.32 oddity


#1
  • I recently got a .32 fired brass shell case headstamped “FC 32 AUTO”. What is unsual about this .32 brass shell case is that it had been fired by .380 pistol. Since the .32 is much smaller in diameter it cannot sit correctly into a .380 chamber and this is a very dangerous situation for the shooter and the gun may be damaged too. The guy who gave me this .32 oddity shell case told me that at the firing range somebody else by mistake had loaded his pistol magazine with a .32 round instead using the normal .380 ammo. —> I took a comparative photo [it will posted below by the IAA member “sksvlad”] which shows from left to right: unfired .32 round, the .32 oddity, fired .380 case and unfired .380 round. Note how the .32 fired brass shell case [the oddity] is deformed at the same diameter like the .380 fired case. It’s unusual because the .32 brass shell case fired by the .380 pistol did not split. Any opinions or comments??? Liviu 01/27/09

#2

Liviu’s photo


#3

Not a really big thing… I have seen stuff like this before. The .32 is smaller and there are no pressure issues in a larger pistol. Accuracy is probably not that great.

If you really want problems try firing a 8mm mauser out of a .30-06. now there are some issues…


#4

Brass is surprising ductile, and I’ve seen even more extreme examples (for example, a 30-30 Winchester fired in a .303 British chamber); I think your picture may be mislabeled, as the two right-hand examples appear to be not .380s, but 9mm Makarovs.


#5

I have a good collection of cases that have been fired in the wrong chamber. Many are a lot worse than the one shown. These cases testify to three things:

  1. The stupidity of some shooters.

  2. The strength of modern cartridge cases and firearms.

  3. Luck.

Ray


#6
  • @ SDC: I took the picture, I selected the ammo used in the picture and you think it is “mislabeled”; you’re 100% WRONG those rounds ARE .380, NOT 9mm Makarovs. —> @ Missing Something: I do think it is a “big thing”. These accidents are created by idiots who cannot select the right ammo for their weapon, they get hurt and the anti-gun nuts will blame the gun industry and will try to restrict the gun rights because it is NOT safe to own a firearm. How do you like this??? Liviu 01/27/09

#7

Would the smaller bullet not damage the rifling by bouncing around inside the barrel? I have seen a similar warning about firing 6.5mm Carcano rounds in 7.35mm rifles. Apparently they will chamber and can be fired, but it will likely damage the rifling.


#8

Falcon

That’s an old wives tale. An undersize bullet rattling down the barrel will not hurt a thing.

Benchrest shooters often fire-form their brass by shooting undersize bullets. For example - shooting a 220 Russian in a 6PPC chamber will completely form the case. Likewise in forming certain wildcats.

As long as the shooter knows what he is doing it’s a perfectly safe procedure. A case such as Liviu shows is a different thing altogether. It was the result of shooter stupidity.

A 6.5 and a 7.35 share the same basic case and headspace so the worse thing that could happen would be a split neck.

Ray


#9

Liviu - I agree with you that from a standpoint of shooter education, using the wrong ammo in any firearm is a big deal. I think what everyone saying here is that this particular instance is not a big deal from the standpoint of potentially damaging the gun or the shooter. The pressures involved, and the fact that the gun was probably a blow-back operated pistol where the gun is designed to throw the empty case backwards under pressure makes an injury unlikely. Not impossible, of course, but unlikely.

It is a shame that people can be so careless. By the way, I also agree that the cartridges shown for comparison couldn’t be Makarov as the bullet ogive is wrong and the cases are the same lenght, 17m/m, as the .32 expanded case shown.


#10
  • @ John Moss: Since that .32 round was fired by accident [or stupidity] using a .380 pistol, I wanted to show in my comparative photo the clear difference between the .32 and .380 with the “oddity” in between. The fired .380 case and the unfired .380 round from my photo have the same headstamp markings: “LVE 99 9X17K”. It was no sense for me to use in my comparison photo a 9mm Makarov cartridge. You also mentioned correctly the difference which does exist between the ogive of the 9mm Makarov bullet and the ogive of the .380 bullet. If somebody is unable to realize that clear difference [even lookng to a photo] I understand now how some shooters can make a mistake and use the wrong ammo when firing a gun. I must admit that this .32 oddity is the only one fired shell case I have which was fired with a wrong gun. It is very true that in this situation the shooter was not hurt and the .380 pistol was not damaged but this was a lucky situation. Liviu 01/27/09

#11

@ Liviu —

I did not mean to say that its not an accident waiting to happen or that the shooter is not an Idiot and cant tell the difference between .32 and .380 as there is a BIG difference in my opinion.

I do say that’s it not a “big thing” in the sense its not a “fatal” mistake!

Small bullet in big bore = survivable

On the other hand big bullet in a smaller bore = potentially fatal!

AS for the anti-gun people… there is always something out there that they will blame on the gun. People always want an easy thing to blame and they don’t want point the finger at the person behind the trigger. Its always easier to blame the gun because the gun doesn’t protest and argue back.


#12

Unsafe arms and ammunition combinations by SAAMI:
saami.org/Unsafe_Combinations.cfm


#13
  • @ gregory: Very interesting and good to know but another possibly mistake is not mentioned there: firing by mistake a 9X19 Parabellum cartridge using a weapon chambered for the 7.62X25 Tokarev round. Liviu 01/28/09

#14

About 30 years ago I saw this strange fired case in a friend’s house. His father had a Santa B


#15

I have found quite a few of those blown out 7.62x51 cases at the local rifle range (gravel pit). I believe that all of them were fired in a 30-06 rather than a .270. I would think that shooting a 308 bullet down a 277 barrel would generate enough excitement to cause the shooter to pause to see exactly what was going on. Or maybe not. ;) ;)

A 7mm is 284", BTW.

Ray


#16

We find those “straight case” .308 quite a few times on Norwegian ranges, and we call it caliber .308 idiot.

Both 30-06 and .308 has been used extensively here, and both goes under the name 7.62.

I’ve heard that 7.92 x 57 will go through a 30-06 rifle, have not, and will ( hopefully ) never try.


#17

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]I have found quite a few of those blown out 7.62x51 cases at the local rifle range (gravel pit). I believe that all of them were fired in a 30-06 rather than a .270. I would think that shooting a 308 bullet down a 277 barrel would generate enough excitement to cause the shooter to pause to see exactly what was going on. Or maybe not. ;) ;)

A 7mm is 284", BTW.

Ray[/quote]

How would a 7.62x 51 headspace on a 30-06 chamber? Unless it was hanging on the extractor?


#18

[quote=“psg-1”]
I’ve heard that 7.92 x 57 will go through a 30-06 rifle, have not, and will ( hopefully ) never try.[/quote]

Yes or most likely the other way round.

I have posted this before on here but I will do it again to emphasise the point. Most ammo errors in rifle chambers are self cancelling because although the cases will fit they either sink too low to fire or you can’t close the bolt.
The real danger occours with the belted magmums most of which share the same common base that can be traced back to .375 H&H Magnum.

There are some spectacular possibilities for lethal combinations that really will chamber and fire.

Two other factors add to the problem.

  1. They are not usually “high burners” so the owner only buys ammunition infrequently and so may not be too sure what to ask for. Add to that confusingly similar names/ calibres.

2)They are usually top of the range/ high power rounds with little margin for error.


#19

Vince

They don’t headspace. That’s the danger. It’s only the extractor that holds them. For every one that you find laying on the ground there is probably one that didn’t fire.

You hit the nail on the head when you said, "There are some spectacular possibilities for lethal combinations that really will chamber and fire." I have suspicions that there are more accidents than we are told about. Shooter loads wrong cartridge. Shooter pulls trigger. Rifle comes apart. Shooter buries everything and makes a phoney excuse for the bruises, scratches, and blood. "I fell off the roof."

A couple of days after Christmas 2007, a guy stopped by my house and asked me to look at his new rifle. His wife had bought it for Christmas, along with a box of cartridges. He took it out to the gravel pit and couldn’t get it to fire. It only took one look. Rifle was chambered for 300 Ultra Mag but ammo was 300 Win Mag. I told him he was lucky that they didn’t fire. Could have ruined his holiday season.

Ray


#20

[quote=“Vince Green”][quote=“psg-1”]
I’ve heard that 7.92 x 57 will go through a 30-06 rifle, have not, and will ( hopefully ) never try.[/quote]

Yes or most likely the other way round.

[/quote]

I don’t think you’ll be able to close the bolt on a 7.92 x 57 rifle with a 30-06 in the chamber.

I’ll do some testing with empty cases, may add primer to see if it ignites. ( But no bullet or powder )