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Thread: Another Redhawk 45LC question

  1. #1
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    Default Another Redhawk 45LC question

    I just traded for a 5.5" Redhawk in 45 LC (Yeah, I'm one of the old duffers who calls it a LONG Colt). Having spent a fair amount of time reading threads here, I have a lot of respect for the collected knowledge and wisdom here. So, I have a odd question.


    The symptoms: In the cylinder, in chambers 1,2,6 a loaded round will not quiet drop smoothly in, requiring ever so slight pressure to go the last 1/8". Same result with several other rounds.

    Question: Is this normal?

    BTW, my barrell is screwed in a straight as my old eyes can percieve it. And, I have .004 cylinder gap on the left and .006 on the right - I have an idea on ths apparently common phenomenen that I'll save for later.
    I bought what I suppose was the first Redhawn in Alaska in Fairbanks in March of 1980 after the big recall in November of '79 and carried that uber dependable old friend for better than 20 years. So I have shot many thousands thru a Redhawk and know the feel pretty well. Now I have his shorter brother in the vernerable 45 LC and a SS 454 Puma so I'm pretty excited to try ammo experiment is both. [For SYND: I'm the guy down in Wasilla who talked to you a couple of years ago about the SS Pumas.]

    Anyway, uneven chamber holes?

  2. #2
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    No that isnít usual in my experience but I have seen it before, it sounds like something with the extractor but hard to say without looking at it.
    Andy
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    Hand loads or factory????
    I sometimes get this with handloads AND the largest diameter bullets that almost go thru the throats.
    I believe slightly crooked bullet seating is MY culprit.
    If I crimp with a Redding profile crimp die, it fixes it.
    Using a Lee factory crimp die does not fix it.

    Your results may vary...................
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    I have seen that if I have burnt powder accumulation in the chambers. Sounds like you would have noticed that one.

    If it is only some of the time I would be inclined to agree about off kilter bullet seating maybe.

    Another one to check is could some of your brass be coming out of the sizing die with a bit of banana shape? I have seen it both with seating dies tightened without ram pressure holding the die square when the locking nut is tightened, and once upon a time I had a bent ram on my press.

    But it is always 1, 2 and 6. If you take a hard to chamber round out of one of those three, does it chamber easily in the other three?

    If yes, rounds that hang up in 1-2-6 feed fine in the other chambers, I would be looking at the cylinder. Could it be that the other chambers are bored just a tiny bit deeper than 1-2-6?

    With standard reloading tools like I have on my bench I would think about maybe putting a thin line of black latex paint onto the crimp portion of a bullet that feeds fine in 3-4-5, and drop it into 1-2-6 with wet paint on it to see if you get paint on the front part of the chamber where it starts to narrow. What about 3-4-5, wet paint left behind?

    I am sure there is a more expensive tool that is right for the job, but wet latex paint ought to clean up easily if you get on it quick. No idea what a gunsmith might charge to fix that up for you, if that is even really what is going on.

    On your fired brass, is the OD of 1-2-6 the same or different from 3-4-5?

    M2c,
    S

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    I think it's likely that travelers is correct. I would take a single cartridge and try it in all 6 chambers. If it still sticks slightly in chambers 1, 2, and 6, then try inserting the same cartridge into the front of the cylinder in those chambers, noting how far in the bullet goes without forcing. Then see if it goes deeper into the other chambers, nos. 3-5. If your bullets are seated out far enough, they are probably encountering tighter forcing cones in those three sticky chambers.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Yea sure could be tight thoats maybe if we are talking about hand loads or big bullets, Redhawk 45s are famous for iritic thoat sizing. Very hard to say without the gun in front of me, could be many things. Never tried latex paint but for interference checking I head to the wifeís makeup stash fore lipstick or some other colored pasty stuff . . . she gets mad when I put it back all bent and mashed so I just stopped puttin it back.


    But like I said I have seen it before, tight last 1/8inch, same result with several other rounds, and the same holes all in a row makes me think extractor. There are 2 tiny pins that fit into taper reamed holes in the extractor star to index it. If there is something odd with a (one) pin or its hole I would expect two or three chambers next to it to it (1-2-6 are next to each other) to bind lightly on the thick base of the case where the sizing die doesnít reach because the extractor is indexed just a tad off.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Yea sure could be tight thoats maybe if we are talking about hand loads or big bullets... Never tried latex paint for interference checking
    OP, I am willing to bet folding money that ADFields has forgotten more about gunsmithing than I ever learned--I am a n00b at figuring out stuff like this. It is perfectly reasonable to me that if the extractor ID is a bit undersize you could seat those rounds with light finger pressure, where if the throats were too short you'd have to push pretty hard.

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    Thanks for all the great ideas. I did try several different rounds with exact same results.

    Upon further investigation I noticed the 3 subject chambers (1,2,6) are all on the same half-side of the 2 pins.

    Note on my numbering system: When I push the extractor rod completely to the rear it is easily observable that it has a flat side. I rotate the flat side to the top, then number the cylinders clockwise.

    The pins are between 2-3 and 5-6, ergo the above view of the 3 curious chambers.

    Also, under a stronger white light I noted a "feature" inside each of the chambers. I looks like a finishing (maybe sizing or trueing) grind on the outside one third of every chamber. The surface difference is very slight and not noticeable under normal investigation.

    I'm not particularly concerned with any of these phenomena, just trying to understand all I can about the great piece of work. And, yes, I know it's not a Smith. But I have a great story about a 29 and a friend spending the night in a tree that convinced me the Redhawk is the better choice.

    Thanks again for all the ideas. If I find some way to get any measurements to add to the pool of knowledge I'll report back.

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