It’s almost impossible to scroll past an image on social media depicting some sort of firearms-related failure without stopping to make your own diagnosis. Even more entertaining is scrolling through the comments, because the web-based opinions tend to range from possible to preposterous, and everything in between. Not to say it’s simple to diagnose something based on a picture alone. And of course that’s exactly what I’m giving you guys a chance to do: make your own diagnosis based on the picture and the bit of information I was able to obtain.
The round pictured below was apparently fired through an HK53. According to the original poster the rifle was freshly cleaned the morning he went out shooting. He fired “some” steel cases but said the majority of rounds fired were Federal Lake City 5.56 NATO 62 grain FMJ – the ever-popular XM855 Green Tip. As for quantity of rounds fired prior to the failure the original poster estimated it at a “few hundred.” Regarding removal after the failure, in his own words: “Had to beat the bolt back with a block and hammer to remove the casing.” He then fired approximately one-third of another magazine – magazine size unknown – before the rifle stopped feeding entirely.
While it does look like a pretty straightforward (obvious) problem, there are still multiple factors to consider. If the rifle really was clean and oiled immediately prior to shooting, if only a few steel cased rounds were fired – considering the whole picture as it was given does bring up questions. Of course, it is the internet, so assuming details are given with 100% accuracy and honesty tends to be pushing the constraints of logic a bit. With that in mind, take the details with a grain of salt and diagnose the failure.