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357 mag Revolver problems

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3_tens View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
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    Posted: January/05/2020 at 17:02
Yesterday I broke out the Colt Troopers 1. a MK III and 2. a MK V. Both have been safe queens for the past 5 years. Reason for the break out was that I came across several old boxes of even older reloads that had been stored in the barn since 2008. They have been exposed to a wide range of fluctuating temperatures ranging from -20 to over 120 degrees. They were target loads with HBWC loaded over 6.5 gr. of unique powder. These could have been loaded since the mid to late 70s.Hippie
   I had some FTF. Usually 2-3 out of each loading. Both pistols had similar failures Then most fired on second hits. I have shot ammo that was a similar age that ran perfect but had been stored inside the house. Do you think the hot Oklahoma summers could be the problem? Plan to pull out some fresher ammo and retry next week. Hope it is not age weakened hammer springs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2020 at 06:59
It's the ammo.
Life's concerns should be about the 120lb pack your trying to get to the top of the mountain, and not the rock in your boot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2020 at 08:42
Plan on more of the same with 30+ year old rounds that have been exposed to environmental conditions of that nature. And, if there is much more - and you choose to shoot it, plan on getting a round stuck in the barrel and/or destroying at least one gun.
It might not happen, all might be well; but time and elements will definitely impact ammo performance - elements more so.

I've shot a few rounds from WW2 and they functioned, I didn't performance test them. And all were kept in very stable conditions, after - obviously - they made it stateside.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2020 at 10:42
From what I can tell the ones that went off were fairly consistent by the grouping. Likely the primers have lost there integrity. Only about 300 rounds in this previously lost stash. Today will be trying other shells that are not as old and also have been stored in a more stable environment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2020 at 22:16
 New shells go boom. Now to find out if the entire lot of the lost stash has gone bad. At least it will give good trigger exercises not knowing when one might not go off. With the price of 357mags can't afford to trash the brass.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2020 at 09:20
I would not take the shooting approach with ammo proven to be unreliable.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2020 at 10:04
Must have been the temp swings that affected the powder. I was a little surprised to hear about the issues because just last year I shot off an old box of 9mm Steyr  berdan primered ammo. Head stamp date 1937 and never had a failure. Still had a really good crack to them.Been in a basement for over 50 years so temp fairly stable although humidity up and down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tahqua Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2020 at 15:23
I would certainly worry about safety first. Then, trashing a Trooper. 
140 deg temperature variance, over 10 years old, reloads......bad combo.
The temperature changes alone cause condensation to form. The powder cakes up and burns inconsistently.
I have had bad things happen with waterfowl loads that had gotten wet off and on over many seasons. I almost had a kaboom with my Benelli SBE. I fired at some ducks and the shot went bloop bloop out 20 yards. Another shell went into the chamber. Luckily, I was suspicious and found a wad stuck in the barrel before I fired again....and they were sealed factory rounds.
Be safe 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2020 at 22:43
Doug is right.  Precipitation is a bigger problem than heat.

I wouldn't risk it too much.  I shoot a lot of old surplus ammo, but I make sure it is stored dry.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2020 at 06:35
Get a bullet puller if you want to save the brass. Beating a bullet out of a barrel is a PITA.
I just lost a PPK because of bad ammo.
Life's concerns should be about the 120lb pack your trying to get to the top of the mountain, and not the rock in your boot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3_tens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2020 at 12:29
I will know more after breaking down several rounds to identify the component that test failures.
Folks ain't got a sense of humor no more. They don't laugh they just get sore.

Need to follow the rules. Just hard to determine which set of rules to follow
Now the rules have changed again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2020 at 15:56
primer sealant is a good choice on any ammo stored long term.

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