Avoid This Situation!

What happened here?

        This picture shows two different factory rounds.   The one on the left is a 300 Weatherby Magnum, and the one in the center is a 300 Winchester Magnum.   Notice the unusual appearance of the fired case on the far right.   It was a 300 Winchester Magnum cartridge that was accidentally fired in a 300 Weatherby Magnum rifle.

        I was watching this shooter's target (sitting right beside him), as he fired 3 or 4 shots without any problems.   His beautiful Weatherby Mark 5 chambered each round as slick as a greased banana, and his group was impressive.   No one had any idea what was happening, until I noticed that his fired cases looked like nothing I've ever seen before.   After that, it only took two seconds to find the cause.

        He had purchased the wrong ammunition.   The fact that this event happened without disaster, obviously doesn't indicate that this is a safe practice.   I'll bet this mistake happens fairly often, and the result could have been very serious.   I'm sure that this shooter (who will remain anonymous) will be much more careful in the future, because I really ribbed him about this incident.

        Most of us have seen pictures of blown up guns that have tried to digest the wrong type of ammo.   This cartridge case stretched an amazing amount, without the slightest crack or separation.   This mishap shows the unbelievable elasticity of brass.   You might shoot for a lifetime and never get to see a fired case look like this one.   Pay attention to the details when shooting or reloading, and never keep two or more different types of ammo on the shooting bench.


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Larry A. Willis,   Innovative Technologies
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