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Weird Experience out of Mosin Nagant


drysideshooter

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I thought I would post this here. In 40 years of reloading I have never seen anything like this.

My son has a 91/30 Mosin Nagant. We have loaded up some Winchester brass, CCI LRP, and 46 grains of H335, 150fr FMJ. The primer pockets are tight, the brass is once fired from factory ammo he shot. The primer goes off with a solid strike, but the bullet only goes an inch or so into the barrel. The powder is mostly unburned in the case and turns to sort of a green color, and is fused together in clumps. It has happened several times and we are at a loss as to figure out what is going on? We have tried powder from a different lot, new box of primers, etc.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

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Put the clumps of unfired powder in a tin pan. Drop a match on it and see if it burns easily. Miranda is probably right. Sounds like it got contaminated some how.

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That was my initial thought as well. I am going to de-construct the remaining rounds. The brass was tumbled after lubing/sizing, the primer pockets were uniformed, flash holes uniformed and cleaned. It's possible we missed something that may have been adhered to the inside of the cases, but it seems somewhat unlikely.

Good idea on trying it with a match.

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No, the brass was tumbled in walnut media. We tumble some of our brass wet with stainless pins, but this wasn't done that way. The first time it happened was several months ago. My first assumption was possibly a bad batch of primers, and if not that, the powder. We have used some of the same batch of powder in many 223's and it has been fine. To rule out primers and powder this time we opened a fresh pound of 335 and primers from a new case. The very same thing happened again and it's become somewhat of a head scratcher.

When my son gets home from school today we are going to use brass from an entirely different lot, with a different headstamp and load a couple and see what happens.

The primer strike is plenty deep enough on the primer. I just wonder if there is a possibility that its a very weak strike and the primer isn't popping fully and really igniting the primer? I have never experienced anything like that before, typically primers work or they don't , not sure if something in between because of a weak strike is possible?

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To me the clumping of powder is suspect. That is not going to happen after the primer went boom, it is happening before and probably the cause of poor ignition.

Take your loaded ammo that has been sitting around for a while, shake it and listen to it. Does it sound like the powder is loose in there or clumped? Go through every single round and if one sounds funny pull the bullet and see what you have inside.

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I had that same thought last time Vlad. The rounds had been loaded for less than a couple of weeks. After we had a couple do the same thing we started shaking remaining rounds to see if they sounded clumped. None did, but when we tried to shoot them the same thing happened. Bullet would make it an inch or so into the barrel. Dump the case and some of the H335 was clumped and turned an odd green color.

We shoot a lot of 223 and use quite a bit of H335 and some of this same powder has been fine in other guns. Going to try some 4895 that we just opened the other day for some loads for an M1 and use some Fed primers instead of CCI and see what happens.

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Okay, this is weird, but apparently that rifle may be due for a new firing pin spring.

My son got home and we loaded up a case with a different headstamp from a different group of brass. Loaded 46gr of H4895 with a Federal primer. Took the gun to the range alongside the house and it went boom. Took the same case, sized it, primed it and then loaded it with 46gr of H335 from the same container as previously used, with a Federal primer. Took the gun outside and it went boom. Got the case that fizzled the other day, sized and primed it. Loaded it with the same H335 and a Federal primer and took it outside and it went boom.

The only conclusion I can come to is that the firing pin strike is too weak to ignite the CCI primers well. I know CCI's have the hardest cups and Federals some of the softest. I have just never heard of a primer only partially igniting or smoldering, which is all I can assume must have happened. I think in a bit we will load a case with just a CCI primer, no powder or bullet, and see what happens.

ON EDIT: Found a thread over on thehighroad forum where someone was having a similar problem with CCI primers in a revolver. He called and talked with CCI, and he says CCI told him it is possible for a primer to only partially ignite. I am left to think that must be what happened with my son's Mosin. It's a first for me for sure.

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I had this exact problem with IMR 4064 in .270 and .30-40 and Wolf Large Rifle Primers (not magnum). Sounded like a dry fire, but the primer would be properly indented, the bullet lodged in the throat, and the powder clumped. It shook freely in the case before firing. Both loads had space in the case and sounded like maracas with the coarse 4064 before firing. Perhaps 20% of the loaded ammunition would do this. Another 60% would hang fire by less than half a second.

Brass was tumbled for one hour after sizing. Completely dry with primed, etc.

I switched to Winchester WLR primers and everything was fine.

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I had this exact problem with IMR 4064 in .270 and .30-40 and Wolf Large Rifle Primers (not magnum). Sounded like a dry fire, but the primer would be properly indented, the bullet lodged in the throat, and the powder clumped. It shook freely in the case before firing. Both loads had space in the case and sounded like maracas with the coarse 4064 before firing. Perhaps 20% of the loaded ammunition would do this. Another 60% would hang fire by less than half a second.

Brass was tumbled for one hour after sizing. Completely dry with primed, etc.

I switched to Winchester WLR primers and everything was fine.

Sounds like the exact same thing we experienced. In our case it also sounded like a dry fire. You could hear the firing pin hit the primer, but not even a minor "pop". The powder clumping is what really threw me off. Never though of powder getting warm enough to fuse together a bit without any really igniting. Live and learn. Was a first for us.

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I think it's the powder and primer combination. CCI primers are about the weakest primers you can buy and I'm guessing H335 is one of the more difficult to ignite powders. I have hang fires in my 600 Overkill if I use CCI primers with H414 powder. CCI primers and IMR 4350 works every time and Federal primers with H414 works every time. I wouldn't change anything on the rifle, just stop using CCI primers with H335.

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We use CCI small rifle primers and H335 in several loads for different AR's and have never had a problem. The Federal large rifle are working in that gun so we will stick with those for now. That rifle doesn't get shot much.

I have no doubt you are right about that being a bad primer/powder combo, at least in that rifle.

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