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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I reloaded some 40 S & W.. I am certain I didn't double charge the casing due to the casing being 2/3 full with a normal charge. Also I did not seat the bullet deeper than instructed. Can anyone give a good reason why the rim blew off this casing. I was shooting a Beretta 96FS which will need to go back to beretta because of the damage to the gun.

Powder is Unique 6.5grs, bullet is uni-cor 180 gr TMJ seated 1.124 with federal small pistol primer

I am using a single stage RCBS Rock Chuckar and RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure



 

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6.5 grs. is not an overly hot load in the .40 w/ Unique. That must have been scary going off. You are lucky the damage was only to the gun. Some quick thoughts:

1) are your case lengths all uniform to minimum specs?
2) how many times was this case reloaded?
3) you are certain there was no other debris in the case along with the powder charge?
4) do you use a taper crimp to ensure the bullet doesn't become seated deeper should it hit the feed ramp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
6.5 grs. is not an overly hot load in the .40 w/ Unique. That must have been scary going off. You are lucky the damage was only to the gun. Some quick thoughts:

1) are your case lengths all uniform to minimum specs?
2) how many times was this case reloaded?
3) you are certain there was no other debris in the case along with the powder charge?
4) do you use a taper crimp to ensure the bullet doesn't become seated deeper should it hit the feed ramp?
I used what was supposed to be once fired all Winchester Brass. I inspected each case for general condition but did not check OAL of each case. I did do a taper crimp which is the way to go. I checked the OAL on each bullet after bullet seating and they were all at the 1.120 as recommended.
 

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I did do a taper crimp which is the way to go. I
When you crimped it you could have changed the pressure of the load. Some loads call for no crimping.
That case could have been fired more times and thrown in the bag with the rest although I doubt it..
I rarely crimp any of my ammo rifle or pistol unless the load specifically calls for it. When you flare the cases just don't over flare them and you won't have a problem.
Did you weigh a few charges out of your powder measure before running of the batch?
What kind of scale do you use to check your powder measure?
I would go back through all steps and if you find everything is in check chalk it up to a bad case and shit happens.. As long as you were not hurt..
 

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If you Google "case head separation of .40 S&W" it seems this can happen occasionally. You are dead-certain you're throwing 6.5 grs. of Unique?
 

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You are dead-certain you're throwing 6.5 grs. of Unique?
if he is then he should be ok. I just checked the alliant site and they had a load for 180 grain bullet at 6.7 grains. Different bullet and primer but shouldn't be that much different. not enought to separate the case..I would check that powder measure setting on a digital scale before doing anything else.
 

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The way the brass flowed at the case head separation looks like the gun may not have been fully returned to battery when fired. Resulting in the rear of the case being unsupported and allowed to flow back out of the chamber and down the feed ramp upon firing. How much damage was done to the gun? Good thing you didn't get hurt.
 

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Yes, 6.5 is under the max listed in the manual and most of us know you can squeeze a bit more before the case exhibits signs of excessive pressure.

New lot of powder maybe? I would check the measure and ensure it's throwing 6.5.
 

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Some of the forums and blogs hint that this separation seems to occur when the gun is out of battery.

I've never experienced one, but evidence like this makes me wake and realize that you always have to be careful.
 

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looks like the gun may not have been fully returned to battery when fired
good observation, I agree.. I would still check the scale and measure. That berretta should not have fired without bolt all the way home. If this is what happened gun was screwed up prior to any reloading..
 

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Not familiar with the Beretta, is the case fully supported in this round?
 

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The only experience I have with the berretta is with the model 92. Same model just 9mm. It will not drop the hammer unless bolt is locked closed. Pretty standard safety feature on modern autoloaders..
 

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Thats pretty wild how the case is contoured to the feed ramp. Almost like the round wasnt completely seated. Glad you werent hurt. Them stains are a bit** to get out of your drawers. Hope your gun isnt too screwed up.
 

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wild how the case is contoured to the feed ramp
another good observation. again. if this is the root cause of this trouble then that firearm should be seriously looked at. The hammer should not fall unless the bolt is locked
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The pistol is packed and ready to go back to Beretta tomorrow.
Besides a bit of powder burn, I am fine.
The bar that runs between the trigger and the sear was blown almost all the way off! Only the hard rubber grips were preventing it from dropping off.
I'll let Beretta sought it out. The gun was bought in January of 09 so it's still under warranty.
 
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