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bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

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Unread 06-22-2010, 02:04 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
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Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

There ya go! After reading about the superglue, I figured you'd have a ring around the firing pin. With loosened primer pockets, you'll get these even if the loads are safe pressure loads. I try to toss brass with loosened primer pockets in the effort to dispose of them preceding this burp of gas escaping the primer pocket.

I use one of those Hart primer pocket saver tools. They'll give me another couple firings of the brass, but then I'll start to get a little leakage.

If I'm using cheap brass I'll toss the cases plenty early to error on the safe side. If I'm using more expensive brass and have a lot of time in fire-forming, neck trimming, etc., I'll try to squeeze a few extra firings out of them.

It's not good to keep on smoking that ring on the bolt face. Not the end of the world to have a case mildly burp every once in a while. But best to toss any brass that leak gasses there. Sometimes one can look around the edge of the primer with a magnifying glass and see that the brass crevice is blackened after firing. Or sometimes you'll see a little blackish discoloration on the case head or the face of the bolt. Generally means you've used the case once more than it should have been used. If I know I'm getting a relatively loose primer pocket, I'll use that brass at the range rather than in a hunting load, if I decide to use it another time. It's sort of a qualitative measure of primer seating force required to seat a primer that tells the tale of when it's time to toss the casing. But more of my rifles than not, have that ghost ring. All it takes is one primer burp. I'm such a miser, I keep trying to get another load out of my brass.

I don't see anything wrong with your bolt, other than I can tell you've been super-gluing some primers in loosened primer pockets in the effort to pinch pennies!

Some one may now come along and post that we're nuts for re-using cases to the point that we get one of these ghost rings. I say we're overly frugal. Now, that guy I knew in high school? He was nuts! Rambo... before Rambo. Best part of his story was how he described continuing to send blue smoke trails down at the signs until he couldn't open the bolt. Hard to say how many more rounds he'd have fired trying to reach that sign. Guess he got what he deserved - after all, he was going to vandalize those RR signs.

Last edited by phorwath; 06-22-2010 at 04:04 PM.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:01 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: mi
Posts: 991
Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

here are the pics of wd40 bolt

and the case
If you think something is not possible move out of the way so the ones that are doing it can
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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 253
Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

what did Remington say about this.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 08:00 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,194
Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

Originally Posted by Wd40 View Post
I was using Remington Factory ammo when this happened. Its was the first day out at the range. My concern main was if this would effect the accuracy of the gun. I was also planning on having this gun accurized and rebarreled in the future. Would the action still be ok for this? Since this happened I have put 70 rounds throught the gun with no problems. I just believe one bad factory round was the culprit.

That would be the thing to do(Have the bolt face squared at the same time it's re barreled.

The Picture you posted shows that it is larger than normal and I would consider going
ahead and re barreling in the near future. The reason it is not a good condition is that
with the primer unsupported in some areas it can move and will more likely blow more primers.

Roys bolt is the worst I have ever seen and with the ring all of the way around the cylinder
part of the primer is unsupported and will surely move each time it's fired causing more
gas erosion.(No disrespect to Roy who has probably forgot more than I know).

I realize I am very fussy about these things but if it were mine I would replace the bolt or install
a bushing to support the primer at the least.

Primers are not designed to hold the pressure if unsupported only seal the case from escaping

I'm not going to tell anyone not to use brass that the primer pocket is loose just because
I won't. all I can do is recomend. Mainly because brass is cheep and machine work is not.

Remington should fix your rifle because you were using Factory ammo in a factory chamber
and obviously it was a case or load problem.

Any primer blow out is not normal and should be researched to find the problem before
continuing firing another round. It is a sign that something is wrong.

This is just My opinion for what it's worth.

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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:18 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,895
Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

Something wrong with that rifle chamber headspace, perhaps? It looks as though the primer in that photo is actually set back further than the case head, rather than being smooth with the case head. Photo's a little fuzzy and hard to tell for sure. But if the face of the primer is protruding from the case head, then a knowledgeable gunsmith should examine your rifle.

I would say Remington should fix it also, but I wouldn't hold my breath. They wouldn't fix a model 870 shotgun of mine that wouldn't eject Remington Peters shotgun shells. All they did was send me a bill with the shotgun, without fixing the ejector setback-to-chamber spacing.

Anyhow, that's no ghost ring; the gas torched a wallow in that bolt face. "Pit" was the more appropriate term here. This is definitely abnormal, and I agree with JE. Better have someone examine the cause and resurface that bolt face.

PS: JE is a gunsmith. I'm not. So I recommend heeding his advice on this one.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,871
Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

This is becoming a great learning experience for me. Thanks wd40 for the original post.

This kind of stuff is what this forum is all about!!!

Yep, I know a lot, as do all of us. But I don't know what I don't know and I'm really good at not knowing what I don't know.

Experience it the greatest teacher as long as its someone else's experience!

wd40's problem is a big one. That was some major damage! To the extent that it most likely deteriorated the rifle's performance. Shooting the rest of the shots sounds like something "I" would do.

For me it sounds like I need a shooting life style change. Its a lot of work to form the cases plus they aren't the least expensive cases on the shelf.

I guess I'm going to have to settlefur a little less performance on the velocity end. And I HATE to SETTLEFUR!

The poor ol' Allen Mag has been pushed very hard and long.

Here's the evidence.

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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Re: bolt face pitted due to primer blowout?

Thanks for everyones input. I contacted Remington today. They seemed fairly interested in making this right. I'll keep posting. It will be interesting to see how Remington handles this situation. Thanks ewallace for the help with the pics.
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