110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

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alaikiek
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110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by alaikiek » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:54 pm

I have been reloading for a short time, but only 30-30, .223 & 9mm and am trying to work up a load for my new 300BLK. I just built this AR 300BLK using usual OTC build parts, PSA lower and 16" stainless Primary Arms upper 1:8 twist unsupressed, pistol gas block, Magpul stock, magazines & other furniture, Primary Arms 1-6 scope. I've got around 300 rounds of both factory & handloaded ammo downrange with zero problems and good accuracy, I have been very happy with this new rifle. Only problems I had is with subsonic factory loads, would fire but wouldn't cycle, but I don't care cause I'm not going to shoot subsonic, I just bought a box to see what would happen. Primary purpose of this rifle is for hunting small pig, goat & deer, all under 100 pound & all at short distances of well under 250 yards with most shots being 50-100 yard range.

I was able to reload successfully the Barnes 110gr Tac-TX black tips that I plan on using as a hunting round and found a load using IMR4227 pushing the bullet just over 2200FPS and held a grouping of 1.25" at 100 yards. I'm happy with that results and am now trying to load a Hornady 110gr ZMax bullet to the same parameters to use as a practice round. I was running low on 4227 and couldn't find any more so I picked up H110 and made a 10 round load ladder using both IMR4227 & H110 with the 110gr ZMax.

The problem I had with almost all the loads is failure to fire on the first round. I would load up 3 bullets in my 10 round Pmag magazine that I use for hunting and 7 of the 10 loads all failed to fire on the first round. I would drop the magazine, recharge the misfire round, reinsert the magazine, then all 3 rounds would fire true & accurate. The first couple misfires I tried to extract the bullet with an open bolt, but it wouldn't fall out. I looked at the primer and it wasn't struck or dimpled. I tried both sling shooting the charge handle & using the bolt release button & used the forward assist every time, but still failed to fire the first round. I switched to my other 10 round magazine & and brand new 30 round magazine and same results. Tried loading different numbers of bullets from 2-5 same results. I've never had problems with my 2 hunting magazines before when firing both factory and my hunting hand loads.

When I did get to fire all rounds they all worked fine the second time around. Feed, Fired & ejected to a nice pile 2' behind me. All my load data come from current Hornady & Lymans books and verified with their online data. All my powder & primers are bought within the last 6 months. The load data I used is as below:

Lee classic 4 hole turret press
110gr Hornady Zmax bulk box (same as VMax per Hornady, used VMax data)
once fired American Eagle .223 cut & resized to 300BLK
CCI 400 primer
various 4227 & H110 powder charges
seated OAL 2.050"
Lee factory crimp

I asked my one friend who does reloading and he verified all my data and finished bullets and he doesn't see any problems with my end product and can't explain why a miss fire only on first round. I want to reload some more ammo using the H110 for this weekend, but want to try and figure out what my problem is and try correct it. Any help or insight would be appreciated.

Thank You,
Ala

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masblackbelt
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by masblackbelt » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:11 pm

Well, I've got a few questions... Did you cut and size the brass yourself? Also, I assume since you said it was American Eagle, that it is LC brass? If not, I would check the case wall thickness. Did the primer pocket have a crimp, and if so how did you remove it? What dies are you using? Small base? Are the chambered rounds hard to extract at all? Is this the same brass you used for the Barnes rounds? Also, have you tried a longer COAL on the ZMAX? I know that is a rather short bullet... For what it's worth, I had issues with the VMAXs and no longer use them. But its for a different weird issue. Haha
You learn something new everyday when you're as dumb as I am...

alaikiek
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by alaikiek » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:07 pm

Yes it is American Eagle LC brass, once fired, that I cut myself with help of friend who done it before using his mini chop blade. I'm not sure about crimped primer, but was able to deprime the same as all my other brass. The primer pocket looked normal when I scraped it clean, didn't notice any indentation or scoring. When I put new primer in they set flush with the bottom of the case and after firing showed no changes or pressure signs. It is the same brass I used with the 110gr Tac-TX and some other 150gr bullets I loaded and had no problems with.

That is what my friend suggested making it a little longer, maybe a couple rounds of 2.055, 2.060, 2.065 and see what happen. He said worse case is failure to feed and no problems with over pressure as I am near the top of the load range. He said going shorter will cause higher pressure, going longer will decrease the pressure and I may have to bump the powder up 0.1 or 0.2 grain to get the same velocity I'm looking for.

Thanks for the help and info. Not too many people around here handload so I don't have alot of resources and looking for the most info and help I can get.

Ala

alaikiek
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by alaikiek » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:11 pm

Ohh and I'm using all Lee dies with small base. The misfired ammo I couldn't extract, tried with finger nail & tried collapsing stock and bumping down a couple times on table wouldn't come out. But the ones that fired, extracted fine and piled up nicely behind me.

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dellet
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by dellet » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:35 pm

The bad news is that you likely have an ammo problem, possibly a thick neck not allowing it to chamber until you hammer it in all the way.

The good news is that your rifle is working the way it should, keeping you from blowing your face off.

I think we'll just that sink in for a minute or two.
300 Blackout, not just for sub-sonics.

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bangbangping
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by bangbangping » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:15 pm

dellet wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:35 pm
The bad news is that you likely have an ammo problem, possibly a thick neck not allowing it to chamber until you hammer it in all the way.

The good news is that your rifle is working the way it should, keeping you from blowing your face off.

I think we'll just that sink in for a minute or two.
You're mean. :lol:

alaikiek, do you have something to weigh those bullets and accurately measure the diameter? I have a hunch.

Recoil737
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by Recoil737 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:18 pm

Sounds like the bolt isn't closing all the way and is just a fraction of an inch still open. This could happen just like Dellet said you probably have ammo problems. Most likely from using the small base die. You should try a full length and bump the shoulder back a little more. It could also be thick case necks but usually that will show signs of pressure if you force them into the throat so I think it may be the shoulder needs to be set back further or the base of the case that needs to be sized.

I would get a Sheridan slotted gauge and run the brass through it and see if it fits properly.

Sig220
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by Sig220 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:29 pm

My suggestion is to stop with the crimp and see if anything changes....other then that wait till your case gauge arrives. You did order a Sheridan case gauge, didn't you? :?:

If your projectiles are .308 diameter and not .310 diameter I think your crimp is causing you some problems. I rarely use the Lee factory crimp and when I do its only a really light kiss with it.

With the Sheridan case gauge, (get the slotted) one you will be able to see where it is binding.

If you have a set of calipers, you could check some measurements that way, and its at least a little bit entertaining until the case gauge gets there!

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dellet
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by dellet » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:05 pm

There are a couple things going on for certain and more details are needed.

The main thing to understand is that the rifle is miss firing by design. It will not allow the firing pin to hit the primer if the bolt is not completely closed. If the round was short at the shoulder, there would still be evidence of the pin hitting the primer. Since the rounds that won’t fire are jammed into the chamber needing to be beaten out, it’s probably safe to there is a diameter problem. As hard as they were jammed, you should probably be able to see a scuff mark on the case.

Since it fires after being repeatedly chambered, something is beating the big spot down.

If you can chamber a sized case before seating a bullet, and not after, the problem is likely in the neck. If it does not chamber with out the bullet, it can be base diameter or a possible headspace issue. A long shoulder can be beat back, but generally does not stick.

If you have used the same brass with different bullets, check neck diameters of rounds loaded the different bullets. They should all be less than .334”.

Since you say the problem is only with the VMax, check the diameter. Hornady makes one for the 7.62x39 that is a larger diameter. Also check concentricity of the neck, the short flatbase bullets are easy to get started off center, this causes a bulge.

The main thing you need to do to get help is to be very clear. The way your post reads to me, you have tried the American eagle converted brass with three different bullets, and only have problems with the VMax. This indicates bullet problems, either a large diameter bullet, or not seating it correctly.

If you have not tried the other bullets with the same American Eagle brass, then you should and let us know if it is a smaller diameter.
300 Blackout, not just for sub-sonics.

alaikiek
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Re: 110gr ZMAX Failure to Fire only first round

Post by alaikiek » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:11 pm

Wow guys thanks for the quick replies and ideas.

I do have an electronic scale and calipers that I can get some measurements. Also got me thinking bout a 'kerplunk' test with markers? Didn't do that....ever, I just measured to spec. What amazes me if the different lengths you can load these 300BLK from my short stubby 100gr to full sized 220gr RN. Guess I gotta go even more reading and thinking and studying to do.

Unfortunately I'm headed out the door for a weekend fun and can't get to that till later. But I will get back with some measurements and maybe some pics if I find anything unusual on the casing.

Thanks,
Ala

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