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Old 05-07-2012, 00:02   #1
DJ Niner
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Mysterious ammo-related stoppage

Here's the deal: I had a weird ammo-related problem this past weekend. It locked-up my G22 tight, and it took a while to safely clear the stoppage. I had a pretty good idea of what the problem was once I got the weapon open, having seen something similar before, many years ago. An in-depth examination of the cartridge afterward confirmed my suspicions.

I'm going to describe the symptoms and show a few photos of what I found; you get to guess exactly what caused the problem (if you'd like).

Set up:

Glock 22 in .40 caliber. Ammo was Remington/UMC 180 grain JHP (sold in a 100-round double-stacked-tray value-pack box). Indoor range, a series of 2-shot drills at 10 yards. A dozen shots into the magazine, I get a "click" instead of a bang. I know I'm not empty yet.

Following the range safety protocol for a potential hang-fire, I wait 30-45 seconds with the weapon under full control, pointing at the backstop. I then try to eject the cartridge onto the benchtop. No go.

The slide will not budge. It is fully closed and locked, but will not move more than a fraction of an inch. I remove the magazine and signal the RO that I have a problem. When he arrives, I tell him what has occurred, and that I can probably handle it but I wanted to keep him informed on what was going on.

He suggests banging the slide on the rear edge of the bench to get it to unlock and open. I counter-suggest removing the slide assembly and tapping the barrel hood downward (with a plastic mallet) to unlock it and remove the jammed round, all while keeping it pointed downrange. He agrees.

I pop the slide off, take the mallet and begin tapping on the barrel hood. At first, it does not move at all (!). After a few taps, it slowly begins to move downward to the unlocked position. Once it is fully unlocked, the barrel moves freely forward, and the round slides out onto the carpeted benchtop, unassisted. No problem is found with the gun, which is assembled and fired again later with no ill effects.

In examining the round, I note the rear of the round is slightly discolored, and the primer is partially protruding from the primer pocket (which I assume is what jammed the slide closed). Here are the photos:

Caliber Corner

Caliber Corner


So, what do you think is going on here? Post your guesses and reasoning below!




.

Last edited by DJ Niner; 05-07-2012 at 00:09..
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:45   #2
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Tip of the striker broke off but did not ignite the chambered round (obviously) and the gun locked up tighter than Dick's hatband. When you 'unfroze' the gun the striker tip gradually fell out thereby unjamming the gun and allowing the striker to recede.


Is there a prize?

Last edited by Tiro Fijo; 05-07-2012 at 01:47..
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:46   #3
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The primer pocket wasn't cut deep enough?
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:53   #4
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Let us know if there are any flash holes in the case's primer pocket. (Primer ignited but there was nowhere for the pressure to go but rearward, displacing the primer cup.)
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastbolt View Post
Let us know if there are any flash holes in the case's primer pocket. (Primer ignited but there was nowhere for the pressure to go but rearward, displacing the primer cup.)
Winner!
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:47   #6
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Originally Posted by fastbolt View Post
Let us know if there are any flash holes in the case's primer pocket. (Primer ignited but there was nowhere for the pressure to go but rearward, displacing the primer cup.)
But you shouldn't carry handloads for self defense because they are unreliable.

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Old 05-07-2012, 16:28   #7
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Dunno if we have a "winner" yet, but that would be my initial suspicion based upon the info available.

It happens every once in a great while. Not very often.

FWIW, over the years I ran range quals for classes where people were allowed to bring reloaded ammunition to use, it was more common than not to have a course-of-fire stopped for an ammunition problem involving reloaded ammunition.

Everybody's handloads are "perfectly reliable and better than anyone else's", or "better than factory ammo" ... until they aren't.




So, when do we get an answer?
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Old 05-07-2012, 23:56   #8
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You get the answer now, dang it; I thought I might get at least a couple of days, to maybe a week out of this one before someone figured it out, but no, 10 hours is all I get....

fastbolt nailed it!


After tapping the slide open and examining the round, I noticed that the primer actually had been bulged back into the firing pin hole in the breechface. That's why it took so long to tap it open; the part of the primer that was bulged into the firing pin hole had to be sheared-off before the barrel would unlock, and that took more than a few hammer-taps. If you look at the second picture (above) closely, on the left side of the top edge of the primer, you can see a line; that's the edge of the part of the primer that was sheared-off during unlocking.

Another clue was the discoloration on the case head around the primer, but frankly, I was a bit surprised that it didn't show more scorching and/or soot. Also surprised that I didn't see any smoke come out of the action at the "click"; maybe I just missed it, or the indoor range's air handling system whisked it away too quickly to register.

In any case, here are a couple more photos of the brass after (very, VERY careful) disassembly of the round. The primer pocket view from the rear is not as clear as I'd like it, as the screw I used to extract the remainder of the primer cup scarred the bottom of the primer pocket around the edges (normally fired and de-primed case on the right, for comparison):

Caliber Corner


But a view from INSIDE the case makes the problem perfectly clear (no flash hole at all):

Caliber Corner


I should note that this is the SECOND serious case problem I've had with Remington/UMC .40 caliber JHP ammo. The first problem was a case that was about 20-thousandths too long; it jammed the slide with the barrel ALMOST fully locked, but not quite. Either of these stoppages would have been very-difficult-to-impossible to diagnose and clear in a serious situation, and to have TWO of them after I've only fired about 5 boxes of this ammo (500 rounds); well, that is too buggy for me to use in the future, so I'm done with the .40 ammo in this brand. I've fired several thousand rounds of their comparable 9mm load with absolutely no stoppages or difficulties of any kind, and will probably continue to use it -- but not for serious applications.

Last edited by DJ Niner; 05-08-2012 at 00:36..
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Old 05-08-2012, 00:24   #9
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As fastbolt said, this type of ammo problem happens every once in a great while. This is actually the second time I've seen a round of ammunition with no flash hole, so I had a bit of an advantage in diagnosing this second one (above).

For those who may be interested in the first one, it was about 25 years ago during an M16 rifle qualification. While clearing a stoppage, this round of 5.56mm ball ammo was found in the chamber of a jammed rifle:

Caliber Corner


It is missing a portion of the rim that is exactly the size and shape of an M16 extractor. The primer was never located, and base of the case was somewhat scorched and soot-stained (it was cleaned-up for this photo). After much discussion, we finally decided that when the primer fired, the expanding gasses must have somehow flowed back into the bolt carrier (maybe through the bolt's firing pin channel, fed by a pierced primer?), and enough of gas was present to actually cause the bolt to unlock and begin to open. Because the primer explosion had actually taken place between the bolt and the rear of the case, the round stayed in the chamber while the bolt continued rearward, tearing-off a portion of the rim.

Last edited by DJ Niner; 05-08-2012 at 00:34..
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Old 05-08-2012, 00:50   #10
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Makes you want to buy a lottery ticket, doesn't it?

In recent months I've had someone bring me a couple of 5.56 rounds during quals with primers in the pocket backwards. (Different major brands, BTW.) One of them simply produced a click, but the other one resulted in a "Phfffft", with a small whiff of smoke, as the backwards primer was apparently malformed and seated just right for the firing pin to hit & ignite it anyway. Weird. Go figure.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:34   #11
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Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
...but frankly, I was a bit surprised that it didn't show more scorching and/or soot. Also surprised that I didn't see any smoke come out of the action at the "click"; maybe I just missed it, or the indoor range's air handling system whisked it away too quickly to register...

My thoughts as well and while that crossed my mind I thought that surely it would be much more blackened.


Since Fastbolt is so damned old I guess it's the law of averages that he would have seen just about everything.

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:59   #12
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Since Fastbolt is so damned old I guess it's the law of averages that he would have seen just about everything.

Bet you're older than I am ...

When you get to see lots of rounds run through guns by folks for quals, training, practice, etc ... you get more chances to see the odd QC/production (and handloading) issue.
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Old 05-08-2012, 16:04   #13
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Fastbolt,


I have had one primer reversed on a factory Hornaday round. Didn't know it untul I pulled the trigger and no bang but a small 'poof' of smoke emerged from the barrel hood.


I also witnessed a one in billion event at a range once: a fella was shooting a G23 and one of his ejected empties struck a primer on a loaded round sitting in the box on a table at his side. I have since read of one other person having had this happen. THAT was a freak accident!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:34   #14
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Sounds similar what happened to me, turned out there were no flash holes. http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/show...1373156&page=4
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Old 05-09-2012, 15:30   #15
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I also witnessed a one in billion event at a range once: a fella was shooting a G23 and one of his ejected empties struck a primer on a loaded round sitting in the box on a table at his side. I have since read of one other person having had this happen. THAT was a freak accident!!
Not something most folks might ever encounter. Lots of folks think it's one of the urban legends spread around shooting ranges. Circumstances have to come together (and the stars have to align) in the just the right way, right?

One of the guys with whom I used to work used to carry some loose .357 Magnum rounds in his cordura-type patrol duffel bag. (Never asked him why, nor really cared why he did it.)

Anyway, one day, as he tossed his bag into the bottom of his locker with some force, there was a pop.

When we looked inside the bag we found some messy loose powder (looked burned & unburned), an empty fired Magnum case, a loose primer and the JHP bullet. That guy's luck was always weird, though, and not necessarily in a good way.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 05-09-2012 at 15:30..
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Old 05-09-2012, 22:12   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
As fastbolt said, this type of ammo problem happens every once in a great while. This is actually the second time I've seen a round of ammunition with no flash hole, so I had a bit of an advantage in diagnosing this second one (above).

For those who may be interested in the first one, it was about 25 years ago during an M16 rifle qualification. While clearing a stoppage, this round of 5.56mm ball ammo was found in the chamber of a jammed rifle:

Caliber Corner


It is missing a portion of the rim that is exactly the size and shape of an M16 extractor. The primer was never located, and base of the case was somewhat scorched and soot-stained (it was cleaned-up for this photo). After much discussion, we finally decided that when the primer fired, the expanding gasses must have somehow flowed back into the bolt carrier (maybe through the bolt's firing pin channel, fed by a pierced primer?), and enough of gas was present to actually cause the bolt to unlock and begin to open. Because the primer explosion had actually taken place between the bolt and the rear of the case, the round stayed in the chamber while the bolt continued rearward, tearing-off a portion of the rim.
Thanks for the educational thread DJ.

A mustache wearing authority who worked at a now closed gunstore in my area once told me that the 1911 in .45 ACP was the be-all-end-all platform. Additionally, the 1911 70 series Colt, combined with the advanced-as-you'll-ever-need .45 ACP would never leave you in a pickle.

At first glance, I thought this would be a caliber specific issue. After your informative thread, I can see where this would be an issue with any cartridge.

Perhaps the only thing going for the 1911, should this same thing happen, would be that it makes a heavier bludgeon device?

Perhaps I put too much faith in the authority because of the mustache?
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Old 05-09-2012, 23:18   #17
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(snip)

Perhaps the only thing going for the 1911, should this same thing happen, would be that it makes a heavier bludgeon device?

Perhaps I put too much faith in the authority because of the mustache?
No, no, I agree; the 1911 makes a MUCH better club than a firearm.

And I believe the individual in question now has TWO Glocks; one issued, and one personally-owned. He's finally starting down the correct road; it just took him a looooong time to find the right exit, and use it gracefully.

Last edited by DJ Niner; 05-09-2012 at 23:22..
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