Old rifle and old ammo = misfire

This is a discussion on Old rifle and old ammo = misfire within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm trying to figure out what exactly happened, so I figured I'd see if anyone here has some ideas. Background: I have a K43 in ...

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Thread: Old rifle and old ammo = misfire

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    Distinguished Member Array lacrosse50's Avatar
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    Old rifle and old ammo = misfire

    I'm trying to figure out what exactly happened, so I figured I'd see if anyone here has some ideas.

    Background: I have a K43 in 8mm my grandfather brought back from WW2. He gave it to me with a cracked extractor and missing retaining screw/spring. I've since replaced the parts. I've also acquired some old ammo (dated 1989) to use with it. It's mainly a safe queen, but I decided to hit the range with my camera and send my grandfather some pictures of the "restored" rifle.

    I loaded 8 rounds in the mag and began firing slowly. I worked through 6 rounds, and the sixth failed to cycle the action. Smoke poured out the back of the action, and then near the chamber. It stopped smoking just as quickly. I couldn't cycle the action, and had to gently persuade it once I got home. The round that came out looked intact, bullet seated, but the primer was pushed in a bit and the firing pin had left it's mark. The fact that it was resisting coming out of the chamber makes me think the case had bulged, but I couldn't see anything to that effect.

    Now, I've had revolver rounds fail to fire, but the primer only puts out a little smoke. I assume the same thing happened here, but the smoke coming from 2 locations and the amount of it just kinda threw me. I could hear some powder still in the rounds case. The rifle appears to be fine, chamber clean and cycles rounds again.

    Is the primer just that much bigger on an 8mm, or did something else happen? I hate not knowing.
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    Last edited by lacrosse50; May 24th, 2009 at 01:40 AM. Reason: clarity
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    A primer doesn't make much smoke. My first thought is that it burned the powder in the case and the gas pressure pushed out around the primer leaving the bullet fully seated. If it fired out of battery it is possible this is what happened, also if the powder was wet or contaminated it is more likely that it would only partially burn which would explain why you can still hear some powder in the case. Where did the ammo come from and how has it been stored? Can you post a picture of the round showing the primer and also the neck, with an unfired round for comparison?

    Austin

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    Distinguished Member Array lacrosse50's Avatar
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    Hi Austin,

    I tossed the round, but before I did I laid it next to an unfired round. As far as I could tell the bullet had not budged at all. The primer was definitely struck, and looked to be pushed in over it's entire width, like it didn't line up with the end of the case.

    I've got the half used box in front of me. It's labled "Hansen Cartridge Company POSI FEED" - "Reloadable, Boxer Primed, Non-corrosive". The company address is in Connecticut, but the box says Made in Yugoslavia. On the inside of one of the flaps "1989" is stamped. The rounds themselves look to be in decent shape. I bought it, and 5 more at an estate sale so I can't vouch for it's storage conditions.

    The rifle was most definitely in battery, and was a bear to cycle until I got the round most of the way out of the chamber.

    I've used, almost exclusively, factory new/reloaded ammo. I figured it was bad ammo, I've just not run into it before and the smoke seemed excessive. I hadn't thought about the gas exiting to the rear. I guess I'll have to think about tossing the rest. It's to important a rifle to fiddle with.

    Thanks for the info! If you or anyone else wants to impart some wisdom, please do. It's why I started the thread!
    The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
    -Herbert Spencer

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