Quantcast

Carry pistol failure..

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Weldonjr2001, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Weldonjr2001

    Weldonjr2001 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    I was putting my S&W 940 (9mm revolver) into rotation so took it to the range yesterday morning. I fired 20 rounds, four 5-shot moon clips of Federal HST 124 grain +P and it shot great. I cleaned and lubed it in the appropriate places.

    Before loading it, as I always do with revolvers, I checked the carry up on all five chambers, then after loading it checked that there was smooth cylinder rotation since moon clips can, if mistreated, get bent and cause drag. All was well.

    Put it in it’s DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster in the left front pocket, and went about my day feeling pretty good about my latest carry piece.

    Yesterday evening I pulled it from the pocket and pulled the trigger just enough to introduce cylinder rotation, and NO ROTATION.

    I removed the moon clip full of live rounds and tried again. The cylinder would not rotate, though the trigger pull was smooth, and I could see the bolt drop and pop back up at the appropriate times. I pulled the trigger with the cylinder open by actuating the cylinder release, and saw the hand going through it’s proper motion, but noticed the tip of the hand that is supposed to engage the cylinder star was broken off!

    This means that the revolver had silently malfunctioned by itself in my pocket after successfully firing 20 rounds that morning, AND being function tested before being put in my pocket and counted on to be my possible life saver.

    And there was NOTHING I could have done differently to prevent it. One of my steps when I am cleaning a revolver is to put a drop of oil on the hand tip where it emerges from the frame and and actuate the cylinder to spread the oil onto the star, then wipe off excess from the star, so I know the hand was okay when I put the pistol back into service.

    Very sobering discovery.

    I called S&W and they are paying shipping both ways for return for repair.

    Even though the 940 is no longer made, all the other Centennial line is, so this there must be many thousands out there.

    I’ve had a bunch of S&W revolvers,,models 28, 29, 25, 686, and 36, and never experienced a parts breakage.

    The fact that going out the next day, if I only had that 940 on me, and needed to use it in a self defense scenarios, I would have had only one shot, is the sobering part to me.
     
    scaatylobo, Merle1, JeffG and 3 others like this.
  2. murf

    murf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,785
    Location:
    arizona
    welcome to the high road, weldonjr. bad luck for sure, but a sobering reminder to always have a backup plan for situations like this. also, hope smith and wesson treats you well.

    murf
     
    george29 and Weldonjr2001 like this.
  3. jar

    jar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,499
    Location:
    Deep South Texas!!!!!
    Actually if it wouldn't rotate you would not even have one round. Remember that a revolver does not fire the round under the hammer but rather the round that turns into position. No turn, no fire.
     
  4. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,153
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    “Yesterday evening I pulled it from the pocket and pulled the trigger just enough to introduce cylinder rotation, and NO ROTATION.”

    In the house!?


    Either way that sucks. I enjoy revolvers but they seem very complicated mechanically. I’ve take a few apart and prefer them for AIWB carry but I think if I had to put money on which gun would fire the longest without malfunction it would be glock or AR.
     
  5. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,793
    Location:
    Northern Idaho
    That happened to a revolver i owned in the past. It was a less expensive brand (not S&W or Ruger). It happened a couple of weeks after I sold it to a buddy. I helped him with the warranty return process. That was the first revolver I had ever seen break. It can happen on occasion.
     
    Pat Riot likes this.
  6. jr_watkins

    jr_watkins Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Texas
    My carry gun failure story didn't involve a revolver, but rather a Glock 27. I've carried the same Glock 27 (40S&W) since about 1996. It is part of me and I trust it completely, but....

    I shoot in my backyard range and I typically shoot whatever guns I'm playing with at the time and a magazine or two of my carry gun (Glock 27). I also dry fire on a regular basis, at least every two weeks. I do my own maintenance, including spring replacements and I am competent. Last year at the end of a shooting session I drew my Glock 27 to fire at "bob", my rubber dummie target, and received nothing! The trigger spring had broken and the gun would not fire. Not a good feeling that I had been carrying a useless device for the past week or so. The gun had functioned fine during dry fire, it wasn't until a week or so later when I drew and attempted to fire that the problem appeared.

    I'm much more pro-active and replace all springs every year now.
     
    Pat Riot and Hartkopf like this.
  7. 340PD

    340PD Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,779
    There has never been a gun manufactured by anyone that is not at risk of failure of one sort or another. Your experience is unusual to say the least and is the best example I can think of to carry a BUG.
     
    george29, Haywood, Boarhunter and 2 others like this.
  8. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    12,285
    Well that sucks.

    My theory is that while you started pulling the trigger of a loaded gun in your house, that God disabled your gun for you, since what you were doing violates basic firearm safety.

    Sorry to be that guy or sound preachy, but what you were doing really gives me pause, unless you have a bullet trap or "shootin chair" in your home. Sorry your gun is broken, but at least you figured it out now and not when you need it. Of course you would have discovered it on your next practice session. Your point about regularly checking function of a carry or home defense gun is well taken though.
     
  9. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Messages:
    3,684
    Location:
    Not DFW
    If there's a round under the firing pin it will go off. Most revolvers have a round under the firing pin.
     
    303 hunter, 1MoreFord, Monac and 4 others like this.
  10. jar

    jar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,499
    Location:
    Deep South Texas!!!!!
    If the cylinder will not turn you will not be able to cock the hammer.
     
    AZAndy, Ernie Bass and Highland Lofts like this.
  11. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Messages:
    3,684
    Location:
    Not DFW
    If the tip of the hand is broken the cylinder won't rotate but the hammer should cock.
     
    P5 Guy, Olon, JERRY and 7 others like this.
  12. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,986
    Location:
    NM-south of I-40
    Anything ever constructed by man can fail. Take it out of rotation and get it repaired. Just be glad someone wasn't shooting at you when this occurred.

    I've never understood rotating guns used as personal protection. Find one that you really like and train with it so everything about using it becomes second nature. When self defense becomes necessary is no time to be fumble fingering around with a gun that operates just a little differently from something that you are totally familiar with. I like shooting different guns just as well as anyone on this forum but there is a time and place for doing so and when your life is in danger isn't it.
     
    P5 Guy, crest117, 35 Whelen and 4 others like this.
  13. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,038
    Location:
    SE GA
    These are only ponderings. Not admonitions or advice.

    I sometimes question the Catch-22 involved with periodically firing your carry guns. The more they are fired, the more likely they are to wear and break. But how are you supposed to know if they are worn or broke without firing them?

    I am of the opinion that carry guns, once proven reliable with however many rounds, really only need to be kept clean from the grime they accumulate as being a carry gun.

    However, I still cant help but have to shoot the thing occasionally as well.
     
    walterelm likes this.
  14. Weldonjr2001

    Weldonjr2001 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    There was a live round under the internal hammer, and it would have definitely fired that round, just not advanced to the next round.
     
    P5 Guy, JERRY, Monac and 2 others like this.
  15. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,844
    It is for this reason that some people have two identical guns, one for carry and one for practice.
     
  16. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,848
    Location:
    Ca.
    Unless you have an identical one to practice with, not shooting your carry gun regularly will cause 95% of us to lose the skills needed to draw, aim, fire, reload etc. our carry gun under stress. They are truly perishable skills, and without refreshers they will fade with time.

    Yes, it may put a bit more wear on parts, but if it’s looked at closely when it’s being cleaned and oiled after shooting a lot of creeping issues can be spotted early. (A major failure like the tip of the hand breaking off may or may not be obvious depending on if the cracks are visible.)

    It’s not like riding a bicycle, which can be done passably after years of not riding, it’s like riding a bicycle well, which takes regular practice. And when the chips are down and it’s me or him, I sure want to be as good as I can be. :thumbup:

    I once had the hammer nose/firing pin break off of a 629 while I was shooting. That came as a complete surprise to me like the broken hand was to the OP. A quick trip to the Brownells website had a new firing pin / roll pin enroute to the house before I was packed up to head home from the range.

    Stay safe.
     
    Pat Riot and earlthegoat2 like this.
  17. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,333
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I think we have all had that gut punch at some point. If not yet, you will eventually. Mine was when I was caring a Sig P238 IWB. Somehow the mag release had been bumped and the magazine wasn't fully seated. I caught it during a routine check but it could have been like that for a week or more. It happened twice. Then I saw the light and started carrying a J-frame.
     
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    11,018
    Yep.

    Nor have I.

    It's waay beyond me.

    Does Sarah Chang rotate violins for concerts?
     
    P5 Guy, bdickens, Dave T and 2 others like this.
  19. ontarget

    ontarget Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,487
    Location:
    Michigan (Gods country)
    I had a NIB. S&W J frame fail on round #7. Turned out to be a sliver of metal from the machining process was not allowing the hand to engage the cylinder. The problem for me is that once the trust is lost it takes forever to gain it back. Therefore I carry my Taurus 85 Ultralight. It has never let me down. I still have the Smith and shoot it somewhat regularly and in time may put it in my holster.
     
    Haywood and Pat Riot like this.
  20. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2,362
    I have had malfunctions but never on my carry guns. Stories like this help to remind me to pay close attention when cleaning or working on my guns and to look for future possible problems, but even vigilance can’t catch everything.
    Thank you all for sharing.
     
  21. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Messages:
    230
    Sounds like Python-itis.
     
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    27,525
    One of those low probability - high consequence events.
    Nothing to do but carry on and not worry about it, nothing you can do anyhow.
     
  23. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    7,385
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    Not a carry piece, but was gonna join the roster of potentials.

    The gun is a Rossi Model 68 (Interarms vintage.) Dry-fired the tar out of it (snap-caps in place, as it has the hammer-mounted pin.) Never had an issue, and it felt really slick. But, first time on the range, using live ammunition, it kept locking up after every two or three rounds, requiring the cylinder be opened and re-inserted/indexed to continue fire. Glad I didn't take the usual given reliability of a revolver and pack it anywhere first.
     
  24. Weldonjr2001

    Weldonjr2001 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Wise words, and exactly how I intend to proceed. At 69 yo, and shooting for 50+ years, this is only the second metal part failure that has rendered a carry firearm useless after, one actually, and this case would have been, the first shot.
    Even if carrying another gun, which I always do, the surprise “what happened?” would certainly slow my going for the other.
    Just going to continue the way I always have, and try to remember to make that first shot as good as possible.
     
    Highland Lofts and ontarget like this.
  25. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,466
    Location:
    Colorado Rockies
    ".....then after loading it checked that there was smooth cylinder rotation since moon clips can, if mistreated, get bent and cause drag. All was well."

    In my opinion, this is what caused the breakage. DA revolvers are not designed to have the cylinder turned in this manner, and is very likely the cause of your problem.
     
    P5 Guy and entropy like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice