1911-38 special

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1911-38 special

Post by John on Mon May 07, 2012 11:24 pm

My Clark 38 special 1911 blew the bottom out of the case during a match. Being unsupported at the rear of the barrel (bottom) some weak/thin cases blow out from time to time. Broke wood grips and left a stinging hand for a short time. Anyone else had this problem? Suggestions? (Use fully supported barrel---best/strongest cases?---shoot 45 in CF match---wear chain mail glove) Thanks, John

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by bummer7 on Tue May 08, 2012 12:16 am

I've had the pleasure of this happening to me while shooting my 1911/38spl a few years ago. Blew the bottom of the case out, split the grip, destroyed the magazine, caught some brass in the face, and have only used new brass in this pistol since. Not sure I would like to have it happen again.

My next improvement for this pistol is to replace the old barrel with a ramped barrel. In the meantime, I have replaced the grips with Pachmyr's. I'm hoping the steel in the grips will be enough to keep the blast moving downward should I experience another blowout.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by Virgil Kane on Tue May 08, 2012 8:53 am

There is a company out there that makes steel and aluminum plates that go under the grips of the 1911. They come in various thicknesses and I think they start at around .010 and go up from there. They are made so that a person can change the thickness of the grip but I bet that they would be perfect for stopping the blowout from stinging your hands. I'll look and se if I can find the company that carries them and post it later.



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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by Virgil Kane on Tue May 08, 2012 9:41 am

Here ya go. Made by CMM



http://www.cmmshootingsports.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=38&osCsid=esbloeurb09poikl0ad9q7lrh1



For 15 bucks not a bad dael to help your hand in case of a blowout.



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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by DavidR on Tue May 08, 2012 9:46 am

Sounds like a double charge, ive had it happen on a 45, and did the same thing. I would suggest the cmm panels, they have new ones now in stainless steel but also a powder stop die would prevent ever building a double again. If your using your brass long enough for it to get that thin, id throw it all out and invest in some new brass as well.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by Larry Lang on Tue May 08, 2012 10:19 am

John, this has happened twice with my 1911/38 too. I lost a nice set of Colt medallion grips. I now use Pachmayr, w/out the front strap.

Mine has become rather loose and I wonder if the "lock-up" and timing has gone bad.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by Dave C. on Tue May 08, 2012 7:06 pm

Metal grips are a poor substitute for good reloading habits. I have had 38spl cases fail due to being reloaded many times, but never had any that blew out the bottom near the case head. All of the cases that failed developed mouth cracks from the cases being crimped and expanded many times.

Good health and good shooting

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by bummer7 on Tue May 08, 2012 9:28 pm

Agreed that metal plates in the grips is a poor substitute for bad reloading habits. But it's not bad reloading or a double charge that is the problem here. It is an unsupported chamber and weakened brass. The barrel I have comes from a .38spl kit sold by Gill Hebard in the 1960s. I've owned this particular pistol since 1978/9.

While I have not shot this particular gun much in the 30 some odd years that I owned it, It's always been a joy to shoot on the times I've used it. In examining the case where it blew out and inserting th blown case; you can tell it was from the unsupported or open section of the barrel.

I would not doubt that brass was reloaded one too many times or that it was weakened after so many firings. Since that one blow-out, I only use new brass or brass plus once the brass gets reloaded 10 times, it is then recycled for revolver use only.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by DavidR on Wed May 09, 2012 10:33 am

Im still not convinced what you suffered was not a double charge, reason being, a 38 load is generally in what 2.5 3 grns max? This is insufficient IMO to cause the damage you had. To blow the grips apart by spreading the magazine walls would take a charge in the 5-6 grn. Just why are you so sure you did not double charge a case? the two times it happened to me in the past 12 years , i had no clue till it went bang and i am very anal in my loading. Even the best reloader can have a accident.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by John on Wed May 09, 2012 12:09 pm

"This is insufficient IMO to cause the damage you had. To blow the grips apart by spreading the magazine walls would take a charge in the 5-6 grn."

David: You are arriving at the conclusion that the magazine walls have spread. No damage to the magazine at all. Both grips split and left grip blew off the gun because of gas pressure going around the magazine. Fortunately a lot of the pressure went to driving the bullet to the target. The load is moderate--3.2 grains of Bullseye--H & G #150 bullet (146 gr.) velocity about 825 FPS (average chronograph)

Definately not a DOUBLE CHARGE. I do not know where you got the figures of 2.5 --3 grains of Bullseye as max???? Manuals list 3.5 grains as a max load.

I have been loading and shooting BE probably a bit longer than you and it is very difficult to obtain a double load in my progressive press. I am going along with the majority of opinions, so far, that the brass has been loaded too many times. Definately going to limit the number of reloads from now on. I had hoped, by asking the question on the forum, that someone would come up with an answer arrived at by study and testing but no luck so far. Regards, John

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by Larry Lang on Wed May 09, 2012 12:32 pm

Both my incidents happened using R-P nickel plated cases. I have heard that plating can cause brittleness to occur. I have a large supply of mixed brass I will try. Maybe we should get together for a shoot-off. The winner gets a free set of grips from the loser...

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by Larry Lang on Wed May 09, 2012 12:59 pm

Uncontained secondary kaboom. Top round in mag. Notice the primer has not been struck. Bullet was loose in the ejection port.
All this 'talk', I may shoot the revolver next week.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by DavidR on Wed May 09, 2012 4:45 pm

John wrote:"This is insufficient IMO to cause the damage you had. To blow the grips apart by spreading the magazine walls would take a charge in the 5-6 grn."

David: You are arriving at the conclusion that the magazine walls have spread. No damage to the magazine at all. Both grips split and left grip blew off the gun because of gas pressure going around the magazine. Fortunately a lot of the pressure went to driving the bullet to the target. The load is moderate--3.2 grains of Bullseye--H & G #150 bullet (146 gr.) velocity about 825 FPS (average chronograph)

Definately not a DOUBLE CHARGE. I do not know where you got the figures of 2.5 --3 grains of Bullseye as max???? Manuals list 3.5 grains as a max load.

I have been loading and shooting BE probably a bit longer than you and it is very difficult to obtain a double load in my progressive press. I am going along with the majority of opinions, so far, that the brass has been loaded too many times. Definately going to limit the number of reloads from now on. I had hoped, by asking the question on the forum, that someone would come up with an answer arrived at by study and testing but no luck so far. Regards, John
It doesn't really matter how long you been reloading or on what machine you load on, mistakes ARE possible and DO happen. Hope your right about it so it doesnt happen again.

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Re: 1911-38 special

Post by bummer7 on Wed May 09, 2012 9:29 pm

David and John,

I wish it was a double charge as that would be the easy answer. But I was testing a specific load at the time. I had made up a small batch of 25 rounds for that specific range session. My load was 2.6gr of BE. It was a test load as I had just gotten the pistol back from the gunsmith a few months earlier. In this case, I weighed each charge by hand and loaded the batch using a RCBS RockChucker.

Anyway, the bullet did exit the barrel and hit the 25 yd target. I also found the brass case (it was a R-P nickel plated case) and you can see the hole in the case where it blew out. Inserting the case into the barrel matched the unsupported section of the barrel.

Knock on wood (my head) that I consider myself lucky never to have had a double charged round. I don't doubt that a double charged round can happen on any reloading setup. But a double charge in a .38spl case is quite noticeable when you look into the case.

-s

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Re: 1911-38 special

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