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Bad day at the rifle range

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Glockula, Nov 27, 2018.

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  1. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    Well......where to start.

    I get to the range and start setting up between two individuals already shooting bolt guns. I set my stuff down on a bench behind and turn around towards the firing line I hear a loud boom and instantly my breath is knocked out of me and a pain in my stomach. The gentleman firing to my left had his rifle blow up!

    300wsm
    Savage 116
    Looked like hand loads

    I am fine(took the bolt to the stomach ) but it looked like a grenade went off in his left hand. All the skin torn off the palm and fingers with a 1.5 inch hole in the center. A good samaratin immediately got a tournaquette on and we bandaged the hand while we waited for the cavalry. Once the police and paramedics got there they took good care of him. Said they could not save the hand. He will lose it. Lots of blood and meat everywhere. The man's watch was in 10 pieces and the rifle was in about 100 pieces. The only two thing on the rifle that looked unscathed were the scope, although it was bent, and the barrel flew about 20 yards down range. The receiver was in 3 pieces, stock shattered, mag shttered and trigger group all over the place

    I feel lucky to only have a bruise. It has me shaken up. One of the few things I load top end is 300 wsm for my deer rounds. I did find a flattened and torn 300wsm case with a mostly good looking .308 projectile where his feet were when shooting. The state police took the rifle bits and ammo bits in a bag.

    Anybody got any ideas?? Over crimped, bullet set back? What makes a rifle blow and the projectile falls out of the mag well?

    I did not take any pictures out of respect for the old man and all of his blood and gore would have been in the pics. I truly hope he ends up ok. It is a shame he will lose his left hand.

    Please be careful out there!!!
     
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  2. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Dang. My prayers go out for him.

    Regarding the case and projectile you found. Those could have been from the magazine I suppose.

    Had he been there long? Was this his first round down range?

    There's really no way for us to know what caused this. Only guesses

    Poor fella
     
  3. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    oohf, that is rough. The case and projectile you found was probably the cartridge at the top of the magazine, not the one in the chamber.
     
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  4. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    I had just gotten there. No clue how long he had been firing. Now that I think about it probably was the next round.
     
  5. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    This is humbling to say the least, and is another reason to be very careful with handloads.

    I can’t imagine even a hot handload doing this unless there was a bore obstruction or he accidentally used the wrong powder, a much faster powder. 300wsm usually is a full case so double charges are out of my mind.

    Scary.
     
  6. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    I'm unfamiliar with a lot of Savage rifles, does the Savage 116 have an over pressure port on the receiver? (pictures on the web looks as if it does)

    I'm guessing the flattened case and loose projectile was from the bolt that blew out the back and over the magazine and flattened the case on top on the way out.

    The description of the incident sounds too severe for a simple overcharge. Are there powders that are commonly being used on 300wsm that one can double charge without spilling out the neck?

    Would appreciate if you hear anymore on how this happened to let us know. Feel bad for the gentleman, especially since he's going to lose his hand.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  7. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

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    I would venture to guess a double charge of a fast powder. That is a pretty sever explosion for a "just" an accidental over load. Possible extremely hot loads with a bore obstruction could have done such destruction too.
     
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  8. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    1. Squib
    2. pistol powder

    that's all the guessing I'll do
     
  9. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Its not possible to double charge pretty much any rifle cartridge unless your doing reduced loads with pistol powders.
     
  10. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  11. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    Could this have been a out of battery perhaps caused by a broken firing pin? I can't imagine what else other than the afore mentioned pistol powder.
     
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  12. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    I was thinking a squib before that one too. Possibly the round set back severely into the case due to brass or an obstruction in the chamber?

    I have seen two other firearms let go, M96 Swede and a mossberg 590 and neither hurt the shooter. It was just scary for all involved. This was just really bad.
     
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  13. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Paging Dr. Slamfire…...
     
  14. Shimitup

    Shimitup Member

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    Double charge with reduced load was my initial thought too. Even at that it seems like a very severe blow up, I feel so badly for the guy, that will be a life changing accident, I hope by some miracle they could save some of his hand. BTW I'm glad you're OK.
     
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  15. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    First of all I’m glad you are okay Glockula.

    Second, when I see or hear of incidents such as this, instead of becoming more inured it affects me more profoundly the older I become. It gives me great pause and reminds me of the old saying, “There but for the grace of God go I”.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  16. Sebastian

    Sebastian Member

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    Poor guy. Really reminds me to pay attention to what I am doing as a new reloader.
     
  17. Olon

    Olon Member

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    @Glockula I don't know if it's appropriate to like your post but I am glad you shared. Quite sobering as I am currently in the process of acquiring the equipment for loading brass. Glad you're okay, and I feel for that ole boy that will never be able to enjoy our hobby the same. That sounds like some serious carnage.
     
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  18. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Last week I was shooting with a buddy of mine. He had a side by side 12 ga and he walked up to the line (this was out in the country) and as he pulled the gun up both barrels went off simultaneously. He claims that his finger wasn't even in the trigger guard but dang. Left a huge crater in the dirt 18" away from his front foot and when the gun kicked back the hinge release (not sure if that's the term but it's that paddle looking deal) cut his thumb pretty good. Got a few stitches but that fellow is lucky to have his foot. Also quite sobering.

    On a different note he's on THR now so that's pretty cool.
     
  19. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Could be a squib. I’d more suspect incorrect powder.

    When I load, I only have one and one only powder container on the bench. If I’m going to continue later loading the same rounds I ALWAYS mark the hopper so I know what’s in it

    Edit to add: I always also have an index card on the bench that has all load data for that particular load. I used to thumb back thru load manuals and figure it’s just too easy to get the wrong page and wrong data.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  20. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    I really appreciate the well wishes. Its fine to like the post. I posted so that I could decompress, possibly find out why, and as a precaution for others. People on this forum are high class and just full of good information. I truly appreciate all the responses, likes, and any insight. It is the worst thing I have seen since my time in the Marines .
     
  21. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Bullet setback wouldn't have caused something like this in a rifle. Bullet setback can be very dangerous in a pistol cartridge because it can literally reduce the case volume by half or more, but in a big rifle case it doesn't have that big of an affect.
     
  22. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    It would be interesting to see if the lugs on the bolt sustained any damage, because if not this would be a likely scenario. It just seems like an awful lot of force to overcome the bolt lugs and become a projectile with an overpressure port to bleed off some of the pressure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  23. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    there was a rumor that the savage 116 were made somewhere else maybe even china. there are over 10 i have seen 116 that have blown up most in the wsm and rum there was one last year. i would not own a 116 savage anymore
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  24. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    Just because I got hit by the bolt I picked it up and looked at it. Out was relatively unscathed. I didn't look at the front lugs really well but I didn't see any obvious damage.
     
  25. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

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    After seeing some folks reloading benches I don't have to visualize hard someone grabbing pistol powder by accident. Pretty easy to get a double charge of that. Being an older gentleman he may have been going for reduced recoil and used a powder recommended for that which may or may not fill a case half way. I it is ALWAYS on my mind to check powder charges before seating bullets. I use a bright light and I have never even used fast powders in a rifle case. As for a bore obstruction who can tell. A cleaning patch? Squib he didn't check? I saw a Remington 700 blown to smithereens because the guy fell in some snow and never cleared it out. Not quite the destruction but the action was turned into shrapnel with the stock broken in two pieces and the barrel bent down at an angle. The bolt was gone but I don't know if it came out AFTER the explosion or was taken out.
     
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