Case exploded today !!

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by shooter65, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. shooter65

    shooter65 Well-Known Member

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    First of all I will start off by saying ALWAYS were eye and ear protection when shooting 100% of the time!!! ( As we all do).

    I was shooting in a varmint match today and just got done firing the 600 yd. bank of steel targets. So far all is well the Hornady 75 gr. match ammo. I was using. We then started on the 500 yd string, as I was two rounds into this string and fired on the third shot - BOOM..I was blasted in the face with powder and brass particles. Hoping I was not seriously injured, my spotter who was my shooting partner for the day checked me over and told me I had a few puntcure wounds and a trickle of blood from each hole. Wow was I relieved this is all that I received along with powder burns from this case explosion.


    The empty case would not extract from the chamber so it had to be removed with a cleaning rod from the muzzle end. As you can see by the pictures to the extractor my shooting day was over at this point. Primer was never found.


    Can anyone tell me why this case failed?
    Also if you have any ammo from this lot number this is a caution to you.

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  2. shooter65

    shooter65 Well-Known Member

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  3. cabelas90

    cabelas90 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about you but if it was me hornady would know about this by now i don't care if it is a sunday. I had a freind shooting black hills gold ammo that the head separated from the rest of the case. I hope hornady makes thing right.
     
  4. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Glad you are OK.
     
  5. 7STDUBBERU

    7STDUBBERU Well-Known Member

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    Luckily you were not seriously hurt, definately contact Hornady. I am sure they will be very interested in talking to you. Keep us posted as to how you make out.
     
  6. shooter65

    shooter65 Well-Known Member

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    I have shot hundreds of rounds of the Black Hills red and blue box with zero issues. The first 50 round box of this stuff performed flawlessly and the failure occurred with the first shot of the second box
     
  7. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    Hornady as with any commercial ammunition manufacturer is interested in the quality of their products. I think they will be very very interested to see what happened.

    As stated, I'd send them the case with a carefully written letter stating the facts. Offer point of contact information for any others who witnessed the event.

    I'd ask them to also absorb the cost of repairing your rifle. I'd have a quote done up by a smith that you trust.


    Ok, now the real question. Did you still hit the target??


    Glad your ok!

    Chad
     
  8. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    The headstamp is not Hornady and the box says "remanufactured". I believe that headstamp marks it as brass from China or Pakistan. lI would guess the cases were reloaded overseas, under contract with Hornady. It would be interesting to know the weight and type powder and primers they use. If you were seriously injured, I would not advise sending all of them to Hornady for inspection; your expert would want to examine some of them. And yes, you could sue Hornady; they would probably turn the case over to the overseas manufacturer for handling according to their vendors contract. What do primer impacts look like on the previously fired cases?
     
  9. shooter65

    shooter65 Well-Known Member

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    Did not hit the target at 500 meters.


     
  10. lever-hed

    lever-hed Well-Known Member

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    Wow that is unfortunate accident. . yo right, a perfect example of why to wear your safety gear, in this case very lucky.
    The only thing I can offer is potentially head clearance was too great or you simply had a microscopic flaw in the case head(remanufactured ammo), for it to burst like that not only on the outside but inside the primer pocket. I’ve had a hornady SST blown primer , among other factory blown primers, but never a ripped case. The vertical tear(s) in the case head versus a typical horizontal tear or ripple (case head separation) is definitely not good and lends itself to brass flaw (obvious as that sounds) but would not be using that stuff in the near future.
    I would check case dimensions and head space of some of the remaining… but I would definitely call or email Hornady and send them a batch of ammo. I’ve dealt with them before and they were good to deal with.
    Good luck, glad your ok
     
  11. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Never seen a failure like this. Have had blown primers, smoked up case heads, gas cuts on bolt faces, even a slamfire that shredded the case and blew a chunk out of the stock, but nothing that ever looked just like this. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the pictures was a light powder charge that detonated instead of burning. The heavy smoke and residue are good clues to whatever it was that happened.

    The brass is LC.

    Looks like some major repairs to the rifle are in order. In addition to the fried extractor, the bolt itself may be damaged. You may also find some of the primer inside the firing pin hole.

    A flaw in the case head is possible, but if this is reloaded brass it should have failed on the first firing. I would hang on to the case if for nothing else than as a trophy and reminder. The pictures are very good and easy to transmit for study.

    I have got to do better at wearing eye protection!

    Thanks for the thread, Tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  12. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    That is not Hornady Ammo... The LC Brass is not made to produce .223 pressures with SAAMI loadings. The military spec brass is a little thicker hence less volume so ---- loading volume is a little less and with higher pressure than spec loads this stuff happens esp in marginal conditions eg high ambient temps or in letting the round sit in a hot chamber before firing.....
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  13. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to see how much powder is in these rounds. Like others have said I wouldn't give up all your evidence! I did a little Internet searching and It seems that this stuff may be fueled by Varget powder. Links and Resources had an add for the stuff for sale and said that it was a 75g BTHPM bullet, varget, and Lakes City brass. No longer available I guess.
     
  14. shooter65

    shooter65 Well-Known Member

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    Spoke with Hornady today and they are issuing a call tag for the ammo so they can inspect it.