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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have a new production Frontier Six Shooter (SAA in 44-40). I'm guessing it was made sometime in the last 5-8 years.

I'm having a problem with it that I'm curious about. I shoot two kinds of loads with it; either fairly mild factory or handloaded smokeless powder loads or black powder loads with about 34 grans of Goex 3f in Winchester cases. In either case the bullet is the same 200gr lead.

When I shoot it with the milder loads or dry fire it everything is fine, but if I shoot the black powder loads the hammer becomes very hard to cock right after the first shot. It's as if something in the action locks up from the recoil. I can cock it again but really have to pull hard to get the hammer moving at first. Then there's a click, after which it moved freely again.

Can anyone tell me if this is normal, or if maybe the gun just needs a good action job? I know 34gr of BP in Win cases is close to a full load but since it's not quitea full load it doesn't seem like I should be asking too much of the gun.

Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks,

Ben
 

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My first suspect would be your loads. Does it just happen after the first shot? Or at random? What you describe sounds like a high primer, or a primer somewhere else in the cylinder that has backed out under recoil. There can be several causes of that happening. After loading next time try spinning the cylinder all the way around-if you have a high primer from loading it will show up there. You also said close to a full bp load. Does that mean the case is not entirely full, space left in the case after the bullet is seated over the BP? I won't advise you on your load recipe, go to the book for that which will specifically address space in BP loads, but if everything checks out on the loading then I defer to the gunsmiths
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'll check the primers. But it happens after every shot and doesn't happen with my lighter smokeless handloads which use the same primers. Those smokeless loads I put in Starline brass though, whereas the BP loads I put in Winchester brass. I wonder if maybe the Winchester brass primar pockets might be a little shallower?

I'll try some of my smokeless loads in the Win brass and see if the problem crops up there.

Ben
 

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CHECK for primer flow into the firing pin oriface. Do the fired primers looked like they are dragged upon by something ? IF so it is " primer flow " for sure.
ALSO, make sure the firing pin bushing is dead flush with the frame and NOT sitting even a thousandth's of an inch below flush.
 

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Hi All,

I have a new production Frontier Six Shooter (SAA in 44-40). I'm guessing it was made sometime in the last 5-8 years.

I'm having a problem with it that I'm curious about. I shoot two kinds of loads with it; either fairly mild factory or handloaded smokeless powder loads or black powder loads with about 34 grans of Goex 3f in Winchester cases. In either case the bullet is the same 200gr lead.

When I shoot it with the milder loads or dry fire it everything is fine, but if I shoot the black powder loads the hammer becomes very hard to cock right after the first shot. It's as if something in the action locks up from the recoil. I can cock it again but really have to pull hard to get the hammer moving at first. Then there's a click, after which it moved freely again.

Can anyone tell me if this is normal, or if maybe the gun just needs a good action job? I know 34gr of BP in Win cases is close to a full load but since it's not quitea full load it doesn't seem like I should be asking too much of the gun.

Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks,

Ben
There can be several causes for the problem,1st-several years ago colt had a problem w/the space behind the cyl. & the recoil shield but only w/the 44/40 cartridge,the thickness of the cartridge rim varied in different brands of brass & the brass was dragging on the recoil shield after detonation,they later corrected that problem after several guns were sent back-another problem can be the bbl. cyl. gap,normal gap was .003 to .005 for smokeless powder but blk. pwdr. requires a larger gap because of the fouling created between the bbl. & cyl. & causes the cyl. to bind or drag on the rear of the bbl. when u try to cock it,if there's any slack in the base pin bushing the cyl. can be moved slightly forward when u cock the gun because the hand can push the cyl. forward creating even more drag.If it is a high primer you'll feel the drag before u fire the gun.
 

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Seems like I remember the original load was 29 gr BP. Seems your load might be a little hot?
Just thinkin"..........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Jim,

That's interesting. I don't recall having a hard time cocking the gun for the first shot, and when I'm at the range I usually load all six. So you're right that that suggests the primers aren't sitting too high (though I'll check).

I may be done loading BP in this thing anyway. It was fun for a while shooting and old school gun with the original powder, but the hassle of cleaning it after every range session, even short ones, is wearing on me . . .

Ben
 

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If all else fails to find your problem, make sure your brass is completely clean of any sizing lube, as are the cylinders free of oil. The .44 WCF has a shoulder, albeit very shallow, but you could be experiencing case set back when firing the heavier BP loads. My .38 WCF will do that on occasion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Seems like I remember the original load was 29 gr BP. Seems your load might be a little hot?
Just thinkin"..........
Thanks BearBio,

I'll double check. I think they should be ok though. I recall that with modern brass you can't get the original 40gr of BP powder in the cases (won't fit) but that 35gr was a pretty close equivallent. I've pegged mine to be a little less than that at 34gr.

Ben
 

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VTBen

The original BP loads were a full case, compressed. Black Powder doesn't like to be loose in the case, it should be compressed a bit. If not compressed it can act as an obstruction & really cause problems.
If you want a reduced load with black powder, I think I'd put in the powder you want then add a filler that brings the charge up so the base of the bullet can compress it a bit when you seat the bullet.

When I shoot BP in the .45 Colt I trickle the powder into the case with a 20" drop tube, then compress it about 1/8". I get 35grs of GOEX 3FG into a modern .45 case.

It is very accurate & powerful.
Hope this helps some.
Frank
 
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