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Thread: Can my son's rifle be saved?

  1. #1

    Default Can my son's rifle be saved?

    My son went to an outdoorsman retreat a week ago and spent the majority of his time at the range. He let everybody shoot his Rock River Predator Pursuit. There was an ammo vendor on sight who had everything .223/5.56. The Rock River digested everything they fed it except the round that is still stuck in the chamber. It is a loaded round that would not fully chamber. I'm pretty sure that the brutes leaned pretty hard on the forward assist in attempt to get that round all the way in the chamber. Then when that wouldn't work they used a block of wood and a hammer to drive the bolt back open taking a piece of the case rim with it. My son tried to push the round out with a ram rod to no avail. Then he brought the gun to me. It is obvious that the bullet on the stuck round has been pushed back into the case and most likely flattened to some extent. I poured some 3 in1 oil down the bore and let it soak for a couple of days just to make sure that the powder and primer were rendered inert. Then I poured a good copper solvent down the bore about every 4 or 5 hours until the full bottle was now empty. I then drilled a quarter inch hole in a 1x4 and centered the hole over the bore. My aluminum ramrod went through the hole in the board and down the bore of the rifle. When it came to a stop there was only about 1 inch of ramrod sticking up through the board and that was plenty as the case would surely be free if the ram rod went south even a portion of that inch. I started off slow with some love taps and nothing happened. I increased the strike until it was mushrooming the ramrod. I ruined that ramrod so got a second aluminum ramrod out and cut it off at about the same length as the first. This time I gave it one hard(real hard) whack with my 20 ounce framing hammer. I hit it perfectly square and once again just mushroomed the ramrod on both ends. That at least tells me that I am against something solid inside the case. I was barely able to pull the ramrod back out because of the mushroomed end. That last hard whack did knock the primer out of the case. I am going to pick up 1 each brass and stainless steel ramrods today(the cheaper variety). I have a couple of real nice brass ramrods with swivel handles but they were $50 a piece so will look for a cheaper one to sacrifice.

    Do you fellas suppose that the chamber will be ruined by the time I get that case out? I can't imagine the why of it. Did somebody get moisture on that round and then drop it in the sand and then load it anyway? Did the round before it have headspacing issues and in the end extract only the back half of the case then this stuck case was wedged inside the front half of the last one fired????

    Guys I have been doing this a long time and have never had one stuck in the chamber like this, however when you visit the black gun forums it seems to be more common than I would have suspected. Wish me luck!

  2. #2
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Vise the barrel securely. Use steel, not aluminum or any other material. Use a large, heavy mallet. The cartridge should come free. Tou will probably have to beat on the rod pretty hard. Oversize or bent case on the load. NEVER use the forward assist. If it won't chamber, don't force it.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  3. #3

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    I was hoping you would post! I have a big vise and "V" blocks. I will soon have a steel ramrod. I will let you know how it turns out!

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    I did this with a Winchester shotgun that had an empty hull fire formed to the chamber. Used a piece of all thread and a soft hammer. Took quite a whack, but it came free. I'm thinking the copper solvent wasn't a good idea with the brass still being in there. You may have to really work on cleaning up the chamber when it's all over.
    I stood the shotgun on a solid wood block with the butt stock removed when I whacked it. If I had left the stock on I'm sure it would have damaged it considering how hard I had to hit the all thread. I used black tape on the all thread at the bottom end, halfway up, and towards the top to keep it from contacting the barrel. Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    It is common in ARs.

    I yank the barrel off the upper and treat them like a stuck case in a die . . . drill/tap the back 1/4-20, a socket (mine is a 5/8x3/8 drive Taiwan) a cople washers, 1/4-20 bolt and nut. Tighten on the nut so you don't ream the threads out of the case. If that doesn't pop it right out with medium torque then I drop some drill rod in and set it up in my hydraulic press.

    I'm not a fan of the university of BFH anymore, I've paid lots of credit hours on how smacking stuff often leads to buying stuff. Don't get me wrong sometimes you got to whack on stuff but anymore I try to make that the final attempt . . . once I grab a hammer it ether works or destroys leaving me wishing I had tried other stuff first.

    I even had one nut fry to form a 256wm case by shutting the bolt of one of my Rossi 92s over a 357 brass . . . talk about a stuck case!! He ripped the head off it with a steel rod then scored the chamber trying to grab the case mouth with the rod . . . had to set the barrel back after I got the busted case out. Oh and it damaged the 92s action trying to force that in there too so inspect your upper, bolt carrier, assist, charging handle and extractor well.
    Andy
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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, and never, ever shoot steel case 223 ammo. In anything. If you can't afford brass case ammo, just don't buy any. And I would advise against drilling into a live primer.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  7. #7
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    And I would advise against drilling into a live primer.
    Yup very true, wasn't thinking about others reading this. If it hasn't fallen out like this one has I run a sheet rock screw in the joint line and pry the primer out.
    Andy
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  8. #8

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    Thanks Andy. I have a tendency to either fix stuff with a hammer or finish it. I breathed hard and walked away from this derned black gun without killing it.

    I don't have none of the fancy stuff you have so I'm going to give it a go with the mallet and steel rod tomorrow. I'll do it in a manner so as not to ruin nothin.....I hope!

  9. #9

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    Well, I got the stuck case out! I bought a piece of 3/16ths zinc plated steel stock and cut it to fit the purpose. Then I got out my large orange hard plastic mallet and hit it with much authority. It buried the steel rod 1/4 inch deep in the mallet and the round was still stuck. I drove to Thiesen's Farm store and got the mallet that Gunbugs intended me to use and it worked. I hit that rod like I was sinking a 16 penny with one swing. I must have gotten lucky as my swing was true and the mallet landed square and the case popped out.

    It was a steel case and it's surface felt rough.

    I cleaned the gun real good and it came through without a mark on it.

    Thanks for the help fellas!

  10. #10
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Do not shoot steel case 223 in anything. 9 out of 10 stuck 223 cases these days are steel. They should quit making that crap.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Some guns handle it fine, other not so much.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    Do not shoot steel case 223 in anything. 9 out of 10 stuck 223 cases these days are steel. They should quit making that crap.
    Yup, I spend lots of hours each winter at the reloading bench so we don't have to shoot that junk in our rifles. My son didn't want to let someone else shoot up my reloads so he let the other guys shoot his gun as long as they had their own ammo. We had a talk about the steel case stuff and I'm guessing that he won't use his gun in that manner again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    Do not shoot steel case 223 in anything.
    And the sky is falling too. I shoot loads and loads of steel-case, especially 7.62x39 and .223/5.45 and have never had issues with any of it. As do lots of other folks at the range. But I've also never power jammed a round into a chamber as what happened to the OP. It wasn't the round that caused that issue, it was either sand/dirt/rust or something else that wasn't supposed to be in that chamber.

    More important is not to let "just anyone" shoot your guns if you rely on them, because it wasn't those folks at home that night with a useless hunk of parts and a stuck case.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
    And the sky is falling too. I shoot loads and loads of steel-case, especially 7.62x39 and .223/5.45 and have never had issues with any of it. As do lots of other folks at the range. But I've also never power jammed a round into a chamber as what happened to the OP. It wasn't the round that caused that issue, it was either sand/dirt/rust or something else that wasn't supposed to be in that chamber.

    More important is not to let "just anyone" shoot your guns if you rely on them, because it wasn't those folks at home that night with a useless hunk of parts and a stuck case.
    Just because it has never happened to you doesn't mean it can't happen. I've probably shot 100,000 rounds of 223/5.56 in my day and it's never happened to me. As it turns out 2 other guys ended up with one stuck in the chamber that day as well. One of which was a high dollar piston AR and another was a mini 14. All ammo was steel case and came from the same vendor. I'm betting it was all from the same lot.......it can happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Just because it has never happened to you doesn't mean it can't happen. I've probably shot 100,000 rounds of 223/5.56 in my day and it's never happened to me. As it turns out 2 other guys ended up with one stuck in the chamber that day as well. One of which was a high dollar piston AR and another was a mini 14. All ammo was steel case and came from the same vendor. I'm betting it was all from the same lot.......it can happen.
    Not to point out the obvious, but steel case isn't the only thing that can happen with. I've seen stuck cases with brass. My point is, it can happen with brass too. So by the logic of "it can happen" don't shoot brass either. OR, shoot whatever you want and don't force the round into the chamber if it won't go (brass or steel). Yeah, manufacturers can have a bad run but brass casing doesn't make a manufacturer immune from that chance.

    ETA, now if you were to say steel cased ammo has a higher probability of malfunctions because it's made cheaply by companies that have looser QA standards and your chances might be greater for problems.... Yep, I'd agree. But I'll still shoot it.

  16. #16
    Member Scorpion8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    ....steel cased ammo has a higher probability of malfunctions because it's made cheaply by companies that have looser QA standards and your chances might be greater for problems....
    Actually steel cased ammo was designed for military guns (AK's) with loser chambers. When you start getting into very precise AR chambers, you start to learn why the GI's originally hated the M-16-series. I can't recall ever, and I mean ever having a stuck steel case in any of my AK-builds, and I've shot truckloads of the stuff. The Ruskie importers started years ago making steelcase-everything for the US market because we just keep buying it and shooting it.

    But as stated several times, the forward-assist isn't meant to forcibly load a chamber. That stuck-case failure could have easily been prevented, and I still don't blame the ammo.

  17. #17
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    7.62x39 and 7.62x54R both have significantly more taper to the case than the 223/5.56 cartridge, and are easier to extract by that virtue. I've had to extract numerous stuck 223 steel cases from AR platform rifles. I believe that steel case 223 in an AR is generally asking for trouble. Sure, I've pulled stuck brass case 223's as well. But a small fraction of the number of steel case. As an aside, the U.S. made steel case 45acp during WW2. It is known to be hard on extractors with steady use. Brass is a better material for cases. If you want to run steel case 223, by all means go ahead, its your gun........It'll work fine... until it doesn't.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    7.62x39 and 7.62x54R both have significantly more taper to the case than the 223/5.56 cartridge, and are easier to extract by that virtue. I've had to extract numerous stuck 223 steel cases from AR platform rifles. I believe that steel case 223 in an AR is generally asking for trouble. Sure, I've pulled stuck brass case 223's as well. But a small fraction of the number of steel case. As an aside, the U.S. made steel case 45acp during WW2. It is known to be hard on extractors with steady use. Brass is a better material for cases. If you want to run steel case 223, by all means go ahead, its your gun........It'll work fine... until it doesn't.
    This is the best and most comprehensive write-up on the subject I've ever seen. And it generally comes to the conclusion that while steel case may in the long run be harder on the bits and pieces of the gun, the cost trade off may make it worthwhile depending on the costs of your bits and pieces. After reading it and studying the contained information, I decided it wasn't worth worrying about. Sometimes steel is cheaper to shoot. And more shooting/training is worth it's weight in gold.

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    This is the best and most comprehensive write-up on the subject I've ever seen. And it generally comes to the conclusion that while steel case may in the long run be harder on the bits and pieces of the gun, the cost trade off may make it worthwhile depending on the costs of your bits and pieces. After reading it and studying the contained information, I decided it wasn't worth worrying about. Sometimes steel is cheaper to shoot. And more shooting/training is worth it's weight in gold.
    learn to reload and forget about the steel cases = cheaper ammo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    learn to reload and forget about the steel cases = cheaper ammo.
    Oh that's the plan long term. Eventually. And I do reload for my pistols. But I still shoot steel in them when I see a deal. Sometimes I like the idea of shooting a lot and not having to pick up the brass.

    ETA: I should clarify in case anyone is wondering, I don't use steel case as my "go to ammo" for anything. I really don't trust it much for life or death. I only use it as a cheap way to make some water bottles and soda cans explode and to protect my life and limb against the ever increasing danger of paper attackers.

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