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Old July 20, 2010, 12:47 AM   #1
RedneckFur
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22 magnum ruptured brass

A few months ago while shooting my .22 magnum, I noticed that one shot kicked harder and had a much louder report than my .22mag normally does. I was curious as to what happend, and when I tried to eject the spent casing, I found it was stuck. It had to be removed with a cleaning rod after pulling it out with a small pair of pliers didn't work. I saw the split that you see on one of those casings in the picture. Oddly enough, it was the last round in the box that split.



Fast foward to today. I'm shooting my .22 mag again, with another box of winchester ammo that I bought months ago at the same time as the other box. After about 10 rounds fired, I got another loud report, with excessive recoil for a .22mag. Same stuck casing. Also, same case split.

I've shot my .22 mag with many other brands of ammo with no issue. Is this a sign that winchester's quality control dept is sleeping at the wheel?

I'm now afraid to shoot any more winchester .22 mag ammo for fear that the next one could blow the rifle up in my face.

Have any of you had similar problems? Should I contact winchester with this?
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Old July 20, 2010, 02:14 AM   #2
Scorch
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I would contact Winchester with your info. Be prepared to give them the lot number (inside the end flap) and product number (outside on the end flap).
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Old July 20, 2010, 03:07 PM   #3
briandg
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I can't understand why that case split, unless it was just a horribly brittle batch of brass, and overloaded. I'm going to suggest that you very carefully examine your barrel and chamber. I've never seen rimfire brass split, and I'm thinking that if your shells split, they may have been undersized for your chamber, otherwise, they couldn't have expanded that far.
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Old July 20, 2010, 05:00 PM   #4
FrankenMauser
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It actually looks like an over-size chamber or firing-out-of-battery issue, to me.

I've had a lot of experience with ruptured .22 WMR cases (I used to pull the factory bullets and substitute my own powders and bullets). Those two cases look like they ruptured due to an issue with the rifle.

Is your rifle a semi-auto?

Also.. the "increased recoil" is often an illusion. The sound of a case rupture draws more attention to the round being fired, and makes the brain pay more attention to other sensory phenomena being experienced. It is just the brain over-analyzing everything, due to something abnormal occurring during a common event.

How often do you clean that rifle? Do you ever shoot .22 WRF in it?

By all means, contact Winchester. ...But don't be surprised if they look at the cases and tell you to take the rifle to a gunsmith.
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Old July 20, 2010, 05:22 PM   #5
RedneckFur
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The rifle is a Marlin 783 from the 1980's, but I bought it new just a few years ago. Had been sitting in a box on the shelf for over a decade.

I've never shot .22 WRF ammo in the rifle, only WMR. I clean it very often, at least once in every 100 rounds fired. The rifle is very accurate for a .22 mag and I've had no other issues with the rifle other than these two split cases.

With CCI and Remington ammo I've never had this issues. I've noticed that with this winchester ammo, the bolt is just slightly harder to close than normal, but this rifle has always had a tight action.
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Old July 20, 2010, 11:24 PM   #6
FrankenMauser
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The Marlin should be plenty strong. My experiments involved some pretty risky powder charges and bullet choices, but my Marlin 882 held up just fine. (The cartridge isn't that powerful, anyway.)

My guess for this incident:
1. Your rifle has a slightly over-size chamber.
2. The Win brass was a little over-length.

Jamming the rounds tightly into the throat caused the bullets to become wedged in the cases ("pinched" by the chamber). When the round is detonated, the tension on the bullet is too much. The powder charge accelerates at an almost uncontrollable rate until something bad happens, or the bullet is propelled down the bore. In this case, the 'bad' was a ruptured case (the over-size chamber). However, there is usually still enough pressure or still-burning powder to propel the bullet.

This is purely my guess, but I've seen the phenomenon many times (including issues with over-length brass).

The only thing that strikes me as odd is the Winchester ammo. I relied almost 100% on Winchester brass for my custom loads. It was the most consistent, usually the strongest, and the most reliable brass I could easily get (priming compound and resilience). **The only exception here is ArmsCor .22 WMR - It was far stronger than Win., but the priming compound was very weak.**
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