I was at the range today shooting a few through the chrony and a couple of guys were there sighting in anew scope on a Savage 110 in 30-06. About 18 rounds into the box of ammo I heard an unusual 'pop' and stopped to watch the shooter. He opened the bolt and no brass fell out. He fumbled with it for a while and his puzzled look invited me over for a look see.
The case was still in the chamber but it was minus the primer. A closer look finds the loose primer lying in the magazine area. I dumped it out then took out the bolt and noticed the extractor was pushed sideways (thats the way to take them out) which explains why the case wasn't extracted. I pushed the extractor back to it's normal position and it locked in place nicely. I then replaced and closed the bolt on the primerless case. I few taps against the bolt handle and the case came out.
The primer pocket was obviously over sized and smoked up from the hot gas that exited around it. A closer examination of the rest of the brass (he had saved it all) showed more than half with cratered and flattened primers and three of them had smoked up case heads where the primer had leaked. Those 3 had oval shaped primers showing sever primer cup espansion. The rest of the case had normal looking primers.
The Savage held up well. No gas hit the shooter in the face and nothing was broken. Apparently the force of the gas moved the extractor sideways (down when the bolt was closed) and this allowed the gas to exit downward into the magazine, and out through the vent hole in the forward raceway. All the way it was supposed to go. I saw no damage from it with the quick look I gave the rifle.
He said he had never experienced any trouble before with the rifle with any ammo. This was a box of Federal Premium 180 Nosler partitions, in caliber 30-06. I told him to contact Federal and tell them what happened, and to save the brass for them. I then walked back to my bench and he quit shooting. What do you all think? (I forgot to check to see if the rifle was also stamped 30-06.)