Case Seperation I thought.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Knight, Apr 16, 2019.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. Knight

    Knight Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    While at the range testing a few loads on a Remington 700 308 i heard an unfamiliar report as smoke seeped out of the bolt area. Oh.. no,I thought as I attempted to extract the bolt.
    was it case separation? I could not break the bolt loose without a mallet so I left for home.

    After removing the scope and stock I was able to get better leverage and continued hammering on the bolt in an upward direction. when finally the bolt moved, I then continued to hammer it reward and it came out shell and all. As seen by the photo below it appears the case was melted into the bolt face. ( shell body badly beat up as I could not break it loose from the extractor with a pliers. Has anyone had this experience before and does anyone have any suggestions how to break the case free from the bolt face. IMG_20190416_1433120863.jpg IMG_20190416_1434088862.jpg
    doctorden1953 likes this.
  2. Jerry M

    Jerry M Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    Can't help you as to why. Put the bolt and case in a freezer overnight and see if you can pop it out.

    good luck

  3. Knight

    Knight Member

    Dec 13, 2012
  4. Knight

    Knight Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    Thanks Jerry for that info, I will giveg that a try.
  5. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Figure out where the extractor is located, then clamp the case in a vice and push the bolt over like a lever, using the extractor as the hinge point. You'll likely have to break the brass off at the very bottom of the case.
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    That is a significant issue!!!!
    Alibiiv, HARPERC, MNbogboy and 2 others like this.

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2014
    Don't know anything about the 700's but can you remove the firing pin as is? I would like to have that out before it gets beat up too. Might already have problems with it.
  8. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2016
    Gee...looks way to familiar to me...twice....
    Pull the firing pin...try to get some movement in the brass before you even try to pull it out...just run it around in a circle on the face of the bolt...dont try pull anything off the bolt as you may tear of the outer ring of the face of the bolt...
    Let it set over and the brass....maybe put it in the freezer and see if it will shrink down just enough to fall out....if not....take it to a gunsmith....
    Dont ruin the ring on your bolt....let the Smith do it if it needs to be done...
    I have one that is damaged...and one repaired with sako extractor...
    I prefer the damaged one to the sako.....
    If it has to come out in little pieces so be it.....i wish I had foresight before my damages.....
  9. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2018
    you do understand brass does not flow like that with an
    something really wrong big time
    you need to tear apart every round you loaded and measure:
    powder weight/ compare to what you thought you loaded in appearance
    bullet weight/dia
  10. SMK1000plus

    SMK1000plus Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2015
    You are lucky to still have a face!

    EXTREME over-pressure! Wrong powder? Wrong, oversized bullet?

    Remington 700 you say? If so your extractor is already ruined. There won't be any spring left in the extractor metal. You can still buy the replacement extractors from Remington and, if yours is the riveted type (most are) the rivet too. It takes a special rivot anvil and a small steel hammer to brad the rivot into the bolt properly. Make sure you get the right size replacement extractor! There are several sizes, dependent on cartridge base diameter.

    To remove the brass, use pliers or a vice and crush the brass a little at a time, from each side, as close to the base as possible without hitting the bolt. It will still be hung under the extractor recess in the bolt face, so you will have to wiggle it firmly, until it gives and comes out.

    After you remove the brass, you'll need to measure the very front diameter of the bolt, in front of the face of the bolt. If it is a standard Remington 700 bolt, the diameter should be between .695" and .702". If it is any larger than .702", it should be checked by a COMPETENT gunsmith! The bolt may be ruined. If the diameter is .702" or under, you will need to check your headspace with a good no-go gauge and possibly a field gauge. If your bolt closes fully on a field gauge, the rifle is unsafe to shoot. Again, get it to a COMPETENT gunsmith. He may be able to save the barrel, maybe not.

    Don't neglect to check the barrel for bulges, action for cracks or warping and even the stock, especially at the recoil lug and action screws, for damage.

    Any way you look at it, you are way more lucky than your rifle.
  11. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Just a couple of thoughts looking at the pic which can be hard to tell if what you are looking at is visually correct.
    1. Highly recommend a gunsmith to not only visually inspect but run whatever nondestructive testing he can do to validate the structural integrity of the rifle going forward. This was clearly a extremely high pressure chamber issue that can serious deform a rifle in so many different ways that visually cannot be easily seen without right tools and or experience to evaluate completely. It is worth the money to prevent a bolt coming back into your face at a later date.
    2. Gunsmith can probably salvage the bolt with the least amount of possible damage in removing the brass.
    3. Just curious, the mouth of the brass doesn't looked chamfered which when seating a bullet can cause neck issues thus chamber pressure issues. Really hard to tell from the pic but worth mentioning.
    4. Assume whatever loads you were using is ALL defective and tear down and inspect like others have recommended.
    5. Verify the load data and the powder used. Was the load data from a manual? Was the powder load data for the bullet weight used? Did you have more than one powder on your bench at the time of loading? Did you use too slow of a powder and started too low in the load development? Too high in the load development? It can happen easily.
    6. Verify the scale using calibration weights and reweigh the loads you recover. I am also curious if this was too light of a powder charge and this was a mild detonation type reaction. Normally they can be very destructive and catastrophic but if the planets lined up could it cause this? Sample explanation of Detonation - "One such theory postulates that a small powder charge in a mostly empty case can produce reinforcing shock waves inside the case. Another theory claims that the ignition of a small charge of very loosely packed powder granules can result in more or less simultaneous, rapid burning of the charge, producing excessive pressure. Loads less than the minimum loads listed in published data should be avoided, as should any ballistic "experimenting" with slow powders for which reduced load data is not available."
    7. A bullet that is seated too short can seriously spike pressures as well.
    8. Temperature of the loads can adversely affect the pressure. Loads good in cooler weather can be catastrophic in hot summer. Loads in the sun can heat up and spike pressure.
  12. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    What powder were you using?
  13. Knight

    Knight Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    I want to thank all of those who shared their thoughts on this issue.

    I did remove the firing pin and all looks good. I also went back and pulled the bullets on the other 4 rds i wast testing. I have been reloading for over 40 years both pistol and many calibers of long guns and this is the first time anything has happened like this.
    The remaining rounds were over the desired powder charge intended 41.4 of Imr 4895 behind a 168 gr. Berger VLD. The only explanation I could think of is the scale it self.
    I have been using an RCB beam scale for years and did have some problems and RCB sent me a new scale to replace it. Who knows what the real issue was, at least all turned out good. Once again, Thanks you all.
    Frog4aday, doctorden1953 and Tommo64 like this.
  14. okie man

    okie man Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    How much h4895 did you get in there? H4895, imr4064 and varget are 3 powders youd have a hard time getting enough of in a 308 case to do that!
    Boomer44 and Barrelnut like this.