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Old April 7, 2013, 01:11 PM   #1
jepp2
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Longitudinal splits in new 22-250 brass

I recently encountered some case failures on W-W Super 22-250 rifle brass. The brass was new old stock, had been loaded for several years. 3 of the first 17 rounds fired has case failures. Some specifics

- The brass had the neck expanded prior to loading but had not been sized, it was new brass.
- The splits occurred in starting to mid loads and there was absolutely no indication of excessive pressure. I had fired the max loads during the round robin. The loads that split were relatively mild.
- 50 gr. Sierra Spitzer bullets, IMR 4350 Powder, Rem 9 1/2 primers
- Case weights were normal, nothing noticed as any different.
- I am sure the brass was purchased as a lot of 100 and the other 50 rounds had been fired previously with no problems.

I realize that in a brass case reacting to internal pressure, the circumferential stress is 2X the longitudinal stress. So it is twice as likely to split in a longitudinal direction rather than a circumferential. I just haven't seen case splits like this in new brass before near the case head. I have seen plenty of other type infant mortality failures in new brass (neck splits, etc.) Just thought I would share.

I intent to split the cases in the near future and check the interior. I pulled the bullets on the remaining 33 rounds and deprimed them. Everything looked normal. Powder was not deteriorated.

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Old April 7, 2013, 01:27 PM   #2
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Seen splits go the other 90* way a few times. But never like this as seen. By chance did you use a small base resizing die prior on this brass?
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Old April 7, 2013, 02:16 PM   #3
ligonierbill
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New brass - could be defective from the maker. Improper annealing, basic metal with inclusions, who knows. Any chance your rounds have seen a corrosive environment, say contact with ammonia?
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Old April 7, 2013, 02:48 PM   #4
mehavey
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That looks like weak (over-annealed) brass that failed at the transition between case wall and head.

Contact your supplier ASAP along w/ these pics and the Lot# of the brass.
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Old April 9, 2013, 10:40 PM   #5
hagar
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4350 is normally not a powder to use in a 22/250 with light bullets. I did use it in a 22/250 with the 64 gr WW PP bullets. Either way, this is very strange. Maybe try a more "regular" 22/250 load and see if it still happens. Sometimes light loads of slow powders can do weird things, but it is definitely telling you something bad is about to happen..
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Old April 10, 2013, 12:01 AM   #6
SVTCobra306
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Interestingly I had some factory Winchester 22-250 cases have split case necks last week.. they were factory loads, 45 grain HP's, probably about 15 years old having spent most of that time in my Dad's cabinet in the house.
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:51 AM   #7
cvc944
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Quote:
The brass was new old stock, had been loaded for several years.
I think you are saying that the brass was new when loaded, but the cartridges have been sitting around loaded for a few years. If I'm getting that correctly, I would have to rule out the brass and think your problem is either the rifle (possibly having a headspace issue) or more likely improperly sized cartridges that have had the shoulder pushed back, thereby creating excessive headspace.
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #8
chiefr
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Fully concur with most. I too believe it is a brass problem related to manufacturing.
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:24 PM   #9
jepp2
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Quote:
I think you are saying that the brass was new when loaded, but the cartridges have been sitting around loaded for a few years. If I'm getting that correctly, I would have to rule out the brass and think your problem is either the rifle (possibly having a headspace issue) or more likely improperly sized cartridges that have had the shoulder pushed back, thereby creating excessive headspace.
You are correct, the brass was new from W-W, loaded by me, stored for several years.

I checked the head space of the W-W brass both fired and unfired, and found no difference in head space. Less than 0.001" difference. So the head space for the rifle and the brass is correct.

Head space on REM brass fired in the same rifle also showed the same head space.

Excessive head space tends to crate thinning just above the reinforced portion of the brass at the head. This weakened portion tends to fail with a circumferential crack due the the thinning. Not a longitudinal crack.
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:37 PM   #10
jepp2
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Quote:
4350 is normally not a powder to use in a 22/250 with light bullets.
I agree and if I was selecting a load today, I would pick a faster burn rate powder. But the load came directly from the Sierra Reloading Manual (2'nd edition) which was current edition at the time I loaded the brass for the time and the powder manufacture date.
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