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  • #16
    If you are going to be loading mags for long term storage on the AR I would load 18 rounds in a 20 round mag and 26 rounds in a 30 round mag. The majority of stoppages in M16 tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground happen in the first two to three rounds.
    Distinguished Rifleman High Power , Distinguished Rifleman Smallbore Prone, Presidents Hundred (Rifle), Palma Teams Member (2), Dewar Teams Member (2), Member 4 Man National Championship Smallbore AnySight Team, Certified Small Arms and Ammunition Test Director Aberdeen Proving Ground , Eagle Scout, AC4HT, NRA Benefactor Member, Firefighter I, Shriner

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Hummer View Post
      If you are going to be loading mags for long term storage on the AR I would load 18 rounds in a 20 round mag and 26 rounds in a 30 round mag. The majority of stoppages in M16 tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground happen in the first two to three rounds.

      Hummer, Thanks for the input. What is the failure mode that occurs typically? Have they root caused it to being an actual issues with spring fatigue? Also how old are the mags in questions? I mean somewhere like APG I could see where those mags would possibly see an extremely high usage, over and over with thousands of reloads. Thanks.
      I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Hummer View Post
        If you are going to be loading mags for long term storage on the AR I would load 18 rounds in a 20 round mag and 26 rounds in a 30 round mag. The majority of stoppages in M16 tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground happen in the first two to three rounds.
        WIN! Thanks for the specialist info. :)

        -Buggy
        I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Hummer View Post
          If you are going to be loading mags for long term storage on the AR I would load 18 rounds in a 20 round mag and 26 rounds in a 30 round mag. The majority of stoppages in M16 tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground happen in the first two to three rounds.
          great info! thanks Hummer!

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          • #20
            I keep some of each. Some are loaded for immediate use in an emergency and others remain unloaded until I need them. I would say about 1/3rd of my magazines remain empty right now. But, to be honest, I have magazines that have been loaded for 2 years or more and I have not had any trouble with them at all.

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            • #21
              At Aberdeen tests are started with new mags and are numbered with paint. All mags are rotated through all weapons. When a stoppage/malfunction occurs everything stops cold. Gunners are told to continue to hold the rifle just like it was being fired and just raise their hand till the Test Director comes to examine it. We sit down with it and examine everything before any part of the weapon is moved and make notes and it is given a stoppage code.

              After the initial notations are recorded the weapon is clear and the round is examined for damage it may have received in original loading or during the feeding action just experienced. Next the mag is emptied so we know what round was being fed when the stoppage occurred. The mag number is also recorded.

              After all notes are made firing is resumed. Initially the stoppage is charged to the weapon but if the same stoppage occurs with same mag in other rifles then the original notes are changed and the stoppage is charged to the magazine.

              Be assured a report is authored and is forwarded up the chain to where the originator of the testing gets informed of every stoppage and failure because things happen the real world that was never thought of by the designers and troops do things to weapons that boggles the mind.

              One Marine Colonel said it best in this way. "You can take two Marines, strip them naked, lock them in a room with no openings other than food and give them two cannon balls and come back three days later and they will have broken one and lost the other."

              Here is a reproduction of the stoppage codes we used. I did not include the ones for belt fed weapons.

              MTP 3-2-045/1Aug 1971
              Table III - Abbreviations Used in Reporting Malfunctions

              Types of Malfunctions

              FF - Failure to feed
              FFR - Failure to fire
              FX- Failure to Extract
              FJ - Failure to eject
              FC - Failure of bolt to close
              IFR - Inadvertent firing
              FMR - Failure to maintain cyclic rate
              FTR - Failure of trigger to return to forward position.
              F2R - Fired 2 rounds on one rearward movement of trigger.
              DF - Double feed, 2 rounds fed from magazine at once.
              FBF - Failure of bolt to go forward
              FCB - Fired on closure of bolt
              FBR - Failure of bolt to remain at rear after last round.
              FJC - Failure to eject clip
              BCS - Bolt catch stopped forward movement of bolt before last round of magazine was fired.
              FS - Failure to strip round
              FSO - Failure of bolt to sear off
              FBS - Failure of bolt to sear
              FRA - Failure to remain in assembly
              FBC - Failure of bolt to close
              FC - Failure to Chamber
              FCY - Failure to Cycle
              FFS - Failure to Feed. The nose of hte round hd stubbed on the breech face stopping the feeding cycle.
              FL - Failure of Bolt to Lock
              FS - Failure to strip
              UFR - Uncontrolled Firing of Weapon

              Causes (Usually the cause of some of the preceding malfunctions)

              SR - Short Recoil
              BUB - Bolt underrode base of round in feeding.
              BCE - Bolt catch engaged bolt carrier instead of bolt after firing last round in the magazine
              BFE - Bolt failed to engage base of round in magazine
              BLE - Bolt lacked sufficient energy to force round from magazine.
              BOB - Bolt overrode base of round in feeding from magazine.
              FML - Failure of magazine to lock in weapon
              FL - Failure to load by hand charging
              FS - Partial strip of round from magazine or link
              FFO - Failure to feed round over to stripping position.

              Insofar as mags go they are examined for cracks which normally occur on the rear of the mag where the mags for a right angle when looked at from the rear like this. _I Q I_ Note the letter Q represents the base of the round between the feed lips.

              Now if you ever get access to a spring engineer (they are quite rare in the big scheme of things) they will tell you a properly made spring will never take a set. Only problem is a determining if springs are property made and unless new technology has surfaced the only way to tell is to measure the free length of the spring, then fully compress the springs for a year, release the compression and remeasure the free length with calipers to see if it got shorter.

              The biggest failures I have seen in my career are striker springs in bolt action rifles and leaf springs in revolvers.

              In 2002 I bought three new bolt action rifles made by three different vendors. None exhibited enough striker energy. Two of the three springs were replaced by factory and the third indicated they had not checked their striker energy in over 1 years and on top of the the SAAMI recommendations were lowered from .020" copper indent to .016" copper indent and the company that had not checked their product in over 15 years did not even meet the relaxed requirements.

              Most folks do not realize there is a problem until a FFR occurs but it is known that well before the FFR threshold is met the standard deviation of the loaded rounds will go out the roof which can be a real bummer if you are shooting long range as you will see vertical stringing well before a FFR.

              CIP lets say you are shooting a 308 at 1000 yards. You can check trajectory tables to confirm this but a 100 fps change in velocity at 1000 yards will give you about 40" of elevation variation from velocity alone which does not take into account mirage, aiming error etc. Thus you can have a perfect hold on a target and experience shots 20" high and 20" low well before you get a misfire. That is why it is critical to know the SD of your ammo.

              I have seen new LC Match deliver a ES of 66 fps. which is enough to keep you out of the ten ring high or low at 1000 yards.

              If you have the right combo of propellant, primers etc and weigh charges you may be able to achieve a SD of 5 and I have seen SD of 3 on rare instances. You don't want over 10 if the big scheme of things.

              Forgot to add just because you have a new magazine, doesn't mean you are in utopia. For instance L. F. Moore was a Test Director at APG and M14s were blowing up. He was able to trace the failures to improperly manufactured magazines by one vendor. A destruct order was issued and every one in the gov't inventory was removed and destroyed and there was never another failure in the field that he experienced about four times at APG.

              This is why I get nervous when I see the services going out and buy new weapon systems without their being subjected to Technical Feasibility Testing at APG.
              Last edited by Hummer; 07-18-2018, 09:01 AM. Reason: My computer keeps misspelling words ! ! ! !
              Distinguished Rifleman High Power , Distinguished Rifleman Smallbore Prone, Presidents Hundred (Rifle), Palma Teams Member (2), Dewar Teams Member (2), Member 4 Man National Championship Smallbore AnySight Team, Certified Small Arms and Ammunition Test Director Aberdeen Proving Ground , Eagle Scout, AC4HT, NRA Benefactor Member, Firefighter I, Shriner

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              • #22
                How on God's green Earth does a bad rifle magazine make a rifle blow up ? The magazine does not have primer or powder.....does not go into the chamber.....does not get hit with a firing pin to fire the round.......there is no way a magazine was the issue....impossible....100% impossible....

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                • #23
                  How much are you willing to bet? I sense that there is money to be made here !! ! ! ! Our unofficial motto at Aberdeen is "You make'em we break'em." When Larry finally figured it he went into the office and announced that the magazines were causing them to blow up and four or five other Test Directors had your same opinion so they proceeded one of the two 100 yard indoor ranges within 25 yards of our office door.

                  He had a new M14 up in a mount with a blast shield and he blew up three in about an hour. It didn't happen every shot but when it did the rifle was wrecked so he had to get another. That led to a notification that all magazines with that manufacturers code on the mag would be pulled from inventory and destroyed immediately. There was never another case of such reported from the field.

                  He also figured out that droplets of water laying on the 6 o'clock finger of the flash suppressor would cause the flash suppressor to fail.

                  Guy I shared a office cubicle with was testing the Mark 19 belt fed 40MM Grenade launcher and he got it to cook off a round. Now for those that have fired one you know the cartridge case of the 40 MM round is not fully inserted into the chamber so how do you get a round to cook off? So how do you get it hot enough to ignite the round with the case outside the barrel?

                  On the M14 blow up, I will give you a hint. A commercial 308 round will fail quicker than a milspec round and all these failures were with milspec rounds. Now isn't that interesting???

                  Think on it and don't restrict yourself to thinking inside the box.

                  I had a guy at Picatinny come to me and tell me his M1A would feed, fire, the bolt unlock and start to move and stop just after the locking lugs disengaged. He brought the rifle in and I took it home and within about two hours I determined the cause of the problem. It wasn't the magazine ! ! ! ! ! !, the headspace was correct. Something else for yawl to think on.''

                  I have also experienced rounds in handguns reorienting in the magazine and flipping around and point towards shooter BELOW THE TOP ROUND IN THE MAG both from being dropped and during firing.

                  When you are running thousands of rounds a day, day in and day out you see things that will blow your mind.
                  Last edited by Hummer; 07-20-2018, 02:57 AM.
                  Distinguished Rifleman High Power , Distinguished Rifleman Smallbore Prone, Presidents Hundred (Rifle), Palma Teams Member (2), Dewar Teams Member (2), Member 4 Man National Championship Smallbore AnySight Team, Certified Small Arms and Ammunition Test Director Aberdeen Proving Ground , Eagle Scout, AC4HT, NRA Benefactor Member, Firefighter I, Shriner

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                  • #24
                    I agree with Elser. From conversations I have had with ex military sniper buddies taking out the apparent leader of a group is effective as well.
                    Distinguished Rifleman High Power , Distinguished Rifleman Smallbore Prone, Presidents Hundred (Rifle), Palma Teams Member (2), Dewar Teams Member (2), Member 4 Man National Championship Smallbore AnySight Team, Certified Small Arms and Ammunition Test Director Aberdeen Proving Ground , Eagle Scout, AC4HT, NRA Benefactor Member, Firefighter I, Shriner

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