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What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

 
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:07 AM
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What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

Imagine a 30 caliber rimless bottleneck case with a live primer, no powder and the bullet's seated to have about 25 thousandths jump to the lands. The bullet needs 25 pounds of force to get it out of the case mouth.

Does the bullet:

A. break free from the case mouth and lodge tight in the lands?

B. just barely break free from the case mouth but only move a few thousandths forward and not touch the lands?

C. stay in place in the case mouth?
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:20 AM
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Re: What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

The bullet will lodge tightly in the lands.

Hmmmmm. How do I know that?
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:30 AM
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Re: What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

Ok, I will bite.... Fortunately I have never done this so I have no real world experience. Just thinking about the question, I would say first off that the capacity of the case would matter as a very large magnum case would build up less PSI than a small case. You took care of the bullet size (kind of) by stating it would take 25 lbs of force to get it out of the case mouth.

My guess: (A)

When the primer is fired, the gas has to go somewhere and the pressure should be plenty to move the bullet. However, as soon as the bullet moves enough to break the case mouth seal the gas will escape around the bullet and pressure will drop quickly. The only question is if it will move forward with enough force to jam the bullet into the lands?
I would answer (B) as I think the pressure will drop quickly, but I have seen guys who missed a powder charge when loading shotgun shells. Just a 209 primer will blow 1 oz of shot 10 to 20 feet out of the barrel of a shotgun so I rather suspect a rifle primer will have enough force to jam a bullet into the lands.

Bart, You have a lot of shooting experience so I assume you know the answer......... interesting question, just don't leave us hanging too long
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:09 AM
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Re: What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

I know a 25/06 will put a 115gr bullet about 8 inches down the barrel. They are a PITA to get out. If your lucky enough to do this get a couple bushings to guide a drill bit and you can drill the center out of the bullet and then they push out fairly easy. Just for the record it wasn't me!
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:14 AM
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Re: What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

A few years ago I pulled into the parking lot at my range just in time to see people running and the dust settling from some older gentelman who had done just that, primer and no powder in his 6.5 Swede. He had actually done this so many times that he had made up a brass rod that fit his barrel to knock the jammed bullet back out of the barrel. On this particular day someone had started talking to him ( probabbly to ask why the hell he was smacking a rod down his barrel with a deadblow?) and he forgot to take the rod back out. I think you can see where this is going right? To make a long story short there was virtually nothing left of the gun, the stock was shattered the barrell was split and the action broke into about 6 pieces. The bolt was actually buried into the logs used to make the supports for the roof. The most amazing thing was that this guy had not been hurt at all except for 1 tiny little cut on his cheek just under the frame of his glasses about the size of a zit. Now I know a lot of you are calling BS on this one and to be honest with you if I hadn't actually been there and waws reading this I more than likely would as well. I told the guy after checking him out (at the time I was a level 3 first aid) that he should go and buy a lottery ticket cause he was by far the luckiest guy I had ever seen. So in this case with this gun yes a primer and no powder load will jam a bullet in the lands
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:51 PM
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Re: What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

I've always made it a habit to look down in each and every case before seating a bullet to make sure it has the right amount of powder in it. So, I can't say from experience but I would bet money that the primer alone will lodge the bullet in the barrel.
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:15 PM
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Re: What Happens When Firing a Round Without Powder?

About five years ago I made up a dummy 308 round with a primer but no powder in it to use for setting the bullet seating die. I marked it up with a sharpie so I would never fire it by mistake. About three years later I used it to set the die and somehow transferred it to the case of loaded bullets. All that happened was it went "pop" and everything extracted just fine with the bullet still seated in the case.
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