The Factory Test Firing...

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tacotime

Single-Sixer
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Does anyone know for certain what the factory test firing involves for revolvers?

One round, or one in all 5 or 6 cylinders?

Do they use standard ammo or special heavy +P ammo for testing?

I recently saw an auction for some old Winchester test ammo with official warnings stamped all over the box and the rounds had red paint to warn of excess pressure, according to the owner.

And... I recently saw a new Ruger Redhawk that had clear traces of red paint in a cartridge-sized circle on the recoil shield with another red round trace at the next cylinder position, suggesting more than one round was loaded or fired and that the rounds had red paint on them. Just curious.
 

Chuck 100 yd

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Proof loads typically are around 30% above maximum SAAMI standards. How many are fired I don't know. The empty case that used to come with every new Ruger revolver was a proof load and some cases were so marked or the bases painted red to indicate proof loading.
 

jbntx

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From firing evidence I've seen on Ruger revolvers, I have a feeling they fire a bunch of rounds through one revolver then just distribute the empty cases among all the revolvers being shipped out.

I think this because I've found new stainless revolvers that obviously have never been fired, and others that look like they've got maybe 50 rounds through them.

Wear marks opening the loading gate and carbon fouling on the front of the cylinder are not consistent and indicate that vastly different amounts of ammo are used during the test firing.

Some empty cases supplied with a new gun are filthy dirty, while others are clean.
 

MaxP

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Ruger shoots an entire cylinder of proof loads through every revolver. Proof loads are roughly 50 percent higher in pressure than SAAMI maximum. The shoot them in. Proof box. I will post some pictures later from my visit a few years ago when I was researching a book.
 

tacotime

Single-Sixer
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Excellent info! Like to hear more. Wow, 50% over on 44 Mag guns also?
 

MaxP

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tacotime said:
Excellent info! Like to hear more. Wow, 50% over on 44 Mag guns also?

Yup, but what's more remarkable is the .454 Casull with a 65,000 psi SAAMI maximum!
 

MaxP

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Here is a picture of a proof box. The revolvers are fired remotely while affixed in the box in a device kind of like a Ransom rest.

DSC_0735.jpg
 

Mus408

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Looked at the fired .454 Casull case that came with my Alaskan and the case is clean on outside a bit dirty inside but no sign of red paint. It was a Starline case.
I wonder if they have a camera port in that box to see what is going on during a test fire?
 

tacotime

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This brings up the questions of whether all tested new guns come out of the retail box with red paint on the recoil shield, and whether the fired cases included with new guns are red painted.
 

Bob Wright

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I was at Smith & Wesson years ago and they fired a full cylinder full at a paper target. They seemed to observe ease of extraction, or lack of it, when emptying the revolver. From what I could tell, the cartridges bore no special marking.

Auto loaders were fired with one full magazine with no target downrange. Guns that had a stoppage were set aside, those that passed had that pink plastic block inserted and placed in the box.

Bob Wright
 

Chuck 100 yd

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One of the videos I saw of the Ruger plant shows a guy 'sopposedly' cleaning guns after the test fire room was done with them. None of the bunch I have bought in the last couple years show signs of being cleaned. Maybe wiped down but not cleaned. There was one exception, my SBH Bisley .454 was spotless inside and out.
 

David Bradshaw

Blackhawk
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Sep 11, 2012
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Ruger practice as described by MaxP continues protocol I observed years ago, revolvers filled with proof loads. One size does not fit all in gun making, and other makers fire, for example, a cylinder full of factory .357 Mag or .44 Magnum, without subjecting their revolver to any SAAMI proof loads.

Proof loads are stained or painted or otherwise marked to distinguish from distributed ammo. Once fired, prof brass is not fit to reload. Years ago .44 Mag proof brass fell on the market. Silhouettes were among shooters who lept at the cheap price, then put on the big BOO-HOO as the first reload killed it.
David Bradshaw
 

David Bradshaw

Blackhawk
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Fox Mike.... don't know about proofing rim fire. However, among rim fire revolvers Rugers rank high. The Single-Six undergoes heat treatment; in the past the same as the center fire frames, later modified. Same hardware, with a shift in heat treatment, and strong.

Ruger at one time heat treated frames prior to machining. Due to warpage potential, heat treat was implemented before machine tooling. It was found that tooling time was not substantially increased, with a side benefit with cuttings coming off in chips, rather than spools.
David Bradshaw
 

tacotime

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The existence of red-marked "Proof" ammo is not an easily observed thing. After a few decades of shooting, this was the first I had heard or seen of it.

Look at the box of Rem. ammo in the photo. Hard to read but looks maybe like standard 45 Colt. There is a product code there and it looks like "R45C" which I suspect is their code for 45 Colt ammo. Box does not appear to be covered in warning labels. Not that this proves anything...
 

MaxP

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tacotime said:
The existence of red-marked "Proof" ammo is not an easily observed thing. After a few decades of shooting, this was the first I had heard or seen of it.

Look at the box of Rem. ammo in the photo. Hard to read but looks maybe like standard 45 Colt. There is a product code there and it looks like "R45C" which I suspect is their code for 45 Colt ammo. Box does not appear to be covered in warning labels. Not that this proves anything...

Another photo:

DSC_0740.jpg
 
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