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Burst Case!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Crazy Fingers, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. Crazy Fingers

    Crazy Fingers member

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    I had purchased some commercial reloads a while back for my P32. I didn't reload for .32, and I needed to check the pistol out, so why not? Friends of mine had shot hundreds of rounds of this manufacturer's (Space Coast Bullets in Melbourne, Florida) ammo with no problem. At half the price of new factory, and with stretching the budget a priority, I gave them a go. They gave me a go as well.

    WEAR YOUR SAFETY GLASSES!!!

    32casings.jpg

    Upon further inspection, the brass was completely mixed. There were two main types, Fiocchi (one of which let go) and "domestic" (mostly RP and WW, but some others in there as well.)

    Note the ridiculous extractor groove on the Fiocchi. Note how the brass was stretched by the bullet, and the heavy taper crimp on the bullet. The OAL of the Fiocchi loaded rounds is much longer than that of the domestics.

    Please give your conjectures on the exact mode of failure. I believe it was overworked brass, possibly a lower case volume, combined with an excessively long OAL, combined with a heavy crimp leading to severe overpressure.
     
  2. ants

    ants Member

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    Just for the heck of it, have someone check out the P32 to make sure it didn't fire out of battery.

    Glad you're OK. You're right: That's why we wear eye protection, isn't it?
     
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The way the case ruptured indicates brittle brass. It's possible the brass was cleaned in an ammonia based cleaner/polish at some point in it's life, or it may have just been a bad batch of brass. I've loaded a lot of Fiocchi brass over the years and never had a problem with it.

    Back in the 1970's, when S&W was owned by Bangor Punta, they sold ammunition under the S&W label that was made by Fiocchi. I still run across some of that brass once in awhile.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  4. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    I concur with the brittle brass concept. I've had it happen with old military '06 brass from the 20's and 30's. and I know the load was a safe load.
     
  5. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    My vote is "brittle brass" also...I load lots of Fiocchi with not a wimper...
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Just what I was thinking. Ya'll beat me to it. :)
     
  7. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Brittle Fracture is....

    a sudden and catastrophic failure, with little to no plastic deformation.

    look at the exposed edges. Do they look stretched and torn, or are they shiny and grainy looking with no tearing signs.
     
  8. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    It's not the first time I've seen posts about bad ammo from Space Coast Bullets in Melbourne, Florida. Other posters have had case failures from them too. Be advised!

    NCsmitty
     
  9. Crazy Fingers

    Crazy Fingers member

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    Apparently my buddy had a .357 Sig from SCB go kaboom the other day! Blew the extractor off his gun!
     
  10. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

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    I would say the brass but also have your handgun checked out to make sure.
     
  11. Southern Raider

    Southern Raider Member

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    Non-standard to be sure, but it looks like a case improvement to deal with potential rimlock issues. Rather clever assuming it works.
     
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