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broken locking biner screwgate
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By Matt Westlake
Apr 22, 2013
Boardwalk at Ship Rock NC
Hi all,

I managed to trash one of my Omega Pacific screwgate carabiners to the point where the screwgate failed to engage and would slide freely up and down the gate. It had been a bit sticky for while but it had never been the smoothest locker on the rack, so I wasn't overly concerned. I was using it and noticed it went from sticky to totally broken as I was trying to screw up the gate. I've had it since about 2008 or so I think. I haven't been using it exclusively or anything and I don't climb EVERY weekend so I was a bit surprised to discover it was so thoroughly ruined.

Anyway, I mailed it back to them, they looked it over and pull tested it: failed at 24.78KN vs the rated 25, so not bad in that regard. After talking it over with one of their reps it sounds like dirt got inside and made it a *bit* harder to turn, which I became accustomed to (the heart of the problem I think - user error) and the threads got off track leading to stripping. I think it's also possible that the barrel might have been squished a little into a slightly oval shape which could also knock it off track and lead to stripping the threads (and squished back because it was still round when I sent it in.)

The rep said that stepping on biners and over-tightening is how many of them end up broken. I don't think that happened to mine, but I could imagine some other things that might cause it - getting crushed in an overly full pack against other gear for example.

Just wondering if other folk had similar experience with a screwgate, or if most of you have the sense to discard stubborn-gate biners?

Matt

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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Apr 22, 2013
I had a Petzl attaché that did the same thing. They wear out.

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By Andy P.
From Wisconsin
Apr 22, 2013
Rainier
Same thing happened to me with a Metolious Element, sticky gate for awhile until threads were stripped. It went out in honorably, though, a bit of duct tape turned it into a rap ring. In retrospect I should have sent it to Metolious for some pull testing fun.

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Apr 23, 2013
I've had 1 screwgate biner do that in 25+ years. I think of it as a non-locking biner. It happens with getting debris in it with aluminum. Aluminum can deform easier than some metals. That's why only the super-lightweight crampons (for minimal abuse) are made of aluminum.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Apr 23, 2013
...
"The rep said that stepping on biners and over-tightening is how many of them end up broken."


I've found that dropping them a couple pitches or so also seems to do some damage. Sure wish the rep would have told me that before I bought them.

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