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Thanks for the heads up Rory. I bought a bunch of that stuff for my SMLEs. Hadn't shot it yet, I've been working my way through the WWII British stuff first.

MSG
What is that ammo like. I stumbled upon 25000 rounds of it on vickers belts and would like to get the skinny on it before I go to the range. It is sealed tins, british ww2 mixed maker (all in britian) and 60's radway green. All mk7. Any reports would be appreciated.

Rory, give your friend my best wishes for a speedy recovery.
 

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in my experience, the British WW2 stuff would hangfire about 40% of the time but the 60s RG was excellent. However, past storage conditions determine everything. If you need help testing it, let me know.
 

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Yours sounds better than mine. My WWII is mixed manufacturers and production dates, loose in old boxes. My POF is 50s production in original boxes.

MSG
 

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You got that right!

in my experience, the British WW2 stuff would hangfire about 40% of the time but the 60s RG was excellent. However, past storage conditions determine everything. If you need help testing it, let me know.
BIG problem is storage over the last 30- 40-50-60 years. Lots of WWII and later stuff was expected to be consumed within months, not decades. Third world shitholes pile ammo in ,well, third world shithole storage areas. Result is, not unexpectedly, poorly stored and questionable third world shithole ammo. Unlike good wine, properly stored, poorly stored third world shithole ammo does not improve with age.

However, you are free to do your own testing, I have grown acustomed to all of my parts, sorry as they are, in there usual places.
 

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I have completed a Vickers semi and would like to test it. I have some .303 with POF headstamp plus some other .303 but not head stamped POF. Not sure what it is. I am not interested in shooting the ammo I have given the trouble it has caused others. Where can I get some good .303 that would be a better choice (safer). I don't shoot a lot so a couple hundrud rounds should be enough. Anyone have any input what other head stamps may be OK?
LWC
 

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I have had no problems out of any of my ww2 stuff so far. I have shot around 4000 rounds of it. It was all in tins on vickers belts and dated between 42 and 45, with a couple from mid 60's as well. 1 belt of the 44 stuff that had been opened didnt run as fast as others, I am assuming it was hangfiring, but this was in milliseconds and not like the paki stuff. I was running full auto so I doubt you could notice it at all in a semi. The only other problem was some of the cartridges had worked loose in the belts over the last 65 years and if you didnt check the belts before firing you could have ammo falling out as it entered the feedblock. All in all the only I would really stay away from is the paki. But with any of it if it goes click, give it a minuite to go bang before toggling it open. What is your headstamp and date on the non paki stuff. it should have 2 letters and two numbers and also a vii or viii with possibly a z if it has nitrocellulose instead of cordite. I also have some vickers belts if you need some. They are the ww2 tabless style. Work great for loading 303 by hand.
 

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everyone has heard of the POF troubles ive also had with my 1k+ round of it......

ist so clean looking and new looking that its deceptive. i can "undo" rounds all day long and pile up the cordite and im lucky if it will even burn when you put a flame to it.

just go get some wolf gold like i did for your occasional shooting. its perfect and non corosive PLUS reloadable and then you'll have some good brass too!

my Bren runs perfect on any type of non POF ammo.
 

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Its safe to shoot but ide keep it as a collectors item. Remember its corrosive, too.


In regards to the paki 303, ive shot a bunch through my jungle carbine. If there is a rediculously long delay, ill just pull back the hammer and strike it again so i dont need to expose the round. That fires off the duds. Thats whats nice about the enfield with their exposed cocking pieces!
 

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Hang fires happen
It's what to do when it happens that is importent
Had a hang fire in an m-48a1 once (tank) 90 mm:eek:
we couldn't get out of that tank fast enough:eek:
waited three hours then went in to remove it:eek:
what a show evey body move off to a safe distance
the disposal guy took it off with them
than we went back to impack range and started target shooting again:cool:
 

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I have a similar story with cheap ammo. I got some Olympic 7.62X39 I don't remember where it was made to the T but I want to say it was Turkish. I was running it in a FA akm and the brass was rather soft some would not chamber. Here is the twist the sear timing was a bit off, you can see where this is headed. I was screwing with the bolt trying to get it open and BANG! The bolt dropped closed and the somebitch went off with the palm of my hand at the edge of the charging handle. Needless to say it ripped open my hand. Two pieces of advice keep an eye out for your old machine guns as far as sear timing goes, if the sear is worn, replace it! And stay away from the **** ammo! My buddy who has the gun told me later he never had a problem with the gun but when he took it apart the sear and the hammer had way to much wear. I happened to be the unlucky one to find his problem. Be safe, **** ammo aint worth dying for. Just my two cents.......
 

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Very sorry to see the injury, and wish the shooter q quick recovery. Much worthy has been noted in this string, but I'd like to add a couple observations.
Having shot tens of thousands of rounds of POF .303 purchased many years ago, I would point out that that there are two separate issues to consider here relative to the "safety" of the ammo itself for shooting in MGs and rifles. The first is that POF .303 has not had a history of "detonations" in MGs or rifles, which is not true with quite a few other types of surplus ammo, so from that perspective it is "safe" to shoot in MGs and other .303 weapons. It is high quality, well constructed ammo, unlike, say 50s dated Bulgarian 54R or 50s dated Turkish 7.92, both of which are poor quality ammo, often with brittle, cracked necks, misaligned slugs, and varying powder charges.
The second issue is delayed ignition, which is not "unsafe" if the operator understands the necessary drill to protect himself and others at the range, and abides by the 1 minute rule and insures that the firearm is aimed safely and under control. The POF ammo has a history of delayed ignition from fractions of a second to fractions of a minute. Most of the POF .303 I've fired through various .303 LMGs and HMGs has displayed minor erratic performance in MGs, but once it is understood that it will function in this manner, then a hangfire is dealt with in the appropriate manner. I've had hangfires in almost every type of surplus ammo I've encountered in fifty years, so it is part and parcel of using older surplus ammo. Personally I do not mind minor hangfires, and expect them with any 'vintage" ammo, but I absolutely do mind detonations, which can be very dangerous and destructive.
The shooter who injured his thumb was not injured by a typical cartridge "detonation", but, it appears that he was unfortunate to have only partially opened the bolt when the hangfire ignited. The case was probably less a third of the way out of the chamber when it ignited which is sufficient to create a grenade effect. If the case had been all the way out when it ignited, none of the case would have been enclosed and there would have been a bang, flying powder and slug but a much, much milder explosion as the crimped slug would not create enough back pressure to grenade the case. The case might split but not with the kind of force to cause the injury pictured.
I've experienced a number of feedblock explosions in 1910 Maxims which do not have lock stops on the extractor cams. Those of you who have fooled with the 1910s will understand this technical bit. What happens is that a round that has just moved out of the feedblock is not retracted far enough to drop down below the axis of the feedblock for insertion into the chamber. The short recoil allows the lock to snap forward again with the round in the same position and the tip of the round can hit the primer of the next round in the feedblock and ignite it. Very surprising, lots of smoke, unburned powder and noise, but it is relatively benign. Since the case is not partially contained there is no grenade effect.
My practice with long hangfires in any firearm, aside from tripod mounted MGs, is to wait a couple of minutes holding the weapon aimed at a safe backstop. If nothing happens, remove the mag, keeping the weapon aimed safely. If it still does not ignite, I manipulate the weapon so the ejection of the unfired round will throw it into an ammo box, bucket or any available container. This will help contain any flying debris should the round ignite when out of the gun. Quick retraction of the bolt also helps to prevent the round from remaining partially in the chamber which is very dangerous.

Bob Naess (admittedly with small ****** of brass in various parts of his body)
 

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I did shoot some of the cheap stuff from my enfield , Hang fires to me is the scariest thing i have ever had happen to me , I had a few and i would keep aim on the target until it went off , If it did not go off in a minute i would quickly extract the bullet but i kept everything clear of the breach area of the gun. I seen someone said the bolt cut his thumb do you know forsure if thats what happened , Also was the bolt contained in the rifle or did it eject out the back?
 

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A good point to remember is to always pull the operating handle with the palm of your hand up, it was SOP in machine gun school, even with a bolt gun you can manipulate the bolt palm up to unlock, eject, palm down open hand to chamber and lock.
My 2 cents
 

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Rarely do I ever open up the bolt on missfires. On most bolt action surplus rifles the hammer can be pulled back after a missfire cocking the gun again without opening up the bolt so it can be shot again with the faulty bullet still in the chamber giving it a second chance to go off. My rule of thumb, wait 30 sec and do the hammer pull thing if it does not work wait 1min and do it agian. If it fails to work wait 5min then open up the bolt with something sheilding you from the gun.
When stuff like this can happen its far worth the wait to keep all your appendages safe.
 

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OldSoldier wrote
Inquiring minds want to know, "Seems odd that it was his left thumb that was damaged - did the blast somehow channel through the forend and catch the thumb that way?!"
It appears the thumb on the left hand was injured when the shooter reached across the rifle and opened the bolt with his left hand. Many shooters do this to keep the rifle and trigger in the right hand.
 

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I have shot quite a bit of the paki stuff had quite a few hand fires but most of it happend real quick. If i do get one i always wait at least a minute if not longer.
 

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My practice with long hangfires in any firearm, aside from tripod mounted MGs, is to wait a couple of minutes holding the weapon aimed at a safe backstop.
If nothing happens, remove the mag, keeping the weapon aimed safely. If it still does not ignite, I manipulate the weapon so the ejection of the unfired round will throw it into an ammo box, bucket or any available container. This will help contain any flying debris should the round ignite when out of the gun. Quick retraction of the bolt also helps to prevent the round from remaining partially in the chamber which is very dangerous.
Your practice, and the practice of most properly-taught armies.

Something you Range Officers might want to print out and post at your shooting stations - http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/hangfire/pdf/dealingwithhangfires.pdf

Ontos - I've been on board M48s and M60s when the 105mm HEAT training rounds misfired. Our procedure was to keep the tube oriented downrange for the cool - off time, then open the breech and carefully hand the round up to the Master Gunner. He and his buddy got to walk it over to the dud pit. :D
 

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saw this awhile back and thought i'd tack it onto this thread for the hell of it. remember to remove the bore sight!







 
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