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Finally broke my Valtro...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by larryw, Aug 9, 2004.

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  1. larryw

    larryw Member

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    Yep, after only a bit more than 1250 rounds of shooting without cleaning (500 rounds being Wolf 230gr FMJ), my Valtro quit running today--right in the middle of a good string on the steel too, darn-it! The disconnector got so gummed up it wouldn't cycle and the hammer kept falling to half-cock instead of going bang.

    What a piece of junk. :D

    (She's resting comfortably in the safe right now, well cleaned and oiled and recovering from my torture test; nice to know the limits of a gun.)
     
  2. Zardoz

    Zardoz Member

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    Sounds like a good way to screw up a pistol. :uhoh:
     
  3. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Wow. That's one way to test it!

    500 rounds of wolf is impressive, if you mean without any cleaning whatsoever.
     
  4. larryw

    larryw Member

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    I ran a bore snake through it to keep the bore obstruction free and took the slide off after every session to look for signs of galling/wear and to keep the rails, guide rod and barrel properly oiled. Other than that and an external wipe, nothing was done in the way of maintenance for the duration.

    It looks just fine and I don't see any wear beyond the break-in that finished about 3000 rounds prior to the start of the test.

    Yep, a good way to screw up a pistol if you're not paying attention. But there's no better way to learn the limits of the tool. ;)
     
  5. RWK

    RWK Member

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    With respect, I cannot understand how anyone would treat a wonderfully built, Jardine-fitted, 1998A1/1991A1 as described. Obviously, it is yours to use and to care for as you wish, but it astonishes me. Please take no offense at this post. I am NOT critical, only very surprised.
     
  6. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    I avoid particularly dirty ammo these days. My 1911 gets cleaned only every 2000-3000 rounds.

    -z
     
  7. larryw

    larryw Member

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    No offense taken. That's a valid and fair question. Thread veer alert!

    I guess it boils down to perspective: tool vs. safe queen.

    Spend some time talking to John Jardine and you'll know he builds combat weapons. Dane Burns builds safe queens (that run).

    The Valtro is my primary SD pistol; a quality tool to be used. I demand to know what my tools will do, how long and to what extent I can run them.

    Nothing abusive has ever been done to the tool either during the test or since I bought it new. Doing so would damage the tool and negate the value of the test, wouldn't it? Just a fair representation of what to expect when the chips are down and cleaning isn't an option.

    I remember how the gun's feel changed shortly before it started to malfunction: now I won't be surprised should it ever happen again, regardless of round count. And that's really what I was looking for; I'm not going to be humping around a case of 45 ammo any day soon.

    Running the gun dry for any length of time would be abusive. Running it like this without constantly checking it for wear or damage would be abusive. Continuing to run it after finding wear or damage would be stupid and the waste of a fine tool.

    Frankly, yanking it out of a kydex holster a couple hundred times has been more abusive than my test... :D

    If I'm going to trust the life of my family to any tool, I'd better damn well know its limitations. Does everyone know how their weapons will run under extreme circumstances and know the warning signs they'll encounter as their weapons start to give up the ghost? Heaven forbid they find out the hard way.
     
  8. RWK

    RWK Member

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    larryw -

    Thanks for the reply to my earlier post; I am very glad I did not offend you. Your logic -- tool versus safe queen -- cannot be faulted. I know my heart-deep thought is I have long wanted a Jardine Valtro (but can never justify the price to myself); if I ever buy one, it will probably be my most prized “safe queenâ€.

    Best regards
     
  9. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    That is akin to having a purebred Siberian Huskie and chaining him to the back fence. I not only wouldn't shoot Wolf ammo in any gun I liked, I would seriously consider shooting anybody who did put it in one of my guns. Kiss your Valtro and beg her forgiveness.:eek:
     
  10. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    Do some searches about what steel case ammo does in a precision gun. Add the fact that Wolf has a lacquer coating that deposits into the throat. FYI: commie guns built to cycle steel case ammo have to have looser throats because the steel case does not "return" as far from the expansion at detonation. Many new guns will not cycle steel, painted or unpainted because it screws up the unlock cycle of the gun because steel and brass do not expand and contract the same.

    Steel rims also wear extractors a lot faster. Add to it the extractor may be trying to yank a case that is crazy-glued into the throat by lacquer build up, and you understand all the posts with the puictures of extractor hooks sheared off.

    Ask Mr Jardine what he thinks of putting steel case commie ammo in his guns. Might want to have your ear muffs on......
     
  11. larryw

    larryw Member

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    Why would you say that? The new poly coated Wolf ammo is very reliable, accurate enough to hammer the plates and I don't need to go chasing the brass through the weeds.

    Oh, I know, you read somewhere on the internet that the steel cases damage the ejector and extractor. I bought a QUALITY gun made from QUALITY parts by a EXPERT smith who hardness tests everything so I wouldn't need to worry about that myth. This ain't no Kimber or Springer.

    The "commie" guns are loose so they shoot in any condition. Pour sand in them, whatever, they shoot. Combat weapon (how I use the Valtro), get it?

    Who's got the URL for that site that lists Internet lore? Let's add another... :rolleyes:

    By the way, when I went to Jardine's house so he could tweak my safety, we discussed ammo and he didn't balk when I asked about Wolf. I'll bring it up again next time I see him.
     
  12. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    Actually, I read gunsmith journals showing how to fix guns with cases jammed in the barrels. I suppose those articles and photographs wer a hoax to spread the myth.

    I did not say Mr jardine's guns are anything less than excellent, but if you think that steel case ammo can not damage a precision firearm, then you are subscribing to a myth, not I.

    What you fail to acknowledge is something any gun designer knows (or mechanical engineer, which I am). Steel and brass ain't the same. A 1911 is a recoil operated pistol. The slide's rearward speed (which ultimately determines whether or not it will prioperly cycle) is derived in it's entireity from the recoil of the round MINUS THE ENERGY LOST TO DRAG. So, a steel case expands and hugs the throat longer (and tighter) and gets extracted requiring more force = less slide velocity.

    OK. We have a resident expert here who knows about guns. Why don't you ask Tuner what he thinks about steel case ammo in guns not designed for it with regards to extractor tip wear/stress and effect on cycle unlock timing. Since I clearly am full of crap, perhaps you would listen to him (and feed your gun some better ammo).

    "Poly" is another word for "plastic". Plastic plus heat = mess.
     
  13. larryw

    larryw Member

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    So we're quoting now. OK. All credibility was lost when you put forth:

    Love that "Ignore user" feature.
     
  14. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    Good test. It didn't "break" ...just dirty. :)

    Small point. Did you oil the disconnector "track" when you checked for wear? Just wondering, if you used a CLP product, whether that would have helped or just too much "gunk". Assuming the crud problem was at the tip??

    I read great reviews of the Valtro, i.e. stronger steel and little details.
     
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Beware the Wolf

    The problem with steel cased ammo isn't that it wears the extractor faster.
    The cases are very soft, mild steel. The problem is with the expansion
    charactistics of the material. To wit: It doesn't spring back after expansion
    as quickly or as much as brass, and the extractor has to jerk it free of the
    chamber instead of the case being loose enough to slide out.

    When the case resists extraction, it can also have an effect on the timing
    of the slide and barrel as things start to unlock. While this effect will be
    very small, and won't affect reliability in the early stages, it can delay
    full linkdown of the barrel enough to allow the lugs to contact the slide.
    Damage is always cumulative, and can cause some fairly expensive problems to the gun in short order.

    I've gotta go with Bountyhunter on this one. Would you buy a Ferarri and run cheap, bargain-basement oil in the crankcase? It's false economy. I don't even shoot Wolf in my beaters. No sense in handin' Murphy an engraved invitation.

    Just my nickel's worth...As always, we lays down our money and we makes
    our choices.:cool:
     
  16. CGofMP

    CGofMP Member

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    Can't be any worse than the gun up at Bullseye. This RENTAL unit has now cleared 400 THOUSAND rounds plus. I talked to John last night on the phone (just shooting the bull - but hey how can you NOT talk to the guy about guns?) and he had the thing in for a rebluing. I do not even wana THINK about what kinda ammo has been squeezed down the barrel of that thing... Oh and no major repairs on it as of yet either... When John reblues it he examines the H out of it too just to see how well his design is doing. I guess that 4340 Nickel Chrome Molly is really going the distance. :D

    Remind me NOT to attempt to 459 your residence! If you are checking the limitations and going up as high as 1200 rounds, I really pitty the guy that you have the first jam on when doing home defense work.... I'm still trying to figure how many rounds per square inch on a human body that 1200 rounds would cover. :neener:

    From what I saw you doin to those plates when we took my son shooting I really do not think your gun is gonna qualify for a gown and a crown.

    By the way.... I'll post more on this later, but if you get your hands on the newest issue of SWAT Magazine and flip it open to where the subscription card is you're gonna see a VERY cool article... guess which pistol they covered this time! :)

    Charles
     
  17. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    RWK,

    Then you sure don't want to see what I've done to various bucks-up 1911's... :uhoh: :eek:
     
  18. natedog

    natedog Member

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    400,000 rounds? Is that typical for a 1911? Any parts replacement?
     
  19. RWK

    RWK Member

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    Tams,

    I am sure you are right. As an engineer – and maybe, more important, the son of a “depression survivor†who was conspicuously thrifty – I really try to scrupulously care for al my equipments, especially including my handguns. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t use them considerably, but always within sensible parameters. By the way, this is not implied criticism of other approaches; it is mine, alone.

    Best regards -- Roy
     
  20. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    A Valtro broke? Wow I thought only Colts did, not those "ultimate 45s"....

    PS My defender did 2000 srtraight rounds without a hitch before I broke down and cleaned it (note barrel was cleaned every 300 rounds or so)

    WildacloneisstillacloneAlaska
     
  21. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    WildacloneisstillacloneAlaska,

    I have a hard time getting snobby about my Colts when I have guns I can really get snobby about. ;)
     
  22. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Ya do have a squeeze cocker...I knew it!

    Whats your user name on Park Cities Tactical?:neener: :D

    Wildmybroomiecanbeatupyourar70Alaska
     
  23. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    I used to, but I sold all my cheap guns. :neener: :neener: :D

    Nuh-uh! :p
     
  24. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    I assume the rental Valtro had 40,000 rounds through it, not 400,000 rounds with no major repairs. :)

    Otherwise we will soon be getting claims of Glocks going 2 million rounds...without even changing springs. ;)
     
  25. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    It isn't yours alone, it's also my approach and most other shooters I know. I pinch pennies until they bleed, but don't subscribe to do anything dangerous or potentially damaging to my weapons. I would rather have root canal than pay retail for anything. I admit to shooting low priced ammo by the ton (Sellier and Bellott as well as some high quality reloads), but the point is that it is the ammo the gun was designed to cycle. I would never run a gun dirty any more than I would run dirty oil in my car. Oil + dirt = polishing compound.

    For the record, I know two different shooters who suffered injuries from bad ammo related failures. In one case, the gun blew up in his hand and tore it up (not serious, painful and lots of blood). In another case, a guy had a .45 blow up and send pieces of metal flying back at his face. Glasses protected his eyes, some went into the skin of the face (not serious, probably required a change of underwear). Point is, that thing 18 inches in front of your face has an explosive device inside it..... you decide how much you want to discount the source of the explosives.
     
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