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Misfire during competition - firing pin hit outer rim of shell.


Bearfoot Tracker
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In competition this past weekend (fifth match newbie), I had several misfires on my 45 Colt revolver. At the unloading table one of the unfired rounds had a mark on the outer part of the casing where it looks like the firing pin hit it. The gun is a Uberti Model P.

 

I do practice slip firing at times, but do not consciously do it during a match, but could have while trying to go faster. My question is .... if slip firing and letting the hammer go before it has rotated the cylinder completely, could this have caused the firing pin to hit the outer rim of the shell instead of the primer?

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Yes, slipping the hammer before full cock while pulling the trigger could possibly cause this.

 

If possible post a video cycling the revolvers action.  The gun could be over rotating or not locking up properly.

Edited by July Smith
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6 minutes ago, Bearfoot Tracker said:

In competition this past weekend (fifth match newbie), I had several misfires on my 45 Colt revolver. At the unloading table one of the unfired rounds had a mark on the outer part of the casing where it looks like the firing pin hit it. The gun is a Uberti Model P.

 

I do practice slip firing at times, but do not consciously do it during a match, but could have while trying to go faster. My question is .... if slip firing and letting the hammer go before it has rotated the cylinder completely, could this have caused the firing pin to hit the outer rim of the shell instead of the primer?

 

Yes it could.  I suggest that for now you stop practicing that particular technique.  What you do in practice you will do at a match.

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5 minutes ago, Bearfoot Tracker said:

In competition this past weekend (fifth match newbie), I had several misfires on my 45 Colt revolver. At the unloading table one of the unfired rounds had a mark on the outer part of the casing where it looks like the firing pin hit it. The gun is a Uberti Model P.

 

I do practice slip firing at times, but do not consciously do it during a match, but could have while trying to go faster. My question is .... if slip firing and letting the hammer go before it has rotated the cylinder completely, could this have caused the firing pin to hit the outer rim of the shell instead of the primer?

 

Would help to know if the hit was to the left or right of the primer. You have to determine this before ejecting the cartridge.

 

If on the left side the cylinder is over rotating. You need to check for a broken/cracked bolt spring. If on the right the cylinder is not fully indexing could be you are dropping the hammer before full cock.

 

You could also have a timing issue. Cock the gun slowly till it is at full cock. Can you rotate the cylinder? if so you likely have a timing issue. See a gun smith that specializes in Single actions.

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3 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Would help to know if the hit was to the left or right of the primer. You have to determine this before ejecting the cartridge.

 

If on the left side the cylinder is over rotating. You need to check for a broken/cracked bolt spring. If on the right the cylinder is not fully indexing could be you are dropping the hammer before full cock.

 

You could also have a timing issue. Cock the gun slowly till it is at full cock. Can you rotate the cylinder? if so you likely have a timing issue. See a gun smith that specializes in Single actions.

I did not check the round before ejecting. At full cock the cylinder is locked and you can't rotate. I am starting to think I was not fully cocking hammer, and as Doc said ... need to stop practicing slip fire until I get more experience. Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, Bearfoot Tracker said:

need to stop practicing slip fire until I get more experience. Thanks.

Maybe they are out there, but no experienced shooter I have ever talked to claims to slip fire.  Even the really fast guys that regularly shoot in the teens claim they pull the trigger individually for each shot.

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42 minutes ago, July Smith said:

Maybe they are out there, but no experienced shooter I have ever talked to claims to slip fire.  Even the really fast guys that regularly shoot in the teens claim they pull the trigger individually for each shot.

 

Incidentally, that's what I teach.  There are a few very particular situations where slip hammering can be beneficial.  But for it to not be a trainwreck, it has to be thoughtfully and with deliberation (which does not necessarily mean mean slow).

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check for over rotation of the cylinder when cocking aggressively.  I just helped a fellow shooter with a new pietta having the same issues. If cocking the hammer say one handed, it cooked and caught the cylinder as it should. But using two hands with any speed, it would fire the first two rounds fine. but as the aggression for speed increased, the cylinder would over rotate and the firing pin would hit the rim of the casing or sometimes between casings. The timing of this new pistol was so close that the bolt would sometimes not catch the cylinder and the inertia would let the cylinder over rotate causing the same issue you are describing. If we would pull the hammer fast when testing, it would over rotate even on the first pull during testing. Under his normal shooting style it would not show up till the second or third round.

hope this helps

Beaver

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I slip hammer most of the time. 

I find it to be just a bit faster, but mostly I like the more solid hand grip.  (I'm sure many here will disagree, and that's fine, but my pistol times reduced by about a third when I learned to slip hammer properly.  

 

 With a more solid grip in the holding hand, with no wrist motion from trigger finger movement,  I have less misses than I ever did when doing individual trigger pulls.  Trigger pull force becomes irrelevant, because you only pull it at the start, then lock your grip tightly. 

With solid arm and grip, it also encourages you to swing on your hips and not your shoulders. 

 

Try holding your arm extended and your wrist perfectly still while moving your index finger.  Those half-millimeter movements (in aiming radius) project into inches out at a 8-yd target.  So my score improvement reflected both, faster pistol strings and fewer misses. 

 

Target acquisition time and transition time remain my biggest hurdles with the revolvers.  

 

I do think new shooters should first get experience using individual trigger pulls, to develop hand-gun timing.  But after some experience is gained, I would encourage anyone to give proper  slip hammering a fair trial. 

 

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A few top shooters, including World Champs, have used slip hammering.  One did it all the time and won for years.

 

But he trained that way and was very confident and controlled - and fast.

 

When I was younger and quicker, I shoot a stage with a couple of easy pistol targets to shoot as fast as I could.  When I was done, one cowboy said, "that was a great demonstration of slip-hammering!"


I said, sort, then asked, "which gun?"

He said, the second one of course, it was faster.  I replied that it was the first one so I had to very slightly hesitate, where on the second one, I shot normally and needed no hesitation.

 

But do make certain that the gun is timed properly.  Plus, slip hammering with a 45 is slightly more dangerous due to the forces involved.  Many of the pistol blow-ups are with 45's  The cylinder rotated just enough to go off due to an off-center primer hit, but the bullet hits the frame.  That then cased another cartridge to fire and break the gun.

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22 minutes ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

A few top shooters, including World Champs, have used slip hammering.  One did it all the time and won for years.

 

But he trained that way and was very confident and controlled - and fast.

 

When I was younger and quicker, I shoot a stage with a couple of easy pistol targets to shoot as fast as I could.  When I was done, one cowboy said, "that was a great demonstration of slip-hammering!"


I said, sort, then asked, "which gun?"

He said, the second one of course, it was faster.  I replied that it was the first one so I had to very slightly hesitate, where on the second one, I shot normally and needed no hesitation.

 

But do make certain that the gun is timed properly.  Plus, slip hammering with a 45 is slightly more dangerous due to the forces involved.  Many of the pistol blow-ups are with 45's  The cylinder rotated just enough to go off due to an off-center primer hit, but the bullet hits the frame.  That then cased another cartridge to fire and break the gun.

 

My understanding is that he only slip hammered with one gun as he had worn off the sear and couldn't bother to fix it.  The other gun was triggered.  But I may very well be mis-remembering.

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I was experiencing the same situation randomly on a S&W Schofield. (Note that you cannot slip hammer a stock Schofield.) Eventually, I found that the pin that held the bolt stop was bent! So as the bolt stop moved, the pin would rotate and at times, the bend would be at a low spot and the bolt stop would not function properly thus allowing some over rotation.

 

I straightened the pin and the over rotation no longer occurred.

 

 

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5 hours ago, July Smith said:

Maybe they are out there, but no experienced shooter I have ever talked to claims to slip fire.  Even the really fast guys that regularly shoot in the teens claim they pull the trigger individually for each shot.

I did when shooting two handed...I did okay.

 

Lead Dispencer did...won just about everything multiple times.

 

But whatever...

 

Phantom

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15 hours ago, Beaver said:

check for over rotation of the cylinder when cocking aggressively.  I just helped a fellow shooter with a new pietta having the same issues. If cocking the hammer say one handed, it cooked and caught the cylinder as it should. But using two hands with any speed, it would fire the first two rounds fine. but as the aggression for speed increased, the cylinder would over rotate and the firing pin would hit the rim of the casing or sometimes between casings. The timing of this new pistol was so close that the bolt would sometimes not catch the cylinder and the inertia would let the cylinder over rotate causing the same issue you are describing. If we would pull the hammer fast when testing, it would over rotate even on the first pull during testing. Under his normal shooting style it would not show up till the second or third round.

hope this helps

Beaver

Rounded bolt edges, weak spring, or misaligned/bent bolt return plunger.   

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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