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Uncle Buck
August 24, 2001, 01:09
I just about finished up firing a case of Mal85 ammo when I noticed smoke wafting from the cover of my Century Imbel L1A1 "Sporter". Having become accutely aware of the meaning of this as a sign of a gas leak, I checked the pile of empties and I found this split case head:
http://members.home.net/cglabe1/photos/Mal85split.jpg

It was the only 1 I experienced in the whole case and I had come to like this ammo as being clean, consistent and cheap. This rifle has headspace that is less than 1.634 or no go. I guess that a lot of the surplus ammo on the market is there because it isn't good enough for the military of the country that sold it.

Just in case there are a few who are thinking that the on headspace my L1A1 is too long, here is a classic example of a split due to long headspace. I also found a '59 IVI 7.62 x 51 case at the range that had been fired in a 7.65 x 53 Argentine mauser rifle and it looks like this:
http://members.home.net/cglabe1/photos/IVI59split.jpg

FWRA
August 24, 2001, 20:49
Originally posted by Uncle Buck:
<STRONG>I just about finished up firing a case of Mal85 ammo when I noticed smoke wafting from the cover of my Century Imbel L1A1 "Sporter". Having become accutely aware of the meaning of this as a sign of a gas leak, I checked the pile of empties and I found this split case head:
http://members.home.net/cglabe1/photos/Mal85split.jpg

It was the only 1 I experienced in the whole case and I had come to like this ammo as being clean, consistent and cheap. This rifle has headspace that is less than 1.634 or no go. I guess that a lot of the surplus ammo on the market is there because it isn't good enough for the military of the country that sold it.

Just in case there are a few who are thinking that the on headspace my L1A1 is too long, here is a classic example of a split due to long headspace. I also found a '59 IVI 7.62 x 51 case at the range that had been fired in a 7.65 x 53 Argentine mauser rifle and it looks like this:
http://members.home.net/cglabe1/photos/IVI59split.jpg </STRONG>


What is the headspace on your Century?

I have you beat with over 4000 rounds of this ammo thru my various FAL's and never had one split like that. (and I pick up all my empties to save for a rainy day)

My Hesse FAL's consistantly headspaced at between 1.30-1.32, and my M444 checks out at 1.31.

From now on I'm building my rifles using the Brownell's Match headspace gauges and setting H/S for 1.632 (NATO specs). These Match gauges start at 1.630 GO and increase one thousandth to 1.638 FIELD. A great gauge set IMO. With these you can set headspace to shoot .308 Match ammo or set it to shoot military surplus 7.62x51 NATO.

Check the gauges out on their website:
http://www.brownells.com/Product/index.asp?index=yes

Mark Powell

Uncle Buck
August 25, 2001, 16:40
I don't know exactly, but the headspace on this rifle is less than 1.634, since it won't close on a No Go gauge. The lengthwise splits are due to defective cases, not headspace. With long headspace you get the circumferential splits or head separations. I still have a case of Maylasian ammo left and I won't worry to much about shooting the rest of it up. I may encounter these splits more often because I look for the smoke coming out of the mag well. How many people check their berdan brass after they fire them? Not many I bet. Always wear eye protection.

Offctr
August 25, 2001, 18:51
Uncle Buck
I just got back from the range with the exception of 80 rounds of radway g all of the rest of the ammo I fired 420 rounds were the malaysian 85 I picked up at SARCO I made every effort to collect and examine as many cases as I could and as I had the range to myself I could safely assume all of the rounds collected were mine as the area was clean when I got there.Not a split case in the bunch -- which is good I suppose-- what I want to know is what gives ? what ammo is safe to use ? is all surplus as suspect as the stuff you have ? I dont want to run something through my rifle thats going to possibly distroy the rifle or harm me or someone else -- so what do I do now ? has anyone else had this problem ?
:confused:

Uncle Buck
August 25, 2001, 20:14
I had 1 split in over 1000 rds, so it is hard to tell whether this is anything to worry about. I have another case of MAL85 left and I'm not going to worry about it. Still though, I thought it was worth reporting since I have been kind of ranting about the Israeli ammo, but I got split heads about 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 depending on the Israeli lot. I shoot about 4K per year, so I might run into a split more often.

Offctr
August 25, 2001, 21:33
from the way I read your post I thought you had had more failures than that guess I need to read what I read.I am happy you only had one I have already put in a good quantity of the malaysian ... I have already ordered more of the .308 mixed from southern ammo and am going to pull out the TZ 80 pull some of them apart and see if there are any consitent "symtoms" readilly apparent. I had two that failed to fire on an earlier range trip that we pulled the bullets on and found a small quantity of greenish powder mixed in with the powder which was ball powder not stick and one of the guys I know who does reloading said it was a flash retardant sometimes used in military loads --could this have an effect ? anyone know any more about this stuff ? what it is what it does ?

Uncle Buck
August 25, 2001, 22:39
I don't particularly like the mixed headstamp Israeli ammo. I found split case heads on all types of the Israeli stuff, not TZ80. The TZ80 I had a couple of years ago also had some minor splits, but it was new in the box with all the same head stamp. Where do people get the idea that only the TZ80 is bad? Here are KU69, KU72, TZ77 and TZ71

http://members.home.net/cglabe1/photos/kn4.jpg

kman
September 14, 2001, 11:59
I would not worry too much about 1 head split. I just got back from the pistol range and found one of my Speer 40sw cases that had as bad of a split as I have ever seen anywhere. It does not mean that I will never shoot Speer again or it is crappy ammo. I just make sure I always wear my shooting goggles.

mp
September 14, 2001, 13:31
Uncle Buck

ALL these case splits came from your L1A1!?!? Either you have the worst luck in ammo selection or your headspace is off. I would check and recheck it, and have someone else check it.!

Uncle Buck
September 14, 2001, 13:52
No, I have had the splits in 3 different FALs and 2 different M1As. The major reason is that I shoot many thousand rounds of surplus 7.62 per year and I pay attention when I see smoke coming out of my mag well. How many people check their berdan-primed brass? Not many I would bet, so maybe some people are just overlooking this problem.

NONE of these splits is bad headspace! That is why I posted an example of what bad headspace splits look like to illustrate the difference. Look at the pictures: The lengthwise axial splits are bad cases. The circumferential splits are bad headspace.
1 bad case in over 1000 rds of Malaysian ammo isn't a big problem. You just want to be prepared for potential problems.

EOE
September 15, 2001, 05:20
Well it looks like we have to avoid Mal. ammo now too.
Uncle Buck...Thanks for keeping us aware of the problem. I've followed your posts on the subject and am in total agreement.
While I have had problems only with the TZ80 headstamped ammo, your caution is noted.
Lest some think this is only a minor problem (just a little gas or smoke coming from the action)let me remind them that catastrophic case failure is very dangerous.
Personal injury as well as firearm damage is likely. In my own experience resulting in a destroyed magazine as well powder permanently embedded in flesh.
One case ruptured from the primer pocket up the side of the case over an inch.
Be careful out there!!!!