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Jess Money

An unusual occurance

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I decided I'd shoot in the Senior Duesest catagory yesterday and used my Pietta Frontiers for a change of pace. The reloads were fresh made Friday evening and I used Federal primers. During the first stage I had a failure to fire on one pistol. I went around again and the round fired that time. On the last stage I had another FTF that even the second time around failed to fire. At the unloading table I checked all the empty brass and all but one round had nice primer dents dead center of the primer. The unfired round had no impression in the primer at all! Looking closely, I could see where the firing pin dented the rim of the cartridge just barely outside the perimeter of the primer. I checked the firing pin and it had a normal amount of wiggle that a pinned-in-the-hammer firing pin have.

 

My question is, along with several other long time shooters who were present and saw the dent in the rim of the brass, is.... What caused this misalignment to happen? Is this fairly common in Colt clone revolvers? I never experienced before in the three years I have used the Piettas.

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My Ubert Open Tops over-rotated when the bolt spring was weak, or a wire spring.

Going back to a good stout flat spring solved the problem.

--Dawg

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Replace the hand spring in both of them.

Common issue with those flat leaf springs.

Wolff Gunsprings makes a wire spring replacement.

Wolff calls them, 'sear/bolt springs'. Get the wire ones.

https://www.gunsprings.com/index.php?page=items&cID=3&mID=1&dID=96

OLG

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agreed. We were working on my brother's and keep going around and around in one test. When we looked all the cartridges had firing pin hits all over the cartridge head but on the primer.

 

Springs do wear out/get weak

 

cr

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I agree with those above.

 

You might also check how well the bolt fits into the cylinder notches. If your cylinder notches are getting buggered up, the bolt may be too wide for some of them and that would also contribute to to over-rotation. Pietta cap and ball revolvers are known to have that problem commonly, so it may be a problem in one of their cartridge revolvers also. Doesn't hurt anything to check it.

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Yup, a "timing" issue.

 

Sometimes it shows up more when shooting duelist style.

 

Test the gun, cock the gun slowly and see where it lines up. Then do it quickly.

Finally cock by starting slowly and finish quickly - that often indicates the beginning of a timing problem.

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I'm goggle eyed at looking down the bore of the guns over the last 45 minutes! LOL! Everything lines up as far as I can tell. The firing pin hole in the frame looks to be dead center of each cylinder, cocking fast and slow. I put dummy cartridges marked with a magic marker on the entire rim and in all six chambers for the test. All strikes were visible in the primer area each time, again cocking fast and slow. One of the first mods when I bought the guns was to change the trigger/bolt spring to the coil springs, Bolt slots are clean, no burrs and only a slight rub from the bolt on the the cylinders, not enough to wear through the bluing. I guess it is possible that the coil spring on one of the revolvers has weakened, but I can't seem to be able to replicate what happened at the match Saturday. Stuff happens. Dot the i.

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Fully loaded cartridges may weigh more than dummy cartridges, which would increase the rotational momentum of the cylinder. Since the cylinder notches are ok, you probably have either a hand spring or bolt spring issue. I can't think of anything else it could be.

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When's the last time you did a 'deep-clean' of those guns as in flushing out the inside of the frame with solvent?

OLG

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I'm goggle eyed at looking down the bore of the guns over the last 45 minutes!...

 

You don't need to look down the bore. By looking from above the gun, the cylinder flutes should be visible on either side of the top strap. If the rotation is off enough for the FP to miss the center of the primer, it will be noticeable visibly by the alignment of the flutes with the top strap.

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JM =

 

Are you a two-handed shooter? Those pards who shoot two handed put a LOT of rotational speed into the cylinder when they get going. Pretty common for a weak bolt spring to work fine in the shop, but when the gun is being driven by a shooter in a match, the weak bolt spring can't get the bolt up fast enough to lock the cylinder, resulting in overtravel and missing a primer (hitting the case instead).

 

If the problem recurs always on just one chamber of the cylinder, the bolt locking slot is probably too tight. Otherwise, with a random overtravel not repeating on the same chamber, it's a weak spring or dirty gun.

 

Good luck, GJ

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An educational post - enjoyed reading the OP's fully explained issue and the knowledgeable 'on the mark' replies

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I had a problem like that happen a few years ago.

The retaining pin holding the firing pin in place was bent.

Did everything that everyone mentioned, still happened.

Firing pin retainer was the only thing left.

So I checked it, that was the problem.

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Load 4 dummy rounds, two hand cock it hard one time. with your left hand reach up and see if you can rotate the cylinder. repeat for all six chambers. If the cylinder slips past the bolt it's over rotating. A heavier pawl spring will sometime help. But, the bolt head may require some narrowing to fit the notches better. If that doesn't cure it you may need to remove some from the lower step on the hand. This will help prevent the hand from pushing the cylinder too far.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but where did he say it was OVERrotating?

 

He said firing pin hits on the OUTSIDE of the primer, but I don't see where he said WHICH side.

 

If the hits were at 9:00, that's overrotating.

 

But if they were at 3:00, as they are on an opentop I have, it is UNDERrotating.

 

Is there a simple "spring-replacement" type fix for that? 'Cause I was thinking it would need TIGging on the pawl and then recutting it.

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After buying two NMV Ruger's, I thoroughly cleaned each Pietta before they were put in the safe back in 2013. The only things not removed for cleaning were the barrels so I'll say they were good to go when shot last Saturday. These guns were brought out to shoot duelist because of a problem shooting one handed with my Ruger's, even with the Super Blackhawk lower hammers.

 

Earlier this morning at the range, 60 were rounds fired from each revolver. The guns had not been cleaned since last Saturday. Using red paper plates placed at seven yards and CAS style shooting, I alternated between using two hands as fast as possible and same one handed. Then it was firing traditional one handed Bullseye, one shot about every 10 seconds, +/-, then back two hands fast and one hand fast, two hands slow and one hand slow. Regardless of the method or speed, neither gun failed to fire. All primer strikes were dead center. :huh:

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Did you have a few high primers when you had the problems with the guns? A primer high enough to drag on the recoil shield but not so high you could not "power thru" it on the next cocking stroke, could have caused an under-rotation on occasional rounds.

 

So far your tests have proved that the problem is intermittent. But not much else is eliminated. When you find the technique, ammo and gun that repeats the problem, you will know a lot more.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I had that issue with a new Cabela's Millenium (Uberti) years ago. Occasionally the bolt would not catch in the cylinder notch allowing the cylinder to over-rotate. It happened with both the original flat springs & replacement wire springs. I found that the problem was that the inside of the frame where the bolt rubs was very rough causing the bolt to hang up & be out of time. I removed the roughness with an Arkansas stone & haven't had a glitch since.

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Joe, all my rounds after reloading are placed in the revolver chambers and spun through for high primers, regardless of which make gun. I do this to also make sure the rounds just drop into the chambers. You made a very good suggestion, but since I consider reloading one of my other hobbies, I take the time to enjoy it. Very rarely have I encounterd a high primer.

 

I'll continue attempting to find the reason for the problem, but the Ruger's will be in my holsters at the next match.

 

Thanks to each of you who responded for taking time to send a reply to my original post

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If the guns sat in the safe for 3 years without being fired or cleaned then a grease worm grew down in there and slowed the bolt rise. After the gun powered thru the worm that first time it was dead and done not to raise its ugly head again...

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POLTERGEIST!!

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POLTERGEIST!!

Gesundheit ...... :D

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Actually, the probability that you have a Firing Pin problem as you originally posted, is rather remote. However, "others" have already

posted the most frequent cause/effect of what you described. Also obviously, you didn't like the answers. But >>>>>

Before you throw em back inna safe, Check the bot fit to the cylinder notches. Clean out any "old" oil remaining from the past and

re-lube everything. Including the cylinder base pin/bushing. Take a minute and polish the side of the bolt that rubs the frame.

When you re-assemble, insure the the bolt side of the trigger/bolt spring is NOT rubbing the frame. THEN throw em back inna safe.

 

Coffinmaker

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Yusta >>

 

Garchias Allotas

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Any idea on which side the firing pin strike was? Could be under or over rotation.

 

Under rotation is when the hand doesn't get the cylinder far enough around. (Hand spring #1 check engagement also)

 

Over rotation happens when the cylinder bolt comes up too late to lock the cylinder or, has a weak spring/shallow engagement and the cylinder gors past that chamber. Spring #1 cause usually.

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The bolt slots are fine and the bolt strike enters the slot channel just after the lead edge. All parts, bolt, trigger hammer, hand have been polished but no metal has been removed. Bolt slot in the frame, hand slot in the frame have been polished. Trigger/bolt spring is coil and main spring has been replaced with a lighter one. I should have mentioned in the OP that the revolvers were purchased in March of 2012 and put in the safe January of 2013 after only sixrteen CAS matches. With the rounds fired for varying loads, those for sight adjustment and then the practice rounds included, I would guestimate less than a 600 rounds have been fired from each pistol to date, so the pieces have not been over used or abused in any manner. It's not that I disliked any of the suggestions made, I took each into consideration as I tried to work through this situation. I appreciate each one of them and thanks again to all of you who responded.

 

Just for my own satisfaction, I took the Pietta's back out early this morning and fired 24 rounds through each gun. Once again, no misfires.

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OK. Then I would offer a WAG (Military acronym for Wild A$$ Guess) that running the guns has moved/removed what ever "gunk" was hampering Bolt Rise. You may well no longer have a problem.

 

As an aside, mechanical devices are much more reliable when they are run on a regular basis. Sitting allows the oil to accumulate contaminants such as dust and other stuff from the air. It becomes gunk and affords a place for the Poltergeist to hide. Also, storage in many cases invites a visit from "murphy." Simple solution is to get em out and shoot em more :)

 

Coffinmaker

 

PS: I think your actually talking about a coil & plunger "hand" spring. Trigger/Bolt springs are either flat or wire.

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My terminology was incorrect. I suppose I was thinking coil when I envisioned the wire loop around the screw head.

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