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Shooting the wrong caliber...

jrsminjrsmin Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
edited March 2009 in Ask the Experts
ok..first off, I know I did a very very stupid thing, but I bought a pistol and it was advertised and came in a box labeled .44. Now I looked at similar guns on here and found that gun in .44 and thought nothing of it. So I bought some .44's and went and shot the gun no problem. So I'm wiping it down afterwards and I find in a small stamp under the pistol .45 cal! I know, I'm an idiot.

But, I've inspected the gun and it looks fine and fired fine, so my question is could I have done harm to the pistol that would make it unsafe to fire the correct .45's through it now?

I can guarantee you this will be the first and last time I make this mistake and I realize what could have happened so I'm hoping an expert could tell me if I not only did something stupid, but if I wrecked a nice pistol. (bore looks good - everything "looks" fine).

Comments

  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 13,134 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    what model pistol, revolver, semi need a little more info
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Hello If this is a Colt single action or other revolver It might have been built as a 45 thus the 45 on the frame but IT COULD have had the barrel and cylinder replaced with a 44. or any other caliber for that matter. I would look closely at the barrel and cylinder . remove the cylinder and see if a 45 colt will fit . The barrel should be marked. if factory barrel .I would also look at fired cases they would be bugled if they were 44 and fired in a 45 but Most likely you have done no damage.as pressures would be less but might have some barrel leading and need to be cleaned.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't think buying a gun labelled .44 on the box, advertised as a .44, successfully chambering .44 in it, and firing it is such a "stupid" mistake.

    Assuming you've inspected the gun carefully and can't find any distortion of the cylinder or bulging of the barrel, you probably didn't hurt the gun, but more info would be helpful.

    What kind of round did you actually fire?
    What is the actual chambering of the gun?

    If you fired a low pressure round (eg .44 special), you're pretty unlikely to have hurt anything. If you fired a high-pressure round (eg .44 magnum) its *possible* to cause stress in the metal without noticing any damage.

    If I were you, I'd be taking this gun back immediately to the seller, for a refund or replacement. For obvious reasons, this is a serious problem.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    Give us some specifics about make, model, and caliber markings on the gun and brand and caliber markings on the base of a cartridge.
  • coledigger4coledigger4 Member Posts: 826 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was under the impression that if you shoot a round that is smaller than the bore, accuracy would suck but the pressure would pass the bullet as it was rattleing through the barrel. An example would be a certain person, not me, shot 264 round through a 7mm rifle. Being a gunsmith, he told me that there would be no harm done as long as the slug was smaller but things would turn out different if it was possible to chamber and shoot a larger round in a smaller bore. Was this bad information?
  • RCrosbyRCrosby Member Posts: 3,793 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If, in fact, you sent a .44 cal. slug down a .45 cal. barrel I would think that pressure would not be an issue. The other day a friend managed to fire a .40 cal. round in a .45 ACP. Brass was badly split along at least 3 lines front to back but fortunately no gasses made their way rearward out of the action. That would be my primary concern when firing under cal. ammo.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by RCrosby
    If, in fact, you sent a .44 cal. slug down a .45 cal. barrel I would think that pressure would not be an issue. The other day a friend managed to fire a .40 cal. round in a .45 ACP. Brass was badly split along at least 3 lines front to back but fortunately no gasses made their way rearward out of the action. That would be my primary concern when firing under cal. ammo.


    This is a good point, more so if you consider that a nominally .44 slug is actually .429 in diameter.

    Still, I don't think its fair to conclude that you can safely fire ANY .44 slug in any .45 gun.

    As another matter, if this company makes two otherwise identical guns in .44 and .45, its almost certain that the two guns are going to be extremely similar except for the bore and cylinder hole diameters. Its just natural to build similar caliber guns using similar frames and parts to save on material and labor costs.

    So given that the guns are probably using the same frames anyway, its pretty likely that either gun is probably physically strong enough to physically tolerate either caliber.

    When I said this was a "serious problem" I didn't mean that this is necessarily a safety problem, but that its a serious problem when you buy gun caliber "A", but your dealer gives you gun caliber "B"!
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