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July Smith

Out of battery discharge: Repair? Prevention?

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Posted (edited)

At my last monthly I had an out of battery discharge from my 1873 on the 8th round on the first stage.

 

The known:  Nobody was hurt.  Uberti 1873 in 44-40 with a Pioneer Gun Works standard short stroke.  Trigger safety was not disabled.  Ammo had been checked for high primers both at the reloading bench and at the loading table.  Load was a case full of real BP 3fg, 200gr bullet, federal primers.

 

I could have sworn the rifle went off as I was closing the lever, but the OBD sort of surprised me and I am not 100% sure.  Lever broke, carrier was fully up (no round on it), bolt was blown fully rearward, 2 live rounds still in the magazine, 7 empties recovered, no trace of the 8th round. 

 

The main questions I have.

 

1)  I have already ordered a replacement lever from Cowboys and Indians.  Once I get the lever and reassemble the rifle what is the proper way to check headspace and the condition of the links?

 

2)  What is the most common cause of out of battery discharge? 

 

3)  What is the best way to prevent them?

 

 

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Edited by July Smith

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Here is a good place to start 

 

 

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WOW!  I don't have any answers to your questions.  Only posting to say I'm so very happy nobody was injured.  It's good to know the big guy really is looking out for us.

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Your firing pin could have been stuck in the bolt and had not retracted or the firing pin extension stuck and holding the firing pin forward. This is uncommon but I've seen it several times. When this happens closing the bold can fire the round.

J.M.

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26 minutes ago, Wyatt said:

Here is a good place to start 

 

 

This video raises a lot of questions but does not provide many answers.  What was the issue that caused this?  

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7 minutes ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

This video raises a lot of questions but does not provide many answers.  What was the issue that caused this?  

 

A round that for whatever reason did not smoothly chamber

 

 

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Reference the video above.  

 

Throw a defective firearm on the ground!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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6 minutes ago, Matthew Duncan said:

Reference the video above.  

 

Throw a defective firearm on the ground!?!?!?!?!?!?!

 

You never know what your reaction is going to be when you don’t know how badly your injured.  Turned out to be some facial abrasions and a piece of brass pierced the cartilage of his ear and hat

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July, at the match Sunday Dutch Van Horn told me about the OBD and broken lever.  Holy cow.  Glad you weren't hurt.  Never heard of the lever breaking before.  I had seen in the results that you had 2 misses, so I asked him if you had 2 rounds left in the rifle and he said yes.  So the stupid OBD cost you a clean match as well!  My vote is for the firing pin sticking forward.

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I'm not a gun doctor, but here are my thoughts.

 

1. If it was strong enough to break the lever (which I haven't heard of before) I doubt I would trust the links again.  I would buy new links.

2. The few OOBDs I've heard of were similar to what happened to Cypress Sam, levering hard, round won't chamber and inertia lead to OOBD.

3. Avoid #2 and keep the bolt and firing pin/channel relatively clean and lubed.

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And check the lifter arm and timing after parts are replaced.

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The few OOB discharges I've witnessed have been caused by the shooter trying to force a round to go where it didn't want to go...  Don't force, jiggle, coax, a round into the chamber.  If it's hung up,  jack it out if possible, if not, ground it.

 

'

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It has been many moons since I examined the inards of an original M1873 Winchester, but I seem to recall that they had a firing pin retractor that physically cammed the firing pin back so it didn't project through the bolt face.  Do the modern "reproductions" have this, or do they depend on a retraction spring?  Ir would seem to me that the original configuration was a more reliable one. Glad nobody was seriously hurt.  As for the broken lever, that looks to me to be due to a crack in the lever, that was exacerbated by the OOB firing. 

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another cause for an Out of Battery is,  a bulge in the case,    as the round is being chambered, it stops suddenly as does the bolt, but the firing pin doesn't and fires the round,,,,

 

or,, once I had a squib that hung up just into the rifling,, I didn't hear it and chambered another round, then it was as the above,  firing pin had enough energy to continue and fired the round,,, which upon exploding, ruptured the round below it,,,, dbl the sound, good thing it was a marlin,,, no damage

 

and I had a bolt extention pin break once,, forcing the firing pin forward and locked,,,, fired upon closing the rifle,,,, at the ULT (i knew something had broken on the line, declared it broken, but didn't know what,,,,)

 

as a TO if a shooter is trying to jiggle the lever with force, I tell them to lay it down, if they don't, I back away,,,,

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2 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Do the modern "reproductions" have this (a positive firing pin retraction), or do they depend on a retraction spring? 

 

All the Uberti toggle guns use a firing pin spring.   That is ALL that prevents FP hitting the primer when the cartridge is in contact with the bolt face.   And then some smiths and shooters put in even lighter FP springs when they lighten the mainspring, because the lighter mainspring means lighter hammer strikes on the FPE and FP itself.

Double Jeopardy.

 

And some shooters don't regularly clean out the FP channel in bolt.  Enough crud in the channel or on FP or it's spring -

Triple Jeopardy.

 

Squibs (with bullet stuck in throat of barrel) are also a very common way to cause an OOB firing as the bolt is rapidly closed.  Cartridge being chambered comes to a screeching halt short of being fully chambered.   Firing Pin carries on forward, striking primer with case not fully chambered and bullet unable to go forward.  OOB occurs.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

 

 

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I wonder how much trouble (and expense) would be required to make an inertial firing pin arrangement in a '73.

While I have an older Navy Arms M1860 Military Henry (which I don't shoot much anymore due to the weight and balance giving my old back problems), I think I will stick to my Rossi '92's!

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Posted (edited)

This happened to me on the last day of our annual match July 28th this year, next to last stage. On my second shot from my rifle, a Winchester Miroku 73

44-40 all I saw was a fireball and the TO stopped me. We checked all our body parts and determined we were ok. I went to the unloading table and unloaded everything checking the rifle closely, found the shell which was not blown but very dirty and bent up but no splits. The bullet had gone down range because it was not in the barrel. Lever was not bent so I went to an empty stage and fired a few rounds to make sure, and everything was fine. I case gauge all my 44-40 rounds before using.

We figured somehow the firing pin for whatever reason was exposed and caused the round to go  off. Took rifle completely apart when I got home and found nothing wrong. I have since shot the gun in another complete match with nothing happening.

 

 

 

Edited by Thunder Creek Kid

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5 hours ago, Wyatt said:

 

You never know what your reaction is going to be when you don’t know how badly your injured.  Turned out to be some facial abrasions and a piece of brass pierced the cartilage of his ear and hat

 

I understand.  Terrible shame when it hit the ground if it discharged a second time.

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Mathew, it wasn’t going to discharge again since the defective case jammed up the bolt and the lever was stuck about half way.  My intent wasn’t to throw the rifle on the ground but put it on the table.  There was no carpet on the slick plastic table so the gun slid (bounced?) off the table.  Maybe another person would calmly place the rifle on the table.

 

 

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Well...don't think any amount of carpet would have kept that rifle on the table.

 

:lol:

 

That being said, why one would try and cram a round in a chamber that obviously has some issues is beyond me.

 

But...that's just me...and yep, never say never!

 

Phantom

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20 minutes ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

Mathew, it wasn’t going to discharge again since the defective case jammed up the bolt and the lever was stuck about half way.  My intent wasn’t to throw the rifle on the ground but put it on the table.  There was no carpet on the slick plastic table so the gun slid (bounced?) off the table.  Maybe another person would calmly place the rifle on the table.

 

 

I think your reaction was understandable.  As I've said previously thank you for sharing that video, it's certainly taught me a thing or three.

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17 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Well...don't think any amount of carpet would have kept that rifle on the table.

 

:lol:

 

That being said, why one would try and cram a round in a chamber that obviously has some issues is beyond me.

 

But...that's just me...and yep, never say never!

 

Phantom

 

You’re probably right about the carpet.

 

As far as cramming the round in the chamber, someone was already holding my beer and everyone was watching.

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I watched KK do the same thing,,, I kept telling him to put it down,,,,   the gunsmith on the property supposedly cleared it and the next time KK tried to shoot it, he put it down immediately,,,,  he threw it down the first time like a kid throwing a cat that had scratched him!!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Well...don't think any amount of carpet would have kept that rifle on the table.

 

:lol:

 

That being said, why one would try and cram a round in a chamber that obviously has some issues is beyond me.

 

But...that's just me...and yep, never say never!

 

Phantom

 

1 hour ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

I watched KK do the same thing,,, I kept telling him to put it down,,,,   the gunsmith on the property supposedly cleared it and the next time KK tried to shoot it, he put it down immediately,,,,  he threw it down the first time like a kid throwing a cat that had scratched him!!

 

I was there for both of these incidents. In the 1st one, I was the one taking the video. Sam outright tossed the rifle, probably because of the instant flash burn and brass flying at him. I turned the camera off, set it down and made sure he was okay. He lived. First thing he said after the camera was turned off was, "This is why eye protection is required". It was caused by a round that wasn't reloaded correctly and jammed in the chamber.....video went on the internet, thanks to Wyatt, and has been instrumental as a teaching lesson.

 

The 2nd was not on video. It was caused by a separated case in the chamber with the result being the same.

 

I guess that once the timer goes beep, the competitive nature goes into play. Sometimes the hands do what the brain tells it to do, get this rifle away from me....kind of like stomping on the brakes when you realize that you're going to be in a vehicle crash. 

 

I still see folks trying to jam a round in the chamber on occasion. I just firmly say stop, put it down and go to the next one. If I'm wrong, shooter gets a reshoot. Better than an injury. If folks don't like that, I'll give up the timer any day.

 

Never...... I'd knock on wood.

 

 

Edited by Cypress Sun
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Does anyone make titanium firing pin & extension?  Many mfg's of 1911's used titanium fining pin rather than fireing pin block safety to pass CA's drop test.

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at least in Marlins,  titanium is not popular,, at least with me,,, the tips break eaasier

 

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 titanium firing pin? No.

 

Lightened firing pin extensions are common and one of the main purposes of them is to reduce the possibility of an OOB.

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Posted (edited)

I'm still trying to figure out how the "test" rifle in the video is firing that easily OOB especially with the hammer back and not following the firing pin extension!  If it has the stock Uberti firing pin spring in it then it ain't momentum...…...that's for darn sure. 

Edited by Cowboy Junky

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Posted (edited)

This happened to me a couple months ago. It was my fault I started to lever the second shot while pulling the trigger, full load 44-40 Goex. Lever bent, hammer mashed into rear frame, hand a little sore. There’s a lot to be said for the lever safety. 

Edited by travelin kid #51083
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That's an interesting video!  I'm not sure a lever safety would have helped.  I went through frame by frame and it looks like you levered the first round in, then did a half stroke or so on the lever, then it went off.  One thing I noticed was that the hammer NEVER fell.  You had the OOBD on the first shot.  If you go to about the half way mark of the video you'll see what I mean.  I don't think this was an OOBD due to pulling the trigger early. 

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hang fire?

 

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3 hours ago, travelin kid #51083 said:

This happened to me a couple months ago. It was my fault I started to lever the second shot while pulling the trigger, full load 44-40 Goex. Lever bent, hammer mashed into rear frame, hand a little sore. There’s a lot to be said for the lever safety. 

 

My theory of what happened is the trigger was not pulled when the gun was in battery. Shooter levered the gun with the live round being held by the extractor and being pulled out of the chamber. At this point as the bolt is moving to the rear the firing pin extension contacted the hammer pushing the firing pin forward and ignited the primer. It is hard to tell if the hammer ever fell but it sure looks like the bolt is opening when it goes off.

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13 hours ago, Cowboy Junky said:

I'm still trying to figure out how the "test" rifle in the video is firing that easily OOB especially with the hammer back and not following the firing pin extension!  If it has the stock Uberti firing pin spring in it then it ain't momentum...…...that's for darn sure. 

 

Junky,  I designed the test in the video and did it with the same .38 rifle in the “blow up” video.  The lever safety is intact and functioning.  The pin visible in the primed case is to stop the cartridge from chambering by about 1/4” (simulating a bulged case or obstructed chamber).  The lever is slammed closed and the inertia of the firing pin extension fires the primer.  The firing pin spring is stock.  This test is very repeatable.  I have done it about a dozen times with the primer firing EVERY time.  I also tried it with a titanium extension and it only fired about half the time.

 

I was only able to get the primer to discharge by slapping the lever closed.  I couldn’t get mine to go off by just closing the lever hard in normal levering.  I think that Traveling Kid’s OOB discharge was from a hammer fall - not inertia.

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