Author Topic: "73 Uberti Blow Up  (Read 6941 times)

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2018, 06:32:09 pm »
I've witnessed two catastrophic blowups with Henrys - three rds in each case. In both, it was the shooter who caused the failures by letting the follower drop on loaded rds.

In the case of the '73 that is the topic of this question, the shooter did have one other loud sounding report on a previous stage that attracted attention. It was his first rd on the next stage where the failure occurred.

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I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2018, 08:02:31 pm »
It's always good to read about safety issues on a forum.  It keeps us on our toes.

Not yet mentioned in this discussion is the common problem of sticking firing pins on '73 rifles.  A firing pin that is stuck (bound) in the forward position can, and eventually will, set off a round as the gun is levered.  Visualize the firing pin being proud of the bolt face and coming forward onto the round laying in the elevator.  The round could discharge at any point while moving forward, to battery.

This is not a theory, it has happened to me.  The round (a 38/40 180 grain bullet, case filled with Shutzen FFF) went off early in the levering of the gun -- about the time the bullet started entering the chamber.  All but the back 1/4" of the case was turned to shrapnel.  The lever was bent significantly.

The firing pin getting stuck this way was the result of repeated dry firing without a snap-cap in the gun.  The firing pin peened a burr into one of the narrow parts of the channel and that burr locked the firing pin solid in the bolt.  (the mechanism is inertial on Uberti rifles and the only thing stopping the forward movement of the pin on a empty chamber is the shoulders of the narrowed channel in the bolt)  I subsequently learned that this is a common issue from the 'smith who had repaired several '73 rifles that had "blown up" over the years.  He said, in every case, the rifle was owned by a serious shooter who had done a lot of dry firing with it.

He went on to tell me that REGULARLY testing the firing pin for smooth and uninterrupted retraction, back into the bolt, was a standard test that every '73 owner ought perform during every cleaning episode.  I have done so ever since.  Up, until that time, I had never checked the firing pin for binding, I dry fired a lot, and never used snap caps.  Those three things have changed.

I got off without hurting any other shooters and felt very fortunate.  The gun had to be completely rebuilt, but I got a BIG lesson for my money.  Hope this lesson helps keep you safe.

This is outta place here proly shoulda put it in the 92 place but its on subject - an OOB with a Rossi 92 - however maybe a lesson for someone
Close to 40 years ago a mate of mine bought this Rossi after the deed was done - it had been traded to Myras gunshop in the outback town of Broken Hill - potential buyer comes in and some fool decides to test cycle it with live 357 mag round in the shop - kaboom!!!! boolit exits stage left and high leaving a nice lil souvenier hole in the window that I was told still there 20 years hence. Boolit clears the other side of main street and likely came to rest in someones chook pen on the outskirts of town - aside from the brown underwear no harm done. So my mate buys this work in progress cheap for me to fix  (we did a lot of that) story was a broken firing pin - it seemed to be ok but after one untimely discharge I pulled it down to discover a winchester original firing pin replaced the Rossi but the gunshop dude had lost the ejector assembly and we also missing the front barrel band (carbine) -- I made a new barrel band /front sight and ejector assembly, fitted the firing pin - I did a lot of testing and eventually put the Rossi in my rack as a finished deal (sold now) years went by and I had a friend rebarrel a original 44/40 for me - I stripped it out before he got it and everything was fine and it went back together sweet - - he did the job, test fired it - I shot it on and off for a year or so - only a couple hundred rounds - one day I was cranking it a bit practicing for a rapid fire match and had an accidental discharge (gun went off on target but finger clear of the trigger, it just fired as the bolt closed)  ---ooooops -- a broken firing pin - when I pulled it down was plain the pin had been broken quite a while but still working (could tell that by the peening impact where the break was) and it was also bowed a little to the right hand side - not much - the break was captive between the cheeks of the lever - after some head scratching I visited my gunsmith mate who just happened to be woking on another 92 (one of several he aseembled from parts he was given) we sat and talked while he worked and I watched him assemble the new gun - came to fitting the lever pin and ejector and hes picked up a hammer and pin punch with the lever pin about halfway home - couple of taps - didnt seem like a lot the pin moves some then goes home ok ---whats the point ? ok right when he picked up the hammer to tap that pin it was sitting interference on the weakest point of the firing pin - its bowed it a little bit sideways and probably upwards as well and I reckon his hammer and punch trick has broken the pin in my 44/40 and someone else had done the same trick with same result on that Rossi  - it all works while ever the front part of the broken pin stays free in the bolt but as soon as the peening of the break gets enough swelling to bind (in the lever in a 92) and then we add some impact with a fast close of the bolt ----off she goes ----- its a theory anyway !!!   

Offline Chance

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2018, 04:52:20 am »
Regarding the OP - do we know if the bullet exited the barrel? Is the brass cartridge case available for examination?

Chance

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2018, 01:16:39 pm »
Chance

I haven't spoken to the person that suffered the blow up since the incident as he went back to work out of town. I will ask someone who examined the rifle if the bullet left the barrel.

Greyhawk

Looks no design is immune mechanical failure, compounded by human error. It's 'heads up' all the time.

When I acquired my first paper Sharps, I was told that I had a potential bomb on my hands as the next rd could be ignited by a smouldering piece of paper left in the chamber.

As a result, I've made a habit of giving the chamber a quick blow before inserting the next rd. There is occasionally a narrow strip of paper left where the glue was applied, but it has never been an issue.

I've also never read any historic accounts where it was a problem during combat.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Lumpy Grits

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2018, 05:00:15 pm »
Are 'we' certain, that this didn't happen after a squib?
LG
'Hav'n you along-Is like loose'n 2 good men'

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2018, 05:21:12 pm »
Let us go back a ways.  Turn the pages back and re-read if you will.  Between what Trailrider and Wrote, I would hope there is at least a glimmer of the science and physics involved.  If all I and trail rider accomplish is to extinguish a couple of "Old Wives Tails" we sill have accomplished a lot.  Altogether too many people are PARROTS.  Willing to grasp what amounts to a Guess and Gossip and begin to repeat it as gospel.  That is a shame.

In this particular instance, we can only offer a WAG (Military Acronym for a Wild Ass Guess).  None of us were there, none of us had a chance to look at the rifle IMMEDIATELY after the incident and before anyone Gould go finger poking and destroy the forensic evidence.  Leaves us with with a simple BANG.  Big loud BANG perhaps.  Then an exclamation form the shooter.  And now at this point, we can't actually make a real good guess.  There are lots of possible causes.  Here is the bottom line.  Someone has a busted rifle.  that someone has no clue why.  Nor do we.  Been some real good discussion.  But now it's becoming an expired Equine.

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2018, 04:18:06 pm »
Are 'we' certain, that this didn't happen after a squib?
LG

It was the first rd he fired at the beginning of a stage.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Lumpy Grits

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2018, 04:46:40 pm »
Could have been from a previous stage. I've seen it happen before.
Sure sounds like an over-pressure issue, more than OOB.

LG
'Hav'n you along-Is like loose'n 2 good men'

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2018, 02:24:51 pm »
That's a good theory, but .....

The RO that ran him as well as the spotters were unaware of a miss or a squib on the previous stage that could have resulted in a stuck bullet.

Had he suffered a squib, his rifle would have been immediately checked. He was shooting fully loaded .45 Colt BP rds. Hard to overlook a squib.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Lumpy Grits

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2018, 02:31:46 pm »
If he is a fast shooter-Very easy to miss a squib.
I'll never have that issue, as they use a Sundial to time me.   ;D
LG
'Hav'n you along-Is like loose'n 2 good men'

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2018, 06:24:53 pm »

A squib??  A squib with BP??  Pullese .........

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2018, 07:02:13 pm »
A squib??  A squib with BP??  Pullese .........

Exactly! He is a competent rifle shooter, but not a 'speed' shooter. His match pistols are a '60 Army and a Walker '47. Sound like a race gunner to you?
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2018, 10:38:22 pm »
Exactly! He is a competent rifle shooter, but not a 'speed' shooter. His match pistols are a '60 Army and a Walker '47. Sound like a race gunner to you?

PJ
My son shoots an unmodified Yellow boy - a '60 army and a '47 walker - all with full case blackpowder loads - somebody gave me a picture of him crankin that yellow boy - three emptys in the air and the fourth just leaving the action - I wonder could he stop in time if that third round was a squib? Interesting question huh

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2018, 10:35:54 am »
I'm sorry I even mentioned the incident. Now we're down to how fast he operated the rifle. Yes, he's pretty quick, but so fast that a full house BP squib (????) wouldn't be noticed? Yeah, right ......

All the speculation and theories, especially those coming from people who haven't even read the previous comments on the topic are becoming an irritant.

Please - forget I said anything about the matter.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2018, 10:50:22 am »

PJ .... No good deed shall go unpunished .. Murphy

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2018, 04:23:01 pm »
I'm sorry I even mentioned the incident. Now we're down to how fast he operated the rifle. Yes, he's pretty quick, but so fast that a full house BP squib (????) wouldn't be noticed? Yeah, right ......

All the speculation and theories, especially those coming from people who haven't even read the previous comments on the topic are becoming an irritant.

Please - forget I said anything about the matter.

PJ
Please -----I was not having a go at you or your friend - just saw a bit of common ground in the firearms - have watched that boy of mine wind that yellow boy up on numerous ocasions - he dont hit real good with it at that speed but as a kid he was doctor bait because of poor hand eye co ordination - we have run a speed event at our local club ever since he got that gun as a teenager (hes 40 now) - one minute rapid fire at 25 yards, starts with gun empty and rounds on the ground - the target is a spider catching a fly - he won it a couple of times, but in all that time, nobody has got close for rounds loaded and fired in the time limit. I watch that - and - poor hand eye ! man - they had to be joking!!! My comment was just a muse based on that - I really did wonder whether he would stop in time if he fed a squib load. Same question even more so for the plink. pfftt, plink, pfftt, race gun fellers. So whatever it was about this offended you I apologise many times over, it sure was not my intent .   

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2018, 06:36:52 pm »
Ok
After offending our good friend PJ -- I went back and read this all over again - Coffinmaker tole us ta do that several post ago but sometines ya gotta hit me with a brick -
How did I miss this from wildman ??? shoulda been printed in letters two foot high !!! We have two of these small pin guns - If this mod is doable mine will get done very soon and the other very soon after that

There is a modification for the 73's with the small or large pin retaining the firing pin extension. A set screw can be installed in the bottom of the back of the bolt that will go into a milled slot in the bottom of the firing pin extension. The retaining pin will still shear but the extension will no longer exit the back of the rifle.
wM1

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2018, 07:00:10 pm »
No apologies necessary. I over reacted.

The explanation of the firing pin extension seems the most likely cause, even tho' the rifle was of current manufacture.

The firing pin sure did exit the back of the rifle, just missing my wife. I don't want to witness any more such events.

They make for good palaver, and some good info gets passed around between pards.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2018, 08:32:31 pm »
No apologies necessary. I over reacted.

The explanation of the firing pin extension seems the most likely cause, even tho' the rifle was of current manufacture.

The firing pin sure did exit the back of the rifle, just missing my wife. I don't want to witness any more such events.

They make for good palaver, and some good info gets passed around between pards.

Somethin had to start the process and your original surmise of some leftover titegroup in the measure hopper seems the most likely.
 
I checked my 66 and the setscrew idea that Wildman proposed - not easy, but is doable I think so long as that part of the bolt is soft enough to tap. 

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2018, 10:19:52 am »

La De Da De Da .......

Oh .... Hi  :D    It's me again.  :o

Here is a real simple thing.  Understanding that nothing is absolutely fool proof.  Uberti no longer supports any parts for the Bolt/Extension rod(s) that are retained by the tiny little cross pins.  Should you need parts, you must buy a "KIT" that contains a redesigned bolt, a new firing pin and return spring and a redesigned Extension Rod.

The "KIT" bolt is milled for a rocker plate, retained by the link pivot pin in the back of the bolt.  The extension rod is also milled to accept the rocker plate.  Very Very secure.  The "KIT" retails for about 100 Bucks.  No doe, just Bucks.  Contact VTI Gunparts.

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2018, 10:45:02 am »
Looks like it could be or has been recognized as a potential problem.

I'm glad that in the case of my friend, it didn't come to light in a Coroner's inquest.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2018, 11:21:36 am »
For those who have been following this thread, there is an article of interest in the current issue of "Handloader" magazine by Terry Wieland entitled - "Forensic Ballistics & Unsolvable Puzzles".

He mentions a couple cases where forensic analysis was unable to determine the cause. In one case, it was a Ruger #1 in .308 that blew up after 14 rds of the same ammo were fired. The powder used made it impossible to double charge without overflow. Even if a heavier bullet had been inadvertently loaded, the powder charge was within safety parameters.

In another, a .270 rd that had an enlarged primer pocket after half a dozen shots with the same ammo. The powder was a slow burning type that filled the case to capacity. All remaining bullets and ammo were checked for consistency.

In both cases, charges were weighed after being thrown by a powder measure. He is still baffled by the incidents.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2019, 08:13:57 pm »
Exactly why I dip every load and check the cases for depth. If anything looks wrong most likely it is wrong.
I load on a Dillon and have a funnel in the powder die. The idea of a half pound of Gun Powder right in my face makes me nervous.
It may be slower, but it is safer.
Yes I know there is no problem using BP in a powder measure but I don't care. i have used up all my 9 lives a lond time ago.
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk

Offline Oregon Bill

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2019, 11:18:19 am »
Lots to ponder in this thread  -- especially for one with a new Uberti 73 in .44 WCF inbound.
As to detonations, I believe none other than Mike Venturino suffered one of these some years ago with a Colt Single Action Army, but I cannot recall what his conclusion was.

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "73 Uberti Blow Up
« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2019, 02:52:08 pm »
I think MV is a believer that light powder charges in big pistol cases is a no-no.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne