How concerned should I be?


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TEC
July 11, 2009, 04:56 PM
A had a reloaded cartride (Black Hills Ammo .223, blue box) split and completely separate in the breech of my CZ-527 Varmint. The casing split radially about 1 cm above the base. The lower and upper fragment ejected, sort of (good thing I was being careful to catch and save brass) -- I wasn't sure at first I had to look for both pieces. I then chambered and ejected a live round, unfired -- no problems. I then fired a single round -- no problem, but I could see a slight ring around the outside of the casing where, presumably, the split casing had left residue then imprinted on the next round. Done for the day. Have cleaned and inspected the weapon. No apparent problems. I wold send a picture, but I am away from my camera.

Could this imply some possible problem with the breech/bore of my new rifle, something that either predisposed to the failure or resulted from damage to the throat of the bore as the result of the split casing? Or is it an uncommon but not unheard of occurrence when shooting reloaded brass that had nothing to do with my rifle and likely did no damage?

I would hate to think too much about what might have happened with a semi-auto rifle.

In 30+ years of shooting, I have never had anything like this occur. I

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jackdanson
July 11, 2009, 05:01 PM
Are those the black hills reloads? What grain were they? Sounds either like a bad piece of brass or a headspacing problem. I wouldn't shoot it again until you get a smith to look at it.

rcmodel
July 11, 2009, 05:07 PM
I have seen several of these with Black Hills reloads.
It is not a big deal.

The shiny ring is caused by case stretching either in the first MG the cases were fired in, or in your rifle.

The shiny ring is the point in the tapered case web wall where the stretching occurs. Carried further, you have what is called an incipient case separation.
Carried further still, you have a head separation like you had.

It is not dangerous.

If I were you, I would send the broken case back to Black Hills and Whine.

They will probably just send you some free ammo to shut you up!

rc

TEC
July 11, 2009, 05:24 PM
Yes, Black Hills reloads, 52Gr BTHP, moly coated.

The rifle has maybe 100-150 rounds fired. I just inspected the brass from the last 100 rounds fired. The last 80 factory new brass prior to this box of Black Hills have no hint of deformity. I had fired 20 rounds from the box of 50 of the BH ammo. 15 brass casings are perfect. 5 of the fired brass have the very subtle ring in just the same place as the separated cartridge -- and only one round was fired after the separation occurred. I looked through the remainder of the unfired rounds and found 1 with a similar subtle ring mark on the brass. The ring is very subtle. The case is not obviously scored or otherwise damaged even where the rings can be seen. Hmmm . . .

rcmodel
July 11, 2009, 05:28 PM
It is exactly what I said it was in post #3.

Take a paper-clip and bend an L one the end.
Now, reach down inside the fired cases and feel for a stretch ring.

The ones with the shiny ring on the outside will have a thin ring inside where they stretched that you can feel.

http://www.exteriorballistics.com/reloadbasics/images/reloadingx48x1.jpg

They were originally fired the first time in a machine gun or something with excess headspace.

rc

1858rem
July 11, 2009, 05:51 PM
is that the same thing you get when a rifle case is reloaded too many times even if it is not fired in a gun with excess head space?

rcmodel
July 11, 2009, 05:54 PM
Yes.
A case stretches to fit the rifle every time it is fired.

Resizing to factory dimensions makes it smaller again, so it stretches the next time, and the next time.
Eventually it will stretch so much it breaks.

Excess headspace just speeds up the process considerably over a gun with perfect headspace.

rc

1858rem
July 11, 2009, 05:56 PM
will it hurt the rifle when the cases do separate?

TEC
July 11, 2009, 05:59 PM
Amazing what you can learn on line. You are correct. Thanks. The irritating thing is that I had just fired a 100 yard, 5-shot group just under 1 inch, which included the round with the separated case.

Note to self:
Look for shiny rings on reloaded ammo when you load the magazine next time.

BTW, the 52gr BTHP's seem to be the favorite round (so far) of my CZ-527 Varmint.

rcmodel
July 11, 2009, 06:04 PM
will it hurt the rifle when the cases do separate?
No.

They always break further into the chamber where the case wall taper ends.

That leaves enough case behind the break to provide a good gas seal.

Years ago before brass was as good, it was so common GI's were issued broken case extractors as part of their field gear.

rc

1858rem
July 11, 2009, 06:06 PM
Years ago before brass was as good, it was so common GI's were issued broken case extractors as part of their field gear.

glad things have come a long way since then, that is unimaginable to be in a firefight and stick a blown case!

Vern Humphrey
July 11, 2009, 06:17 PM
When I was a young troop, I was detailed to take some M1s to post Ordnance. An old colonel there took a liking to me, and let me help him inspect the rifles. He looked in one, and said, "Uh, oh. Stuck case."

He pulled it out with a broken case extractor. Then he checked the chamber again, and said, "What the . . .?" and pulled out a second headless case with the extractor.

He checked it again, said, "I'll be damned" and pulled out a third headless case.

The old M1 would take a licking and keep on ticking.

1858rem
July 11, 2009, 06:21 PM
wow! i wonder what the recoil was like if it kept getting worse or anything. bad ammo...thankfull for good firearms then

TEC
July 12, 2009, 07:36 AM
Here are pictures of the reloaded .223 Rem brass with stretch marks and a separated case, for those who haven't seen it. The second case completely separated but both pieces ejected.

DRYHUMOR
July 12, 2009, 10:42 AM
I shoot this also, so far, no issues. Thanks for the heads up though. I'll run through it and inspect.

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