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Old May 15, 2018, 17:11   #1
TheOtherTinMan
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Ruptured .38 cases?

Friend came over and showed me a Rossi .38 snubnose, 5-rnd cylinder. Said after firing five rounds, would eject rounds from the cylinder but one would be stuck. Would have to use a plastic stick to push it out. After several cylinders thought they had identified the culprit chamber, loaded 4 rounds, no problem. Then on next cylinder had a stuck round, then it progressed to 2 stuck rounds (two different chambers). I eyeballed the chambers and couldn't really see anything except they needed some cleaning. The stuck cases have a rip along the length of the case from the mouth going about 1/3 to 2/3 of the way to the rim. A couple have some jagged veering off in the rip halfway towards the rim.

I figure something may be wrong with one or more chambers, and pushing them out by force causing a small burr to rip the cases?

I looked at the primers, one or two looked like the dimple was a little bit big. Ammo was Remington .38 SPL ball ammo.

I'll try to attach photos of the cases if I can figger out how to do that...
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Old May 15, 2018, 17:13   #2
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Well, poo, I can't seem to attach pics...
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Old May 15, 2018, 17:37   #3
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Closer look, one of the chambers has a groove of some sort that matches exactly to one of the ripped casings. The groove extends along the chamber towards the center (meaning, about halfway down the chamber, a groove exists running from bore side to hammer side, or "front to back"). I used a toothpick but could not feel anything, but i can see it.

I don't know if it is a mark left from the case, or a groove or something causing the rip in the case.

Has anyone ever heard of something like this before?
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Old May 15, 2018, 17:40   #4
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Use a third party host to "hold" your pics and link them here.

I use tinypic although there are others out there. Photobucket sucks now days.
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Old May 15, 2018, 17:44   #5
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I'll get jumped on for saying it but Rossi/Taurus snub nose revolvers do this. Yes yes, everybody shoots these all the time and they never a problem. BS

Believe what you want, it happens with Rossi and Taurus.
Has it ever happened with a S&W J frame? Never happened to me and I've never heard about it happening to anyone else but it may have.

When I had my 85, I didn't have as an extensive shop or knowledge base as I have now. I would like to take a bunch of measurements from the Rossi just to see what's going on with the chambers.

I bet the chambers are a little oversized, off center or both. Without pin gauges and a mic, you won't be able to tell what's going on.

It's not an uncommon problem
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Old May 15, 2018, 20:54   #6
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I have to agree with CG&L about Taurus/Rossi revolvers. Especially the older ones. Mediocre quality at best IMNSHO. Yes, I know, someone will post that he has fired thousands of rounds through their T/R revolvers without that first problem.

I have owned at least 15 S&W J frames chambered for the .38 Special cartridge. Never had any problems like that described in the OP.

You buy cheap, you get cheap. So what is your life worth if you are using a cheap Taurus/Rossi for self protection? Must not be all that much.....

And so it goes.


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Old May 15, 2018, 21:13   #7
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It is possible that they metal has fatigues for some reason and the chamber is now too large. A few thousandths goes a long way and one reason to cause this is if someone has fired too hot of a cartridge in that particular chamber. I quit buying these cheap revolvers.


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Old May 16, 2018, 08:23   #8
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Could be that chamber is slightly bulged from an overload. A telescoping bore gauge would tell the tale. Pin gauges won't tell you anything, a stuck case is a sign of an issue beyond the opening of the chamber

The little Taurus revolvers(85 series) are probably the best thing they have going.
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Old May 16, 2018, 10:02   #9
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Poor metallurgy is more likely than an overloaded cartridge. This has happened far too many times with Taurus/Rossi J frames using factory ammo.

Pin gauges would work fine. Diameter and depth are the numbers I need. Strange you think this wouldn't work. Do you have a shop and do this kind of work? I do.
I could easily cast the chambers and get all the number I need

Measurements are moot anyway as there's no fixing the revolver. It could be sent back but it's doubtful Rossi would consider fixing it. If anything, they would replace it. The replacement might shoot or it might have a problem

The only solution is to look for a used S&W J frame to replace the Rossi.
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Old May 16, 2018, 13:53   #10
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Have at least a half dozen Rossi and half dozen Taurus five shot wheel guns all purchased used from pawn shops or gun shows dirt cheap. Right now there is a Rossi five shot 44 Special under front seat of my two most used work trucks and a Rossi 5 shot 38 special under front seat of wife's truck with at least three speed loaders in console of each truck. They live in them 24/7/365 so if have to sprint for truck with only sidearm on belt know there is a spare if for some reason have removed the AR from lock behind seat. Have Rossi five shot 38's scattered about house as don't have to worry about gathering for vault if we both leave on extended trip and missing putting a few up or truck gets broken in to. Many paid little as $100 to $150 each back in the day.

Have hammered on them all and especially the 44 specials. Have a load that uses a 250 grain cast gas check Keith Bullet that is into the lower end of 44 magnum load data. When mountaineering/climbing/backpacking in Wind Rivers, Tetons, Bear Tooth, Cascades, Rockies, etc need lightest gun can carry as have 90 pound rucks with climbing and camping gear. Load was built in a 44 magnum to test cases ability to stand pressure then fired through a "name brand" 44 special in Ransom Rest to see if held together. All four of my Rossi 44 specials have been "proof tested" with this load in same manner and no bulged or cracked cylinders, frame cracks or any issue. All have been proofed at least a couple or three times as age and more rounds went down bore. When in western mountains or Alaska with big load on back have one of the Rossi 44 specials loaded with my Elmer Keith frame stretchers and two speed loaders. Plan is dump five soon as can and fast as can in chest/neck/face then reload if time and as bear starts to eat my gun hand put next five in roof of his mouth and hope when my body is recovered bear is laying dead near me.

Never pass on up on a Rossi or Taurus deal plus have a fair number of mediums six shot 357's in Rossi and Taurus brand with zero issues in them either. Have a pile of wheelguns in the Taurus Raging Hornet through Raging Bull along with a Tracker 22 magnum along with other specialty guns like their cool rimfire that has interchangeable 22 lr and 22 mag cylinders have cartridges up to 454 Casull Magnum. Never had a problem with any Rossi or Taurus. Dropping hammer on hundreds if not 1,000 rounds through the 454 Casull Mag Raging Bull if were any question to qualify of steels used would have stubs instead of hands.

Has this happened with more than one brand of ammo? Are they reloads? Have loaded 38 and 357 range brass sometimes where a set of cases has dozens of cycles through the system when first case gives up often one or two from every cylinder split telling me got all the good out of that set of cases can get. Recently had a batch of 45 acp cases with my range/IPSC/IDPA load that have no idea how many cycles through the system have seen but were from a buy of once fired brass many years ago with mixed dates from the 1960's through 1980's. Usually load 45's in batches of 2,000 to 10,000 and bet they had two to three dozen loadings but when policed up the brass about 25% were split. Put all in the scrap brass bucket as finished.

Would like to know history of loads, of more than one brand of ammo was used, how hot loads were and other info on ammo. If only happening thus far with single batch of factory ammo or handload another brand/type needs testing. Would like to see chambers empty, with split case before ejecting and case after ejection. Have 38 special cases that bought new as nickle plated ammo then cleaned and reloaded so many times the only nickle left is in the writing in case head and around very base of case just before rim. May be a gun issue but would examine loads first.
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Old May 16, 2018, 14:02   #11
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sure this is not a 38 S&W, not special?
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Old May 16, 2018, 14:59   #12
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Good question about the S&W 38. I did a search and couldn't find any Rossi chambered for the 38 S&W. It's possible some were made but this seems unlikely.

Taurus/Rossi never really got their act together until fairly recently. This would be long after the S&W 38 was in vogue. Wrong continent as well.

The problem with case splitting on Taurus/Rossi snub nose is too common for it to be anything other than their age old problems of metallurgy and quality control

If you think they(Rossi/Taurus) have problems today, years ago they were really junk.

Taurus did produce a clone of the S&W Model 17 decades ago that was really good but production didn't last very long.

The Model 10 clones don't seem to be too bad or, at least, the ones they produced several years ago.
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Old May 16, 2018, 16:47   #13
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The .38 Special case is longer than the .38 S&W, so it would stick out. I have what looks to be brand new Victory, speaking of .38 S&W, and it was originally chambered for .38 S&W for the war effort. I got it from a surplus sale years ago and it later got chambered, like so many others, for .38 Special. It is stamped on the left side ".38 Special". Ugh...................



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Old May 16, 2018, 16:58   #14
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38 S&W is also perceivable fatter than 38 special..Reaming only lengthens the chamber, wont correct it already being well over size.
Case bulging would be easily visible by eye,,,think typical glock case bulge, but all the way around.
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:04   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG&L View Post
Poor metallurgy is more likely than an overloaded cartridge. This has happened far too many times with Taurus/Rossi J frames using factory ammo.

Pin gauges would work fine. Diameter and depth are the numbers I need. Strange you think this wouldn't work. Do you have a shop and do this kind of work? I do.
I could easily cast the chambers and get all the number I need
Respectfully, the pin gauge will only tell you diameter of the largest inscribed cylinder that will fit into a bore and perhaps to some depth.

It will not tell you if the bore is out of round.
It will not tell you where the bore is out of round.

You need another instrument for that.
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:41   #16
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Originally Posted by TheOtherTinMan View Post
Closer look, one of the chambers has a groove of some sort that matches exactly to one of the ripped casings. The groove extends along the chamber towards the center (meaning, about halfway down the chamber, a groove exists running from bore side to hammer side, or "front to back"). I used a toothpick but could not feel anything, but i can see it.

I don't know if it is a mark left from the case, or a groove or something causing the rip in the case.

Has anyone ever heard of something like this before?
That sounds more like a cracked cylinder to me..
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:53   #17
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Thumbs up

A set of chamber casts which are dirt simple (remember to number each) to do would tell the story real fast once measured. Could use about any cobbled up run out gauge or even a micrometer to see if bad out of round. I want to know if this is a constant problem with multiple brands of ammo or has it been fired a few times from same lot of ammo. Pictures of the blemish in chamber and split cases would tell a lot.

38 special would not chamber in a 38 S&W and have no references saying Rossi made a 38 S&W. I did come across a 500 round box of factory loaded 38 S&W in my hoard a while back and still scratching my head where it came from. Hade to be one of the estates took all the guns and related items off widows hands. Everyone keep spreading the myth that Charter Arms, Taurus and Rossi quality sucks and I will keep buying them cheap.

Do have to stone the trigger sometimes and a couple had some timing issues but believe those were due to operator error not poor building. I have to work on $1,000 1911's new out of box and other "nice" guns but will take Taurus/Rossi steel over some of these new name brand U.S. made polymer frame wheel guns coming out. Wife has a Rossi 38 under seat of her truck as travelling now along with a pair of AMT 380 Backups scattered around cab in case she is getting something out of cooler on passenger side at rest area and primary is on other side of truck.

In the old days we called them "tackle box guns" or "tool box guns" which are functional guns can leave in bottom your tackle box or tool bag and leave till bullets corrode and fire them, clean gun, reload and put back in tackle box or tool box. We have sock drawer guns, kitchen drawer guns, motorcycle guns, truck guns, toolbox guns, etc that are found a pawn shops cheap, gone over, loaded and pitched some odd place to stay 20 years in case boogeyman jumps out when least expect.

I would eliminate ammo issue first. Hot handloads in worn out cases over-crimped with heavy roll crimp? Have a hard time believing an out of round chamber that couldn't eyeball due to being so bad would split cases as believe they would expand and contract then be slightly out of round. Maybe someone tried to hone them? How is timing on gun? Could it be so out of time outside edge of bullet is hitting edge of forcing cone causing issue?

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Old May 16, 2018, 17:58   #18
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That sounds more like a cracked cylinder to me..
A cracked cylinder could feel with dental pick if can't see visually. If so small can't see and opening under pressure still unsure it would split cases. Is it carbon or stainless? Crap like this is why I have a Magnaflux kit. Pays for itself first time you need to know if something is safe or not.
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Old May 16, 2018, 22:18   #19
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Call Taurus. If you ask real nice they may well send you a call tag to send it back on their dime. Last year I had a guy blow up a 85 with crap ammo.......they replaced it. I am not a fan of them, but their customer service is top notch, unless you have a lawsuit gun, but thatís another subject.

Good luck
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Old May 17, 2018, 01:52   #20
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The little Taurus revolvers(85 series) are probably the best thing they have going.
My understanding is that Taurus has discontinued the 5-shot Model 85, and replaced it with the 6-shot Model 856. I think I would have not discontinued the 85, personally - why mess with your best selling revolver? Rumor is that the tooling for the 85 is plumb worn out, much like Browning's tooling for the Hi-Power, and that's why it was discontinued. At any rate, I hope the 856 is a success, for the sake of Taurus.
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Old May 17, 2018, 05:07   #21
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1) Could be the ammo, I've seen that in revolvers and Autos
2) I've seen well worn S&W's do the same thing
3) DO NOT fire it again until the gun is inspected! (Gunsmitha charge ridiculous money because they test fire "iffy" guns!)
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Old May 17, 2018, 07:54   #22
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I would think is was the ammo, until proven otherwise.
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Old May 17, 2018, 08:29   #23
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I would think is was the ammo, until proven otherwise.

Yep
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Old May 17, 2018, 13:22   #24
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My brother in law once gave me a box of military 38 special. He was still in service then. I tried a couple of rounds on my Smith K model and it was like hitting an anvil with a hammer. I think I still have the rest of the box and I would not shoot it in less then a 357. The original posting mentioned hardball so this could also be an issue.
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Old May 17, 2018, 16:37   #25
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Pin gauges would work fine. Diameter and depth are the numbers I need. Strange you think this wouldn't work. Do you have a shop and do this kind of work? I do.
As a matter of fact, I do. Measuring wear in little tiny holes is a fairly common job for me.

A pin gauge will tell you diameter the mouth of the chamber and the breech, but if the center of the chamber is bulged, the won't tell you anything unless you cut the cylinder in half.
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