Strange Situation

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Green Frog

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
172
Well, I got out to the range with my Buckeye 32 combo. I figured I’d start slow and easy with some Winchester Factory ammo in 32 S&WL. Uh-oh, hard extraction from two or three chambers out of each cylinder full! They would come out half way then lock up. I couldn’t even pull them out by hand. I had to take the cylinder out and use a rod to push them out.

I then tried a couple of cylinders full of 32 H&R and the empties practically fell out. They showed no signs of dragging or catching in the chamber. This baffled me completely. I’ve heard lots of stories about people shooting 38s followed by 357s and having problems where the cylinder gets bulged at the 38 Spl case mouth and the 357 case bulging into it.

OTOH, why would the shorter case stick halfway out while the longer cases don’t stick at all? I have to admit to being baffled. Has anyone had a similar experience or can anyone suggest how I should proceed?

TIA~Froggie

PS No, it wasn’t the 32-20 cylinder by mistake!
 

MIshooter

Single-Sixer
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Froggie
Did you happen to notice if it was always the same chambers doing that?

Did either groups smoke the OD of the case?

Did you measure the cases afterwards to see if they were tapered?

No idea why shorter cases had issues but longer did not. Not had that issue before and shot alot of S&W L and even 32 ACPs in my single sixes.

MI-shooter
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Pressure.
I'd say the .32 S&W rounds didn't have enough pressure to expand the brass, sealing it to where gases & such sealed the case sides to the chamber walls. That lack of pressure, can allow soot & stuff to blow back into the chambers. That could cause sticky or hard extraction. The .32 H&R builds more pressure,, causing a proper sealing,, and no soot blowback.
 

Green Frog

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
172
I didn’t mark the chambers, so I don’t know for sure, but it seemed pretty random. Once the brass came out, there was no readily visible difference between those that had stuck and those that hadn’t. It was threatening rain, and I wanted to get on with my trial of 32 H&R loads too. :arrow:

I guess I’ll need to take the gun and a mix of 32 S&WL ammo out to the range and try them out… I can do this while I’m waiting for my H&R brass to emerge from hiding! 8)

Froggie
 

blammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
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265
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Nebraska
MiShooter has some good diagnostics to try.

Do you have any speed ratings for the different ammo to compare (or chrono data) to get idea of pressure?

Any way to measure the 'bad' chambers? I know there are tools to measure inside chambers but I don't know specifics.

Get a small wooden dowel smaller than the chamber. Start wrapping some masking tape around an unfired round and start pushing in to chamber to see how far in it takes to bind (where chamber gets narrow)?

Messier: Get some kind of modeling clay/silly putty-like stuff and put into chamber to get a mold impression?

That is weird, though.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Apr 3, 2009
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People's Republik of California
Yes that's strange! Never had that problem shooting .32 L in Ruger H&R cylinders.

Need more clues before diagnosing:

What brand are the .32 Longs?
Thin brass will swell an abnormal amount. Try different brands of .32 L.

How old is the ammo?
Old hardened-from-age brass will not spring back when fired like newer brass.

Was there soot around the outside of the case mouths after firing?
Although low power ammo leaves soot it doesn't stick the brass in the chambers.
Bullets too small for the chambers may not seal the gases because the .32 Ls are too short to fit up tight into the chamber throats. The longer .32 H&R cases fit up tight to the throats.

How does the chamber size in the Buckeye compare to your S&W .32 L chamber diameters at the case mouth position?

NOTE: .357 cases stick in uncleaned chambers after shooting .38s, but not from swelling. They stick because of the diminished chamber diameter due to the built up crude just below the .357 case mouth position from the .38s. The .357 case mouths can be slightly smaller after firing due to where the .38 crude build up is.
 

Green Frog

Single-Sixer
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Dec 6, 2011
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172
The 32 S&W Longs were Winchester factory loads with copper washed bullets... age undetermined but old. Apparently the box had fallen apart and I put them into a MTM case. I plan to take it out and shoot it with some more recent ammo of more certain pedigree, and perhaps some of my reloads that have been successful in my other 32s. :idea:

What baffles me is why they are tight when the front half of the case reaches the last part of the chamber. If the chamber (which doesn't seem to have been shot much at all) is ballooned out part way up, why don't the H&R cases stick also? If the chamber doesn't have a wider portion in front, why would the cases come out easily for half their length, then hang up solid? This seems to fly in the face of Physics! :shock:

Froggie
 

Green Frog

Single-Sixer
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Dec 6, 2011
Messages
172
Rereading the responses so far, I'm beginning to wonder whether the old Winchester brass may have age hardened so it doesn't spring back after firing. What has me confused is why the chamber would be larger part way in than at the rear opening? Shouldn't the chamber hole be reamed cylindrically or with a very slight forward taper all the way in to the depth of the case mouth? It would seem as though there is a little flare about a quarter of an inch in... but then again, why don't the H&R cases hang up as bad or worse? I've about convinced myself the problem somehow lies with the S&WL brass, I just can't figure out how.

Again, the e-rod pushes the brass out half way then stops dead. At that point, I can't pull it back any more with my fingers. I can, however, easily push them back in all the way. At this point, I drop the cylinder out and push them out with a little screwdriver, having to just about pound them out. When I compare the brass that came out easily with the stuff that stuck, I can't see any obvious difference. No noticeable swelling, soot, etc is readily visible.

Froggie
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
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I'm going with Contender's opinion of this.
If bits of powder are being blown back a bit I could
see them balling up some as the case is pulled then
causing it to stick. Kind of a galling effect.
I might fire a cylinder full drop the cylinder out and slightly
push a case up and see if it would rotate while pulling it
with my fingers...might learn something. Also maybe look
at one you forced out with a magnifier for signs of scratching
from the possible debris.
Dave
 
Joined
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Brass does not usually "age harden" but it certainly will "work harden" . . . which is why we periodically anneal cartridge cases. How many times have the cases in question been resized?
 

mod70

Bearcat
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Jan 4, 2014
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Have you compared a fired case to one that has not been fired? I would measure the dimensions of both and compare them.
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
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mod70 said:
Have you compared a fired case to one that has not been fired? I would measure the dimensions of both and compare them.
Unnecessary. That's why there are resizing dies. Of course firing changes them. Anyone who reloads already knows that.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Cases that turn dark with age do that because they have oxidized. And oxidation most certainly hardens the oxidized surface of material. This is different than work hardening which affects the full thickness of the metal in question.

One most common example: what is the hardest part of a piece of aluminum? The surface once it oxidizes and it's called aluminium oxide. It's also specifically produced for certain applications. It's mixed into aluminum alloys to harden them. Aluminium oxide is also used to make sandpaper and other products because of its hardness and resistance to wear.

Another example is cartridge brass: Evidence of oxidation hardening becomes evident when old cartridges are fired and result in cracked cases. Less oxidized brass may not crack every time but it clearly losses its normal level of elasticity.
 

bogus bill

Hunter
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utah
Somewhere I read some older .32 had thicker rims radius. That would do it after some cases next to them were forced out.
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
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This post is beyond my abilities, but was wondering what would happen if one were to gently burnish the sticky chambers. Maybe use some polishing compound and a rag wrapped around a rod.... (?) I've even used (hate to admit this) steel wool wrapped around a slotted rod for such chores. I think the Brownells used to sell polishing thingies with steel balls (no pun intended).

J.
 
Joined
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A quick, easy, safe approach to that is to spin a brass cleaning brush in the chambers with an electric drill/screwdriver and a little oil, and then wipe them dry and see what results. Works for me. JMHO :)
 

MIshooter

Single-Sixer
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Apr 10, 2006
Messages
245
Location
Michigan
Brownells sells, or did sell, a ball burnishing brush for a 32 H&R. I've got one and have used it before on a sticky chamber to fix it. A hand drill, oil and a few minutes of time and I fixed it.

MI-shooter
 

Green Frog

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
172
Well the problem is resolved but the mystery remains. I took the BEBH 32 out to the range today with the rest of the same box of Winchester factory 32 S&W L and some reloads I put together from components I had on the bench… to a known set of specs.

Several cylinders full, regardless of ammo, and no sign of the previous problem. So, the problem seems to be gone, but the source of the problem remains a mystery. All I did was slide one of the tight cases into and out of the troubled chambers. Then FL sized all my brass to be reloaded and test my finished rounds with a Lyman Ammo Checker.

What baffles me is that the same box of factory ammo gave different results. Go figure.

Froggie
 

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