spring field barrel failure


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patkeltx
March 1, 2010, 10:06 AM
I'm in need of some help to understand the root cause for this barrel failure on a Sprinfield gi 1911.

Firearm; Springfield GI model two months old. Modifications to firearm are; Installed wilson commander hammer and beavertail. This Springfield has worked perfectly until now.

Ammo; Reloads; Federal brass, 230gr cast bullets, Hodgdon universal powder @ 4.6grs, Fedral large pistol powder. COL @ 1.245. Approximatly 5000 rounds reloaded to date with absolutly no issues. All round have been extremely consistant. I have reloaded for my other firearm for the last year with absolutly no issues. Extremely pleasd with the performance of my reloads.

Situation: I was participating in the local pistol club steel target shoot. On my second station, third shot in a round of six. Third shot fired normal. Empty shell casing did not eject. Barrel locked up in the barrel bushing as the slide was cycling back to eject empty casing. Firearm was take apart on site. Barrel was found to have buldge in the end under barrel bushing. When measured the buldge was.030 larger in the failed are. Basicly the barrel had balloned out in the area just behind the critical area of fitment between the barrel and bushing. Needless to say that the barrel bushing will not slide on to the barrel more than about 1/4 inch. This barrel is trashed. I'm confused as to what my have caused this type of failure.

Any thoughts on this situation would be great. Thanks in advance!

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SharpsDressedMan
March 1, 2010, 11:56 AM
You didn't have a barrel failure, you had a bullet stop in the barrel, and the next shot bulged it while clearing the stuck bullet out. The barrel actually saved the rest of the the gun from damage.:)

lilidiot
March 1, 2010, 12:02 PM
I saw the problem when "RELOADS" were mentioned. :what:

Baphomet
March 1, 2010, 12:15 PM
You didn't have a barrel failure, you had a bullet stop in the barrel, and the next shot bulged it while clearing the stuck bullet out. The barrel actually saved the rest of the the gun from damage.
Hmmm... I'm unclear on how many shots were fired. OP makes it sound (to me anyway) that all shooting stopped after round three, since the empty did not extract/eject. This would ruin your theory about round four clearing the squib-load barrel-blockage and bring us back to square one.

Or I could be totally misreading this...

patkeltx
March 1, 2010, 12:43 PM
I did consider the squib possibility but, of the three previous shots fired, each at a different steel plate, three shots fired, three plates struck (confirmed by strike mark on each plate. Plates are repainted after each shooter.) Nine other witnesses all confirmed shots fired properly and plates struck. third round shell caseing lodged in breach. How can this be possible? If squib, that would mean shot two was without or partial powder charge. If shot was fired on top of a squib I would expect a Kboom! All shots fired were perfect in the way of felt recolt, sound, and striking target! Dazed and amazed!

patkeltx
March 1, 2010, 12:49 PM
In case my first statement of situation was not clear, Three shots fired, three plates struck. Third empty shell casing did not eject. Lodged in breach. after removal shell casing showed no signs of damage of any type.

ar10
March 1, 2010, 01:25 PM
If you fired 3 shots and each hit the plates and the 4th blew the barrel the fault has to be in the reloads. My guess is the bullet got pushed back into case causing excessive pressure. ( I did read whether or not the bullet was still in the chamber).
Whatever the reason SA will not honor replacements if the gun was shooting reloaded ammo. (Been there, done that).

Baphomet
March 1, 2010, 02:47 PM
Okay, so I am understanding you correctly then: Three shots fired. NOT four. All three shots felt normal to you (recoil) all three went "boom" and three plates fell over. Since three shots were fired and three plates fell, and since shooting stopped after this third shot (since the case from round three is now lodged in the chamber), I think we can rule out a "squib" load. Something caused the excessive pressure that bulged your barrel and it happened on that third round. The bullet getting set back in the case is as logical a conclusion as any. If I had to guess you'll probably never know for certain what caused it though.

Steve C
March 1, 2010, 03:33 PM
To get a barrel to bulge at the muzzle end you probably had some kind of barrel obstruction. That could have been a suck bullet, part of a bullet or just extreme lead accumulation.

Your load is pretty "middle of the road" and you would have noticed a double charge, maybe not a lower overcharge though.

patkeltx
March 1, 2010, 03:35 PM
baphomet, you understand correct. There was never a fourth round as the third shot spent shell casing was never fully ejected. Yes, three shots and three plates fell. All shots felt perfectly normal. barrell was checked with wooden dowel. Barrel was clear. Just can't figure out source of high pressure under these circumstances! One slightly used barrel for sale! Thanks

SlamFire1
March 1, 2010, 03:56 PM
To get a barrel to bulge at the muzzle end you probably had some kind of barrel obstruction.

Yupe.

Maybe a comet plugged up your barrel at the moment of firing.

Either that, or something wrong with shot number two.

m2steven
March 1, 2010, 07:00 PM
Your story sounds good to me. It's entirely possible your loading equipment gave you an accidental hot load or there was a powder inconsistency of some type. Regardless, there could actually have been a metallurgical problem with the barrel and you have what you have and you may never determine why you have it. I'd just be happy no one is the worse for it. It does sound as if you had a squibb but if you didn't, I'm not sure Grissom could figure this one out.

SharpsDressedMan
March 1, 2010, 07:30 PM
It really doesn't matter how many rounds you fired, think you fired, etc. You had a barrel obstruction, the barrel bulged, you need a new barrel, and most likely, your gun is o.k. otherwise. The number of rounds can remain a mystery; the results are the same. Sorry it happened to you. I had something similar take out a Colt match barrel on my customized series 70 years ago.

GIJOEL
March 1, 2010, 09:03 PM
Although a barrel obstruction sounds like the answer; What if the barrel was not properly heat treated? If in a rapid fire situation the barrel could have heated up and the pressure could have then bulged the barrel. Bad heat treating can produce localized strenght issues and or softness or brittleness. I would call Springfield and ask them about it, if they had a bad batch of barrels they might replace it. Never hurts to ask.

patkeltx
March 1, 2010, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the response. The mystery will continue!

Double Naught Spy
March 1, 2010, 09:29 PM
Do you have a ring around the inside of the barrel at the bulge?

NMGonzo
March 1, 2010, 10:01 PM
Barrels are cheap.

Hands are expensive.

Glad you are ok.

Full Metal Jacket
March 1, 2010, 10:03 PM
you're Springfield armory 1911 did not fail you, you're reloads did.

Hatterasguy
March 1, 2010, 11:36 PM
Sounds like a reload was loaded a bit hot.

But I'd send it back to Springfield and see what they say.

gglass
March 2, 2010, 09:23 AM
Full Metal Jacket
you're Springfield armory 1911 did not fail you, you're reloads did.

Truer words were never spoken.

patkeltx
March 2, 2010, 02:58 PM
yes, there is a ring on the inside of the barrel

rcmodel
March 2, 2010, 03:25 PM
If in a rapid fire situation the barrel could have heated up and the pressure could have then bulged the barrel.Not going to happen.
Simply not possible to get a pistol barrel hot enough to deform the metal. Even in a sub-machinegun.

The only way to ring a barrel at the muzzle end is a bore obstruction from a stuck bullet or a mud daubers nest.

All the pressure is handled in the thicker chamber section of the barrel.
There is not enough remaining pressure left to bulge a barrel at the wrong end unless something stopped it up there.

It might be conceivable a cast bullet fractured in the bore and left the base stuck in the bore?
I have never heard of it, but I suppose it could happen if the bullet was crystallized or had a big void or air pocket in the middle and blew out the base to prevent it making it out of the bore..

I couldn't guess what did it, but a stuck bullet it is about 99.999% of the time.

rc

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