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Bullet blow up?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TwoEyedJack, Apr 23, 2013.

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  1. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    I ordered some of the 150 gr. .308 caliber seconds that Midway was selling a few weeks ago as "Blemished Bullets 30 Caliber". I cannot say for sure, but I think they may be Hornady. Red plastic tip, boat tail. So I loaded some up with about 47 gr. of IMR4064 to see how they would group out of my M1.

    It was pretty windy, so I set the target at about 75 yards and started shooting. The first 3 shots went into a pretty nice little group, then the 4th shot blew over the cardboard box target holder. It looked to me like a cloud of dust hit the ground about 5' in front of the box. There is no way I flinched that bad, and when a bullet hits the ground it only kicks up dirt in a small area, which is not what I saw. The target was peppered with small holes about the size of a grain of sand.

    It looks as though the bullet disintegrated just in front of the target. Is that even possible at .30-06 velocities?
     
  2. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    It sounds like the body ruptured and spewed out the core.

    Did you fire any more down range after that or more importantly (and forgive the question, please) did you check the bore for obstructions?
     
  3. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    Yep, no bore obstructions and I rang the 175 yard gong with the other 6 rounds.
     
  4. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    I can't figure anything else but what you speculate here, Jack.

    It's pretty suspect that a batch of blems actually go a bit deeper than just surface oddities and inconsistencies, but here you got a 30-06 round that is acting like birdshot.

    Are you going to pull a couple tips off and take a look down the hole maybe?
     
  5. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    I hadn't thought of taking off a tip. Not sure what I would be looking for. My suspicion is that the jacket maybe got too hot and then quenched leaving it brittle. Is that even possible with gilding metal?
     
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Can you see any collet "pull" marks? If so perhaps the puller creased the/a jacket enough to compromise the structural integrity of that slug.
     
  7. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    I'm not sure. I'm not even sure if it is gilding metal to tell you the truth. But I would say that if there is a fracture to begin with, the sudden force is going to play havoc with it.

    I have first hand experience with a .224 55gr FMJ failing on me where the tip (ogive) of the bullet split open but did not separate from the hacket. The lead core squirted out in a kind of muffled squib way and impacted downrange.

    However, this jacket did get lodged in the bore!

    I never figured it out completely but chocked that up to low or no powder or a bad bullet jacket.


    What do you think you are gonna do with the rest of the ones you loaded?

    And.....how many you got?
     
  8. sfed

    sfed Member

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    Being a blemished bullet there is no telling why it was considered blemished, possibly it was out of balance bad enough to cause it to nose dive into the dirt in front of the box/target stand. When those plastic tipped bullets hit the dirt they will disintegrate into many pieces. Maybe this is one possible explanation?
     
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Copper doesn't get brittle from being heated and quenched. That's what ferrous metals do. Non-ferrous metals get brittle from work hardening, and once they're heated, it doesn't matter if they are air cooled or water quenched, the result is the same, which is soft copper.

    I've seen .224" bullets vaporize about 15 yards in front of the muzzle from being over driven in a 1 in 7" twist barrel. I've never seen or heard of a .30 caliber doing that, but it doesn't mean it can't happen. Normally, factory second bullets are rejected from first quality due to cosmetic blemishes. I used to buy factory seconds directly from Sierra Bullets by the pound, and still occasionally buy factory seconds from Nosler. All of them have shot just fine.

    Your load is listed by Lyman as a start load, so unless it inadvertently got overloaded, I don't think that's the issue. I have seen bullets come apart when they hit the ground, but it usually depends on the makeup of the soil, and how much rock there might be in it. If a bullet hits even a small rock, that will have an effect.

    Did you weigh the bullets prior to loading? If you got one that didn't have a complete core, that would affect how it performed, or failed.

    Just some thoughts.....

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  10. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    No marks of any kind on the jackets.
     
  11. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    I only loaded 10 rounds of the 300 I got. I think I will load up some more and see if this happens again.
     
  12. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    Interesting thread. I also bought some of Midway's "Blemished Bullets 30 Caliber" only mine are 168 grain red polymer tips. I just received them and have not inpsected them.

    I will check these out and probably do some sample weighing (I'm not too excited about weighing all 500 of them).

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Dan
     
  13. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    I have shot thousands of plastic tipped bullets at ground squirrels. They do come apart, but what I saw was a cloud hitting the ground, at least 18" wide, i.e. not a single projectile. It could have been an incomplete core and unbalanced. I'll weigh some tonight.
     
  14. PhotoBiker

    PhotoBiker Member

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    I remember those blemished bullets too. They were gone before I could get them in my cart to order them.

    Just one exhibited this? (so far)
     
  15. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I blew a core once, long time ago, and it was out of a 30-06 too. I was loading some light weight varmint bullets, and flying them as fast as I could, with lots of slow burning powder. Yep, it can indeed happen.
    But your experience sounds more like a defective bullet, thus the "blemished bullets" thing?

    GS
     
  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have a bud who individually weighs each Sierra Match King because he has found bullets with heavy and light cores. If this happens with the expensive target bullets I don't doubt it happens with the cheaper stuff.

    If that bullet was missing a lot of lead inside then all sorts of weird things could happen.
     
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I hear you. Do you give them a good hearty crimp your own self?
     
  18. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    One out of ten.
     
  19. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    No crimp at all.
     
  20. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    I give all my M1 Garand ammo a good taper crimp if there is no canelure.
    The 150 FMJ's with canelure get the roll crimp.

    Maybe you did have a loose fit in one of the cases and it popped the bullet out and into the throat when the primer fired.

    I'm supposing you are shooting and M1A here.

    You think maybe a crimp may help?
     
  21. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    I have a Lee factory crimp die that I use sometimes if I find that the SD of velocity is high.
    All the cases were once fired, full-length sized, and there was plenty of neck tension.
     
  22. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Were they all trimmed? I can envision a long case slamming home.. pinching a slug in the process.
     
  23. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    Nope, heating and cooling the jacket metal would soften it.
     
  24. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    I bought few hundred .268" blemished RN bullets from Graf and Son's, checked them out randomly, disected a few and weighed several, found naught problems.
     
  25. Hummer70

    Hummer70 Member

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    High velocity and fast twist rates can do this. Also brass build up in barrel can remove portions of bullet jacket making them thinner.

    Also a raised sliver of steel on a land can do it.

    I have seen it occur on 6.5X284s about two hundred yards down range and all you see if a puff of gray smoke. I have had it happen on 223s with 50 grain bullets as well.
     
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