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Thread: How dangerous is a revolver that will not reliably index?

  1. #1

    How dangerous is a revolver that will not reliably index?

    Wondeirng is this is a minor nusance that can mostly impact reliability or accuracy, or can a round touched off while the cylinder is not in line with the barrel lead to a catastropic failure?

    I've always assumed that if the chamber was "in-line" enough for the primer to detonate, then the forcing cone would allow the clyinder and/or bullet to realign, possibly at the expense of spitting some lead and loosing some accuracy. Now I'm not so sure, especially if I imagine a bullet with a large meplat. Seems like in some cases, this could cause a pressure spike.
    Last edited by ExMachina; 11-03-2017 at 03:25 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    May 2013
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    I've seen split forcing cones with pieces of shrapnel blown out and taken guys to the ER to have metal fragments removed from their hands, wounds cleaned and stitched up, tetanus booster administered.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Scott_In_OKC's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Oklahoma City
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    I've seen split forcing cones with pieces of shrapnel blown out and taken guys to the ER to have metal fragments removed from their hands, wounds cleaned and stitched up, tetanus booster administered.
    I'd say that's bad.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy JMax's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    get it repaired before it becomes a bloody mess.

  5. #5
    It's very bad, and might have been worse. I suspect it happens with very powerful magnum loads and/or with loading practices so unwise than they cause a brief hangfire. What is barely noticeable in a rifle could become more than noticeable with rapid double-action fire in a revolver.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Swede 45's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    I've been standing next to a guy with a badly timing taurus 32 at a match.. Thank God for wearing wrap around eye protection other wise I would have been blind by now.
    Had to call an emergency cease fire and have him removed from the line.. Big chunk of lead stuck in the glasses and bloody cuts to my face..

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    The Abyss
    If the pawl and/or ratchet are worn enough to cause the gun to be out of time, return it to the factory for service NOW. If you continue to shoot it that way it will certainly not get any better.
    We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Between Knoxville and Oak Ridge TN
    I got splattered from 30 feet when I was ROing a state level IPSC match. That evening I dug it out with a pair of tweezers. Digging it out didn't hurt as much as when my wife poured alcohol on it.

    If it's American made, I would contact the factory.
    Be careful,

    Life member NRA

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    2ndAmendmentNut's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    As others have said, it is a serious issue that should be addressed before firing the gun again. In addition to lead/shrapnel splatter the gun is firing without the cylinder being properly locked in battery. This will turn a simple timing job into a replacing major parts job.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "I don't want men who miss." -Capt. Leander H. McNelly

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
    Goodhue County, SE Minnesota
    If your brakes are "iffy" in your car, maybe "you" find them acceptable, since they do stop the car, You have been driving it for some time & know it is needing brakes, but just have not fixed it or take it to a shop to have it repaired yet...

    Would ya let your missus or a son/daughter use the car with the brakes not quite what they should be?

    If ya have such a firearm with issues as ya post about... Go get it fixed. Or, do something to make the issue not be an issue to anyone.
    Particularly since it could not just cause issue with the shooter, but anyone nearby. No one needs "that" on their mind for the rest of their lives if something was not to work out right...

    Maybe this is just one of those, "Hypothetical", or ""what if" questions in your OP, but if it is not, please get it fixed. I think you will not be the only one happy ya did, if something goes wrong...

    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Crystal River Florida
    Picked lead out of my hand for weeks 35+ years ago when the 22 revolver didn't index correctly.

    Please get it checked out.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Carmel, Ca
    I wore out the timing out on a 629 (44Mag). The day I noticed I shot a few more rounds then usual, the gun was dirtier, and the more I shot the worse the groups. Got home and started to deprime the brass ..... Never seen the firing pin mark offcenter before. LOL

    Using the bullet to align the cylinder to the barrel is Not good for accuracy! LOL

    No damage was done and a new aftermarket hand from Brownelles fixed it. They have one that is longer and wider in the white.

    I did not shoot it until it was fixed. The offcenter primers gave me pause for thought. The loads were 1,000 ftlbs at the muzzle.
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 11-03-2017 at 09:54 PM.

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    So. Orygun
    I had a cheap imported revolver, in 38 Special that had a sloppy locking bolt. the cylinder was off by just a few thousandths of an inch but it would "spit" lead out of the cylinder gap/forcing cone enough that a person standing 10+ feet away got sprayed enough to sting. Good thing he was wearing shooting glasses. I can't imagine the force applied to the forcing cone every time the gun fired and fortunately I stopped shooting it before any lasting damage occurred. I put the gun away and 20 years later, after I knew a bit more about guns, I replaced the locking bolt and peened the slot in the frame a bit smaller, fixed it...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Shooting a Martial Colt DA .38 long colt with borrowed .38 special ammo. The third round blew 1/3 of the forcing cone into my support hand. The primers dragging and the worn lockwork conspired against me.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South Jersey
    For a cylinder to index, the hand turns the cylinder and the bolt engages the flute in the cylinder. If a cylinder is out of index, there will be drag marks on the cylinder caused by the hand being either too long or too short.
    Is a simple fix if you are a 'kitchen table' gunsmith - otherwise pay the freight and have a real gunsmith replace the hand and possibly the bolt spring (either weak or broken)

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    N edge of D/FW Metromess
    Years ago I shot a "warm-up" PPC match next to a shooter with a badly timed revolver, nothing serious but blood was flowing by the end of the match and I spent the next few days (at a national match) picking lead shavings out of my left hand. I told him about it and when we reported back to the line for the next relay he said his team "armorer" had assured him his timing was perfect. I sat out the next relay!
    A very minor misalignment is detrimental to accuracy, a bit more generates bullet shavings outside of the forcing cone and can be somewhat dangerous and at the very least annoying. Only a little more misalignment can be very dangerous to the shooter and anyone nearby.
    With all due respect your assumption is very wrong, any timing error that is apparent to casual observation is dangerous. Please suspend shooting of this revolver until it is repaired.
    Endowment Life Member NRA, Life Member TSRA, Member WACA, NRA Whittington Center, BBHC
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  17. #17

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Cypress, Republic of Texas
    Also can play havoc with your scores in a match . . . just saying
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
    Are you feeling lucky?
    This is what I was wondering it can actually cause a KaBoom?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

    skeettx's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Amarillo, Texas

    It is NOT GOOD
    Are you just asking a question, or do you have a revolver is peril?
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check