what other than the wrong powder causes these signs?


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Detritus
January 29, 2010, 01:25 AM
gentlemen, for the first time since I first started handloading at age 14 (near 20 years off and on) I have offically scared myself.

last week loaded up a small batch of .308, using Prvi Partizan (same as wolf Gold) brass, Winchester WLR primers, 175gr SMKs, and 41grs of IMR 4895 (the "Starting load" from the hodgdon on-line data).

I only fired three rounds, and quit because I got the following results...

Bolt was VERY stiff to open on the first two (should have stopped here and investigated further) case heads both looked like Left hand case in pic below, on #3 bolt was hard to lift, would not open (extract) had to use cleaning rod down boreto tap bolt open/ the case out, case is on Right in picture. yes that is a blown out primer, which is blackened around over 3/4 of it's circumfrence (firing pin mark indentical to Left hand example, but the primer it's edges are blwon out square to the pocket). since i pushed out the case with the gun vertical, primer was resting on the breech face

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a395/Bones_crusher/007.jpg

since this was with a starting load, a full 4 grains below the listed max, i'm flumoxed as to how i got pressure signs like this.
Also, I have used this load previously, in this gun and in the same brand (but possibly different Lot) of brass with no such signs.

help me understand, where or If i screwed this up. what all CAN cause this.

If more info is needed please ask and i will provide to the best of my ability

thank you for your time and any info you can give.

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bullseye308
January 29, 2010, 01:56 AM
First thing I would do is pull a couple rounds and double check the powder charge.

Kernel
January 29, 2010, 02:00 AM
Is it possible this brass was shot in another rifle prior to being used in your bolt gun?

Cosmoline
January 29, 2010, 02:04 AM
41grs of IMR 4895 (the "Starting load" from the hodgdon on-line data).

Just to double check, you were loading with IMR 4895 not H-4895, right?

I would make sure your scale is giving you accurate readings.

highorder
January 29, 2010, 02:14 AM
First thing I would do is pull a couple rounds and double check the powder charge.

Seconded. I think you have a problem with the scale?

Detritus
January 29, 2010, 02:27 AM
Just to double check, you were loading with IMR 4895 not H-4895, right?

I would make sure your scale is giving you accurate readings.

First thing I would do is pull a couple rounds and double check the powder charge.

tommorrow i'm planning on pulling the remaining 32 rds of this load, reweighing a few with not only the scale i used this time, but both of my other powder scales (another Lee perfect powder scale, and an old Herters) to cross check.

and Yes it was IMR 4895
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a395/Bones_crusher/IMG_0202.jpg
the only three powders that I've even brought home since moving into this house/workroom, are IMR4895, an unopened pound of IMR 4007 SSC, and the pound of W231 that hasn't left the cabinet in over a year (had to open cabinet to find it and check what it was).

Is it possible this brass was shot in another rifle prior to being used in your bolt gun?
No, I bought all of the PPU (Prvi Partizan) ammo as factory fresh ammo from midway, fired it in this rifle and this rifle only. now 50 out of the 140 pieces of PPU that i have, could possibly be on their second reloading (third firing ever). but none of the PPU brass has been fired through any other rifle.

R.W.Dale
January 29, 2010, 02:27 AM
Have you fired this rifle before? What kind of firearm are we dealing with here.


What I'm driving at is sometimes the gun is as much to blame as the load. Also were the rounds in question chronographed?

Tim the student
January 29, 2010, 02:35 AM
Just to double check, you were loading with IMR 4895 not H-4895, right?

I am a new reloader, but with as close as the burn rates are, would that be a feasible possibility? Not trying to sharpshoot, trying to learn myself here.

Is that brass military, and significantly thicker than civilian? That's what I would think (me and my inexperienced self that is) assuming the scale is good.

Detritus
January 29, 2010, 02:39 AM
Have you fired this rifle before? What kind of firearm are we dealing with here.

Also were the rounds in question chronographed?

Rem. 700 SPS-Varmint

No the rounds were not chrono'ed as i do not at this time Own a chronograph.


weird thought hit me, there may have been a small amount of oil in the chamber...
this rifle had been in storage since june of last year, and since i live in coastal texas and this area could make WOOD rust, I oiled it down well inside and out before storage. I know i patched the bore to remove any oil, but I didn't go back with any thing to check/swab the chamber to make sure.

just in case that could contribute.

Detritus
January 29, 2010, 02:45 AM
I am a new reloader, but with as close as the burn rates are, would that be a feasible possibility? Not trying to sharpshoot, trying to learn myself here.

Is that brass military, and significantly thicker than civilian? That's what I would think (me and my inexperienced self that is) assuming the scale is good.

they're close, but you still do NOT wanna mix up the load data.


as for the brass, I have no idea if it's any thicker, probably is since Prvi Partizan is as i understand it pretty much the Serbian "State ammo factory" but still a starting load shouldn't be doing this even with thicker brass, the starting loads are supposed to be low enough to safely begin with regardless of brass (as long as the brass is within reasonable specs)

If it turns out that the charges really are 41grs, then i'll retry this load in the small batch of Lake City brass I have on hand.

Tim the student
January 29, 2010, 02:51 AM
they're close, but you still do NOT wanna mix up the load data.

I fully agree, but I wouldn't think it would be possible to do that with these two powders even if they were switched up.

ETA:
as for the brass, I have no idea if it's any thicker, probably is since Prvi Partizan is as i understand it pretty much the Serbian "State ammo factory" but still a starting load shouldn't be doing this even with thicker brass, the starting loads are supposed to be low enough to safely begin with regardless of brass (as long as the brass is within reasonable specs)

I wouldn't think the brass alone would do that by any means, but if the scale was miscalibrated by a grain or two, and this brass is significantly thicker than commercial, then I would think that combination could do it.

ETA again: Did you weigh the bullets? The factory may have mislabeled a box.

Detritus
January 29, 2010, 03:26 AM
Did you weigh the bullets? The factory may have mislabeled a box.

No, but when i made my first batch of hand loads for this rifle, i used 50 bullets from this same box of 100 and experienced none of these signs. and i expect if they were the cause, i beleive would have seen signs of something.

Tim the student
January 29, 2010, 03:31 AM
No, but when i made my first batch of hand loads for this rifle, i used 50 bullets from this same box of 100 and experienced none of these signs. and i expect if they were the cause, i beleive would have seen signs of something.

Just a thought; I was trying to think of things that may have contributed to it, other than the scale issue.

Oyeboten
January 29, 2010, 04:33 AM
Are you sure these are Rifle Primers ( and not Pistol Primers)?

nicholst55
January 29, 2010, 04:40 AM
Does the brass need to be trimmed? Were the bullets seated into the lands? Both of those conditions will increase pressures, as you're probably aware.

Detritus
January 29, 2010, 04:43 AM
Are you sure these are Rifle Primers ( and not Pistol Primers)?

Yep, have 3K of them sitting here on the self, and this is the tray the primers in this batch came from (i keep any component boxes/containers till after i test fire ammo created with those components)

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a395/Bones_crusher/IMG_0205.jpg

Does the brass need to be trimmed? Were the bullets seated into the lands? Both of those conditions will increase pressures, as you're probably aware.

all brass used measured 2.010-2.013" after sizing. According to the cartridge diagram that came with my dies, trim length for .308 is 2.015" . is that correct?

the OAL was 2.800" and i'm pretty sure that the throat on most remington factory barrels is long enough that the bullet was not in the lands.

Claymore1500
January 29, 2010, 07:22 AM
Just a thought, (I only load for revolver, no rifle press yet) check bullet seating depth, crimp, and possibly, check for a carbon ring in the chamber, could be simulating an over crimp condition when firing.

Just a thought.

qajaq59
January 29, 2010, 08:50 AM
Does the brass need to be trimmed? Were the bullets seated into the lands? Both of those conditions will increase pressures, as you're probably aware. If it's not the powder this would be my guess too.

longdayjake
January 29, 2010, 10:45 AM
I am surprised no one has mentioned this one yet. Is it possible that you had your bullets seated too long and they were engaging the rifling before you fired? I have seen that really increase pressures in many guns.

243winxb
January 29, 2010, 11:14 AM
Neck diameter of a loaded round should not be larger than .343" :uhoh: If it is, bullet is crimped in the chamber, pressure goes up. :cuss: Check measurement of a loaded round to the maximums listed here. http://www.stevespages.com/page8d.htm :) Check a fired cases neck diameter, has it expanded .002" or more over the loaded rounds diameter? :scrutiny:

243winxb
January 29, 2010, 11:21 AM
all brass used measured 2.010-2.013" after sizing. According to the cartridge diagram that came with my dies, trim length for .308 is 2.015" . is that correct? Trim length is 2.005" :scrutiny: Maximum is 2.015" You are OK there. 41grs of IMR 4895 The powder scale may have been set incorrectly for your small batch. One notch is 5GR, that would do it if you loaded 46.0gr by mistake. We will know after you pull bullets. :confused:

Bwana John
January 29, 2010, 11:31 AM
Weigh the brass. If it is significantly heaver than commercial it could be your problem. Thicker mil-spec brass requires 10% reduction for starting loads.

Mr_Pale_Horse
January 29, 2010, 11:36 AM
1. Measure and report the case capacity for the PPU cases. Fill with water and weigh the water in grains.

2. If you can, make sure the loaded cases were not resized short, resulting in excess headspace. Partial full length resize or neck size.

3. IMR 4895 can detonate at about 10% below minimum load density. Given an unknown case capacity, the load may be too light.

essayons21
January 29, 2010, 12:55 PM
My guess would be a scale that was not zeroed, or on an angle.

Other option would be something in the chamber/throat area, i.e. oil.

I don't think you have an issue with the brass, I shoot prvi partisan all the time in a remington, and the increase in pressure/velocity wouldn't be causing those signs if you started at min. load.

The first thing I thought was bullets seated into the lands. Double check the zero on your calipers. I have heard, but never seen, that too little neck tension with a bullet seated well off the lands can cause the same phenomenon, basically the primer ignition will push the bullet into the lands, causing pressure spikes when the powder ignites. Maybe check the neck tension.

If all that fails, contact IMR with the batch number of the powder.

NVMM
January 29, 2010, 01:12 PM
I think oil in the chamber has pushed the cartridge back against the bolt leaving the impression.
I think your fireing pin hole is on the large side allowing for primer flow.
I don't think you are seeing high pressure signs as your primer looks rather normal.
The primer has not filled out to the edges of the primer pocket.
I would be interested in your findings.
Thanks

rcmodel
January 29, 2010, 01:44 PM
Oil in the chamber didn't cause the the fired primer to fall out of the case.

That, and the clear impression of the ejecter hole in the bolt face on the case head can only be caused by a way over-pressure load.

I agree if the Prvi Partizan brass doesn't have way less capacity then what he was using before, the scale was probably set wrong.

rc

243winxb
January 29, 2010, 01:57 PM
Other have had problems with this brass in 308 http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2511043/m/2841002521

Detritus
January 29, 2010, 02:50 PM
in ref to the primer, I will say that I was kinda wondering if that might happen eventually. since the effort involved in primer seating was, inconsistent. I use a LEE Auto-prime and with most of the PPU brass primer seating has been typical to a bit stiff, a few though (3-4 out of 50) the primer went in a little too easy to be frank

obviously still open to other info/possibilities, but as of right now i think i'm dealing with a scale issue and a bad piece of brass (for the blown primer).

will do some "forensic work" on my remaining loads this evening.

Kernel
January 29, 2010, 04:18 PM
The Lyman Case Length Headspace Gage 308 Winchester is back in stock at Midway.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=271313

Would help eliminate any ammo related problems. Get'em while you can. Been on back order, everywhere, for months.

essayons21
January 29, 2010, 05:52 PM
I'm guessing since the brass was bought new it didn't have a military primer crimp?

alsaqr
January 29, 2010, 07:44 PM
How much does that PP case weigh? Weigh a case and I will tell you if it is thicker than a Winchester, Remington or Federal case.

nastynatesfish
January 30, 2010, 10:41 AM
Kinda looks to me like its more the flash hole. I had some mil surp brass that I full length sized and they were burning out around the pimer throught the pocket. Either that or maybe the primer pockets are worn uneven from a pocket cleaning tool, that happens with my 7mag brass. Do the primrs fit tight?

Detritus
February 2, 2010, 10:15 PM
thanks for the info and sugestions so far guys. Unfortunately somethings have come up in the rest of my life, that i need to take care fo before i can et back to anything to do with firearms, or any of my other hobbies. :banghead:

so, I WILL get back to this, but it's gonna be a week or so.

Tim the student
February 2, 2010, 10:54 PM
Hey, do what you need to do, but let us know. I'm anxious to find out what it apparently was.

Afy
February 3, 2010, 02:58 AM
I think too much powder, due to issues with the scale. I cant think of anything else that would blow out a primer.

loadedround
February 3, 2010, 10:55 AM
I have seen PRVI cases around but frankly I know nothing about them. However given all the facts, I have to assume(and could be wrong) that these are either military cases or cases with less internal volume than American made 308 cases and therefore less volume would definitely increase pressure and those cases do show signs of high pressure. I would weigh several of these cases filled to capacity with water and then weigh a standard case the same way to compare weights(volume), and if you can, tare your empty cases to zero or weigh the contents separately. I think you may be very surprised on your findings. I would either reduce my starting load by at least 10% or scrap these cases and buy some Remington or Winchester cases. Be safe and don't shoot any more of your starting loads!

Detritus
February 12, 2010, 04:46 AM
little bit of an update.

I've decided to operate on the assuption that my scale was out of whack. In part since the previous set of loads i did, that did not exhibit pressure signs, were 41.0-41.5grs.

on the subject of case capacity, these cases have noticably less capacity than LC (ie known mil-spec) brass, but not vastly less. just that side by side you can see that the top of the charge is lower in the PP case. in the LC cases i would Definitely have to use a further reduced starting charge, i'd be afraid that a 175smk seated to a COL of 2.80" would be a slightly compressed load in the Lake City cases.

so i'm going to give this one more try with a different and freshly calibrated scale, using the 41gr load and see what happens. if i get signs this time, i'm changing powders and tossing the 4895 i have left.

lwknight
February 12, 2010, 06:00 AM
Unless you are talking about the ring around the firing pin, that primer does not look like too high pressure. Its hard to tell from the picture if its just a mark or actually protruding more than a few 1/1000s The other mark is your ejector pin. Maybe it got trash behind it or something.

gearheadpyro
February 12, 2010, 07:58 PM
I shoot that exact same load with both Lapua and Winchester brass and have never had a high pressure issue. I would not suspect the load unless the scale was whacked, as previously mentioned.

The firing pin hole on my rifle (same as yours, 700 sps varmint) is loose as well, I get minor flowing at very mild loads. Yours is worse than mine has ever been.

I'm going to put my verdict in for a touch of oil in the chamber causing the extractor marks, and loose primer pockets causing the one to fall out.

Any chance you remember if the load felt really hot when you shot it?

SlamFire1
February 12, 2010, 09:15 PM
That load is perfectly safe in all my rifles.

Trim your brass to 2.00 inches. Keep the case mouths away from the throat. Even though you are trimming "below max", you are only a couple of thousands from max. Better be .015 from max.

I can tell you that nothing bad happens if you trim way below minimum. But case necks in throat, even by a little bit, bad things will happen.

However, I suspect that you put in more powder than you think.

I have check weights and use them on my scales all the time.

I think oil in the chamber has pushed the cartridge back against the bolt leaving the impression.
I think your fireing pin hole is on the large side allowing for primer flow.
I don't think you are seeing high pressure signs as your primer looks rather normal.

I have liberally coated cases with motor oil and never saw pressure indications on normally loaded cartridges. Blown primers are a positive indication of too high of pressures. Case head flow into the extractor groove is another indication of high pressures.

Unless the primer is blown, you really can't tell pressures. Primers Lie.:evil:

Detritus
February 13, 2010, 05:52 AM
Any chance you remember if the load felt really hot when you shot it?

I don't remember these loads being especially "lively". then again for recoil from firearms chambered for greater than .223 in general and .308 in specific my personal "expereince based benchmark" is the little pre-Mohawk model 600 that was my intro to rifles chambered for "full power" rounds. and that gun "killed on both ends" so to speak, .308 in a rifle lighter than many people's target style 10/22s.:uhoh:

hopefully i'll be able to try out the fresh batch later today, depends on weather, range availability (with a silhouette match on the main rifle range today, the secondary 100yd area maybe crowded), and whether i can get a nap between now and noon.

Detritus
February 15, 2010, 04:26 AM
based on the experience i had today, I'm pretty much positive that this was a brass issue.
I know that some of the primer pockets were on the loose side and that is a very viable explanation for the two blown primers.
Beyound that I realized that,
ALL of the brass that has stuck in the chamber was on it's 2nd run through the reloading process
even when i was factory new, the Prvi Partizan ammo/brass was difficult to extract, and a few round were stiff on chambering
I never expereinced any issues in chambering or extraction with any of the winchester or LC based ammo i've run through this rifle (only purchased the PPU because my stock of LC and Win was too low)
the 10 rounds i made up using this same load in Winchester brass (only have 20pcs. used the Win brass to use up the small amount of powder left) likewise had no issues


so at this point I have decided to de-prime and most likely sell my remaining Prvi brass to the scrap man for a few bucks. and then start over with Winchester or similar commercial brass.

Wildyams
February 15, 2010, 06:14 AM
Have you fired any factory loaded ammo, or the same load with different brass since you first posted? Just to rule out something being wrong with the rifle (no idea what that would be though)

Detritus
February 15, 2010, 04:32 PM
Have you fired any factory loaded ammo, or the same load with different brass since you first posted? Just to rule out something being wrong with the rifle (no idea what that would be though)


Yes as Noted:
the 10 rounds i made up using this same load in Winchester brass (only have 20pcs. used the Win brass to use up the small amount of powder left) likewise had no issues

in the past year i've run three different brands of brass through this rifle,
20rds Winchester (factory hunting fodder) this is of course the source of the comparison brass from yesterday. No issues at any time


50rds of Georgia Arms 168gr "Match" on LC brass, mixed brass lots including some of the Knurled base cases, bought circa '95 came in a heavy plastic heat seal bag. 10 or so out of 50 suffered split cases of varying severity. but nothing traceable to the rifle, the case failures were typical of old, abused, been reloaded one time too many cases


140rds/pieces Prvi Partizan originally as factory 175gr "Match" ammo (crap, uses 175gr FMJ), the best i can say for this stuff is that when factory fresh it all fed, and all went boom. but even on it's first firing (fresh from factory) some of the cases showed sticky extraction, when reloaded the primer pockets varied in "tightness" (i use a hand priming tool, i can feel the difference), and after bieng neck sized.. well that's why this thread exists, for me this brass/ammo has been utter garbage.


Oh i've also run 3 or 4 rounds of factory or full-length sized handload, borrowed from fellow shooters just to make sure.

at this point the Prvi is the only brand that has given me continued trouble (can't bring myself to blame the G.A. stuff for the split necks etc, since it was cheap to begin with, and improperly stored for at least a portion of the 14 years it sat in my ammo stash before being fired.)

and now i'm off to houston with pen and pad to see how much the locals are charging for the components i need. powder i know i'll get local (houston), but the next batch of bullets and the replacement batch of brass I might get off the net.

Beelzy
February 16, 2010, 11:30 AM
Military brass is thicker and hence has less case capacity.

It's the brass.

atblis
February 16, 2010, 12:51 PM
What if the brass was way too soft? That could certainly cause the flow into the ejector cutout (I've seen it with Federal brass many times).

Detritus
February 16, 2010, 12:59 PM
What if the brass was way too soft? That could certainly cause the flow into the ejector cutout (I've seen it with Federal brass many times).

that's pretty much been my conclusion at this point. that the brass is so soft it's effectively useless.

rwsmuin@hotmail.com
February 16, 2010, 03:44 PM
From my 40+ years experince of reloading, it looks like a powder problem, a under load can and will cause that problem and a over load will do the same thing. Check out your scale and see it they are working properly. A electronic scale can be thrown of by a few factors also, draft, phosphorescent lighting. not being warmed up before you set the scales up!
And yes this has happened to me over the last 40+ years!

ancientriflesmith
April 2, 2010, 10:33 PM
I'm visually impaired and may have missed this point if someone else made it........but how the cases were powdered could be the cause. Sometimes if throwing charges with a powder measure, a dump may not be complete and the next charge will be heavy. Tubular powders are prone to do this if ever so slightly damp or a little oil or grease gets into the measure's throat. From the photos of the cases, I'd say the left one is pretty hot and the blown primer and enlarged pocket would have taken at least 75,000 psi or more. One last thought, could the case have been annealed somehow? Just thank God you were using a stout bolt action and not a break open action like H&R. If you weighed every charge then the only factor I see coming in play is the bullet seated out too far as previously said. Could be other causes but I think those here have pretty well covered them.
ancient rifle man
gunsmith for over 50 years.

TooTaxed
April 2, 2010, 11:20 PM
I assume you use calibration weights to set your powder measure? If you don't, you'd be surprised how much your actual weights can vary...you can't depend on the scale notations.

Also, IMR 4895 and H-4895 aren't equivalent...the IMR will give somewhat greater pressure for the same weight...

ole farmerbuck
April 2, 2010, 11:52 PM
Maybe i missed it but did you ever weigh the powder after pulling the bullets?

Detritus
April 3, 2010, 12:21 AM
Maybe i missed it but did you ever weigh the powder after pulling the bullets?

Yes, Don't think i ever directly said but yes

I weighed the charges from 5 or 6 loaded rounds and they again weighed in at 41 grs, on two different Lee scales.

in the time since i last posted to this thread i've bought 150 pieces of winchester unprimed brass, and i'm going to start over, with new brass, a new batch of powder, and some unused 150Gr hunting bullets i have lying around.
If i have issues this time around I'll pretty much KNOW it's the scale(s).

Maj Dad
April 3, 2010, 12:36 AM
In my dark early days, I started with the max load and worked down. Around 1970, I built a 308 on a VZ-24 action with a Shaw bbl, and did it up right. But my loads were not right, and I had to beat the bolt open with a piece of 2x4 on a couple of occasions. The flattened heads and primers told the tale, and I learned a valuable and (luckily for me) no-injury lesson. I have since become very attuned to those things which can cause these issues - e.g, military cases loaded to the max and not trimmed, and a cavalier attitude toward powder charges. Rarely do I find the most accurate charge is the hottest, and a deer killed with an accurate 150 gr bullet at 2500 fps is vastly superior to a deer wounded and lost to a flyer at 2900 fps. It pays to pay attention, and to pay attention to those things that demand attention.

My 2 cents based on 40 yrs of case stuffing... :o

fguffey
April 3, 2010, 04:03 PM
I test fired a Mauser I planned to build, when I finally got the case out it looked like the case on the right only worse, I started with maximum loads then went up from there.The rifle did not display a dislike for 10 different loads I used after building it into a 270 Winchester, small adjustments are required when changing loads, but, not by much.

F. Guffey

Detritus
May 7, 2010, 01:38 PM
something i just found, possibly pertainent(sp?)

the in comparison to data i'm finding elsewhere, in Lee's "Modern reloading" in particular, the loads, both starting and Max, for IMR 4895 found on the Hodgdon website are all 2-4grs hotter than those listed anywhere else.

just my own feeling here but I think I'll stick to the more conservative numbers!

TooTaxed
May 7, 2010, 03:27 PM
Detritus,
Two main things may be at play...IMR 4895 is naturally slightly hotter than H 4895, and the velocity and pressure data will vary slightly between manuals due to the specific firearms used by each company to determine the load data. Again, you will likely get slightly different results from the same manual load fired in your firearm. Cases longer than recommended (untrimmed) and long cartridges...bullets jammed into the rifling when fed...will also cause greater pressure.

That's why it's advisable to have several manuals to compare load data. Also, it's a bit risky to start out with max loads...better to start somewhat lighter, check for signs of excessive pressure...flattened primers are OK, but cratered primer indentations are getting rather hot...and work up or down as shooting results warrant.

Ridgerunner665
May 7, 2010, 03:32 PM
Oil in the chamber...


It will cause ejector marks and sticky bolt lift....but NOT blown primers.

JMtoolman
May 9, 2010, 11:25 AM
I too had this happen to me! I finely found that my brass, once fired beore I purchased it, had been annealed. It was so soft in the head, that reduced loads would cause the same kind of primer pocket swelling as your pictures. You didn't anneal them by any chance did you? I finely sent the whole lot to the trash. No more problems. Best regards the toolman.

Detritus
May 9, 2010, 11:45 AM
You didn't anneal them by any chance did you?

Nope, never annealed any of the brass i've used, of any type, and certainly not this stuff.
In the 20 years i've been handloading, I don't think i've ever used any batch of brass enough that the possibility of annealing the necks etc to extend it's life ever came up. never even came up when i was going through 2-300rds sometimes more, a week of handloaded .223 back when i was in college.

I am of the oppinion that for the most part this is all down to that particular batch of PPU being crap brass.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 15, 2010, 12:01 PM
This is really far-fetched, but I thought I would toss it out anyway since it came to mind.

Is there ANY WAY, AT ALL that someone may have been playing with your powder? People who don't shoot and don't reload don't know of the dangers involved should something be wrong.

You wouldn't happen to know of someone who may have poured some hotter, or different powder into that container, would you?

It is absolutely nothing I would ever consider, in fact all of us who appreciate reloading and shooting would not do this, however someone "playing games" with you could possibly do it if they had access to your powders.

I'm not accusing, I am simply asking, as that was one of the FIRST things that came to my mind!

Detritus
July 15, 2010, 01:41 PM
Is there ANY WAY, AT ALL that someone may have been playing with your powder? People who don't shoot and don't reload don't know of the dangers involved should something be wrong.

No, because...

for various reasons everyone else that has lived here in the time i've had powder on hand, left my reloading supplies alone.
even if one of them DID decide to monkey with powder, the only other powder they could have done so with was my bottle of Win231 which is very VISIBLY different from IMR4895



In the spirit of full disclosure, there was a small chance that I may have contaminated the powder. since i pulled down some unused .223 that i'd loaded, and those rounds might have been leftovers from when i lived in NC.
But after going back through and finding the cases involved, all bear '99 or later LC headstamps, meaning they had to be from the boxes of Black Hills remanufactured that i bought after i moved to TX, and while I have lived down here IMR4895 is the ONLY extruded "stick" type powder I have used so far.

qajaq59
July 15, 2010, 01:52 PM
Oil in the chamber could have let the cartridge fly back too fast. But I'd be checking the scale and the weight of the other powder right off the bat. It is possible that you accidently hit the counterweight on the scale for the last few cases and overloaded the case. That is, if you use a beam scale?

Detritus
July 15, 2010, 02:14 PM
BTW, forgot to add this above.

In the two months that have elapsed since i last replied to this thread, I've tossed the powder and the PPU cases that were used for the loads in question, and started fresh.

I have started over with 150 pieces of brand new winchester brass, 2 and a half boxes (250 total) of 150gr bullets, divided between 100 fresh and 50 left over Hornady interlocks and 100 Sierra 150gr SMKs , and a fresh pound of IMR 4895. so far i am quite pleased with the results, I'm getting mostly sub-MOA groups (and the ones that are larger are ME not the load or the rifle) using cheap SP hunting bullets. next I'll try the box of 150gr SMKs and then maybe see what happens using up the last 15 or so 175 grainers i have on hand.

Steve Marshall
July 16, 2010, 08:46 AM
The reason the bolt was hard to lift was due to high pressure as evinced by the "shiny" spot on the left cartridge at PU and the second cartridge where the U is partially obliterated. The load you used would not do this. Unless the powder was not 4895, and I suspect this is the case, just by the way you worded post #6, then you could easily experience high pressures.

atblis
July 18, 2010, 10:58 AM
I have a Winchester 308 that if I use soft brass in it, it gets sticky. As long as I use known good quality brass... no problems.

Maybe you should have contacted IMR? I wonder if they would have been curious to test some of your powder.

Detritus
July 18, 2010, 01:01 PM
Maybe you should have contacted IMR? I wonder if they would have been curious to test some of your powder.


at this point I doubt not only that they would want to test the powder (I did get good or at least trouble free batches of .223 and .303Brit out of that same pound of powder), but that it even was the powder at fault.

looking back on it I had indcations of "something wrong" with the Brass/factory ammo from the very beginning. I just happened to have a second, mechanical, issue that kind of hid at least one of the "soft brass" signs (slightly overlong scope base screw was interfering with both loading and extraction). But ALL my ammo related issues with this rifle occured with the Prvi Partizan ammo/brass. Also looking back, I did not experience any of these issues when using that same powder in the 20 pieces of winchester I had on hand at the time, nor in the 10-15 pieces of Lake City I tried. This whole thing came about because I ONLY had those 20pcs of Winchester and 10-15 LC, but had 140pcs of the PPU brass, and THOSE gave me trouble.

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