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Old 02-10-2020, 02:09 PM
DancesWithMoonclips DancesWithMoonclips is offline
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Default Ever seen a bullet do this?

I was testing a load yesterday in my 625-4 and had the strangest thing happen. About 10 rounds in, I had a discharge sound a little off, not quite as sharp as the others. I opened the cylinder and found the bullet still in the case, with severe gas cutting having melted the tip to a point. Load was 4.6 grains of bullseye behind a hornady 200 grain swc. Federal brass with small primer pocket, federal #100 primer. Id used this same load for 50 rounds prior with no issues. Started a new can of bullseye, an older but sealed can that Id taken in trade. Powder showed no signs of deterioration but had a slightly funny smell, not acrid or acidic. Hence the careful testing. Ive never had any issue with this gun and Ive Got eight years of successful reloading experience encompassing thousands of rounds. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Any insight is much appreciated!
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:42 PM
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Is the timing way off on one cylinder?
Did the bullet move just far enough to hit the flat face of the forcing cone? I'm thinking that the bullet movement was obstructed. The melting is just the normal gas venting.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:44 PM
M E Morrison M E Morrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithMoonclips View Post
I was testing a load yesterday in my 625-4 and had the strangest thing happen. About 10 rounds in, I had a discharge sound a little off, not quite as sharp as the others. I opened the cylinder and found the bullet still in the case, with severe gas cutting having melted the tip to a point. Load was 4.6 grains of bullseye behind a hornady 200 grain swc. Federal brass with small primer pocket, federal #100 primer. Id used this same load for 50 rounds prior with no issues. Started a new can of bullseye, an older but sealed can that Id taken in trade. Powder showed no signs of deterioration but had a slightly funny smell, not acrid or acidic. Hence the careful testing. Ive never had any issue with this gun and Ive Got eight years of successful reloading experience encompassing thousands of rounds. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Any insight is much appreciated!

just a wild guess, but could there have been a cavity (creating a weak spot) in that bullet? that is similar to the effect you get with a HBWC that was loaded too hot.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:48 PM
DancesWithMoonclips DancesWithMoonclips is offline
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Thanks guys! I’ve put hundreds of rounds through that revolver and have not seen any signs of a timing issue. The bullet was still in the case when I opened the cylinder so I don’t think it could have hit the forcing cone. I’m leaning toward the defective bullet hypothesis right now. Could a malformed base have allowed enough gas out to do this maybe?
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:03 PM
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Default Gosh...

But it didn't move the bullet out of the case at all????

ANY scenario I can think of except a REALLY slow burn would push the bullet out SOME. How big is the base of the bullet before and after firing? What does the bullet look like sitting in the mouth of a case?

I appears that hot gas bypassed the bullet. Not enough crimp???
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:27 PM
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This is one of the strangest most odd things I have ever seen or heard of...wow...

I have no hypothesis for what happened, it just makes no sense at all to my own Mental Models.

Even Gasses going around would have found it a lot easier to just push the Bullet ahead of themselves...

Mysterious!
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:53 PM
DancesWithMoonclips DancesWithMoonclips is offline
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The bullet has stretched a little. I can tell what used to be what by the knurled around the bearing surface. And it’s elongated but is present all the way around the bullet. One side is disproportionately reduced and it almost looks like a D viewed from the base. There is significant gap when placed in a sized case, presumably from the stretching action Weight went from 200 gr to 141 grains in the process. I agree it doesn’t go with any of my models except maybe a bum bullet. Maybe if there was a big enough defect on the base? I loaded these on a lee turret and gave them all some QC attention not saying I’m perfect but still... thanks for the input! Mysterious indeed!
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:10 PM
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Gas cutting wont melt a bullet. Something else weird happened there.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:10 PM
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If a Hornady bullet, perhaps an e-mail to their tech's. Really weird one.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:21 PM
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Possibly a tiny split in the brass that opened?
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:03 PM
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I'll be interested in hearing what you finally decide happened here.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:10 PM
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Hard to tell but maybe a void or crack in the bullet and the light part went down the barrel? Did anything hit the target from that shot?
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:17 PM
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I was going to speculate that the bullet started out with an internal air pocket but other members beat me to it. I'll refine that speculation by adding the air pocket was so close to the rear edge and side of the bullet that it took less pressure to collapse the side of the bullet then it would have taken to move the bullet forward. The gas had to get out some how. These bullets are swaged out of soft lead wire. The volume of the void probably should have held ~ 59 grains of lead.

If there is a hole in the collapsed side of the bullet then maybe the nose started out partially hollow so the gas could blow it forward by that would not explain how the nose became a long point. As pointed out above gas blow by does not melt lead. The time the lead is exposed to hot gas is too short. Various shotgun, space filler and muzzle loader wads are not singed by the hot gas. A normal .357 Magnum charge will not even change the surface texture of Styrofoam egg carton material when it is used as a substitute for a gas check.

While I can not explain the sharp pointy nose I can also add some thing that has no bearing on this case. When soft swaged hollow base wadcutters are way over charged only the bullet noses leave the gun as a round disks. The skirts freeze the case walls against the chamber walls. The rear of the cases move back independently severing them from forward portion of the cases. Someone had to run the experiment, right? If you must do this stuff I recommend using a .357 with a huge cylinder.

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Old 02-10-2020, 06:21 PM
DancesWithMoonclips DancesWithMoonclips is offline
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I submitted it to hornady And will keep the forum informed. It’s beyond me....
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenney99 View Post
If a Hornady bullet, perhaps an e-mail to their tech's. Really weird one.
I agree. I would send Alliant, Hornady and Federal an email, with pics, and see what the ballisticians can come up with. I've never experienced or even heard of anything like this.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:01 PM
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Have you weighed the 200 grain swc? I am curious how much remains.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:17 PM
DancesWithMoonclips DancesWithMoonclips is offline
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I did. It now weighs 141 grains.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
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I'll be interested in hearing what you finally decide happened here.
Same here...strange one there!
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:25 PM
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I'm on the side of the split case theory - at least for now. To melt that much lead the powder must have ignited and discharged the gasses forward. If the powder ignited in a closed chamber the bullet would have left the case. This looks like burning powder without enough pressure to cause the bullet to exit. We all know that it takes very little pressure, say a primer charge with no powder, to push a bullet out of the case just to get stuck in the forcing cone or barrel. Defective bullet? I suppose that is possible, but seems rather unlikely. The most obvious answer is often the best. What does the brass look like?

Edit: Someone will probably refute this theory any minute, which will cause me to swear off giving my opinion on the forum after my first shot of Kentucky's finest - until next time

Edit #2 - I went back and read the OP. Funny smelling Bullseye? Hmmm?
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:27 PM
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Any residue or other hints in the barrel ?
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:33 PM
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4.6 grs of Bullseye with a swaged 200gr bullet is on the warm side . For Bulleye I use the Zero swaged 200SWC with either 3.6grs VVN-310 or 3.8grs Bullseye . If you need the speed a cast or jacketed will hold up a whole lot better . 4.5grs of Bullseye with a Nosler 185 JHP or Zero 185 JHP are very accurate target loads that avg 780fps from a 5" Govt 1911 .
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:46 PM
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I think post #2 hit it. What about if it fired and the cylinder went out of time shooting double action? That would make the bullet leave the case and start into the forcing cone making the nose like that. I saw a model 27 do that but it didn't hit the primer. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxI have changed my mine on the bullet coming out of the case after blowing the photo up.

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Old 02-10-2020, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4barrel View Post
I think post #2 hit it. What about if it fired and the cylinder went out of time shooting double action? That would make the bullet leave the case and start into the forcing cone making the nose like that. I saw a model 27 do that but it didn't hit the primer.
Quoting the original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithMoonclips View Post
[...] I opened the cylinder and found the bullet still in the case, [...]
The bullet did not move forward so it was not deformed by hitting anything.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peak53 View Post
I'm on the side of the split case theory - at least for now. To melt that much lead the powder must have ignited and discharged the gasses forward. If the powder ignited in a closed chamber the bullet would have left the case. This looks like burning powder without enough pressure to cause the bullet to exit. We all know that it takes very little pressure, say a primer charge with no powder, to push a bullet out of the case just to get stuck in the forcing cone or barrel. Defective bullet? I suppose that is possible, but seems rather unlikely. The most obvious answer is often the best. What does the brass look like?

Edit: Someone will probably refute this theory any minute, which will cause me to swear off giving my opinion on the forum after my first shot of Kentucky's finest - until next time

Edit #2 - I went back and read the OP. Funny smelling Bullseye? Hmmm?
I just dont see this as possible. The lead needs 600deg or so to melt & not for the micro secon of a powder burn, which might not even reach 600deg.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:37 AM
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I agree with the split case scenario as being a likely contributor to this oddity. The OP said that it sounded a bit odd, but the deformed bullet remained; very weird. I can only see that happening from gasses escaping from a cylinder that was oversized for a split case. Could we see some photos of the case? -s2

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Old 02-11-2020, 12:43 AM
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Well part of the bullet went somewhere. It is 59 grains lighter so the rest of the bullet is either in the barrel or it went down range
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:37 AM
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Default Split cases.

Many moons ago the big city police range sold us 50 .38 special 148 grain wadcutter reloads in a brown paper lunch bag for $3 on the condition that we returned the empties. They used electric loading presses that allowed the operator to put his feet up and watch a ball game while they cranked out reloads. Initially I did not shoot the ones that had longitudinal case splits. They swapped them for good looking cartridges. After a while for my $3 they handed me a bag containing 50 cartridges with split cases and told me if I came back claiming they did not shoot as well they would give another bag of good ones for free. They shot just fine. Accuracy was not affected. Most or all of us who reload have discarded cases that split during the final time we used them. I'm not buying the theory that a split case was responsible for what ever happened.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:55 AM
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Lead lice or powder worms degrading the bullet. One of Reloading's mysteries.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:58 AM
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Just getting back to this. No split in the case. At least part of that bullet went down range because i saw sand fly on the backstop all six shots. I had a spotter too. There was no barrel obstruction but there is fairly heavy leading at the breech end of the barrel.

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Old 02-11-2020, 02:59 AM
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The bullet did not move forward so it was not deformed by hitting anything.
Looking at the photo the fired bullet appears to be a lot smaller in diameter. The bullet should measure .452 but if it measures even .449 it can't stay in a fired case. Now we need to know the diameter of the fired bullet. If the bullet was really soft and the pressure just right it could maybe distort a bullet. I did that to a Remington wad cutter. That is the base of the bullet in the brass. The bullet nose actually hit the 25 yard target. I have some 200 grain loaded with 4.7 of bullseye and I used to shoot 5 grains in bullseye with a Clark Heavy slide. 4.5 is my best target load with a 200. Heavy leading is a bullet lube problem or <probably not> the wrong size. The gun is telling you it don't like those bullets at that speed. I shoot a lot of 4 grains at 25 with a soft bullet in 45 acp. The bullet could have had an air pocket?
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4barrel View Post
Looking at the photo the fired bullet appears to be a lot smaller in diameter. The bullet should measure .452 but if it measures even .449 it can't stay in a fired case. Now we need to know the diameter of the fired bullet. If the bullet was really soft and the pressure just right it could maybe distort a bullet. I did that to a Remington wad cutter. That is the base of the bullet in the brass. The bullet nose actually hit the 25 yard target. I have some 200 grain loaded with 4.7 of bullseye and I used to shoot 5 grains in bullseye with a Clark Heavy slide. Heavy leading is a bullet lube problem or <probably not> the wrong size.
In my reply #23 above I quoted the original poster's statement that his bullet did not move out of the case. I'm taking him at his word. You are arguing that what he wrote occurred is not possible.

In my reply #13 above I wrote about my own experience blowing the noses off soft swaged hollow base wadcutters so I'm aware that can happen.

In his latest reply the original poster added that a piece of his bullet hit the back stop. With a solid base bullet I think that would only be possible if the bullet was swaged out of two pieces of lead. One piece left first venting the gas before the heavier piece moved. Could the piece that left first have been attached to the heavier piece at the nose firmly enough to stretch the nose into a point before separating without dragging the heavier piece out of the case?

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Old 02-11-2020, 03:59 AM
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I am on his side. There was a lot of flame like a torch or over charge of powder? And if the soft bullet had not split damaged the gun? I watch a lot of Murder She Wrote -We will figure this out. I will tune in tomorrow. Magnum or rifle primer?

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Old 02-11-2020, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
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Possibly a tiny split in the brass that opened?
YEP , MY BET ALSO
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:36 AM
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Possible this case was not crimped thus allowing the gases to by pass the bullet ?
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:43 AM
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The fastest powder with the softest bullet....
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:05 AM
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My guess is there was a lamination in the bullet, making, in effect, a two-part projectile. The front went flying and the rear piece stayed put.
During the swaging process, two pieces of lead got into the swaging cavity instead of just one piece of lead. This would have left an unglued boundary between the two pieces. One flew off. The other stayed in the case.
That long point puzzles me. Maybe the two pieces of lead were partially connected and when one flew off it stretched the piece that stayed put.

Just my imagination.

Last edited by max503; 02-11-2020 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:51 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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Never seen anything like that before. It looks like the bullet is collapsed on one side. Then there is that long spire. Just bizarre.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:14 PM
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Did you by any chance happen to dip your fingers in some sulfuric acid or maybe were enjoying some super hot salsa & chips while loading and didn't see the eventual melt down....

or..you got one really sick seating stem in that die.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:09 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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If the brass split, was the chamber so loose that it allowed it to move? I can see split cases effecting bullet pull but not without some forward motion of the bullet.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:36 PM
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Default Or....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4barrel View Post
I am on his side. There was a lot of flame like a torch or over charge of powder? And if the soft bullet had not split damaged the gun? I watch a lot of Murder She Wrote -We will figure this out. I will tune in tomorrow. Magnum or rifle primer?
...Forensic Files. I can hear the theme music.

Let's remember that the powder is suspect. I believe that Bullseye has a lot of nitroglycerin, If that had come out of the substrate and become unstable....? It may have been more of an explosion than a powder burn.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:39 PM
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Post #1 mentioned a "can" of Bullseye. I don't recall when Hercules/Alliant quit using metal cans, but we can guesstimate that if the powder was in a metal can, it'd be close to 50 years old. If so, I think the proper thing to do is have a memorial service for it and scatter the remnant of the powder as fertilizer.

Yes, Alliant does have sample of the very first batch of Unique and something similar for Bullseye, but those powders are kept wet in a sealed glass container. In the rare instance they use some, they dry it out. That's very different from possibly being in a metal can for approaching a half century.

I do think there might be something suspect with the bullet. However, Hornady swages those bullets out of lead wire, so voids seem unlikely. Heavy leading was noted, might be loads/powder or bad batch of wire.

Last edited by WR Moore; 02-11-2020 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:44 PM
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I'm not going to say ancient aliens had anything to do with this but....
it might be time to call in Giorgio A. Tsoukalos to take a look at this !
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:25 PM
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I'm going out on a limb and speculate that some Cerosafe slugging material ended up in the lead pot and it somehow stayed in a glob that ended up in the bullet you are pondering...it melts at less than the boiling point of water.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:06 PM
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Just to clarify, it wasn’t a can of bullseye, I misspoke. It was a cardboard sided canister with metal ends. I think it’s going on the lawn. It looked good when I got it. Who knows? Not worth risking a gun over.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:58 PM
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Default My Crackpot Theory

Both of my old Hornady manuals show starting loads well above 4.7 gr of Bullseye, 5.8 gr (4th Edition) or 5.9 gr (7th Edition) for a 200 gr swaged SWC in 45 Colt. Both these loads claim 850 fps from a 7-1/2 in bbl Ruger Bisley Blackhawk. Your 4.7 gr load must be well down from 850 fps, but that should be O.K. with fast burning Bullseye. The exception might be a deformed, damaged, or internally defective swaged bullet. I quit using swaged lead decades ago. No matter how slow you drive them, they will eventually lead. If you mess up and push near 1,000 fps they shrink the bore of the handgun with lead right away. Why does Hornady show loads that push them this fast?? That big scallop on the side of the bullet came from either a defect in the lead wire, a cold joint or slag inclusion, or perhaps a gouged out on bullet seating, maybe from a case mouth not flared enough that carved the bullet O.D. on the way in. Evidence is gone for that mishap now that the case is "fired". Bullseye lights off right now unless the confinement of a defective bullet and/or seating makes it act like a Roman candle, which might account for the funny report you heard. Hot gas got into that small channel and made a big one out of it, obturating the O.D. of the bullet to the I.D. of the case and sticking it before the bullet could move. There was not much gas pressure pushing on the base. If powder got into that fissure before firing, then stage was set. Hot gas flame-cut down the side of the bullet and shaped that lovely spire on the bullet nose. When I was a stupid kid I did near the same thing with a soft air rifle pellet in a .22 long rifle case. I hate soft lead bullets. Will not use them. Soft lead is O.K. for patched round balls for muzzle loaders and not much else.

Edit: My bad. I was looking at .45 Colt loads, not .45 ACP. Lesson learned, never believe loading data on the Internet, especially mine. 4.7 gr of BE running a 200 gr. lead punkin ball to 900 fps is on the warm side for me. Swaged lead is better suited for caulking up joints in bell & spigot cast iron pipe. Just my prejudice.

Last edited by ggibson511960; 02-12-2020 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:10 PM
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I am going with the de lamination or void in the bullet and it blowing apart. I have fired some split cases and except for some soot on the outside the case everything else was fine every time.

Part of the bullet blew off and down the barrel leaving torn and deformed portion in chamber. The energy of tearing the rest of the way apart accounts for the melted look

But it is weird.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
But it didn't move the bullet out of the case at all????

ANY scenario I can think of except a REALLY slow burn would push the bullet out SOME. How big is the base of the bullet before and after firing? What does the bullet look like sitting in the mouth of a case?

I appears that hot gas bypassed the bullet. Not enough crimp???
its easy enough to check the timing.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:40 PM
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If the problem showed up "About ten rounds in", I suspect something other than the powder.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:28 PM
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I don't know what it is about us but I've seen some of the weirdest scenarios show up on this reloading forum and this one's right up there with the most bizarre of them. We need Rod Serling and his team to investigate this one. I can hear the music now.
Old funky deteriorating powder is what I'll put my money on. It just sat there and got hot instead of building up pressure; but we'll never know for sure.
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Last edited by bluetopper; 02-12-2020 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:35 AM
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