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Blown primers on Hornady Black 223 75 grain?


AFP2602
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Was zeroing my scope with 75 grain Hornady Black and started getting double feeds caused by the spent round staying on the bolt instead of ejecting. Had a run of these happen and noticed the primers looked really odd. Picture is of the ones that were causing the double feeds, but also had a few casings where there was a hole in the primer instead of a dimple. Think this is an ammo issue since I also tried some 70 grain Sig branded ammo and 55 grain American Eagle and didn't see anything odd on the cases. 

 

Anyone had similar issues with primers on Hornady Black ammo? I've shot a few boxes and used them in matches out to 550 yard without any problems before so thinking it might be a bad batch of ammo. Also thinking I need to look elsewhere for my long range ammo. 

 

Or could this be an issue with my bolt that I need to check into?

Primers.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got an answer back. Hornady tested a box I sent from the lot and said pressures were within spec. Suggested that the issue is due to copper fouling in my barrel. I’m skeptical since I did a detailed clean and then shot a couple hundred rounds of other ammo without issue, then tried this ammo again and got the same blown primers. Looks like I’ll have to find another source for my heavier ammo. 
 

And yes, my barrel is a .223 Wylde. 

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If you are willing to try a couple more rounds, chrono it and see how fast it is. I don't know that I would push my luck though. If you have a bunch of it, you could pull the bullets and reload with a reduced powder charge.

Hurley

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In general I agree with the man from Texas, but Hornady is a real responsive company. Now I got no dog here as I am a Federal Sponsored shooter, but I have never known Hornady to back down from a mistake....if there is one. I do know I had a bolt that was loose on spec. and certain brands of ammo would do exactly what is pictured. It got so bad with xxxxxxxx ammo that those little pieces would fill up the bolt under the extractor and it would start all sorts of trouble. Got a new bolt and firing pin and all was well. Don't forget they test this stuff for standard carrier weight and buffers, and a lot of us sure strech that envelope. I am NOT saying anyone is at fault here, but Hornady is a "stand up" company, that is for sure and for certain!

Edited by kurtm
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On 1/26/2020 at 5:20 PM, AFP2602 said:

Was zeroing my scope with 75 grain Hornady Black and started getting double feeds caused by the spent round staying on the bolt instead of ejecting. Had a run of these happen and noticed the primers looked really odd. Picture is of the ones that were causing the double feeds, but also had a few casings where there was a hole in the primer instead of a dimple. Think this is an ammo issue since I also tried some 70 grain Sig branded ammo and 55 grain American Eagle and didn't see anything odd on the cases. 

 

Anyone had similar issues with primers on Hornady Black ammo? I've shot a few boxes and used them in matches out to 550 yard without any problems before so thinking it might be a bad batch of ammo. Also thinking I need to look elsewhere for my long range ammo. 

 

Or could this be an issue with my bolt that I need to check into?

Primers.jpg

So here is another possibility....not sure what rifle you are running, but about 10 years ago, we all were issued Larue .308 rifles.  The chambers were so tight that is was causing primer flow.  I had enough primer material inside my BCG that it bent my firing pin retaining pin.  Point is, maybe your chamber is a little too tight.

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It's a Faxon .223 Wylde barrel. Had shot a couple of boxes of this ammo through the same rifle to make sure it worked before I decided to zero to it. It's the fact that it worked for a while, then suddenly didn't that has been so puzzling. 

 

I have had zero issues with any other ammo in the rifle - shot an 8 stage match after this with zero malfunctions using AE 55gr. Definitely ammo specific, but still not clear if it's just this lot. Bought some pretty strong copper remover to see if it's fouling in the barrel that's causing this 75gr to not work correctly anymore. Will know more tomorrow. 

 

Thanks all for the good suggestions and insight. Really great community here. 

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Well - I did the only test I could really think of to prove out whether this is a problem caused by this 75gr bullet or just this lot of ammo. I'm now comfortable it's this lot of ammo. This makes me happy because I've previously had good luck with this bullet. 

 

I bought another lot of the same ammo and ran it back to back with the lot I already have. If it was the bullet - then both would have had issues. If it was the lot of ammo, then I'd have zero issues with one lot and issues with the lot I currently have. 

 

Photo evidence below - you can see all three rounds of the suspect ammo have blown primers (three rounds above the box on the left). The three from the new lot have normal looking dented primers (three rounds above the box on the right). Visually, the primers on the suspect lot are silver, while the primers on the new lot are gold. My guess now is it's the primers used on this lot.

 

Passed this along to the folks at Hornady - will update once I hear back. 

 

 

IMG_4325.jpeg

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Got a final answer from Hornady when I followed up with results from an A/B test. Short answer - they have no idea, but they are convinced it's definitely my fault and not theirs. Refused to tell me which primers were used in each bullet and tried to convince me that it's the rifle causing the issues with primers from only one lot of bullets, not their ammo which actually has different primers.  I'm throwing up my hands and heading over to the reloading forum to figure out how to load my own where I'm allowed to know what's in it...

 

Anyone in the Austin area - I'm planning to be at Republic this weekend (3/21 match). Will have about 3 boxes of this stuff to give away if people want to try it out in theirs and see if they get better results. DM me if interested

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hornady's factory ammo scares me. I bought a box of Frontier stuff (which is supposedly LC-made) and had a primer blow out and re-seat itself backwards in the case. Found it after cleaning it in a wet tumbler. The primer had a pretty little primer strike right on the cup; visible through the flash hole.

 

Not sure I'm gonna use the stuff anymore haha. Glad you didn't have a kaboom like so many others.

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