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Sandhill Ruston SASS #31383

Out-of-Battery Discharge (OBD)

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Having once experienced a OBD when trying to shoot faster than my brain would allow, I'm trying to understand the workings of the 1873 and/or 1866 lever rifle and when does a OBD happen. Does it take place when you're closing the lever (unfired bullet moving into the chamber) or when you're opening the lever (unfired bullet moving out of the chamber)?

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PLUS ONE too Lump Lump

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I have had both. My 66 I was faster than closing the lever and the round went off before the gun was in battery. Happened twice, bent the lever and hurt fingers only. I won't shoot it in competition anymore. 73 with lever safety is my friend.

73, shooting black. Cycled the gun, went click, pulled the hammer back and it went click. Waited 30 seconds +/- as I levered it and opened the rifle the round went off. Brass hit me in the head. Nice trip to the hospital in a meat wagon. Nothing serious. It did get some people excited though!

I went home and took apart 750 rounds of 32/20 to see if I could find out what happened. Nothing.

Ike

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Many times, an OBD occurs from someone slamming the lever and hammering the bolt against the head of a stubborn-to-chamber round, trying to get it to chamber.  That is always a hazardous practice.

The heavy firing pin extension's momentum carries it forward.  When the bolt suddenly stops against the cartridge head, the extension slams the back of the firing pin, and discharges the partially exposed round. That can happen whether or not the lever safety is still in place and functional.  

 

On guns with the lever safety modified or removed, OBDs commonly occur from shooters' timing causing the trigger pull to take place either too early, as the round is still entering the chamber, or too late, as the cartridge is being withdrawn and bolt is reopened. 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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54 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Many times, an OBD occurs from someone slamming the lever and hammering the bolt against the head of a stubborn-to-chamber round, trying to get it to chamber.  That is always a hazardous practice.

The heavy firing pin extension's momentum carries it forward.  When the bolt suddenly stops against the cartridge head, the extension slams the back of the firing pin, and discharges the partially exposed round. That can happen whether or not the lever safety is still in place and functional.  

 

On guns with the lever safety modified or removed, OBDs commonly occur from shooters' timing causing the trigger pull to take place either too early, as the round is still entering the chamber, or too late, as the cartridge is being withdrawn and bolt is reopened. 

That is one good thing about the Miroku Winchester 73s, they have a firing pin safety that does not allow the firing pin to protrude from the face of the bolt without the trigger being pulled.

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3 minutes ago, Flash said:

That is one good thing about the Miroku Winchester 73s, they have a firing pin safety that does not allow the firing pin to protrude from the face of the bolt without the trigger being pulled.

The firing pin safety is also the weak point on the gun. Most shooters I know have either changed out the firing pin or welded it up. Mine is welded because the little club looking piece fell out about my third match. 

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I've had a few OBD's, Usually I can feel the lever tugging on my hand ever so slightly. It's not uncommon. 

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If you think you have a slow primer, aim the opening away from you as you open the gun. Keeps you from getting brass in your face.  Seems simple, but most people tend to look inside when opening their rifle.

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Hard feeding into chamber - fires as action closes.  Could be out of spec ammo, a squib stuck in throat, REALLY dirty chamber, a chunk of broken off case stuck in chamber, etc.

 

Most finger to action out of sync problems - seem to happen as action is starting to open.

 

Either way, you can damage several parts.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I don't know about the modern repros of the toggle-link actions, but the original '73's have firing pin retractor that prevents the firing pin from moving forward in the bolt until the action is closed. 

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53 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

I don't know about the modern repros of the toggle-link actions, but the original '73's have firing pin retractor that prevents the firing pin from moving forward in the bolt until the action is closed. 

 

Modern Uberti copies for sure do not have a positive retractor or interlock on firing pin, just the firing pin spring.

 

Good luck, GJ

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