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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just noticed that I blew two craters in my bolt from last Sundays shoot....
I think I've had it with Federal brass and primers, I normaly use LC or
Winchester brass with WLR primers. Now are these craters gonna hurt anything? I'll tell you, I'm foaming.:twisted:

 

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Aloha Vet:

According to the books that I have read, they said to particularly watch for deteriorization around the face of the bolt. I don't know if this would qualify. But I do see what you are describing.

I also notice from your picture that there appears to be "wear" around the firing pin hole as well.

Hmmm... I hope someone else has a more definitive answer.

Tom O.
 

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NOT ment to offend...

Hello Vet66!! :D
I am assuming these are your reloads that you are using on your M1A?First off I am NOT against reloading AND I know NOTHING about reloading ... :oops: :)
IMOA It is great for those guys that shoot those ungodly expensive calibers like 30-378 ... but since we can pick up 1000rds for $120.00-145.00......Why not shoot some surplus Port. Like most of the guys here do or some HIRTENBERGER ammo like I do for plinking. (Very good accuracy BTW shoots 1 MOA) If you are looking for accuracy for a competition shoot look no further than Lake City. I just think reloaded ammo should be left to High Power bolt action rifles.

Are you loading to SAMMI standards? or exceeding them. I believe these rifles are meant to fire military type ammo (just enough to cycle the weapon).... the ONE thing I do practice is that if it is not a Military surplus round or loaded exactly to SAMMI specs its not going in my M1A rifle. Hot loads are just not needed for accuracy and sometimes it may result in damage to your M1A Rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Doc, yes these were reloads, and I've been reloading for my M1A for many years, except for this batch of Federal brass and primers (which I dislike to begin with) with zero problems. Reloading is almost a must in competition; surplus just won't get it unless you get hold of some LC M852 or M118lr. It seems that Federal primer pockets are just not tight enough. 42.7gr of IMR4895 is not a hot load, very mild at that. Just convinced me to not use that brand of brass again. But the question still remains...is this bolt still OK to use as is ?
 

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bolt face.........

The "Shop Manual" (Kuhnhausens's book) indicates that bolt faces can be resurfaced 1 time only up to 0.010. However, this is during assembly and prior to "headspacing". If you did this, you'd obviously increase your headspace .

If you've got, a "set" of guages, you can accurately determine exactly what your headspace is and then make the call. If your close to minimum, I'd say resurface the bolt and go for it.

I personally don't think it's unsafe as the firing pin port looks ok, but extraction will be affected.

Just my 0.02
 

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look at a WWII mauser nagant or enfield bolt. many of them have the ring around the firing pin hole from the corrosvie ammo. and those are still safe to shoot. i think this'll be fine.
 

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Your photo of the bolt face does not look good. It almost looks as if the bolt face goes below grade towards the FP hole.

Kuhnhausen's book talks about the diameter of the firing pin hole. It should take a #45 drill bit shank (.082"). No more.
 

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Vet,
I'm not trying to sound stuffy, just thinking about safety here. Lose that bolt. While you could get away with running that bolt a while longer, I wouldn't. Why? Once the pitting gets through the hardened case, it's all trouble from there. An enlarged pin hole is bad business, and it's headed that way. In my case, I have a replacement available and the gauges to 'space it, so I would have minimal downtime.

Of course you know how to address the problem causing it in the first place. With the cost of a bolt fast outpacing the cost of brass, it would be best to retire any questionable brass and get the primer fit solved.

I don't want to be the guy who said it was ok to keep firing, cause someday the condition might cause all of the defects to stack up at once. An excess f/p protrusion, causing a pierced primer, against a pitted bolt face, and hot gas might find a shortcut and blow your extractor or worse.

But I'd be just as hot as you are. Bummer. :(
 

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42.7gr of IMR4895 is not a hot load, very mild at that.
Actualy this is a max load for this type of gun if you are using 165 grain bullets or bigger. 42 grains is usualy about right for 2600 wich is all you need unless you just have to keep it supersonic past 1000 yards. Mine hit the target at that range just fine at 42 grains.
I have had the same experience with fed and winchester brass. I think if the bolt means a lot to you and you have the headspace room to do it you could get it refaced. I have never personaly done that to an m-1 or m-14 bolt but it is pretty much a common practice on a k-98. It won't hurt anything as long as everything can be kept in spec. Including the firing pin hole. What exactly happened? did the primers blow? you must have had more than just a little primer leakage for that to happen. I have had a primer or two blow on me in the past and they didn't even make marks like that. Are you sure you're not getting too hot. It may be wise to check your scale especialy if it's a digital. Verify it against a beam type. Still ditch the commercial brass too. You should never use anything but gi brass in these guns.

Docminister: why should we leave the reloads to the bolt guns. I can make a box of bullets up that will easily shoot a 1 hole group for 15 bucks. I can make a nice box of easy shooting and zero wear on the barrel lead loads capable of 3/4 moa for about 2 dollars. Is surplus anywhere on the planet gonna beat either of these? If everyone would follow ALL the safety rules then everyone would be a lot better off and companies like SA wouldn't have to put that warning on the box that says not to shoot reloads. Unfortunatly some people have to push the envelope and end up screwing things up. I am not even implying this is what happened here although he obviously knew fed brass is garbage and he also has a little bit of a hot charge in my opinion if those bullets were 165's but he wasn't being unsafe. The m-14 is a really good candidate for reloads if you follow the rules. LIKE GI BRASS ONLY! That should be rule no 1.
 

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I have fired thousands of handloads primed with Federal primers and Federal brass and have never had this kind of problem. I've had overloads that caused the primer to fall free from the case but did not do that to the bolt.

How many times had the brass been loaded?

Did you uniform the primer pockets? Factory primer pockets are not flat on the bottom. When the case is reprimed, especially using the priming tool on a press or in a progressive it is difficult to feel the primer hit bottom. Overseating can damage the primer and may stress the cup leading to leakage like this.

Did you retrieve your brass for inspection. That much leakage should have left visable marks on the brass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Guys, thanks for input. Great forum isn’t it. I guess I’ll just strip the bolt for parts and, retire it. I did get some mileage out of it, 4120 that are logged….I’m sure another several hundred that were not.
Insofar as the loads, well I’m using Sierra 150gr FMJBT (2115) bullets, so 42.7gr of IMR 4895 is well below the max of 44gr. When I use Lake City brass I reduce that to 41gr.
When I use 168gr Sierra match bullets the load is 41gr of the same powder. I’ve been accused by my fellow shooters of being too fanatical about my loading (safety wise) because I do cross check between scales for proper charge, also my bullet seating is checked at the ogive, Yes, I am careful because I like my body parts the way they are. My primer pockets are indeed uniformed with a primer pocket tool and, set .008 below the case head to avoid slam fires. The primers do move flush when fired with no pressure signs. On the 150 gr bullets I do use a light factory crimp (Lee) to avoid bullet setback when shooting the rapid fire string. I do not crimp the 168’s. I use the 150 for up to and including 300yards although they work well out to 500.
I guess the only good thing about this is that this is my backup rifle; I’m still trying to figure out my main rifles front sight offset problem.
I am trying to find a new bolt…….and am willing to pay a premium for the same # bolt.
It’s listed in the PX forum. Contact me if you have one.
 

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Hey Vet:

I agree... you can never be too careful or too safe when it comes to reloading!

I swear that I am the safest person on Earth when it came to reloading but when shooting my 1011 .45, I got a big surprise... "KABOOM" with a double charge!!! It blew my handguards out (thankfully they were plastic and not wood!) and devastated my Wilson Combat magazine! No other damage was apparent, fortunately. Since then I have put on new steel reinforced rubber grips panels and have a new found RESPECT for reloading!

So I am a believer, that you can never be too careful!

Aloha,

Tom O.
 
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