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  #1  
Old 07-04-2020, 07:41 PM
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Federal Automatch casing blew up



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Hi All,

I took my son out shooting today for his second time ever with his new Ruger 10/22. We were shooting some Federal Automatch 40 grain bulk pack and as he was shooting one of the casing blew out the entire back end causing the magazine to blow and it caused a minor burn to his left palm. Luckily it was nothing serious. The casing was left in the chamber and I was able to recover the primer end (pictures below). I sent Federal a message about it so we will see what they say. I took the gun to the gunsmith at the range and he checked it out and removed the casing from the chamber and determined the gun was still good to shoot. He said it didn't look like there was a squib that had been stuck in the barrel and he blamed the ammo. The real crappy part is that my son was scared to shoot it again after that. I switched over to some CCI mini mag and fired about 50 rounds myself without issue. Has anyone had any issues with this ammo before or ever seen anything like this?




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Old 07-04-2020, 08:16 PM
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Wow, Bet that was a scare. Glad all he got was a slight burn. I had similar thing happen to my son. We were at an indoor range. He was shooting some reloads through my Berretta 92FS. Everything was good. All of a sudden I hear a funny sound. Bang bang bong. Hard to describe the sound but it was bad. I put my gun down and turned to face him. He had a scared look on his face. Black streak across his rt cheek. Gun was locked back. Told him to drop the mag. Gun was locked back so hard I couldn't get it to move. Barrel was clear. All I can think that it was a double charge on that round. Took the gun to a smith. He got it to move with a bit of effort. Took it apart and inspected it. Said it looked fine. Advised me to take it to the range and single feed it. We did that and the gun seemed fine. The Smith agreed that most likely it was a double charged round. But wow what a sound.

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Old 07-04-2020, 08:38 PM
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Once

My parents bought me a 10/22 delux in 1976, l run a couple rags through the barrel, headed down too the creek bottom to try it out, on the 96 th round I had the same thing happen blew end off case blew out extractor I had seaveral small cut on face, l use to shoot left handed so was more exposed to blow back. Took it to a local smith who checked it out and replaced missing extractor and spring. He figured that I had not cleaned it good enough, seeing that it was new I should have gave it a good cleaning before shooting it. He thought that maybe there was still some barrel preservative left in the barrel and as I fired more rounds through it it possibly built up pressure and it finally blew a case? Still have the gun and many thousands of rounds and never another problem. Every new gun I bought since then gets a thorough cleaning before shooting.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macguy View Post
Hi All,
... as he was shooting one of the casing blew out the entire back end causing the magazine to blow and it caused a minor burn to his left palm.
I have seen what you describe exactly once.

A boy pulled the bullet from two 22lr rounds and poured the powder from one into the other, then pushed the bullet back on. It was much louder than normal, and blew the magazine out of the bottom of his Marlin.

The sides of the case stuck in the chamber, but the back came off the case, just as in your picture.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:51 PM
Kestrel4k
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My experience is that Federal stands by their ammo 200%+; I had a minor complaint with some of their shotgun shells, and they really went above the bar for me.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:22 AM
Kahless
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I've seen that twice when the cartridge wasn't in battery.
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:02 AM
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Another reason to remember eye protection is so important
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:13 AM
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I have shot a LOT of AutoMatch and never had a problem like that. A while back there was a batch that had about 20% FTF. Federal made good on it for me -- I sent them four boxes from the offending lot, and they replaced them with nine boxes of the good stuff.

It does sound to me like it fired out of battery. That's not usually ammo-related, is it?

Just spitballing here, but as I said, I've shot a lot of AutoMatch, and that doesn't look like the packaging I'm familiar with. It's either very new or very old. If it's old, could that be a factor?
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:42 AM
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Good to hear it came out as well as it did.

I've shot a lot of that ammo, maybe 15K rounds, and have never had one blow out like that.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:46 PM
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I shoot quite a bit of Federal Auto Match for plinking. Grandson shoots more of it than I do, but of course I buy it, about a case a year. I've never seen the problem you have. Federal AM actually works pretty good for us, for the money anyhow. I'm no expert, but by the looks of that case head, and it's separation, it was over charged and / or the case got cracked when the rim was formed. If it was an out of battery fire, there would be swelling of the case. I would quit shooting that lot until you hear from Federal.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:00 PM
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Thanks all for the information and suggestions. It's possible the gun was out of battery but I don't see signs of the case swelling and the case was fully in the chamber after it blew. The 10/22 he was shooting is brand new and only has about 150 rounds through it. I did completely disassemble the gun and clean it after our last outing. I'll be sure to post up the response from Federal if I hear back from them and in the mean time I won't be using this particular lot of automatch. Also, this box of automatch was just purchased at my local field and stream so I doubt it was old stock but I can't say that for sure.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:44 PM
Kahless
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In both out of battery detonations the case did not swell. The case was fully inserted I to the chamber. One of those was just a week ago right on front of my face in a Buckmark. I saw it was not completely in battery but before I could say something the shooter fired. I go through 3 to 4 cases of Automatch a year and very rarely have any issues with this ammo.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahless View Post
In both out of battery detonations the case did not swell. The case was fully inserted I to the chamber. One of those was just a week ago right on front of my face in a Buckmark. I saw it was not completely in battery but before I could say something the shooter fired. I go through 3 to 4 cases of Automatch a year and very rarely have any issues with this ammo.
I'm definitely not ruling out the possibility of the gun being out of battery. That may have very well been the issue. I guess the biggest question for me is: If the gun was indeed out of battery why did it allow the round to go off, does the 10/22 not have a feature to prevent that? Also, is that the fault of the gun or the ammo? I've owned numerous Ruger 10/22 rifles in my life and have never seen a failure like this before. If it were my gun and I'm the only one shooting it I would just watch it and keep on shooting but since this is my son's gun and his safely is my top priority I'm having trouble trusting the gun right now. I may contact Ruger and send it to them for evaluation and inspection...
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
If the gun was indeed out of battery why did it allow the round to go off, does the 10/22 not have a feature to prevent that? Also, is that the fault of the gun or the ammo?
I stand my rifles muzzle up while in storage. With a light coat of oil in the bore. The oil runs downward into the bolt. So, on my 10/22 rifles I fold up one square of toilet paper and put it between the bolt face and chamber face. This soaks up the oil running down the bore and keeps it from getting all over and inside the bolt. The bolt is probably 1/16 inch, maybe 1/8 inch out of battery. The rifle will dry fire like this. So a Ruger 10/22 will fire slightly out of battery.

On a side note, I have a Benelli MP95 target pistol in .22LR. It will fire (release the hammer) 1/2 inch out of battery. Matter of fact, that's how you dry fire the pistol. It comes with a 1/2 inch dry fire plug that holds the bolt open that far. This saves wear on the firing pin. If the chamber gets carboned up on this pistol, and stops the bolt from going completely into full battery, it will blow the case, and more times then not blow the extractor off the bolt. This happened to me twice before I learned to keep the chamber clean. So I use a 6mm bronze brush in the chamber every 20 rounds or so, and no more out of battery fire. This chamber brushing has become a habit to me, I now do it every 20-30 rounds on all of my .22 LR firearms. Haven't had an out of battery fire, or any other type of failure that could be blamed on a dirty chamber since.
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:26 PM
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Most rimfire semi-auto's will fire if out of battery by a short amount.
Usually no one is hurt by this however someone shooting left handed has more chance of injury.
I know your son's is new only fired around 150 times, it still may have just enough carbon and unburned powder to prevent a slightly over sized cartridge from chambering all the way.
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