Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

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Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by DVidrine on 3/11/2017, 7:41 pm

I recently acquired a S&W model 25-2 revolver. This revolver operates great with 45 Auto-Rim and unclipped 45 ACP cartridges. The ammo I am shooting is mixed brass loaded with 200 gr. cast bullets and 5.0 gr. of Bullseye. This ammo works well in my Ruger Blackhawk and my M1911 pistol.

When the 45 ACP ammo is fired in moon clips the primers back out slightly and rub against the breach face of the frame. I cannot thumb cock this revolver after firing two or three rounds of the clip
.  I get the same results with ten different new moon clips.  These loaded moon clips rotate smoothly when the revolver is cocked and de-cocked without firing.

Has anybody experienced this? What can be done to prevent this problem? Am I doing something wrong here?  Is my load too light?

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by LenV on 3/11/2017, 7:58 pm

Maybe too hot. The primers are not supposed to back out. I use 3.8gr Bullseye in my 25-2 loads. Both with the 200 gr and 185gr L-SWC. Actually you are definitely too hot.

Len
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by ric1911a1 on 3/11/2017, 8:16 pm

I agree with Len, too hot a load..............

I use the same load he does in my 625 with moon clips and have no problems.
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by Sc0 on 3/11/2017, 8:35 pm

Checked cylinder shake and gap?  

Ran a 230gr Precision bullet under 5gr bullseye, a stout load but a 625-8 with moon clips and even with the Ranch 2x moon clips no issues.  Starline brass with Winchester LPP.

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by DVidrine on 3/11/2017, 10:18 pm

There is no cylinder shake.  This revolver seems to be tightly fitted.  I will try some lighter loads.  It should also work with standard factory 230 gr. loads.  I'll try some of those also.  Thanks for all of you replies and suggestions.

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by DVidrine on 3/12/2017, 10:03 pm

I have been giving the problem some more thought.  It seems to be more of a moon clip issue than a revolver or ammo issue.

The model 25-2 is in excellent condition.  There is no looseness of cylinder end shake or forcing cone gap.  The frame firing bushing is not recessed.  It is flush with the frame breach face.

The Lyman 48th handbook lists a starting load of 4.9 gr. and a maximum of 6.0 gr. of Bullseye with a 200 gr. cast bullet.  My 5.0 gr. Bullseye load should not produce excessive pressure.  Most of these loads are with new Starline brass and gave the same trouble Fed, Win, and Rem brass.  None have loose primer pockets.  I am using Winchester large pistol primers.

The moon clips are new and are 0.045” thick.  The loaded clips freely rotate as the revolver is cocked and de-cocked.

After the first shot there is a slight drag as the hammer is cocked.  Second shot, more drag.  Third shot, revolver is jammed.

I took another look at the fired cases.  I am a new member here so I have to wait a week before I can post pictures from PhotoBucket.  The primers appear to have bulged around the firing pin rather than backing out of the primer pocket.  A precision straight edge rocks across the primer.  I pressed some of these cases with fired and bulged primers with my priming tool there is no movement.

So, what is going on here?  When an unclipped cartridge is fired the pressure forces the case head to the breach face of the frame.  If the firing pin bushing is not recessed and the firing pin hole diameter is not excessive the primer is fully supported.  There can be no primer bulging or backing out.  These unclipped cartridges revolve and fire as they should.  I am suspecting that the clipped cartridges are being held forward by each other so there are not pressed against the breach face of the frame. 

Thank you for your ideas and suggestions.  This is my first moon clip revolver and I am not ready to give up on it.  Does anybody have any actual experience with this problem?

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by LenV on 3/12/2017, 11:03 pm

Yes, and no. How's that for an answer. I have not had that problem with my 25-2. I have over 30 moon clips and they all work well in that revolver. I have however had that identical problem with my 27-2. Hot magnum loads would work great but when I wanted to shoot reduced loads for DR my cylinder would drag and hang up after a couple of rounds. I have big hands and was able to pull my way thru. After much inspection I found that several of my cylinders had a very little bit more gap (there is no such thing as no gap) then the others. I had a bent crane. The primers in the hot loads were being flattened but the weaker loads were not and slightly bulged. That little imperfection in the crane let them hit the frame and jam. Fixing the crane solved the problem.
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by Jack H on 3/13/2017, 1:24 am

I used only 4.8 BE with 200 JSWC in my 1955 Model with rim brass.  Look to the right>>>>>
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by Wobbley on 3/13/2017, 8:01 am

Weakened mainspring? Or tension vobacked out too far giving a light hit and corresponding light firing pin support which allows the primers to bulge?

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by BE Mike on 3/13/2017, 12:33 pm

Wobbley wrote:Weakened mainspring? Or tension vobacked out too far giving a light hit and corresponding light firing pin support which allows the primers to bulge?
You may be on to something. My model 25-2 digests anything with full moon clips. Another thing to do is to make sure that the area under the extractor star is clean and dry (no oil).
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by DVidrine on 3/13/2017, 7:11 pm

I checked my ammunition with a Wilson cartridge gauge.  It all gauges correctly. 

I re-checked my moon clips.  The ones I used recently were purchased in a 100-piece lot on eBay.  They are new and oily.  The thickness varies from 0.041” to 0.044”.  I have some new Ranch Products moon clips.  They measure 0.038” to 0.042”.  I have not yet used the Ranch Products clips.  I will try them next.  Maybe the thicker clips are the problem.

This is a used S&W model 25-2 that I purchase through Gunbroker.com last month.  The extractor is good and the underneath side is clean.  The mainspring appears to be of proper strength and tension.  There have been no light hammer strikes or miss-fires.  The cylinder and yoke lock up smooth and tight.  There does not appear to be any yoke misalignment that I can tell.  I do not have a crane/yoke alignment tool.  They are $46.06 from Brownell’s.  Do you think I might need one here?

I am running out of things to check until I shoot it again.  This is a very nice revolver and I do not want to give up on it.  I will shoot it again Saturday with the Ranch Products clips and some factory ammo.  I will post my results.  Thanks again for taking time to post your suggestions.

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by james r chapman on 3/13/2017, 7:23 pm

I'd suspect the clips are preventing the case head from being driven back against the recoil surface.
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by r_zerr on 3/13/2017, 10:33 pm

My first thought was a light mainspring hit, but you are also indicating that it does have a problem when fired without the moon clip?  If so, I would tend to agree with Jim, that it is the moon clips. The rounds should move around a little and be able to "tilt" when in the clips, but not come out easily.

-Ron

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by DVidrine on 3/14/2017, 9:37 pm

I think I have identified the problem.  I unloaded a fired clip assembly that was not rotating freely and chambered the fired cases without the clip.  These cases with the bulged primers rotated freely.  I then loaded the same cases in a Ranch Products clip.  The loaded Ranch Products clip rotates freely. 

It has to be this batch of 100-piece moon clips I got such a good deal on from eBay.

Saturday, I will load and shoot with some Ranch Products clips to confirm everything and report the results here.  I think all will be good.

I never expected this.  Moon clips are moon clips, right?  Wrong!  Thanks for all of your support and suggestions.  Does anybody need some extra-thick 45 ACP moon Clips?  I’ll make you a good deal.

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by HenryA on 3/17/2017, 9:58 pm

If the moon clips are bent you might get hang ups like this. Check them for flatness. I use a granite surface plate (overkill, but I have one). You could also use a piece of thick glass. Clean the clips, lay them down and then check by pushing on each little tab. The bad ones will rock a lot.

Now a bunch of things to look at:
Is the firing pin cup flush in the recoil shield and tight in the gun? How is the fit of your bullets in the chamber throats? Most 25-2s are big in the throat but -- do your bullets (bullet only) drop through the throats? Is there interference with the SWC shoulder and the chamber? Are the bullets slipping under recoil?

You do want the cartridges to be loose in the clips. Do yours shake freely? Is the yoke clean and well lubed inside?

Last:
The OP wrote - "there is no cylinder shake". If this is literally true, it will cause problems. You want about .003 - .005 end shake so the gun functions hot and dirty. Also the gap between the cylinder and barrel could be closed or mis-cut. It may need correction by filing or with a barrel facing tool from Brownells. Or by taking the barrel off and cutting it to fit in a lathe. If its way off, this turns into a kinda big deal but its fixable. You could also re-cut the throat while its apart or while you use the facing tool which also is capable of cutting different throat angles.

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by kc.crawford.7 on 3/18/2017, 6:14 am

"there is no cylinder shake". If this is literally true, it will cause problems. You want about .003 - .005 end shake so the gun functions hot and dirty.

That is absolutely false.  You want zero end shake cylinder and zero end shake yoke.  It sounds like you identified the problem with the moon clips.  Don't introduce end shake to your revolver on purpose.
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by C.Perkins on 3/18/2017, 9:59 am

Something else that needs to be checked as far as inspection/maintenance is to make sure the ejector rod has not started to come loose.
It may have nothing to do with your problem, looks like you found it anyway.
If it does start to loosen/rotate it can mess with the clearance of the rear of cylinder to frame.
I have a special tool/clamp that I check my revolvers with during maintenance, just cause.
I believe that the ejector rod is a left handed thread if memory serves correct.
Good luck with the pistol.

Clarence
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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

Post by DVidrine on 3/18/2017, 9:11 pm

Good news.  Everything works fine as long as the moon clips are no thicker than 0.036 to 0.038”.  The Ranch Products clips work great.  I will be getting some more of those.  The thicker clips are unusable in this revolver. 

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Re: Model 25-2 Jams With Moon Clips

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