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Exploding cartridge

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Just a shooter, Apr 2, 2016.

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  1. Just a shooter

    Just a shooter Member

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    OK well 1st time in 35 years on the range. Exploding gun ,feel dumb about it but this is what happened . Gun RIA .38 super put new trigger job in (good brand ) but will not mention name. Sixth round BANG. Magazine pushed down and out , slide jammed shut. Hit in face with minor brass. Have pulled apart no damage that I can see. (see photos) . Have checked all other loads and 4.2 bullseye with 135gr LRN? starting load? Appears to have fired when not in battery (locked up)? Weak spring?? Do not really know . Can anyone put some light on what has happened. HELP!! warren
     

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  2. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    I can't offer any advice but I'm glad you are okay. I had a co-worker loose a left eye with a similar situation but factory ammo and a Glock.
     
  3. drband

    drband Member

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    Glad you're ok! Sounds like over pressure round. Your reloads? I don't reload 38super but isn't it a very high pressure round? A small amount over charged? Hope you solve it.
     
  4. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I think your gun fired out of battery. Went off before slide closed.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Looks like a case failure. I am by no means an expert, not even close, but it doesn't look like it fired out of battery to me.
     
  6. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Had it happen with a 39 Smith. Best guess was thin brass and a cast bullet that telescoped into the case when feeding. Blew out the unsupported area ahead of the rim, cracked both grips and destroyed the magazine. Several of the same make cases bulged badly. Crushed them all and no problems again. Did go .001" larger in size of bullets, also.
     
  7. chiggerbyt

    chiggerbyt Member

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    How was the fired round before this one? Squib?
     
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    38 Super Automatic +P is rated at 36,500 PSI by SAAMI.
    Was it fully closed/locked? Guesses would be , out of battery, bullet set back , double charge of powder, and/or bad brass. The trigger , if to light, may let the hammer follow the slide down and fire without pulling the trigger? If fired to soon, out of battery? Most times, we never know for sure. Your not alone in the KABOOM department, as you can see. www.photobucket.com/kabooom Glad your ok.
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    1911 type actions not fully closing

    Lube buildup in the chamber has kept my 45 acp from fully closing the action. The Xlox coating i was testing was the problem. Took only 55 rounds to gum up the chamber.
     
  10. noylj

    noylj Member

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    if you can gum up a chamber with Xlox, you are using WAY too much.
    You shouldn't even be able to see the lube on the bullets.
    Do you inspect the powder charge in every case before you place a bullet on the case?
    Do you push down on the seated bullet with a thumb/finger before you crimp to be sure the bullet has enough tension?
    Do you check your handguns for ability to fire out-of-battery occasionally? I have found several Glocks that could fire with the slide pulled back in excess of ¼" and CZs that can easily go ⅛". Unless supported by the chamber, you only have the web to hold the pressure.
    I had a .38 wadcutter load fail in my S&W M52. The gun simply went "pfft" and smoke came out of the breech. The case had blown open just in front of the web. Case failure or out-of-battery or combination. Sure wasn't over-pressure/over-charge.
     
  11. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    A closer inspection of the brass should tell the tale a little better.

    Was the primer flat? Was the case split? Bulges that im not seeing?

    Maybe some better pics of the brass alone will help.
     
  12. wmurphy

    wmurphy Member

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    Does the primer show any signs of over-pressure?

    Notice the burn/dark marks on the case and not bright shinny (maybe brass wasn't real shinny going in)? Seems to indicate fired a little out of battery, significantly undersized case/oversized chamber, or something along those lines preventing the brass from expanding and sealing the chamber. I would think if it was fired completely out of battery, the case would be split or torn.
     
  13. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    WAG, cases head separation on old brass. How many times has this case been reloaded?
     
  14. macgrumpy

    macgrumpy Member

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    Your load is too light, the powder burns down the entire case indicates that the case never expanded enough to seal the chamber - those gasses blew back and popped the mag out.

    Increase the load by a few tenths (4.5gr) and try again.

    I just looked at your pictures and I've got to modify my comments. I'm aware of only three reasons for a case to rupture; it's not being supported by the chamber (the case not seated correctly), the pressure was too great, or the case was weak.

    It looks like the case must have been supported correctly if the slide was in battery.

    The load looks to be light rather than hot. But there is a possibility that the load was so light that the case didn't expand enough to keep the case from sliding toward the bolt face and both the case and the slide moved back as far as they were allowed while still being in battery (a couple of thousandths maybe?) which might have been enough to allow the case to rip.

    A weak case might be the problem since they only split on the bottom, the top is supported by the barrel hood.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  15. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    I've loaded many loads so light i have squibbed a round and yet to have one blow a mag out but secondary powder ignition from a split case or plugged flash hole maybe?

    From what i see there was no case ballooning like it fired out of battery. That's why I'm curious about pressure signs and whether the case was split or not. If not i would have to say secondary powder ignition.
     
  16. macgrumpy

    macgrumpy Member

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    Look at his pictures, they show that the case is actually ripped open.
     
  17. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    I didn't see it! I see it now.
     
  18. mr wack

    mr wack Member

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    My WAG would be with this being the sixth round the LRN bullet got pushed back in it's case under recoil, (well 5 recoils really) causing excessive pressures in that bugger.
    Like I say just a WAG,,,,,,,:evil:
     
  19. Just a shooter

    Just a shooter Member

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    Thanks. Trying to load more pic's.
     
  20. Just a shooter

    Just a shooter Member

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    Damaged case

    I think they are under loaded and pressure build up ?? Pulled 10 more and all have 4.2 Bullseye loaded with a Dillon square deal press.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  21. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  22. cali_blues

    cali_blues Member

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    4.2gr of bullseye seems a little warm for a 135gr bullet... ?

    But I doubt that is enough to do this kind of damage.

    edit: never mind, I was thinking 9mm.
     
  23. Just a shooter

    Just a shooter Member

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    Yes it has very good support just checked. Thanks
     
  24. Just a shooter

    Just a shooter Member

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    120gr lead starting load for bullseye 4.gr max 5.3gr
    147gr lead " "' load for bullseye 4.3 gr max 4.8
    I had 135gr LRN 4.2gr what looks like to be too low for a start load?
    I have certainly learnt a lesson the hard way. But thought it was a safe load.?
     
  25. floydster

    floydster Member

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    I believe the s is a case failure, I have had several in the last several years, looked exactly the same, in my 9mm, however not my 38 super.
    Smokeyloads
     
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