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Recently ( within the past year?) there was an article in one of a few ( American Rifleman, Guns & Ammo, Rifle, or Rifle Shooter are all I can think of) that told of a trial of pointed bullets in tubular magazines. It was well controlled, and the upshot was, that the cartridges would separate all right, but the scenario of all of them firing and sending bullets all over the landscape was a "no-problem." If anyone can re-direct me to that particular writeup I'd sure appreciate it. I should have copied it at the time, but I pass on a lot of my magazines, and that was "one that got away."
In the same vein, does anyone have FIRST-HAND knowledge of a problem here?

Regards from NW Montana, Denurban
 

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Hi, denurban:
No first hand knowledge, but Elmer Keith had a picture of a Winchester 71 that blew on Kent Lomont. He lost a couple of fingers, IIRC. I've got a .25-35 here with a protected primer. The primer is inside a cup with a hole in it that's just big enough for the firing pin to go through. The 8mm Lebel had a complex shoulder shape that kept the bullet's point off the primer ahead. Mike Venturino said he knew of incidents in the Dec. 97 issue of Shooting Times, although he didn't name names. There was a squawking match between a couple of the heavy .45-70 custom loaders over in the Marlin board a while back. Apparently one of their loads blew a magazine.

Anyhow, I'm not loading the pointed Hornadys in my .35 Remington.

Bye
Jack
 

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To me it's simply a matter of common sense. The strongest warnings not to use pointed bullets in tubular magazines date quite a ways back in time. Long before we as a nation had such a surplus of lawyers in need of big contingency awards as we do today. Why risk a perfectly good rifle and possible injury to yourself and others around you, just to gain a marginal decrease in trajectory beyond 200 yards? If you want a ballistically efficient levergun, buy a Savage 99.
 

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Have seen a couple of blown up lever guns when I worked summers in various gun shops around my area, and while not real "fisrt hand" knowledge (as i wasn't thee when they let go) it was pretty obvious what happened.
Do remember Hornady having to change their early .357FMJ heavy weights, designed for silo. shooting, and running a warning in the newer manuals...they'd be a good place to ask as i suspect there was a good reason to rediesign them once the pistol caliber lever guns became popular.

The remington 14 and 141 pumps (in .25/30/32/and .35Remington) used a spiral tube in the mag. and used pointed bullets in their ammo. Pretty neat design, and no good reason that it couldn't be used in today's lever guns, unless Remingon is sitting on that patent. Be pretty nice to have a 336 in .250savage, and that spiral tube would let it happen.
French used a case modification in the 8mm Label. In mil. spec. issue ammo, there is a deep groove around the primer...their idea was that the point of one round would rest in this groove rahter than on the primer.

Last...will mention I uses pointed bullets in lever guns pretty often...but as a 2-shot. One in the chamber, one in the magaizine....may be over cautious, but I still have all my fingers.
 

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Hi, Gents:
Here's a scan of that .25-35. The scanner makes it appear that the stamps are raised, so what looks high is low, and what looks low is high.

You've got to lay some of those 8mm Lebels end to end to see how the shoulder and base groove work to keep the bullet's nose away from the primer.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi gents,
Thanks for the replies, I'm not planning on putting any spitzers in tube magazines, I just like an argument now and then. The article I referred to would give me a leg to stand on in a friendly debate; that's why I'm trying to re-locate it.
My very first centerfire was a 99 in .250/3000, and I wish my leg was constructed so I could kick myself every day for trading it for a "pretty" gun!
Again, finding the write-up was my reason for posting here.
Oh, and if I take up a lot of blank space at the end of the post I apologize, someone smarter than I am will have to show me how to correct that.
Regards, and thanks, Denurban
 

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The 8mm Lebel is a rimmed cartridge, so the width of the rim, plus the taper in the case, should keep the point of the bullet much lower than the primer of the case ahead of it.

But I'd suspect that there were still the odd rifle here and there that blew up. In the middle of an infantry charge into machine guns & barbed wire, that sort of thing probably doesn't get noticed much - not really the most pressing problem you have on your hands at the time.

At one time my dad fooled around trying to see if he could make a spitzer (not FMJ) light off a primer in a controlled environment. This was accomplished by putting an empty primed case in a metal tube, then a dummy round with a bullet touching the primer of the empty case, then whacking the back case with a hammer (with suitable safety precautions). He never could touch one off, in several attempts. I saw the dummy rounds that were hitting the primer, they were well and truely flattened, so he was giving it the ol' college try.

I'd suspect that it's a combination of the 'pointiness' of the bullet, and the recoil of the gun, and some pure chance. One example that illustrates this is some brands of common .30-30 ammo have rounded or barely flat noses that are smaller than a large rifle primer. Don't know if it's the low recoil of a .30-30, or the angle that the cartridge lays in the mag tube, or what.

Another example is the 150gr. spitzer ammo that Remington makes for the .35 Rem. There is a tiny flat on the bullet, but it's still a spitzer. No warnings on the box about using in a lever gun, and lever guns are about the only rifles that you can find in .35 Rem anymore.

Tim Sundles over at Buffalo Bore had some reports of mag tube detonation with his heavy .45-70 ammo in Marlin lever guns. Even though the bullets were flat-point, the rimmed case + the mag tube dimension of the Marlin would sometimes allow the edge of a flat-nosed cast bullet to contact the primer of the round ahead of it. If I recall, he managed to duplicate this in a controlled environment. His solution was to go with deeper primer pockets, and possibly small rifle primers.

As uncommon as it may be, I'm with Bill, just isn't worth the risk, no matter how low.
 

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Oh and Denurban, I'd guess that your signature file is causing the problem of the extra lines. Try making a post without the signature and see if that helps.
 

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May be able to scare up a handful of old Remington bronze points if anyone wants to really push his luck.

Have seen that reinforced primer on older rifle rounds...can't believe they'd go that that design if there wasn't a known problem; and rememeber, the 25-35 wasn't loaded with spitzers.

BUT...you are absolutly correct in questioning old "facts" as many of them are more BS than fact....in this case, believe they knew what they were doing. Just becasue one writter couldn't get it to happen in a limited test doesn't make it a safe practice in the long run...all it takes is one event out of 10,000 to earn the nic-kname "nubs".
 

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2 shooter?

Especially with Winchesters (easy chamber access), I've wondered if people haven't loaded spitzer ammo directly into the chamber, with **1** in the magazine. Seems reasonable, if you need a spitzer that much and it would be enough of a followup for most hunting situations.

This would probably come close to making sense for a Model 64 in .218 Bee for varmints?
 

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Denurban,

Yes, it is a real problem! I had a friend, now deceased, who had a cartridge fire in a .45 Colt replica Henry. He wasn't even using a spitzer, merely a very hard-cast round nose which had a contour similar to the .45 ACP hardball and this was sufficient to set off a primer. Fortunately, he had only relatively minor injuries to his right arm (he was a lefty) and no damage to the gun since the henry has a solid magazine with a full length slot. If this had been a gun with a closed magazine the damage to him and the gun would have been much worse.

Charlie Z has a good idea if you really want to shoot spitzers, and since more than one is only infrequently necessary even while hunting this shouldn't be a handicap.

The only tubular magazine which is safe to use spitzer bullets in is found on the Remington Model 141. This has a spiral rib pressed into the body which physically holds the point of the bullet off center and against the solid head of the case. This was done to accommodate one load only, the 150 gr. spitzer in the .35 Remington.

So far as just being good fodder for an argument is concerned, there isn't any argument. Just don't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello again all,
Thanks for the responses, and you've shown me that this isn't a good topic to argue. The "once is too many" might be the one I was arguing it with, so I'll just back away from it and let it drop for good. (Do I hear a sigh of relief?)

Regards from NW Montana, Denurban
 

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Denurban,
The article you are looking for is probably the one from the 2002 Gun Digest. your right, it was a very interesting article!
The Guns & Ammo mentioned by Jack Moteith about Kent Lomant having a magazine full of .450 Alsakan's go off was really somthing to me when it came out. there was a good picture of the pieces. It is reprinted in one of the Gun Notes books from Safari Press, Dont remember if its volume 1 or 2. They didnt put in the picuters though.
There is a thread on the Marlin board where a Henry replica shooter had a round go off in the magazine when he dropped the follower on 5 rounds. Only one round went off but it got his attention!
I think that Starline was able to get a round to go off in a Marlin 1895 magazine when they were working with Buffalo Bore.
I shoot round nose bullets in the .307 and the .356 and have thought a little about this subject. The Gun Digest article has convinced me that round nose bullets cast from wheel weights or similar metal are not going to be a problem. But it is a very interesting subject.
 

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I posed this same question when I first was thinking of getting a Levre Gun, The 45 RN 250gr bullets I was casting worried me enough to ask here if they were safe to use in a lever gun. I have shot quit a few through the gun and had no problem(All cast from wheel weigths) the Lee design of these bullets cuase me concern becuase the piont of the bullet is smaller then the primer so in theroy it could fire a round in the tube if the force was sufficient. But being a 45 LC gun I don't think it would be as worried as if I was using 35 Rem or such. I would think the type of primer would be the key in this as some have thinner skins and are easier to ignite than other brands- I use only CCI primers and I've seen it posted here that they are some of the hardest to ignite-more force required. Seeing that there are no Speer pionts for 45 LC it really not an issue for me.
 

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Hmmm. I have been shooting Hornady's 350 RNs in my 45-70 and 45-90 for some time. There has never been a problem with use of these bullets in my 1886 Winchesters. I believe that the large diameter of this bullet will not allow the primer to be punctured. Have any of y'all used this bullet in a tubular magazine? What are your thoughts on the use of these bullets?
 

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The article you maybe referring to is in the 2002 Gun Digest. The article is called Tubular Magazines... ARE SAFE by R. W. Ballou. Very interesting reading.
 

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Out of the two levers I've got the only one I would shoot spitzers or other pointed bullets out of is my Savage 1899, it has the old brass round built in mag in it. All the stuff I push out of my Marlin 1895 has a good flat point and have had no problems even with some warmed up loads.

Gun Runner
 
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