bad primers--etched bolt face(picture)
I bought some federal-210 L/R primers from a reputable gun store about three months ago. Clean boxes and very good looking (to the naked eye).
I was working up a load for my 270 Win. two days ago.
I fired 25 rounds of test ammo with Remington primers and was one grain away from Max. load. All went well with no showing of flattened primers or hard extraction recoil was normal. (no chronograph).
Bullets were Remington 130 grain cor locks seated to the canalure as in a factory round. Powder was H 4831. charge was 56 to 58.5 grains.
I then switched to the Federal primers and Sierra 140 grain HP game kings, same H4831 and the charge was min. 54 grains. Same batch of cases, with the bullets .030 of the lands.
I fired 5 rounds before I noticed The primers were flat as in a hot load. One primer was pierced as in a little hole along the radius on the corner that the flat part of the primer starts to form the cup. The hole was not near the pin strike. Gas escaped and etched the bolt face. There are etched marks and carbon on the bolt face that match up with the case. Again there were no problems with extraction and the cases do not show swelling in the web area.
I called Federal and gave him the lot #1A 7742 of the primers. He said they were 22 years old and who the hell sold them to me. He also said that it seems they had some kind of corrosion from the environment they were kept in.
Told me he would pay for knew primers but since they were so old he would not cover anything else. He said they could look good to the eye and still be bad.
I called the store that sold the primers and he said he would pay to have the rifle go back to the factory and any repairs that were needed.
Like I said the bolt face is etched in a little circle about 3mm away from the pin hole around the outer edge of the primer.
??? should I send the gun in and be without it for 6 weeks? Is the bolt still safe or is it ruined. I am very upset with this. Should I keep the rifle and live with the etched bolt--I don't know if this will effect the way the rifle shoots
in the future. The rifle has shot under 3/4" 100 yards in the past.
See picture. below
This does not look like etching caused by blowback or corrosive primers.
More like grit or something on your bolt face was the cause,
Check the case to see if any marks on them'
I look at this rifle three times a week. I look at the bole face. The bolt was clean and the cases were immaculate. The primer had a small hole along it's outer edge--carbon and gas escaped at that point. the marks on the case and the bolt match up in the same place. These are not scratches--it is etched into the bolt.
Thank you for your reply but I think if it were dirt at the interface of the case head and the bolt face it would look different than this. I think more of a circular scratch as the bolt was closed and then opened. Or I think I would have felt a crunch when I opened and closed the bolt.
No marks on the case to indicate scratches.
Last edited by gray wolf; 04-18-2009 at 01:34 PM.
Should have put the picture of the case next to the bolt but here it is.
I also pulled remaining rounds and checked the powder. It was spot on--all the cases were hand weighed and trickled onto the poeder pan.
Last edited by gray wolf; 04-18-2009 at 02:01 PM.
Yes, the picture tells the story..
Were there more than one of these cases ?
No powder burn on bolt face is what threw me.
Last edited by chuck furniss; 04-18-2009 at 02:06 PM.
Yes there were two cases both reacted the same way. One a little smaller hole. Both in the same area on the bolt. I wiped the bolt off for a better look.
I didn't know this had happened the first time or I would not have shot again.
I am very concerned as to how much the bolt has been damadged.GW.
Last edited by gray wolf; 04-18-2009 at 02:26 PM.
I think the bolt is fine and would have no concern at all using it.. I have seen this many times on various benchrest rifles.. Undesirable, yes, but the bolt is not damaged, imo.. If you can get it replaced, go for it.
The primers are at fault and I would not use them any further, obviously..
The rifle is fine to use as is... The etched areas won't affect a thing, IMO>
Thank you Pat B.
I am not sure what I am going to do. I hate to have to hold off for 6 weeks while it is fixed / bolt replaced.
GW: That's a darn shame. I've seen one other similar deal with a primer (Rem 7 1/2) and the bolt face suffered the same fate. It's not a concern from a safety or operational standpoint.
A competent 'smith can face it off enough to clean up the etching and you'll be fine. Facing it off will increase the headspace by whatever amount is taken off....which is why most just live with it. How the headspace issue is addressed is between you and the 'smith.
Good shootin'. -Al
He would have to remove at least 1/mm and then the barrel would have to be set back------I think ? and what about the distance from the claw extractor to the bolt face?.
The store owner said he would send it back to Winchester for the fix-em-up.
Said the primers must have came in on trade--22 years old ?
If it goes to Winchester for a repair I doubt they will do real smith work, more like replace the bolt. Don't know for sure --but the rifle cost $900 and is less than 6 months
old. My typing may sound calm but I am rip sh-t about this.
Originally Posted by gray wolf
Kind of the wrong forum for all this but...
A mm is close to 40 thou... you certainly do not have to remove that much bolt face I am sure... I would be surprised
if it did not clean up by 10 thou.
I would recommend simply recessing the bolt face about 50-60 thou and fitting a washer in place to the correct headspace making sure it bottoms out and has slight clearance on diameter and soft soldering it in place. I have done this on a few rifles to fix a bolt face and it works fine.
Many years ago, I bought a Sako .244 rifle at a gun show. Got home, and noticed the same type bolt etching but completely encirclling the firing pin hole. I still have the rifle, and it shoots fine. I do not want to set the barrel back on this rare caliber rifle. However, I have not fired it in many years now.
bad primers etched bolt face .
22 years ago. Rings a bell . There was a recall on ammo from federal i believe. The primers may have been the culprit.
If those primers did that with a mild load then it certainly was primer defects. I'm pretty sure the rifle is ok. change back to the remingtons for now. I believe They have harder cups . I have seen this before, usually with very hot loads.
The factory can install a new bolt and fix the problem . Or if you choose have it faced off and re headspaced. Good luck either way .
careful on those loads too.
I'd go with a new bolt but insist on it being specifically fitted to this receiver and proof tested.
Using the bolt as is would not compromise its safety if and only if the gouged area did not cause primer cup materials to be extruded into it weakening each primer cup during its highest pressure phaze. You could end up with good primers blowing out.
The common concentric etching found on older rifles doesn't usually cause a safety concern but the gouges on your bolt face are much worse.
A replacement bolt should be lapped to the locking surfaces of the reciever.
A friend who does this work for long range match rifles and Police/Security CounterSniper Rifles follows this procedure.
The barrel is removed and a fitting made from the cut off shank of a discarded barrel of the same type, which has been bored out for the shank of a tool which bears a diamond faced cutting disk, is inserted.
The locking recesses are cut perfectly perpendicular to the bore line removing any upset metal from previous proof tests and use with high pressure loads. This generally removes far less than one thousandth of an inch of metal, probably only a couple of tenths of a thousandth or less in most cases, and does not compromise the hardened surface which is from .006 to .008 with the receivers he works with.
The bolt is then hand lapped to the locking recesses, pressure applied through the same bushing used by the diamond cutter. He has a fitting with micrometer adjustable spring pressure and limitation so he can limit the amount of material removed to the absolute minimum.
The Boltface is then also cut perpendicular to the bore and chamber centerline.
The barelled action is then reproofed with its newly custom fitted bolt.
The Smith I speak of no longer does work for the general public as far as I know.
There are probably other gunsmiths that use this or a similar procedure. From what I hear the workman is well worth his hire at this level of expertise.
One not vigilant could easily ruin a receiver if they got heavy handed at the wrong moment. Or worse create a dangerous flaw that might not show up during proof testing.
Depth and quality of heat treatment must be carefully gauged before beginning.
Needless to say its not cheap.
I have some
of those damn primers too. Old batch of federals. It did the same thing to my Python long range gun, but made a complete cirle around the primer on the face. It wont hurt the bolt to leave it as is. It just looks bad. It wont effect accuracy, safety or anything else. Obviously quit using those primers. I sent mine to an "old friend" that used to cause me heartache as a kid. (just kidding). Dont worry about the bolt.