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What if?

Old 08-10-2009, 04:42 AM
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Giant Nontypical
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What would happen IF you shot a .25-06 round out of a .30-06 chamber and barrel?

I went to the rifle range to shoot my .30-06 yesterday. I took a box of partially used (10 fired, 10 non-fired) Remington Core-lokt ammo in .30-06 and a second full box of Remington Core-lokt ammo in what I thought was .30-06 ammo. As I picked up this full box to load my rifle, I noted that the end tab identified the ammo as .25-06. OK. No harm done. This is what you're supposed to do -- check your ammo before you load it into your rifle. I did that. I avoided shooting the wrong ammo. If I had not done this and opened the box and started to pull out the cartridge to load . . . chances are I would have taken note of the distinct difference between the 100 grain .25-06 rounds and the 180 grain .30-06 rounds I was shooting. Again, no harm.

The question is, what if I had not noticed the error and shot the .25-06 in the .30-06? Because the cartridge casing of these two are essentially the same (.25-06 is a necked down .30-06), the cartridge would have no doubt fed normally out of the magazine and into the chamber. I would guess nothing dramatic would have happened -- no exploding barrel. My question is what WOULD have happened, or what are the multiple alternative things that might have happened?

I settled on shooting Hornady Custom ammo in my .25-06 years ago, because it shoots accurately in my rifle; and settled on the Remington Core-lokt ammo in my .30-06 years ago, because it shoots accurately in my rifle. Hence, I associate the distinctive Hornady Custom ammo box with my .25-06 and the distinctive Remington Core-lokt ammo box with my .30-06. It happens, when I was first evaluating commercial loads in my .25-06, I bought some boxes of Remington Core-lokt .25-06 . . . which explains why I have the ammo and also why I wasn't more careful at the house packing my shooting bag before going to the rifle range, in case anyone wants to know. A little too much "auto pilot" and not enough attention to detail. Fortunately there are many opportunities along the way to check oneself, and the later check worked.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:02 AM
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Most likely, not much. It'd go pop more than bang, the bullet would probably leave the barrel at a couple hundred FPS and land on the ground, most likely followed by a bunch of partially burnt or even still flaming powder kernals. Smokeless powder, particularly the med to slow burning powders used in the CF rifles, requires a considerable amount of pressure to sustain ignition or it simply blows itself out. Since the .257cal bullet is much smaller than the .308" bore, it'd have almost no resistance to moving down the bore, creating very little chamber pressure. I'd suspect that you'd burn less than half the powder in the case, with most of the propulsive force coming from the primer.

The problem that can occur happens with the next round if you don't identify the problem and check the bore. It's possible that the undersized bullet didn't make it out of the bore and/or there's a significant amount of unburnt powder in the bore because there wasn't enough pressure to sustain the burn with the loose bullet. If there is and you shoot another correct cartridge, you've got yourself a bore obstruction situation that could be catastrophic.

The real problem doesn't arise until you try to put a slightly large than bore sized projectile through the bore. A great example would be shooting a 7mm (.284") bullet in a .270 Win bore (which is .277"). The difference is only 0.007", so if the .270's throat is generously cut, it may be possible to chamber the round and fire it. The problem is that the .007" too big bullet itself acts as a bore obstruction and the gun could go boom. This is why the .280 Rem has the entire shoulder moved slightly forward, making it impossible to chamber a .280 Rem case in a .270 Win chamber. The 270 Win will chamber in the .280 Rem rifle and fire, but being .007" undersized, it will just skim down the lands harmlessly.

Mike
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:40 PM
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I saw a picture of a .300 win mag shot out of a .300 wby ....

try googling it... basically just fireformed the .300 win short of becoming a .300wby though...

but that's a .300 in a .300, not a .25 in a .30...

I think the bullet would come out the end, but could get stuck...
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:40 PM
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I have never seen a 25-06 round thru a 30-06 but I have seen it thru a 270 Win which gives it virtually no pressure on the bullet . The shooter fired five rounds and all five hit the target at 100 yards two to five inches to the right . The guy shooting didn't realize that he had shot the wrong ammo but was concerned that his gun was suddenly all over the target .Further checking revealed he had grabbed a box of somebody elses ammo with out looking at the caliber . The sound was off and the recoil was off but the rounds didn't stay in the barrel that is for sure .
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:08 PM
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Nothing would happen from shooting a 25-06 or a .270 or a .280 out of a 30-06 chamber. It would simply fire form the case and that's about it other than a different sound with less kick than you would be use to.

Same think happens if you were to shoot a .308 Winchester out of a 30-06 chamber. The case gets fore formed to a 30-06 with no neck.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridge Runner
I know a guy who shot a 308 in a 25/06, luckily he wasn't hurt, he claimed he hit the target, but the rifle was toast. never ruptured the barrel but it was bulged, the action stressed beyond repair.
RR
I'd have called BS on that story, unless he hit the target with fragments of the barrel. The barrel would have split or blown long before a .308" bullet got squeezed down a .257" barrel. He's lucky that the action didn't forcibly disintegrate in his face. But I don't believe the "hit the target" thing.

Mike
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:27 PM
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I don't disbelieve your recounting of the story, I disbelieve the truth of the original story in the first place. Maybe some part of the bullet did hit the target, but I can't imagine there was much left of it after being squeezed through a hole that small.

Mike
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