7.62x54r - split shoulders question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by DoesItMatter, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Pacific NorthWest

    Only have had time to goto the range once with my 91/30 so far.

    Fired 50 rounds of Surplus thru it, then cleaned it thoroughly.

    My question, before I start shooting the brass cases and reloading those:

    Out of the 50 surplus rounds, which look like 50's manufactured,
    am guessing either Czech or Bulgaria, light ball fmj's, steel copper washed.

    Maybe 5 out of the 50 had split shoulders on them, so 10% ratio.

    Still have another 50 rounds of surplus that I'll fire next time and see.
    I was having sticky extraction, so I really cleaned out the chamber,
    and will be taking my cleaning kit next time to hot-clean it after firing a few.

    My question is: Could there be a tiny burr causing the split?
    The other ones that didn't split, I did not notice any weird marks on those
    shoulders, but they're all pretty dinged up anyway.
    Or is this just the result of 50-ish year old steel ammo and to be expected?
  2. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have also had old ammunition split, in particular 1940s and 1950s .303.

    Most often they would split around the neck. I put it down to the age of the case, perhaps becoming less mailable over time. So I doubt there is any burr causing the problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008

  3. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    FEMA Region II
    Before you make any changes or plan any course of action, shoot some new quality brass like WIN, or REM, and see what you get. I think TranterUK mabe right.
  4. I too have had a few neck splits using older Eastern European 7.62 x 54R ammo. I've never had one in my Mosins using more recently manufactured ammo, even the Russian stuff like Wolf or Silver Bear.
  5. pawn

    pawn Active Member

    Jan 31, 2007
    Crossville, TN
    I was in a gunshop when a guy brought in a spent 7.62X54r casing fired in his 91/30 that had also split in the shoulder. He had a live round of the same ammo; it had a yellow tip.

    A shop employee stated that the split was due to shooting heavy ball in the rifle. He (employee) indicated that heavy ball was made for machine gun use....

    I didn't comment, however, I didn't agree either. :confused:

  6. Popgunner

    Popgunner Active Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The brass is just old. The US military rotates out ammo when it's 5 years old for just that reason-to avoid split necks. The worst milsurp ammo seems to have been 1947 8mm Turk. Lots of splits with that year. Not usually a problem to fire it. The further back on the case the more serious the situation. I check milsurp ammo I buy & have sent back any that has splits. The dealers usually accept it back.
  7. nightfighter

    nightfighter New Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    A longitudinal split in the neck is always caused by brittle brass. Research and learn about annealing brass (only the neck should be annealed) to make it softer. After the cases that were not split are annealed, they will not present with that problem again for a long time.
  8. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    That is your answer if the cases are steel. One has to keep in mind that chambers vary from gun to gun and steel cases won't take a much fire-forming at all and my guess is that your slits are linear with the case which is and was expected. Additionally the thought of reloading that stuff never entered the mind of the designer because it was to be left on the battle field. As for annealing steel cases I don't think you can get there from here.
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