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Old December 14, 2007, 07:43 PM   #1
RonC1
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30-30 Win Model 94 cracking case necks

About half of the rounds I fire in a Win Model 94 come out with a crack in the neck. The crack is internal, that is, it does not extend all the way to the lip and doesn't extend past the shoulder. There is little or no soot around the crack.

It happens with old and new ammo.

I would guess there is something wrong with the chamber but it seems to look okay, no signs of corrosion or pitting.

The serial number indicates the gun was probably made around 1969. Otherwise, the gun is in excellent shape. Groups okay at 100 yards with open sights, you know 3-4 inchs for three shots.

Any thoughts? Was this a common problem?

As a reloader, it kills me that I have to throw half my empties away.
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Old December 14, 2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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First, make sure you are using the right ammunition for the rifle. Also, are you sure the rifle was not worked on or rechambered to something like .30-30 Improved. If in doubt have a gunsmith make a chamber cast.

If that is OK, and there is no ammunition defect, the main cause of case splits is an oversize chamber. If the case splits the first time, the chamber is so oversize that I would consider rebarrelling. But if it only splits after resizing, you should neck size only to prevent working the brass.

That is not an uncommon problem with rimmed cartridges; since the case headspaces on the rim, some makers ream the chamber a bit large to allow better reliability. But I would expect to see it in a military rifle, like the British SMLE, not in a civilian rifle.

Jim
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Old December 15, 2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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Thanks, Jim Keenan.

No, it splits the neck on factory new ammo too. But only about half the time. Like I said, there appears to be little gas escaping, or at least little soot. It shoots pretty well, so maybe I will just not worry about it.

My son bought a later model Trapper Model 94. It won't group worth a flip. (12 inches at 100 yards is not uncommon for his.) So, of the two problems I would rather have mine.
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Old December 15, 2007, 04:48 PM   #4
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If it was rechambered for an improved contour, would not firing the thing blow out the shoulder to the new contour and be very noticeable next to an unfired case? Might be loose tolerances in your particular gun, remember that the 94 was once a common as dirt inexpensive hardware store staple, not selling for alot of money as a centerfire rifle. Nowadays, check prices on these formerly economical guns!
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Old December 15, 2007, 07:20 PM   #5
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Hi, Tom,

Of course if the rifle had been rechambered to an "improved" caartidge, the case would fireform, but...
When fireforming to a case with a much different profile, you can expect to lose from one third to one half of the first cases. It is just part of the cost of having something you think is better.

Sure the 94 was common, and about 3 million or more were made, but none should do what RonC1 describes and I have never seen one do it.

Hi, RonC1,

Can you take some pics of the cases side by side (an unfired, a fired and split, and a fired and unsplit.) Can you take also some measurements at the area where the cases split. Compare the measurements of a split case with an unfired one and see what the difference is.

I really do think there is something here we don't know; a 94 just should not do that. Period.

Jim
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Old December 15, 2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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Yea it should not do it. But the best case scenario would be to make a chamber cast from that alloy that melts at low temp and is easy to remove once it cools. Got some chunks of it from work but forget the name. Otherwise compare fired and unfired cases, like he says. But I think the quality of the Win varied over time, for sure. Like some of the 60's guns are loosey goosey and have that nasty black chrome on the receivers, and I had a 1937 production gun that was perfectly polished on the outside and beautiful like hand work but the insides were rough like last ditch german guns, as if the cutters were dull and the work was hurried. A modern 94 I had was not as pretty but the guts looked better.
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Old December 15, 2007, 10:09 PM   #7
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Jim Keenan,

I will try to get some pictures over the next couple of weeks. I have culled the splits so I will need to make a trip to the range. Thanks for your interest and suggestions.
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Old December 15, 2007, 10:46 PM   #8
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Any chance that your rifle might be .32 Special?
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Old December 16, 2007, 02:19 PM   #9
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He says he gets good groups at 100, what would be the result with a 32 bore?
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Old December 16, 2007, 07:22 PM   #10
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That was about the first thing I though of, but then Ron said his groups were good. Also I think he would have looked at the barrel to make sure it was .30-30 (you did, didn't you, Ron?).

I think we still need more info.

Jim
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Old December 17, 2007, 08:35 PM   #11
Harry Bonar
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94

Sir:
It just sticks in my mind that it's "old - new ammo" or just "old ammo."
It's very rare for new fresh brass to do this in a 94.
Harry B.
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Old December 20, 2007, 06:10 PM   #12
RonC1
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Jim Keenan: Yes the barrel is marked 30-30 Win.

Harry Bonar: The gun breaks casings. I noted it with some old ammo a friend bought for me. Thinking that was the problem, I purchased a box of new Winchester 170. Did the same thing.

I took the rifle to the range a couple of days ago. I had two partial boxes of ammo, Remington 170 gr Corelokt. I fired four rounds from each box. Fourth round in both cases cracked. I took a picture this afternoon of an unfired and a cracked. Now, to figure out how to post.

I measured the water capacity with a scientific balance to the nearest 0.05 gram. No difference between a fired/cracked, fired/uncracked and fired/resized. But I can only measure to the nearest 0.05 grams which may not be sensitive enough; that is 0.77 grains. Water capacity was running about 3 grams which is a little over 46 grains.

The obvious answer is there is something wrong with the chamber. Other than rebarreling, or shortening the existing barrel and rechambering, is there anything else that can be done?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cracked 30-30.jpg (113.3 KB, 86 views)
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Old December 20, 2007, 11:33 PM   #13
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cracked case

From the look of the picture you have a different chamber in this gun. Some kind of improved chamber, as you don't know much about this gun you can do one of to things; Reload the good cases and neck size them only. Or you can rebarrel the gun, or shoot as is. "Windage & Elivation", Doc.
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Old December 21, 2007, 08:54 AM   #14
RonC1
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Doc44, you are right. It looks like the shoulder has moved. I hadn't noticed that before.

I bought the gun from my wife's aunt after her husband passed. I rechecked and the SN says 1974 as date of manufacture, (must have remembered wrong.) The deceased husband could have purchased new but I doubt it.

Well, the bore is good, it shoots okay and 30-30 ammo is relatively cheap.

Thanks for all the input.

RonC
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Old December 21, 2007, 08:21 PM   #15
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That doesn't even look like an "improved" chamber. Maybe I am nuts (my wife says I am) but I wonder if someone didn't get a case stuck in the chamber and then try to drill it out, messing up the chamber.

Anyway, you have three choices. 1) Unless you are going to do a lot of shooting, just let it go. It should be fine for a deer rifle and you will be firing a box or so of ammo a year. 2) Barrels are available and you can have the gun rebarrelled. Except that the job will cost enough that it might not be economically feasible. 3) Trade it off and we will see if someone else posts "I have this Winchester 94 that splits case necks...."

Jim
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Old December 23, 2007, 10:48 PM   #16
Harry Bonar
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30-30

Sirs:
I'm stumped, I agree with Jim and the others - somethings wrong but not dangerous.
Jim, all women think we're nuts - mine is sure of it and so am I!
Harry B.
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