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Many reloading manuals tell not to use Federal primers when loading for a semi-auto firearm as Federal primers have a reputation for being soft and the potential for a slamfire is higher with soft primers . Fine , but what about Federals factory loaded ammunition ? A fellow just about killed himself when his M-14 blew up while firing Federal America Eagle 150 grain full metal jacket . By all accounts the rifle was in good repair and the owner had a gunsmith check the headspace after firing about 1,000 rounds of milsurp along with firing pin protrusion and a general inspection.

On the day of this incident he invited a friend along to shoot and the friend showed up with 2 boxes of Federal American Eagle . They had fired about 60 rounds when the friend loaded a mag with the Federals . The first 5 rounds went fine but the 6th round blew the bolt right out of the rifle , with the bolt destroyed and shrapnel in the shooters face .

It appears that the rifle fired before the bolt locked and it's interesting that upon recovering the bits and pieces , the owner put the firing pin back in and it moved freely . Also of interest is that the owner recovered all of the brass fired that day and primers were indented to twice the depth on the Federal rounds compared to the milsurp .

The 6th and disasterous Federal round had the primer blown right out of the base and left the case stuck in the chamber . Another interesting note is that the owner has fired two boxes of Winchester factory ammo through the rifle along with 1,000 rounds of milsurp and the firing pin indentation in the Winchester primers was only slightly deeper than in the milsurp compared to twice the depth in the Federal .

The rifle was in good repair and it fired milsurp and Winchesters just fine . It blew appart on the 6th Federal factory round .






 

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Bad juju. I hope no one was seriously hurt. Thans for the heads up. I can't get the links to the pics to open up, though.
 

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:D I have used Federal Ammo and their Primers for Years and years and never had a Problem, I also Shoot in High Power Matches all over the Place including Camp Perry and I know Hundreds of High Power Competitors and I have never heard of a Problem with Federal Primers! :?
 

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American Eagle and Socom don't mix!

We were just discussing in another thread that American Eagle doesn't feed right in my Socom. The first round especially out of the magazine gives a LIGHT strike. Just a click - no boom.

I've got 6 boxes of the stuff I'm going to give to a friend (who doesn't shoot an M1a).

8O
 

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geiman said:
It looks like case head separation to me.
geiman
Thats the same thing I see from the photos geiman. Was this a slam fire, case separation or both. If it was an out of battery fire, it's a miracle nobody was maimed 8O .
 

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I have shoot a lot of Federal Match Ammo and have never had a problem.During the 80's and 90's I have shot over 50,000 Federal 210M with out a problem.I the Mid-80 there was a problem with the primers springing a leak.Fedreal bought me a new bolt.

If you are concerned about primers being too sensitive.I would use the Mil-Spec CCI primers.

Have seen slam fires with bad reloads. (High Primers).But have never seen a slam fire with factory ammo.

Glad know one was hurt too bad.

Regards , Mike McNamra
 

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People do dangerous things, dead ones don't have opinions

This is very likely a slamfire. The description does not say whether the kaboom happened before or after the trigger was pulled, but I believe implicit in the description is that the primer ignited before the bolt was locked. I am surprised the back of the receiver was not blown off.

I had that happen to me with a Garand and Federal Primers. Pressure forced the case out of the chamber until the pressure got to a point where the case sidewalls ruptured. Part of the case was left in the chamber. The bolt was accelerated rearward and reached a high enough velocity that it broke through the back of the receiver.

I have seen case ruptures and there are similarities in damage.

Many people do dangerous things, only the living can tell you not to worry, the dead ones can't express an opinion. The fact that someone can fire cases of federal ammunition or use thousands of federal primers and not have a problem only proves they are lucky. Slamfires are statistical accidents. There are lots of statistical accidents out there, lung cancer for one. I remember the Comedian George Burns smoked cigars all his life and died in his late nineties. So does that prove that smoking is safe? Soldiers have survived days of artillery bombardments, but the rest of their company got wiped out, does that prove that War is safe?


When the M1a ruled the Highpower firing line people did have slamfires. I heard of four or five and personally asked the unfortunates about their ammo. They always had long story lines, this and that was blamed, but each one had a common thread: Federal primers. The Garand has even a longer, heavier firing pin and is more likely to slamfire on a sensitive primer.

I personally know that during one of the Camp Perry Garand Matches, when the CMP started issuing Federal Manufactured 30-06 ammo, that a slamfire happened during the load command for the standing slow fire stage. I was on Viale, I heard it, and later found out from a competitor that the unfortunate was not using a SLED. Luckily the bolt lugs were engaged and the round went in the dirt.

In my opinion Federal primers or Federal primed ammo are too sensitive to use in Garands, M1a’s or any rifle that has a free floating firing pin.

The only primers I recommend in the Garand or the M1a are the old Nickel plated WLR, or CCI #34’s. The new “brass” plated WLR are thinner and more sensitive.
 

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Can anybody provide feedback on Federal Gold Match ammo? I picked up a box of 168 and 175 gr. that I was going to try in my M1-A but after hearing some horror stories with Federal primers I'm a bit leery about shooting anything other than surplus ammo.
 

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Boom

F#%! man!! Looks like the roller was broken off! What else was damaged? I shoot the Federal Gold Medal 168's and 175's all the time and have never seen anything like that. I remember reading somewhere that one of the original te44 specs was a spring loaded firing pin. I hope you guys are OK.
 

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First off, let's define the difference between a "slamfire" and an "out of battery fire". Slamfire is when the weapon fires when the bolt "slams" forward. They are rare birds but when they happen, they are often in also an out of battery fire, which is when the weapon fires with the bolt not fully closed. Now, a slamfire, while definitely bad, isn't necessarily going to damage the rifle. If the bolt is closed when it discharges, the action should function normally, just like you had pulled the trigger.
With an out of battery fire, the bolt isn't fully closed, so there is nothing to contain the pressure. You get violent damage to the rifle and a case separation.
The M1 rifle (and by extension the M14) has design features intended to reduce the liklihood of slam- and out-of-battery-fires. The receiver bridge has a firing pin retraction surface that serves to hold the firing pin back until the bolt is almost closed. If this surface, or the corresponding surface on the firing pin tang is worn the firing pin retraction distance/timing will be affected, increasing the possiblity of a slam-fire. Also, if the firing pin length is excessive (stretched, etc.) it would have a similar effect. None of these by themselves would be the primary cause of a slam-fire, though they could contribute. If you had a hammer/sear failure during bolt closing, the hammer could strike the firing pin. If the above surfaces were out of spec. or if it happened late enough in the bolt closing cycle, this could cause a slam-fire.
If you had a high/sensitive primer, it would increase the possibility of a slam-fire. If it's high enough, the bolt face impacting the primer could cause it to ignite. A high primer is not a likely problem in factory ammo, but a definite concern in reloads.

Another way of looking at it: consider a datum line coincident to the bolt face. Anything that serves to push the primer or firing pin closer to that line can contribute to the possibility of a slam-fire. A tight chamber (not likely in this case since it fired Milsurp ammo just fine), long ammo (possible, impossible to tell unless the specific round was measured before firing)[improperly sized case (shoulder too long/far forward/wide, body too long/wide, neck too long, etc.), bullet seated too far out, etc.], stuck firing pin (probably ruled out here, but may have come loose during the failure. Check firing pin channel for evidence of dirt/rust), worn bolt face (could contribute to firing pin protrusion), etc.

BTW, checking firing pin protrusion with the bolt out of the rifle is a good start, but not entirely sufficient. To properly check it, you would have to do it in conjunction with the receiver bridge and bolt interaction. It's usually not done with a barrelled action, though Kuhnhausen has developed a way to do it in his book (GET IT).
Most that I've typed is a distillation of his book. I suggest everyone here get it and READ it.
 

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:cry: I have seen many Mishaps with the M-14 in my over 40 years of shooting that Rifle and most of them are the Shooter or Reloaders Fault! The Blame is usually put on the Rifle or the Ammo, Bad Manufactured Ammo is rare other than 90s manufactured Indian or Recalled Surp loaded with Pistol Powder, most of the time it has been Boneheaded or Naive Decisions by the Shooter like single loading in to the Chamber without using a Magazine, Reloading M-852 Match Brass, using Powder not speced to the M-14, firing Rounds without Powder and getting the Bullet stuck in the Barrel, Rounds with insufficient Powder(squib loads),Hot Loads where you have to use a Hammer to get the Bolt open and Necksizing only where you have failure to Extract and the Rifle trys to feed another one and the Safety Bridge fails! Someting happened there thats for sure but it needs to be looked at very Carefully before Blaming Federal on a Public Forum, they make a lot of Excellent Ammo and thousands of Shooters have fired Thousands of their Rounds including me without any Problems :!: ;)
 

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The pictures don't show very much at all--almost nothing in fact. It would be nice to have a detail of the receiver locking lugs and the lugs on the bolt which would tell you whether the bolt had started to close before the rifle failed.

We also do not have a microscopic picture of the failed bolt surfaces which would show that the failure was a result of overstress, fatigue, or a propogation of a pre-existing flaw.

There are simply too many other possibilities to be able to say that the ammo is to blame for this failure.
 
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