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So here's the deal, my father-in-law bought this Interarms Rossi M88 at Walmart years ago (95-96). It shoots great and has a wonderful trigger in both double and single.

About two years ago we went shooting and we accidentally shot 4 rounds of 38spl+p hydrashoks that got into the range ammo bag. The cylinder was full and we only got four rnds off. The cylinder locked up and would not turn, and the hammer would not come back. As it turned out, the ejector rod had worked its self loose and locked up the cylinder. Problem fixed!

Then I notice this;


there is what appears to be a scratch on the top strap, left side. Now it does not go through and is not visible anywhere else. My problem is that I don't know if it is just a scratch or a crack in the top strap due to over pressured ammo.

What are my options to find out if this thing is safe to fire.

ps we got him a Taurus 605 for his birthday to replace this.
 

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Hard to tell from the pic, but it's highly unlikely that 4 rounds of +P would do any damage, let alone crack a frame. If there's no "scratch" that goes around the edges to the top strap on either the top or bottom it probably is just a scratch. That would be an odd place for a topstrap to crack, usually problems occur above the cylinder gap at the front of the top strap.

Cracked revolver frames are so rare I've never seen one outside of somebody who double-charged their own reloads.
 

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My guess is it got scratched when it locked-up..trying to get the cylinder open maybe?

Could probably do a penetrant crack test...using light weight fast evaporating fluid..(like brake and parts cleaner). Remove grips and cylinder...spray the cleaner on the area and see if the stuff stays wet in the 'crack'...if it evaporates off everywhere but the 'crack'..it might be cracked..if it just evaporates off and no liquid stays at the 'crack'..prolly a scratched frame..
 

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I like Z71's idea! Very cool idea!

I agree that it is unlikely a crack and probably just a scratch. You might try some fine sandpaper, like 600-1000 grit, and see if the "scratch" cleans up. Be warned the area you sand will probably look slightly different from the rest of the finish but at least you will know if it is scratch or crack. Good luck!!

P.S. You don't really want to use steel wool to clean the scratch as it can leave behind metal particles embedded in the stainless steel that will rust over time. (Just in case that thought comes to mind)
 
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