Safety Warning for Berger 77 grain OTM Tactical Factory Loaded Ammunition

357Max

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    Shouldn’t the letters in the bolt face be mirror images?

    FIFY

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    Ledzep

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    There's a reason I throw charges and stopped weighing to the kernel...

    Just saying. 1.5gr total spread in a .223 is a bit much, but I'm not surprised. Even less surprised that it shoots well in multiple guns.

    FWIW, I have also noted that there is a higher likelihood of low velocities vs. high velocities compared to the average in the testing I've done, even weighed to the kernel. The highs are fewer, but higher than the lows are low.
     

    phlegethon

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    There's a reason I throw charges and stopped weighing to the kernel…
    Do you do this with stick powders too? I tried with Varget once and had variance of +- 0.3 grains, which made me nervous.
     

    Ledzep

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  • Jun 9, 2009
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    Do you do this with stick powders too? I tried with Varget once and had variance of +- 0.3 grains, which made me nervous.
    I throw varget with no qualms. It depends on application, too, though. With my ELR 300 PRC rig I weigh RL-26. But I throw RL-26 and H4350 for 6.5 Creedmoor for steel plates. IME you get roughly a +/- 0.15gr window (creedmoor sized case) where you need a really big sample to measure a difference at all-- if you can even see it. There's simply enough variability in the powder burn that you can't see the charge weight variation matter. Beyond that you can see the tails of the bell curve scoot outboard a bit. It usually averages somewhere around 5-6fps per .1gr on the ES, but SD's usually don't get hurt as bad as you'd think. Add 1-3fps to the SD from weighed to thrown. Most of the time it's still plenty good enough to hit plates at 300-1200 for PRS/NRL.

    I also don't run towards the top end, which gives me a lot of leeway as far as pressure is concerned. But yeah, I batch loaded 1500 rounds one afternoon this spring with varget straight out of the thrower. Most extruded powders I've used give a .4 to .8gr window. You will get better results weighing it, but you can definitely get "good enough" results just throwing. If you go pull down a few boxes of factory ammo you're likely to see about the same (.4-.8gr) or worse.
     

    phlegethon

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    I throw varget with no qualms. It depends on application, too, though. With my ELR 300 PRC rig I weigh RL-26. But I throw RL-26 and H4350 for 6.5 Creedmoor for steel plates. IME you get roughly a +/- 0.15gr window (creedmoor sized case) where you need a really big sample to measure a difference at all-- if you can even see it. There's simply enough variability in the powder burn that you can't see the charge weight variation matter. Beyond that you can see the tails of the bell curve scoot outboard a bit. It usually averages somewhere around 5-6fps per .1gr on the ES, but SD's usually don't get hurt as bad as you'd think. Add 1-3fps to the SD from weighed to thrown. Most of the time it's still plenty good enough to hit plates at 300-1200 for PRS/NRL.

    I also don't run towards the top end, which gives me a lot of leeway as far as pressure is concerned. But yeah, I batch loaded 1500 rounds one afternoon this spring with varget straight out of the thrower. Most extruded powders I've used give a .4 to .8gr window. You will get better results weighing it, but you can definitely get "good enough" results just throwing. If you go pull down a few boxes of factory ammo you're likely to see about the same (.4-.8gr) or worse.
    I'll have to try it.
     

    Downtown

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    I just might agree with Molon here. Unless oldiephrt knows more then he's letting on, that seems to be a rude and uncalled for accusation. Perhaps he meant it as a poor joke. Molon has shown himself to be a dedicated and meticulous researcher that I think we've all benefited from. No reason to doubt his honesty and if someone flat out called me a liar, I'd be annoyed.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    I just might agree with Molon here. Unless oldiephrt knows more then he's letting on, that seems to be a rude and uncalled for accusation. Perhaps he meant it as a poor joke. Molon has shown himself to be a dedicated and meticulous researcher that I think we've all benefited from. No reason to doubt his honesty and if someone flat out called me a liar, I'd be annoyed.
    Given @Molon 's obvious experience and data provided, I thought it was for sure a joke ???
     

    oldiephrt

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    Molon: If I am wrong about your motives I deeply with sincerity apologize.

    Nothing I have seen in the data provided suggest to me an over load occurred.
    to others reading this:
    My life experience has shown me most people can do absent minded things but, never is it their own fault.
    (like trying to group a cleaning rod. Case looked very similar)
    I worry that a reputable company has not issued a general recall or warning like the Super performance debacle.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    Molon: If I am wrong about your motives I deeply with sincerity apologize.

    Nothing I have seen in the data provided suggest to me an over load occurred.
    to others reading this:
    My life experience has shown me most people can do absent minded things but, never is it their own fault.
    (like trying to group a cleaning rod. Case looked very similar)
    I worry that a reputable company has not issued a general recall or warning like the Super performance debacle.

    Everyone makes mistakes, and I know a few who have tried to group a cleaning rod on accident... no doubt about that.

    Molon could have done that, but it's been asked and answered. To say that he did, and then went on this long endeavour that he knew to be fictitious all along, is a pretty bold accusation which you have no earthly idea about. The way you said it was also childish.

    Molon, like many here, has taken his time and effort and gathered, then compiled a lot of data for our benefit. That's what we do here. We have all had a quality discussion about it. You then accused Molon of this insane plot to get a new barrel, and it is absolutely ridiculous.
     

    whatsupdoc

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    No I really think @Molon wanted a free facelift and a new barrel so he must of jammed like 8 .338 solids down the barrel
    using a hydraulic press with some rockset for good measure, took off his safety glasses and wearing nothing but a g-string smiled and pulled the trigger.

    And Then! And Then!


    All kidding aside.
    This is one of those deals where unless the case is faulty the evidence has been destroyed.
     
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    bfoosh006

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    Quote from oldiephrt... "@Molon Could you post a picture of the whole barrel? I suspect you had a blockage and want a new barrel by blaming the ammo."


    I trust Molon 100% , he would never even consider what @oldiephrt suggested.

    His posts are always to the point and dead on. Molon is one of the gun communities trusted posters.

    Did you , @oldiephrt even read the whole thread prior to commenting ?... Maybe you could show me where Molon asked for a new barrel ? ... From anyone ?

    I actually question @oldiephrt 's motives.... or at the very least I question his judgement.

    I don't know you.. and you don't know me.... and you sure as heck don't know @Molon

    And I saw the apology...

    but shooting from the hip, with a comment like that... is gonna really piss off every honest man.

    FWIW... Not looking to start a fight.

    But "most people can do absent minded things" rings true with your insinuation.





    Shooting from the hip comments, should stay in the Bear Pit.... not in a tech forum.
     
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    Im2bent

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    Molon Could you post a picture of the whole barrel? I suspect you had a blockage and want a new barrel by blaming the ammo.
    I reported this post as slander. oldiephrt you may have just won asshole of the year with that post.
     

    mark5pt56

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    Molon: If I am wrong about your motives I deeply with sincerity apologize.

    Nothing I have seen in the data provided suggest to me an over load occurred.
    to others reading this:
    My life experience has shown me most people can do absent minded things but, never is it their own fault.
    (like trying to group a cleaning rod. Case looked very similar)
    I worry that a reputable company has not issued a general recall or warning like the Super performance debacle.
    Or not read the thread or not know the integrity of the OP
     
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    b6graham

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    Or not read the thread or not know the integrity of the OP
    While he came off the wrong way. Mistakes do happen. No matter how much data or integrity you have.

    It could have been worded better. But I think we can all agree there is something goofy happening here
     

    TxWelder35

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    I highly doubt it was the wrong powder, there is no way that just one case can be filled with the wrong powder on an assembly line. It would have had to be the entire lot that was affected and not a single case.
     

    supercorndogs

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    There's a reason I throw charges and stopped weighing to the kernel...

    Just saying. 1.5gr total spread in a .223 is a bit much, but I'm not surprised. Even less surprised that it shoots well in multiple guns.

    FWIW, I have also noted that there is a higher likelihood of low velocities vs. high velocities compared to the average in the testing I've done, even weighed to the kernel. The highs are fewer, but higher than the lows are low.
    I remember another thread we had, where a bunch of people were very surprised at the E.S in powder charges in one of the popular 6.5 Creed match loads. Granted it was a bigger case, but it was around .7 throwing h4350. Thats about where I run throwing h4831SC. 1.5g is about 7% though, 7% of 41 would be 2.8g, I could see blowing a primer in case with a 7% charge variance. Especially with ammo on the ragged edge already. That was my problem with throwing charges. I would run on the ragged edge, throw charges, then wonder why I was getting ejector marks on some cases, with heavy bolt lift. I thought the solution was to weight charges, but in reality the best solution was to change my mindset. I can't think of any misses that giving up 50 or 100 FPS has caused.
     

    308pirate

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    I did not think it was possible to over/under charge a cartridge using modern commercial loading equipment.
    I was under the impression that every cases powder charge height was checked.

    It's a common gun forum misconception that modern manufacturing systems are infallible. How many times have you heard something like this "but it's made on a CNC, all parts will be identical" or something similar?
     

    308pirate

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    just curious if the bolt is safe to continue to use?

    I would send it and the carrier body to be magnetic particle inspected, maybe even x rayed.

    Or just toss them and buy new ones.
     

    308pirate

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    I think it has be something more drastic. The amount of over pressure needed to cause that is significant. I would lean more towards the wrong powder. If they are supposed to be using N150 and used N140, that would probably do it. Very interesting information though.

    I'm kinda in agreement here, particularly after looking through @Molon data table and his charge weights from pulled down rounds.
     

    TxWelder35

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    I'm kinda in agreement here, particularly after looking through @Molon data table and his charge weights from pulled down rounds.
    On an assembly line just one case gets a charged with a different powder? It would have to be deliberate sabotage for that to be true.
     

    bfoosh006

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    It has been mentioned on another forum, that maybe a heavier 85gr bullet was seated over the max'ish "tolerance stacking" 77gr charge weight , and heavy case weight.

    I could readily see that happening.

    Someone inadvertently tosses a 85gr in to the feed bin of 77gr's, and it is gone in a second.
     
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    TxWelder35

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    How do you know it was only one?
    It would have to be an entire lot. It’s not going to be one or 2 or 10, there just isn’t a feasible way for a small amount of cases to get the wrong powder.

    maybe some of the wrong powder was mixed in, possible, but once again would have to effect an entire lot.

    wrong bullet sounds more plausible to me. It would be a lot easier for a stray bullet that some one found on the floor or laying around to get tossed into the hopper.
     

    Downtown

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    Can someone calculate if replacing the 77gr bullet with one 8gr heavier would push pressure to the 80,000-90,000 range we are estimating from cartridge condition? My apologies if I've overlooked that somewhere in these four pages already.
     
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    Ledzep

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    It would have to be an entire lot. It’s not going to be one or 2 or 10, there just isn’t a feasible way for a small amount of cases to get the wrong powder.

    maybe some of the wrong powder was mixed in, possible, but once again would have to effect an entire lot.

    wrong bullet sounds more plausible to me. It would be a lot easier for a stray bullet that some one found on the floor or laying around to get tossed into the hopper.

    Powder bridging alone is a possibility.

    I think it's incredibly naive to think the exact same thing happens every time when you're bulk feeding structured material. The pulldown data from before tells the tale.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    Can someone calculate if replacing the 77gr bullet with one 8gr heavier would push pressure to the 80,000-90,000 range we are estimating from cartridge condition? My apologies if I've overlooked that somewhere in these four pages already.
    I've followed along as I have a good bit of this ammo and I haven't seen that anyone has given a value of what that pressure would or could in such a case as a 85gr. Bullet getting thrown in with the others.

    That's the best theory so far though I think. It seems possible and someone who has experience with large manufacturing of ammo has said it's very possible as well. A different powder just isn't viable here imo. I've shot a good bit of that same lot of ammo and reloaded a good bit of that brass and not seen the first sign of pressure at all, so the different weight bullet is the most viable possibility IMO- IF , it would actually produce 80k + pressure with the highest known charge weight. I don't know the answer to that one but somone here surely does.
     
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    Gwain

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    I built a profile in QL using data provided here and from Berger. Swapping a bullet - 77 otm to the 85.5 increased pressure 12k PSI.

    Edit to add: N550 was the only powder for VV that was able to get the advertised 2750fps out of a 20" barrel. It was very close to 55,500 psi and when I dropped an 85.5 grain Berger in the profile it went to 67,000 psi. I used 22.5 grains as the load based on what was posted earlier, that seemed to be a fair average of the pull down just looking at it, I did not do all the math for a real average. This was just to get ballpark of possible pressure swing.
     
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    BuildingConceptsllc

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    I built a profile in QL using data provided here and from Berger. Swapping a bullet - 77 otm to the 85.5 increased pressure 12k PSI.

    So if you added the high end of the charge variation + a hot day+ (maybe that round got dropped and pushed down the bullet in the case or other oddity like that or similar). The pressure could be there... IF a heavier bullet found its way into the bin...
     

    whatsupdoc

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    Using Gordons reloading tool.

    .223
    COAL: 2.255
    23.3gr N140

    Berger 77gr OTM: 53907 PSI
    Berger Fullbore 81gr: 58216 PSI
    Berger 90gr VLD: 80132 PSI
     
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    Downtown

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    Well, a 90gr bullet gets the pressure up to our estimate. Is the shape of the bullet different enough that Molon would have noticed it while loading the magazine? Would it even fit in a magazine?
     

    TxWelder35

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    Well, a 90gr bullet gets the pressure up to our estimate. Is the shape of the bullet different enough that Molon would have noticed it while loading the magazine? Would it even fit in a magazine?
    The pressure is high because it’s shoved deep into the case
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    My buddy who is helping me develop a load and showing me the finer points of loading had a guess at it. He wondered if a longer case could be a possibility? He always says that is what would scare him to most, getting a case that's too long in a chamber.

    I guess it's not possible to get a good measurement on the case in question since it is so mangled but I wonder if in the process it's possible for a case to be lifted by something being stuck under it or something like that also?
     

    Gwain

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    Using Gordons reloading tool.

    .223
    COAL: 2.255
    23.3gr N140

    Berger 77gr OTM: 53907 PSI
    Berger Fullbore 81gr: 58216 PSI
    Berger 90gr VLD: 80132 PSI

    So I plugged a 90 grainer in my profile and got 75k at the 22.5 load and 80k at 23 grains.
     

    Downtown

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    That's the best theory we've got I think.
    It does seem the most possible, assuming that conditions at Berger would allow it. I know we postulate someone picking up a loose 90gr bullet and tossing it in a hopper, but it's also easy to imagine either a physical set up or procedures that would make that unlikely. Guess only Berger employees would know.
     

    SmartDonkey

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    With how many recalls and mistakes we see on a daily basis (not talking about only firearms related) it is odd how many people don't think that mistakes can make it out the door of a big company. I've seen it on a box of ammo that had 19 correct rounds and 1 different cartridge in it. Did it happen at the factory? I have no idea- could have happened on the shelf with someone comparing 2 rounds and then putting them back in the wrong boxes. I've just come to accept that errors are not as uncommon as we would like to believe.... and that was before I found the piece of metal in my chicken nugget.
     

    MontanaMan

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    So I plugged a 90 grainer in my profile and got 75k at the 22.5 load and 80k at 23 grains.
    I have not loaded either of those bullets, myself, but I highly doubt that either could have been loaded into a 223 brass case to 223 mag length, w/o being well into the ogive....................which a very knowledgeable & experience shooter like MOLON would have surely noticed.

    MM
     

    MontanaMan

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    I was looking thru the VV reloading and if I was reading correctly The max 530 is 22.3-22.1 depending on which 77 grain bullet you use. I have always found their charts very conservative .
    In every case of my using a VV powder (133, 140, 540) in 223 Wylde with bullets from 55 to 77 gr, their max loads have been right on max/near max loading for me, so no, their data is not conservative...........................& Berger 77 gr OTM's raise pressure over SMK's Nosler CC's & Hornady 75...................EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    MM
     

    sirhrmechanic

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    I have not loaded either of those bullets, myself, but I highly doubt that either could have been loaded into a 223 brass case to 223 mag length, w/o being well into the ogive....................which a very knowledgeable & experience shooter like MOLON would have surely noticed.

    MM
    Not so sure…. I’ve loaded thousands… tens of thousands of cartridges into AR mags. Schools, ranges, storage… whatever. And I can definitively say that after a while it’s done by muscle memory and rote. I do t take cartridges out of a box for an AR and look at every round.

    For precision rifle… I do pay more attention. But to notice a slight difference in ogive on a single cartridge when loading an AR mag which I can do blindfolded… and often just do by feel… not likely.

    The heavy bullet theory is excellent and well don to the folks who ran the numbers.

    Cheers.

    Sirhr
     
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    MontanaMan

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    Well, surely anything is possible, but MOLON was doing an ammo evaluation & he's meticulous, so I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that he would have noticed that kind of irregularity.

    But really, we'll never know for sure & I'm just glad that no real damage to the shooter or the gun was done.

    MM
     
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