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Thread: New rifle major failure

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    New rifle major failure

    The rifle was loaded with only a minimum charge of 60gr each time of Pyrodex RS and I was shooting patched round balls. I hadn’t gotten around to increasing charges as I was just testing ball and patch fit. I shot a couple of .495 round balls and a couple .490 round balls with a 10 and 15 thousandths patch. The last shot was a .490 round ball with pillow ticking patch. All patches were lubed with mink oil tallow from track of the wolf. I also swabbed the bore between each shot.

    Maybe 6 shots total

    When the failure happened the ball went downrange and struck the target about 1-2 feet low at 50yds.

    I could immediately tell something was wrong because the wedge key had no tension and after removing the barrel, the hooked breech was driven hard into the tang and was very hard to remove.


    I am confident the rifle was loaded correctly the ball was seated firmly against the charge and the rifle was not overcharged.
    From looking at the patent breech, where it broke, the metal looks somewhat porous and I believe that it may have been a manufacturing defect /stress cracked/ and/or overtightened when installed.

    The first couple pics are of the rifle before I cleaned it the last pic is after cleaning

    I am sent it off this morning I requested it be replaced and not repaired, but we will see

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by MAGA; 12-22-2017 at 07:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I wonder if the block was "Investment" cast. it has a porous look to it that goes thru the whole cross section. If its an investment casting it may be a flaw in alloy or casting process. Another if a machining might be a alloy that work hardened during machining leaving it brittle.
    I'm glad no one was injured when this happened.
    You stated a 60 grn charge of pyrodex RS. Was this thrown by volumne with a measure set to 60 grns or weighed at 60grn? Pyrodex is meant to be thrown bya given volumn. A measure is set to throw the charge weight in BP then Pyrodex is simply thrown at that setting, given the same volumne of the charge of BP. Pyrodex isn't as dense as BP so a given weighed charge may be a over charge. I have worked very little with pyrodex as I don't care for the fouling it produces.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    It was poured out of a flask into a treso adjustable powder measure set to 60 gr by volume

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Even if it was by weight, and I'm not saying it was, it would still be well within the load limits.
    Aim small, miss small!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooman76 View Post
    Even if it was by weight, and I'm not saying it was, it would still be well within the load limits.

    Yep, the other thing is that there is no damage to the barrel, no bulge no ballooning no anything that you would expect to see if the rifle was loaded/ charged incorrectly

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Send it back & ask them to replace it. That should have never happened.

    Fly

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Looks to me like a flaw and not user error. You should even be able to double charge 60 grains with the barrel staying together. I have never heard of a ML barrel letting go in that particular place.....very strange.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    If you would whose the maker as I would like to know ,Thanks Ed

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    If you would whose the maker as I would like to know ,Thanks Ed
    Investarms /Lyman

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    swheeler's Avatar
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    I would say you are lucky you have both eyes!
    Hell, I was there!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy MAGA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    I would say you are lucky you have both eyes!
    Yes I am! I was wearing some clear shooting glasses am thankful I had them on

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Lyman makes very fine rifles, but with any man made thing stuff happens. I,m sure Lyman will warrant your gun, there good people.

    Fly (ps) but do let us know what you find out

  13. #13
    Another reason for safety glasses, always.

    Especially with ML's

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    So, without better pictures it looks like a simple tension failure. That grainy look is what steel looks like when it fails in tension. I might also deduce that the breech might have been over torqued, which would be a contributor to the issue.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    The Barrel is still good. The threaded part of the breach block is broken off in the threaded part of the barrel. The breach block is the bad part. Man that is unheard of.
    n.h.schmidt

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    Tell them you want two guns, just because.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I agree with charlie b - it looks like the breech plug may have been over torqued when it was installed. It's no secret that many of these production rifles come from the factory still containing machining chips in the breech, etc. RFD will attest to that and has shown a number of photos in the past in regards to that. If they leave machining chips in, how careful are they when they fit and torque the breech plug in? The fit of the face of the breech plug to the bore is very important and if a machining chip was in the way (just for an example), who knows how they install the plug and how big of a breaker bar they use to put torque on it to line up the flats. As they say, "things happen" and while it doesn't make me want to run screaming in fear, it is a good thing to think about when you get a rifle as far as pulling the breech plug and checking and cleaning everything out of it left from production. And then again, some makers don't want you to remove a breech plug and make sure it is tight and difficult to remove for liability reasons.

    It sounds like you did everything "right" and it was just one of those "flukes". But sending it back to the maker I would consider a "must" so that they can inspect it and if there is any possibility that a production run has problems, they can address it. You certainly are entitled to a new gun though I would think. You are a lucky man that you didn't get hurt and they should thank their lucky stars you didn't.

    Good luck to you MAGA and thanks for the post as it's a good reminder that "things do happen". Let us know how the maker deals with the problem if you would please. Thanks!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    In my past, i have had occasion to have Lyman warrent items for me. I found out first off that a phone call turned out to be invaluable to the process. On the three occasions i have had excellent luck with Lyman and their warranty process.

    First phone call concerning their auto powder distributor going on the fritz was iffy in my opinion. The person i contacted informed me that they would make a decision once they received the unit.i wrote it off as i was convinced that being an electronic item ... they would shuffle me off but such was not the case. They stood behind it and i still use it today.

    Will be surprised if all will not be successful for you. Good luck and i too am very happy you are unwounded. I will be watching your progress.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    In the right hand picture you can see marks from turning the plug where it was tightened. I agree with the several others that say over torqueing probably caused this? Since there is part of the plug still in the barrel that would cause the hot powder gases to be shot back in your face. I sent the pictures to my "gunsmith mentor" and he feels that was the case also.
    John

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    A New Plug made from suitable Steel Bar with a smaller centre hole is required.Proof testing after the repair is absolutely necessary.The Beefed up Plug would give that extra safety factor.

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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