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View Full Version : Broken S&W revolver


SeanCasey
07-21-2009, 9:52 PM
My friend and I were out shooting in BLM today and he was shooting his S&W revolver. Was shooting .38 special, mostly reloads. He fired about 19 rounds and then.... BOOM:

(He was having ammo problems as the mil-surp he was shooting with him M1 Garand was splitting as well.)

All of my stuff worked flawlessly and no one was injured in his ammo follies, but watching this happen was not cool at all.

http://www.caseyamerica.com/guns/blm/PICT2298.JPG
http://www.caseyamerica.com/guns/blm/PICT2299.JPG
http://www.caseyamerica.com/guns/blm/PICT2300.JPG

Oldnoob
07-21-2009, 9:59 PM
Holly #%#@, I'm glad no one was hurt but damn, where you buddy got his reload from?

SeanCasey
07-21-2009, 10:01 PM
His garage.

ScottB
07-21-2009, 10:26 PM
Isn't that kind of an unusual break for a split case? I would have expected the cylinder or top strap to fail. Was the barrel clear?

SeanCasey
07-21-2009, 10:29 PM
That is what we thought too. The cylinder appears perfect, just the failed barrel. He is going to get it inspected by a gun smith before reparing it. Definately was not cool seeing the barrel land 8ft infront of him and that is a fairly heavy barrel.

Mr. Beretta
07-21-2009, 10:33 PM
:eek::eek::eek:

trashman
07-21-2009, 10:35 PM
That's a crush-fit barrel; possible that it was over-tightened at the factory.

--Neill

qbi2001
07-21-2009, 10:40 PM
Holy crap, time to change reload formula.

G-Man WC
07-21-2009, 10:48 PM
Send it back to S/W. That does not look right. -g

BigRich
07-21-2009, 10:48 PM
It is pretty certain that this was not caused by the reloads. That would evidence by a bulged barrel, bent top strap or blown cylinder (or all of the above together). I would put my money on a factory defect. Call S&W customer service and talk to them about it. They might balk because reloads were used but it sure looks like the barrel was either defective steel or over torqued. Show them the pictures.

Acorn556
07-21-2009, 10:50 PM
IDK....Smith might not honor it since it's reloads but its worth a shot. less than having a smith do it.

ponderosa
07-22-2009, 8:27 AM
Man, 686 with 8 3/8 barrel.... shame. I had one of those, w/ the hogue grips even, but sold it long ago to fund college. Idiotic move for sure...

Good luck with S&W, hopefully they'll take a look at it.

ScottB
07-22-2009, 8:37 AM
Personally I wouldn't mention reloads, at least not right off the bat. Call me morally defective, but if you want anything from S&W besides a polite "not our fault", that's a conversation stopper right there. If its a manufacturing defect, chances are they have seen it before.

ojisan
07-22-2009, 8:41 AM
Nice snubby.
Always fun to make them yourself.

:eek:

forgiven
07-22-2009, 9:24 AM
Personally I wouldn't mention reloads, at least not right off the bat. Call me morally defective, but if you want anything from S&W besides a polite "not our fault", that's a conversation stopper right there. If its a manufacturing defect, chances are they have seen it before.

:yes:

dfletcher
07-22-2009, 10:07 AM
I think so long as you go with "not shooting reloads" that you should call S & W and tell them what happened, they should pay the shipping to & from. Lousy reloads bulge cylinders and unhinge topstraps, they don't lop off barrels. It may be that the split case is just a coincidence?

I'll go with whoever said the barrel was overtorqued, although if the gun was severely out of time I suppose that could eventually cause this problem - but to be so out of time as to cause this to happen I think you would have spent the last several hundred rounds being spit on by lead and copper and the forcing cone would be a mess.

Send the barrel with the gun Smith will be able to determine what happened from the fracture.

I think Smith also made 686 barrels of the two piece design (on purpose, not like yours :)) and they are not liked from what I read. So I think it would be important for you to tell Smith you want the same type barrel on your gun as originally purchased.

I would definitely let Smith handle it from start to finish, they have very good customer service - just don't give them the opportunity to assign blame to anyone else by speaking of reloads or having another fellow work on it.

El Gato
07-22-2009, 10:11 AM
Send it back to S/W. That does not look right. -g

+1
sounds like a metal problem... call Smith and get them to send you a return authorization... do it soon...looking at the picture, it makes me wonder about metal crystalization....I'm not a metals expert and I don't play one on TV ... just sayin' looks like some failures I have seen from flawed metal parts.s..

El Gato
07-22-2009, 10:14 AM
Nice snubby.
Always fun to make them yourself.

:eek:

Good thought... always look at the brighter side of life...now he needs a custom sight that includes a front and a rear sight in one mount....

MasterYong
07-22-2009, 10:19 AM
Personally I wouldn't mention reloads, at least not right off the bat. Call me morally defective, but if you want anything from S&W besides a polite "not our fault", that's a conversation stopper right there. If its a manufacturing defect, chances are they have seen it before.

+1000

Every gun manual I've ever read says not to use reloads. I've always thought that was mentioned because the manufacturer knows that at some point just about everyone if going to put a reload in their gun and thereby void the warranty.

Don't tell them about the reloads until after they've looked at it, if at all. If they say there was no factory defect, and that it was not their fault, THEN, MAYBE, tell them about the reloads.

My .02

bwiese
07-22-2009, 11:17 AM
1. Likely the crap reload was involved.

2. Failure mode is worse than what a typical bad 38Spl reload (double
charge, wrong powder) would do. If rifle powder were misued though,
I could see 'weird' effects.

3. S&W should see this but all bets are off if you mention 'reload'.

HowardW56
07-22-2009, 11:24 AM
It is pretty certain that this was not caused by the reloads. That would evidence by a bulged barrel, bent top strap or blown cylinder (or all of the above together). I would put my money on a factory defect. Call S&W customer service and talk to them about it. They might balk because reloads were used but it sure looks like the barrel was either defective steel or over torqued. Show them the pictures.


Was there a squib in the barrel?

Timberland
07-22-2009, 6:17 PM
The problem is clearly that the barrel fell off.

HowardW56
07-22-2009, 6:22 PM
It is pretty certain that this was not caused by the reloads. That would evidence by a bulged barrel, bent top strap or blown cylinder (or all of the above together). I would put my money on a factory defect. Call S&W customer service and talk to them about it. They might balk because reloads were used but it sure looks like the barrel was either defective steel or over torqued. Show them the pictures.

THat isn't a new gun.... Older thumbpoece, 686...

WHat does the topstrap look like above the forcing cone?

Jonathan Doe
07-22-2009, 6:38 PM
It looks like the metallurgical problem, much the same as LASD M&P 9mm barrel that had the catastrophic failure.

gibt
07-22-2009, 7:25 PM
The problem is clearly that the barrel fell off. :eek:
Send it back you may get a new one. Years back, Smith had some police issue model 65's that they took back with the same problem.

West coast
07-22-2009, 8:25 PM
wow?????:eek:

GuyW
07-22-2009, 8:38 PM
It looks like the metallurgical problem

definitely...
.

HCz
07-22-2009, 8:48 PM
That won't buff out.

Glad that no one got injured.:)

It looks like the metallurgical problem, much the same as LASD M&P 9mm barrel that had the catastrophic failure.

I wonder if there are any chances both incidents are related, i.e. bad batch.

SeanCasey
07-22-2009, 9:40 PM
Interesting comments guys. I am having my friend read this thread for information.

jacques
07-22-2009, 10:34 PM
definitely...
.

The casing looks like overpressure or it has been reloaded too many times. It could be a combination of a manufacturing problem and the reloads.

If SW has good customer service they will fix it.

B Strong
07-23-2009, 6:56 AM
Kb's are quite an experience, I'm glad no one was hurt.

I've witnessed Kb's of different types including wheelguns, and this is the first barrel failure of this type that I've heard of.

If there isn't a stuck projectile in the barrel, I'd take a swag that the failure in that area of the barrel/frame resulted from an overpressure round combined with a weak (heat treatment? poor installation?) barrel in the forcing cone/frame area.

I'd defintely get that piece to S. & W. warranty repair.

Black_Talon
07-23-2009, 4:49 PM
FWIW, I showed the pics to my friend that used to work of the S&W PC, and he said it looks like material failure.

AdAstra
07-23-2009, 10:17 PM
This is not an ammo problem, but a barrel stress-corrosion-cracking/over-torquing problem.

http://grantcunningham.com/blog_files/a35a2ad4be06648d06d1df441d945d45-2.html

BigRich
07-23-2009, 11:10 PM
The split/cracked case is something you see very often when you have reloaded a 38 special case too many times. Mine would usually split from the case mouth downward and the load was usually a 148 HBWC on top of something like 2.7 gr. Bullseye. A VERY mild load. The brass just gets over worked, thins and splits. An overcharge will stick the case in the chamber and if it goes further than that it blows or cracks the cylinder and possibly the topstrap. Every blown up revolver I have ever seen still had the barrel firmly attached. I have seen pictures of blown Colt SAAs where the frame let go completely and the whole front of the frame was gone, including the barrel. I'll bet a donut that this was a metallurgical defect. I hope S&W fixes it. If I were them I would really want to know why this happened.

Josh
07-24-2009, 1:07 AM
this happens when they over torque the barrel at the factory.

Its just a matter of time before the barrel falls off, dosent matter what loads you shoot through it.

Call smith, they will fix it. Its a known issue.