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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Fishbreath

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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Jay Slater

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  1. I'm also considering it. I may do the nearby area matches instead—I haven't trained up for a big match that early in the year before, so it might behoove me to try that in 2022 before I spend the money on nationals. On the other hand, there aren't a lot of wheelgunners around here, and it'd be cool to shoot in a bigger field of competitors.
  2. I went back through and watched some myself, and I don't think I saw any cases where it happened on the first shot of a moon clip either. It's harder than usual to thumb back, as though I'm pulling some kind of obstruction clear. There was an intermittent action problem relating to trigger/hammer geometry, which I talked about briefly in the Super GP100 tuning thread, but that's solved now, and the symptoms are a little different. (It manifested as a hitch in the trigger that occurred when the leverage transferred from the hammer dog to the DA sear, whereas this one happens a bit later in the cycle when the pawl contacts the ratchet. It wasn't the crane tube proper, but rather the track in the cylinder where the ball bearings in the crane tube run. That I just cleaned out. Lately I've been going very light on the oil in that area, which has helped.
  3. I had some crud in the bearing race on the cylinder the last time I took everything down, a month or so ago, but that's solved now. It is definitely a thing to put on the cleaning checklist for heavily-used Rugers.
  4. Iowegan's Book of Knowledge on the Ruger DA guns quotes 0.002" to 0.005" as the acceptable measurement for endshake, and 0.004" to 0.008" as the acceptable B/C gap, but I'm not sure if that's a factory spec or the eponymous smith's preference.
  5. I think it was 0.006" or so? It's in an older thread here somewhere. Drag marks plus biggish B/C gap plus moderately large endshake plus sticky extraction has me thinking testosterone may be right about some kind of zero headspace condition. I have some test loads with a slower powder and 147gr instead of 160gr bullets I'm going to try on Thursday. Hopefully there'll be something to report beyond 'all test results are essentially the same as they've been lately'.
  6. I thought about renting a facing cutter with my last order from 4D, but the B/C gap is already big enough so that I didn't want to open it further.
  7. I have a golf glove in my bag that I used to wear when it was rainy and I was doing the strong hand reload. Over the course of this year I discovered that it also helps with grip in general when my hands are sweaty, and subsequently that it just helps. Similar effect to grip enhancer. It is, a little bit. There's a spot at about 7 to 8 o'clock that's lower than the rest—another reason to have Ruger take a look at it, I guess.
  8. Mostly I'm using it because it was the most expedient path to having separate seating/crimping. I only use it to de-flare the case—verified with calipers along the whole length. I thought it was a trick of the light in the photos, but there is indeed a bevel on the ends of the chambers, on closer inspection. I'd never realized!
  9. Yup, I check them twice now: when I load them and before I put them on my belt at matches. I'll get some later today. The gun doesn't seem particularly tight based on gap, headspace, and endshake, but cases expanding when back against the recoil shield during firing, plus grit/dirt on the front of the cylinder, add up to a plausible scenario. .38 dies, with a 9mm FCD. (It isn't swaging bullets or sizing the neck down—verified with pulled bullets and calipers.) This is a .38/.357 gun, so 9mm is a no-go. (Good to know about the moons, though, if I ever switch calibers in the future.) I'll try the two tests you mention (shoot singles rather than ammo on moons, check for B/C gap when gun is stuck) next time I'm at the range.
  10. Once I get some Open .40 ammo loaded for this weekend's match (also on the turret press), I plan to do some testing of 147gr Universal and CFE Pistol loads for the wheelgun (thanks again!), so hopefully I'm in the same boat.
  11. Correct. I can usually thumb the hammer back, though, owing to the greater leverage. There were some lockups early on where I couldn't operate the hammer by hand, but those were the ones, I believe, caused by a broken hammer spring. I don't recall an instance where I had problems with the first round in a moon clip. Fresh-loaded I can't say for sure, although my dry-fire dummies have a bit of drag compared to an empty gun but otherwise don't cause problems. (Two dry-fire moons are sized, loaded, and crimped; the other is loaded with unsized empties to get a more realistic ejection.) Typically, I can easily open the cylinder. If I hold the trigger so that the cylinder stays unlocked, I can turn it readily with my fingers. You know, you might be on to something here. 160gr in .38 Short Colt with a fast powder is, I've heard it said, pretty sporty pressure-wise. My brass is slightly sticky on ejection. The worst jammed gun I've had in the post-firing-pin-spring era was at Battle for the North Coast, where I reloaded a moon with two bent prongs, such that one cartridge had substantially less headspace than the others. If that's the issue, I'd expect things to be substantially better with the 147gr bullet and a slower powder.
  12. Representative frames from my smokiness evaluation video, in order of least to most. (With the freeze frames, it seems a bit subjective, but I stand by my ranking based on the full videos and the opinion of my cameraman.) 1. Rainier 2. Old Blue 3. New Blue 4. Dr. Phil's 5. SNS That said, the top four all seemed roughly equivalent, and only SNS notably dirtied the gun more than the others. On the other hand, by the time I got to the bottom of the top four (160 rounds in), I was already having function problems that seemed to be based on fouling, so the cleaner appearance may not have made that big a difference in the end. The next thing on my list to try is some slower powders, with the Blue Bullets loaded to make minor. (These loads were probably sub-minor by a nose with the Blues, since I was using the same 2.8gr Clay Dot recipe for all of them.) I have Bullseye, Universal, CFE Pistol, and 3N38 on hand, so if it's something that can be fixed by slow powder, I suspect I have sufficiently slow powders to find out. I'm not terribly optimistic about that, however, and my suspicion that I'm going to have to see if Ruger will reduce the B/C gap for me is growing.
  13. Old Blues 147gr Start: Forgot to take pictures. It occurs to me that going from plated to coated without a deep cleaning might have confounded my results a bit. End: Notes: The second least smoky bullets tested today. There appears to be a bit of fouling on the inside surface of the forcing cone at this point, zooming in on my original-quality photos. The gun jammed up once shooting these, although it's hard to say if the bullets are to blame, or the pre-existing fouling, or the load itself. New Blues 147gr Start: End: Notes: The third smokiest bullet, but it's all very close. The gun jammed twice in these 40 rounds, although again, hard to say if it's the slow build of fouling I didn't have the tools/time to clear or these bullets specifically. Watching the hammer, I could see that it was clearly a problem with the cylinder trying to turn at this point, rather than with the handoff between the two stages of the double-action pull. SNS 160gr Start: End: Notes: The smokiest of the bullets tested, and also the one that dirtied up the frame around the forcing cone the most.
  14. Test result time! 158gr Rainier Plated Start: End: Notes: Predictably, the cleanest of the bunch. Still some obvious drag marks on the cylinder face. 155-ish gr Dr. Phil Special Start: End: Notes: Drag marks again. The second smokiest of the bullets tested today (ahead of SNS), but the gaps from 1st to 4th (Rainier, Blues, these) were small, and the gap from 4th to 5th was huge. Pictures at the end.
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