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Unsafe Firearm-Ammunition Combinations

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  • Unsafe Firearm-Ammunition Combinations

    I just saw this topic in an email from Hodgdon. Below is a link to a SAAMI list of unsafe combinations. Have you experienced any of these? What do you do to prevent this?

    The only instance I've experienced is in placing .243 Win into a 7.62x54R chamber. The Mosin-Nagant sounded weak when I fired and showed no damage. But the empty case was stuck and had to be pried out.

    Unsafe-Arms-and-Ammunition-Combinations-Web-Site-and-Brochure-Master-Revised-8-24-2020.pdf (

    Here's some common ones:

    22 Winchester Magnum - unsafe to chamber the following:
    > 17 Precision Made Cartridge
    > 22 BB Cap
    > 22 CB Cap
    > 22 Short
    > 22 Long
    > 22 Long Rifle
    > 22 Long Rifle Shot

    12 Gauge - unsafe to chamber the following:
    > 16 Gauge
    > 20 Gauge
    Last edited by PigHunter; 03-31-2021, 11:03 AM.

  • #2
    Yessiree, Bob!
    Had a guy call our shop one day and ask the gunsmith if he could fire a .30-40 Krag in a .303 British rifle.
    "Is your life insurance paid up?"
    Needless to say, Mitch got his point across!

    My FIL informed me once that he was going to buy a .22 Mag rifle so he could shoot .22 mag, .22 lr, .22 long or .22 short.
    Dude stayed mad at me for a month when I told him that wouldn't work! Loop

    P.S. - another nasty no-no!
    a tightwad I worked with bought a Lee Loader to load for his little .38 "Chief's Special"
    When he realized a .357 Mag charge of Herco 2400 would fit in his .38 case. Guy at the shop told him. "No, you need a .357 Mag to do that."
    ...but he was TOO smart for them!
    They just wanted him to purchase another handgun!
    He blew 3 chambers out of
    the cylinder, broke the top strap and bent the crane/barrel downwards! Fortunately, other than scared witless, no physical damage to him!
    He went to a different shop and bought another pistol, but got a .357 Mag!
    As far as I know, the S&W M10 .38 Spl is the ONLY handgun on the market, specifically chambered in .38 Spl, that can handle a .357 Mag load.

    People do stupid crap! It's human nature!
    Natural selection? Survival of the fittest
    Last edited by FirstBubba; 03-31-2021, 11:35 AM.


    • #3
      I seem to recall a few times years ago when newcomers to FS would post a question like "Can I shoot such and such in my 30-06?" A couple of them were doozies; made you wonder if the guy was actually serious. Sadly, you knew they were.


      • #4
        Originally posted by MattM37 View Post
        I seem to recall a few times years ago when newcomers to FS would post a question like "Can I shoot such and such in my 30-06?" A couple of them were doozies; made you wonder if the guy was actually serious. Sadly, you knew they were.
        MattM37, I didn't work in a gun shop long, but if 2 years was any indication what a full time 'smith hears in a lifetime.....?


        • #5
          Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

          MattM37, I didn't work in a gun shop long, but if 2 years was any indication what a full time 'smith hears in a lifetime.....?
          I can just imagine. One of my uncles used to say that cops, lawyers, and emergency room nurses hear the damnedest things, crazy stories, etc. Could probably add gunsmiths and game wardens to that, too.


          • #6
            This sort of thing is why I’m not going to resize brass with one head stamp into something else. Partly because I find myself more absent minded each year and also because the day might come when someone else gets ahold of my hand loads. It’s just not worth the risk at this point.

            Two months ago one of my customers came out with two boxes of 6mm Creed ammo and asked me what he could do with them since stores won’t do refunds on ammo. He didn’t have his glasses with him when he picked them off the shelf for his 6mm Rem. He could only see the 6MM on the box end. Fortunately he figured it out as soon as he pulled one out of the box once he got back home. Doubt it would have chambered but you never know.


            • #7
              I have been a meticulous reloader for my whole life but a couple of years ago, I made a mistake that fortunately didn't hurt me. I loaded thousands of rounds of various cartridges for my prairie dog shoot, about 800 of which were 6mm Creedmoor. The ammo was packed in plastic bags ready to go. I also loaded a few hundred 22-250 cartridges for a buddy with whom I'd be shooting. Somehow, I got bag of 22-250 cartridges mixed in with the many bags of 6mm Creedmoor.

              I put all the 6mm Creedmoors in their own ammo cans and somehow got the one bag of 22-250 mixed in with them. During the shoot, I reached in the 6CM ammo can and grabbed another bag of bullets. It was a bag of 22-250 bullets! Right away I noticed that I couldn't hit anything at any range. I started out missing p-dogs at 1000 yards, 800 yards, 600 yards, etc. As I worked my way in, I just couldn't see the bullets hit and neither could my spotter. Finally, I put up a 3 foot square piece of cardboard at 25 yards and couldn't hit that either. A little chill went up my spine as I saw that as I wondered "What is going ON?"

              Then I looked at the head stamp on the bullets and saw they were 22-250s. They look a lot like 6mm Creedmoors but they are definitely not 6mm CMs. Fortunately, there was no damage to the barrel other than that it was really difficult to clean. The cases fire-formed perfectly into 6mm Creedmoor cases but I threw them away.

              Now I am even more careful than I used to be.


              • #8
                A friend borrowed a 12ga shotgun from me. Not wanting to bother me he borrowed some slugs from my Sister - 16ga. Took a shot at a deer and knew something was wrong. The Sears gun held up o.k. but the barrel was full of crud.


                • #9
                  Matt37, I don't know if you saw my post about Weatherby pressure test.

                  Roy wanted to know just how strong his Mark V, 9 locking lug, action was. This story I got right off of Norma web site.

                  The Norma and Weatherby engineers got together and took a Weatherby Mark V rifle, I believe it was a .300WbyMag.

                  They dropped a bullet in the chamber and then chambered a live round. They fired the round, pushing the obstruction down the barrel.

                  Upon examination there was NO damage to the action. After that test the action started getting the moniker 'the strongest action in the World'.

                  The Engineers estimate the action withstood 250,000psi pressure. Normal operating pressure for a .300WbyMag is about 65,000psi.


                  • #10
                    Not sure, but I believe it was P.O. Ackley out at Salt Lake City, UT that began testing actions for strength after WWII.
                    The story goes, they blew up action after action. Then it was time to test the Japanese "Arisaki" (sp?) action.
                    First, it was just a "blue pill" load.
                    No effect.
                    Next, they loaded it well above acceptable pressures. No effect.
                    Then, a hot load and stuck a steel rod down the barrel.
                    It shot the rod out.
                    A hot load, the steel rod and peened the muzzle shut.
                    It still shot the rod out of the barrel!
                    The last test was a hot load and welded the muzzle shut with the rod in place.
                    It blew the barrel out of the action, but did not damage the action!
                    I've never seen or read the data on the testing but the gunsmith who told me had no reason to lie.




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