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  #1  
Old 10-09-2019, 3:47 PM
Lancevance Lancevance is offline
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Default Case head separated - damaged rifle!

Hi,

TL;DR: case got separated, damaged rifle, rifle manufacturer blames ammo, ammo manufacturer blames rifle

A 357 mag factory reload (once fired) got separated in my lever action rifle. The rifle fired as normal, I hit the steel target at 100 yards, but the action was locked afterward and wouldnít open. I field stripped the rifle, but still couldnít open the action. I brought it to a gun smith, who after some time was able to push the action open by removing half of the stuck case with a dowel.

However, the case head has expanded and is stuck in the rifling in the barrel. The gun smith says the rifle experienced tremendous pressure, and the case has damaged the barrel, and would need be sent back to the manufacturer. Warranty wouldnít cover this, as it was a factory reload. The rifle was $1200 and bought new this year, and repair bill is likely going to be high.

The ammo manufacturer says a brass casing canít damage a steel rifle, and that their ammo canít separate if the action is fully closed. It being a lever action, it canít be fired unless the action is closed, due to how the lever worked. So, he then blamed it on the headspace of the rifle (without having seen the rifle).

I have attached a picture of the case in case it helps. Now this all goes far above my knowledge, but Iíd like to know who is telling the truth?

Thanks!
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File Type: jpg 7C13D3F2-DA45-4FDB-A5C8-780B0C145477.jpg (7.4 KB, 400 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2019, 3:59 PM
ojisan ojisan is offline
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How many rounds have you shot through the rifle?
If it's a lot, and there were no problems, then we can safely say that your headspace is OK.
Headspace on a .357 Mag cartridge is actually just the area of the rim, not the body of the case and since there is no shoulder to the case it is not like a bottle necked rifle cartridge.
Presuming that you rifle has successfully shot a bunch of rounds before this one, I am going with a bad case.

Case may be bad in that it had a weakness in the metal, or possibly the case was too long and overlapped the bullet when the bullet was in the throat.
When this happens, the bullet can't release from the case and rips the case in half trying to drag the front half into the bore.
IIRC there is recent info on this regarding 454 Casull bullets jumping the crimp and leading to this problem.

General rifle case separation info here:
http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/...ses-and-cures/
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:09 PM
Lancevance Lancevance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
How many rounds have you shot through the rifle?
If it's a lot, and there were no problems, then we can safely say that your headspace is OK.
Headspace on a .357 Mag cartridge is actually just the area of the rim, not the body of the case and since there is no shoulder to the case it is not like a bottle necked rifle cartridge.
Presuming that you rifle has successfully shot a bunch of rounds before this one, I am going with a bad case.

Case may be bad in that it had a weakness in the metal, or possibly the case was too long and overlapped the bullet when the bullet was in the throat.
When this happens, the bullet can't release from the case and rips the case in half trying to drag the front half into the bore.
IIRC there is recent info on this regarding 454 Casull bullets jumping the crimp and leading to this problem.

General rifle case separation info here:
http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/...ses-and-cures/
Iíve shot about 500 rounds of 357 mag and 38 special, no issues. The ammo guy kept talking about how it happens all the time in ARs, but itís a different action and different round. He said if I can somehow get the case out of the barrel it shouldnít be damaged as brass canít damage steel. Is this true?

Itís a reputable ammo brand and the gun store recommend it, but I donít like how theyíre skirting around the issue. The casing they use had a HRTRs stamp on it. He also said that because the primer was pushed out it means the action was open when I fired it.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:17 PM
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Rifle manufacture & model ?
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancevance View Post
I’ve shot about 500 rounds of 357 mag and 38 special, no issues. The ammo guy kept talking about how it happens all the time in ARs, but it’s a different action and different round. He said if I can somehow get the case out of the barrel it shouldn’t be damaged as brass can’t damage steel. Is this true?

Brass can't damage the steel but over-pressure sure can.

It’s a reputable ammo brand and the gun store recommend it, but I don’t like how they’re skirting around the issue. The casing they use had a HRTRs stamp on it. He also said that because the primer was pushed out it means the action was open when I fired it.
Underlined and:

Herter's is the ammo brand.
Usually good stuff but who knows what happened when it was reloaded?
The primer came out because the over-pressure gas had to go somewhere, so it split the case and leaked out around the primer, both compressing the primer skirt and usually stretching the primer pocket in the case.
The primer fell out when the action was opened enough for room for it to fall out.
As you said, and it is true, the firing pin can't reach the primer unless the action is closed on a lever gun.
(The only possible variation on this is if there was a foreign object in the breech face area when the bole was being closed, but the gun would have fired upon closing the action without pulling the trigger if this happened).

Since you have successfully fired many rounds before, I'd be calling the ammo vendor back and asking for a new barrel, or if the receiver is damaged, a new gun.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano3467 View Post
Rifle manufacture & model ?
Marlin 1894CSBL
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:49 PM
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Lotta FAIL in this thread...

1. OP it's not the case HEAD that is stuck in your barrel. It is the front half of a broken case. The case head is in your attached pic.

2. "The ammo manufacturer says a brass casing canít damage a steel rifle, and that their ammo canít separate if the action is fully closed." Like he!!. An overcharged case with too much powder, an over crimped case mouth, or a bad case-any of these could produce your experience.

Several companies sell broken case extractors, your gunsmith should be able to find one.

A bad round caused your issue. Ammo manufacturer owes you for repair/replacement costs.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:58 PM
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If you have a brass cleaning brush that is oversize, like for a 410 or 45 ACP you may be able to use that to get the rest of the case out. Put it on your cleaning rod and push it into the chamber area where the case is. Then slowly pull back. When the brush enters the case it is compressed and grabs onto the side of the case.

I have used this on several rifle case separations when I used to wildcat cartridges.

If it comes out easy you may not have any damage to the chamber.

All that being said, I think that you should find a more experienced gunsmith to remove it and check it over. If you gunsmith did not get the rest of the cartridge out. He/she is a little suspect.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2019, 5:21 PM
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That sucks , glad u weren't hurt by this op . Hope they square you out on matter .
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2019, 5:25 PM
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The .357 Magnum is a rimmed cartridge that headspaces on the rim thickness. SAAMI spec is .060" and is measured from the breech face of the bolt, to the rim cut in the barrel (or cylinder in a revolver). That case separation had nothing to do with headspace.
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2019, 6:49 PM
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A 357 case is a touch longer than an inch and a quarter and most of it is in your picture so there is very little of it inside the barrel.
To remove the piece that is left bend a coat hangar with a pair of pliers so it has a L shape and see if you can snag the piece.
If it is further down the barrel don't use the coat hanger use a wooden dowel inserted from the muzzle.
In looking at the brass I doubt the rifle is seriously hurt.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2019, 8:37 PM
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Thank you for the help. I have communicated this to the ammo company, and they’ll refund the ammo cost ($600) and cost of fixing the rifle. I’m glad they’re taking responsibility, even though it didn’t come easily.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2019, 9:16 PM
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Thanx for the update.
Good to hear that they will take care of it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 9:20 PM
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cool
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancevance View Post
I’ve shot about 500 rounds of 357 mag and 38 special, no issues. The ammo guy kept talking about how it happens all the time in ARs, but it’s a different action and different round. He said if I can somehow get the case out of the barrel it shouldn’t be damaged as brass can’t damage steel. Is this true?

It’s a reputable ammo brand and the gun store recommend it, but I don’t like how they’re skirting around the issue. The casing they use had a HRTRs stamp on it. He also said that because the primer was pushed out it means the action was open when I fired it.
Brass won't damage steel.
High pressure contained WITHIN brass can though.
High pressure is an ammo problem when 500 other rounds have had no such problems.

There is NO evidence shown on the back half of your case of the gun having fired out of battery.
There IS evidence on that primer of extremely high pressure.

Since it's a reload, my bet is on too much powder.
If the gun has no obvious damage and still passes a headspace check, it's most likely completely safe to continue firing once the remaining piece of the case is removed from the chamber.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 10-09-2019 at 10:48 PM..
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Old 10-10-2019, 1:47 AM
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How well did you clean the chamber after shooting 38 spl in that 357 mag chamber ? You ever read or hear about that carbon ring , lead build up , ahead of the 38 spl case mouth , but behind the 357 mag case mouth ?

Looks to me like that could have been a wee bit of your problem .
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Old 10-10-2019, 7:25 AM
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Quote:
Default Case head separated - damaged rifle!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi,

TL;DR: case got separated, damaged rifle, rifle manufacturer blames ammo, ammo manufacturer blames rifle

A 357 mag factory reload (once fired) got separated in my lever action rifle. The rifle fired as normal, I hit the steel target at 100 yards, but the action was locked afterward and wouldn’t open. I field stripped the rifle, but still couldn’t open the action. I brought it to a gun smith, who after some time was able to push the action open by removing half of the stuck case with a dowel.
Case head separation

My cases do not have head space; even if the manufacturer of components and reloading equipment claim the case has head space, it doesn't.

Here is what happened, the case locked to the chamber when fired, the case did not suffer case head separation. The case came apart when the smith hammered the bolt open; The rear of the case separated from the front of the case.

Blame any and all, it is a bad habit to shoot long and short cases in a chamber.

F. Guffey

Last edited by fguffey; 10-10-2019 at 7:27 AM..
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Old 10-10-2019, 9:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
it is a bad habit to shoot long and short cases in a chamber.
...WITHOUT cleaning the chamber well after shooting the short cases.
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  #19  
Old 10-12-2019, 10:04 AM
Lancevance Lancevance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Dunsel View Post
How well did you clean the chamber after shooting 38 spl in that 357 mag chamber ? You ever read or hear about that carbon ring , lead build up , ahead of the 38 spl case mouth , but behind the 357 mag case mouth ?

Looks to me like that could have been a wee bit of your problem .
Iíve shot 12 rounds of 38 special, and the rifle was cleaned very thoroughly before the range trip. I didnít like 38 special, because it makes the rifle feel like a BB gun, and the cost difference isnít that big.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
Case head separation

My cases do not have head space; even if the manufacturer of components and reloading equipment claim the case has head space, it doesn't.

Here is what happened, the case locked to the chamber when fired, the case did not suffer case head separation. The case came apart when the smith hammered the bolt open; The rear of the case separated from the front of the case.

Blame any and all, it is a bad habit to shoot long and short cases in a chamber.

F. Guffey
Then why was the case halfway up the barrel?
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancevance View Post
Then why was the case halfway up the barrel?
If the case was half way up the barrel, that is the work of the smith.
It did not go there on it's own or while the rifle was being fired.
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Old 10-12-2019, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancevance View Post
Then why was the case halfway up the barrel?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
If the case was half way up the barrel, that is the work of the smith.
It did not go there on it's own or while the rifle was being fired.
^^^I CONCUR^^^

Based solely on what OP described;


Quote:
A 357 mag factory reload (once fired) got separated in my lever action rifle. The rifle fired as normal, I hit the steel target at 100 yards, but the action was locked afterward and wouldnít open. I field stripped the rifle, but still couldnít open the action. I brought it to a gun smith, who after some time was able to push the action open by removing half of the stuck case with a dowel.

However, the case head has expanded and is stuck in the rifling in the barrel. The gun smith says the rifle experienced tremendous pressure, and the case has damaged the barrel, and would need be sent back to the manufacturer. Warranty wouldnít cover this, as it was a factory reload.
OP experienced a case separation. Chit Happens. But IMHO the "person" he paid to resolve the issue was not a "GUNSMITH". He was a guy with a stick and a hammer. That calls himself a "gunsmith".

What is stuck in the rifle's bore. Is described as a short thin brass cylinder. That is the forward section of the fired case. If the over sized brush trick doesn't work. Take it to a real gunsmith.

BTW, in the pic, the case head shows no obvious sign of expanding.
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Old 10-12-2019, 2:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
If the case was half way up the barrel, that is the work of the smith.
It did not go there on it's own or while the rifle was being fired.
If only half of the case was in the chamber the case would have been rendered scrap. If half of the case is still in the chamber and the back half(?) of the case was driven out by the smith the complete case was in the chamber. as the other member said the firing pin can not hit the primer if the bolt is not closed, nothing personal, but that is the way it is.

F. Guffey
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Old 10-12-2019, 6:52 PM
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^^^^
1. If the head-half of the case was driven out by a smith, how does one explain the loose primer?

2. How could anyone manage to move the front half of the case (basically a thin-walled brass cylinder) "halfway down the barrel"? Especially in a lever gun where chamber-end access is limited.
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Old 10-12-2019, 7:41 PM
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I'm curious what would happen if the bullet was effectively welded to the case.
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Old 10-13-2019, 2:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
If only half of the case was in the chamber the case would have been rendered scrap. If half of the case is still in the chamber and the back half(?) of the case was driven out by the smith the complete case was in the chamber. as the other member said the firing pin can not hit the primer if the bolt is not closed, nothing personal, but that is the way it is.

F. Guffey
This was clearly caused by too many tensions.
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Old 10-13-2019, 7:13 AM
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Quote:
I'm curious what would happen if the bullet was effectively welded to the case.
My cases have bullet hold, my cases do not have neck tension. Bullet hold is measured in pounds; there is a claim the army had bullets being held in the neck of 308W cases. They claimed the bullet hold was 500 pounds+

They claimed the bullets were cold welded. The army did not suffer case neck separation meaning the bullet that was cold welded to the neck did not pull the neck off of the case when the bullet left.

So? is it a possibility the high pressure in the case expanded the neck so fast the neck separated from the bullet? Time and distance are factors

A smith/reloaders/shooter collector was a member on another forum, he fired 4 rounds before he noticed his ejected cases did not have necks. So he called posted a question on the forum. I am never surprised at how silly reloaders can get when they do not know the answer.

About a month ago I had some 7mm57 ammo that had 45 pounds of bullet hold; it was about that time an Internet reloader made the claim too much 'TENSION? was dangerous because it increased pressure.

So I thought about increasing bullet hold from 45 pounds to over 100 pounds. I increased the bullet hold to the point my Hornady cam lock bullet holder would not pull the bullets, And then I went to the RCBS 'type' collet puller; again no luck at pulling the bullets.

I dug out a press that I could hammer on the handle, I then got a vise grip plyers what has a leaver lock design and started pulling the bullets. That method destroyed the bullets but did not hurt the case; I know, Internet reloaders believe pulling the neck expander ball through the neck when lowering the ram increases the length of the case I do not believe there is an Internet reloader that can measure before and again after.

I sized the cases again (because I increased the bullet hold from 45 pounds to over 100 pounds; wondering what would happen? 5 shots, no loss of necks and accuracy did not suffer. Accuracy? 5 shots in one hole out of a hunting rifle. Three witnesses, one of the witnesses was doing the shooting.

Tools for increasing bullet hold; I doubt anyone knows how to increase bullet hold and then there is a very good chance no one has access to the tools.

F. Guffey

Last edited by fguffey; 10-13-2019 at 7:16 AM..
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Old 10-17-2019, 4:32 PM
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And then there was the time the three witnesses Larry ,Curly and Moe had too much bullet hold and saw a target with a single hole.
One shot hit the target the other four missed it completely.
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Old 10-17-2019, 6:11 PM
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Did we merge two threads? Are we allowing stupid to spread?
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Old 10-18-2019, 7:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
My cases have bullet hold, my cases do not have neck tension. Bullet hold is measured in pounds; there is a claim the army had bullets being held in the neck of 308W cases. They claimed the bullet hold was 500 pounds+

They claimed the bullets were cold welded. The army did not suffer case neck separation meaning the bullet that was cold welded to the neck did not pull the neck off of the case when the bullet left.

So? is it a possibility the high pressure in the case expanded the neck so fast the neck separated from the bullet? Time and distance are factors

A smith/reloaders/shooter collector was a member on another forum, he fired 4 rounds before he noticed his ejected cases did not have necks. So he called posted a question on the forum. I am never surprised at how silly reloaders can get when they do not know the answer.

About a month ago I had some 7mm57 ammo that had 45 pounds of bullet hold; it was about that time an Internet reloader made the claim too much 'TENSION? was dangerous because it increased pressure.

So I thought about increasing bullet hold from 45 pounds to over 100 pounds. I increased the bullet hold to the point my Hornady cam lock bullet holder would not pull the bullets, And then I went to the RCBS 'type' collet puller; again no luck at pulling the bullets.

I dug out a press that I could hammer on the handle, I then got a vise grip plyers what has a leaver lock design and started pulling the bullets. That method destroyed the bullets but did not hurt the case; I know, Internet reloaders believe pulling the neck expander ball through the neck when lowering the ram increases the length of the case I do not believe there is an Internet reloader that can measure before and again after.

I sized the cases again (because I increased the bullet hold from 45 pounds to over 100 pounds; wondering what would happen? 5 shots, no loss of necks and accuracy did not suffer. Accuracy? 5 shots in one hole out of a hunting rifle. Three witnesses, one of the witnesses was doing the shooting.

Tools for increasing bullet hold; I doubt anyone knows how to increase bullet hold and then there is a very good chance no one has access to the tools.

F. Guffey
The claim that too much neck tension increases pressure has been around a lot longer than a month.
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Old 10-18-2019, 8:45 AM
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Quote:
The claim that too much neck tension increases pressure has been around a lot longer than a month.
You have no way of measuring tension, you do not have a conversion for tension to bullet hold. I went from 45 pounds of bullet hold +/- a few to over 100 pounds of bullet hold. Pulling bullets after increasing bullet hold was impossible by conventional means meaning I could not pull the bullets with the RCBS collet puller or the Hornady cam lock puller.

And then there was the Aberdeen cold weld problem; They did not claim neck tension, but they did claim the bullet required 500 pounds + to move. Shoot them or pull them? Reloaders claim pulling the expander ball through the neck when lowering the ram moves the shoulder and increases the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head.

I have always claimed there was not one reloader on any of the reloading forums that could measure the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head before lowering the ram and after lowering the ram.

F. Guffey
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Old 10-18-2019, 3:26 PM
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Old 10-18-2019, 4:18 PM
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To be clear about what I said, although this may be a straight walled revolver round, it is being used in a rifle chamber that has a throat.
If the case was too long and wedged the bullet in the throat, similar to a crimping die effect, that could cause an over pressure situation.

If the mouth area of the case is stuck in the throat, that may be what is actually meant by part of the case being in the barrel.
We don't know, and some guy did something with the case and gun already so we really will never know for sure.
But if the case mouth is stuck in the throat, then that may very well be the problem.

OP, there is a good chance that your barrel is just fine, once the debris has been removed and everything has been inspected and cleaned up.
But since I can't see it, caution says that you should have a good smith take a look at it.
(Official Anti-Liability Statement).
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Old 10-18-2019, 4:33 PM
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Get used to it. It gets worse. Much worse.
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Old 10-18-2019, 4:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
To be clear about what I said, although this may be a straight walled revolver round, it is being used in a rifle chamber that has a throat.
If the case was too long and wedged the bullet in the throat, similar to a crimping die effect, that could cause an over pressure situation.

If the mouth area of the case is stuck in the throat, that may be what is actually meant by part of the case being in the barrel.
We don't know, and some guy did something with the case and gun already so we really will never know for sure.
But if the case mouth is stuck in the throat, then that may very well be the problem.



OP, there is a good chance that your barrel is just fine, once the debris has been removed and everything has been inspected and cleaned up.
But since I can't see it, caution says that you should have a good smith take a look at it.
(Official Anti-Liability Statement).


Do you have any idea how much longer a fad would need to be to jam in the throat?
How about .250Ē or more. And that ainít going to happen l.
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Old 10-18-2019, 5:03 PM
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Do you have any idea how much longer a fad CASE would need to be to jam in the throat?
How about .250” or more. And that ain’t going to happen l.
Yes I do have an idea...a very good one.
Not likely to need that much length either.
Then there's always the .357 Maximum case out there.
Who knows how carefully the reloaders did their work, including inspection of all loaded ammo.
Chit happens.
I don't buy or use "factory reloads" because my experience with them is so bad that it was one of the reasons I started handloading (and 10MM ammo was sooo expensive back in the late 80's).
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Old 10-18-2019, 5:10 PM
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Where are you located? I bet one of us will have a better idea of what happened and if it is safe, than whatever 'smith' you took it to.
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Old 10-18-2019, 8:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
You have no way of measuring tension, you do not have a conversion for tension to bullet hold. I went from 45 pounds of bullet hold +/- a few to over 100 pounds of bullet hold. Pulling bullets after increasing bullet hold was impossible by conventional means meaning I could not pull the bullets with the RCBS collet puller or the Hornady cam lock puller.

And then there was the Aberdeen cold weld problem; They did not claim neck tension, but they did claim the bullet required 500 pounds + to move. Shoot them or pull them? Reloaders claim pulling the expander ball through the neck when lowering the ram moves the shoulder and increases the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head.

I have always claimed there was not one reloader on any of the reloading forums that could measure the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head before lowering the ram and after lowering the ram.

F. Guffey
I do have a way of measuring tension: loaded neck diameter minus unloaded neck diameter.

A difference of .002” is sufficient to hold a bullet securely in the neck to survive feeding from the magazine and chambering without bullet setback.

We call that difference TENSION.
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Old 10-19-2019, 6:24 AM
fguffey fguffey is offline
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Quote:
We call that difference TENSION.
Just my opinion but I would say the 'we' you are referring to is mechanically challenged; there is something called interference fit and crush fit.

F. Guffey
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Old 10-19-2019, 9:38 AM
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Interference fit does not sound as sexy as neck tension. Neither does your bullet hold. That sounds stupid much like bullet head.
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