Catastrophic Firearm Failures


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Matt304
January 3, 2008, 02:52 AM
Catastrophic firearm failures are certainly not a common event. I have never witnessed it happen. I hope that I never have to witness the event in my life. But I am curious if anyone has any good stories to tell out there. Have you ever witnessed a firearm fail mainly because of some event of overpressure?

I guess the idea which has always bothered me since I was young is what may happen when a big bolt gun fails at the action, due to whatever reasons. Are the imagined physics mostly correct, a high-velocity bolt literally sent through the users head? Or is there some sort of engineering measure integrated into the design so that it fails in a way to relieve pressure?

I would bet that somewhere out there exists a bit of research on this subject. I would find it quite interesting to stumble upon.

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brentn
January 3, 2008, 02:59 AM
it is incredible as to what even a 22LR can do to a firearm made of steel. I would think that a bolt breaking apart and flying into ones head is not an over-exaggeration.

PercyShelley
January 3, 2008, 04:37 AM
I don't know about other bolt firearms' specific measures to mitigate a catastrophic failure, but those two holes on top of the Arisaka receiver are pressure relief vents, intended to minimize damage to the shooter's face in the event of a blowup.

Fast Frank
January 3, 2008, 06:10 AM
At the range where I shoot, there's a rifle mounted up on the wall with a description of what happened to it.

I haven't looked at in in a while, so bear with me if I get a detail or two wrong.

It's a bolt action rifle, and I believe it is in .25-06 caliber. It's a high quality rifle with nice bluing and beautiful wood. I want to say it's an old Weatherby, but I'm not really sure. I remember that it has basket weave checkering on the stock.

Somebody loaded that poor rifle with the wrong cartridge. I'm pretty sure it was a .308.

The specifics aren't important. What matters is that the cartridge they loaded fit in the chamber, but the bullet was too big to go down the barrel.

When they pulled the trigger... BLAMMO!

The bolt on that rifle is intact, but tweaked badly out of shape. One side of the frame broke, but the bolt did not come out of the rifle.

The rear part of the case blew out and sent gasses into the magazine.

It blew a large chunk of the stock away, blew out the magazine, and sent shrapnel everywhere.

The shooter and some bystanders were injured, but not life threatening.

That rifle is pretty scary to look at, and I'm glad I wasn't there.

Doing what they did would be super easy. All you would have to do is grab the wrong bullet and load the rifle.

Pay attention, folks!

2Ais4U
January 3, 2008, 06:20 AM
A friend of mine bought a dragunov chambered in .308 from some store in texas, I dont know what caused it but it was not very pretty.

mattw
January 3, 2008, 06:28 AM
Thankfully I've never experienced a catastrophic failure, but my dad has got some pretty bad stories about when the US military first adopted the M9. He said the early pistols had an issue with the slide stop or something breaking and the slides would come off the pistols during firing. He said it nearly killed a guy next to him on the range, I think my dad said he ended up losing an eye or something.

TAB
January 3, 2008, 06:54 AM
Working for a FFL I saw 2 really bad ones:


One envoled a double charge in a 12 ga. The other was some one that forgot to remove the bore sight from the rifle before firing( I was the one that acutually sold him the rifle... he had had it for less then week, he bought the same gun and bore sight)

RecoilRob
January 3, 2008, 07:15 AM
If a rifle experiences an overpressure event when the bolt is locked up, it normally will not badly injure the shooter. Most actions have provisions for venting the gas from a ruptured case without catastrophic danger....although the gun will likely be ruined. Always wear your eye protection because even if the action handles the main gas flow, you will still be hit with particles and debris sufficient to injure your eyes if unprotected.

Out of battery blowups are, indeed, catastrophic. Worst one I saw pics of involved a 50 BMG bolt gun that fired while chambering before the lugs had engaged. The firing pin had broken in the middle at some previous time and was peening the broken ends with repeated firing. Eventually, the business end of the pin got so peened it stuck in the channel hard enough to prematurely set off the round.

The partially engaged lugs sheared, the bolt came out of the rifle at some velocity...the handle breaking and nearly severing his right thumb. It continued rearward through his bicep and partly through the shoulder and ended up lodged in a building some yards behind.

The fact that it was a BMG only means the flying bolt was a huge thing comparatively to a normal caliber. The results would be pretty much the same with any rifle caliber experiencing the same failure. Be careful out there....

dispatch55126
January 3, 2008, 07:17 AM
Its more common with shotguns I think than rifles. Thats partly why the shells are color coded. A 20 Ga will slide down a 12 Ga barrel half way then get caught.

skinewmexico
January 3, 2008, 09:57 AM
All I've ever seen blow up is a Glock 34 shooting reloads.

Twud
January 3, 2008, 10:10 AM
I saw the barrel on a Krieghoff trap gun get pealed open like a bananna. The owner, a big time corporate type, wouldn't fess up to a double load, but we all expected he did just that.
The next Sunday he showed up with a new Perazzi, as Krieghoffs were now junk guns.

aka108
January 3, 2008, 12:36 PM
If you are ever in the Star restaurant in Elko NV there is a new rifle with a split barrel hanging over the bar. Prior facility owner got snow in it while hunting. About a foot of space between then sides of the barrel at the muzzle. Said it was a real shorts changer.

Matt304
January 3, 2008, 01:37 PM
The partially engaged lugs sheared, the bolt came out of the rifle at some velocity...the handle breaking and nearly severing his right thumb. It continued rearward through his bicep and partly through the shoulder and ended up lodged in a building some yards behind.

Holy ****. That springs a new sense of awareness for my firing pins; I'll never forget that one. It would be nice if there were different receiver criteria in the big guns like these. For instance some secondary set of lugs that could be unlocked so you still can remove the bolt, but to protect you in the event of an out of battery fire.

10s&Xs
January 3, 2008, 02:04 PM
Couple years ago I was about 10 feet away from a catastrophic rifle failure. Guy was shooting a military bolt action, can't remember if it was an 03 or a Krag. I was walking behind the shooting line and had just passed him when it sounded like someone set off a .50 BMG. Heard the huge boom, felt the concussion, looked back and saw wood splinters raining down. He had a few cuts on his face, and a very stunned expression, but he wasn't seriously injured.

Apparently he was making "reduced" loads using some kind of pistol powder (possibly Unique). He claimed it was the dreaded "detonation," but everyone else was pretty sure it was at least a double charge.

50 Shooter
January 3, 2008, 02:53 PM
The first one I saw was in a mini 14 that my brother was shooting when we were kids, the second mini 14 I saw chunk was about 10 years ago. In both cases neither shooter was injured, my brothers rifle was a complete loss and my friends was repaired.

Another friend had his AR kaboom, luckily he came out of it okay but the upper was a complete loss. He was shooting factory ammo at the time so I don't know what could've caused it. He sent the upper back to Colt, never got an answer on the cause but they sent him a complete upper.

Another friend was shooting his M2, he bought some cheap ammo from TNW and had it kaboom. Luckily Ma Deuce is one bad momma and all that happened (other then being showered with brass) was the top cover was warped. We took it off and beat it back into shape enough to get the M2 running again! Here's a pic of the offending garbage from TNW and I warn any new or old .50 shooters to avoid it.

http://www.daplane.com/50bmg/ds2005/tnw50_fail00.jpg

The Annoyed Man
January 3, 2008, 04:40 PM
My old shooting buddy from years ago, who has since gone to meet his Maker, was a Sheriff's Deputy in L.A. County for a very long time. He told me he was present at the Sheriff's outdoor firing range were a new Ruger revolver (I recall it as having been a GP100 in .357 magnum) was tested to destruction. They put the pistol in a machine rest and fired a squib round via some sort of remote control device to deliberately stop up the barrel. They then fired 4 more regular rounds (also by remote control) down the barrel. The barrel bulged outward, and eventually the frame twisted up enough that that the cylinder would not rotate the last round into position; but the gun never blew up.

mikec
January 3, 2008, 04:54 PM
Several years back there was a guy who worked for a firearms distributor/parts shop who died while he was shooting an old Lee Navy rifle. I don't remember what the cause was but he did suffer a head wound.

Just remember everything we use can kill you if you screw up enough. Electricity has killed how many? Cars? Scuba tanks... The list goes on and on. Since everyone does die, my goal is go AFTER my body is old and tired and used up not BEFORE!!!

creekerdoug
January 3, 2008, 04:55 PM
Unfortunately, I was involved with the destruction of a FAL. One of my closest friends had a DSA para lower installed on his FAL by a local FAL "expert". The so called expert installed the lower and the new bolt and all the other bits and pieces but he was, apparently, way off on his head spacing. My friend fired a few rounds and then let me have a go with it.

I was shooting off a bench. When I pulled the trigger my head was suddenly in a cloud of smoke. I felt something hit my leg and my feet. The recoil was what I expect from a FAL (I own a couple myself) but the sound was very different. It didn't sound like a gun shot. It was more like an explosion.

A piece of the barrel, by the chamber, just disappeared ruining the barrel. The magazine stayed in the gun but it the botton of the magazine blew out and the unfired rounds fell onto my leg and feet. The bottom of the magazine was bell shaped. The rear of the exploded round was basically gone and about 75% of the empty shell was lodged in the chamber. While I didn't see it a couple of onlookers said that pieces of metal departed the gun and headed off to the right. Fortunately, no spectators were injured. This was not an experience I'd care to repeat. Other than a good scare I suffered no injuries.

My friend and the "expert" had what I believe to be a very unpleasant face to face meeting a few days after the event.......

The rifle was sent to DSA (where it should have been sent to begin with) and they couldn't salvage the receiver. The upside is DSA took his para lower and put in a new receiver with a new 16" barrel. My friend now had one very nice FAL.

rino451
January 3, 2008, 04:56 PM
http://www.bluegrassarmory.com/Viper_HiSpeed.wmv

Check out tests 3, 4, and 5. Impressive...
* Test 1, shows the normal recoil of a 50 BMG.
* Test 2, shows the recoil of a 50 BMG without the muzzle brake.
* Test 3, is the 50 BMG being fired with the barrel full of mud.
* Test 4, is the 50 BMG being fired with the barrel full of sand.
* Test 5, is the 50 BMG being fired with the barrel plugged by tapping the bore and screwing 2, 9/16 set screws into the bore.

Wes Janson
January 3, 2008, 11:30 PM
Hey 50 shooter, that looks an awful lot like those pictures of Talon posted on M2HB a few days ago...scary!

I've seen private video footage of an AR-15 blowing up...half a dozen people standing within five feet, and no one was struck by any of the fragments. Best theory was a squib or underloaded round leaving a bullet just before the gas port...

litman252
January 4, 2008, 01:47 AM
I handled a buckmark 22 pistol after it blew up, barrel ok, slide stuck back, "topstrap" raised a 1/4" and springs hanging every ware. Sent to Browning, new one came back. I don't believe the woman shooting it at the time has ever shot again, even though she was uninjured.

Tony

PercyShelley
January 4, 2008, 05:32 AM
Apparently he was making "reduced" loads using some kind of pistol powder (possibly Unique). He claimed it was the dreaded "detonation," but everyone else was pretty sure it was at least a double charge.

I've read that if you don't have enough of the case volume filled with powder, the primer flash can vaporize the powder, rather than inducing it to properly deflagrate with a nice, smooth pressure curve, and the vapors can then detonate a few fractions of a second later, causing a catastrophic pressure spike. This is the bane, apparently, of subsonic loading.

I'm not going to say that's what happened there, but it does at least seem to be an known phenomenon.

Wes Janson
January 4, 2008, 11:56 AM
I handled a buckmark 22 pistol after it blew up, barrel ok, slide stuck back, "topstrap" raised a 1/4" and springs hanging every ware. Sent to Browning, new one came back. I don't believe the woman shooting it at the time has ever shot again, even though she was uninjured.

Saw something very similar a few months back, in person, with one of the small Taurus .22 pocket pistols with the flip-up barrel. Shooter was complaining of jamming problems, and then shortly thereafter it popped. Examination suggested to me that the cartridge stopped about 1/8" or so out of battery, and the design allowed for the hammer to strike the firing pin in that condition. No injuries, but it really trashed the grips, connector, springs, etc. Saw something very similar happen to a polymer-framed Bersa .380 a few years back as well.

Ratshooter
January 4, 2008, 12:20 PM
There is a shooting range in Ft Worth TX that has an exploded rifle mounted on the wall. An 8mm was fired in a 30-06. They blame bullet diameter for the blow up.

My grandfather was a gunsmith in the 50s thru the 70s. He bought a lot of rifle barrels from P.O. Ackley. In one letter to my grandfather he (Ackley) offered him a barrel in 35 Whelen chambering but with a 30 caliber bore. The purpose was to show that an oversize bullet would not blow up the gun as long as the cartridge fit the chamber. My GF took him up on the offer and shoot the 35 through the 30 bore with no blow ups.

My GF built a rifle for a man who brought it back a week later with a split barrel and shattered stock. He had loaded his rounds with bullseye instead of 4350. The gun was rebuilt. Never have two powders on your loading bench at the same time.

The was an article a while back in Rifle or Handloader that talked about someone who had rechambered a jap Arisaka 6.5 to 30-06 and shot it. The gun did not blow up.

I guess this stuff can be done but i am content to just read about myself.

Bailey Boat
January 4, 2008, 05:54 PM
The only one I have ever seen is the famous under charge of bullseye. Bulged the top strap and took out a good sized chunk of the cylinder. (on the opposite side of the gun from where I was, Thank God) Ruined a really nice 6" S & W.......

sinistr
January 4, 2008, 07:25 PM
i was standing behind my friend firing his hk93 when an american eagle round had a case seperation.it blew the rollers out,knocked the acog off his clawmount,and sprayed black crap all over his face and hands.amazingly he was unhurt,i kept the offending brass,because i nor any of the r.o.es had ever seen a round end up like that.i don't know what the cause was,but after that event, i can't shoot commercial .223 anymore.

Iron Sight
January 4, 2008, 07:43 PM
Took this pic in a liquor store (Green Onion) in Wyoming. Story is there was ice in the barrel?

TehK1w1
January 4, 2008, 10:44 PM
At the range where I shoot, there's a rifle mounted up on the wall with a description of what happened to it.

I haven't looked at in in a while, so bear with me if I get a detail or two wrong.

It's a bolt action rifle, and I believe it is in .25-06 caliber. It's a high quality rifle with nice bluing and beautiful wood. I want to say it's an old Weatherby, but I'm not really sure. I remember that it has basket weave checkering on the stock.

Somebody loaded that poor rifle with the wrong cartridge. I'm pretty sure it was a .308.

The Carter's Country on Treashwig? :)

Yes, it was a .25-06 that had a .308 round fired through it. I don't recall the model.

lencac
January 4, 2008, 11:08 PM
If any of you folks out there remember reading this chime in. A number of years ago in one of the guns mags, I think Guns & Ammo they did tests on a number of differant military rifles. I think a Swede Mauser, K98, 03, and I think a jap Arisaka. But what they did was to progressively start overloading the cartridge to see what would happen. But long story short I think they got 'em to do things like bulge the barrel, break the stocks, blow out the magazines, things like that but I don't think they ever got even one of them to have the receiver or bolt fail in a fashion that would have allowed the bolt to hit the shooter.
Also on US military rifles of old like 03s, Garands when you see the "P" stamped in a square on the stock I believe that means the rifle was fired 5 times with overloaded ammo at the arsenal when built and the "P" is the "proof" mark that it passed this test. If anyone has more detailed info on that process it would be interesting to know.

cracked butt
January 5, 2008, 07:38 AM
Quote:

Apparently he was making "reduced" loads using some kind of pistol powder (possibly Unique). He claimed it was the dreaded "detonation," but everyone else was pretty sure it was at least a double charge.

I've read that if you don't have enough of the case volume filled with powder, the primer flash can vaporize the powder, rather than inducing it to properly deflagrate with a nice, smooth pressure curve, and the vapors can then detonate a few fractions of a second later, causing a catastrophic pressure spike. This is the bane, apparently, of subsonic loading.

Fast burning pistol/shotgun powders are not a problem with reduced loads, but slow burning rifle powders possibly are- but that's debatable as noone has ever been able to duplicate the so-called 'secondary explosion effect'. Double charges of pistol powders will disassemble most firearms easily.

I've seen 3 destroyed guns in person, though I didn't see the events happen. Two were pump shotguns- a Remington and a mossberg that had an obstructed bore resulting int he barrels banana-peeling, the thrid was a Ruger M77 that a guy was shooting reduced loads in which he freely admits to it being caused by a double charge.

atblis
January 5, 2008, 12:12 PM
Local shop had a 7mm STW that somebody had fired with the barrel plugged full of snow/mud (don't use your rifle as a walking stick kiddies).

I am sure that was pleasant on the ears.

rero360
January 5, 2008, 01:08 PM
I witnessed a M2 have a round detonate on the feed tray, at least thats what we cold guess what happened, my buddy was shooting, I was down in the truck, driving if i remember correctly. he was shooting away then it just sounded different, later on we went back and found the remains of the round. brass was torn into 5 pieces, primer remover. damage to the gun was blown out and twisted J block, distorted round stop. no injury to my buddy though.

I've also seen a M16 A2 fire out of battery but all that happened was it destroyed the mag and scared the kid, no damage to the rifle itself.

RugerOldArmy
January 5, 2008, 01:13 PM
...loaded his rounds with bullseye instead of 4350...

DOH!!!

I arrived at our range one day, and was unloading near the 100 meter rifle range when one guy (suprisingly with a lot of experience) had a kaboom that was dramatic. He had cleaned his rifle from the breech and the patch had come off, so he had pushed the ramrod from the muzzle to push out the patch. He started talking with folks, put the bolt back in, talked some more, chambered another .300 Win Mag, talked some more....(quite the chatterbox, this guy!)

Then, he fired a round WITH THE RAMROD STILL IN THE BARREL. It destroyed the rifle. Burst barrel, shattered stock, and the ramrod flew quite a ways downrange. His face was covered with blood from embedded stock pieces, but he was essentially unhurt, but it had looked very, very, serious for a moment, and the recoil had pushed him off the bench.

I had seen that rifle before, and it had had one of the finest pieces of walnut I had ever seen.

Pay attention to what you're doing!

LeibstandarteAdH
January 5, 2008, 04:52 PM
Its more common with shotguns I think than rifles. Thats partly why the shells are color coded. A 20 Ga will slide down a 12 Ga barrel half way then get caught.

How can that possibly cause overpressure if you cant even set it off?

AK103K
January 5, 2008, 05:23 PM
I had a DCM GI Garand go hand grenade on me in a match. It slam fired on GI LC ammo. Luckily, it was during the slow fire stage and I was single loading, if it had been in my shoulder, I probably would not be here. The charging handle let me have a bunch of stitches, and you could read the head stamp from the case in reverse on my palm. The bolt was blown to the rear hard enough to blow the back of the receiver off into oblivion (never found it, or the front half of the case). The stock was cracked and a big chunk blown off at rear where it met the receiver.

DCM gave me a brand new, and I mean brand new, never issued H&R. At the time, you didnt see, nor could you buy them like that. They never did tell me what they thought the cause was. My guess was something to do with the firing pin. I did not detail strip the bolt when I got it, although I did clean it out well with Gun Scrubber and the firing pin seemed OK.

To this day, I can still see the bolt on an M1 or M1A working as I shoot without thinking about it. Took me awhile to be comfortable shooting them after that, even though I did right away. I'm very picky about the ammo they get now, and I only use a SLED in the M1 for the slow fire strings. No more loose round in the chamber and let the bolt go.

gp911
January 5, 2008, 05:35 PM
LeibstandarteAdH,

...by following it with a 12ga. shell and then firing?

*racks pump*

*pulls trigger*

:uhoh:

:mad:

*racks pump*

*pulls trigger*

:eek:

gp911

atblis
January 5, 2008, 05:53 PM
20 gauge shell will wedge in the forcing cone.

Goes like this.

You load your gun.
Sometime later you go to shoot and it goes click.
You open the gun and there's no shell in the chamber. Doh, you for got to load it.
Drop a shell in.
Go to shoot and Kaboom!!!
The 20 gauge shell that you accidentally loaded earlier slid down into the forcing cone.

Easy to do in the middle of a hunt.

LeibstandarteAdH
January 5, 2008, 06:15 PM
Ahh.. you'd have to intermix them, now i see.

lencac
January 5, 2008, 06:21 PM
This post is starting to scare me especially AK103K's post

AndyC
January 5, 2008, 09:55 PM
Two revolver kabooms stand out - I was on RO duty both times (South African range).

1. Brand new .44 Mag Ruger Super Redhawk on its first range-trip - the top-strap let go with factory ammunition.

2. Taurus .357 Mag 6" - shooter was cranking away fast DA with handloads; I heard the pop of a squib on around the 4th round and was opening my mouth to yell a warning when he touched-off the next round; blew out the entire top-strap and the top half of the cylinder.

Neither shooter injured although one visitor took shrapnel in the second incident.

Matt304
January 5, 2008, 10:12 PM
I heard the pop of a squib on around the 4th round and was opening my mouth to yell a warning

Just what does a squib sound like when it happens? Is it still a "bang" like the gun fired? Or is it small enough that the shooter thinks nothing actually happened? I'm just curious how you would not notice a squib.

AndyC
January 5, 2008, 10:19 PM
It's a soft "pop", about the same as one of those old toy cap-guns - fire a case with only a primer in it, no powder or bullet, and you'll recognise it if it ever happens to you (unless you're shooting too quickly to notice, like that chap was doing) ;)

Corelogik
January 5, 2008, 11:15 PM
The only catastrophic failure I have ever witnessed was when I was about 11. My step dad had some unknown 12 ga. O/U. He fired the first round and the stock basically disintegrated. Looked more like a spear than a stock when the smoke cleared. He was picking gunpowder, wood and fragments out of his face for weeks.

At the time, the shotgun was thrown about 10' and the firing pin area was warped. To this day I don't know what caused it but I remember it clearly, I was supposed to shoot it next after he test fired it for safety.

brigadier
January 5, 2008, 11:27 PM
Peterson did some tests on the M-1 Garand early in it's life to see how much it could take. The gun didn't start to crack until they put loads of 120,000psi in to it and it only started to crack. Afterwards, they put lighter but still very hot ammo in it (somewhere between 60,000 and 70,000psi if I remember correctly) and the gun still shot just fine despite having a crack in the receiver.
That's pretty impressive since the hottest SAAMI rated load is only 65,000psi!

One thing I would like to see is more effort to reduce the damage of catastrophic failures if they happen. Beretta for instance made a pretty nifty little feature which involved putting a rim on the mainspring pivot pin and a gap in the slide for it to fit in. If the slide separates, that mechanism catches the slide, causing no damage to the shooter. It may be good to put something made out of light but solid metal under the barrel with padded gripping so that if the barrel peals against the shooter, it will inflict little harm. As for bolts, I guess this varies from gun to gun but it should be easy to make the receiver to where it catches the bolt in the event of a backfire.

ElToro
January 6, 2008, 03:24 AM
at my local shop hanging on the wall is a 12 ga with teh top blown out.

typical 12 behind a 20.

i have seen photos of a S&W with 2 of the charge wholes blown out from 1 bad round.

I am having an 1893 turk mauser built that was re-heat treated in the 30s i plan to put a few rounds of ammo thru it at first by pulling string from a ways back. if it holds together, then i will put my face on it and shoot it and inspect it every few dozen rounds for any stress. not super worried since they were re-aresenaled to 8mm in the 30s by the turks. whats a few thousand psi / cup among friends ?

AK103K
January 6, 2008, 10:06 AM
Peterson did some tests on the M-1 Garand early in it's life to see how much it could take. The gun didn't start to crack until they put loads of 120,000psi in to it and it only started to crack. Afterwards, they put lighter but still very hot ammo in it (somewhere between 60,000 and 70,000psi if I remember correctly) and the gun still shot just fine despite having a crack in the receiver.
That's pretty impressive since the hottest SAAMI rated load is only 65,000psi!

I dont doubt the M1's, or M14's for that matter, will hold together IF the bolt is locked up. The only problems I've ever heard them having is what I had happen, the gun fired out of battery.

While it is a fairly rare occurrence when you consider the number of rifles being used, its does seem to happen fairly regularly to some extent and at various levels of catastrophe. Over the years, I've personally seen guns that "doubled" without issue, but when the brass was recovered, the neck was blown out distorted or missing.

I've also seen a couple of others in pics where the rifle was in pieces. The last M1 I saw like that was here on one of the forums. It was a new made Springfield that came apart badly. The stock split lengthwise the whole length and the metal was in pieces. They must have had the lawyers on that pretty quick, the thread disappeared in just a day or so and I havent seen anything about it since. There is also that M14 kaboom that shows up now and then thats in little pieces.

bobsmith
January 6, 2008, 06:44 PM
Not a catastrophic failure but probably very close. The attached pic is of a .30-06 round fired in a M-1 Garand. The pressure was so high that it formed a belt on the unsupported portion of the case. The brass sticking out the rim of the shell actually flowed into the extractor and ejector cuts of the M-1's bolt face. The case head measures .487 where it should be closer to .473. The primer pocket is oval measuring .245 x .254 where it should measure .208-.209. Explanation of events leading to the incident are that the shooter ran out of brass for his match loads so he purchased a couple boxes of Federal loaded ammo from Pay N' Save. He went home and pulled the bullets, emptied the powder then loaded the shells up with his own loads using the Federal primers. Come match day, half way into the shoot, he gets this boom and a bunch of smoke coming out of the receiver of his M-1 Garand. thankfully, the strong M-1 Garand holds up to the apparent overload. Next day he discovers that the barrel has come loose of the receiver. Speculation is that he never completely emptied the factory powder charge from the Federal case and loaded his own charge over the left over powder resulting in a mixed powder charge.

Trash
January 7, 2008, 01:22 AM
About four months ago I was right next to a guy shooting a brand new Weatherby Mk V in .240 Weatherby Mag. First 20 rounds went off without a hitch. There was a cease fire for target changes and then the line went hot again. I just finished a 10 round string when I heard an unusually loud boom. My first thought was "who snuck in the .50 BMG?" Came off the scope and looked to my left to see the bolt of this guy's brand new Weatherby impaled in his face.

Blood was flowing and he was stunned (obviously). Bolt was driven a good 1 1/2 inches into his face just below his eye socket. I began first aid, got the line cease fired and had someone call 911. It was surreal. Blood was pumping out with each heart beat and this guy didn't have a clue he was wearing half his gun on his face.

The gun looked like someone put a grenade in the mag well. The stock (synthetic) fractured and blew apart on either side of the mag well. The mag well itself was obliterated into a half dozen pieces. The bolt was wedged in the guys face past the thickest point on the Weatherby bolt and eventually fell out. The bolt handle was found about a half hour later some 40 feet away. The bolt face was destroyed, bolt handle broken off, and 7 of 9 lugs sheared. Surprisingly I didn't notice any barrel bulging or peeling. Barrel was clear and there was no hole in his fresh target. The only part of the brass ever found (the next day) was the face sans primer. Everything else was effectively vaporized as far as I was concerned.

Luckily, he was airlifted out and in surgery within 3 hours. No vision loss or damage to his eye. His orbital socket was fractured, jaw broken, several teeth knocked out and several frag puncture wounds on his left arm. He had a steel plate installed near his temple and under his eye and his jaw was wired shut. Surgeon stated it looked like a broken egg shell when he got inside for repair.

I don't know the exact cause as to what happened as I haven't had a chance to talk with him again since I saw him in the hospital two days after the event. I think he spent 4-5 days in the hospital. He was expected to fully recover.

Whind Soull
January 7, 2008, 01:43 AM
Trash,

Any idea what caused that? That's pretty disturbing.

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