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Load question (what not to do?)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 16:01
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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I took my YHM .308 Phantom to the range for the first time today.

Round 1 and 2 down range looked great (shift in POI about 2 MOA.)

When i squeezed off round 3, I got powder from the action in my face(bolt action 40X, tack-driver) and pulled away from the gun to see smoke coming from the action and trigger well.  Not good!  The sound the round made was "off."

I checked the target and the round hit where I was aiming (therefore projectile was not stuck in bore.)  When I tried to run the bolt, there was more resistance than usual turning the bolt handle, but the round extracted fine, but failed to eject - it was stuck to the bolt face.

I pulled the bolt and checked the case and this is what I found.  The primer was no longer seated, the brass shows no pressure signs (no split walls, no bulges that I see, but there is obvious sign of powder burn on the head stamp (haven't seen that before) - and there was more resistance pulling the bolt, which is unusual.

I stopped shooting that gun, pending a break down and inspection,  and pulled the can to inspect for any problems (baffle strike, anything.) No can problems.

I moved the can over to a 6.8 AR upper and kept firing, no issues with that gun, everything worked as it should.

SO, is this a rifle problem, an ammo problem, or a can problem?

The Ammo is Hornady TAP, brand new.

Anyone seen this before?









Notice the flame-kissed head stamp and the burnt edge of the primer.  Did Hornady screw up?

Edited by Rancid Coolaid - October/07/2009 at 16:03
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 16:12
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Holy Crap, RC!  I don't know what to say on that.  Wrong size primer?  I would say Hornady messed up though.  Glad eveything else is ok...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 16:13
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I hope the rifle is, can't yet say.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 16:20
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I have read about hornady having weak primer pockets in their brass.  I was reading about the 6.5 creedmore and came across people talking about problems they have with it.  After 1 firing the primer pocket was ruined and they were popping primers. 

I wonder if that carries to some of their other brass as well. 

It seems to me it would have to be either that or it had to much powder in it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 16:28
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It has been pointed out to me that there are a few signs of over-pressure (flattened head stamp, ejector mark on the head stamp.) 

I've been reloading for awhile and never push my rounds that hot, I guess.


That damned rifle better not be screwed up!  he's my special boy!



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 17:37
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Only once have I ever seen that. I made a mistake on one of my handloads, and they were way too hot to be shooting at 80 degrees. I didn't get any powder in the face, but the primer was pushing out, and I did have extractor marks, and there was actually brass sheared off from where brass flowed into the ejector pocket. Bolt lift was VERY stiff. I would guess Hornady messed up somewhere. Look your weapon over good, but the ammo is my guess.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 18:13
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Glad you are OK, RC.  I heard some rumors about TAP ammo a couple of months back, but never followed through, as I don't use it.  Once again, glad you are OK...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 18:47
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You should call Hornady.  I had some problems with 22-250 ammo.  The necks would crack when fired.  They told me it was a bad batch of cases (make by winchester of all things).  The replaced the ammo for free with a new batch.  I am sure they would be interested in hearing about this.

In another case (not related to Hornady).  I fired a round through my 270 several years ago, that did that.  Turns out I had made a mistake on my seating depth that caused excessive pressure.  I never even found the primer.  Gun checked out fine.

Hope your rifle checks out, and glad you are OK after that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 20:33
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 Kinda hard to tell from the pics, but the case neck looks a bit odd- almost as if it was partially sized after firing. Was your rifle chambered with a tight-neck specification of some sort or is the brass unusually thick at the case mouth?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 20:47
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An overpressure load and a blown primer.  There is brass flow on the case head.
 
I have had several blown primers but they were all in one gun, it was a pre-64 winchester 264 with a lot of head clearance.
 
Blown primers will not normally harm your gun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 04:16
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I have had the same problem with overworked Lapua brass. The primer pockets expand. I have had about 3 blown primers. No damage to the rifle occurs. There is a blowback leak-off system incorporated in most actions as a safety. 
So the problem may be a faulty case, maybe an oversized primer pocket.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 06:29
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 Sometimes a blown primer or a gas leak around it will burn a small crater into your bolt face about an eigth of an inch from the firing pin. Check for that, but even if there is one, it would probably be only cosmetic damage.
 As others have said, it was clearly an overpressure load, which is why it swaged the casehead into your bolt face.
 I wonder about the cause of it, though.
Can you post pics of the two previously fired cases next to the one that blew?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 06:49
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Yea, will post.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 07:26
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I had the same thing happen when I tried a new bullet once and didn’t drop powder down. The new bullet must have been just a tad harder and caused the pressure to spike to fast it blew the case into the bolt face and busted the ejector and blew stuff into my face. It made my lips numb for a few minutes. I’m glad you’re okay. It might not be a bad idea to have the ejector, extractor, and the action checked for stress cracks I’m sure it’s okay but you never know.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 10:26
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Here are more pictures of the offending case and the prior expended brass from the same box.

Also, emailed Hornady, nothing yet, I'll let you know how that goes.  Till this is resolved, I will not buy another TAP round for anything, and will avoid Hornady in general - till I know they do the right thing by their customers.


You can almost read the head stamp (in reverse) off the bolt face.




Here are the 3 I fired, in chronological order, and the rest of the box.





Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 10:58
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Looks like the first 2 almost had head case seperation. Is the length of the brass right? it migh have crimped the bullet to the case if it was to long.
 
Take the ejector out of the bolt and see if the spring and pin and ejector is still in good working order. also look at the extractor to make sure it didn't brake it also.Take a small punch and try to move it around on the bolt face and lok for small gaps.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 11:18
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Glad you were not hurt.  Curious to the response of Hornady.  Hope your gun was not damaged.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 14:34
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I talked to Hornady, they want it all back to test.


They will be replacing it, so I am told.
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