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Problem with M-44

1833 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Joshua M. Smith
The other day I went target shooting with a co-worker of mine and took my SKS, Mosin-Nagant M44, and .45 pistol. He had never shot or heard an M44 go off and he wanted to see how loud they are. I fired 5 rounds from the creek bed into a dirt berm downstream before handing the rifle 5 rounds and hearing protection to Josh. He loaded the rifle as I instructed him how and fired his first shot. He then lifted the bolt without any trouble but could not withdraw it from the reciever to remove the empty brass. After a few seconds of hitting it with my palm (which really hurt) I managed to get it to open and discovered the casing had split from the opening to the first bend in the bottleneck. I assumed that the casing had split (cheap Bulgarian ammo) and had provided enough pressure against the inside of the chamber to make it difficult to withdraw the bolt, so I let him shot it a few more times. However on his second and third shot, it happened again. This time we inspected the empty casings and they were not split like #1. We decided not to shot it anymore, placed it back in my truck and moved on to the SKS. At first, I thought the problem was the fact that my ammo was stored inside my house (in the A/C) in a .50 cal ammo and swelled when exposed to the 90 degree/ 80% humidity outside air. The only problem is, the ammo can sat in the backseat of my truck for about 3 hours will we layed brick at the neighbor's house. I thought that would be plenty of time for it to adjust to the heat. Was I wrong? Would this have actually affected the ammo? It's really confusing me cause this is the first time this rifle has ever done this, I've had it about 2 years now and always used the same type of ammo. Bulgarian 7.62X54R FMJ

Could someone educate me on this. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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I've had this happen with my No.1 MkIII Enfield when I used some cheap Indian milsurp ammo. 50% of the case necks spit. They didn't jam the gun though and ejected fine. When I compared an unfired case to a case that I reloaded from new Remington brass, there was a major difference in the case dimensions, particularly the setback on the shoulder. My advice is to use newer issue ammo or buy brass and reload. Your second reload will work flawlessly because the case will now be "fire formed" to your exact chamber dimensions producing better accuracy also.
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