Bad Reloading: Gunsmith Finds 7 Bullets Stuck in Revolver Barrel


Bad Reloading: Gunsmith Finds 7 Bullets Stuck in Revolver Barrel

Bad reloading can lead to bullets stuck in a barrel.

Some things just make a person go, “Wow.” And sometimes you wonder just how someone survived his own stupidity.

For example, consider this: A customer brought a Colt Single Action Army revolver to a gunsmith. The old wheel gun was chambered for 38 special, and the cylinder couldn’t rotate. Why? Because the barrel was chock full of bullets!

Here is what the gunsmith had to say:

“I have a pet peeve I’m going to vent about right now: Customers that evidently have no clue about reloading ammo and they bring me their messes to clean up.

“Pictured below is the barrel from a Colt SAA in 38 special that had 7 bullets in the barrel with the 7th stopping cylinder rotation. There were still two live rounds in the cylinder along with 3 empties. There was one empty chamber but it was under loading gate so he probably removed it.

“So the fool reloaded even though he saw there were no holes in target. He was lucky he didn’t hurt himself and that I was able to get them out with no damage to barrel. Okay rant over.”

Bad reloading can lead to bullets stuck in a barrel.

All of these bullets were stuck in that barrel.

If this had been a pistol instead of a revolver, it might have blown up… but two factors saved the gun and/or the shooter:

1) A revolver allows the venting of gases between cylinder and barrel, and
2) These rounds were obviously grossly underpowered.

Had even one standard-pressure 38 special cartridge been fired, the gun might have been ruined, along with the shooter’s hand.

Clearly, the reloads the customer was shooting contained little or no gunpowder, and therefore lacked the oomph to get through the barrel. But he was too stupid to realize there was a problem when no holes appeared in the target, no dirt or dust arose downrange to indicate where he was hitting, and the sound and recoil were definitely much lower than normal.

And it’s a six-shooter with 7 rounds stuck in the barrel, so he even reloaded the revolver after firing a full cylinder without even one bullet exiting the barrel!

They say you can’t fix stupid, and that seems correct in this example of bad reloading. But the gunsmith in this case was at least able to fix stupid’s gun.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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