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Thread: Savage 1, Federal 0.....

  1. #1
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    Default Savage 1, Federal 0.....

    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.)
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  2. #2

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    First, it makes me feel better about the quality of the design and materials in my Savage 30-06. I wonder if these were the Federal Premiums or the HE version. As you mentioned at the end of your post you didn't check the barrel stamp, but I think you may have heard a funny sound a lot sooner than about 18 rounds into the session if the rifle was a 270 or 280. I think you might have heard some cursing about how had it was to get the bolt closed. But then I've never tried to chamber an 06 round in my 270 and don't care to try.

    Perhaps you should have had the guy send the remaining rounds to Beartooth to try out in his AI. The pressures might be just right for him to fire form the cases and not lose any velocity.

    In any case, somebody had an oops, and the good news is that no one got hurt. I guess I'll start inspecting the cases of my factory loads after each shot like I do with my hand loads. I've just taken it for granted that the factory stuff stayed well below the SAAMI upper limits for pressure to provide a margin of safety for tight chambers and older weaker firearms.

  3. #3
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default

    That's really interesting. I've never had any trouble with federal ammo, which I shoot almost exclusively. Thanks for the heads up, I'll make sure I check out my ammo before I go shooting.

    -Eric

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    Default

    Interesting...don't know what to think about it given he was shooting factory ammunition. You mentioned that it was a new scope, I wonder if it was also a brand new rifle that wasn't cleaned before shooting...no, I don't think that would do it. Maybe a brand new rifle that (for some inexplicable reason) the throat was cut way too short during chamber reaming at the factory, and the bullet was being jammed into the lands during chambering...resulting in unusually high pressures. However, I doubt that was it...you would have noticed them struggling to close the bolt, and Partitions are relatively stubby bullets. Maybe an old rifle with excessively dirty, corrosion pitted bore? Heck, I don't know...but it's interesting that my first impulse is to assume that the ammunition is OK, so it must be the rifle. Maybe factory ammunition is not the Holy Grail of consistency that us handloaders try to aspire.

    Whatever the cause, I'd be interested in hearing Federal's and Savage's response to him. Will you be able to follow-up with the guy?

  5. #5

    Default Bad ammo

    I just have to assume it was the ammo. If it was a sub thirty cal. rifle, then it would have been a lot worse. No mention of split cases was given, so it was not an oversized chamber either by bad machining or a different cartridge chambering. What was described is obvious, to my mind, that the ammunition was carrying too heavy a load for that caliber/bullet weight, was overly long in case length and created high pressure or were old cases with enlarged primer pockets. It was not stated that the ammunition was new Federal, just that they were by deduction, in a federal box with that information on it. I am going to suggest that these were not new federal cartridges, but reloads in a Federal box. It's possible the guy was aware of this but didn't want to own up to it, just wanted to find out why it happened. Not far-fetched to me. This is a pretty popular Federal loading in '06, and I haven't heard anything back from the customers who purchase them from the store.

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    Default A second vote...

    For the SAVAGE 110, I own the 30-06 I bought in 2003, & it has preformed very well for the price I paid for it...(except of course for the cheap Simmons scope)

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    Question

    A little further information here. I was told the ammo was purchased within the past year it was in the current blue and gold box. The ammo was clean and did not appear to have been through a sizing die. The head stamp was consistant with Federal premium ammo (FC), it was not marked HE nor was the box marked high energy.

    The Savage was old(er) and the scope was a new purchase. ( I think he said he got it at SW and they mounted it and bore sighted it and he was disappointed that it wasn't even close at 100 yards) Duh!

    The cases were brass not nickel plated and the primers were brass not nickel (chrome) plated. The primers were In my opinion Remington No. 9 1/2. The two unfired rounds looked like factory rounds and all fired and unfired had the same type (unplated) primer.

    Questions:

    Does Federal premium ammo have brass or nickel plated cases? (30-06 caliber)

    Does Federal premium ammo have Remington primers, or does Federal make unplated primers just for their ammo?

    I don't see enough factory ammo to remember this.

    I will make no judgment about ammo or rifle. I didn't get the opportunity examine the ammo or rifle very closely.


    I have had several of these types of things brought to me to fix or see what's wrong and most were some poorly handloaded ammo but were obviously reloads.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I would be supprised if Federal primers were not used with the Federal factory loads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shooter338 View Post
    I would be supprised if Federal primers were not used with the Federal factory loads.
    I guess I'll have to go down to SW and open boxes to see what primers they use. You'd think somebody would have a box they could look at. There isn't a dozen handloaders on here and the rest must shoot factory ammo. Heck, half the handloaders won't even use handloads for hunting, I figured there would be tenty people who use Federal facory ammo.

    I will say the guys gun looked rough and neglected and looking in the muzzle I could see lots of copper fouling, maybe it had never been cleaned.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default Fed primers

    Murphy, OK...OK
    I dug down to the bottom of the pile and found some Federal factory- fairly recent gold/blue box. It has plated primers. I don't recall ever seeing non-plated primers in Federal factory loads or non-plated Federal primers. That doesn't mean they never made non-plated or used others like Remington primers but imagine it's been awhile if ever. I haven't shot 10 rounds of factory ammo in the last 30 years except for about a ton of "free" handgun ammo thru the S&W and Glock. With the kind of pressure you describe those folks were lucky. Maybe never know but could be a combination of problems- minimum chamber and neck dimension, dirty chamber and bore, poor reloads (like "50 grs is good so heck far a couple more and she'd be a magnum bear stomper"). Have my doubts about the factory ammo being overloaded.

  11. #11
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    Default

    I am not sure what is going on either. I have a friend that has a Savage 112 same action as the 110, and he too was blowing primers out of the cases. He has 22-250 that we were Prairie dog hunting in Kansas, temp was mid 70's. I had reloaded him some rounds using Winchester cases with Winchester standard primers with sierra 55 grain bullets. My book shows 35 grains of RL 15 as min load and 37 grains as max load. I was loading for 2 rifles for this hunt the savage and a Kimber longmaster 22-250. I ended up using 37 grains of reloader 15 for the Kimber with no problems shot great, and I used 36 grains of RL 15 for the savage and it worked fine for it. I shot several rounds out of both rifles before we left, both had around 1/2 in groups at 100 yards, not great but will work.

    Now we are in Kansas dog hunting, 1st day Mark is shooting his savage and tells me he is having a problem. I go over and see what is going on and find a primer in the Mag well. I scratch my head and clear the chamber, look at the bolt and the barrel everything looks good. We continue to shoot. When Marks 22-250 starts getting warm I let him use my Kimber and my loads since he only has one rifle. I am shooting my 220 swift and my 257 Weatherby as my second rifle. I know the 257 is a little over kill for dogs but it sure makes a red mist.

    Well to make a long story short, through out the day Mark ends up blowing 5 primers and finally he sticks his ejector in his bolt. The next day I let him use my Kimber for the day, Guess what he starts blowing primers in my Kimber. Well Mark was done shooting. I shot my Kimber more that day and never blew a primer using the same box mark was shooting out of. He blew 3 in about 10 shots.

    I got home and played with both rifles for a while. I did learn both rifles will fire with the bolt 1/2 way closed. Could this cause him to blow primers? Could this have been what was going on. Could he be getting in a hurry to get another shot off and not get the bolt closed all the way. Maybe leaving a little extra room in the chamber.

    I have shot several hundred rounds in both rifles since with no problems. Same loads we were shooting in Kansas.

    It has to be the shooter doing something and I believe it is not getting the bolt closed all the way.

    What do you think?

  12. #12
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    Default Back when I was a little younger and a whole lot dumber

    I was right at the max laods with an 06 Savage 110. I ejected a round and something didn't feel right. Upon inspection the crossbolt that holds the Bolt Head on had broken and the bolt head had fallen off. All the safety ports in the gun must have worked as I had no indication other than the feel of the bolt when I pulled it back. They were at max but they weren't cratering or bulging but there had been a lot of rounds through that gun before that. A quick look through Brownells and a couple of days later I was right back at it and have been eversince. This sounds like the ammo to me with the only exception being if the gun had that much crap in the bore maybe it was stamped as a .308 caliber but it ended up being choked down somewhat

  13. #13
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    Default Fed using CCI

    Quote Originally Posted by shooter338 View Post
    I would be supprised if Federal primers were not used with the Federal factory loads.

    The rumor mill has it that Federal is loading there ammo with CCI primers. Fedderal is the sole contractor to the Military for primers and the as of yet UNnuked middle east is burning all they can make.


    Please remember that most rumors are worth what you pay for them.

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