.223 bolt action rifle bolt damage after case head failure


August 14, 2013, 02:18 PM
Since I am the author of the Gun Log SPC iOS app I have a lot of friends that email me their shot groups, info on new firearms, and info on failures. I just got this info the other day concerning a CZ 527 .223 REM shooting Federal .223 ammunition.

My friend and myself are curious to hear opinions on this failure. Cartridge's fault? Rifle's fault? Both?

Here is the info I have received at this time.

The bolt stayed in place.
The bolt had to be hammered out by a gun smith.
The extractor was badly damaged and a piece of the bolt head is cracked and missing.
No bulges in the barrel that are visible.
Ammo was factory Federal loads, no reloads / handloads in the mix. The ammo is .223 REM and is NOT 5.56 NATO.
Ammo was fed from the magazine.










It looks like the slot where the extractor fits next to the bolt face cracked.
The extractor collar is missing, I do not know at this time what happened to it.

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August 14, 2013, 02:37 PM
Cartridge's fault.

It is a classic case head failure, due probably to an over-load, or a squib load before it sticking another bullet right in front of the chamber.

The rifle did what it is supposed to do.

That is fail-safe in such a manner I assume the shooter was not injured.


August 14, 2013, 02:46 PM
I'd suggest the owner contact Federal with the ammo lot number and these photos.

If there was a squib the shot before, the shooter shares the blame for not noticing the lack of recoil, in this case there would likely be a "ring" in the barrel if not a noticeable bulge. But Federal shouldn't be packaging squibs either.

August 14, 2013, 02:47 PM
The shooter is uninjured, but according to my friend that is because he was wearing the proper protection, otherwise there would have been an eye injury.

August 14, 2013, 02:48 PM
As far as I know there was no squib load. I asked that specifically and also asked to check the barrel for a bulge or damage.

August 14, 2013, 03:13 PM
what is the sliver moon shape around the primer pockets?

August 14, 2013, 03:33 PM
what is the sliver moon shape around the primer pockets?
I think that is an artifact of the photograph itself. I do not think the primers are some how not centered or seated.

August 14, 2013, 03:37 PM
The rings around the primers are from the mil-spec primer crimp.

That is perfectly normal on all mil-spec ammo, and has nothing to do with the case failure.


August 14, 2013, 05:11 PM
Anyone else think it curious that .223 ammo would have 5.56 mil-spec crimped primers? I thought Power Shock was a hunting ammo product line.

August 14, 2013, 05:22 PM
What weight bullet?

August 14, 2013, 05:36 PM
What weight bullet?
He didn't say.

August 14, 2013, 05:46 PM
I'm just wondering if a heavy bullet found its way into some varmint loads.

If we assume the factory loading machine was dumping powder charges appropriate for varmint loads, you might get enough fast-burning powder into a .223 case that you could blow up an otherwise sound case from "too much powder."

If the components were otherwise "correct" and there was no bore obstruction, it would have to be a defect in the brass.

Either way, I think Federal eats this one, and issues a recall for the ammo lot in question.

Assuming the shooter was not seriously injured, take lots of pics, and send the ammo and the rifle to Federal.
Let them pay for the mess.

If the shooter was permanently injured, keep custody of all evidence, and engage the services of an attorney who handles personal-injury matters.

August 14, 2013, 05:54 PM
That's a case failure. I would send the gun to CZ for their opinion and repairs and send the ammo back to Federal and ask them to make good.

August 14, 2013, 09:29 PM
Factory ammo you say? I have had factory ammo with no flash holes in my pistol carry ammunition. I only happened to find it due to changing to a new box. That whole year I carried that round it was a dud.


I load my own for CCW.

I am sorry to OP that his rifle detonated.

Chief 101
August 15, 2013, 12:11 AM
I would not be so sure that thisis factory ammo, looks to me like the crimped primer pockets were beveled for reloading...jus'sayin'

30 dirty 30's
August 15, 2013, 05:46 AM
I think it's logical to assume that anything made as a .223 may likely find its way into an AR or similar weapon. With free floating firing pins, high bolt velocity, etc, it makes sense from a liability and perceived quality standpoint to put in harder primers and crimp them in place.

August 15, 2013, 06:55 AM
Crimped primers are commonplace, although not yet ubiquitous, in commercial .223/5.56 ammo in today's market.

August 15, 2013, 08:54 AM
I sent some more questions to my friend and he responded last night and sent some more photos, many of which are in better focus.

These were the first eight rounds through the gun. It hadn't fired anything else. It was a brand new rifle.

Lot # V49T502
55 Grain Soft Point Ammo.

There was no squib load, the previous shot punched the paper target.





August 15, 2013, 08:56 AM





August 15, 2013, 08:57 AM




August 15, 2013, 08:58 AM


August 15, 2013, 10:14 AM
I have a new unfired CZ 527 .223. For reference I have taken some pictures of the bolt.





August 15, 2013, 10:23 AM
Brand new and beautiful gun...I hope Federal replaces it for him 100%...not just repairs, but a full replacement

August 15, 2013, 11:45 AM
Look at this image... I can see the letters R E M on the bolt face.


August 15, 2013, 08:37 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E16ESOdQ6j8/UgzNeP5tnGI/AAAAAAAADY4/ROSAPXIMEss/s1600/DSC00879.jpg The color of the ruptured brass just does not look right to me. Does not seem to belong to that box of ammo. :confused:

August 15, 2013, 09:20 PM
It does appear copper colored...wrong alloy in that piece maybe?

I'm not sure if higher copper content would make it stronger or weaker...

August 15, 2013, 09:39 PM
The bolt is also discolored similar to the brass

Sent from my Kindle Fire

August 15, 2013, 09:53 PM
Looks like some heat was applied to get that bolt to turn loose. that would discolor the brass too.

August 15, 2013, 10:03 PM
It is rare that a case head blows on factory ammunition but it happens. Federal owes the shooter a new rifle in my opinion.

Something that is immediate is how the strength of the modern action with modern steels, kept the shooter from serious injury.

Now just a gratuitous shot at the fan boys of vintage rifles especially the chuckle heads that claim that single heat treat 03's are perfectly fine and the bad press a lie.

Take a look a what happened to this single heat treat 03 when the case head blew. This rifle was sold on gunbroker and according to the seller, the shooter went to the hospital after this incident.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/pix432585854.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/pix432585854.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/pix041055134.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/pix041055134.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/Blown03010.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/Blown03010.jpg.html)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/pix036894768.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/pix036894768.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/Blown03009.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/Blown03009.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/bs073.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/Single%20Heat%20Treat%20On%20Gun%20Broker/bs073.jpg.html)

August 16, 2013, 01:14 AM
Primers on the previous fired cases look normal, so either a dead soft case that opened up under normal pressure, or a massive over pressure. It would take a lot more than an overweight bullet to generate the +100,000 psi pressure needed to destroy a normal case, so a defective case seems most likely.


August 29, 2013, 04:43 PM
Primers on the previous fired cases look normal, so either a dead soft case that opened up under normal pressure, or a massive over pressure. It would take a lot more than an overweight bullet to generate the +100,000 psi pressure needed to destroy a normal case, so a defective case seems most likely.

Could have been two bullets loaded one on top of the other. That's happened before.

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