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Old 01-04-2019, 02:25 AM
Big_Red Big_Red is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: TX
Posts: 2,099

To piggyback on many of the posters here, had a similar negative experience with the reloaded Atomic ammo, purchased back in 2013 from CMP.

I forgot I had this box, though I remembered shooting an enbloc worth through a CMP Special in .308, and some through my Remington 700 SPS shortly after purchasing the ammo.
At the time I shot those rounds, I remember recoil in the Garand was more severe than any other ammo I shot. And in the 700, almost every round failed to feed, so I gave up after only 5 or so. I did pick up the brass, but don't recall seeing any split cases. I didn't think to look for overpressure others had annotated at the time, chalked it up to stout ammo.

Fast forward to today. Found this box as I got together with some family to shoot a few rifles, one of which is a Springfield Armory early receiver M1A built with USGI parts.
I loaded a Checkmate 20-round mag with the Atomic ammo...first round, no problem.
Second round, alot of smoke and heat in my face when the rifle discharged (didn't see anything on my shooting glasses, but felt the heat under them!).
As I brought the rifle down, my cousin and I noticed heavy smoke still in the action. I safed the rifle...the fired round did go downrange, the subsequent round had soot on it, as did the top 2 rounds in the mag. Fortunately, and surprisingly, no other damage to the mag, or the rifle!

We found the brass...and it was split exactly like RickRandR in the OP of this thread, docsparks experienced back in Oct, 2016 (see page 2 of this thread), dhuze posted about on a friend's rifle in Nov, 2016 (page 3), and as Shomway posted in Sep 2018 (page 4)...except it was cracked in 2 different places in the extractor groove!
I am amazed that the case head didn't separate on extraction, and even more so that there was no damage to even the magazine, let alone the rifle.

But there's more as this case also experienced a neck split! And the primers on both casings clearly exhibited overpressure signs.

Someone else had just finished firing 10 rounds in my SIG716. He said that every other round had difficulty chambering and they had to drop the mag twice....AND, there was one round where there seemed to be more smoke than normal coming from the BCG.
We dug around in the grass and found 6 of the 10 cases. Sure enough, found one with the exact same split in the extractor groove!
And yet again, no damage to either rifle or mag.
No way these malfunctions are weapon-related.

Just to make sure, I broke down both rifles, closely inspecting the bolt face and chambers of both, but not seeing anything unusual. Have fired 100's of rounds in both rifles prior to this with no issues whatsoever.

I then shot several rounds of Federal XM80C (LC 16 headstamp) and Federal XM118LR (LC 11 LR headstamp) through both rifles secured in a Caldwell Lead Sled. No feeding issues at all and we recovered all the brass for both. No signs of overpressure and cases looked fine.

Of the rounds that were fired, and the remaining rounds in this one box, there are 25 different headstamps, with over half of them being LC 09 (105 each), followed by LC 08, TAA (Taiwanese) and IVI (Canadian) at 15 apiece.

Interestingly, both cases that split were LC 08.

I will be contacting Atomic about this tomorrow.
Depending on what happens there, may just pull the bullets as they are Nosler CC 168 Gr HPBT.
But, would like to do some forensics as others have mentioned here, i.e. - dissect and measure the fired cases, weigh powder charges in the remaining cases (if I keep them). I don't have my Sheridan gauge with me, otherwise, I'd check the remaining rounds in it.

With all this, I've stickied this thread for others awareness.

NOTE: I can't speak to Atomic's modern production .308 ammo, which is advertised in new cases, though mentions the same 2600 fps on the label.
This applies to the reloaded ammo in fired military brass sold back in '13 and '14, and is so annotated on the box (see pics below).
As others have mentioned, and from what I've seen of the headstamps, pretty sure this is work-hardened machine gun brass, coupled with a stout load.


Casing from M1A (2 splits in extractor groove, neck split)

Casing from SIG716 (one split in extractor groove)

Pic of primers from fired cases (both rifles...SIG716 on left, M1A on right)

XM80C fired cases from both rifles

XM118LR fired from both rifles (with 2 unfired cartridges for comparison)

Proud son of a Vietnam Veteran (1969, 1970) - In memoriam
OEF - '02, '08 / OIF - '03, '10 / OND - '11 / OIR/OEF - '15

CMP Customer / GCA Member / VFW & NRA Life Member

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