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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone seen the artical in shooting times (NOV09) there is a story that some guy didn't read his scale right and instead of putting in 10.8g of powder wich according to the artical is the max for the .44 mag this guy put in 18.0g or powder in. Blew the cylinder into three parts and just destroyed the frame of the gun on top. It was crazy. Lucky to be alive. I don't reload but this seems like a mistake you can only make once.

Just a reminder to be carful!
 

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.44mag

I don't put too much faith in articles from gun magazines. Most gun manufacturers test their guns with "proof loads" which are usually a double charge, to make sure the gun will hold up beyond SAMMI specs.

Most catastrophic gun failures, such as cylinders blowing up, etc. are caused by barrel obstructions. When a high pressure round is fired and the hot expanding gasses have no where to go, the pressure build up will cause the type of failure described in the article.

I wouldn't be surprised if the reloader had a squib load, then fired a round afterward, which caused the gun to blow apart. Of course, the reloader may not even know or remember he had a squib load......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This writer was writing a story based on a letter he recived or somthing to that effect....should of mentioned that...never the less.....
thanks rich!
 

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I doubt it was a Ruger Super Blackhawk. I tried for years to blow mine
up with crazy loads. It never blinked.

Joe
 

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I did that once over 20 yrs ago. I was reloading 357's at the time. I guess I missed a whole row of 5 in my block. And I even checked to make sure there was powder in them. Took the 50 reloads to the range, first cylinder full, second round went pop. No kick. I though that was funny, maybe a damp charge or weak primer. Took cylinder out, no obstructions in barrel. Next round, pop, same thing. So being young dumb and full of it back then I pull the hammer back and pulled the trigger. Pop, same thing. tried to pull trigger back, cylinder stuck, wouldn't rotate. Ended up having 2 lead SWC stuck, one in the barrel, and one halfway out of the cylinder. Good hard lesson, I hope everyone takes seriously, I was lucky the one stuck in the barrel, didn't have a fully charged load behind it. No telling what could of happened.
You can bet I triple check each time I reload, to this day.
 

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Pics of this gun were sent to me by a Marine buddy today. S&W 44 mag. Looked like a couple of other rounds might have been touched off! Cylinder was nicely sliced in two, top strap essentially gone. Bbl looked okay. :rolleyes: Yep, very lucky guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I doubt it was a Ruger Super Blackhawk. I tried for years to blow mine
up with crazy loads. It never blinked.

Joe
It really was, had a photo of the gun, or the parts of the gun in. It also was a 50th anv. gun too. Here is the artical, I found it online finally! The pictures are there too, proofs in the pudding so to speak....

http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammunition/ST_cantbetoosafe_200911/index.html

Here is the text:
It's been approximately seven hours since the "see" occurred as I now begin to document what happened. No, I haven't experienced the mysterious secondary explosive effect while firing one of my handloads. I participated in the aftermath of a significant emotional event in which--fortunately--no one was physically injured. The only casualty was the partial destruction of a 50th Anniversary Ruger .44 Magnum Blackhawk. The shooter directly involved agreed to let me relate the story if I would omit the names of those directly involved with the incident.



Of course, you and I both have seen photos of damaged or destroyed firearms caused by faulty handloads, bore obstructions, or other anomalies. I, however, had never experienced or even witnessed an incident like this before today's mishap.



I'm a member of a local shooting club and spend quite a lot of time at our range. I arrived at the range today an hour or so before two other members showed up. One of the shooters was John Redman, whom I have known for some time. He has been a handloader for 50 years and is one of my mentors. The other fellow had only recently resumed shooting and reloading, but I've known his father and brother for several years, and we've shared many range sessions.



I helped them unload their gear and set up to shoot handguns.



After they'd stapled up targets, the friendly banter ended, and we took our shooting positions. (I was shooting a new rifle I had recently acquired.) During the next few minutes, we each fired several shots downrange. I didn't hear anything unusual until Redman called my name--urgently.



I turned and saw both of them standing behind the young fellow's shooting bench and looking around. I thought at first Redman wanted me to help them find some brass, but then I noticed his expression.



I opened my rifle's bolt, removed my muffs, and got up. As I walked over to them, I realized that both of them were alarmed about something. They seemed to be okay, so I glanced over at the bench. The Ruger Blackhawk was lying there with the topstrap buckled and part of the cylinder missing.



"Are you okay?" I asked the young man as I scanned his face and body for cuts or blood and burn marks.



"I'm fine--I think," he replied.



Redman said he couldn't see any injuries either, and we soon were examining the revolver and looking for the missing pieces. We found two ruptured cases and even the primer from the round that had obviously been fired. The second case was clean internally with its primer still in place, and although damaged, it had not detonated. We also found the rear sight and the cylinder fragment.



"What happened?" I asked.



"I fired six rounds loaded with 9.8 grains of Titegroup and a 200-grain Hornady JHP-XTP bullet. They made six distinct holes in a nice group. So I loaded the next six rounds that were charged with 10.8 grains. The wind was lightly blowing from the rear, so I was surprised to feel a puff of something hit my face when I squeezed the trigger. I didn't feel the gun recoil any greater than before."



He took a breath and continued, "I looked down at the gun when I started to cock the hammer again and saw the topstrap was bent and cracked, and the rear sight was missing. I turned the revolver to the side a little and saw the cylinder was blown out. Then I put it down and got up to see if I was hurt. I removed my shooting glove and haven't found anything."

We looked him over again to make sure he wasn't bleeding anywhere. He didn't have even any small powder burns on his face or arms. Boy, he was one lucky fellow!



But I wondered just what had happened.



I looked at the fired case head and noted the headstamp was severely blurred. He had loaded new brass, and the other rounds in the box had clearly stamped case heads. It seemed to be an overloaded round.








I called Mike Daly at Hodgdon on my cell phone and described the condition of the fired case and firearm. He confirmed that 10.8 grains was the maximum load for a 200-grain jacketed bullet and assured me that would not have caused this extreme failure. We agreed the most probable cause was significantly too much propellant.



I hung up and asked how the young man had charged the cases.



He said he had weighed each powder charge before pouring it into the case. He had started reloading again just a few months ago, but he only loaded at his dad's so that his dad could supervise.



We called his father, related the incident, and assured him his son was just fine, except for his elevated heart rate.



After he'd calmed down so he could safely drive, Redman and I helped him pack up. He said he was going straight to his dad's house.



About an hour later, the father called. He had already removed the cylinder to access the remaining live rounds. The cylinder pin was bent slightly, but he had tapped it out carefully with a screwdriver and hammer after peening down one edge of the ruptured cylinder wall so it would clear the frame.



Another round was slightly damaged, and the bullet fell out, spilling the powder. The other three rounds were fully intact. He had disassembled one of them, poured the salvaged charge into the pan, and placed it on the tray. After adjusting the scale settings, he concluded what had caused the blow-up.



The son repeated the rest of the story to me later:



"Dad asked me, 'What does the scale read?' I said 'Ten point eight grains.' Dad said, 'Look at it again, son.' I said, 'Dad, it's exactly the same as I set it last night, 10.8 grains!' Dad said, 'Look at it again, son, carefully.' "



He continued, "Dad wouldn't have insisted that I look at it again unless I was wrong. So I wiped my mind clean and reexamined the settings and realized the scale was set on 18 grains--not 10.8."



A week later, I returned to the range and found all three participants from the previous week's incident. Of course, we had to rehash the event. The young fellow had already reloaded more ammo. His dad acknowledged he shared the blame for the mishap because, although he was there when his son loaded the discrepant .44 Magnum ammo, he wasn't diligently observing when the error occurred.



"You can't be too careful," is an excellent mantra to follow when reloading. However, on this occasion, the novice reloader was being very careful and weighed each charge. He was sure he was doing the right thing. He simply did what we all have done before. He saw what he expected to see instead of the actual scale setting.



That day at the range was still a good day. The young man was very lucky to have not been hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WOW!!!!!

Do you still have 10 fingers and both eyes. :barf:
 

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WOW!!!!!

Do you still have 10 fingers and both eyes. :barf:
:biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh: That wasn't my mistake, I found the images a while back and thought I'd keep them as a reminder to be extremely cautious and double check what I'm doing if I ever got to reloading. I have a few other pics as well that came with that bunch.


 

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It really was, had a photo of the gun, or the parts of the gun in. It also was a 50th anv. gun too. Here is the artical, I found it online finally! The pictures are there too, proofs in the pudding so to speak....
Thanks for link.

They call it a "Ruger’s New Model Blackhawk." Is that the same as a
Super Blackhawk?

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think that the super red hawk and the new model are different. My pa in law has a Super Red and its not like the one in the picture that is busted but I am no expert.
I don't reload but, my only reason for posting this is that sometimes we need a reminder to be careful, shooters are a rare breed and need to keep them all ticking.

thats all, and its a neat story too!
 

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I think that the super red hawk and the new model are different. My pa in law has a Super Red and its not like the one in the picture that is busted but I am no expert.
Redhawks are double action, Blackhawks are single action.
Redhawk and Super Redhawk have different frames from each other.
Blackhawk is .44 spl, Super Blackhawk is .44 mag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Redhawks are double action, Blackhawks are single action.
Redhawk and Super Redhawk have different frames from each other.
Blackhawk is .44 spl, Super Blackhawk is .44 mag.
See somebody knew the answer. If you put us all together on this forum we know everything.
 
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