Bullet lodged in barrel mystery

Discussion in 'Big Stuff--7mm, 30 Cal, .338+' started by Storm Cloud, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    Loading my own for 46 years, never saw this happen before. Loaded a dozen 300 grain Hornady HP's by the Hornady book, a Hornady 450 Marlin case like they used, with a WLR like they used, and a starting charge of 38.5 grains of H4198 like they used with that same 300 that they used.
    Went to range in five below zero weather, fired 1st shot at 100 yard gong. WHAM, an inch or two above the hairs, nice blast but soft recoil, put another one in, CLICK, opened the action and the shell came out spilling powder inside the action and all over the bench top. Bullet lodged in barrel.
    How on God's green Earth did the primer push the bullet out without lighting the powder? Tapped the bullet out of the barrel with a wooden dowell once home. Picture of it here attached. Though I heard nothing rumor has it that you don't when only the primer goes off, and I didn't so no mystery there, BUT as can be seen the primer 'did go off' and blackened the base and around the lower outside edges of the projectile a bit. Enough fire and heat and hell from the primer to lodge the bullet in the barrel but not enough to light the powder! Duh, I don't get it.
    Though it was cold out the shells were not exposed to the cold but for a minute or two when that happened. P1030454.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  2. JohnKielly

    JohnKielly Australia, not Austria Silver $$ Contributor

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    The only time I saw something like that happen, the powder charge was contaminated by an unindentified liquid in the case.
     
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  3. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    I'm thinking there is a possibility that that is it, now that you mentioned it. I suppose I'll never know for sure. There were no clumps of powder though that spilled out, just individual particles bouncing and rolling and blowing across the bench top.
     
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  4. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm

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    I just had this happen for the first time with my late grandfather's 7.7 Jap. Was it new brass? The only thing I can assume is some form of powder contamination from the new brass. I took it straight from the bag, inspected and sized, cleaned the sizing wax from the brass and loaded up a mild charge of 4064 and had this happen. I'm assuming my 150gr Hotcor was lodged into the lands by the force of the firing pin slamming the brass forward.

    Only difference was I had a few clumps in my powder mess that came out of the action.

    Did you deprime and inspect the offending primer to see if it truly did ignite and fail to set off the powder or are you only going off of bullet discoloration? How far down the bore did your lead go
     
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  5. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    Yes the primer was punched out and inspected and it for certain did go off. The bullet took a half dozen taps with the dowel to dislodge, not hard to get out. Would have been a bad thing to happen on a charging
    Grizzly. The brass was twice fired and on the 3rd loading.
     
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  6. hillbillydruggist

    hillbillydruggist

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    did you say 5 below?
     
  7. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    Yes, also said shells not exposed to cold for more than two minutes at the time.
     
  8. dkhunt14

    dkhunt14

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    I have seen fail to fire happen when it is extremely cold. Most times it's a hard cupped primer and not fast or hard enough firing pin strike. It can also be helped along with cold temps or too much shoulder bump. A lot of times the primer ignites and fuses tje powder at the case head together and it looks yellowish color and you have to dig the powder out the base of the case. I would be using Federal 215 Magnum primers if I was shooting in these temperatures. Matt
     
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  9. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm

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    450 Marlin has a very thick belt on it with no shoulder so it wasn't excessive headspace. How cold was the rifle itself? I'd have to assume contaminated primer How do you clean your brass? If corn cob or walnut do you inspect flash holes after sizing and or depriming?
     
  10. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    P1030385 - ml-sz-.JPG Brass was shined up a bit with 0000 steel wool. A local fellow assumes it was the Winchester standard primer. He says they are having an issue here and there. Can't understand that since it ignited and blew the bullet out of the case. Geez, the older you get the weirder the world gets. It's not quite as cold today and I got the action to close by blowing air in there with one of those air cans. So I intend to try the other 10 shells and to also load another half dozen with a different primer. Maybe it was a lousy primer in a box where the other 99 are OK. That was only the 2nd shell I'd ever fired in the gun with a jacketed bullet. Before that only 405 cast bullets with 231 and Unique and everything worked wonderfully.
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Hodgdon has a starting load of 48grs. Different 300 gr bullet. Your powder charge is to low.

    Check neck tension. Bullet moved before enough pressure was made. COL? Seat more bullet into the case?

    Mag up for the cold.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  12. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    The powder charge I used is the starting charge in the newest Hornady manual, all components the same as what they used. Anyway a bullet lodged in the barrel is better than a telescope lodged in my forehead. I could tighten the crimp some in case that helps.
     
  13. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Hodgdon list a Hornady 350 gr with a start load of H4198 at 43.0 grs.

    I see the bullet has a cannelure, so a different COL will not help.

    Neck tension helps more then crimp. Expander should be .002" smaller then bullet diameter, or more. Measure neck OD area before and after seating a bullet . On seating, has the OD expanded .002" or more for good neck tension.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  14. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    Just loaded six more, same load but with Fed 215Match and a bit tighter crimp, so too late at the moment to try that measuring trick. But will next time at the bench. Will try these already loaded 10 again also with the WLR but with the crimp tightened a bit. Will mention here how things went within a few hours.
    I don't have the new Hornady manual but saw the load in the newest manual on the retail shelf, so can't look at the moment to see if they list a stronger charge for the 350 in that edition.. The 38.5 grains of H4198 load for the 300 says it's going 1,700 fps which is rumored to perform better on game than the same slug going 600 fps faster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  15. Ggmac

    Ggmac Gold $$ Contributor

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    Possible condensation in the case . It has happened a couple of times down here in south Florida. Air conditioning in the house /car to outside 90+ range temp and about the same humidity. Removed the bullet on a few that I did not try to fire and the base of the bullet had condensation on it . It's only happened a couple of times and I would think it would happen much more often. Still just a guess
     
  16. Ggmac

    Ggmac Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you have a large air space , I would raise the muzzle ( to settle powder at rear ) then carefully lower to target . Especially at such cold temps and std primer
     
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  17. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    P1030456.JPG
    On the 100 yd gong on the right is five with Federal 215M primer, no problem. I then decided to try the 10 left over from yesterday with the WLR primer. Shooting at the smaller gong the first two were kissing. Then the unexpected happened again. The 3rd shot which was the flyer sounded like a well timed Flint-Lock going off, click-BOOM, a hang fire the first one I ever had in my life. So I decided to not shoot the other seven and will unload them instead. I guess the whole problem was the WLR primers.
    Once done I looked down the barrel expecting to see lots of unburned or partially burned powder. No way, it was as clean as a brand new police whistle. It looks like Elmer Keith was on to something when he said the most accurate rifles off the shelf were 45 caliber rifles.

    Hornady 450 Marlin case
    Fed 215M primer
    38.5 gr H4198
    300 gr Hornady HP

    Recoil is light, only thing I may change in the future is switch to the 300 Speer HP since it has such astounding reviews on MidWay for a big game stomper. Thank-you fellows for your suggestions which were pretty damn good ones.








    .
     
  18. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    IMO the 38.5 gr load is lower than a starting lot?
    http://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/ammunition_st_mamotaip_200909/100079#
     
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  19. Storm Cloud

    Storm Cloud

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    Interesting. Thanks.
     
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  20. AckleymanII

    AckleymanII Silver $$ Contributor

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    4198 leaves more air space in the case than any other powder, combined with a minimum load(depending on what manual you read), has lead to problems.

    I have had this issue before with a 7 mag and 25/06 shooting minimum loads. 20+ years ago, there were some 25/06's that were blowing up from detonations from minimum powder charges. Possible Detonations scare me, and for this reason, I will not shoot minimum loads in warm weather, must less super cold weather. I saw the remains of 2 rifles over the years that have blown up from detonations, you had better pray to our Heavenly Father that it never happens to you!

    Storm Cloud, I wish you would take a chronograph out and check the speed and standard deviation on your load.

    I shot 4198 in a 444 Marlin when I was growing up, max load with a 265g Hornady, very accurate. I killed a bunch of deer with this 444 with the 265g Hornady SP. I would be hard to convince that a bullet going 600 fps slower kills better....fly in the ointment somewhere.

    You may have a more harmonious outcome by switching to H4895 or upping your powder charge.
     
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