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Bergara HMR not playing nice with Milsurp rounds?

yeehaw-pewpew

Private
Minuteman
Mar 2, 2023
14
1
TX
Hi there. First post aside from my mandatory new member intro post.

I recently picked up a Bergara HMR in .308. While at a gun show recently, I picked up a few hundred rounds of loose milsurp. Various headstamps including WCC, WRA, WMA, LC, etc. I'm noticing that my bolt will push forward these rounds, but on some it refuses to lock the bolt unless I give it a nominal hit with my palm. Definitely doesn't "feel right"

Of the stamped heads, WRA fails to lock the bolt in every case, WCC almost always allows the bolt to lock, LC and WMA is a 50/50 mixed bag. Add that my Hornady Match Rounds lock and cycle smooth as butter (and about half the milsup ammo I have does too), I am trending towards the ammo being the issue and not the rifle.

I do see a rub spot near the neck tip of the casing when doing this, and small brass shavings. Nothing I can't clean out if it a break in period thing. I read some common hints on checking mount screws, but none breach the length of the screw holes that I can see/feel. While I would suspect these aren't reloads, I've never bought loose milsurp and have zero idea.

So the questions I have:
Is this a bolt-action break in period thing?
Am I causing any rifle damage seeing the shavings when I have to give the bolt some oomph?
Am I still safe to fire these loads?
Is Milsurp ammo "tolerances" not tolerant enough for modern rifles?

Any other insights are welcome as well.

Thanks all,

-YHPP
 

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First you should not force the bolt closed, you can gall the bolt lugs action lugs or both.

You purchased loose ammo of questionable origin, if commercial ammo works then that is that.

Edit : Why take a chance using ammo that does not properly fit your chamber.
 
First you should not force the bolt closed, you can gall the bolt lugs action lugs or both.

You purchased loose ammo of questionable origin, if commercial ammo works then that is that.

Edit : Why take a chance using ammo that does not properly fit your chamber.
Thanks for the reply.

1.) As mentioned, Hornady match runs with zero issue. I will pick up 2 more boxes to verify clean factory run.

2.) Rifle is factory new, cleaned and lubed thoroughly with zero rounds through. Hence the question on break-in.

3.) The reason I was asking if "OK" to apply a bit of force was that multiple posts told me not to "baby" the bolt. I thought I might be plus the break in question previously. If it's cut and dry an issue that I should not ignore (versus being new rifle growing pains), I absolutely will not shoot it.

Thanks.
 
Baby the bolt meaning working it fast is one thing, having to squeeze the case in the chamber is another.

The best thing to do is have the headspace checked and remove all doubt.
 
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Thanks for the reply.

1.) As mentioned, Hornady match runs with zero issue. I will pick up 2 more boxes to verify clean factory run.

2.) Rifle is factory new, cleaned and lubed thoroughly with zero rounds through. Hence the question on break-in.

3.) The reason I was asking if "OK" to apply a bit of force was that multiple posts told me not to "baby" the bolt. I thought I might be plus the break in question previously. If it's cut and dry an issue that I should not ignore (versus being new rifle growing pains), I absolutely will not shoot it.

Thanks.
How do you know that the "milsurp" ammo you bought isn't poorly made reloads from some Joe schmoe?
 
How do you know that the "milsurp" ammo you bought isn't poorly made reloads from some Joe schmoe?
Hi there.

I do not know with 100% certainty. The only evidence I have that it is not is that 1). All the headstamps are the 4 companies listed above (plus a few of a 5th one that I really have no idea how to read), 2.) All casings have the NATO stamp on them, and 3.) I don't see abnormal scratches on the casings.

They look clean to me, but then again I've never bought loose rounds at a gun show before. They very well could all be reloads if I'm not educated on what I should be looking for.
 
is the milsurp 7.62 instead of .308?

is it steel cased?

If either, just stop using them.

Hi there,

This I have zero clue on, and all I have to go on is the guy Inbought it from.

As my limited knowledge of this caliber would lead me to believe, the difference is not in the dimensions of the caliber, but rather the internal pressures they are capable of. Am I wrong in this??
 
Hi there.

I do not know with 100% certainty. The only evidence I have that it is not is that 1). All the headstamps are the 4 companies listed above (plus a few of a 5th one that I really have no idea how to read), 2.) All casings have the NATO stamp on them, and 3.) I don't see abnormal scratches on the casings.

They look clean to me, but then again I've never bought loose rounds at a gun show before. They very well could all be reloads if I'm not educated on what I should be looking for.
I have shitloads of military 30-06 and 5.56 US and foreign brass. Believe when I say that I can make reloads that you cannot tell apart from the real thing and that may or may not chamber easily in your rifle.
 
I have shitloads of military 30-06 and 5.56 US and foreign brass. Believe when I say that I can make reloads that you cannot tell apart from the real thing and that may or may not chamber easily in your rifle.
That may be, and as I said before this is a new caliber and new platform, compounded with the fact that I've never bought loose rounds before. I'm quite literally open to all possibilities here, but moreso than that trying to learn from my mistakes (if I did indeed make one), or determine if this is "normal" for a rifle, and I'm ignorant to that fact.

-YHPP
 
That may be, and as I said before this is a new caliber and new platform, compounded with the fact that I've never bought loose rounds before. I'm quite literally open to all possibilities here, but moreso than that trying to learn from my mistakes (if I did indeed make one), or determine if this is "normal" for a rifle, and I'm ignorant to that fact.

-YHPP
Commercial match ammo feeds and chambers fine. There's your answer. Throw that "milsurp" stuff away and chalk it up to a lesson learned.
 
It’s normal. I put some through a Tikka just for the heck of it and found plenty that wouldn’t chamber. The stuff that did shot just fine.
 
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Follow up: are the rounds that cycle cleanly fair play, or toss those as well?
Why would you risk your rifle or your physical safety shooting loose rounds that you have no idea as to their origin. Throw that shit out and move on. Or just take the chance that one of these rounds will blow up your gun. How is this so fucking hard.
 
Why would you risk your rifle or your physical safety shooting loose rounds that you have no idea as to their origin. Throw that shit out and move on. Or just take the chance that one of these rounds will blow up your gun. How is this so fucking hard.
I'm asking multiple questions as a novice to bolt action rifles, based on the situation I'm experiencing and what information I have seen posted to similar questions of this type. I am gathering information from those answers, and hoping to apply a plan of action and develop lessons learned based on actions taken and helfpul information gleaned. My goal is to ask the questions (stupid or not) so that I have the complete picture and learn from this.

The only thing that seems to be "fucking hard" is your inability to understand that. So far most every comment has been educational and helpful. Save for yours.
 
Would you buy gas from a crackhead selling out of 55 gallon drums next to a methadone clinic?

Yea that's what buying random reloads, especially loose rounds from a gunshow is.

Throw that shit in the garbage and buy some good factory ammo.
 
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I'm asking multiple questions as a novice to bolt action rifles, based on the situation I'm experiencing and what information I have seen posted to similar questions of this type. I am gathering information from those answers, and hoping to apply a plan of action and develop lessons learned based on actions taken and helfpul information gleaned. My goal is to ask the questions (stupid or not) so that I have the complete picture and learn from this.

The only thing that seems to be "fucking hard" is your inability to understand that. So far most every comment has been educational and helpful. Save for yours.
He is right. You are asking dumb questions along the lines of why we have saftey warnings on everything. You should thank him for giving you frank and honest advice instead of getting defensive. You are the one who doesn't have the knowledge here, so act like it.
 
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He is right. You are asking dumb questions along the lines of why we have saftey warnings on everything. You should thank him for giving you frank and honest advice instead of getting defensive. You are the one who doesn't have the knowledge here, so act like it.
I have received three different opinions here, if you have been following:

*Throw it all out
*Throw the stuff that doesn't seat, but the stuff that seats will prob fire fine
*Check headspace first to see if that is the issue.

I'm listening to opinions. Even the retoricals. His comment about throwing it all away was also well received. His "why are you still asking questions" mentality is not.

I like the sport, and I'm a technical person (engineer by trade), so I like getting in the weeds on why things are and aren't. Forgive me for trying to educated on all points of view vs. just believing the opinion of one person followed by "listen to me, I'm the right one here, and how dare you continue questioning after the answer I support was posted". Isn't there already enough of that in this world?

*EDIT* - I most likely will throw out what I picked up, based on the consistency of comments from multiple sources. I do like my extremities just fine, and I'm not looking to cherry pick the answer that suits my wallet more than my limbs.
 
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Get some calipers and a scale and start measuring and figuring out where the differences are. Once you measure the cases pull bullets and compare powder charge weights and identify if possible, likely not, and then thrown the crap away.

Life is too short to shoot shit ammo.
 
Get some calipers and a scale and start measuring and figuring out where the differences are. Once you measure the cases pull bullets and compare powder charge weights and identify if possible, likely not, and then thrown the crap away.

Life is too short to shoot shit ammo.
I hadn't considered deconstructing as as option. Thanks for that.
 
I hadn't considered deconstructing as as option. Thanks for that.
This is probably obvious but for safety reasons is worth repeating for new reloaders if you decide to deconstruct.

You may, but I wouldn’t recommend reusing the pulled projectiles and brass given you have multiple head stamps and most likely varying projectile manufactures as well.

However, most importantly, make sure to discard ALL POWDER and NEVER combine the unknown, possibly different, pulled powders into a bigger batch and use it for reloading! You may be creating a mini bomb!
 
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This is probably obvious but for safety reasons is worth repeating for new reloaders if you decide to deconstruct.

You may, but I wouldn’t recommend reusing the pulled projectiles and brass given you have multiple head stamps and most likely varying projectile manufactures as well.

However, most importantly, make sure to discard ALL POWDER and NEVER combine the unknown, possibly different, pulled powders into a bigger batch and use it for reloading! You may be creating a mini bomb!
I thought it was a good idea for conducting root cause analysis, and satisfy my own curiousity on why some of the loads were working and some were not. I hadn't considered anything past that, since I have no desire at this time to take up reloading. Still, I appreciate the additional info. I probably would just as soon donate these rounds to my neighbor who is an experienced reloader, and let him pick through whatever components he felt were salvageable.
 
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