Why the Pfffft?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by berettaprofessor, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Well, I went out to try the 32 S&W loads that I loaded from the dies Dudedog sent me. I was using a Charter Arms Undercoverette with a snub barrel. Those loads (2.7 grains Win231 and the 80 grain projectiles) fired fine and I like the loading.

    But before I started, I had 5 rounds of 85 grain XTP's on top of 2.5 grains of Trailboss that had been sitting loaded in the revolver in the safe for better than a year. Four of those went "Pffft" with lots of smoke and either just barely lodged the bullet in the barrel or stuck it just a little out of the case; I had to push the bullet out or back into the case each time. The 5th didn't fire the primer after 2 strikes. Left a lot of soot across the cylinder and a lacquer like brown covering near the end of the cylinder. 5 more identical rounds, loaded at the same time but kept in a plastic case, fired normally.

    So, why just the rounds in the revolver? Moisture? I live in Kansas and the humidity seldom goes above 35% in the safe and it's in a dark cool environment. The only variable, though between these 5 and the ones stored in a case is that these were sitting in the revolver during that time.

    How can I trust keeping it loaded if this is going to be the result?
     
  2. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    Do you have more of the Trailboss batch to try? Maybe, pull one down just to check.

    Possible that a lot of cleaning solvent or oil was able to get to them somehow?

    Is odd.
     
  3. Cheesemaker

    Cheesemaker Member

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    When you clean your gun, do you oil the chambers? If the chambers were oiled the oil could've made its way into the loaded rounds?
    I recall reading somewhere (can't recall where now) that you should not oil the chambers if will keep the firearm loaded.
     
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  4. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    How are you preparing your cases? Do you wet tumble, dry tumble or wipe the cases with a rag? Do you use sizing lube or not? What kind?
    Possible causes could be,;
    -cases still wet inside after wet tumbling
    -grit in primer pockets from dry tumbling
    -chemicals in primer pockets, such as lemi-shine or nu finish used in wet or dry tumbling
    -sizing lube blocking primer pockets or contaminating primers.

    I have run into walnut grit from dry tumbling in primer pockets on occasion, so I now check them before putting a shell on my press. No 'phhht' since.
    Minimize the chemicals you use in tumbling. Jewelry-bright brass ain't worth the potential dangers of a bullet stuck in the barrel, IMO
    If you use carbide diesyou really don't need to lube at all. If you insist on lubing anyway, just a tiny bit will work wonders. Only lube about 1 out of 5 shells. Don't use petroleum lubes such as motor oil (even Mobil 1) unless you clean the cases before priming and loading.
     
  5. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    You may want to contact Hodgden for some tech. info. They no longer list Win 231 for .32 S&W and they only recommend Trail Boss for a 90 grain bullet. I did notice 231 is listed for .32 S&W in Hornady's new powder book that came out this spring.
     
  6. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    As I said, I had 5 more rounds, loaded in the same loading of Trailboss, but stored in a hinged plastic case in a drawer....all fired normally. That load chronos at 640 fps. If you're wondering about the load being light, I'm pretty careful, always inspect the filled cases before projectile die.

    No, but they list HP38 and it's the same powder.

    Dry tumble. I use RCBS Case Slick; a little spry and let it dry.

    Cheesemaker, I do oil the chambers when I clean the gun.
     
  7. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Sometimes Pffft loads in revolvers can be traced to an imperfect crimp.

    Be sure you are crimping those bullets tight.
     
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  8. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    JMHO- trade off any trail powder for some
    Unique and be done with the problem
     
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  9. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    It could be caused by the primer moving the bullet before the pressure built up enough for the powder to light. Powder needs some pressure for it to ignite properly.
     
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  10. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I expect it was bore cleaner or oil that got into the rounds left in the cylinder. I don't load guns and store them after they have been cleaned because of this.
    My CCW, I clean it then go run 20 rounds through it to get any oil out of the cylinder or barrel, then I'm good to go without worrying about the bore cleaner attacking the powder by creeping in there over time and contaminating the powder.
    "Creeping in there" is what bore cleaners are designed to do after all, and bore cleaners like Hoppe's creeps very well.
     
  11. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Sorry to hear of your woes, hope you get it sorted out. Given your description of the only variable being chambered, I’d have to go with oils or solvents made their way into the cartridge, either the powder or primer. I was going to ask a different question of you… Why did you have a loaded gun in your safe? I can understand if it’s in a lockbox on a nightstand for quick access. It’s a free country, at least for a while, so you can do what you want to do. Good luck.
     
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  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    contamination from rcbs case slick *spray lube* & not using the correct powder.

    Follow Hodgdon load data. TB not listed for 85gr jacketed. Lead only. 90 gr.

    The velocity is below all starting loads, recommended by Hodgdon.

    Lube /cleaning, *Spraying* a loaded gun will cause misfires.

    Spray your accuracy away.
     
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  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Protecting our guns is important and having guns that work when we need them is also important. I live in a high humidity area so I get stainless revolvers and buy replacement barrels for my semi autos that are also stainless. This prevents me from having to store my guns with wet chambers or barrels. Your other choice would be to use a preservative that dries. A lot of multipurpose oils/cleaners have a penetrating agent that is bad news. A final solution would be to use sealant on rounds ment for storage in the gun.
     
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  14. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Surprising question to me. Why wouldn't I? It's an electronic safe, quick easy access. They're all loaded, just not chambered since I don't want a fire setting off a round through a barrel.
     
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  15. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I don’t want to derail the thread, but an unloaded gun in storage has zero chances of an AD, by you or anyone else. Again, totally up to you how you manage your cache.
    Getting back to the OP, you mentioned the rounds were chambered for the better part of a year, are you going to try to duplicate the conditions with whatever lubes and cleaners you use? BTW, what are they? Sounds like a potential myth buster thread…
     
  16. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    @Starter52 asked the question that I was going to ask, how well were the bullets crimped?

    Do you have any of the loaded ammo leftover? If you do, try to move the bullet in the case. If you can, that's probably the problem or part of the problem.

    That could also be why your velocity is off also.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  17. film495

    film495 Member

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    something contaminated those rounds, oil, solvent, humidity, something. can't think of anything else, since you had the ones in the bag that worked.
     
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  18. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    I probably would have stopped shooting that ammo after the first pffftt. I've seen too many pics of blown up guns and bloody hands.
     
  19. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Seems clear enough. Rounds stored in chambers, no good, rounds stored outside chambers good. I think we have solved the problem Pat.
     
  20. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Glad the dies and bullets worked out for you.:)

    PS as a side note I have found deviled eggs result in a lot of Pffffts.:D
     
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  21. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    I think the lacquer like gunk, failure to ignite, and the two dead primers all point to oil contamination.
     
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