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Basic questions about ammunition

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RodJ
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Post by SaraiEsq Mon Feb 06, 2023 1:04 pm

Ah, yes, I have more questions.

I am shooting a new Ruger Mark IV Target pistol.  My round count is just reaching 1000 so I can't blame everything on a new not-yet-broken-in gun.  One of the problems I am having is failure to eject.  The FTE is usually the first round (i.e., I shoot one round and it doesn't eject entirely so I can't get the second shot off) and some days seems mag dependent (but not always for either).  

The advice I've received on the line includes:
1) put a drop of oil on the first round in each magazine (I do this now and it seems to help)
2) change ammo*
3) don't use HV ammo
4) use HV ammo
5) use rounded lead ammo
6) use metal jacketed ammo

I know that, ultimately, the best ammunition for my pistol is that which works reliably and results in nice tight groupings.

*Ammunition I've tried: Norma Tac, CCi Standard, CCi MiniMags, Aguila SE copper, Aguila SE HP, Aguila SE lead, Winchester, Armscor.  I've yet to find anything which consistently makes me happy.

I have two requests presently:

1) Can someone please provide me with an explanation of high velocity and standard velocity ammunition, especially as it relates to precision pistol (.22 primarily, obviously), with the pros and cons of each?

2) What are some techniques to clear a FTE in RF when you've already used your alibi? And in other, less time critical situations?  Smile

Thank you all so much!!
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Post by javaduke Mon Feb 06, 2023 1:20 pm

The high velocity, as the name suggests, is faster than a standard velocity ammo. The downside of it is that the bullet crosses the sound barrier twice, first when it accelerates and then when it slows down. This has a negative impact on accuracy. The standard velocity ammo is subsonic so generally speaking it is more accurate.
However the HV ammo has more oomph and cycles more reliably in semi-auto actions. That being said, a properly tuned pistol cycles SV ammo just fine. 
If you have FTEs it means something slows down the bolt. Check your chamber, see if there are any burrs or scratches. After you clean the chamber, put a drop of oil on a cotton swab and lightly lubricate the chamber. A drop of oil on a first run in the mag also helps, especially in timed and rapid fire.

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Post by Pinetree Mon Feb 06, 2023 1:33 pm

All of my Rugers seem to run well when dirty, but if it were me I'd give it a good cleaning and inspection as mentioned above.

It's my understanding that once you've already used your alibi during a string and have another, you're done and lose whatever points that you didn't shoot.
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Post by DA/SA Mon Feb 06, 2023 1:45 pm

I know absolutely nothing about Ruger .22's, but this may be what you are looking for in order to get the correct spring for the SV ammo you choose to use.

https://volquartsen.com/inventory_configurations/1086

I may have misunderstood your issue, but it sounds to me like your pistol is presently sprung for some pretty high velocity ammo. Does the case stay stuck in the chamber, or does it partially extract and then ride the bolt/extractor closed again?

In other words, does the bolt fully cycle when it doesn't extract the spent case?
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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Feb 06, 2023 2:22 pm

I would look into the Volquartsen Edge Extractor. I’ve been seeing many Rugers with extraction issues. This extractor normally helps things out. Pretty easy to install. All my Rugers run on SV ammunition.
Jon


Last edited by Jon Eulette on Mon Feb 06, 2023 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Wobbley Mon Feb 06, 2023 2:25 pm

The terms “Standard Velocity” and “High Velocity”  relate to the velocity as fired in a test barrel.  SAAMI requires test barrels for 22 rim fire to be 24 inches.  So the velocity from a 5-7 inch pistol barrel will be far less.  The aversion to High velocity Ammunition from the bullseye community is based on “Fudd lore” in my opinion.  Some pistols were said to have been “damaged” by the use of HV way back in the old days although there may have been other culprits. As an engineer, I find it fundamentally absurd that an increase in bullet velocity of 20% would damage much except maybe a recoil spring.  But the legend took root.  In those old days there WAS a difference in bullet lubricants and coatings and those did affect the accuracy of SV vs HV with the SV being a bit more accurate.  So match ammo was loaded to the levels of SV and lubricated as such and the shooters were happy.  

But then Federal dove down the rabbit hole of developing Olympic level ammunition for the USA Olympic team.  They actually found that SV and grease lubes weren’t the best.  The velocity was raised to 1180 and the lubricant was thinned.  It became THE ammo to use in Smallbore rifle.

The upshot is, to me, that use what shoots best for 1.) functionality and 2.) accuracy.  Whether that Norma TAC, CCI SV, Eley or ??? Just buy a good supply once you find one.  I know that Aguila in my gun is non-functional.
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Post by Foundryratjim Mon Feb 06, 2023 2:48 pm

I shoot a MKIII 22/45 Clark Custom. It is set up to run standard velocity ammo. Norma Tac 22 will not cycle it properly. I use either SV CCI or SV Aguila. Your gun will have stronger springs but should still run SV ammo. Take the pistol down and clean and lubricate the bolt well. Everybody has their own magic sauce they swear by. I use 5w 30 synthetic amsoil in the cooler weather and a very light weight grease made for AR bolts when the weather warms. Don't be afraid to keep it well lubed . If this pistol is for your bullseye shooting you will not be taking out in the woods. Excess lube can be wiped away. When my gun was new it took a while to get things smoothed out. If you can find some one you shoot with that has a similar pistol have them look it over.
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Post by NukeMMC Mon Feb 06, 2023 3:42 pm

You may also want to pursue removing that loaded chamber indicator from your Mark IV. IMHO, any device that is actuated by the cartridge in the chamber, like the indicator or an extractor, slows insertion or extraction from the chamber. You NEED an extractor for reliable operation. You do not NEED the indicator.

I think you'll find the horrors of high velocity ammo and target pistols stems from High Standards. Specifically Olympic models with military grip angles (106/107). The Olympics in 22 short had aluminum slides and as the driving (recoil) springs weakened with age, the slide velocity significantly increased. HS frames would exhibit cracking of the frames from the groove where the slide stop was actuated by the magazine button. I personally saw about 8 or 10 frames with this issue when my dad coached the Maine Maritime Academy pistol team in the 70s and 80s. He returned several frames to HS with several discussions with Bob Shea. The fix was more frequent driving spring replacement and trying to source target-grade 22short ammo at a decent price. Unfortunately, DCM only provided HV 22short at the time. My dad bought tens of thousands of rounds of good 22short for the team out of his own pocket.
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Post by Foundryratjim Mon Feb 06, 2023 3:56 pm

You are correct about the chamber indicator. Clark removed mine. I had forgot about that.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew Mon Feb 06, 2023 6:41 pm

My MkIII Clark Ruger developed the same failure-to-extract when clean issue. Struggling to shoot 10 in 10 minutes is not fun and didn't set the mood for me leading up to sustained fire but in 900s never had extraction issues after the slow fire stages. Not saying this works for everyone, but a new pistol from Pardini cleared my extraction issues right up Very Happy I can clean her all I want, and it doesn't take a plastic hammer to dis- or reassemble.
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Post by mutley Mon Feb 06, 2023 9:07 pm

This is a new gun?  I'd send it back to Ruger and tell them to fix it.

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Post by SaraiEsq Mon Feb 06, 2023 9:44 pm

DA/SA wrote:I may have misunderstood your issue, but it sounds to me like your pistol is presently sprung for some pretty high velocity ammo. Does the case stay stuck in the chamber, or does it partially extract and then ride the bolt/extractor closed again?

In other words, does the bolt fully cycle when it doesn't extract the spent case?

This photo is staged but it is usually something like this:

Basic questions about ammunition Fte_ex10

The new round can be partially in the barrel or held against the back wall of the chamber by the spent casing.  

What do you mean when you say the pistol is "presently sprung for some pretty high velocity ammo"?
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Post by SaraiEsq Mon Feb 06, 2023 9:50 pm

Pinetree wrote:
It's my understanding that once you've already used your alibi during a string and have another, you're done and lose whatever points that you didn't shoot.

True, but if you can fix the malfunction and fire the remaining shots in the time allowed ....  My impulse tends to be to try to clear the gun instead of meekly raising my hand to call for an alibi.

(Okay, it is unlikely to fix the issue in rapid fire but possible in timed fire.)

I'm mainly looking for quicker ways to clear a failure to eject than drop the mag / pull back the bolt / tilt / hope the offending bits fall out / reload
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Post by DA/SA Tue Feb 07, 2023 8:32 am

SaraiEsq
"What do you mean when you say the pistol is "presently sprung for some pretty high velocity ammo"?"

Basically, when a gun leaves a manufacturer, they really have no idea what ammo will be used with it, so they have a standard recoil spring installed in it that should accommodate up to the highest velocity available. Using a 1911 as an example, it will come with a recoil spring which should be OK for nearly all of "off the shelf" defensive ammo available. If you want to shoot lighter target loads, you will need to adjust the recoil spring weight in order to get the gun to function properly.

Recoil springs are not a "one size fits all" thing. If you whish to shoot lower velocity loads you need to find the heaviest spring that will allow the gun to function properly. Too heavy a spring and the slide/bolt will not travel rearward with enough velocity or travel to properly eject the spent case. Too light a spring and the slide/bolt will travel rearward with too much velocity and can result in harsher felt recoil and possible battering of the stop mechanism that controls the rearward travel of the slide/bolt, or in the case of Marvel aluminum slides and High Standard frames, and I believe some Hammerli's, possible cracking over time. No sense beating a gun up for no reason!

I'd also recommend paying attention to what Jon Eulette has to say!
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Post by Foundryratjim Tue Feb 07, 2023 8:49 am

I am far from being an expert, but what your picture depicts is a stove pipe not a failure to extract. The case has been extracted from the chamber but the bolt has not traveled rearward enough to complete its stroke to eject the case. There are different reasons this could happen. Temperature sensitive ammo,  not enough lube, recoil spring etc.


Last edited by Foundryratjim on Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SingleActionAndrew Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:00 am

Like Foundryratjim I thought you were explaining a different failure, where the case remains seated in the chamber after firing.

These failures can sometimes be cleared during sustained fire. A quick sweep over the top of the pistol with your offhand (not putting your hand in front of the muzzle) might clear the case and complete feeding. I learned to hold my belt buckle instead of deep in my pocket with my offhand for handling these failures.
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Post by Ed Hall Tue Feb 07, 2023 11:09 am

NRA Rulebook wrote:10.11 Completion of Fire - In the event of a malfunction the
competitor may complete the string by manually cocking the pistol,
operating the slide or loading additional rounds, provided that the
pistol is handled safely and remains pointed downrange at all times.
Do note that performing the above will negate any request for an alibi, but if you've already had one this is available.

Just as an additional note, I watched Jason Meidinger win a .45 caliber Rapid Fire shoot off (two strings of five rounds) with two jams.  He called a refire for the first, and cleared a subsequent jam that occurred during the refire.

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Post by BE Mike Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:03 pm

Don't touch the gun with the non-shooting hand if it isn't a double-alibi! Instead raise your hand to declare an alibi! Don't ask me how I know this!
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Post by SaraiEsq Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:09 pm

BE Mike wrote:Don't touch the gun with the non-shooting hand if it isn't a double-alibi! Instead raise your hand to declare an alibi! Don't ask me how I know this!

I rather suspect you know the same way I know.......
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Post by SaraiEsq Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:24 pm

SingleActionAndrew wrote:A quick sweep over the top of the pistol with your offhand (not putting your hand in front of the muzzle) might clear the case and complete feeding.

I've had some luck with that technique but sometimes the spent casing is wedged rather tightly between the left chamber wall and the new round, and I have to kinda wiggle/work it out. Most inconvenient.

Would I be correct in surmising the sweep works better on larger calibers, as there is more to swipe at?
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Post by Jon Eulette Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:47 pm

If your pistol is not running flawlessly than you will be thinking about the upcoming jam and how you're going to clear it, rather than the 10 you should be shooting.
Ruger's typically are bulletproof and function excellent. Since yours is not, it needs to be fixed.....
In my experience the newer pistols have a flawed QC with the extractors. The Volquartsen extractor 99.9% fixes the issue. I've never met a Ruger that would not function SV ammunition. If your slide locks back its not a recoil spring problem. And the advice to remove the loaded chamber indicator was excellent! I had forgotten.

Jon
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Post by Foundryratjim Tue Feb 07, 2023 1:45 pm

If Sara's pistol is a Mark IV I don't think it comes with a LCI. Mine is a Mark III.

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Post by SaraiEsq Tue Feb 07, 2023 3:15 pm

Foundryratjim wrote:If Sara's pistol is a Mark IV I don't think it comes with a LCI. Mine is a Mark III.

Yup, I ain't got no LCI.  ;-)  

But sometimes I gots an ECI... :-D
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Post by RodJ Tue Feb 07, 2023 4:15 pm

SV vs HV is relative, rather than absolute, and does not necessarily refer to specific velocities. A given manufacturer will label their ammo SV and HV if they put out two different velocities of ammo.  Typically SV means that the bullet will remain subsonic relative to a given test barrel.  Wobbly described the trade association standard.  But for pistol ammo, you’d want to check the manufacturer website for specific velocities out of whatever barrel length they use.  HV of course then usually refers to ammo that is supersonic out of the same barrel relative to the subsonic SV ammo.  Among manufacturers, SV and HV will vary in velocity because they use different weight bullets, powder charges, etc. AND they may use different length test barrels.

Funny thing, the shorter the barrel, genera lower muzzle velocity, because the bullet exits the barrel before all the burning and combustion gas is used up.  But for a given round, at a certain point a longer barrel will also result in slower muzzle velocity, because the combustion gases have fully expanded and provide no further added push, and the remaining barrel just slows down the bullet through friction.

It’s interesting to compare published mfr velocities for SV ammo. They are all over the map, but almost uniformly subsonic… in the specific test barrel / length.  

What a mess! lol!

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Post by SaraiEsq Tue Feb 07, 2023 6:40 pm

mutley wrote:This is a new gun?  I'd send it back to Ruger and tell them to fix it.

She was manufactured in 2021.  I bought it "used" from a friend who had taken it to the range once (less than 50 rounds he says).  Pretty sure he bought it new.

I don't have an aversion to sending my pistol to Ruger but I want to have tried all the things they will suggest (i.e., change ammo, clean, lube) before I part with her for who knows how long.  My backup is a 1961 Ruger Standard pistol with the issues you would expect from a 61.5 year old gun.  And, I've been told the break-in period for this model varies from 1000-2000 rounds.
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