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AR blow up

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by capvan, Mar 5, 2010.

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  1. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    A friend's AR blew up yesterday. He's ok, but pretty shook.

    He was using reloaded ammo, 27.5 gr. of Varget with a 55 gr. bullet. He said it was a compressed load. He was using a Dillon 650 press. I use 26.5 gr. of Varget routinely and have never had any signs of increased pressure.

    Any comments?
     
  2. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    Maybe a squib load?
     
  3. Texshooter

    Texshooter Member

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    You can have a big difference in pressures if you use military cases. They are much thicker and smaller capacity, so pressure will be extreme with what may be normal loads in civilian cases. Most reloading manuals show this warning, it is important in the 223 if you pick up brass. AJ
     
  4. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Andy...you mean a squib in the shell preceding the blow up?
     
  5. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    Did he have a case failure or a gun failure?

    Does he own (and use) a case trimmer?
     
  6. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    I haven't seen the gun, but since it was destroyed, I'd have to say gun failure. He's new to reloading, does not have a case trimmer. And I'm unsure where his brass comes from. He has done a lot of shooting and has been saving all his brass.
     
  7. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    Long brass jammed against the taper at the end of the chamber causes higher pressures. Long brass crimped into a groove without the ability to expand is even worse.
    Most, if not all, LC brass that I have obtained needed to be trimmed before I could load it.
     
  8. EE

    EE Banned User Banned

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    He's new to reloading, doesn't have a case trimmer (and who knows what else), but he's loading a max load already? And let me guess, he didn't work up to that charge, looking for pressure signs along the way? Interestingly enough, Hodgdon lists that load as their fastest 55gr load for the 223, by a large margin. My guess is the guy said 'hell, yeah, that's the velocity I want', loaded it up, and and went to the range with it.

    EE
     
  9. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    That's a lot of Varget for a .223.

    RE the military case thickness, I would beg to differ. This is true of 308 cases for certain, and also for 30-06.

    I trimmed some commercial and some lake city to the same length, and filled them to the top. The LC brass held more than the commercial.

    YMMV

    HM
     
  10. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    capvan:

    Yes. He could have had an obstruction in the barrel.
     
  11. alchemist

    alchemist TS Member

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    The Remington 223 and the 5.56 X45 mm chambers are not the same. Remington 223 ammo can be fired safely in a rifle chambered for 5.56 x 45 mm. Firing 5.56 X 45 mm ammo in a firearm chambered for Remington 223 can produce high pressures.

    Bob Snell
     
  12. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Show us a picture of the gun if you can. HMB
     
  13. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    I'd have to agree with EE. New to reloading and a compressed load of Varget?????? Wayne
     
  14. Anchorsteam

    Anchorsteam TS Member

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    Why would anyone load a 'compressed' load in an assault rifle??? Compressed loads are generally for long range shooting or hunting from a bolt gun. And even then bullet weight, case volume, primer and many other factors weigh in to the equation. Will be interesting to see what the manufacturer says if he sends it in for analysis. But I'm guessing he won't. Good thing he is ok - lesson learned the hard way.
     
  15. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Darwin called. He's looking for your friend.

    -Gary
     
  16. Landshark

    Landshark Member

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    27.5 grains of Varget? Dang......
     
  17. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Anchorsteam, quote: <i>"Why would anyone load a 'compressed' load in an assault rifle??? Compressed loads are generally for long range shooting or hunting from a bolt gun. And even then bullet weight, case volume, primer and many other factors weigh in to the equation. Will be interesting to see what the manufacturer says if he sends it in for analysis. But I'm guessing he won't. Good thing he is ok - lesson learned the hard way."</i>

    Uh, your slip is showing.

    I have a universal .223 Rem load for 55 gr bullets that is mildly compressed, and I've been loading it for well over 20 years now, and firing it in single shots, bolt actions, numerous semi-autos of various makes and types including so called "assault weapons", handguns, and even machineguns.

    Please cite a source that compressed loads should not be fired in an "assault rifle".
     
  18. bigbore613

    bigbore613 Active Member

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    " Your slip is showing" that shows some age LOL. Jeff
     
  19. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    I load Varget and 4064 in my ARs. It is all compressed to some degree, especially the 4064.
     
  20. Grayson Mayne

    Grayson Mayne Member

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    Need a lot more information. Was the gun an as new or new AR or was it altered with an aftermarket target barrel? LC brass may have as much or more volume than commercial brass as one poster has suggested but it is softer that commercial brass and will stretch more. If a new reloader runs brass through a progressive reloader ( especially several times) without lubricating the inside of the case neck properly that case will grow, further, it will get thicker at the neck which can cause a catastrophic failure in a tight neck target barrel. There are so many variables in reloading in general and in this incident in particular that this failure could have been caused by anything, including space aliens.
     
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