shipping and Handling: $17.99
    Shipping Method: [Ground]
    Coupon: [SPG2068] - $10.00
    Adult Signature: $2.00
    ---------------------------------------------==============-----------
    Grand Total: $160.87

    Enjoy the outdoors!

    ========================================
    To contact us via Postal Mail write to:
    S. G. Customer Service, 411 Farwell Ave., So. St. Paul, MN 55075-9876
     
  2. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    How can you prove it was reloads?
     
  3. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Member

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    you're just now using ammo you bought in 2007? Did you inspect all of the boxes when you received it?
     
  4. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Maybe sometime during the past 5 years, gremlins got in and reloaded it all. Gremlins are sneaky little things.
     
  5. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    how can i prove they are reloads? 1) There is no sealant, 2) Some of the primers are set above the level of the cartridge, 3) THEY melted the firing pin and ruined my gun

    that's how i know
     
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    What sealant? Most manufacturers don't apply sealants to their cartridges.

    That kind of stinks, as a quality-control issue, but doesn't prove these are reloads.

    How does a primer melt your firing pin? Are you saying that the primers blew out? Or that they cratered and flowed into your firing pin aperture, jamming the gun? Or is your firing pin literally damaged? As it stands the statement doesn't make sense. Primers don't even get very hot. No where near to steel-melting temps. If the fire contained by the cartridge on firing was hot enough for long enough duration to melt steel, your barrel wouldn't be long for this world, either. So something else is going on.

    Even one primer blowing out is not enough to damage a gun. Most of us have had it happen from time to time and the guns still work just fine.

    Have you got the gun apart now? Can you take pictures of any of this? If the gun is "ruined" there must be some physical damage we could look at.

    Have you contacted Winchester with the part numbers and lot numbers of the ammo? If there is any measurable issue with the remaining ammo, they'll replace it, and probably throw in an extra box or two for your trouble.
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Right. If the primer melted the firing pin, then the primer and cartridge would have been a mess before the firing pin melted.

    Rod, you have pics to show us, yes?
     
  8. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    You can have popped primers cause gas cutting to the firing pin or its orifice.

    I suspect what's actually going on is Winchester is having QC problems (again) and thier ammo caused his revolver to malfunction. Not that there is a conspiracy to substitute crap reloads for new ammo.

    BSW
     
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    In 30 rounds? Ok, I doubt it, but maybe.

    So, lets have a look at the cases. Did 30 primers actually pierce and blow through? If so, I'd also want to take a look at the projection of his firing pin. Becomes a "chicken and the egg" sort of question. Primers getting pierced is generally a sign of the FP being longer than spec.

    Very likely so. But "causing a malfunction" and "ruined my gun" are two very different things.
     
  10. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    I want to see pictures too. I have been a victim of crap factory ammo myself. 1 box of Remington .45acp had 1 round that had no rim and a box of Tula .40s&w had a squib load that stuck in the barrel (boom, boom, pop, STOP!). Is the head stamp the same on the troubled rounds? It does sound like a quality control issue with Winchester. Although, I would not entirely rule out someone maybe pinching a few rounds of ammo from work (Sportsmans Guide)....Maybe replace them with reloads? I am not suggesting that occurred in any way and it is VERY unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
     
  11. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    This one doesn't pass the smell test.

    There's not a reload on this planet hot enough to MELT a firing pin. Just can't happen. As someone else pointed out, gas & fire erosion is real, but it takes a lot more rounds than this, and causes tiny pits to develop over a long period.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Well, the OP hasn't been back since Monday, and without pictures and more information I don't see anything more we can do here.

    I'm going to close this for now. Rod, when you do get back with some pictures, please send me a PM and I'll open this back up for further discussion.
     
  13. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    Pics

    Sorry I was late responding, I am really tied up with work a lot these days. I have pics to post that might help identify what the problem was. I do appreciate the members taking their time to respond.

    These pics show a few of the fired rounds and the remains of the firing pin, as well as different views of some unfired rounds. The gunsmith I took the gun to said the rounds were reloads, and that they damaged the firing pin to the point that it would no longer work.

    Is his analysis correct, do you think? If so what should I do? It seems wrong that factory ammo (or reloads sold as factory ammo) would damage the gun.

    I bought the gun about 5 years ago. I've only put about 500 rounds through it.
     

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  14. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    more pics

    here are some more pics of the ammo that ate my gun
     

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  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    [I've moved this into the gunsmithing section where it will be seen by more and more knowledgeable members, and changed the title for clarity.]
     
  16. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    the ammo box . sorry it is blurred
     

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  17. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    another view of the winchester super x 357 mag 158 gr JHP ammo.
     

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  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Am I correct in reading the two on the right as grossly over pressure?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    last pic. the gunsmith says they are likely reloads......

    thanks for your input. I am planning on sending the gun back to S&W since the gunsmith says that S&W firing pins are not available except through S&W factory...is this true???
     

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  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Those do look hot, being flattened like that. But if the FP protruded too far and punctured the primer, I don't know what they'd look like.
     
  22. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Why the breech insert has a wide recess cut on it? This is not normal. I think that this is your problem, not the ammo.

    Boris
     
  23. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    It certainly looks like two of the three rounds have pierced primers and excessive pressure, but no reason to believe that they are reloads.
    It looks to me like a QC issue with the Winchester ammo.
    It's likely that your firing pin had the tip broken, as it would take a lot of pierced primers to erode or "melt" a firing pin.


    NCsmitty
     
  24. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    The two to the right do look like they are way over pressure. The primers flowed outward before the pressure finally burst the cup. If they were not over pressure, then I suppose the primer cup could have been abnormally soft.

    It's hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like there is a clear primer sealant used. Is this consistent with Win Super X factory ammo?
     
  25. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    I have some Win 357 nickle brass that I've reloaded once w/ a good (low rd count) carbide die. I'll try to look at them tonight to see if the die made any visible marks on the cases. The photos above do not show any signs of being re-sized. If they are re-loads, someone did a damn fine job of belling the cases just right... Looks like factory ammo to me.

    Edit: The Win 357 nickle reloads of mine show slight markings where the die stopped sizing approx. 0.030 above the head. Sized w/ low rd count RCBS carbide die. I would think any die would make similar markings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
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