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Sako 85 Finnlight 270 blew up

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 15:14
ccoker View Drop Down
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So...
I have been holding off on posting this until I got a good letter together for Sako/Baretta with all the pertinent facts documented

First, the letter:


The first shot exploded the gun.

Thankfully I suffered only minor injuries but was obviously very shook up.

As a long time fan and owner  of multiple Sakos (and later Tikkas) I would like to think it was just a total fluke!

I saw no barrel obstruction and have no idea why this happened.

In the interest of full disclosure:

I do reload and have been for many years and am VERY cautious.

My load was within spec according to the bullet maker (Barnes)

I pulled the remaining loads and they were all perfect.  I use an electronic scale and load one bullet at a time for precision, not volume.  I verified the primers were the correct type.  I had cleaned the barrel the previous week and had fired less than 20 rounds through it.

For reference, powder was 59g of H4350, brass Federal, primer CCI BR, bullet was a Barnes 110g TTSX

This data is at the max per Barnes and shot fine the previous week

I had carefully worked up this load looking for pressure signs.  I have the brass from those rounds and each is marked with a sharpie for the powder charge, I would be happy to send them to you.

The bullet did make it on to the paper at 100 yards so it was not a barrel obstruction.

If you decide you can replace it with another gun I would be an estatic Sako customer for life (already am really)

 If that is the outcome, I would prefer to get a 25-06 in a standard stainless/synthetic model, I don’t think I can ever fire a 270 again.

2nd, the pics







So..
I post this NOT to slam Sako or start a panic
but, this forum has some of the best people on it of any gun related forum and I would like to get other's opinions on as to what could have happened

I double checked everything and don't think I screwed up, I almost wish I did so as to be able to positively ID the root cause of the failure and if I caused it, to make damned sure I never let it happen again...

If it was simply loading at the edge, well, I guess I know firsthand what can happen
my goal was not to wring out the absolute last few FPS but according to Barnes and others their bullets tend to group best when pushed hard...   

I feel very fortunate to have sustained only minor injuries, and if it is deemed that I screwed up by running too hot and have a $1400 paper weight, so be it.. at least I have my fingers and can see.. and am alive..  I have kids I want to see grow up..

If that is deemed the case, then please let this be a lesson to us all

My brother has a friend who designed firerarms for Baretta who we hope can assist.

thank you
Charles




Edited by ccoker - October/21/2009 at 15:15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 15:34
mike650 View Drop Down
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Glad to hear your OK!! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 15:48
ccoker View Drop Down
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thanks
suffice it to say, it was a scary thing
and it took some effort to get back to shooting the first time out

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:00
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Wowza, I can't believe it blew up like that and still shot the projectile down the barrel.  I wonder if the barrel has the wrong caliber whole drilled in it. 

Glad you are okay, that had to have been scary.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:05
ccoker View Drop Down
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no, I have had the gun over a year and have shot it plenty to know it was working fine

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:13
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Ahh, I took it it was a new gun as since it said the first shot exploded the gun. Dang that is crazy, keep us posted when you figure out what caused it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:16
ccoker View Drop Down
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thanks
perhaps I need to change that first sentence then
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:33
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Hmm... Tell us about the cases?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:42
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Charles, Yes I thought the rifle was new also from what you wrote. I too am glad you were not hurt (for sure) and actually from the looks of that, Im surprised you were not.. Pretty lucky dude really, damn are you sure it did not get a double charge of powder accidently? Thats one of my worst fears of reloading, to much powder by accident...Just a thought, again glad your you are ok and actually shootin again..
 
JF
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:44
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WOW!  I'm glad to hear you're o.k.!
 
Just looking at the damage, it looks like a case head separation to me.  How many times was the particular case you were using reloaded?  I'm assuming there was no barrel damage here, given that it isn't clearly shown in the pics...
 
Is there anything left of the case that you could post a pic of? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:56
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That is amazing! Glad you are ok. Hope it gets worked out. Do you have pictures of the cases?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 16:57
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I had a .308 give me a problem a week ago, but NOTHING like that!  Glad you are OK, sorry about the gun.

The trouble with a .270 is that the case has capacity for a double charge, smaller (most short-actions)cases do not.  My guess is Sako will do something for you, but since it was a handload, I doubt they'll step up and make you whole.

Is the case still in the chamber?

Given where the energy went (and how much there was), I'd say you were WAY, WAY over pressure.

You say the round was on target?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:02
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Thats crazy, good to hear you are ok!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:11
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Glad you are ok.  Darn scary.  Given the powder, case should have been fairly full so a double charge would have been spilling out of the case.  Looking at the damage very glad you are ok.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:15
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im glad to hear you survived that, it looks horrible. i hate to break it to you, but i have a funny feeling that sako wont help you out at all. remington puts in their owners manual a clause that strictly states that any use of handloads will void the factory warranty in full. sh*ty deal, but at the same time they cant control the guy who owns the gun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:17
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Shocked YIKES MAN............I am glad the injuries were minor. Talk about shell shock....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:21
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I've had a rifle blow up in my hands once.  

Definitely not an experience I care to repeat.

I am glad you are OK.  The damage looks like case head separation, but I am not an expert.

ILya


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:36
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As Pyro stated, the fact you were using a handload probably means Beretta/Sako won't accept any responsibility for replacing your rifle, for the very reason he stated.  You say your load was safe, and it may very well have been, but you can't prove it in this situation.  The round has already been fired, so it becomes your word vs. a blown up rifle, and all they have to verify is the blown up rifle.  They have no control over the proper use of reloads, and they cannot accept liability for things outside their control, so most firearms companies simply refuse to provide any warranty coverage when the use of reloads is involved.  Really, I don't blame them either.
 
Who knows, maybe they'll take care of it.  I highly doubt it, though.  If it was a case head separation, the charge may have been within safe pressures and it wouldn't matter.  Case head separations are caused by either excessive headspace (shoulder was set back too far), you had a crack in the brass near the rim you didn't notice when reloading, or the brass was too thin just forward of the rim from multiple FL resizing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:41
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Normal case separation would not have caused that bad of a reaction. There had to be some insanely high pressures in that round.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:47
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Get Your Popcorn Ready
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:56
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Originally posted by Monster Monster wrote:

Normal case separation would not have caused that bad of a reaction. There had to be some insanely high pressures in that round.
 
I tend to agree.   The rifle should be designed to handle a ruptured case better than that.  It's interesting the barrel looks unharmed.  I saw a Ruger with a case head seperation at my local club 3 years ago and it basically amounted to soot around the receiver vent hole and a little on the stock.  The rifle was fine and shot the rest of the day.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 17:58
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Thanks for posting this information, it's a great reminder to us reloaders of what can possibly happen.  Your misfortune may save one of us reloaders in the future, I'm glad your ok.  The rifle can be replaced, your eyes, fingers and life cannot, no matter what the outcome is with Sako, I think you already are very fortunate to not have been terribly hurt.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 18:38
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Originally posted by Monster Monster wrote:

Normal case separation would not have caused that bad of a reaction. There had to be some insanely high pressures in that round.
 
Not true.  I've seen rifles with the entire bottom metal blown out due solely to case head separation.  I've heard reports of extractors blown completely out of actions due to case head separation.  This is the reason some action designs such as the Remington 700 have completely enclosed, counterbored bolt heads that extends into the chamber end of the barrel.  The Sako doesn't have an enclosed bolt face, so in the event of a case head separation, the rapidly expanding gas is vectored out the bottom left side of the bolt face.  Even though the round may have been within normally safe pressure limits, we're still talking about more than 50,000 psi here!  The gas has to go somewhere, so it travels the path of least resistance, which on the Sako is down through the magazine and along the left side (from the shooter's perspective) bolt race.  This would explain why it blew the bolt shroud off, because the shroud is blocking the open end of the bolt race.  The amount of damage caused depends on the action design and the amount of peak pressure involved, so no two circumstances will necessarily have the same end results.  The fact that the barrel wasn't damaged supports the idea that it was caused by case head separation.  Seeing the brass will tell the story.  Usually the brass forward of the web ahead of the rim will still be in the chamber if it was caused by head separation.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 18:57
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As I stated earlier, I am very happy to have fingers and eyes intact

i had a nice bonus hit the bank on Friday so it allowed me, well, the wife allowed me :) to get another bolt action in time for deer opening weekend in a few weeks.. (the 700 LTR I posted about) 

the bolt is stuck in the gun, I tried to tap on it for a bit with a hammer, no go
 
interesting that Ted posts about the excess gas going low left, my left hand was around the mag well and was numb for several days

at this point, I am going to wait to hear from my contact who may be able to help before sending it in... 

I will be pleasantly surprised if they replace it...
if not, so be it
I am lucky to be able  to type this ....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2009 at 19:08
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Notice also that the bolt stop release button was blown off the receiver... which is along the left side of the receiver, extending into the left bolt race.  It and the bolt shroud were blocking the path of the escaping gas pressure as it traveled along the left bolt race.

You truly are very lucky to be unharmed by this incident, Mr. Coker!  I'm very glad to hear this!
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