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4/4 CCI .22LR Shotshells split/ruptured?

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Old 09-06-2015, 08:09 AM   #1
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Default 4/4 CCI .22LR Shotshells split/ruptured?

I found a 20rd box of CCI .22LR shotshells in my stuff earlier, can't be much more than 5 years old or so. Maybe 7, tops. I noticed I had apparently fired a couple, and returned the empty brass to their trays in the package. I went out and fired off two at an empty can in the dark. Both were surprisingly quiet. It's a cheap Savage bolt-action, and the first shot apparently cycled fine. I realized when I got home that the second shell had stuck in the chamber, and wouldn't extract. I pried it out with a mini screwdriver, and found it had a jagged split all the way down the length of the case. It wasn't until later I noticed that both of the older shells I had replaced in the box were split identically. I don't know about the one that's lying beside the road; I'm going to go look for it tomorrow, just out of curiosity, but that's at least 3 out of 4 rounds spilt open already. It can't be the gun, because I'm 98% sure I bought this box of shells before I bought this rifle (I'll try them out of my revolver tomorrow too, but they aren't going in my late grandfathers 1934 Winchester single-shot!). I'm guessing that all 4 shots are split, out of two different chambers. Why would they do that? And is it dangerous? I hear people in other forums talking about split .22LR cases and how "they would have lost their eyes if not for the shooting glasses", but in this case I was surprised at the very quiet report, although that could be because having spilt, the case never developed maximum pressure, or maybe because a bolt action is safer than a semi-auto? I wouldn't have noticed anything if the round hadn't stuck in the chamber and I hadn't looked it over after extracting it. Apparently the first two rounds didn't stick, because I would have noticed they were split (honestly, I don't even remember firing them, but I think I would have remembered that. I have no need for shotshells, really, and just bought them out of curiosity.)

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Old 09-06-2015, 01:47 PM   #2
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There is a possibility that the brass case was not soft enough and caused the split. Brass sometimes hardens with age but your ammo was not nearly old enough for that to have happened. Bad batch of brass is the likely possibility.
Other causes for a brass case to split would be over sized chamber or gun firing out of battery. The seemingly most likely scenario using the information supplied is a bad batch of brass that the ammo factory used.
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