Check Your Cases When Fired

Split Case Neck

After settling into my rifle at the 600 yard line last weekend I rattled down a few rounds of 139g Lapua HPBT.  As this was a casual non competitive target shoot I had time to exam my brass casings after each shot so that I can check for signs of stress on the case and primer.

I had just fired my third round and when I ejected it I noticed a dark vertical thick line on the case neck.  So I stopped shooting for a moment and examined the case with an interested eye as I rotated it between my finger and thumb.  The case neck was indeed split and as I held it to the light I could see the daylight shining in through the split.

This split case began to grow doubts in the back of my mind.  Is it safe to continue to shoot? Would all the other cases come to the say fate?

These cases were just annealed a few weeks prior to loading and where not over annealed as I use tempilaq to indicate the temperature and time for case annealing.  a decision had to be made; STOP shooting! or continue with added caution!  I chose to continue with the view to STOP if I noticed any further cases with signs of stress.  Fortunately this case was the only faulty one that I detected in the batch of loaded and fired rounds on the day.

This case will never be reloaded again due to the Neck damage.  It is best policy to NEVER reuse a case that has any signs of physical damage as an additional firing could incure severe personal injury and / or death to you and other shooters in close proximinty if it explodes in the chamber or barrel of the firearm.  If You Have A Case Like This, Take The Case And Crush It NOW!!! So It Doesn’t Accidentally Get Reused

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