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9MM Catastrophic Case Failure

This is a discussion on 9MM Catastrophic Case Failure within the Ammo Dump forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I assembled this 9MM carbine recently and finally had the opportunity to try it out at the indoor range where I'm a member. First magazine ...


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Old October 10th, 2016, 02:01 PM   #1
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9MM Catastrophic Case Failure

I assembled this 9MM carbine recently and finally had the opportunity to try it out at the indoor range where I'm a member.



First magazine ran through without a hitch. Second mag jammed up after about 5 rounds with an unfired cartridge partially loaded in the chamber at an odd angle. Cleared and tried again with same result. After several attempts I put on my glasses (dang old eyes) and peered into the chamber with the BCG pulled back and I saw a glimmer of brass. With the help of a little screwdriver I removed a small piece of a cartridge casing. The rest was recovered on the floor. Apparently the case ruptured right above the web but in a clean line all around. You would have a hard time making as clean a cut with a hacksaw or even a tubing cutter.

With the piece of brass out of the chamber the rifle ran flawlessly the rest of the session. Not a big deal but I've never experienced anything like it. I don't recall the rifle sounding or feeling any differently just before the jam, but then it's a new to me so I'm not yet familiar with it.

Bad piece of brass? A fluke? Would it have been more consequential if it had been in a pistol? Should I alert the manufacturer? Should I be more concerned?






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Old October 10th, 2016, 02:55 PM   #2
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Waveform, Things like this happen if the gun fires before the bolt goes all the way to battery. You can test the gun and see if it fires (dry fires) when the bolt is not in full battery by pulling the charging handle all the way to the rear then start easing it forward. Pull the trigger then ease the bolt forward some more .... repeat until the bolt is finally in full battery. If the hammer trips before the bolt is in full battery ... you got a problem! Pay particular attention to the bolt distance equal to the head end section of your spent case (the one that was cut in half).

I'm not familiar with your particular carbine so I'm uncertain how it operates. Typical 9mm pistols use a delayed blowback action meaning the slide (or bolt) stays locked in the receiver until the bullet exits the muzzle .... then it unlocks and allows the slide (or bolt) to be thrust back to eject the spent case and pick up a fresh round on the way forward. Gas operated actions operate similar only they are dependent on gas pressure to push the bolt back. Your carbine may use a direct blowback action .... much like a semi auto 22 LR rifle or pistol where the bolt is not locked into the receiver at all. Although not common, sometimes direct blowback guns fires out of battery ... usually because the bolt bounced back after a round is chambered. Usually it doesn't damage anything other that create a jammed chamber.

Last edited by Iowegan; October 10th, 2016 at 03:11 PM.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 04:43 PM   #3
 
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9MM Catastrophic Case Failure

From the box in the pics, I'm guessing Freedom Munitions "new" .9mm.
Does this look familiar?



I had this happen awhile back. It happened in my brothers Flattop convertible that I was shooting.


I started looking at my other rounds and noticed a line on every one exactly where the break is.


I also noticed that their new .9mm rounds have a step inside the case.


I contacted Freedom. They said they make their own brass for the new ones, and they've had some small issues with their "new" .9mm.
Their CS was one of the most pleasant I've dealt with. They offered some free remanufactured to try out or a full refund. After trying out the free remanufactured, I went ahead and switched out with them. They paid all shipping and made sure I was more than equally compensated.

Needless to say I'm a little leary of using their "new" .9mm
Now I'm not saying this was your issue for sure. But I don't usually believe in coincidence. Hope this helps.

Last edited by cntrydawwwg; October 10th, 2016 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 05:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
Waveform, Things like this happen if the gun fires before the bolt goes all the way to battery. You can test the gun and see if it fires (dry fires) when the bolt is not in full battery by pulling the charging handle all the way to the rear then start easing it forward. Pull the trigger then ease the bolt forward some more .... repeat until the bolt is finally in full battery. If the hammer trips before the bolt is in full battery ... you got a problem! Pay particular attention to the bolt distance equal to the head end section of your spent case (the one that was cut in half).

I'm not familiar with your particular carbine so I'm uncertain how it operates. Typical 9mm pistols use a delayed blowback action meaning the slide (or bolt) stays locked in the receiver until the bullet exits the muzzle .... then it unlocks and allows the slide (or bolt) to be thrust back to eject the spent case and pick up a fresh round on the way forward. Gas operated actions operate similar only they are dependent on gas pressure to push the bolt back. Your carbine may use a direct blowback action .... much like a semi auto 22 LR rifle or pistol where the bolt is not locked into the receiver at all. Although not common, sometimes direct blowback guns fires out of battery ... usually because the bolt bounced back after a round is chambered. Usually it doesn't damage anything other that create a jammed chamber.
Thanks for the insight Iowegan. As I understand it this carbine is a direct blowback design which would explain what may have happened as you suggest. I fired 100 rounds and it only happened once around round 30 and then the rest (70 or so) fired without a hiccup. I even fired off a string of 10 as fast as I could pull the trigger just to see if I get it to malfunction in any way and still no problems.

After reading your post I tried your test and couldn't get the hammer to trip before battery. I'm inclined to think it was an isolated incident. We'll see if it happens again.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cntrydawwwg View Post
From the box in the pics, I'm guessing Freedom Munitions "new" .9mm.
Does this look familiar?



I had this happen awhile back. It happened in my brothers Flattop convertible that I was shooting.


I started looking at my other rounds and noticed a line on every one exactly where the break is.


I also noticed that their new .9mm rounds have a step inside the case.


I contacted Freedom. They said they make their own brass for the new ones, and they've had some small issues with their "new" .9mm.
Their CS was one of the most pleasant I've dealt with. They offered some free remanufactured to try out or a full refund. After trying out the free remanufactured, I went ahead and switched out with them. They paid all shipping and made sure I was more than equally composited.

Needless to say I'm a little leary of using their "new" .9mm
Now I'm not saying this was your issue for sure. But I don't usually believe in coincidence. Hope this helps.
That is really interesting and it does look like the same kind of failure. One difference though is I was shooting their remanufactured ammo and not the new. The brass has an odd head stamp that I don't recognize but it wasn't the FM head stamp yours has. I'll have to open up another box and see if I can see the same line around the outside.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 05:35 PM   #6
 
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Hopefully it was just a coincidence then. I've had zero issue with their Reman .9mm. Tho I've only shot about 1000 rounds of it. I know a lot of people shoot 1000's of rounds of Freedom with zero issue.
If you do find some others that make you feel not right about them, I would contact Freedom and see what they think.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 05:56 PM   #7
 
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I have starting shooting Freedom Munitions 9mm, 45ACP, and 5.56. I haven't had any problems. But if it were me I would pull a bullet or two and see if there is sign of a defect in the brass. If there is a ridge in the brass it could cause a stress point. Then I would contact Freedom Munitions and let them know. Just something to think about.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 06:02 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
That is really interesting and it does look like the same kind of failure. One difference though is I was shooting their remanufactured ammo and not the new. The brass has an odd head stamp that I don't recognize but it wasn't the FM head stamp yours has. I'll have to open up another box and see if I can see the same line around the outside.
Was it an "IMT" headstamp? If so, that is their previous headstamp on new brass before switching to "FM".

I haven't seen the same problem on new "IMT" or "FM" brass, but it probably means it isn't good for many cycles of reloading.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #9
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Wow. It doesn't apply to me at all but I have to say it's a good read. How could they possible let those cases slip through QC? It also sounds like they knew about it and it wasn't a one in a million mistake. I'm also pretty impressed that someone else read the thread and had the exact same problem.... with pics!. No, I'm not being sarcastic. I find this to be very interesting. It's not the usual what color hi-vis sight should I get type of threads. Nice job Ruger Forum
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:19 PM   #10
 
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This is why I love this Forum. Great info, will watch out.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 07:40 PM   #11
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I know a Ruger 10/22 is not related to this issue but it does not have a disconnector of any type. The hammer can be tripped as soon as the bolt travels about a 1/4 of the way. Ruger designers assumed the super fast cycle rate of the bolt will prevent blown cases .... and about 99.999 % of the time it does, however you can still get a blown case if the cartridge fails to fully chamber. That's why I asked the OP to check his carbine and see if the hammer would trip before the bolt went into full battery. Based on cntrydawwwg's post .... more than likely it was just a bad case. 35k psi chamber pressure cuts like a laser beam!
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Old October 10th, 2016, 11:29 PM   #12
 
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I tried ONE box of 9mm freedom stuff for giggles, since I had read bad reviews on failures. . Several of the brass came put with a square chunk missing. It was kinda weird. I never seen nothing like it. It blew out a 1/2 round, but square chunk right out of the end of the brass.

I had one box (50) federal red box alum case from wally world, two rounds did something similar. Only smaller square pieces. Have not bought anymore of those either.
I never found the missing chunks, and assumed they went downrange. The rifle never malfuntioned. Nothing was ever found in the barrel or chamber. I shot the two boxs up, and wont buy any more.

In two cases, (2000 rounds) of CCI, one alum case, one blazer brass, no case issues at all.

All were fired in the same JR Carbine 9mm.

Edit to add,,

Thanks for that info iowegan. Im going to check this carbine for that.

Last edited by DCD327; October 10th, 2016 at 11:33 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2016, 12:27 AM   #13
 
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I'm not an expert by any means, but that line looks real close to where the base of the bullet sits after reloading. I know that overworking the brass by over "belling" the case before the bullet is seated, can weaken the brass. A taper crimp stresses the brass again. A tight crimp will cause more pressure to kick the bullet out of the case. If the brass is weak, it will fail at the base of the bullet. The bullet usually leaves the barrel, but the case fails right at that point. In my pistol, it shows as a FTE, but the case has separated into two pieces. I always visually inspect my brass, and look for cracks at that line. Same for .45 ACP. Again, I'm no expert, just a garage reloader.
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Old October 11th, 2016, 02:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastman View Post
Was it an "IMT" headstamp? If so, that is their previous headstamp on new brass before switching to "FM".

I haven't seen the same problem on new "IMT" or "FM" brass, but it probably means it isn't good for many cycles of reloading.
Yes - it has the "IMT" head stamp. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old October 11th, 2016, 02:21 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the input. Like I said this was a new experience for me so I wasn't sure how much concern to have about it. Since I don't reload 9MM I usually pay no attention to my spent brass but I'll be looking at it a bit now I think.

The purpose of my range visit was really just a function test. Whenever I've put some type of AR together from a bunch of parts sourced from different places I'm always happy just to have them go bang. This little carbine was about the simplest one I've done yet - no forward assist, no dust cover and no pesky roll pins as the upper and lower both use threaded fasteners in places instead of pins. The Cerakote process was way more time consuming than assembly. My indoor range is not ideal for rifle accuracy assessment as the lanes are just too short but this carbine shows promise. I think I need to put an optic on it of some type as the open sights aren't ideal for my eyes. But aside from the one incident it ran like a champ and was good fun. Pretty cheap too - the ammo I used was 19 cents apiece. We'll see how well the rest of it (900 rounds) performs but I'm not ready to blame the ammo yet.

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