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What kind of damage can occur from a hang/slam fire?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by brekneb, May 1, 2008.

  1. brekneb

    brekneb Well-Known Member

    I am referring to the action of the weapon itself inflicting injury on the operator . . . . I would assume that you wouldn't want your hands/fingers anywhere near an auto loading weapon's action (whether it be a pistol, rifle, shotgun) were a hang fire (or slam fire) to occur, correct?
    I could be wrong on this but could one not be severely injured from something like this?

    And of course, yes I realize were the weapon carelessly handled, then at the moment the round discharges it could potentially strike a bystander (or yourself) creating rather severe injury as a result of a hang/slam fire.
  2. romma

    romma Well-Known Member

    A hangfire, you could shoot someone or yourself very easily.

    A slam fire almost the same, but I would tend to think someone chambering a round and having a slam fire would be more apt to be pointing in a safe direction.
  3. brekneb

    brekneb Well-Known Member

    Yes but I was referring to the steel that would be reciprocating with a lot of speed and force.... What would that do to your hands?
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Hangfire is a delayed primer ignition...usually...but the powder can also be the primary cause. They usually occur when the breech is closed normally, and aren't a danger as long as the breech is closed when it occurs. Some say to wait 30 seconds after a misfire. Others say a full minute. Most hangfires aren't of that duration, and generally fire within a couple seconds. Many are so quick that you barely realize that it's happened.

    Technically...because nothing happens instantaneously...all normal primer/powder ingition is a hangfire. It's just that it's so quick we don't detect the time lag between hammer strike and bang.

    The danger comes whenever somebody opens it too early to inspect the "dud" round...and it fires while they're opening it.

    Slam-fires are a different matter. A slam fire can easily happen when the bolt or slide is out of battery...which means that the case can burst and send the trash backward into your face. Bad scene. Saw a Garand do it once. The shooter was lucky...very. The rifle was destroyed.
  5. brekneb

    brekneb Well-Known Member

    So the concern is more about open chamber detonation and not the moving parts of the action itself?
  6. 21H40

    21H40 Well-Known Member

    My first experience with an SKS was a slam fire. First round didn't chamber quite right, and then I tried one more time - BANG! :what:

    The rifle was pointed "up and down range" just like the range NCO's required, and no one was hurt.

    Injuries from these have to come from negligence. A round leaves the barrel accidentally - so muzzle control dictates whether or not it is more than just a big surprise. As far as injuring your hand, one rule that doesn't get a number for gun safety is:
    Keep hands and fingers away from moving parts and areas that release excess gas (like the slide or cylinder).

    Slam fires aren't worth losing sleep over as long as your safe and responsible to start with. :)
  7. revjen45

    revjen45 Well-Known Member

    Deleted due to high noise/low signal.
  8. brekneb

    brekneb Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure whether you're making fun of me rev.... Did I ask a dumb question or something?
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Correct. As long as the breech is closed/locked, it makes no difference.
    The gun is basically operating normally...other than the method of ignition.

    Of the two, the slam-fire is far more dangerous.
  10. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    I would say Potentially more dangerous. There are circumstances where a slam-fire would be fine (fully in battery and pointed in a safe direction), and a hang-Fire could be deadly (partially out of battery close to face).
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    That's not the way to bet, though. Slam-fire...when it becomes a habit with the gun...only rarely happens at exactly the same point twice.
  12. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

  13. bigdaddydan

    bigdaddydan member

    as far as what would it do to your skin it would sure hurt a lot. Golly!:cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss:
  14. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    I had my first slam fire in many years of shooting in February of this year at a Thunder Ranch class at Shootrite in Alabama. The weapon was an 870 Scattergun Technologies "FBI Model".

    We were doing one handed loading drills and I loaded a round of Remington #00 and closed the action with my left hand with my right hand dangling by my side. The weapon discharged chopping a .72 inch hole in the barricade near the edge. No one was injured.

    The weapon was taken apart and inspected with no wear or mechanical cause found (although I had the trigger group replaced). My ammunition was inspected by me for high primers before class. I still cannot explain this slam fire.
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    El T...I had a slam-fire with a bolt-action rifle once...and the striker never fell. .223 caliber Ruger M77

    I was in the habit of adjusting my sizer die to just kiss the case shoulders to give it a little edge in accuracy. I apparently had a little dust under the lock ring for one small test lot, because when I switched to that group of rounds, it was noticeably harder to bolt the rifle. Three rounds into it, I really had to crank down on the handle, and when the bolt was about a third of the way into full battery...BANG!

    Luckily, it was a low recoiling round or the lugs would have probably sheared. The damage on the corners was very slight, and it only required lightly lapping with straight J&B Bore Cleaner to clean it up. If it had been one of the .308s it coulda gone real wrong.

    My theory was that the level of crush set the primer off...and that's about the only reasonable explanation I can come up with. No primers were high. I'm careful to check every round for that.

    bigdaddydan...You'll notice that I cleaned up your post a bit. Abbreviations and TxtMsging to mask profanity is understood to be one in the same. If you wouldn't say it...abbreviate it...or txt msg it to your grandmother...don't do it here.

    The little :cuss: icons make your point nicely.

    "Damn" and "Hell" are acceptable words used in the proper context.

  16. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    My 0.02 on "high noise / low signal" -

    I work around comm techs a lot, and I understand this to be a slang term for little useful content. My guess is the poster reconsidered something and deleted it.
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Nope. That was me.
  18. brekneb

    brekneb Well-Known Member

    Alright so, you're more prone to suffering lacerations (if anything) say from a pistol slide connecting with your hand--that is if your hand were somehow in the way.... I guess I just have this mental image that an autoloader could potentially rip off fingers under the right conditions. For instance, the charging lever on an AK flying back at an inopportune time. But this is not based in reality I assume?
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Well...You don't wanna get your hand in the way, for sure...but a slide or charging handle will getcha no matter how the gun manages to fire if you don't make sure that it's out of the path.

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