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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 11-20-2011, 01:21 PM
1sgpierce 1sgpierce is offline
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Default The 500 dollar paperweight Model 60

Here is why you never change components when reloading. I had loaded up some 110 grain 357 magnum loads. I ran out of bullets and used 5 125 cast lead bullets to finish off the box. So I took my Ruger 77/357 and fired two of the 125 grain loads through it with no problem. I then put the three remaining 125 bullets in my model 60. I pulled the trigger and you can see from the pictures what happened. No injuries to me other than a small cut on my finger, no one else was hurt. One part of the cylinder was laying on the table by my hand while the other along with the rear sight were about 5 feet off to my left. The other two 125 rounds unexploded were found some 10 to 15 feet to my right side. I'm am glad that Smith makes such well made revolvers. By the way the cylinder release no longer works and I can't open the gun.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:33 PM
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It wasn't the guns fault as I am sure you are aware. Looks like an ammo problem, as in double charge, to me.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:36 PM
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Be careful with your 110 grain loads as well. I assume the 110's are JHP's? the 125's are only 15 grains heavier (while this will increase pressures, so will the added (copper over lead) resistance of pushing the jacketed 110's). So be careful!
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:37 PM
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WOW!!
What was the type powder and weight of the charge?
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:48 PM
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Default Powder type and bullet

I use Unique and each load was hand weighed and measured, and I inspect each filled case with a flashlight to avoid overcharge or undercharge issues. I won't give the particular load data, but it came out of the Lyman manual. The interesting thing was that I fired two rounds out of my 77/357 to check it out before trying it in the model 60.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:55 PM
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 1sgpierce View Post
I use Unique and each load was hand weighed and measured, and I inspect each filled case with a flashlight to avoid overcharge or undercharge issues. I won't give the particular load data, but it came out of the Lyman manual. The interesting thing was that I fired two rounds out of my 77/357 to check it out before trying it in the model 60.
Your 77/357 would be able to handle a lot of abuse, that a revolver (even an N-frame) could not handle.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:26 PM
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Gee, if one bullet doesn't make it out of tube,let's send another four behind it.
I've only had one squib in my life.That was with a brand new PC Model 27 ,about five minutes into the first session.Glad I paused when I heard the light puff.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:28 PM
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I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is something that isn't being said or isn't known.

I have the same gun only in 38spl. I have run loads that are only found in older manuals that push the performance of that caliber to the maximum and then some.

In order to blow a gun up, pressure has to develop to over twice what the caliber is designed for. SAAMI, which Smith & Wesson follows to a tee, requires that for a firearm.

So, pop, BAAAAANNNNGGGG, or something else needs to be found out.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:32 PM
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With Skip on this one!
But most importantly I hope you didn't get hurt.

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Old 11-20-2011, 02:44 PM
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YUP. That's a KABOOM alright.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:50 PM
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Wonder if there was a "lying quietly" problem with the revolver and these hotter loads were just enough to bring out the issue?
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:01 PM
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Default I wish I knew

As I just said in the reloading forum, the only other possible issue is that of the gun. I bought it used and had trouble chambering rounds in one of the charge holes on the cylinder (Push to seat completely), and the appearance of a ring in the barrel just forward of the frame. But, I still think the error is in my reloading practices. I posted this to make two main points. 1>Always follow recommended reloading practices. 2>Smith and Wesson makes fine strong revolvers. The cylinder didn't shatter it just split in two, and the top strap only bowed up it didn't break. It could have been much worse.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:11 PM
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Were you using the maximum charge for the 110gr jacketed of 10.0gr Unique? If so, that would be about a grain over maximum for a 125gr cast bullet, and the 9.1gr max Lyman lists for that load was already the hottest one in the chart at 42,000 CUP. Even so, one grain over max alone shouldn't have caused this KB.

You can see that the cylinder failed instantly upon ignition, which to me is more indicative of a double charge. Is it possible a case was charged with powder just before you realized you ran out of jacketed bullets? Then you went and got the five cast bullets, charged the case again, and seated?
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 1sgpierce View Post
As I just said in the reloading forum, the only other possible issue is that of the gun. I bought it used and had trouble chambering rounds in one of the charge holes on the cylinder (Push to seat completely), and the appearance of a ring in the barrel just forward of the frame. But, I still think the error is in my reloading practices. I posted this to make two main points. 1>Always follow recommended reloading practices. 2>Smith and Wesson makes fine strong revolvers. The cylinder didn't shatter it just split in two, and the top strap only bowed up it didn't break. It could have been much worse.
These are the OTHER factors that I am speaking to. The need to push the bullet into the chamber is a tell tale sign that there is a carbon ring due to shooting lead 38spl in it. That can raise pressure exponentially. Think of holding the end of a balloon while trying to blow it up. Extra pressure kinda thing. That COULD explain it.

The fact you bought it used and do not know it's history is another part of it. Since you had a mechanical problem to start with, I would lean towards a fault that was caused prior to your ownership as the probably root cause.

As for your point about reloading practices, you are quite right, and taking ownership of your mistakes are rare enough in the day and age we live in and that makes it refreshing to say the least.

Warning well taken and thanks for pointing it out.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:28 PM
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There is something that isn't being said or isn't known...
I have that same feeling. I am glad the 77 made it through the ordeal but have to wonder what happened to the poor little Model 60.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
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Were you using the maximum charge for the 110gr jacketed of 10.0gr Unique? If so, that would be about a grain over maximum for a 125gr cast bullet, and the 9.1gr max Lyman lists for that load was already the hottest one in the chart at 42,000 CUP. Even so, one grain over max alone shouldn't have caused this KB.

You can see that the cylinder failed instantly upon ignition, which to me is more indicative of a double charge. Is it possible a case was charged with powder just before you realized you ran out of jacketed bullets? Then you went and got the five cast bullets, charged the case again, and seated?
I was using a charge of unique less than the 10 grains shown in the book. Now as far as reloading practices, I use the RCBS uniflow powder measure to charge all my cases while in they sit in the reloading block. I then use a flashlight to inspect all the charges to make sure that there is a charge in the case and that none of them are of differing heights. I then place a bullet on every case before seating them. I used to have a Dillon 550, but sold it because time spent reloading is added back to your life not taken away. I have had more problems with squib loads over the years than hot loads especially with the Dillon. Since being retired from the army, I have more time to pay attention to details when reloading which is why I went back to a single stage press.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:40 PM
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The "Like" was for your honesty!

As others have remarked, I doubt that simply changing to a slightly heavier bullet by itself would have caused this failure though. Never-the-less, your error it would appear, and you owned up to it.

Did you break down the two surviving rounds and verify the powder charge found in them? It would be a good idea to do so.

An example, strictly with 2400, of how current and former published data compare. For years Hercules published 15.3 gr/2400/158 LSWC as a maximum load. At the same time many manuals were listing up to 16.0 grains! Current data is only 14.8. Since Hercules also showed pressure data I have always been prone to accept their data! What is the difference? The old Hercules figure was crusher derived or CUP, and the new is Absolute date from Piezo equipment. The funny thing is I have shot the same bullet/primer/gun with the 16.0 grains, and it is lower velocity than 15.3! Pressure, who knows.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:44 PM
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I was using a charge of unique less than the 10 grains shown in the book. Now as far as reloading practices, I use the RCBS uniflow powder measure to charge all my cases while in they sit in the reloading block. I then use a flashlight to inspect all the charges to make sure that there is a charge in the case and that none of them are of differing heights. I then place a bullet on every case before seating them.
Was the round that KB'd in the charge hole that experienced difficult chambering? Do you know what the cause of it was, such as a severe buildup of lead from shooting 38s?
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:18 PM
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Was the round that KB'd in the charge hole that experienced difficult chambering? Do you know what the cause of it was, such as a severe buildup of lead from shooting 38s?
I cleaned it thoroughly after buying it and never shot 38's out of it. I have in excess of 12,000 rounds of loaded ammunition and brass around the house. I buy brass in 500 round bulk packs. The brass was some factory new once fired brass I had around.

I couldn't tell you if it was the charge hole in question.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:35 PM
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Glad your OK!
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:01 PM
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Be careful with your 110 grain loads as well. I assume the 110's are JHP's? the 125's are only 15 grains heavier (while this will increase pressures, so will the added (copper over lead) resistance of pushing the jacketed 110's). So be careful!
Also, a problem could be seating to the same OAL. While the 125s are only 15 gr heavier they are also a tad bit longer. Seating the 125s to the same OAL will mean the bullet is actually seated deeper in the case which will increase pressure.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:58 PM
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WOW! you my friend, are lucky to have all the digits you went to the range with! again, WOW...
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:13 PM
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the way my luck has been going ,i'm surprised i was'nt standing next to you when it happened....a for sure clean your pants situation.........
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:19 PM
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I'll stick with my 4.1 gr. of 231 in 38 special cases with the 122 gr lead bullet.

I personally never did see the use of a 357 Magnum J frame.

But to each his own.

Very glad no one was injured.


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Old 11-20-2011, 06:27 PM
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ispcapt has a point here that all reloaders should take note of, and actually all shooters. Tests have shown a rapid increase in pressure on .40 S&W ammunition when the bullet is seated just a little deeper than it should be. This may have contributed to the damage. I would consider sending it back to Smith for their analysis, along with all the information about the incident.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 1 old 0311 View Post
good god, that is one tough ***.

and yeah I mean its an upped .38 special that can just so happens to handle .357 magnum, even so I would never use .357 in that or any J frame sized guns.

in my opinion .357 should only be used in the K and N frames, not guns like the model 60.

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Old 11-20-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen-frame View Post
I'll stick with my 4.1 gr. of 231 in 38 special cases with the 122 gr lead bullet.

I personally never did see the use of a 357 Magnum J frame.

But to each his own.

Very glad no one was injured.


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I'm with ya Allen on the use of .357's in a J frame.Thats what K and L frames are for IMO as they wre made for the round. I also ONLY use my own handloads and also double check every one of them with a flashight in the tray. Also recalibrate my scales before and after every 50 - 100 rounds in any caliber with my old Rock Chucker that's all I'll reload during a session. No matter how much I may love shooting friends reloading skills I still dont trust them as anyone can mess up and I've seen a few magnums blown up over the years. Almost did it myself with a .41 mag. when I started reloading back in the mid 80's with that same RC.

Tried and shortly carried magnums in a 60-10 that looks just like your's and it was a handful to hold onto and regain a good sight picture quickly. Went back to shooting nothing but .38's through it and finally traded the revolver off. Also am glad no one was seriously injured.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:38 PM
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There but for the grace of God ...

Glad you're all right.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:53 PM
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The "J" frame is one of the strongest frames out there! Bolt notches between the chambers, just like the 5 shot "X" frames, Freedom Arms and other firearms that handle the real tough stuff. The barrel shroud is almost nonexistent which means that a forcing cone split is next to impossible!

Now, alloy frames, different story but the M60? Stainless Steel through and through? The 357Mag in no way is going to test that frame, no way.

Triple charges of fast powder? Yep. Chasing stuck bullets with full power loads? Um, yep. A firearm "stress tested" by another owner and you pushing the envelope a bit? YES! But just because they are small doesn't mean that they are poorly designed! My, my!

I will take a 357Mag "J" frame LONG before I would take a "K" frame 357Mag, ANY DAY!

The "L" frame will take a standard 357Mag all day long, for longer than you live and not have one problem. Still, I would stake my life, and have, on a "J" frame in 357Mag.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:23 PM
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I was once loading some 95gr .380 pretty stiffly and when i went to the range to chrono them they were close to 1000fps but boy did they kick in my Colt Mustang. I figured I better back off the charge a little and when I went back to my bench I discovered I was picking out of the 122gr Berry's box, not the 95gr Remington FMJ next to it. I have no idea what kind of pressure was absorbed by that little Mustang but I was lucky that day.

I am leaning toward the OAL being too short driving up pressure but any chance you could have loaded a heavier bullet than 125?
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
The "J" frame is one of the strongest frames out there! Bolt notches between the chambers, just like the 5 shot "X" frames, Freedom Arms and other firearms that handle the real tough stuff. The barrel shroud is almost nonexistent which means that a forcing cone split is next to impossible!

Now, alloy frames, different story but the M60? Stainless Steel through and through? The 357Mag in no way is going to test that frame, no way.

Triple charges of fast powder? Yep. Chasing stuck bullets with full power loads? Um, yep. A firearm "stress tested" by another owner and you pushing the envelope a bit? YES! But just because they are small doesn't mean that they are poorly designed! My, my!

I will take a 357Mag "J" frame LONG before I would take a "K" frame 357Mag, ANY DAY!

The "L" frame will take a standard 357Mag all day long, for longer than you live and not have one problem. Still, I would stake my life, and have, on a "J" frame in 357Mag.
Not me, no way in hell

and after what this guy said the difference in pressure between the magnum loads and the standard .38 pressure is in this reload video
037 Massad Ayoob Demonstrates the "Stressfire" reload for the Revolver - YouTube

I know the J frame wouldnt be able to handle it, atleast not the titanium framed ones, and plus it would hurt like hell and when your in a fight supposedly you loose 50% of your shooting abilty to stress AND your carrying an overpowered not easy and not fun to shoot short barreled J frame that you've probably never practiced with?

frankly may the man upstairs help ya, you'd be better off with a .32 acp as atleast then the recoil wouldnt be so bad that you wouldnt be able to get multiple shots off and in the right places.

and many good lawmen have carried the K frame .357 magnum and it has served them well, far better than the J frame or K frame in .38 special.

Dont get me wrong though I do understand the apeal, after all I did really like that detonics combat master in .45 acp but atleast in this case with a J frame .357 its just like a hotrod, ton of power but none of the control you really need along with the brakes!

Last edited by Kavinsky; 11-21-2011 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:15 AM
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Two things I would check that I have not seen mentioned.
1. Pull the bullets on the remaining loads and weigh the powder with an actual scale. and are you sure it was a 125 and not a 158 gr bullet that slipped in?
2. Are you SURE it was Unique? Check the powder in the pulled loads to compare. It has been known to happen that some people have more than one powder on the bench (a reloading no-no) and use the wrong one.
Look on the bright side, you have some spare parts for the next M60 once you take off the sideplate and remove them, along with the grips and maybe barrel.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:48 AM
Finn McCool Finn McCool is offline
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I have a stainless 640 and I think it handles 357s quite well. I shoot 357s in it frequently, not the stoutest mind you, but definitely mid range 357 loads. Recoil is substantial but manageable. I do think the scandium j frames would be scary to shoot, though.

To the OP- Thanks for sharing your story. I too reload, and can learn a lot from your experience. Sorry about your gun, but I'm glad you are okay.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:04 AM
1sgpierce 1sgpierce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmithMarine View Post
Two things I would check that I have not seen mentioned.
1. Pull the bullets on the remaining loads and weigh the powder with an actual scale. and are you sure it was a 125 and not a 158 gr bullet that slipped in?
2. Are you SURE it was Unique? Check the powder in the pulled loads to compare. It has been known to happen that some people have more than one powder on the bench (a reloading no-no) and use the wrong one.
Look on the bright side, you have some spare parts for the next M60 once you take off the sideplate and remove them, along with the grips and maybe barrel.
I have a policy of only having a one can of powder on my bench at a time the rest is kept in the wooden chest on the floor. Plus, I only use unique in my handguns because 99% of the time I shoot very mild loads. I also have 500 round boxes of cast bullets on my bench, and these particular bullets were a truncated cone bullet I got in trying out a new casting place. My 158 grain bullets are a regular semi-wadcutter. As far as the rest of the box, I just pulled the bullets and dumped the powder I didn't bother to measure the powder because I was pretty sure it was just an overload.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:57 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Kavinsky,
There you have it. You follow what Ayoob says about stuff, and I NEVER would. To each his own.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:54 AM
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By the way the cylinder release no longer works and I can't open the gun.
Ya know, the cylinder seems to have released... Glad you came through relatively unscathed.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
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I have a policy of only having a one can of powder on my bench at a time the rest is kept in the wooden chest on the floor.
That's good policy. Ditto with primers. Nowadays when I am reloading only one box (of 100) at a time comes out of their metal cabinet.

Rather than your handloads, I suspect the gun may have been fatally cruded-up if there was difficulty loading the chambers. Sometimes you cannot adequately clean a cylinder with ordinary cleaning tools if it has been really abused. In those cases, you have to resort to a lead-removing reamer to get things back under control - or some other form of more aggressive cleaning like the Lewis lead-removing tool.

The main thing is that you are OK. Remember, the loss of that gun is nothing compared to an injury that could have impaired you for the rest of your life. I'm sure the incident gives you pause about your reloads. I have handloaded all my life and never had a serious incident so I am not sure how I would react, other than to thank The Lord that I still have my hands, fingers, eyes, etc.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:32 PM
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Here is why you never change components when reloading. I had loaded up some 110 grain 357 magnum loads. I ran out of bullets and used 5 125 cast lead bullets to finish off the box. So I took my Ruger 77/357 and fired two of the 125 grain loads through it with no problem. I then put the three remaining 125 bullets in my model 60. I pulled the trigger and you can see from the pictures what happened. No injuries to me other than a small cut on my finger, no one else was hurt. One part of the cylinder was laying on the table by my hand while the other along with the rear sight were about 5 feet off to my left. The other two 125 rounds unexploded were found some 10 to 15 feet to my right side. I'm am glad that Smith makes such well made revolvers. By the way the cylinder release no longer works and I can't open the gun.
So a little JB Weld on the cylinder-clamp the frame in a vice, put a 2x4 on the topstrap and pound it back down, heck you're good to go
Better yet-list it on gunbroker "good honest wear"
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:09 PM
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So a little JB Weld on the cylinder-clamp the frame in a vice, put a 2x4 on the topstrap and pound it back down, heck you're good to go
Better yet-list it on gunbroker "good honest wear"
better yet, do you have the box? i would list it as LNIB
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:21 PM
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We've all been there...Glad you weren't hurt. I fire a j frame using 4.0 Unique and the 158, but weigh every charge....too light a gun to make an error. too bad....Ken
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:18 PM
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Hot dog! I bet that was exciting!
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:34 PM
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Kavinsky,
There you have it. You follow what Ayoob says about stuff, and I NEVER would. To each his own.
honestly I only just learned about him on the .40 call thread when someone mentioned that he believed the same thing I did that a gun functions best in the original caliber it was ment for.

although the name was something else, hell at first I thought it was a joke and then I found out otherwise and I find the reload technique he showed kind of interesting as a revolver guy

and he seems like a decent fellow in general, but it was the gunzone article that did in the idea of EVEN going with a modern J frame from smith and wesson in .357 magnum, called 340PD 1,000 bucks and it still broke.

plus I just really liked that K frame I tried out at the range that belonged to someone else and that was a model 19 and I've got a baby one as my go to practice gun, a 1950's era smith and wesson model 17 Target gun.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:37 AM
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although the name was something else, hell at first I thought it was a joke and then I found out otherwise
My first thought was that it was a name you might find on a "no fly" list!

I enjoy his writing.... but his fanboiz....
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:45 PM
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It appears that you you kept the same powder charge - meant for the 110gr bullet, and used it on the heavier bullet. You can use a LIGHTER bullet with a charge meant for a HEAVIER bullet but never vice versa. Had you checked the recipe, I strongly suspect that you exceeded the maximum charge for the 125gr bullet. You exceeded the max pressure for the gun....somehow - either too heavy bullet or a double charge. That's just IMHO. Based on the story, I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the prior use/abuse of the gun.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:36 PM
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Glad you came out of that ok. Man what a waste of one of my very favorite J-frames. I think the 3 inch Model 60 357 is a very fine gun and is at the front of the line in J-frame 357's. My sympathy for the loss of a great J-frame.

Keep it on the bench as a constant reminder of what can happen when things go wrong.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:19 PM
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Yeah, I'd load those 110 & 125 grn bullets in 38 cases, at 38 pressure. Glad you made it though O.K..
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:30 PM
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As a general policy, I try to use a powder recipe that when double charged will overflow the case. On a progessive press that's not a good idea. Works fine on a single stage or turret press though. Ya can't always do that in every single instance unless you have a lot of different powders on hand.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:31 PM
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My scandium J framed 360SC has laser engraved on the barrel shroud NO LESS THAN 120GR BULLET. I wonder if this is part of the reason why?
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
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My first thought was that it was a name you might find on a "no fly" list!

I enjoy his writing.... but his fanboiz....
lol indeed, but what it really irks me that he and Ed Brown refuse to even try to make a 3 inch .45 that's as reliabile as the 4 inch ones

at 1:13 they start talking about the gun Ed made for him
Ed Brown's Ayoob Signature 1911 .45 - YouTube

I mean it seems like its the modern equavalent of what stainless was back in the 1970s and 1980s up until 85', all they need to do is try to make one and they're bound to find someway to make it work

although the funny thing is save for using my thumb to hold the clyinder in place when ejecting the empties I was pretty much already using his revolver reload technique he showed in that video already and didnt even know it and that was out of pure practice, not reading or watching something about it.
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