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what happens if you overload ammo?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gofastman, Sep 1, 2011.

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  1. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    sounds like a silly question, but what exactly happens?
    say you load 11grs of longshot behind a 180gr slug (max is 9.5grs)
    does the gun blow up in your hand or does the brass act like a fusible link and blow out?

    the gun in question is a glock 20
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  2. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Depends on the gun. Missing eyes and fingers are rare but not unheard of. Often it just ruins the gun w/o hurting the shooter.
     
  3. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    At the least you will experience premature wear on barrel, chamber, slide, recoil springs, frame, etc.

    Or at any time you could experience a catastrophic failure. Just google whatever make of firearm you have and add the word kaboom and start looking at the pictures. In your case it was Glock so these were the first 4 I found out of several pages (oops, my bad they slipped in some XD's, but I think you get the idea):
     

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  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    A Glock owner posted these pictures of what happened when the case head of a factory AMERC round ruptured.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are lots of Glock blowup pictures on the web. What happens is an individual event, highly variable.
     
  5. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    I guess Im asking why this would happen:
    [​IMG]


    compared to the brass blowing out:
     

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  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    By how much? A double will result in the photos above in some cases. Others can result in cases not being extracted. A flat primer would be the result of one that is just a tad overloaded.
     
  7. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Too much chamber pressure. Probably due to a double charge of powder.
     
  8. wvshooter

    wvshooter Member

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    Are you asking why a barrel would split open? Wouldn't the answer be simple physics.

    Modern smokeless powders are very powerful, especially when compared to the old black powder. Guns are designed to operate within certain pressure limits. Exceed the limits and you're in the danger zone. Even if you stay within the allowable powder charges but accidentally seat a bullet too deep pressures can go up real fast.

    Can't imagine anyone taking a chance on having a gun blow up in their hand or anywhere near them for that matter. Any part of the gun can become a projectile. Could result in loss of fingers or eyes or nose or some other very nasty injury. Imagine an ejector being lodged three inches deep in your forehead.
     
  9. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    yeah, as opposed to the brass blowing out
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    A Series of Unfortunate Events, leading to Very Bad Things!

    rc
     
  11. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    If the barrel split I doubt you find the brass. If you did it would be trashed also.
     
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Well, that has to do with the pressure. The gun is like a garden hose. Just a little too much water pressure and the hose starts to leak around the couplings. 50 psi too much pressure and you might get a pin hole leak. (Brass blowing out.) 200 psi too much pressure and the hose might split open. (Barrel bursting.)
     
  13. trex1310

    trex1310 Member

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    I witnessed a gentleman fire an XP-100 and the bolt exited the gun
    and ruptured the radiator of a pickup truck that was parked some
    30 feet behind the shooter (who was in the Creedmoor position).
    The shooter had loaded Bullseye when he should have loaded Blue Dot.
    He was lucky that he or someone else wasn't killed.
     
  14. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

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    I REALLY hope that this thread has nothing to do with the LW barrel that you have for sale???
     
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    What happens if you overload ammo? Nothing, unless you're unwise (I'd say "stupid" but the moderators might not like it) enough to fire it. If you know it's overloaded, pull the bullets and start over.
     
  16. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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  17. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Stuff blows up in an unpredicatble manner sometimes, using over-max loads is not an option for ME. I agree that calling someone who did use over-max charges stupid might be an insult to stupid people.
     
  18. pdosh

    pdosh Member

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    I had an overload in a SIG. I don't know how much but it blew the back end of the brass off, and the extractor and spring. The mag was also blown out. No injury, thankfully. That was it for the day and after spending about 50 bucks I was back in business. The barrel or frame wasn't hurt. But it's not a polymer framed gun. I had just started using a progressive loader when it happened. I've since added a RCBS Lock Out die. Not cheap but I'm worth it!
     
  19. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Like a pressure relief valve?

    I think I understand the question:

    Will brass usually fail before steel? Brass is a softer, weaker metal. You would think so. If so, would the brass fail, releasing the overpressure before the steel of the gun sends steel shrapnel flying about.

    The answer is "no".

    The full answer lies in the science of internal ballistics.

    Manufacturers of semi-auto guns seem to have built their guns so that if the brass does let go, or the steel of the barrel or slide fails, the exhausting gasses are directed in (relatively) safer directions than back at the shooter, but the safety added thereby is minimal at best. Witness the photographs you have seen and the testimonials.

    There has been no way discovered yet to protect a shooter from overpressures.

    Unlike a boiler or pressure cooker, there is no reliable safety release valve for firearms that will "let go" before catastrophic failure occurs. Sometimes you get a "kaboom" and sometimes you get a "phffft".

    I suspect it has more to do with transient pressure waves and things going wild far too fast for brass or steel to react in an orderly fashion.

    It would be interesting to see if a laboratory pressure barrel in 45 Colt could be fitted with a release mechanism to relieve pressure at say, 20,000 psi and then load up some SAAMI spec loads and some of Dick Casull's overloads.

    I would be surprised if it hasn't been tried, but I doubt if it has ever worked, at least not in a firearm small enough to be portable and powerful enough to be useful.

    Thanks for an interesting question.

    Lost Sheep
     
  20. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep.

    The brass case seals the chamber, which is the only part of the gun able to handle the pressures generated by the cartridge when fired.

    If it ruptures from over pressure, the HOT, HIGH PRESSURE, HIGH VELOCITY gases wreak havoc on the firearm.
     
  22. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I know people keep saying pressures but it really translates to load.

    Guns are designed to carry a load.

    So what is the load, well it is pressure times a surface area.

    Obviously you increase the pressure for the same surface area, the load goes up.

    However, when you blow the case head and gas escapes into the mechanism, the surface area goes up.

    Assuming the pressure stays the same (and it does not) you can imagine that doubling, tripling the surface area the gas has to push against, the load goes way, way up.


    I have had bicycle tires that operate at 125 psia, does not seem like much.

    But you put that 125 pounds per square inch across the side of a house, (say 60 foot by 12 foot rectangular surface) and the wall completely disappears.

    Says here, that 10 psia overpressure will blow your arms off.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpressure

    Stay away from Thermonuclear bombs.

    Four (4) miles away from the epicenter the blast of 1 MT Bomb, overpressure is 6 pounds per square inch. Winds are 180 miles per hour. All standard houses and buildings "implode" with that overpressure and then are swept clean with the blast winds. (2) Pounds per square inch crush a house.


    http://www.parowanprophet.com/Nuclear_War_Comes/May_25_83_Revelation.htm
     
  23. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Had a buddy hat constantly over loaded his 357 Maximum in a Contender. he was lucky in all that happened is he was have case head seperations.
     
  24. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    thank you, that answer is clear as a crystal, thanks!
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The answer is yes, the brass case head will fail before the chamber does, although in a dramatic overload, it can come pretty much simultaneously.
     
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