5.56 Cartridge Failure - Page 2

5.56 Cartridge Failure

This is a discussion on 5.56 Cartridge Failure within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've seen 30/6 break at the base but that was a case that was reloaded too many times. The 5.56 is one of a kind. ...

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  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    I've seen 30/6 break at the base but that was a case that was reloaded too many times. The 5.56 is one of a kind. That's a wild picture.


  2. #17
    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    I have had brand new Federal M193 ball do that very thing. The case failed at the annealing line and the remainder stuck in a properly dimensioned 5.56 chamber. A spent whole casing was fed into it by allowing the BCG to come forward under spring power. The broken shell was then extracted with the mortar method. It does happen and seems to be happening more and more with M193. I expect that we will be hearing of more incidents given the increasing numbers of .223 chambers that are appearing in the AR platforms.
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  3. #18
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I was shooting two weeks ago and something similar happened to me with 5.56 ammo.

    The rifle fired fine and then the bolt hung up. I looked to find the front half of the case sticking upright from the action in front of the bolt. Never found the back half, but it must have ejected like it was supposed to.

    Had the front half remained lodged in the chamber, it would have ended in the same result as your photo. Luckily for me it had extracted and was not lodged, so no broken shell extractor was needed.

    I was firing some reloads that I bought at a gun show. They were made with LC brass by a local manufacturer, who I have dealt with a lot and who has an excellent reputation. This is the first time I had fired any of his rifle loads. I'm sure the case must have been stressed too much previously or something that caused it to break in half when fired.

    Edit: I just went down and dug the case out of the trash can. Here is a really bad cell phone picture of it.

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  4. #19
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    I've got a round just like that on my kitchen counter waiting for me to find my camera. I think it was WWB, I know it was fired in a 5.56 chamber. It's ripped off right at where the annealing ends. The round before it (the one that got ripped in half) fired fine and I never did find the back half of the brass. What really gets me is that the bullet is now setback a little and wiggles just a bit. Also one side of the brass has a long scratch running the length of the case from the half brass down (if that makes any sense). I'll try to post pics as soon as I find my camera.
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  5. #20
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckledrager View Post
    I have had brand new Federal M193 ball do that very thing. The case failed at the annealing line and the remainder stuck in a properly dimensioned 5.56 chamber. ..........
    I believe this is a much more accurate description of what is happening in the OP's photos. I would NOT describe what I see in the OP's photo as case/head separation. Head separation would normally occur right at the juncture of head and case, not half way down the case length and is almost always attributable to excessive headspace and repeated full length resizing. This separation does appear to have occurred at just about the exact point that you would normally see the annealing line.

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  6. #21
    Member Array skot's Avatar
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    That's interesting that in similar instances the back half of the casing was never found either. We looked all over for it and never found it. Maybe because of what happened it flew on a different trajectory and landed in a completely different location than where we would have expected.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Skot that's probably what happened. I also know in my case I was firing prone from a hillside inside the pit and I had just inadvertently slid down about ten feet so my brass was literally everywhere. (Cleaning up that day was a pain, but the practice was worth it.)
    TSgt. Lickey

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