Muzzleloader blowup. Caution, don't open if your squeamish.


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Pulp
November 1, 2012, 11:22 PM
This happened to a feller from a nearby town. The newspaper said he'd cleaned his rifle, then popped a cap on it to clear the flashhole. I'd reckon there's more to the story, unless someone is making some super caps.

http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh586/tmcdan6/2012-10-279514005895116653.jpg

Here's his left hand, after surgery:

http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/hh586/tmcdan6/PART95135152956382699527874.jpg

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zimmerstutzen
November 1, 2012, 11:27 PM
Looks like the same pictures that were floating around two years ago

FreddyKruger
November 1, 2012, 11:54 PM
probably another "the powder is black so it must be black powder"...

it isnt another one of those muzzle loaders that were labeled as safe for smokeless is it?

Swing
November 2, 2012, 12:13 AM
@ the hand pic--OUCH!

unknwn
November 2, 2012, 12:27 AM
%&#$ing nightmare !

theshephard
November 2, 2012, 12:35 AM
The swelling will go down..

Jim, West PA
November 2, 2012, 12:52 AM
Mmmmm...looks like far too many pieces fer one Bbl.

Busyhands94
November 2, 2012, 01:07 AM
Good lord, that doesn't look good. The guy must have not seated the bullet firmly and assumed it was unloaded (you should always assume every gun is loaded, period) or perhaps he thought that since Bullseye is black he could just shoot 100 grains of it.
Well... when I load 12 gauge with 700X I only need 17.5 grains and I get the same velocity as 81 grains of real black.

Patocazador
November 2, 2012, 10:27 AM
The swelling will go down..
Will the thumb grow back too?

raa-7
November 2, 2012, 10:39 AM
Hi to all my fellow shooters/firearm enthusiasts :D My first post on this forum! Holy @#%$#@! ! He's very lucky to be alive from that, and hope the best for this guy.Does anyone know if this is something that happened recently? That was a bad one :eek:

dogrunner
November 2, 2012, 10:55 AM
dollar to a donut that's a consequence of about a hundred grains of Bullseye, or somesuch, under a ?!!!

Pulp
November 2, 2012, 11:24 AM
It happened last week-end. While I don't personally know the feller, I work with several of his friends. I heard yesterday, that after cleaning it, he put some loose BP in the barrel before he popped the cap. That still doesn't explain what happened. Loose BP is not gonna do that. I'm thinking maybe three 777 pellets and a bullet not fully seated. But that is just guessing on my part.

CraigC
November 2, 2012, 11:24 AM
I'd bet $500 the thumbless dude did something dumb.......real dumb.

jimwill48
November 2, 2012, 11:36 AM
With that much destruction, has to be smokeless powder a full hunting load of it. Any unconfined BP or sub could'nt build that much pressure. Not sure if a double loaded charge ( 6 - 50gr Pyrodex pellets or a huge amount of loose powder) and a projectile not seated all the way down could do this.

frontiergander
November 2, 2012, 12:39 PM
And thats why you dont shoot SMOKELESS powder in a muzzle loader! If the dang idiots would real the owners manual or the fact the barrel says " Black powder only".

Kyle M.
November 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
Looks like someone got some smokeless in there. If he wanted to use smokeless in his muzzle loader he should have bought a savage.

frontiergander
November 2, 2012, 01:06 PM
i dont even think the savage would have saved this moron LOL. It looks like he put a ton of SML powder in there for it to twist and turn that barrel like it did. He was shooting it thats for certain, otherwise is left hand would not have been where it was.

Cosmoline
November 2, 2012, 03:36 PM
Pulp, where are exactly are you getting those photos? I'm not doubting the story, but oftentimes a random accident photo will get tacked onto an account and get spread from place to place before someone realizes it's unrelated. The giant Alaska mankiller bear photos are a great example. So it's always good to source your photos with a link or description of where they came from.

theshephard
November 2, 2012, 10:02 PM
Will the thumb grow back too?
yeah, sorry if it wasn't clear - my post was intentionally an understatement registering my shock at the totality of the damage. This man obviously has far, far more to worry about with his hand than temporary swelling. :/

BCRider
November 2, 2012, 10:34 PM
Given that Pulp knows some folks in common with the guy I would say that we have to take these pictures as related to the guy's story for now until proven otherwise.

And I gotta agree with the others that there's far more to the story than what the guy said while in shock.

First off why in blazes would someone clean their rifle then put some BP into the bore along with a cap to "flash" the gun? Seems like the powder would then require that it be cleaned all over again. Or could he have tried to clear a dry ball and picked up the wrong powder and got more into the chamber than he bargained for?


On a related note and just to cement the need to double and triple check the powders being used there was a fellow up this way that suffered a blown up gun, VERY serious injuries and from what I've heard the loss of his right eye. He was loading some handgun rounds then switched the machine over to rifle. Well, I guess you can imagine what he forgot to do, right? Near as anyone can tell he loaded up the rifle rounds with handgun powder.

Surprisingly enough the Remington 700 didn't blow up on the FIRST shot. There was a helluva BANG! that startled everyone but since they didn't know what sort of rounds he was shooting no one thought to stop him before he chambered the next and pulled the trigger. The lugs on the bolt snapped off, the receiver split into three parts and generally the whole middle of the gun became a pipe bomb. The bolt shot directly back and pulverized his eye and other lacerations and injuries were done generally to his upper body. But the eye and forehead were the key ones.

So just be doubly sure that you KNOW what powder is going into what casings or into flasks and the like. It's simply too easy to mess up if our minds are not on the task.

For my part during reloading the powder jar sits at the loader and on top of that when I've filled the hopper and graduated the powder drop a bit of masking tape with the powder and charge is put right on the hopper. It takes a few seconds and for the most part seems like a waste of time. But if doing so can jog my memory at some point in the future then all these added time wasters are worth the few moments.

Jaymo
November 3, 2012, 12:40 AM
Looks like he loaded it with flash powder.

Busyhands94
November 3, 2012, 03:09 AM
Jaymo, that could be the case.

I'm no medical expert, I've only been to the ER a couple of times. One of which was when I nearly died choking on a piece of steak. And it was delicious even if it nearly put my 6 feet in a hole, lol. Death never tasted so good. Anyway, what are those little yellow bead looking things attached to his hand?

Patocazador
November 3, 2012, 05:40 AM
yeah, sorry if it wasn't clear - my post was intentionally an understatement registering my shock at the totality of the damage. This man obviously has far, far more to worry about with his hand than temporary swelling. :/
I understood. I was being sarcastic too. Sarcasm doesn't translate well in print.

Foto Joe
November 3, 2012, 10:00 AM
We'd all like to think that Black Powder couldn't do this to a gun that was designed to shoot it. The reality of it is, we don't know what happened.

Pulp,

If you get more news on exactly what happened let us know. I'd prefer NOT to replicate his misfortune if you know what I mean.

arcticap
November 3, 2012, 10:40 AM
Anyway, what are those little yellow bead looking things attached to his hand?

I think that they're covering the surgical pins that are sticking out of the ends of his fingers.
Those pins might be holding broken finger bones in place in order for them to heal.
Two more can be seen sticking out of his lower hand.

345 DeSoto
November 3, 2012, 11:30 AM
From my experience in combat, that does NOT look like his rifle exloding did that...

Loyalist Dave
November 3, 2012, 01:06 PM
I have seen two other sets of wound photos when a modern inline barrel went up, and that looks typical, though the loss of the thumb makes me think in this case this was the largest of the three loads of which I have seen the aftermath.

Loose BP is not gonna do that.

Well probably not in a rifle barrel, BUT don't think that can't happen with loose powder in a thin walled barrel like a shotgun or musket. If you poured say 80 grains down a barrel that had some residual grease, and coated a portion of the barrel with some powder while the rest went to the breech, and then touched it off... the secondary ignition of the powder that stuck to the grease could very well cause a secondary explosion that acts like a bore obstruction, if it was far enough away from the thicker breech area of the barrel.

LD

frontiergander
November 3, 2012, 01:34 PM
smokeless

Foto Joe
November 3, 2012, 02:07 PM
Not that I want to fan the flames of speculation here but....

Acetone (acetalyne) fumes from cleaning and a cap to clear the barrel could = REALLY BIG BANG!!

rondog
November 3, 2012, 02:16 PM
Wow! I wonder if the feller that was holding his beer is OK?

drsfmd
November 3, 2012, 05:34 PM
Not that I want to fan the flames of speculation here but....

Acetone (acetalyne) fumes from cleaning and a cap to clear the barrel could = REALLY BIG BANG!!

Only if there were also a bore obstruction. Besides, that would take a lot more than a few post-cleaning fumes to blow like that.

jimmyraythomason
November 3, 2012, 06:12 PM
THIS is how you blow up a muzzle loader!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7GNFFcSOK8

Cosmoline
November 4, 2012, 12:55 PM
Well unless Pulp returns with more details, it's all speculation.

Busyhands94
November 4, 2012, 01:49 PM
Maybe he didn't know where you could just go and buy black powder, or thought there was some special licensing needed. So Mr. Johnny Smart Guy decided it would just be easier/cheaper to take apart a couple hundred black cats and use the powder. After all, it explodes vaguely like BP, doesn't it?

4v50 Gary
November 4, 2012, 01:57 PM
From my experience in combat, that does NOT look like his rifle exloding did that...

Normally explosions go forward and way from the shooter. I suspect the shooter had his hand on the forearm and it was there that it exploded.

col.lemat
November 4, 2012, 02:01 PM
Really hope his thumb grows back

alsaqr
November 5, 2012, 09:38 PM
A muzzleloader kaboom. Think it was a failure to seat the bullet on the powder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtY1bT4Hh2g

Deltaboy
November 5, 2012, 10:18 PM
Sad Sad Bone Headed accident. and NOPE Thumps don't grow back they can take a toe and sew it on.

onetohunt
November 6, 2012, 01:01 AM
That looks plenty painful!!

ivankerley
November 6, 2012, 09:35 AM
as a complete new guy" a while back when i was researching muzzleloaders, i youtubed muzzle loader exploding, etc. why does it seem to be inlines? i know it can be any BP firearm are the inlines just more prevalent? i noticed in the video posted above if you read the comments i see somebody recommending using a little smokeless in your load:eek: not the first time i read that, but thats some bad and dangerous advice
gene

raa-7
November 6, 2012, 11:42 AM
345DeSoto What do you think caused that ? ?

Cosmoline
November 6, 2012, 01:40 PM
why does it seem to be inlines?

I think there are several factors. Most of the folks shooting traditional are more knowledgeable about black powder. It would for example be pretty unusual for someone to buy a flintlock and load with smokeless. And there is confusion about whether modern inlines can or cannot take smokeless. The fact that they are modern may make people think they're stronger, when in fact they tend to have thinner barrels compared with traditional ones. If you look at a traditional rifle the barrel walls are incredibly thick steel. That's a hangover from the old days when the steel was much lower quality. But with modern steels using the same dimensions, you end up with an extremely strong firearm that will tend to hold together even when abused.

ivankerley
November 6, 2012, 02:07 PM
I think there are several factors. Most of the folks shooting traditional are more knowledgeable about black powder. It would for example be pretty unusual for someone to buy a flintlock and load with smokeless. And there is confusion about whether modern inlines can or cannot take smokeless. The fact that they are modern may make people think they're stronger, when in fact they tend to have thinner barrels compared with traditional ones. If you look at a traditional rifle the barrel walls are incredibly thick steel. That's a hangover from the old days when the steel was much lower quality. But with modern steels using the same dimensions, you end up with an extremely strong firearm that will tend to hold together even when abused.
thanks, thats kinda what i was thinking
gene

frontiergander
November 6, 2012, 08:16 PM
Its not just Inlines.
http://gandersmuzzleloadingblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/rush-it-this-could-happen-to-you.html

frontiergander
November 12, 2012, 05:18 PM
Compare that picture to some of the guns here in this video.
http://youtu.be/gmsBF6CXs18

Rom828
November 12, 2012, 08:24 PM
Sorry, I'm calling BS on this one, there has to be much more to this story. Looking at the blown up scope in the picture, I wonder what his face looked like, as there is no way only his hand was injured.

rmark
November 12, 2012, 10:27 PM
Popping a cap on a freshly cleaned barrel won't do anything. A short started round ball with a proper charge tends to rupture the barrel at the point it's obstructed - this ones split down to the breech. I would guess either smokeless powder was used or an overload of bp plus a heavy conical to get the pressure needed to destroy the barrel.

What nearby town newspaper had the article?

Pulp
November 15, 2012, 08:50 PM
The story was in the McCurtain Gazette, our little county newspaper. They have a website, but I don't think they put past issues on line.

husker
November 17, 2012, 12:59 PM
100 plus grains of pistol powder ?

Cosmoline
November 17, 2012, 09:52 PM
Pulp, where did the operating room photo of the hand come from? That's not from any newspaper, so presumably you've got some connection to the guy. If possible it would be great to get more info on this. Otherwise we're all kind of guessing. What does concern me here is the magnitude of the injury. Any of the tyical KB's usually do not cause that level of destruction. If it was nothing but a forgotten roundball stuck halfway in the barrel and a standard load of black behind it, that should have bulged the barrel or ruptured it, not caused the total destruction seen here. Which is why folks are thinking it was a smokeless pipe bomb.

velojym
November 18, 2012, 12:48 AM
Cosmo, that first part was right along my line of thought there. The difference between an inliner and a traditional sidelock guy is frequently that the latter loves the hardware, and goes a lot further with his knowledge and experience. Inlines are popular with many centerfire guys who only really care about stretching deer season a bit. That ain't universal, but I can easily see it being a factor in the disparity.

frontiergander
November 18, 2012, 03:51 AM
i dont care much for centerfires, in fact my newest center fire is a 1953 m44 mosin nagant. I love muzzleloading so i use both, mostly inline because they are a lot more comfortable to shoot and can use a wider variety of projectiles.

alsaqr
November 18, 2012, 03:18 PM
i know a numerous muzzleloader shooters and hunters in OK. Called about 15 of them, including two in SE Oklahoma. No one ever heard of this incident.

A few years ago an OK resident with long military experience but unfamiliar with muzzleloaders blew up a gun. He loaded his new gun with a large volume charge of smokeless powder. The shooter was seriously injured. An acquaintance witnessed the incident.

Pulp
November 18, 2012, 08:48 PM
Again, I do not know the guy. I know his name, and the town he lives in, but I'm not posting personal information on this forum. Several people I work with do know him. Both photographs were posted on my friends facebook pages. And again, the story that was told to the newspaper does not add up to what could have caused such a severe gun failure.

Personally, I can't see this happening with anything but smokeless powder. But I don't know the whole story, so I'm not claiming that's what happened. I've heard of, but not seen, stories of three 777 pellets blowing up inlines that were not rated for such heavy loads, so I won't discount the possibility that he just overloaded the gun, and didn't fully seat a bullet. But again, that's not what the newspaper story said.

I'm not going to be an armchair quarterback and make expert statements on something I don't know the whole story about.

A bit non-related, but many years ago I read an article in Guns and Ammo about attempting to blow up a T/C Hawken by overloading it. They mounted the barrel to a remote firing system and gradually began overloading it. After each shot they would measure the barrel for swelling. My memory is fuzzy, but I'm thinking they got up to 300 grains of BP and 7 Maxi-Balls with no damage. They finally put a double charge under a Maxi-Ball, then pushed another Maxi-Ball half way into the barrel. That destroyed the barrel.

Does anyone remember the MythBusters eipisode where they tried to recreate the "banana barrel" myth? They ended up welding a plug into the muzzle of a rifle, I wanna say it was a .303 British, but not sure, before they could even split the barrel. They never got a blowup like the picture I posted of the muzzle loader.

Cosmoline
November 18, 2012, 09:34 PM
Thanks for that additional info.

andrewstorm
November 18, 2012, 11:35 PM
Naw,barrel obstruction....loaded,and he thought the nipple was cloged stuffed a patch and primer .......kabooooooooomyeowwwwwwoouch..........this almost happened to me cept god sent me a bad feelin ,so I double checked my ramrod mark,whew..............

Busyhands94
November 18, 2012, 11:40 PM
Pulp, I saw that one where they plugged the barrel of a shotgun with a ballistics gel finger, and various objects. They tested the steel plug welded into the barrel with a .30-06 IIRC. I am pretty sure it was an aught six.

The only thing I can think of that would possibly have caused this is either a bullet that wasn't on the powder, or a load fully seated and perhaps a couple more pellets and a bullet in the middle of the barrel. Or perhaps even just a bullet halfway down the pipe. Guns don't generally explode like this. I mean, with modern barrel steels you've got a pretty strong weapon.

That being said, all the inline barrels I've seen have been thin like on a shotgun. I mean really, the barrel on my Traditions Frontier rifle is much thicker than the ones I have seen.
And as stated before, these are copies of guns made during a time period where barrel steel wasn't at it's best. Of course my rifle has modern steel. Probably could take more than an inline. But we're talkin' charges that would sooner break your shoulder than rupture the barrel.

andrewstorm
November 19, 2012, 11:56 AM
Thick barrels dont mean nada levi,steel psi strength,structural integrity,previous owner abuse,all come into play,boom and boom she goes,and when she blows nobody knows,most likley human error on this gun although ive heard spanish guns are not proofed,my friend has a wolf (cva)that looks as though it has a buldge in the barrel but a projectile fits equally throughout the bore so its just bad machine work,some guys have all their guns x rayed before firing and its not a bad idea.

345 DeSoto
November 20, 2012, 02:10 PM
RAA-7,
Held on to it too long after he pulled the pin...

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