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 was just reading the thread about the S&W M&P-15 that exploded and it reminded me of a pic I have from a few months ...

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Thread: 5.56 Cartridge Failure

  1. #1
    Member Array skot's Avatar
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    5.56 Cartridge Failure

    I was just reading the thread about the S&W M&P-15 that exploded and it reminded me of a pic I have from a few months ago. I was shooting with some friends when one of their AR's popped out this gem. Anyone seen this before? Is it very common? The owner is a ex-marine and said he'd never seen it happen before.

    The casing from the fired round was ripped in half and a live round was fed into it.



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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Wild... that's gotta be a "one in a million" event...
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    talk about feeding a hungry carbine!
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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Were they reloads? By my guess, it looks like there was head separation on extraction, leaving the first casing in the chamber, ejecting the case head, and trying to chamber new round.
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    Geez! Is Glock making their barrels for them? Never seen anything like that.

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    It's not very common, but it happens occasionally when over-worked or defective brass fractures during the firing / extraction cycle.
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    Thanks for posting the pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    Were they reloads? By my guess, it looks like there was head separation on extraction, leaving the first casing in the chamber, ejecting the case head, and trying to chamber new round.
    That's my guess too, but I've seen it with both worn out reloads and new brass.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    Member Array skot's Avatar
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    I don't think they were reloads, but I'm actually not even sure what brand ammo it was. I'll have to ask him next time we go out.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Never seen that in thousands of rounds fired, including reloads.The good thing is there is no way the gun will fire in that condition
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    It's a first for me.
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    It is a case head separation. Such failures generally result from fatigued brass that has been reloaded several times and combined with excessive head space.

    Brass cases used in one of my SMLE .303 rifles are only good for about three loadings and then will begin to exhibit stretching. Continued reloading of the cases will result in a separation such as this. I've also had a couple of old antique Winchester lever action rifles whose actions were springy and would also give problems with stretched cases and separations.

    It was convenient that the subsequent round extracted the case body. A handy trick for removal of a case body stuck in a chamber from a head separation such as this is to utilize a bronze cleaning brush significantly larger than the diameter of the chamber. Pushed into the case, the bronze wire bristles grab the inside case walls and when the brush is withdrawn the ruptured case will come with it.

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    BAC
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    Interesting failure. Definitely saving those pictures for reference, so thanks for sharing.


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    Was it US military surplus or foreign ammo?

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    that was definitely reloaded ammo of some kind having a case head separation; it happens on occasion, personally it has never happened to me, but every once in a while somebody at a match will bring one to show everybody.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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