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  1. #1
    Senior Member Doug_M's Avatar
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    Need your experience

    Hey all, I don't have much experience with rimfire. Probably shot a few hundred rounds total and have never experienced a failure to fire until today. I was shooting my late grandfather's W.W. Greener martini-henry action target rifle (from 1909) today and experienced my first. Instead of bang it was pop. Due to the age of the rifle (it is very solidly built and extraordinarily accurate) I decided to pack it in and go home so I could inspect the rifle with care and all the time I need. The .22 casing is cracked. The brand is Winchester Wildcat .22 40gr. Cheap stuff. I intend to do a thorough examination of the rifle of course, but in your opinion is this just a bad round?



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  2. #2
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    Looks like headspace issue. Too much I would say. I wonder if original bolt or not?

  3. #3
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    Yup, but I'm no expert.

  4. #4
    Senior Member FALover's Avatar
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    Check the barrel for the projectile first. Older converted rifle may have a enlarged chamber? Headspace could be toast. .22 lr rimfire is a forgiving cartridge as pressures are not excessive. I would think the rifle is suspect before the ammo.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    I'm usually pretty quick to jump on the bash-Winchester bandwagon, but the casehead looks to be rounded.
    If it isn't flat, then there must be excessive headspace, for that ammo at least.
    Do you have any of that ammo unfired left? Measure the rim and compare it to the fired case.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member DanN's Avatar
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    What do the Breech and bolt face look like?

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  7. #7
    The Gunsmithing Moderator blacksmithden's Avatar
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    Everybody seems to have covered it. It almost looks like the action was open just a bit when you fired it...which is the same as a head space issue. Strange. I've never seen a 22 do that before. I'd make sure the barrel was clear and try another one with my face away from the action.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug_M's Avatar
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    Trying to get Flickr to cooperate so I can show some breech photos. I doubt head space being a martini henry .22. However, these Winchester rounds are very tight. I have to force them in hard (except about every 6th round which is loose). Perhaps I didn't get this last round in that final bit. I don't remember the brand I shot through the rifle before (green box, yellow writing, perhaps Remmington?) but the rounds went in the chamber easily, not loose and not tight. I'll post those photos once they're up on Flickr.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Doug_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksmithden View Post
    It almost looks like the action was open just a bit when you fired it...which is the same as a head space issue.
    When you close the lever there is a final click into place. It is possible I missed that final click.

    With the general consensus being it likely wasn't the round itself, I suspect I didn't have it fully chambered. I've cleaned and examined the rifle since, no squib in the barrel and no apparent damage. I have a few other brands of .22 that I'll try because as I said in my previous post, I never had to force the round in the chamber like I've had to with this "wildcat" Winchester stuff.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_M View Post
    When you close the lever there is a final click into place. It is possible I missed that final click.

    With the general consensus being it likely wasn't the round itself, I suspect I didn't have it fully chambered. I've cleaned and examined the rifle since, no squib in the barrel and no apparent damage. I have a few other brands of .22 that I'll try because as I said in my previous post, I never had to force the round in the chamber like I've had to with this "wildcat" Winchester stuff.
    This info was not in your original post. Too much headspace is the issue. your explanation is possibly the reason.

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