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Discussion Starter #1
My best friend and I were out at the range last Sunday. I was shooting my Winchester Mod 92 and he was shooting his Henry model 1860. I was testing some handloads and he was shooting some factory cowboy loads.
We had been shooting for a while when he called to me that he was in trouble. I thought maybe he had a bullet stuck or misfire. That was not the case, he was bleeding from the inside of his thigh, about 6 inches from some rather valued parts.
We got him over to another chair to have a better look at the problem. Could not see any holes in his pants but he was bleeding through. We cut the leg of his pants to find the source of the blood and begin first aide.
I explaned to him that I left my petticoat at home so I'd have to use some field expediate compresses. The cleaning patches, I use, are 3 by 3, so a few of those make good wipes and compresses. He bore up under the indignity of having another man cutting his pants and do some probbing and wiping, rather well. But he did get a bit testy when I poured the ice water from the ice chest on the region to wash off the blood problem.
We got the leaking stopped or at least slowed down while I loaded the truck, so we could head to the hospital.
It seems that he had dropped five rounds into the tube then let the follower snap down into place. From what I could tell rounds one thru three did fine, round four detonated, round five was fine. What I think happened is round four when dropped into the tube caused to soft lead bullet nose in round three to conform to the primer of round four. Then round five added to it and the spring and follower caused the detonation.
The magazine tube has a length wise gap so you can see how many rounds you have left. When round four detonated it was contained by the rounds a head of  and behind and the magazine tube. The gap allowed a sliver of brass 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch long blew down and into his thigh.
The piece of brass stopped near his knee after traveling through a fair amount of meat.
I did ask him to please wash the patches and return them, being the frugal sort that I am. He suggested that I could use the patches for something I had not thought of.
I did point out that if the brass had gone the other way, he may have gotten a part in the Sopranos and he could wear his own petticoat to the range.
He responded with reference to something about me and some camel. I thought this was uncalled for since I was trying to point out that there is positive mindset no matter what the outcome.
Jim
 

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Jim,

You know, I'm hearing more and more about this occurring. I suspect we will here about more of this happening as more and more Lever actions make their way out into shooters hands.

There was a post on the Marlin board that went on and on for about 5 pages about this detonation condition. Their's centered on the Higher pressure loadings for the 45/70 being offered by custom loaders now with hard cast wide meplat bullets. It appears in the Marlin rifle a cartridge can shift at the magazine tube in such a way that the the edge of the bullet under recoil, can detonate the cartridge ahead of it. They have responded by making up special brass that has deeper primer pockets to avoid this. Think Starline is making it now. Here is a link to the thread over there and put on your asbestos gloves:

http://209.235.227.198/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000467.html

Hope your friend is OK and you get your patches back too. :biggrin:


Regards,



:cool:
 

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I followed Contender's link over to Marlin and read the "discussion", if you can call it that, on magazine tube detonation. It seems as of late we are starting to see posts here on the Forum with the same mindset.It seems like every Forum I have visited there's at least one agitator that has a bad case of runoff at the mouth....I really don't have that much trouble with them...they can put it where the sun don't shine!
Now....the magazine detonation. When primers are tested at the factories, they go through a test called..."Drop Testing". If a batch of primers are "not sensitive" enough to survive they dropping ball, they go into the burn barrel!!!!So lets add to the TD problem,,super sensitive primers!
Next, let's look at the magazine tube components....if the spring is weak, it allows the loaded rounds to move forward in the tube during recoil. Then they slam back against each other. This is even worse when the cartridge is loaded with a heavy bullet and the rifle is a lightweight! The cartridge in the gentlemans rifle detonated when the follower was released....otherwords impact detonation. There seems to be concern on the other post about the edge of the meplat hitting the center of the primer. This will not fly! The distance between the primers anvil and the inside of the primer is very close and can't stand impact across its surface...period! By recessing the primer it puts it where the next round can't hit it!....simple!
In reloading for lever guns....First and foremost, be sure the gunk from the fired primer is removed from the inside edges of the primer pocket. Put a needle in a pin vise and run it around the edges. Next...be sure the primer bottoms in the pocket!
It does not hurt to be sure there is good resistance on the magazine spring. A strong mag spring keep the cartridges from moving forward during recoil. If not, cut a wood dowel and put inside the mag tube up front. This dowel can be the length of two cartridges. Yes, you will lose some mag capacity, but really how many do you need in there?
And...These are suggestion made on experience and if you don't agree and want to argue...take it somewhere else! However, reasonable comments welcome!
Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow! Those guys over in the Marlin site, maybe better put, the one fellow sure seemed ready to jump on his horse and ride off in all directions.
My buddy recognises that he made a mistake by allowing the follower to fly forward on a half full magazine tube.
Personally I've learned to use hard lead alloy, SWC bullets in my lever actions. I'm sure that if I had a detonation I would switch over to wadcutters.
His cartridges were factory loads, with swaged lead bullets, which were loaded from the muzzel end of the rifle. They had a long slide down the tube to come to rest. Then the follower snapped down on top of them. This is not a factory ammo problem, but a combination of items and actions that came together for an unfortunate incident
Jim
 

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Jim....Yes, I understand the workings of the Henry type tube. I was in no way being critical of his loading method. Thank God he was not hurt worse. I class the Henry loading problems like this along with leaving a empty chamber under thr hammer of the old type SA's. The SA's problem has gotten a lot of press over the years, where the Henrys haven't. I'm glad you posted this problem, since it will help shooters think about it with the Henry clones! This points out what I've said before on this Forum....We need to keep the new shooter's as informed as possible. I've seen great people like you all take a great deal of time trying to inform shooters on safe pratices!!! If they choose to go beyond that, they are on their on. We have fulfilled our obligation! That may be one of the reasons this Forum is now #5 in the nation!
 

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I have a question regarding magazine tube detonations. If you take and shoot a can of gunpowder it will detonate and make a BIG noise. Is that because of impact ? Could a bullet be shoved back into a case with enough force to cause a detonation? Just curious on someone elses thoughts.
 

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Hello Moose,

By "gunpowder" I'm assuming you mean black powder. Black powder is actually more of an explosive rather than a propellant like smokeless powder. Whereas, smokeless is designed to burn rather than explode and the expanding gases from this combustion propel the bullet down the barrel.

Black powder can detonate via concussion and flame IF the right conditions are met. Some ballistic tests I have read about as of late point to Black powder's pressures continuing to climb in an overloaded muzzle loader dispelling the myth about maximum loading safety in this type of gun. IE- they can't be overloaded, not true.

I doubt there would be enough thrust by a bullet getting set back in a cartridge case to detonate the round. Far more common as you know, is a primer detonation.


FWIW

Regards,

:cool:
 
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