Federal .308 in aq Semi Auto?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by erikthebald, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. erikthebald

    erikthebald New Member

    Took the newest addition, a CETME .308 Sporter out to Left Hand Canyon to test fire a couple mags.

    40 rounds NATO Port surplus Brass case FMJ 0 failures

    40 rounds Silver Bear Steel case FMJ 0 Failures

    40 rounds RUAQ Steel case FMJ 0 Failures

    20 rounds Federal 150 Grain soft point. 4 empty cases failed to eject. Didn't stovepipe, When I cleared the action, they were sitting lengthwise on the next round, which had stripped correctly out of the mag.

    I guess I can't really complain since the cheap a$$ ammo performed perfectly while the $17 a box stuff, which I'll clearly have no reason to buy again, but it seems odd. Since I've read that the NATO round is a lighter load, the performance is counter-intuitive. I'm no genius when it comes to ammunition but why would what is ostensibly a .308 sporting rifle cycle the NATO type stuff flawlessly and not the "sporting" class ammunition.

    It held to just over an inch so I'm happy with the accuracy. Must have got a decent one in that respect. It's not like I'm going to head out looking for Mulies with it so not reliably cycling hunting ammunition isn't all that important.

    Anyhow, overall, I'm pleased with the new purchase, but thought I'd see if anyone had a similar experience or knowledge regarding this.
  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    Just thinking our load about two things.

    1. Be sure the rifle is lubed well particularly the Bolt Carrier Group. So it looks slightly wet!
    2. Also at what point did you have the failures to extract with the Federal 150grain rounds. Could it have been later in the test when the chamber might have been getting a little dirty. Some ammunition is dirty enough to cause this especialy some of the less expensive military stuff! Also is the steel cased rounds varnish coated. If so you may have started to get some build up in the chamber?
    Fill us in on some of the details about when it occurred! By the way I have a CETME with all HK Green Hardware on it. It like yours is a fine rifle. I also have a claw mount and an EOTech Model 552 Sight on it. Love to shoot it! And I know you will enjoy and have a great time with your new rifle. Give us some range reports when you can!


  3. erikthebald

    erikthebald New Member

    I bought it in late November so I tore it down a few times to familiarize myself with it internally, before i was able to get out to shoot. It was sprayed fairly liberally with Rem Oil. It was however in the mid 40's Saturday morning.

    None of the steel cases were varnished, though I have some Brown Bear on order to see how it will digest those. When I first purchase a new firearm, I try as many different rounds as possible, to find out what it likes best. Considering some of the accounts I had read regarding mangled brass (none of the empties I recovered looked too awful bad) I wanted to see how it would shoot the non-reloadable (read that inexpensive) brands.

    But you raise a good point that I hadn't considered. All the failures occurred in the very first magazine. No failures of any kind during the next 6 mags. The magazines were both of both types, steel and aluminum. The Federal rounds were loaded into one of the aluminum mags.

    I arbitrarily attributed it to the ammunition but it could just as easily have needed a couple rounds to work itself into a zone. I've got another box of the Federal and I'll try them in one of the steel mags and see how that goes next time I get out to shoot.

    I too have a claw mount with a 4x14 (old eyes, I need the optics) that a buddy of mine gave me when I bought mine. He didn't care for it but I like it very much. You can still use the iron sights or raise up and really zero in.

    Mine has the all black synthetic furniture.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Depending on which model CETME you have.

    There was also the .308 CETME which loaded lighted than the 7.62X51 NATO used in earlier models.
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    The CETME "A" used the light loaded ammo. You will be very hard pressed to find one in the USA, so don't sweat that. Almost every CETME rifle in the US is a "B" model
    The CETME like the HK that followed use a delayed blowback system that is tuned to NATO spec ammo. The chamber flutes cause thin, commercial brass to be problematic (on most rifles). Some CETME rifles work fine with some .308 loads. Sometimes the case head will rip off leaving a nasty jam necessitating a stuck case remover.

    What is your bolt gap? If you do not know what bolt gap is, then you have some reading to do, mister.
  6. erikthebald

    erikthebald New Member

    Must have been the Federal

    Took the CETME back out yesterday morning.

    Shot two mags of Port brass, a mag of steel RUAQ, a mag of Silver Bear, and one of 180 Grain Winchester Super X.

    Not one failure, of any kind, so it's got to be something about the Federal it just doesn't like. I've got another box of it that I'm going to try next time I venture out to see if I can duplicate the failure.
  7. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    I found that my Cetme liked to be lubed, but wiped down. Made a big mess and had more fouling when wet. I used reloads besides surplus. Never commercial .308.