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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had our annual Allison Ranch Machine Gun Shoot last Saturday, July 2. I encountered repeated and demonstrable issues with South African military surplus 5.56 ammo. In the past this stuff has worked perfectly with no issues whatsoever. The ammo I'm referring to comes in 300 round battle packs within 30 round cardboard boxes. The cardboard boxes have a trapezoidal cross section and are sealed with a paper tape strip marked 'M1A3'.

Firing the stuff in a 100% factory original Colt M16A1 carbine produced short cycling with failures to feed. The bolt just stopped with a round half out of the magazine lips. This problem was consistent with any magazine we tried. When changing ammo to commercially produced FMJ stuff, the carbine ran just fine in both semi or full auto mode using any magazine we had. I must admit that the last time I tried this ammo it ran just fine out of a belts using a Shrike upper. The picture below shows a 300 round belt of the stuff along with the paper tape showing markings.



After I encountered this problem, I called a buddy and reported what I had found. He stated he found a similar issue with South African military surplus .303 British ammo. He said it didn't generate enough gas to run a Lewis Gun, but it ran great in a Vickers and 1919A4. The Lewis is gas operated while the Vickers and Browning are recoil operated.

I cannot remember what gas setting I used on my Shrike upper with the ammo. Maybe is was on the high side or maybe it wasn't. I cannot be sure. All I recall was that it ran just fine with no failures to feed, extract, or extract.
 

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What head stamp? I have shot a lot of PMP with never a hicup
 

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What head stamp? I have shot a lot of PMP with never a hicup
@ 12:00 - 86 and @ 6:00 - 13. There is no other headstamps.

From the inter-web, but mine do not show the scuffing at 2:30 as in this photo.

 

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@ 12:00 - 86 and @ 6:00 - 13. There is no other headstamps.

From the inter-web, but mine do not show the scuffing at 2:30 as in this photo.


13 is a PMP load ID code 86 the year?
 

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Squib SA .556

I had an issue with SA .556 a few years back with my AR. I was rapid firing when the gun failed to fire and I saw the bolt hadn't closed all the way. I ejected the round and attempted to chamber another round. The bolt again refused to close. I removed the bolt an saw the chamber was blocked. Dropped a cleaning rod down the muzzle and a bullet out of the chamber. It must have been a squib round with a primer only and no powder. The bullet left the case but fortunately never made it past the chamber and got stuck. Had it gone a little farther down the barrel I would have been able to chamber another round behind it and then KABOOM. My fault for not checking the chamber when it jammed the first time.

I have otherwise shot thousands of rounds of SA ammo, 7.62x51 and .556 with no issues. I always considered SA surplus to be some of the best out there.
 
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