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Discussion Starter #1
I know this has been discussed time and time again as I did more than my fair share of reading and researching, regarding the use of steel case/russian ammo in the RFB prior to trying myself. However I felt it necessary to post my own experience to perhaps help others avoid headaches. I recently purchased myself an RFB after lusting after one for years and have been experimenting with a variety of ammo I've accumulated for my other 308's, mainly hornady, remington, and Winchester of varying weights. Zero issues until after countless hours of reading, I decided to give some Tula a shot, given the significant cost savings and I had approx. 100rnds stashed away that a buddy had left at the house some time ago. I was looking to function check and set the gas for these, with the intention of buying a case to plink with. So...I loaded a single round into the magazine, inserted said magazine into the rifle, chambered said round, pulled the trigger and Bang! So far so good, looked and saw the bolt didn't lock back, so I gave the gas knob a few clicks, reached back to remove the magazine to load the next round and that's when I see that my magazine is blown to bits all over the ground. Ok...go to cycle the action...locked up... fantastic. Had already removed what was left of the magazine from the rifle. Was able to "finesse" action open and remove spent case. Upon inspection, found the primer was blown out and case head split and nearly separated. Mind you, this was the FIRST round of any steel/russian ammo to be chambered or fired through this rifle let alone any of my own firearms and will certainly be the last. I've always been one of those brass only guys and no longer consider myself an ammo snob after this experience. Kinda bummed out as I was looking forward to saving some dough with the 308 stuff but not worth risking the safety of myself or my firearms. I do want to mention that the ammo used was is excellent shape, had been stored in a dry box, not corroded, not previously chambered, was purchased approx. 3yrs ago. Was in no way externally/physically compromised. And after disassembling rifle, inspecting, and reassembling, rifle does seem to function fine with no visible or obvious damage other than some soot and debris around bolt and extractors, also noted excessive debris in bore but again, everything cleaned up. Unfortunately, that was my only magazine, so until I purchase more, which needed to happen anyhow, I will be unable to fire and fully verify proper function. Also glad I was wearing layers or my arm could have suffered some cuts or bruising.(I had noticed what seemed to be an abnormal thump to my forearm prior to realizing what happened...was wearing a thermal, hoodie, and Carhartt jacket)
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Glad to hear the magazine was only casualty. sounds like you should also send this story to carhartt, those cloths are stupid tough/durable.
As a rule I only shoot steel case stuff thru my commie guns...ak’s or an sks, and the mosin’s Glad to hear the rifle survived intact as well.

Might be worth it to have a gun smith but one them bore scope cameras in there to make sure there wasn’t any other damage
 

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Interesting, I'm glad you weren't hurt.
I have had my RFB for several years now, and have, probably, over 1000 rounds through it.
I shoot, exclusively, Tula 165 gr SP, because I get the best accuracy with those, and they are inexpensive to shoot.
In all that time, and through all those rounds, I have had not 1 problem come up.
I can't venture to guess what happened with your rifle, but, Tula has been extremely accurate and reliable for me.
Hopefully, you will find out what the problem was, that is very troubling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Glad to hear the magazine was only casualty. sounds like you should also send this story to carhartt, those cloths are stupid tough/durable.
As a rule I only shoot steel case stuff thru my commie guns...ak’s or an sks, and the mosin’s Glad to hear the rifle survived intact as well.

Might be worth it to have a gun smith but one them bore scope cameras in there to make sure there wasn’t any other damage
I too am glad the loss of a magazine seems to be the worst of it. My 10yr old daughter had also been standing close by and was startled by seeing the magazine explode. It was a good lesson to reinforce the eyes and ears rule. I have pondered whether it's possible it fired out of battery somehow. I have been unable to duplicate that particular malfunction though by holding pressure back on the charging handle and trying to drop the hammer.(it will when pulled back no more than an 1/8" but the bolt isn't lifting or unlocking at that point)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting, I'm glad you weren't hurt.
I have had my RFB for several years now, and have, probably, over 1000 rounds through it.
I shoot, exclusively, Tula 165 gr SP, because I get the best accuracy with those, and they are inexpensive to shoot.
In all that time, and through all those rounds, I have had not 1 problem come up.
I can't venture to guess what happened with your rifle, but, Tula has been extremely accurate and reliable for me.
Hopefully, you will find out what the problem was, that is very troubling.
See, I have read about plenty of people saying the same as yourself which is why I decided to go ahead and proceed with setting up for Tula, although I was going with 150gr fmj and that is exactly what was used during this failure. I'm thinking that perhaps these particular rounds I have on hand came from a bad batch but find it very hard to consider trying to use them from this point forward as it just doesn't seem worth the risk. And I had also read a story or two of case head separation but it seemed like a rare occurrence. And of course with my luck, this happens with the very first round of Tula chambered in the darn thing. I've had zero issues feeding, firing, extracting, or ejecting any of the other ammo tried which have all been brass cased, copper jacketed, factory fmj,SP,hp anywhere from 125gr up to 180gr. Not super high round count thus far, only had the rifle for 2 weeks now but have ran close to 200rnds through it. Have been very impressed and satisfied with the RFB up to this point. Has not been nearly as finicky as I had feared.
 

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Glad no injuries occurred. Good advice to have someone look at the barrel with a scope and maybe give the firearm a good safety check. These type of stories always leave you wondering as to cause. If you come up with any answers let us know. Good luck. Be safe.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I would like to ask a quick question that hopefully someone with more time behind one of these rfb's can answer. Since this happened, I've stripped the rifle down multiple times and can't see anything that looks even remotely damaged or out of place...other than I have noticed that there is some front to back play in the bolt when it's closed/locked. I can even hear it moving when rocking the rifle back and forth or tipping it up and down. I had never noticed this prior to my exploded magazine today but wasn't looking for trouble either. I would think the bolt should lock up solid even without a chambered round but I'm not too familiar with this tilting breechlock set up in an fal-esque system. This slop is only maybe a few thousands of an inch but enough to hear and feel if you're looking for it. Any clarification would be appreciated.
 

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I would like to ask a quick question that hopefully someone with more time behind one of these rfb's can answer. Since this happened, I've stripped the rifle down multiple times and can't see anything that looks even remotely damaged or out of place...other than I have noticed that there is some front to back play in the bolt when it's closed/locked. I can even hear it moving when rocking the rifle back and forth or tipping it up and down. I had never noticed this prior to my exploded magazine today but wasn't looking for trouble either. I would think the bolt should lock up solid even without a chambered round but I'm not too familiar with this tilting breechlock set up in an fal-esque system. This slop is only maybe a few thousands of an inch but enough to hear and feel if you're looking for it. Any clarification would be appreciated.

There is a little play even in my Gen 1 RFB so that sounds normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There is a little play even in my Gen 1 RFB so that sounds normal.
I did call Kel-Tec today and was told that this is indeed normal. The guy I talked to put me on hold to actually grab an RFB he had there and verified this while on the phone with me. So I'm no longer concerned about this. I'm chocking it up to an over loaded/over pressure round. I guess there was some bad .308 Tula years ago that people were reporting over pressure issues with. And these rounds I have may just have come from one of those lots. I do not have any original boxes to get lot numbers from. All I was told from my friend is that he purchased these from a hardware store up north approximately 3yrs ago. I'd like to give some recently manufactured Tula a try but am very leary of any Russian .308 at this point. As they say: burn me once, shame on you...burn me twice, shame on me. I will likely just stick with milsurp ball for plinking from here on out. Already ordered a handful of mags from keltec and found some Belgian surplus I'm going to pull the trigger on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I also wanted to mention that I did drop the rifle off to a local smith for a look over and he said all seems well.(this guy mainly does AR and bolt builds but is right next to my work) No damage found, headspace checked out(with 7.62nato min/max gauge set) and he too was unable to duplicate an out of battery scenario. He said he couldn't speculate too much as he is not overly familiar with this action set up either...but concurred that it was likely faulty ammunition. And like all the other shops near me... he had no FAL mags.
 

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Yea.. I literally grabbed my RFB so I could answer your question..
I hope your local smith Checked the gun with a go no-go gauge..Outside of that..Sounds fine.
 

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Look around online. I believe it was DSA, or DS Arms or something like that where I found some South African FAL mags for $30 and bought 2. They also sell the Thermold mags and one other plastic. I do seem to recall in all my searching that I was unable to find a less expensive “in stock” source for plastic mags than KT- unless you factor in shipping additions. It is literally the only place I found the much more expensive per round 10 rd mags that I use hunting because hogs run after 1 shot.
 

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https://www.dsarms.com/c-824-magazines-and-accessories.aspx?pagenum=2

There ya go, they trick you by making you think stuff is in stock until you click on the item and see that it will be on back order- so read carefully. I clearly remember clicking on the Israeli mags and frowning upon a “out of stock”. IIRC nearly everything they have is out of stock... except the SA metric mags. There was another place called J&S sales which is a guy who tours gun shows in Ohio and PA. He has good prices, but you have to register with him to order. It’s obviously a small business that is not highly interested in internet sales.
 

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I know this has been discussed time and time again as I did more than my fair share of reading and researching, regarding the use of steel case/russian ammo in the RFB prior to trying myself. However I felt it necessary to post my own experience to perhaps help others avoid headaches. I recently purchased myself an RFB after lusting after one for years and have been experimenting with a variety of ammo I've accumulated for my other 308's, mainly hornady, remington, and Winchester of varying weights. Zero issues until after countless hours of reading, I decided to give some Tula a shot, given the significant cost savings and I had approx. 100rnds stashed away that a buddy had left at the house some time ago. I was looking to function check and set the gas for these, with the intention of buying a case to plink with. So...I loaded a single round into the magazine, inserted said magazine into the rifle, chambered said round, pulled the trigger and Bang! So far so good, looked and saw the bolt didn't lock back, so I gave the gas knob a few clicks, reached back to remove the magazine to load the next round and that's when I see that my magazine is blown to bits all over the ground. Ok...go to cycle the action...locked up... fantastic. Had already removed what was left of the magazine from the rifle. Was able to "finesse" action open and remove spent case. Upon inspection, found the primer was blown out and case head split and nearly separated. Mind you, this was the FIRST round of any steel/russian ammo to be chambered or fired through this rifle let alone any of my own firearms and will certainly be the last. I've always been one of those brass only guys and no longer consider myself an ammo snob after this experience. Kinda bummed out as I was looking forward to saving some dough with the 308 stuff but not worth risking the safety of myself or my firearms. I do want to mention that the ammo used was is excellent shape, had been stored in a dry box, not corroded, not previously chambered, was purchased approx. 3yrs ago. Was in no way externally/physically compromised. And after disassembling rifle, inspecting, and reassembling, rifle does seem to function fine with no visible or obvious damage other than some soot and debris around bolt and extractors, also noted excessive debris in bore but again, everything cleaned up. Unfortunately, that was my only magazine, so until I purchase more, which needed to happen anyhow, I will be unable to fire and fully verify proper function. Also glad I was wearing layers or my arm could have suffered some cuts or bruising.(I had noticed what seemed to be an abnormal thump to my forearm prior to realizing what happened...was wearing a thermal, hoodie, and Carhartt jacket) View attachment 45908
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I love my RFB also simply because of what it is, just like you. After too much playing around with it when it was new during the strangest lock up and jam conditions I just decided to stick with quality brass-cased ammo and she has run sweet as sugar. Thank God I have enough European military surplus to eat the thousands of cans of steel cased rounds I have. Those AK's-gotta love em, they eat anything that will fit in the chamber and yes, not a wise thing to do but that is the reason why terrorist kids and other assorted insurgents use the AK of whatever country of manufacture as their weapon of choice.
 

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After loving my RDB and trying to find a RFB for months at a decent price I was able to scap one up for $800. I was hoping to be able to shoot steel out of it. What are you guys finding the most accurate? I’ve read they really like the 145 grain wolf. If you guys are getting better results with Tula Soft points I’ll try and pick some of them up.
 

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Also for mags what do you guys like the best? Surplus seems to be hit or miss. I see keltec has thermolds for $18. That seems to be the cheapest option I can find. Does anyone have any magazines higher than 20 rounds? Are they reliable?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just to update, got my mags from keltec and ran 100rnds of brass case perfecta through without a hitch. Also ordered some more Belgian surplus. I did find that taking some scotchbrite pads to the upper portion of these new thermolds makes them much smoother to insert and remove from the magwell.
 

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I've shot thousands of rounds of Tula and haven't had a primer blow out or case rupture yet. I have had similar happen on American made Lake City reloads. Sounds like you got a bad round. I wouldn't trash the entire brand because of it though. Glad to hear nothing else (including you) got damaged.
 

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I’m in same boat as amstel. My ak’s, sks’s and mosin’s have shot piles of this stuff with no issue. shot some 9mm, .380 and .45 but not enough to have an real opinion.... couple boxes each of those pistol flavors

my mossberg bolt .308 did not like extracting the steel case tula stuff.
 
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