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.308 AMMO VARIABLES……..Updated 06/06/2017….
Rick, thanks for getting back to me quickly. Yes this is my worst nightmare…never thought it would happen to me. I didn’t know about BVAC, I bought 4 boxes when ammo was a take what you can get thing and I haven’t had any problems when I shot it through my old Polytech M14/S & Kel Tec RFB and I shot a box on 6 November at my range’s local “Guns of Autumn” event without any issues. I didn’t know it was factory reloads, if I did then I never would’ve fired it through my FG42. Anyway, what happened was when I pulled the trigger there was a big cloud of white smoke and I could’ve swore that the rifle jumped forward out of my hands. I didn’t feel excessive recoil as much as it felt like getting a pretty hard slap on my jaw. The magazine base plate, spring & follower blew out but the magazine body stayed in the rifle. It locked up hard and is still in partial battery with the fired brass still chambered. Even if I wanted to shoot the gun it would be impossible at this point. I only made the comment about gluing the stock to imply that it more that likely won’t need to be replaced as it should be able to get repaired. I will need your address to ship it to and I believe that I will need to ship some of the ammo separately as guns & ammo can’t be shipped together from what I understand. Believe me this sucks on the highest order and I baby the hell out of this rifle to prevent exactly what just happened. I’m glad that I’m OK, but I’m pretty pissed about what happened.
Another no damage – just irritating……. The new commercial .308 being marketed in the blue box under the Colt name but zinc coated steel made in Russia???? Shoots great, until the mag gets half empty and then they start stubbing and pushing bullets back into cases……
The case is not crimped and if you push hard enough with your hand with the bullet tip against a desk or something you can push the bullets back into the cases as well. Not easy but if we can do it with our hands then the rifle has no problems doing it.
I am sure it works great in shallow feed ramp rifles like the M1A or FAL but the FG42 has more of a ramp and those last few rounds just don’t want to feed…. I think a stiffer mag spring would cure this but in stock form most of the mags fail to have enough tension to make this ammo work reliably.
This one is a little different – no damage done but a learning curve. We have always said “new commercial is good to go” and there is a LOT of new made commercial ammo manufactured overseas on the market these days and accounts for probably the least expensive .308 available.
The ammo we have fired in this category out of the .308 FG42 is: Brown Bear, Silver Bear, Tula, Wolf Poly, and PMC. All has functioned 100% – albeit not very accurately – but works great otherwise. So whats the issue you say? This is the problem we found – that might affect you as well so keep this in mind when shooting the cheap stuff.
We recently had a request to check out one of our .308 FG42′s and since we don’t have a designated “full production” .308 rifle available to send out the shop mule got the nod. This is the original .308 FG that was built from an otherwise unfit for sale 8mm receiver. It has been cobbled, re-barreled, scraped in shop experiments and revived, and otherwise rode hard and put up wet for more than 10,000 rounds of any and everything we could lay hands on – then never cleaned. Yeah, that rifle. But also the rifle that goes bang every time and is the go-to gun for “so you just want to shoot the FG?”.
Anyway…… So off it goes and we aren’t worried as it just never fails…. You know where this is going….. Yep… Seems it worked with their PPU brass and South African ammo very intermittently and they finally had to just give up on it, as a no go. No way we say – that rifle never fails! We get it back and strip it down and can’t find anything wrong. Then we go shoot it – it works flawlessly. We are shooting the ammo we always do at this point….
After some head scratching my oldest picks up the cases and we look them over. What we find is all the fired steel cases measure between 1.990″ and 1.995″ OAL while the brass cased NATO Lake City and Federal Match are 2.010″ OAL and the South African and PPU brass come in at 2.030″ – 2.045″. Big deal you say? Well maybe. The barrels are being chambered for the “standard” sizes of .308 by our barrel maker. There is a standard throat length. Which seems to be about 2.015″. What this means is the steel cased ammo along with the NATO spec Lake City, and Federal Match are all under this length and have no problems. By contrast, the ammos that have a OAL that exceeds this chamber throat depth, gets the neck of the case jammed into the start of the rifling.(see photos) This makes extraction much more difficult as we found, and although it doesn’t stick the case every time, it is happening often enough, to be unreliable.
So this is just one more thing to keep in mind when choosing your ammo type and brand for your rifle.
And thanks to the guys that borrowed the rifle and brought about this new knowledge! Wish they would let me name them…… Maybe later….
8mm Ammo warning.
From the owner of one of our rifles:
I bought 240 rounds of the stuff since it was described as new manufacture commercial grade non corrosive 8mm FMJ to use in my FG42. As a caution I decided to fire some in the regular bolt actions. Rick, this stuff is just crap. When I attempted to chamber a round in the FG42 it stuck in the chamber, with the bolt not able to go fully into battery, because the case size is out of specification, We removed the round and then placed a German test round in the FG42 / chambered perfectly and extracted as expected. We then fired some commercial Remington 8mm through the gun and it functioned perfectly.
When chambered in the bolt guns we honestly had to force the bolt closed by pounding on the handle and when fired the necks were split on 1/2 the cases.
I do not know much Spanish but NO BUENO is the verdict on this ammo. I imagine that if you forced some of this stuff into one of your FG42s and got it to fire there is a high probability of damage to the weapon / since it is being sold as new and not surplus you may want to tell buyers that using it voids the warranty on the gun.
Can’t elaborate enough right now but if you own – or are in line for one of our semi auto FG42′s then you already know that shooting mil surplus or reloads voids the warranty with respect to any ammo related damage done to the rifle but this is a little more specific.
DO NOT shoot Turkish ammo in this rifle unless you wish to cause serious damage/destruction to the rifle and/or yourself. From everything I have recently gathered off the net it is fine in bolt guns but specifically NOT for semi autos. This seems to be due to the slower burning powder they used to develop the higher muzzle velocities they wanted. This is great in bolt guns but plays absolute hell with higher port pressures in semi autos. I have a LONG list of references and a simple Google search will find you plenty as well.
And yes I know some of you either have – or know someone that has fired half a million rounds out of a such and such semi auto without issue but is is a very big “Hell No” in our rifle! Feedback welcome as always – and more info forthcoming as is possible.
Turkish 8mm – Don’t let this be your FG42!
Yes it hurts to post these pictures of a rifle recently returned to us for “repair”. First, my thanks to the owner for his complete honesty in what he was doing when this happened and his willingness to allow us to post these pictures as a warning to others. The rifle was returned with a note that among other things described how the rifle “kicked like a mule” when this occurred – I bet it did! The recoil – from a rifle that normally has the recoil impulse of an AK – was enough to literally split the butt stock while absorbing the impact. In all honesty I am amazed it did not blow the buffer/bolt/carrier assembly out the rear of the rifle as well. Good heat treated steel, and luck were on the side of the shooter this day. The rifle still dis-assembles and manually cycles as if nothing has ever happened.
BUT….. Although the apparent damage is only to the wooden butt stock the rifle may have suffered unseen stresses and until all parts are tested we will not know the true extent of damage – or the cost to repair it back to a safe shooting condition. I should emphasis this is due to shooting mil surplus ammo – 1941 date Turkish – and so therefor is not covered by the warranty!
The reason for posting this is not to embarrass the owner of this rifle but to try to keep it happening to anyone else! Next time you start to feed the rifle that handful of cheap surplus or reloaded ammo just remember these pictures and decide if your luck will hold, what damage will be done to you or the rifle if it doesn’t, and how much new ammo you could have used instead of gambling!
Yes I can see a sliver of wood, a case with a piece of paper, and a swelled magazine housing but……….
Ok, now maybe it did mess things up…..