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Interesting Problem rifle

2659 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  MacDaKnyfe
Had a customer drop of a nice Miroku-built Win 92 (or Browning B-92; take your pick..) the other day. He says he "lent it to a friend" who just wanted to try out some of his special "tough" .44 mag handloads.

Subsequent Warning and Educational Experience Outcome:

DO NOT EVER LEND YOUR: 1) CHAINSAW, 2) RIFLE; 3) HANDGUN; 4) SHOTGUN, 5) WIFE; 6) PRIZED FISHING GEAR, OR 7) ANYTHING ELSE YOU TRULY VALUE, TO A "FRIEND" JUST TO "USE FOR A LITTLE WHILE, HONEST!"

Or, as they used to say in New York City, "WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?".

So, this guy handed me his pretty little '92, but it wouldn't cycle worth a crap. All sticky and such. Then he handed me the fired cartridge, which was deformed almost to impossible levels; the case was almost split horizontally in two, the rim was bent, the primer pocket was enlarged to a huge oval, and part of the remnant rim was extruded down in the location of the kidney-shaped extractor. All in all, we later determined that it had probably exceeded 85,000 psi, since even a 65k .454 Casull round fired in the same rifle chambered in .45LC would likely only tear the cartridge lengthwise.

That Miroku receiver has to be praised all to hell though. Forged I wonder? Or just a real good casting. Well anyhow, after I took it all apart (not for the weak of heart with the new '92's; all little balls, springs and coils, and a loose squirrel running in a cage I swear...) and filed off the new "high points" on the bolt, and cleaned all the bits of brass out (he'd obviously fired a few more that had also partially failed, tho' he clams not..), it cycled nicely, probably better than it had new, since I applied a few gunny tricks to sweeten it all up.

But it looked a tiny little bit like there was a bottom chamber bulge, but then again, my own pristine .45 LC '92 has the same slight pseudo-bulge that may be there by design to help with feeding.

Undt zo... I chambered a light cast-boolit .44 mag load, tied it down into my tripod and fired it with a wire from a safe distance. Kah-Boom. No problem, but it did extract pretty rough and gritty hard, like I was dragging something over rough ground. Then I looked at that cartridge, and it looked like a miniature pickle barrel. Well-swelled in it's midsection. Actually, it measured over .135" of an inch larger than an unfired case! Wow! A bit over "spec", huh?

But oddly, the outside of that receiver is still within spec, and didn't bulge at all. A lever-gun specialist I then spoke to said it probably lengthened rather than swelled, and the whole bbl would not easily spin out. Headspace within the rim would be unchanged, but the distance from the back of the case to the front of the bolt would be subsantially bigger. He said to check it (unofficially) by applying some masking tape (which is about 1 thou. or so thick per layer, roughly) to the back of a new case and see if it would chamber. It should go, up to about (max-max) of 3 thou.+ of headspace clearance, but if I could get a lot more than that, it was stretched. In fact, I could get about 12 thou. in there! Ooops!

So, the fact is the receiver had gotten a lot longer, and when metal is stretched like that, the internal matrix is substantially changed, and probably isn't safe any more, esp. with the high-pressure .44 Mag chambering. We talked about re-chambering & re-boring it into .45LC, but again, that metallurgical matrix change is not worth betting on the structural integrity of your brainpan.

Too bad; I only hope he doesn't just try to sell it at a gun show.... He says maybe he'll just leave it visible in his truck so some thief-idiot can steal it. Kah-boom: gotcha?

Moral: not every stupid error can be repaired.
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My brother is notorious for 'loaning' guns to people who call him, usually at 2 AM. having heard a 'bump in the night'. I do not loan him, or anyone else, a gun. These are the same people who brag about having multi-thousand dollar stereo systems, swimming pools, foreign expensive cars, and/or ridiculous 'works of art' by people I never heard of. My wife, maybe. My toothbrush, possibly. My rifle, get out and don't come back.
 

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Re: Problem

What a testament to John Browning's design and Miroku's manufacturing standards that this rifle held up so well. After all the 1892 is a miniature version of the 1886 and was designed for far less powerful cartridges.
Browning's twin vertical locking lugs on the 1886 made Winchester's older designs seem anemic and kept them viable in the smokeless powder era.
I own several Browning replicas ( Models 53, 65, 71 and 1895) and they are all superb rifles. I also own a Browning Citori shotgun and a Winchester Model 52 replica made by Miroku and I am very pleased with them all.
 

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my brother had a belgian FAL that he loaned to his father in law, who proceeded to shoot abunch of corrosive through it. He got it back 4 months later, barrel looked like a sewer, I soaked the gas piston for 2 days before it would budge. its been rebarreled since but his father in law would not admit any blame. weird.
 

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I had a Browning 1886 (that I traded off to help fund my Socom16 purchase) and I still have my trusty Browning 71 in .348WCF. It BETTER be a strong action to handle that bruiser...

Good thing he didn't try those .44 loads in a Winchester or, perhaps, even a Marlin.
 

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DO NOT EVER LEND YOUR: 1) CHAINSAW, 2) ANY GUN, 3) BULLET MOLD(S), 4) RELOADING DIES, 5) TOOL(S), 6) WIFE/GIRLFRIEND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER, 7) ANYTHING ELSE YOU VALUE TO ANYONE!
There, fixed it for you!
 

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The Japanese rifles and shotguns are nice. Good steel, good wood, good fit/finish. If anything, my Miroku Citori Brownings will outlast my Belgian Superposed Brownings. At the rate we're going Miroku (yen v. dollar) has to be losing $$$ on every U.S. order. I hate to see the Japanese throttle back from our marketplace (e.g., Nissan's recent announcement of export cuts to U.S.) when nobody stateside is building articles as high quality any more.
 

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people are stupid in the extreme. It aint like you can make the .44 an elephant gun, or that you need such, anyway. It aint like it was a pocket 380, which benefits from more power. so it was just stupid to bother with hot loads in a lever action pistol caliber carbine.
 

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A couple years ago I wandered into my LGS and they had a Browning BR in .300 Win that had been 'loaned' to someones Brother. He had dropped it muzzle down in the mud, then took a stick and picked out what he thought was all of it.
Of course when the rifle was fired it burst the barrel. The barrel was split length-wise into three pieces. You could have stood it on end and made a very nice floor lamp out of it.
As the OP said, never lend anything you want to get back to anyone. Especially a gun.
RD

Wow! I searched back thru old photo's and actually found one I took of this rifle. The Brother who had loaned the rifle had never checked it upon getting it back, after a few months he had taken it to the range to shoot. Luckily for him he was holding it with his left arm curled under instead of grasping the forestock. I bet he flinches every time a car backfires to this day.

 
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