Safety Warning for Berger 77 grain OTM Tactical Factory Loaded Ammunition

BuildingConceptsllc

Don't Start None, won't be none.
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
  • Nov 13, 2020
    4,426
    3,527
    Alabama
    2985 FPS from an 18" barrel is 137 FPS faster than Black Hills 5.56mm MK262 Mod 1 when fired from a 20" Colt barrel with a 5.56mm chamber. Berger clearly labeled this ammunition as "223 Remington" "Match Grade Ammunition"

    The Berger box lists this ammunition as having having a muzzle velocity of 2750 FPS fired from a 20" barrel. So that 2985 FPS is 235 FPS FASTER THAN BERGER'S OWN STATED VELOCITY.

    ...
    Yeah, that's ridiculous. I thought they had said "we will replace any of this if anyone wants to" but I went back ITT and read their recall notice and they did say not to use it in AR's so I shouldn't have done it and that's on me. I kept it after molons experience because it shot so well in my bolt gun but I'm going to just get it all replaced if they will do that, even the other lot number I have that's about the same age.
     

    Near miss

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 8, 2019
    1,197
    570
    Finland
    Man I am getting jealous, I need to top up my go-to max load, another 100fps?

    This certainly speaks volumes about how Lapua brass holds up. Can not believe it did not let go.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: axarob44

    BuildingConceptsllc

    Don't Start None, won't be none.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Nov 13, 2020
    4,426
    3,527
    Alabama
    Man I am getting jealous, I need to top up my go-to max load, another 100fps?

    This certainly speaks volumes about how Lapua brass holds up. Can not believe it did not let go.
    If it wasn't lapua it probably would have. That was the first time I've ever had anything like that happen and I very much expect it to be my last. It's interesting that my case looks nearly identical to molons in how it deformed. I don't remember what rifle he was shooting but that pretty well confirms everything molon said from the get go, not that he needed it confirmed
     

    Frank Green

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 27, 2006
    1,958
    3,671
    wisconsin
    www.bartleinbarrels.com
    I didn’t read the whole thread but as a suggestion….

    Krieger makes a lot of there AR barrels or use to make them all with a .218” bore size. That’s tight. .219” is standard. This will drive up pressure. Call them and give them the s/n and ask them to look it up or send it back and have them verify the bore and groove size. This could easily be your problem.

    When we make AR barrels I refuse to make tight bore barrels anymore unless there is a specific request and reasoning for it.

    I’ve seen actual pressure data thru a test barrel where the bore and groove where only .0005” undersize and that drove up pressure 10k psi.

    Case head etching in the bolt face is around 80k psi.

    Also if the chamber reamer cut a little undersize even to at size that can effect pressure as well. I’ve seen 300AAC chambers that cut .0001” to .0002” under the min throat spec and bullets where fat on diameter and that drove up pressure 6k minimum.

    Call Berger and ask them to check your ammo in a pressure test barrel. Send it back to them or at least call and talk to them. What spec test barrel and chamber it was shot in could be a variable also.

    Don't shoot it anymore till you have it checked out!

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
     

    Molon

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2020
    628
    1,503
    This could easily be your problem.


    No, it isn’t “my problem”. Are you also going to tell buildingconceptsllc that it’s “his problem” since he had the exact same type of blow-out from this ammunition in his barrel? When fired from his 18” barrel, this ammunition had a muzzle velocity that was 235 FPS faster than the manufacturer’s stated velocity when fired from a 20” barrel. If all this was “my problem” why did Berger end-up issuing a recall for this ammunition after I told them that I was not going to be returning this ammunition to them and that I was considering having this ammunition pressure tested by an independent lab?

    I’ve been shooting match-grade AR-15 barrels from Krieger for decades, because they have been the premier manufacturer of match-grade barrels for the AR-15 for decades. Berger clearly labeled this ammunition as “match grade ammunition”. Had Berger done their due-diligence before releasing this ammunition to the public they would have tested this ammunition in match-grade barrels for the AR-15.

    In the decades that I’ve been using match-grade Krieger barrels for my AR-15s I’ve never had so-much as a popped primer. In the hundreds of factory loads that I’ve chronographed from my match-grade Krieger barrels there has never been a load that was 235 FPS faster than the manufacturers stated velocity.



    Call Berger and ask them to check your ammo in a pressure test barrel. Send it back to them or at least call and talk to them.

    Try actually reading the thread. I posted some of communications that I had with Berger and I clearly stated that I asked Berger to do some pressure testing with the components and powder used in this load and they refused.

    ...
     

    lash

    Swamp Rat
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 28, 2012
    8,903
    14,736
    64
    Central Florida
    No, it isn’t “my problem”. Are you also going to tell buildingconceptsllc that it’s “his problem” since he had the exact same type of blow-out from this ammunition in his barrel? When fired from his 18” barrel, this ammunition had a muzzle velocity that was 235 FPS faster than the manufacturer’s stated velocity when fired from a 20” barrel. If all this was “my problem” why did Berger end-up issuing a recall for this ammunition after I told them that I was not going to be returning this ammunition to them and that I was considering having this ammunition pressure tested by an independent lab?

    I’ve been shooting match-grade AR-15 barrels from Krieger for decades, because they have been the premier manufacturer of match-grade barrels for the AR-15 for decades. Berger clearly labeled this ammunition as “match grade ammunition”. Had Berger done their due-diligence before releasing this ammunition to the public they would have tested this ammunition in match-grade barrels for the AR-15.

    In the decades that I’ve been using match-grade Krieger barrels for my AR-15s I’ve never had so-much as a popped primer. In the hundreds of factory loads that I’ve chronographed from my match-grade Krieger barrels there has never been a load that was 235 FPS faster than the manufacturers stated velocity.




    Try actually reading the thread. I posted some of communications that I had with Berger and I clearly stated that I asked Berger to do some pressure testing with the components and powder used in this load and they refused.

    ...
    Cool your jets a bit there, hotshot. You are overreacting. Frank doesn’t spend his days on here all day like some people do.

    He was offering some suggestions based upon observations he’s made from many years of producing barrels and testing them.

    No need to go full tilt at him for that. 🙄
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

    Don't Start None, won't be none.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Nov 13, 2020
    4,426
    3,527
    Alabama
    Thanks for the info frank, your input is always appreciated and you've helped me with other stuff too and I really do appreciate that.

    I know you are just giving some info and insight and I am happy to have it too. I think if you do get the time to read this lengthy thread, you will see that there is just an issue with bergers process or something with this ammo. Hopefully they have corrected it and put in place procedures so that it won't happen again, and I expect that they have.

    I will definitely call them and talk to them again. The last time I spoke with them was Before they put out the recall statement. At that time they did kind of write off @Molon 's info and experience with this ammo, at least that was the impression I got.

    Clearly, the exact same result in 2 different AR's and I assume 2 different manufacturers suggest that their ammo is an issue. I feel sure that my CLE chamber is tighter than the typical AR and Molons guns chamber probably is too though I really don't know. Be that as it may, when they labeled the ammo ".223 match" I would think it would be made such that its safe in any chamber within SAAMI spec right?

    Anywho, I can assure you that I won't be shooting any more of it and I will be happy to send whatever to Berger if they are interested.
     

    Frank Green

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 27, 2006
    1,958
    3,671
    wisconsin
    www.bartleinbarrels.com
    Like I said it can be a combination of things.

    You can have a tight bore barrel and not have a issue per say but that doesn’t mean that the pressure isn’t up and you not see it. No flat primers or ejector swipes etc….

    Than you come across this or that ammo and you have issues.

    It would be interesting to know what spec the test barrel(s) the ammo was tested in when it was produced. Only Berger knows that.

    If the ammo was loaded and tested in a 5.56mm NATO spec barrel it shouldn’t be labeled 223 Remington then. Ammo loaded in a 5.56 nato barrel and loaded to 5.56 pressure specs and then take that ammo and shoot it in a 223 spec barrel and chamber that will also drive up pressures even more.

    I had Krieger AR barrels both before I worked there and during but all my shooting was done with hand loads only and no box ammo.

    Ask Frank White down at CLE or his kid as Frank is kind of retired. He will tell you if box ammo in a Krieger your more likely to have a issue. Not all the time but good possibility.

    Later, Frank
     

    Molon

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2020
    628
    1,503
    He will tell you if box ammo in a Krieger your more likely to have a issue. Not all the time but good possibility.
    So shooting factory loaded ammunition in a Krieger barrel is going to have a "good possibility" of having an issue. Even on Arfcom, one manufacturer isn't allowed to slander another manufacturer in a tech forum.

    ...
     
    • Angry
    Reactions: Baron23

    Baron23

    Check 6
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 19, 2020
    4,587
    5,414
    70
    Maryland
    No, it isn’t “my problem”. Are you also going to tell buildingconceptsllc that it’s “his problem” since he had the exact same type of blow-out from this ammunition in his barrel? When fired from his 18” barrel, this ammunition had a muzzle velocity that was 235 FPS faster than the manufacturer’s stated velocity when fired from a 20” barrel. If all this was “my problem” why did Berger end-up issuing a recall for this ammunition after I told them that I was not going to be returning this ammunition to them and that I was considering having this ammunition pressure tested by an independent lab?

    I’ve been shooting match-grade AR-15 barrels from Krieger for decades, because they have been the premier manufacturer of match-grade barrels for the AR-15 for decades. Berger clearly labeled this ammunition as “match grade ammunition”. Had Berger done their due-diligence before releasing this ammunition to the public they would have tested this ammunition in match-grade barrels for the AR-15.

    In the decades that I’ve been using match-grade Krieger barrels for my AR-15s I’ve never had so-much as a popped primer. In the hundreds of factory loads that I’ve chronographed from my match-grade Krieger barrels there has never been a load that was 235 FPS faster than the manufacturers stated velocity.




    Try actually reading the thread. I posted some of communications that I had with Berger and I clearly stated that I asked Berger to do some pressure testing with the components and powder used in this load and they refused.

    ...
    You work in concrete and bench press blah blah??….you are reading far too much into Frank’s attempt to share some information. I’m sure he won’t want to do so again. Sheesh
     

    Frank Green

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 27, 2006
    1,958
    3,671
    wisconsin
    www.bartleinbarrels.com
    So shooting factory loaded ammunition in a Krieger barrel is going to have a "good possibility" of having an issue. Even on Arfcom, one manufacturer isn't allowed to slander another manufacturer in a tech forum.

    ...
    I'm not slamming Krieger.

    All of my Krieger AR barrels back in the day where .218" bore but I didn't run any box ammo. All handloads for my match guns. Shot awesome!

    It's just a known fact that you right a tight bore barrel it will drive up pressures and depending on the ammo....you might see issues or your problems get amplified and it's worse with a gas gun vs a bolt gun. I suggested calling Frank down at CLE and talk to him about it if you don't want to take my word for it. Frank will tell you on our barrels and Kriegers for consistency they out shot anything he else for the most part. He will tell you the same thing I'm telling you about pressure issues with ammo etc...

    Like I said I use to work there (Krieger). That's why I suggested you call them and give them the s/n of your barrel and ask to confirm the bore size of the barrel. Maybe they no longer make a tight bore AR barrel? It's been a long time now since I worked there. If you call and ask and they lets say confirm it's a .219" bore....then you can rule out the tight bore causing or amplifying the issues. Or ask them if you send it in can they remeasure/double check the bore to confirm the actual bore and groove size.

    When we started Bartlein we did tool up for .218" (tight bore 224cal barrels) as we we're use to making them that way as well as we tooled up for .219" because that is Saami standard but as I've learned over time from actual test data on pressure test barrels this can work against you if you run a tight bore/tight groove barrel.

    So like I said....as I learned more and more about pressures etc...if a customer calls and spec's out a tight bore barrel. I will ask what the application is for. I don't want a phone call back and the customer is having issues if we could avoid it all together/help the customer out up front.

    I do get calls from ammo/bullet makers at time and I will get a generic request for a 224cal barrel. Where they don't want Saami spec or it's not needed but I will ask...what bore size do you want, what twist, what style of rifling etc...at times they will say you pick out the best. So I will give them my recommendation and why and then they make the final call on the specs.

    My AR's that I build now...I'm running more of a mix of box ammo as well as handloads. I'm running all .219" bores.

    For the last few years now all the barrels we've made for our military and it doesn't matter if it's for a special forces unit using the guns overseas (yes the guns see combat) or for a military match rifle team on AR platforms I've only been doing them as standard .219" bores. No complaints on accuracy or pressure. The guns need to work for them.

    Later, Frank
     

    lennyo3034

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 18, 2010
    3,031
    877
    37
    USA
    What application would a tight bore barrel be appropriate for? Specifically .218?

    Would it be possible for the bore to be .219” at the chamber and .218” at the muzzle?
     

    Frank Green

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 27, 2006
    1,958
    3,671
    wisconsin
    www.bartleinbarrels.com
    What application would a tight bore barrel be appropriate for? Specifically .218?

    Would it be possible for the bore to be .219” at the chamber and .218” at the muzzle?
    To your first question I say this....if your shooting good quality bullets especially match type bullets...I see no need or a specific application for a tight bore/tight groove barrel.

    The tight bore barrel thing started back in the early to mid 70's. Creighton Audette I believe it was asked Obermeyer for a tight bore / tight groove 30cal palma barrels because in Palma shooting especially if you went to a host country (host country supplies the ammo) in some cases where issuing ball ammo. The ball ammo the bullets where running as small as .3065" in diameter. That's where it all started as I know it.

    If the bullets are truly undersize then I see a need / use for a tight bore barrel. The bullets get too loose in the rifling of the barrel and your accuracy suffers.


    To your 2nd question....is it possible that it's bigger at the breech end and tighter at the muzzle? Anything is possible but I'll say odds are against it.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

    Don't Start None, won't be none.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Nov 13, 2020
    4,426
    3,527
    Alabama
    So just to update things. I talked to Berger (I think it was the same guy I talked to last time, I guess that was a year ago or so). They are sending me a package to send back the ammo that I have and replace all of it.

    I inquired a little about what they did if anything to change the ammo and make it safe to shoot in an AR. This is not a direct quote, just paraphrasing....

    He said they changed the powder in an effort to change ghe pressure curve, as that was determined to be the issue that caused over pressure in AR's. He said the velocity should be the same, but have a different pressure curve and be safe in ar's now. I didn't even ask about the differences in powder charge that seem to almost certainly be the case in those lots at minimum. Obviously the ones Molon took apart showed that and the different speeds I got indicate that too, so hopefully they addressed that as well.

    I will chrono the new stuff too because I am hoping to use it to shoot in all of my ar's and then sort of copy it, to load a round that will shoot well in all of my ar's, including my CLE precision AR, so that I can load up one recipe and then make a few thousand of them to have to shoot in any of my AR's as I need to, vs having a different round for each gun. If I am lucky it will be one that I can shoot very well in my bolt gun too but that's not a requirement.


    Anywho, just wanted to update this with what they said.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Frank Green

    Near miss

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 8, 2019
    1,197
    570
    Finland
    Interesting. You'd suppose they would have at least mentioned fixing the charge.

    And in practice, how is it possible for powder to be dangerous? After all, you can use pistol powder safely. It is all about the charge.
     

    Molon

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2020
    628
    1,503
    I will chrono the new stuff too
    It will be interesting to see what the velocity of the new lot of ammunition they send you has from the same barrel that you had the blow-out with, along with a comparison of powder charges to the original defective lot.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Frank Green

    BuildingConceptsllc

    Don't Start None, won't be none.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Nov 13, 2020
    4,426
    3,527
    Alabama
    It will be interesting to see what the velocity of the new lot of ammunition they send you has from the same barrel that you had the blow-out with, along with a comparison of powder charges to the original defective lot.
    Oh I will definitely chrono the new stuff when I get it. I sent their ammo back to them on the 21st of October but I don't think it got there until around the 27th or 28th. I would think the replacement ammo would be coming soon.