…but I could have lived with no this one particular!
I traded a fella for an Iver Johnson Viking .38 lately. These have been a top rated-break in .38 S&W, and appear like a close to-copy of Harrington & Richardson’s Defender. Like the H&R these are manually ejecting through a rod beneath the barrel. They have been created from 1963-1974 as an affordable self-defense pistol. They have a rep for getting really stout small guns.
This one particular arrived with some blemishes on the frame, holster put on and a genuinely fairly good double-action trigger-pull. The ergonomics are neither good nor tragically negative, and I was eager to give it a whirl. I ultimately got it to the variety now, and on the third shot pieces followed the bullet downrange.
Honestly it wasn’t even scary it occurred so rapid I was like, “Well, that occurred. Crap.”
Revolver cylinders have a tendency to blow up and sideways when they go, and considering that I was on an indoor variety with dividers amongst the firing positions neither I nor anybody else was injured.
My 1st believed on seeing a cylinder like this is ‘overpowered handload,’ and certainly that was my 1st believed right here. Anybody can make a error, but I am an particularly meticulous handloader. I calibrate the powder scale ahead of each and every loading session, and visually confirm the powder charge in each and every case ahead of seating the bullet. No, it could not have been a double-charge a double-load will not even match in the case, and I would have noticed the powder overflowing…
The load made use of was a 125gr. .361 caliber lead SWC more than two.7gr. of Exceptional. This is far, far beneath the maximum encouraged load for a top rated-break. Basically two.7gr of Exceptional beneath a 148gr. lead bullet is not more than the maximum for a top rated-break revolver. I fired this identical load in two other revolvers now with no a challenge, and in the previous have fired it from an Iver Johnson revolver created in the 1880s, so the load itself is not at fault. The precise cartridge may well have somehow been overloaded, and whilst I doubt it it is doable.
There may well be a further answer- the steel of the inner chamber wall shows a dark region. This is triggered by carbon precipitation when the steel cracks in heat-treat. This most normally takes place when the steel is overheated throughout the method, which produces a characteristic pattern of big grain-development.
OK, that is certainly some big grain development, and this indicates a really weak structure. Appear at the image beneath- the top rated is the cylinder wall in close-up. On the bottom is the edge of a broken piece of effectively heat-treated steel. There is a fairly big distinction!
Also when a cylinder blows it tends to only take out the chamber getting fired and one particular of each of the adjacent chambers. But if there was a pre-current crack in the inner cylinder-wall it would clarify why the cylinder cracked comparatively neatly in half.
Regardless of whether or not the person cartridge was more than-powered, I assume the true culprit is a really negative heat-treat and micro-cracks in the cylinder this gun was a time-bomb from the moment it left the factory, and I just drew the quick straw.
So what now? Nicely, what is not going to occur is me blaming my buddy for sending me a negative gun. No way he could have identified about this. Hell, it may well have blown up on him as conveniently as me. I can replace the broken latch with a component from Numerich arms, but sadly they are out of .38 cylinders, so if I determine to repair this I’ll make my own… out of effectively heat-treated 4140 steel!
I got this gun simply because I believed it would be interesting… effectively, it certainly has been that! Although not, maybe, in the way I had hoped… You win some, you shed some. If or when I get about to repairing this gun I’ll maintain you posted.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 26 August 2019
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