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Page Armory » 50 Cal
Posted: 10/18/2022 12:46:15 PM EDT
I've only shot 50 BMG in the past from an AR-50, so my familiarity of semi-auto 50 BMG guns is new. I have a new M107A1, and have been using some 2021 CBC M33 ball to get it sighted in. I was having charging and firing issues, and the root cause seems to be pierced primers. Typically in other small arms munitions that usually tells me ammo is too hot. I chrono'd these out of the 29" barrel at 2,849 avg. That certainly is higher than any other M33 ball I've tested. I don't see anything indicating this design is known for popping primers, or could I possibly be dealing with 2020+ supply chain issues, and a material quality issue with CBC's primers? It's rather annoying to have to whack the charging handle, and then field strip the gun to get the primer piece out of the firing pin channel...

50 BMG, M33 Ball, CBC Pierced Primer by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr




VP
Link Posted: 10/18/2022 1:07:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Pair0dimes] [#1]
What a bummer man. Hope you get it squared away. I don’t really have anything to add, but that sucks.

ETA - tried any Lake City M33? Might have better luck.
Link Posted: 10/18/2022 1:45:17 PM EDT
[#2]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pair0dimes:
What a bummer man. Hope you get it squared away. I don't really have anything to add, but that sucks.

ETA - tried any Lake City M33? Might have better luck.
View Quote
I had some PMC M33 that didn't give me any troubles. I'll have to see if I have any other M33 ball laying around. I have some Amax and PPU Match coming to try to get this dialed in to better than 5 MOA , so I'll have to report back.
Link Posted: 10/18/2022 1:50:24 PM EDT
[#3]
Have you run it through the AR50 as well? Be a good way to remove the gun as a variable. I was always told CBC was good to go. I think they loaded a bunch of the Barrett branded ammo.
Link Posted: 10/18/2022 2:00:50 PM EDT
[#4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ALASKANFIRE:
Have you run it through the AR50 as well? Be a good way to remove the gun as a variable. I was always told CBC was good to go. I think they loaded a bunch of the Barrett branded ammo.
View Quote
I do not. The AR50 is my friend's gun, so I'd have to wait awhile to get it from them.
Link Posted: 10/18/2022 11:29:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 50cal] [#5]
Remove your bolt from the carrier and let's see the firing pin tip. The firing pins are through hardened, not case hardened.
Piercing the primers on a .50 will etch the hell out of the firing pin tip and cause  nothing but pierced primers on known good ammo after the tip gets gas cut from pierced primers.

If you have a way to check the headspace on the ammo, do it. I would bet dollars to doughnuts the shoulder is set back too far.

You're more than likely going to need a new firing pin if the tip isn't good and rounded. Any sharp ess to it and you will need a new firing pin. Changing it is super easy. Don't get the whole firing pin assembly unless you just want a spare.
The firing spring can be a bitch to change out if you aren't familiar with it. It is very much like an M2 firing pin assembly.
As a matter of fact, the bolt carrier assembly in the 82A1 family of rifles is very much like an upside down bolt from the M2HB MG. That's where the idea came from. The cocking lever is very similar also. Where the cocking lever faces up on the M2, the 82A1/M107  cocking lever cams off of the rear pocket in the trigger housing.

Hope it works out okay for you.
Link Posted: 10/18/2022 11:54:03 PM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 50cal:
Remove your bolt from the carrier and let's see the firing pin tip. The firing pins are through hardened, not case hardened.
Piercing the primers on a .50 will etch the hell out of the firing pin tip and cause  nothing but pierced primers on known good ammo after the tip gets gas cut from pierced primers.

If you have a way to check the headspace on the ammo, do it. I would bet dollars to doughnuts the shoulder is set back too far.

You're more than likely going to need a new firing pin if the tip isn't good and rounded. Any sharp ess to it and you will need a new firing pin. Changing it is super easy. Don't get the whole firing pin assembly unless you just want a spare.
The firing spring can be a bitch to change out if you aren't familiar with it. It is very much like an M2 firing pin assembly.
As a matter of fact, the bolt carrier assembly in the 82A1 family of rifles is very much like an upside down bolt from the M2HB MG. That's where the idea came from. The cocking lever is very similar also. Where the cocking lever faces up on the M2, the 82A1/M107  cocking lever cams off of the rear pocket in the trigger housing.

Hope it works out okay for you.
View Quote
I'm going to assume Barrett would be nice and provide me with a replacement firing pin since this is brand new? Let me grab a pic of the firing pin.
Link Posted: 10/19/2022 7:28:03 AM EDT
[#7]
I'm not so sure about them replacing it. Things have changed there. I got in trouble for a few times for going out of my way to help civilian customers. A firing pin is really cheap to make. It would be a good gesture to send one out.
But it's all about the $$$, no matter how small the amount is coming in.

I stayed in trouble being helpful. Quite a bit of trouble.
Link Posted: 10/19/2022 9:55:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Buffman_LT1] [#8]
CBC is the left, LC 2020 middle, PMC Right
107A1 FP issues by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr
Old 1940s brass, PMC, CBC, Hornady
107A1 FP issues by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr

I detect a little anomaly on the firing pin, but it's well below how far the firing pin would detent in primer. There are no sharp edges
107A1 FP issues by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr

107A1 FP issues by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr

107A1 FP issues by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr
Link Posted: 10/19/2022 11:25:29 AM EDT
[#9]
FWIW, I had the same problem with Magtech/CBC ammo a long time ago albeit in 243. Never used it again. I wouldn't use their primers if I got them for free.
Link Posted: 10/19/2022 11:42:11 AM EDT
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kalashnikov762:
FWIW, I had the same problem with Magtech/CBC ammo a long time ago albeit in 243. Never used it again. I wouldn't use their primers if I got them for free.
View Quote
It's entirely possible that it's a QC/Manufacturing issue with CBC. I have that with some Fioochi 4.6 that was old stock. If the primers are silver, the gun I'm using them in are getting pierced. If they're the black ones no problem..

Vendor offered to swap out out the 120rds I have left with LC so I may just go that route and see if it continues. PMC brass showed good primer indentation, where as this CBC stuff on the ones that didn't pierced showed the primer cratering/fllowing a bit. SO maybe it's just soft primers..
Link Posted: 10/19/2022 3:26:28 PM EDT
[#11]
The firing pin looks good. There are no problems there.

It is most likely the shoulder of the cartridge datum line is set back a few thousandths below minimum .

Try a few rounds of something else if possible.

Link Posted: 10/19/2022 10:59:15 PM EDT
[#12]
That little nick on the side of your firing pin is from a piece of primer cup that flowed into the face of the bolt. Usually see that on pierced primers.
After that, if it continues, you will see gas cutting of the firing pin and eventually a sharp point to the pin and continued pierced primers.
Link Posted: 10/19/2022 11:28:09 PM EDT
[#13]
Can you post the lot number you have.  I have some.  Fired 5 shots out of a Barrett 99 and did not see that, but 5 shots is a very small sample.
Link Posted: 10/20/2022 12:45:07 AM EDT
[#14]
LOT: CBC 230/21

looks to be 9/60 have popped in my lot.
Link Posted: 10/20/2022 5:47:51 PM EDT
[#15]
Have yet to have any issues with my M82A1. At least if this happens now, I'll know what the problem is.
Link Posted: 10/22/2022 10:50:03 AM EDT
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Buffman_LT1:
It's entirely possible that it's a QC/Manufacturing issue with CBC. I have that with some Fioochi 4.6 that was old stock. If the primers are silver, the gun I'm using them in are getting pierced. If they're the black ones no problem..

Vendor offered to swap out out the 120rds I have left with LC so I may just go that route and see if it continues. PMC brass showed good primer indentation, where as this CBC stuff on the ones that didn't pierced showed the primer cratering/fllowing a bit. SO maybe it's just soft primers..
View Quote

I'd just take the swap offer.  No need to keep putting your firing pin in jeopardy.  Sure sounds like bad primers if other ammo is performing normally.
Link Posted: 10/23/2022 1:55:31 AM EDT
[#17]
Fired 15 rounds of PPU Match and 8 rds of LC M33 ball today, and no pierced primers. Primers are showing a very normal dimple vs the cratering the CBC was exhibiting when it wasn't piercing. I think I'll just get this swapped out and have the vendor note that they may have soft primers :D
Link Posted: 10/23/2022 1:58:14 AM EDT
[#18]
Buffman & 50cal- thanks for sharing.  This is what makes this place great.
Link Posted: 10/23/2022 11:53:22 PM EDT
[#19]
It may be hard to see from pics, but on the CBC stuff the primer is very close to flush with the head of the brass.
50BMG-M33-CBC (2) by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr

Where as the LC, and the PPU, the primer was recessed into it's pocket..

50 BMG (12.7x99mm), 725gr Brass Solid, PPU Match by Buffman RANGE, on Flickr
Link Posted: 10/25/2022 6:34:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 50cal] [#20]
US made ammo, the primer can be recessed a maximum of.010", or up to flush with the base.
All the LC and Olin we had used for test firing was below flush.

The firing pin protrusion is between .057" to .064"
Link Posted: 10/28/2022 3:14:56 PM EDT
[#21]
Do you have a set of calipers that you can measure the depth difference between the primers, from one brand to another?





Formerly known as 50_Shooter
Link Posted: 10/28/2022 4:10:11 PM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mk-211:
Do you have a set of calipers that you can measure the depth difference between the primers, from one brand to another?





Formerly known as 50_Shooter
View Quote
I measured the CBC right at .010". I'll see what the PPU and LC measure..
Link Posted: 11/5/2022 3:06:20 PM EDT
[#23]
Interesting to see cbc continues to have the absolute softest primer cups imaginable.

Cbc 308 is notorious for blown primers as well. Lots of bitching about gas cutting on fal’s/m1a’s.
Link Posted: 11/20/2022 3:47:05 PM EDT
[#24]
So far I haven't had pierced primers with my 107.
Factory LC
Thunderbird reloads
My reloads
Some unknown commercial primed LC brass
Link Posted: 12/14/2022 11:42:19 PM EDT
[#25]
As a small update 5 rounds of LC surplus today and no popped primers. :D
Link Posted: 12/15/2022 11:26:58 AM EDT
[#26]
I stumbled upon this thread after realizing I bought a ton of this stuff from SGAMMO.  I've fired around 15 rds of it from the first batch I got, but after de-linking a few 100 others from a different shipment I hope I don't run into this issue.
Link Posted: 12/15/2022 3:23:08 PM EDT
[#27]
Send them to me for testing, I will shoot them all and send you the results.

I usually charge for this service but this one time, I'll make an exception just for you!
Link Posted: 12/15/2022 11:16:48 PM EDT
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By skullbox:
I stumbled upon this thread after realizing I bought a ton of this stuff from SGAMMO.  I've fired around 15 rds of it from the first batch I got, but after de-linking a few 100 others from a different shipment I hope I don't run into this issue.
View Quote
Yep that's where I got it from. Let me know if you end up getting any pierced primers.
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 5:33:39 PM EDT
[#29]
I checked that first batch of ammo that I fired and I don't have any pierced primers.  I won't know about the other 2 batches until I have a chance to fire them.  

Could this be specific to the M107?  I have the M82
Link Posted: 12/20/2022 9:22:07 PM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By skullbox:
I checked that first batch of ammo that I fired and I don't have any pierced primers.  I won't know about the other 2 batches until I have a chance to fire them.  

Could this be specific to the M107?  I have the M82
View Quote

The M107 and the 82a1 series bolt carrier parts share a lot of the same parts. The bolt and firing pin\firing pin extension being big ones that are the same part. The interior of the bolt and the shoulder depth, and firing pin length being the parts that set the firing pin protrusion of between .057"- .063".
Ammo having a primer that sits flush to .010" below flush keep there from being pierced primers.

Ammo having the correct headspace being a big factor also. Somewhere around here I have a gauge I made up by parting off the chamber end of a barrel and threading the chamber face end. Then made a threaded cap that you screwed onto the chamber end.
I made witness marks for where a "go gauge" "no go" and "field/reject" gauges screwed down onto the chamber end. You inserted a loaded round into the gauge then screwed on the threaded cap onto the end until it bottomed out on the round and it showed you what the ammo was headspace as.

Used it to segregate ammo by the rear of the loaded round to the datum line of the shoulder of the cartridge.

You could also use it as a sizing gauge to tell you how far you had to screw your sizing die down until you were at minimum headspace.

I really need to hunt up that gauge. It's been awhile since I've seen it.
Link Posted: 12/22/2022 7:15:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Sandlewood_3] [#31]
I commented earlier that i had some of the same lot as the op.  Finally went out and shot some more.  This was fired from a M107 (not a1).  No pierced primers.  Ammo is definitely warm but I have seen much worse ejector swipes from XM33 ball. It was 40 degrees F at the range when I shot.


Link Posted: 12/22/2022 7:43:47 PM EDT
[#32]
Primers look like they might be a little soft but as long as none pierced, you're good.

Surplus is gonna be hotter than handloads, those are meant to cycle the action of an M2. That and militaries don't care about reloaders, they just want their gun to go bang everytime the trigger is pulled.

Save the brass, reload, repeat.
Link Posted: 12/22/2022 7:50:10 PM EDT
[#33]
Those pics indicate that your firing pin hole is excessively large and you are getting primer flow.  It exacerbates primer piercing and you might see the hole egg shaped if gas cutting has occurred from pierced primers.  

It can be fixed, but generally it easier to replace the part.
Link Posted: 12/23/2022 4:30:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: skullbox] [#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sandlewood_3:
I commented earlier that i had some of the same lot as the op.  Finally went out and shot some more.  This was fired from a M107 (not a1).  No pierced primers.  Ammo is definitely warm but I have seen much worse ejector swipes from XM33 ball. It was 40 degrees F at the range when I shot.
View Quote


I just checked mine.  Same lot...  From my M82A1 I have a few cratered primers but none that are pierced:

Link Posted: 12/23/2022 7:11:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Mk-211] [#35]
Some of those primers look like they would've blown out if they weren't staked, look at all the carbon around the primer pocket and primer. Those be some stout loads!

Some of the stakes are even pushed up.
Link Posted: 12/25/2022 5:34:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: skullbox] [#36]
Interesting observation.  I should have more fire cases I just grabbed a quick few out of the bag with all my spent rounds.  I'll have to take a better at this.

I'll pose this question... Is blowing primers "worse" than pierced ones?

I've had some blown out primers from the 77gr razor core stuff in my 18" ARs.  It was obviously HOT ammo but didn't seem to be an issue other making sure a lose primer didn't cause a malfunction.
Link Posted: 12/25/2022 7:07:46 PM EDT
[#37]
As long as you're not getting any flame cutting, you should be okay.

Keep an eye on your bolt face and firing pin.
Link Posted: 12/25/2022 11:53:52 PM EDT
[#38]
If you start getting gas cutting, there will be a black ring start that corresponds with the diameter of the primer. As it worsens, the bolt material will will start getting a pitted look.

A pierced primers will etch the rounded point of the firing pin. It will start looking like a sharp point instead of a rounded ball shape. I forget the actual radius of the firing pin point.

The cratered look of some of the primers is from slightly higher chamber pressure. We use to see it on older WW2 era ammo.
Link Posted: 4/1/2023 5:47:02 PM EDT
[#39]
I shot some of these from my M82.  Same ones I bought from SGAmmo, same lot number.  Very slight cratering on 2 of the 10 rounds I shot.  No pierced primers.
Link Posted: 12/16/2023 1:38:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Ronnie_B] [#40]
Not directly related, but in the past there was some CBC (75?) 308 that was blowing stuff up. I had some and pulled it down to look at the powder. All the rounds had black sealant in the neck, and I could not pull 2 projectiles at all- pretty much glued in. Glad I didn't shoot it....
Page Armory » 50 Cal
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