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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fired 7 rds of reloaded .223 in my mini 14 yesterday. 4 fired cases were fine, but 3 cracked at the base. they all fired fine, but the firing sometimes will actually blow the end cap off the magazine! They were loaded w/55 gr Nosler BT usung 26 gr varget. starting load is 25.5 gr annd max 27.5C. COAL was measured and correct. what could cause this cracking of the case? maybe just defective case? but, 3 out of 7? maybe one of u guys have had this problem. tks to all. Terry
 

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Sounds like they were reloaded a lot of times... cases will stretch and the base of the case just above the web is where typical case separation starts to occur... it gets thin there, and after a few reloadings they separate like you have noted.

nothing unusual if the brass has been reloaded a lot. especially if this is range pickup stuff...
 

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Hey, tmar04
If you would use the search mode above and look up Case split and lodged in chamber Target Model and see if the picture of the offending case matches yours. If it does, try polishing your chamber as I did. There is a bit of background in the thread about my problem. I have not had a lick of trouble since I polished my chamber and thats going on two years ago. I hope this helps.

fishslayerbob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tks for replies. now, one other problem that may be related. I get a lot of powder burn , for lack of a better term, in my magazine area and sometimes, actually quite often, the explosion of the fired round will blow the end cap completely off the magazine/clip!! this is a factory ruger 5 rd clip. Then I have to dig around in the weeds and dirt to find the base and reattach to magazine! what the h---- could this be?
 

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Section one of the cases and look for stretch inside. If its there it will be a "thin spot" in the brass just forward of the web in the form of an annular ring. If you size your brass down too far you could be creating artificial headspace issues.

Just a guess.
Keep us posted on what you find out.

All the best,
Grumpy
 

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tks for replies. now, one other problem that may be related. I get a lot of powder burn , for lack of a better term, in my magazine area and sometimes, actually quite often, the explosion of the fired round will blow the end cap completely off the magazine/clip!! this is a factory ruger 5 rd clip. Then I have to dig around in the weeds and dirt to find the base and reattach to magazine! what the h---- could this be?
That sounds like case head separation or partial case head separation. I have had those same issues with a few Enfields and the .303 British round. Where did you get your ammo from and do you know how many times the brass has been reloaded.
 

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Still waiting to hear if your brass looks like the picture in the old thread. That is not from being reloaded too many times. It is not incipient case head separation if it looks like the picture in the thread. That is too far up from the base.
 

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You can take a paper clip or piece of stiff wire and bend a little crook in the end and feel the inside of the case. If the cases are getting weak from too many reloadings you will feel the ridge just a little above the case head. If this is the case, toss the brass, it's worn out.
 

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You can take a paper clip or piece of stiff wire and bend a little crook in the end and feel the inside of the case. If the cases are getting weak from too many reloadings you will feel the ridge just a little above the case head. If this is the case, toss the brass, it's worn out.
Agree. That's a good non-destructive test.

Sectioning is a good forensic method for a case that's already cracked so it is already unusable. I should have been more clear, thanks.

Grumpy
 

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You can take a paper clip or piece of stiff wire and bend a little crook in the end and feel the inside of the case. If the cases are getting weak from too many reloadings you will feel the ridge just a little above the case head. If this is the case, toss the brass, it's worn out.
Wow, great tip, thanks. A little bent piece of wire is going in my reloading box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
there is a possibility my problem might be from ammo that I reloaded for a savage 110 varmint bolt action rifle sev yrs ago. I neck sized only instead of full length. I will reload some and full length resize and see if that helps. tks to all. that picture in the other thread didn't help me any. (poor eyesight due to advancing years.)
 

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there is a possibility my problem might be from ammo that I reloaded for a savage 110 varmint bolt action rifle sev yrs ago. I neck sized only instead of full length. I will reload some and full length resize and see if that helps. tks to all. that picture in the other thread didn't help me any. (poor eyesight due to advancing years.)
One extremely low probability cause would be chemical induced brass embrittlement. After WWI there was a whole slew of US Cal. .30 M2 cases that split (usually necks, not bodies of the cases) because they had been exposed to ammonia fumes from (I am not making this up) rotting vegetation.

Brasso will do the same thing which is why you should not use any ammonia bearing product on a structural brass component.

As I said, really unlikely. But I figured I'd toss it out into the ring just to be complete.

All the best,
Grumpy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks to all u guys for input. So nice to be able to draw upon such a wealth of info on this problem. I will advise after reloading using new brass. Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
INDYARMS WAS SPOT ON. I fired 10 rds from same box in my tc contender 223. 2 out of 10 ruptured just like the ones in my mini 14! So, it is ammo, not the gun. that is a relief anyway. this ammo has been loaded 7-10 yrs, none reloaded over max pressures, but I really dont know how many times. I always measure and trim and inspect ea case be fore trimming and loading. some are bound to slip thru. I bought 1,000 LC brass years ago, new. Been using them lately so hope they are OK. Thanks to all for comments.
 

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Okies... I got the PM as well...

Unfortunately... unless you pull all the suspect rounds... you are going to have to fire them and hope for the best... its just not good to have too many C.H.S's in the firearm... as I said in the pm... once in a RARE WHILE is one thing... a 20% or greater failure rate is something different...
Look at the bright side... pulling all the ammo will give you something to do on those long, boring, rainy weekends when reloading is the best fun you could have!! :D
And another positive note... brass is going for a pretty penny lately at the scrapyards, too!! WOOWOO!! WIN - WIN! ( well, NOT really... but TRYING to make you feel a little better about it all... )
Good luck with em...
 

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I fired 7 rds of reloaded .223 in my mini 14 yesterday. 4 fired cases were fine, but 3 cracked at the base. they all fired fine, but the firing sometimes will actually blow the end cap off the magazine! They were loaded w/55 gr Nosler BT usung 26 gr varget. starting load is 25.5 gr annd max 27.5C. COAL was measured and correct. what could cause this cracking of the case? maybe just defective case? but, 3 out of 7? maybe one of u guys have had this problem. tks to all. Terry
Try 25 gr Varget. That is supposed to be a good load
 
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