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Hang Fire Question

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by phirel, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    The topic of hang fires comes up now and then. I wounder if a hang fire is most likely caused by delayed powder ignition or something mechanically hanging up the hammer for a short time and then allowing it to fall. I can see the possibility of a lot of debris doing this or failure of the hook to release the hammer on a release trigger. Anyone have some factual information on this question?

    Pat Ireland
     
  2. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    There is no mystery here. "Hang fires" are mechanical failures that prevent the hammer from falling and the firing pin hitting the primer. I believe hang fire was and is a hold-over from black powder days. The advise given by the believers is "leave the action closed for 30 seconds" or some other arbitrary time. to those folks I must ask what makes everything OK after 30 seconds?

    If you really believe in hang fires, you would immediately drop the entire gun into a vat of oil or water and not take it out for at least 24 hours.
     
  3. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Banned User Banned

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    Dear Pat

    The technical term "hangfie" means a delayed ignition. A defective firearm that has a dalayed firing pin strike would be a different condition.

    When I was very young, I had about a five second hangfire with a reloaded 222 Remington round. The firearm worked properly, and gave a good primer strike. If I had been in a hurry to open the bolt, I would have experienced a very bad day!

    I have seen promo game loads give hangfires of around one second on several occasions.

    I wear ESP hearing protection, which amplifies sounds up to a certain level. Hammer strikes can clearly be heard.
     
  4. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    hanfires range rule is a wait 20secounds with muzzle down range, before camber open.
     
  5. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

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    you will find that you will have many old paper shot shells will hang fire I have shot many over the years till about 2 years ago. Had one-- old Sure Shot-- Had 2 AAs in an A5 put the old shell in and pulled trigger. Nothing started to lower gun it went off and i shot the other 2 AAs bang bang had there been one more shell in gun my buddy would not be here. As the recoil and the unexpected fireing turned me around 180degrees. I have shot a lot of dirty guns , if the primer is good it will fire if hit hard enough ,not delay or "hang " Many old surpluse rounds will Hang fire. rick
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I am aware of the definition of a "hang fire", but I also believed the term is currently used to describe a gun firing well after the trigger has been pulled.

    I lean toward the position explained by Gary Waalkes, but I am seeking other opinions.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. mike Adcock

    mike Adcock Member

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    Hi Pat, I had one happen once. I was reloading the old Winchester paper Super targets with the tall paper base wad. Federal 209, 700X and the short red wad.

    Pulled the trigger, solid "click" of the hammer and nothing. Put the gun down, kept it "safe" and BANG !!!!!. Scared the crap out of me.

    My guess was some of the base wad got pushed over the flash hole during depriming and kept the full primer "shot" from getting to the powder. I never had another and never used Super Targets again.

    Mike
     
  8. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Pat, As explained in a tread a few days ago, I've experienced two over the years. A Win. model 12 can give you one where you here the hammer fall and when you start to take the gun from your shoulder it will go off. That required a gunsmith to fix. I had a case a few years ago on my K80, older style springs- wire, not coil. The spring was broken and the gun would go off on closing or when you got it part way to your shoulder, not a "hang fire" but premature and certainly got my attention in a hurry. I have experienced the slow burn from damp shells I had reloaded. You only do that once to learn your lesson, I hope. Shoot well, Bob
     
  9. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Grouse and quail feathers in hulls you neglected to inspect will give you fits in the ignition department also. Hang/slow/delayed is an apt description. Don't ask me how I know either. Hap
     
  10. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I experienced some hangfires over the years. Some were with old reloaded rifle cartridges using old components that were put together a half century ago. The stuff was old back then and was not stored under pristine conditions. There was a delay of about 2 or 3 seconds. There were also a few that did not go off. These were made from surlus components by an old timer that knew his stuff. He did say that they should be used quickly. Those that we shot when they were just made worked flawlessly. I had some others in some surplus blasting ammo that I aquired for almost nothing. I was going to pull the bullets and reuse them with fresh powder and primers. I just had to try some out and the first one scared the bejesus out of me. Needless to say, the ammo was then dissasembled, processed, and reloaded with fresh powder and primers. The old powder looked OK, but it was all clumped up in the cases. I would imagine that it got damp at some point before loading or started to deteriorate. Made for great tomatos and cucumbers that year.:) Also had some strange burn marks on the back patio. They eventually faded. I just HAD to test some of the powder and see if it would burn. It did burn, but there seemed to be more than normal left behind afterwards.

    On a few of these you could actually hear something sizzle or "cook" right before the bang. In all cases, the firearms were pointed downrange as I was trained to do.

    I had a few old waterfowl loads hang. They had obviously been exposed to the elements and were damp at one time. Two hangs out of five shells. The rest were disposed of.

    They can be pretty exciting in a revolver if you pull the trigger and advance the cylinder before they go off. I just don't need anymore of that kind of excitememnt in my life.
     
  11. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Hang fires are ammo related. That is why you wait before you open the gun. You are giving the shell time to cook off. HMB
     
  12. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

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    Had to laugh at the feather in the hull thing. I once loaded an earplug in one of mine but caught it before I finished loading it. The wad didn't seat right and when I pulled it out there was one of my blue and yellow ear plugs. The general rule I learned by was to wait at least 20 seconds (someone already mentioned that number) before taking the shell or bullet out. I see many people that the shell out almost immediately and put it in their pouch or pocket. I sure don't want to be there if one goes off in their pocket. I don't particularly like the sight of gore.
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    hoggy- I have also tried to load a shell with an ear plug near the base wad. It does not work. It is dove season and dove feathers come out easier than the feathers of any other bird I know. I, like Hap, have discovered that a feather or two over the primer makes a very poor load.

    These situations would result in poor ignition of the powder and that is a bit different from delayed ignition of the powder.

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    We can't shoot Doves up here, but Grouse and Woodcock feathers aren't a lot of help in the ignition chain either. Hoggy, how in the heck did you drop your ear plug in?? I can understand Pat's doing it as he was checking his powder flow to be sure he got it all in the 20 ga hull. The season's almost here, have fun and shoot well, Bob
     
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