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Posted: 1/14/2006 10:21:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 4:58:26 AM EDT by gks452]
I was shooting my WASR-3 and ran into a problem. I had 4 cases separate.

All of these occurred in the same magazine with one batch of ammo. The ammo was Win Q3131 with the head stamp WCC 99. . I bought a case of this stuff a few years ago and shot most of it in a Bushmaster without problems. It was never subjected to extreme heat or old.

I had no problem with some Win Q3131A head stamp WCC 04 and Wolf 55 grain FMJ. I shot this 400 rounds of this stuff plus a few reloads without any problems.


You can see from the photo the rim did not have any extractor marks.

I'm wondering if the Q3131 is loaded hotter than the others and if this could be the problem.



* Let me explain the the three rounds at the bottom of the picture. Round A separated. Then B was feed and jammed. When extracted round B had the neck, shoulder and part of the body of A stuck to it. What you are seeing is round B with part of round A stuck on the end.
Hi Resolution Version


Update - 1/18/06

I checked the headspace. It would not close on a no-go gauge with hand pressure. But a couple of light taps with a rubber hammer and the bolt would rotate to the fully closed position. Then I tried a field gauge. It would not rotate to the completely closed position even with several solid taps. So the headspace is not great but I don't think I would go so far as as to call it excessive.

My next plan is to get some other full power loads and see if they function better. With luck it's just a bad batch of ammo.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:26:20 AM EDT
? , but I'm going to tag this one to hear more.............
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:41:33 AM EDT
did you find pretzel residue in there?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:08:59 AM EDT
Have your gun cheked out by a gunsmith.Show him the brass.
And call or write winchester and tell them what happened and send them one of the cases.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:40:02 PM EDT
Anybody on the night crew have any ideas?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:42:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
did you find pretzel residue in there?





That was only Federal LC
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 5:59:02 AM EDT
Anyone on the weekday crew have any ideas?
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 6:36:21 AM EDT
I do not understand. I see the picture of the separated case and that looks fine but what the hell are those other rounds? Did they come out of the box like that? Were they chambered then extracted? If they came out of the box that way how did they go unnoticed? If they are from the same box it is an ammo problem.


Samuel
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 6:37:06 AM EDT
The Q3131 very well could be a little hotter than the Q3131A..I know it's way hotter than Wolf..
I would just try some more wolf and see what happens..
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 6:38:50 AM EDT
My SAR3 does the same thing. Use wolf steel cased ammo and the problem will be solved.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 6:53:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/16/2006 6:55:23 AM EDT by gks452]

Originally Posted By G3CETME:
My SAR3 does the same thing. Use wolf steel cased ammo and the problem will be solved.



Crap! The whole point of getting the 223 AK was to share ammo with the Bushmaster. Now you're saying I can't do this! Is there a modifcation that can me done to correct this problem?


The gun ran fine with Wolf and Q3131A both before and after thie one mag of problem ammo.


As for the three funny looking rounds, they were chambered then extracted with the previous rounds case head attached.

Link Posted: 1/16/2006 7:38:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 7:53:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Templar:
I'm thinking the headspace is off.

AK's tend to have a "long" headspace and it's not uncommon for them to stretch brass casings.

Steel casings don't have that issue.

Your rifle might be on the borderline of excessive head space.



Thank you. This is the first truely helpful post in the thread. Now I need to find a field guage.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:05:16 AM EDT
See update above
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:15:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 4:16:29 AM EDT by StewartTR]
I would like more info on the three rounds at the bottom of the pic. If that is what your ammo looks like, then it's an ammo problem. How the hell those go through QC is anyones guess.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:59:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By StewartTR:
I would like more info on the three rounds at the bottom of the pic. If that is what your ammo looks like, then it's an ammo problem. How the hell those go through QC is anyones guess.



Let me explain the the three rounds at the bottom of the picture. Round A separated. Then B was feed and jammed. When extracted round B had the neck, shoulder and part of the body of A stuck to it. What you are seeing is round B with part of round A stuck on the end.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:40:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Templar:
I'm thinking the headspace is off.

AK's tend to have a "long" headspace and it's not uncommon for them to stretch brass casings.

Steel casings don't have that issue.

Your rifle might be on the borderline of excessive head space.



+1
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 11:55:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 12:02:41 PM EDT by FALARAK]
Closing tightly on a NOGO is fine. Closing with a lot of force in a FIELD is fine too. Remember, these gauges are SAAMI, not Nato spec. Since yours would not close on a FIELD your headspace is not loose.

There is a known issue with a ton of the '99 domestically produced Q3131, overpressure, popped primers, etc...

Q3131A (made in Isreal) did not have these issues, and shortly took over all domestic production, until recently.

This is an ammo lot problem, nothing is wrong with your headspace. Sounds like a nice NATO spec chamber.



Originally Posted By Happyshooter: (Do not confuse this ammo with Q3131 [no "a"] which sucks major ass)
Q3131 hasn't been available since 1999, which was the last year Winchester/Olin ran the Lake City plant. It appears that they tried to use up the last of the materials in the last few lots of Q3131, and ended up loading a bunch of ammo with bad powder that caused pressure problems and didn't have quite the correct burn rate. Anyway, it was only some of these '99 lots that had problems. Any '98 and older Q3131 is excellent, being identical in every way except headstamp markings to the Lake City M193 that was manufactured on the same equipment. Again, given that it was last made in '99, it's a moot point for most folks. -Troy

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:18:01 PM EDT
That is a weird looking case separation. As far as I know, excessive headspace results in separations near the case head. Maybe you could get the chamber cast with cerrosafe?
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:44:09 PM EDT
Ditto to the above... those separations are too far forward on the case, based on the excessive HS cases I've dealt with.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:29:34 PM EDT
got any pics of cases that extracted fine? are they marked/scored?
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 4:10:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/20/2006 4:57:29 AM EDT by gks452]

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
Closing tightly on a NOGO is fine. Closing with a lot of force in a FIELD is fine too. Remember, these gauges are SAAMI, not Nato spec. Since yours would not close on a FIELD your headspace is not loose.

There is a known issue with a ton of the '99 domestically produced Q3131, overpressure, popped primers, etc...

Q3131A (made in Isreal) did not have these issues, and shortly took over all domestic production, until recently.

This is an ammo lot problem, nothing is wrong with your headspace. Sounds like a nice NATO spec chamber.



Originally Posted By Happyshooter: (Do not confuse this ammo with Q3131 [no "a"] which sucks major ass)
Q3131 hasn't been available since 1999, which was the last year Winchester/Olin ran the Lake City plant. It appears that they tried to use up the last of the materials in the last few lots of Q3131, and ended up loading a bunch of ammo with bad powder that caused pressure problems and didn't have quite the correct burn rate. Anyway, it was only some of these '99 lots that had problems. Any '98 and older Q3131 is excellent, being identical in every way except headstamp markings to the Lake City M193 that was manufactured on the same equipment. Again, given that it was last made in '99, it's a moot point for most folks. -Troy




I think we have a winner!

I found this Maryland AR15 Shooters Site Ammo FAQ

The boxes with product number Q3131 are made in America and conform to the U.S. Military's M193 specification (55gr load). However there have been problems with some lots, mostly made in 1999 (soft brass has been reported resulting in extraction problems and buildup of brass flakes under the extractor); also the powder is burning at a faster rate than is typical and can cause problems if you gas port is not drilled to spec. These potentially 'bad' lots have been identified as: PD50, PD90, PF40, PC22, PG62, PF52, PF11, PL31, & PN02. These lots only relate to the U.S. produced Q3131.

PD90 that is what I have. I should a) posted it orgininally and b) google it. Anyway all signs now point to bad ammo.

This also explains a lot. My Bushmaster was never a highly reliable gun. I blamed it on bad mags, using a brass catcher and reloads with a fast powder. I'm sure this didn't help. I put a no ban barrel and a collapsing stock and the thing has runs perfectly. I figured the rebuild and USGI mags fixed it. Now I think it was switching to Israeli Q3131A.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 8:51:40 AM EDT
Guns chambered in .223 are not meant to use 5.56mm ammo. Yes, there is a difference. The 5.56mm round is hotter that the .223.

So maybe it depends on what chamber was cut on your rifle....223 or 5.56mm

Just a thought.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 1:12:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 4:49:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 4:56:33 PM EDT by gks452]
Looks like it was bad ammo. Today I shot 80 rounds of Fed XM193 (headstamp LC05). This is full power 5.56. The recoil and muzzle flash were noticeably greater than the other ammo I've shot in this rifle. The gun had absolutely no problems what so ever. There are no extractor mark on the rim. I also shot 20 reloads and 50 rounds of Olympic and these ran great too.

This seems reasonable. The AK was designed for lower pressure rounds. Plus in order to work under adverse conditions it extracts more gas than is normally needed. Now feed it with high pressure ammo, with soft brass and fast burning powder. It's easy to understand how the case got ripped in half.

ETA: Two other things about the problem ammo.

1) There are no extractor marks on the rim. If the gun was messed up and was ripping strong brass in half you would expect the extractor to leave a mark on the brass. But I in the three different views of the rim in the photo you don't see any. I just ran my fingernail on the rim and it's smooth.

2) I didn't notice anything different in the rounds that separated from the others. I'm not sure if this really means anything.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 4:52:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:15:40 PM EDT
I already stated.... that ammo was a known bad lot.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:59:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
I already stated.... that ammo was a known bad lot.


Yes you did. Thanks a lot that was very helpful.
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