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30-06 case ripped in half (Case Seperation)


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how this happened i don't know. this is a 30-06 fired from a m1 garand. fired just fine, then i guess it didn't eject the next one rammed into it and jammed . i pulled back the action and both the live round and these 2 pieces came out. not very comforting when my face was about 5 inches from the receiver. all the ammo was factory winchester purchased at wal-mart.

 

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Your photo looks like those I've seen of cartridge failures due to headspace problems. If I were you, I'd write to Winchester, enclosing a photo of the cartridge. I had a primer failure in a box of Remington .38 Specials years ago and Remington was interested in having the cartridge to ascertain the problem. Headspace is not, of course, usually a problem due to new cartridges. . .

 

How do the other fired cartridge cases look?

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It happens, it's called "case head seperation", I have never seen one that far up the case as it usually happens just forward f the case head. Sometimes, when this happens, the forward part remains in the weapon and it happens often enough that there is a tool called a stuck case remover to clean this up. Usually this happens in machine guns with out of spec chambers. If this is the only round that did it, I would just say that it was probably a fluke and it was caused by a flaw during the ammunition manufacturing.

Military weapons tend to have looser dimension chambers to accomodate variances in ammo manufacturing as everyone makes it a little different, especially foreign countries. Civilian manufacturing expects that the chambers are cut to spec, thus they typically will use softer and thinner brass. If you shoot this softer and thinner brass in a chamber that has a sloppier tolerance, they you can get casehead seperations. It may mean you have one of these chambers and if so, not a big problem, just shoot military ammunition and the problem will most likely go away.

I would occasionally inspect your spent casings and watch for signs of bulging and cracking. If you are seeing these signs, take your gun to a gunsmith and have your chamber checked. It is possible that your rifle is due an arsenal rebuild!!!


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so that's what case head seperation looks like. i've heard about it , but i've never seen it and this is a first time for me. all the other cases looked and fired fine. i hope it's not the chamber , i don't think this gun has been fired alot. it is a 1955 with a lithgow receiver. i've heard lithgow's aren't that good but i don't know. i guess i'll wait to see if it happens again. thanks for the info!

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It isn't necessarily dangerous to you, but not a desirable situation. If it happens again, I would quit using the ammo as I said and go to the harder brass military stuff. Also, it probably wouldn't hurt for you to purchase a 7.62 stuck case removal tool, indispensable in these situations. Good luck with this.


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A 1955? I think not. You mean a parts set with a 1955 dated barrel mated to a modern

*CAST* Lithgow receiver. I'm not terribly enamored by these guns, and even less so of

the companies/individuals who assemble them.

 

If you look at the neck of the case, you'll see the indentions of the barrel's rifling. The

chamber must be waaaaay out of spec. The neck of the case shouldn't even get close to

the rifling. It shouldn't even be possible. Time to pay a visit to a competent gunsmith.

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What was the bullet weight you were using?

 

While I've never had a problem with commercial ammo, a lot of folks don't like using it in M1s. Most factory ammo is designed for maximum accuracy and terminal performance in bolt action sporting arms. Chamber pressure is supposed to be around 50,000 PSI, but I can't remember off the top of my head what the port pressure is supposed to be. If you're using heavy bullets with a propellant that burns too slow resulting in high port pressure, you get a lot of stress on the oprod, the weapon will function very violently, and rip the case out of the chamber with more force than it was designed for. As stated already, the throat marks on the case neck says you have a big chamber spec. or head space problem, that would contribute to case separations. Powders that burn in the IMR4895 range are good for the M1.

 

Keep commrcial ammo to 150gr for hunting( no light magnums ), shoot surplus for everything else, and don't sweat it.

Sorry, no refunds on opinions...............have a nice day

 

This computin' machine has got alotta buttons on it...........................where's the "ANY" key?

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If you look at the neck of the case, you'll see the indentions of the barrel's rifling. The

chamber must be waaaaay out of spec. The neck of the case shouldn't even get close to

the rifling. It shouldn't even be possible. Time to pay a visit to a competent gunsmith.

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down, SGT LEWIS, don't panic, you do not have a "waaay out of spec" chamber. The marks on the case mouth are not rifling, they are bullet crimp marks, Winchester uses a four finger collet crimping die to crimp their bullets and it leaves these types of marks on the case mouth. If it wasn't for the fact that my battery was dead, I would have you a picture of a factory Winchester loaded round that shows these crimp marks, and a fired case that looks just like yours.

As hotlead stated with civilian ammo, it is typically higher pressure than surplus ammo with the same powder because most civilian ammo case walls are thinner because the predominance is shot in bolt rifles with tight tolerance chambers and not auto loaders with sloppy chambers, so the brass doesn't expand and flow as much. Hence, since this is the case, there is typically more internal volume inside the case and they can get more powder in the case, thus the possibility of higher chamber pressures. Military brass takes into account that much of the ammo can be fired in a machine gun that historically have horribly sloppy chambers so that they can digest not only the ammo, but the mud, dirt, twigs and finger skin that can get into the chamber with it. Because this brass will have to expand more, thus more chance of case head seperation, the walls of the cases are thicker, leading to lower powder volume, hence why military rounds will typically have lower pressures than civilian rounds loaded with the same powder.

I have a L1A1 with a chamber larger than normal and with several thousands of rounds fired through it, I have had only one case split. It is a pain to resize the brass because of this rifle and I am unable to shoot the reloaded ammo through my M1A, which has a tighter spec chamber without having stuck cases.

Before you go running to a gunsmith, shoot a few more rounds through the rifle and look for signs of overpressure. These will manifest as faint rings just above the case head that you can feel with your fingernail, vertically split case mouths with excessive soot, and primers that after firing are completely flat and the primer dent is filled back in with cup material, or there is a small hole. If you start seeing these signs, quit using that ammo and try another. If the signs start showing up on other ammo, then it may be time to see a gunsmith.

Don't panic, I have been reloading for military surplus guns for 25 years and personally, I believe you had a bad round, not a bad rifle. This kind of thing happens when you shoot long enough, I say, keep shooting.


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all the ammo was factory winchester purchased at wal-mart.

post-2966-1219480188.jpg

 

IMO this is the root of your problem. As others have noted commercial ammo is not great for a Garand. It'll work but over time you can do serious damage to your rifle and/or yourself.

 

There are three paths:

1. use 30-06 specifically made for the Garand. You can get ammo cheap via CMP. Here's the link: http://www.thecmp.org/ammosales.htm The 400 rounds of "GREEK .30-06 AMMUNITION HXP (Pyrkal - In 20-Round Cartons)" can't be beat in term of cost/round.

 

2. Get a variable port gas cylinder lock screw and follow the directions.

 

3. Learn to reload. Get yourself a reloading manual that has specific data for the Garand and all the necessary tools.

 

Personally I'd go with #1 since it really can't be beat in terms of cost, applicability, and reliability. And you help to further the goals of the CMP.

 

R,

Paul

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us victory museum, you are probably correct the garand barrel being 1955 and being mated to a newer receiver. i've only been into firearms for a couple of years, so please bear with my newbie questions and not understanding some things. what i'll probably do is buy some milsurp ammo and go with that for awhile and see what happens. the bullet weights on the factory ammo was 150 grain. i appreciate all the comments and suggestions. hopefully, "fingers crossed", some different ammo will solve the problem. the m1 garand is one of my favorites to shoot followed by my o3a3. i'll keep you guys updated.. thanks again!!

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statistically, three main reasons (or combination thereof) may cause what happened, with new commercial ammo:

 

a - the ammo you were using has the wrong pressure curve for the Garand, wether because of too slow burning powder or because of too heavy bullet (but you say it was 150 gr, and that's OK). In such cases, the bolt will begin to unlock when the pressure in the barrel is too high, the case will still be heavily "gripping" the chamber walls, and the front portion of the case (thinner than the rear) will shear off when the bolt exterts its strong pull on the case head by way of the extractor;

 

b - the headspace of your rifle is too long, the case will stretch too much on firing even if pressure is OK: same effect on the case;

 

c - your rifle and ammo pressure curve are OK, but you got a bad case (too soft, too thin, too short, whatever) or bad round (wrong charge, etc.).

 

That said, by the way you describe the accident the rear portion of the case staid in the chamber. If really so, that would point out the case was stretched beyond its elastic limit and at the same time the chamber pressure was still so high the rear portion itself, even after separation, was still gripping the chamber walls tightly, so that the extractor sheared off a portion of the rim.

 

Usually it's either one of the two: case separation, and extraction of the rear part of the case, or failed extraction of the entire, unseparated case. So I would look for a combination of possible causes.

 

Whatever happened, I would suggest you have your rifle checked by a good gunsmith, as already advised. Your particular accident was not really dangerous (the way it developed), but the condition which caused it must be corrected, lest you damage your rifle or put at worse risk you or other bystanders.

 

Have fun and enjoy your shooting!

Kilroy

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I would occasionally inspect your spent casings and watch for signs of bulging and cracking. If you are seeing these signs, take your gun to a gunsmith and have your chamber checked. It is possible that your rifle is due an arsenal rebuild!!!

 

We developed this problem with a couple of our American Legion Honor Guard garands... firing blanks of course. But, the gunsmith told me that our guy had been using loads intended for rifle grenades... vs. regulation blank loads. He showed me a red color load that was right, and compared that to ours.

 

I'm still scratching my head over that one, but have no idea about it. We fired the M1 carbine in BMT, and I had never handled a garand before this.

 

Should I start yelling at our loader yet?

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