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AD with a 50 BMG? Yes, it's possible...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by esheato, Sep 28, 2004.

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  1. esheato

    esheato Member

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    I was out shooting this past Sunday with some friends. Rifle, pistol, shotgun, good friends, BBQ; it was definitely a good day.

    One of the guys had just purchased a LAR Grizzly in 50 BMG. He hadn't even put a scope on it yet. Getting the gun was the big priority as we're in California. The first round was put downrange by the owner. Recoil didn't look bad, and muzzle blast was less than with the AR-50 variant. I was looking forward to trying it out.

    I sat down and chambered a round, flipped the safety off, and squeezed off a round. MMM...the smell of 200 grains of burnt powder and the pleasant push of recoil. Decent little gun.

    Now, my first mistake. I flipped the safety on, albeit with some effort. I remember thinking that the safety wasn't that difficult before. I popped the buttplate off, pulled the brass off the shellholder, inserted a new round and chambered it. At this point, I'm not quite in my shooting position. Muzzle is pointed downrange, and buttpad is nearly centered on my chest....My thought process was to flip the safety off and get in position. I barely touch the safety and BAM!, the gun goes off and I take a big recoil pad to the chest. The safety took a chunk of thumb with it and I was definitely shaken not stirred. ;)

    I turn around and look at the owner, his face white with shock, and looking down disbelieving at me. First words ouf of my mouth, "I didn't mean to fire it..I swear I didn't touch the trigger."

    Now, I know those are our favorite words regarding AD's here at THR, but I swear I didn't touch it. Trigger finger was along the frame until I had my shooting position and gun in my shoulder.

    After some further investigation, we realize that the manual of arms for this weapon requires a specific process when loading the gun.

    1. Fire the gun.
    2. Open bolt, remove buttpad.
    3. PUT SAFETY ON.
    4. Insert buttpad with live round in shellholder.
    5. Close bolt.
    6. Flip safety to fire
    7. Press trigger.

    I had reversed numbers 2 and 3. You must apply the safety AFTER removing the bolt. The light bulb goes on, that's why the safety was difficult to apply. When I made the gun safe with the bolt in, it pre-cocked the trigger, and when you disengage the safety it pulls the trigger back a little more before stabilizing. Once I chambered a new round, and touched the safety, it fired.

    We recreated the accident with an unloaded gun and it behaved exactly how it had for me.

    Lesson learned....

    Ed
     
  2. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Ouch! Good to know you're alright, and good to get that tidbit of information out there.

    Other than that, a fun time?
     
  3. SOT_II

    SOT_II Member

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    Glad nobody got hurt, but boy that's a dangerous gun. Putting the safety on in the wrong order makes it discharge?!?! Should NEVER happen...no way shape or form.
     
  4. Barrelmaker

    Barrelmaker Member

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    That's a design just waiting for a lawsuit.:what: Unacceptable!!
     
  5. Warbow

    Warbow Member

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    Whoa... That's not a very good design at all. :eek:
     
  6. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    Okay... Just found something to put on my "not to buy" list right after Jennings, Bryco, Lorcin and Davis.
     
  7. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

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    Another vote for totally unacceptable.
     
  8. cfabe

    cfabe Member

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    Could this be a malfunction with this particular gun? Is the "required" procedure documented anywhere, or did you come up with it via testing? I can't believe they would design a gun like that.
     
  9. Highpower1

    Highpower1 Member

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    wow you sure are lucky that was pointed downrange...ouch!
     
  10. 45R

    45R Member

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    Geeez Ed, first of all I'm glad your okay. Second, maybe your friend should have the rifle checked out. Anyone do does the same thing at a later time could be hurt pretty bad. Thats one hell of a AD.
     
  11. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Member

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    wow....that is scary. Would be interested in knowing if that is the proper procedure....of all the guns where deactivating a safety MAY cause it to fire....I would think a 50 BMG would be the last on the list....dang...
     
  12. Diggler

    Diggler Member

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    Man, it's bad enough when you have a AD with a small-bore... that is ridiculous. I hope LAR is made aware of this problem, and if they are already and haven't fixed it, this needs to be shouted out from the hilltops. Usually actions like this means that the gun would FAIL a check...
     
  13. esheato

    esheato Member

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    First, let me say that I liked the gun, but having it go off unexpectedly isn't fun.

    The manual for the rifle DOES specifically say to put the safety on after firing the gun. BUT...it's neither bold nor in a larger print. i think it should be highlighted in the manual that not following the order could cause an AD.

    Their website doesn't say anything about this issue. The company has supposedly been in production since the early 80's. Although, if it was a design flaw, it should have been corrected by now.

    The gun appears to have an AR-type lower with a similar safety and pistol grip. Oddly enough, when an AR-15 is unloaded and uncocked, you are unable to put the safety on. In regards to the LAR, I was able to apply the safety, with some effort, immediately after firing (before removal of the bolt and cocking of the weapon).

    I also spoke to the owner of the weapon and he doesn't think anything is wrong with the gun. Since the manual specifies the order, it SHOULD be safe. Read the manual first eh? That would have helped. ;)

    I also spoke with another owner, and in over a year of use, he has never used the safety. The gun is empty with the bolt removed until ready to fire and he hasn't had any problems or ADs with it.

    My friend and I both agreed that we didn't feel comfortable sliding the bolt with the cartridge on the shellholder into the back of the rifle without the safety on. What if's.....and all.

    Thanks for all the kind words about my safety...I'm just glad the bullet went downrange.

    Ed
     
  14. HABU

    HABU Member

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    This same problem is why Remington redesigned their 700 actions. As I understand it, a lady had a round chambered when she came back to camp, took the safety off to unload and blew her son away. Remington redesigned their actions to be able to lift the bolt while the safety is on.

    Four rules, everyone!
     
  15. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    I also own a single-shot LAR Grizzly and showed this thread to my husband, who is a gunsmith. He maintains all of our firearms. His response:

    "The trigger mechanism is taken from an AR design. After being fired, the trigger shouldn't be in position to engage the safety. The trigger bar should block the safety completely."

    FWIW I've never used the safety on mine either. The rifle is either unloaded for transport, or I'm loading it because I'm on the firing line, and it's pointed downrange.
     
  16. SAG0282

    SAG0282 Member

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    Yet another vote for unacceptable design.
     
  17. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    Unnacceptable Design.

    No firearm should be able to discharge, under any circumstances, without the trigger being moved fully to the rear.
     
  18. sendec

    sendec member

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    Just a thought

    It probably says to put the safety of after firing just as a matter of procedure. Many manuals refer to safety use as a matter of "policy", not because it is mechanically required.

    I cannot believe that any company would make a gun that would do what you are describing. If it were mine I would deadline it immediately and a have a long conversation with the maker. If at all possible I would personally accompany the gun back to the shop and observe them check it out.

    The situation you describe is totally unacceptable, whether be design or defect. While there are plenty of easons to not use a safety, to have it implicated in discharging the weapon is extremely ungood.
     
  19. OF

    OF Member

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    I can only imagine that this example must be malfunctioning. I can't in a million years imagine that someone would design a gun that would discharge by taking the safety off.

    Call LAR.

    - Gabe
     
  20. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    When I was very young I remember watching a tape (yes, we only had VCR tape back then, and all this was orchard) on gunshot wounds. The speaker, referencing the "no magic bullet" fact, related an incident where a shooter had a bolt from a .50 USMG rifle blow through his leg. Anyone remember that tape?

    Ed, glad you are O.K. I foresee legal-pad yellow skies ahead for the manufacturer. Maybe a letter to the maker?:scrutiny:
     
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