So, I went to my local range on Friday with my Marlin 60 and a bunch of ammunition of various kinds. The Marlin's been giving me good service for a couple years now (was my first gun!), and where it used to be jam-o-matic, it now is very reliable... that is, until Friday.
I'd gone through about 75 rounds of Wolf match target, when I decided it was too precise, and I wanted to try some other ammo. First, I loaded up and fired 10 CCI SGBs (from my special stash), then switched over to some CCI CB longs. These all worked great, though the longs required manual cycling.
Then I loaded up a tube of (14) Aguila SE 40 grain subsonics. The first 11 rounds sporadically cycled the action, but the 12th shot loaded automatically. When I squeezed the trigger, a very loud bang occurred, and smoke started streaming out of the action and the stock. I also noticed that my cheek and glasses had been struck by something (but nothing great)
I called over the range officer, who opened the action, and with a cleaning rod, rammed out the cartridge case and showed it to another range officer, who took it inside to show the gunsmith. About this time I looked inside and noticed that the bullet was also sitting in the action, so I took that out.
The owner came out, mumbled something about the bolt, then told the second range officer to try another shot on an isolated lane, since he wanted to get a look at the casing. So, he fires, and nothing abnormal happens, except that the casing jams in the action. So he shakes it out, and we both agree that nothing looks out of place. Then we take it into the shop, the owner looks at it, and says that the face of the casing is slightly domed. Compared to casings from earlier that day, it is actually ever-so-slightly domed.
The owner then says that I'm done with that rifle for the day, so I go back to chastising my friend about his stock 10/22's groups, then head home.
Here's the casing from the Aguila.. the Wolf casing has doming that's hard to capture on film.
So, does anyone have any idea what happened and if it's safe to shoot again? My feeling is that the first round was out of battery from a weak action cycle, but I have no explaination for the doming on the Wolf round.
If anyone needs more pictures or explaination, I can post the stuff here.
Definate out of battery round. You are right, I don't see the dome you spoke of.
Thoroughly clean the breech & chamber, look for very small chips of casing that have temporarily fused themselves to parts.
I'd do a few more test fires and check the cases. I doubt you have done anything permanent to your rifle.
What is an out of battery round? I've never heard that term before.
Ive had that happen once or twice a long time ago in my model 60. Basically it's caused by too much gunk and shit in the rifle. 60's are great guns but you need a clean burning round to geek them from gunking up quickly(Winchester X-perts SUCK!).
What happens is a round is ejected from the action and the next round comes up to be seated. Either due to 1. A burr or powder fouling in the chamber or 2. bent/out of spec case does not fully seat in the chamber. when the firing pin hits the rim it MAY go off. Depending on how far out of battery (i.e. not properly seated) it may still fire. The brass in those things is pretty soft, it's think, and very maleable, combine that with the pressure and the case may burst or dome.
Clean the gun and try some CCI mini mags..thjey should work fine. If they don't work 99.9% of the time I'd say something is wrong with the rifle. Chances are it was caused by an out of spec/slightly bent round not being fully seated. Good luck and let us know what happens.
I am certainly not an expert on this, but i'm curious if this could happen?
The Aguila subs are not recommended for use in a rifle. The bullet may become lodged in the barrel. Could that possibly be the problem here?
The 11th round getting stuck and the 12th going kaboom!??