Old 10-14-2016, 19:18   #1
frostfire
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AR kaboom

I've seen it before, but never thought it would happen to me. Yes, I know...

So there I was using some reload/remanufactured ammo to "warm up" before working on precision drills with match ammo when suddenly kaboom and dark smoke all over.
I then observed:
- The mag was blasted down and chipped in two parts
- The broken casing was stuck in chamber.
- Ejector and ejector spring under the rifle
- The round that was still in the magazine got bent and dented. I found it 3 ft away
- My ear plugs case near the mag well was smashed
- My car key near the mag well was bent!

Thank God all fingers, face, arms, etc. are still intact.

Was that the result of overloading/overpressure? Case that's been reused and resized too much (too thin to handle pressure)?

Have any one of you experienced this? Would the ammo manufacturer give you refund, replace the ammo, or cover damages?

I'm withholding the name of the manufacturer while I'm trying to see how they answer for their (faulty) products.
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Old 10-14-2016, 19:30   #2
cbtengr
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Glad to hear you were not hurt !
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Old 10-14-2016, 19:57   #3
The Reaper
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Case head separation? If so, probably reloaded too many times and / or loaded too hot.

Obviously, segregate all remaining rounds.

TR
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Old 10-14-2016, 20:34   #4
Old Dog New Trick
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Yes, I had a shell case rupture similar to your experience. It was however Winschester factory ammo (white box). Didn't bust the bolt or extractor like you but blew a steel GI mag apart blowing the base out, and covering my face in black soot.

The weapon (M16A2) was fine. I think I still have that shell somewhere in my collection of weird things.

My shell was a lot cleaner looking than yours (probably better powder) with an obvious crack from the primer pocket outward and about an 1/8" up the side of the case.

If you really want experience a true WTF moment though...experience a ruptured .50-cal while firing an M2.

Brass is brass a metal and there is always a chance new or reloaded that there is a weak spot where it matters most - around or near the primer or extractor lip.

One in a million!
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:59   #5
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Glad you're not hurt. A friend of mine, while in the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy had an explosion in his Glock. Bent the slide and blew parts down around his hand. His hand was numb for about a month. It was deduced that it was a double charged round and the manufacturer/supplier replaced his pistol at not cost.

One of my security contractors in Iraq ruptured a Glock barrel from unknown 9mm ammo. No injuries to him and only the barrel was hurt on the weapon.

If it is a reputable manufacturer I would think they would at a minimum replace the weapon.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-20-2016, 21:21   #6
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Glad you're not hurt. Sorry about your rifle Hope that they fix/replace the gun.

I had an issue with a certain remanufacturer of ammunition with a .223/5.56 round being out of spec. Had a fail to extract on an FN 5.56 Barrel with Black Rain BCG, ended up spending a little bit of money getting the chamber smoothed out just in case, but I believe that the round was out of spec. John at shooters did the work and was where I took it.

Reloading is very dangerous if extreme care is not taken. There's no telling how many times a round has been reloaded from someone else. A company open to the public has no way of knowing each individual round. Thesaying, "don't shoot anyone else's reloads", has some merit.

I will only shoot the remanufactured pistol ammunition that they produce. Rifle requires a little more attention to detail.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:13   #7
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Glad your safe man.

Investigate that primer further. Case head separation indeed. These things are very difficult to diagnose from pics. I see over pressure issues, what looks like slightly out of battery, and a primer firing pin deformation that looks suspiciously deep. (Is it pierced?) Makes me wonder what they were using for the primer. Did the projectile leave the barrel or is it stuck in there?

Start pulling bullets from the remaining rounds and weighing the charges. Try to determine powder type or call the manufacturer. Should give you some indication if they were flirting with top loads consistently or if it was an accident.

You were lucky it went down how it did with a highpressure slow vent as oppose to all at once, without a total separation. Saved your face.

Eye pro, eye pro...always!

Last edited by 35NCO; 10-21-2016 at 11:22.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:42   #8
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Case head failure. Happened to me once with factory reloads. Trashed the upper, B/BC/CH, and mag. Can be caused by over pressure load, a case that has been reloaded too many times, or firing out of battery. Could be one or a combination of these.

In your case, I'm guessing out of battery. See that black soot ring all around the base of the case and how it is bulged out, while the rest of the case remains clean and appears normal? You wouldn't have that black ring or bulging if the case were fully seated in the chamber when fired. Typically with an over pressure load, the end result is much more catastrophic. When mine happened, bottom of bolt carrier was split, and carrier itself was canted inside the upper receiver and completely seized up. Sides of lower receiver in magwell area were bulged out. Lower still ran without a hiccup when mated to a good upper.

Personally, I try to stay away from cheap factory reloads.

Last edited by DJ Urbanovsky; 11-03-2016 at 11:44.
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Old 11-03-2016, 18:58   #9
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I had a case head failure due to an out of battery ignition with a gov-issued Mk262 round. It broke the bolt and blew floor plate off the magazine.
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Old 11-08-2016, 16:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
Case head separation? If so, probably reloaded too many times and / or loaded too hot.

Obviously, segregate all remaining rounds.

TR

Question for TR: It would be interesting if there was a way to find out exactly which powder and how many grains of that powder were used. When my Dad was still around and used to reload various rifle ammo, I noticed that there were certain powders that must be loaded "full" (never partial loads) otherwise upon firing too much chamber pressure would build up, and...

Could this perhaps happen with factory reloads? If so, how could you tell?
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Old 11-08-2016, 17:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stobey View Post
Question for TR: It would be interesting if there was a way to find out exactly which powder and how many grains of that powder were used. When my Dad was still around and used to reload various rifle ammo, I noticed that there were certain powders that must be loaded "full" (never partial loads) otherwise upon firing too much chamber pressure would build up, and...

Could this perhaps happen with factory reloads? If so, how could you tell?
The best way (though it is not conclusive) is to pull down several of the other rounds from that box and check the powder type and weight of each charge.

Yes, light loads which do not fill case capacity adequately have been implicated in kabooms before.

TR
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Old 11-08-2016, 20:22   #12
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Thank you TR. I haven't been doing any of this for about 15 years now - and my memory isn't getting any better!
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Old 11-15-2016, 21:17   #13
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thanks for all the well wishes.

Quick inquiry on .308 vs. 7.62 here. I just perused charts, graphs and 3 years of the topic in various forums . I found too many agreements to disagree.
So is it, or is it not recommended to run .308 in 7.62x51 chamber? Particularly tight semi-auto?
In one discussion, the factory .308 has 1.624 headspace whereas the 7.62 has 7.635. So that 0.011 difference is enough to increase the likelihood of blown primers (which I had with prvi) and eventually case-head separation/kaboom?
Maybe enough to prevent full/perfect in-battery at ignition?

FWIW....yes, I won the Darwin award In the heat of the moment, it seemed like a noble idea. There were actually two kabooms. An AF guy who never shot a precision rifle before stopped by during practice when the first occurred. Needless to say, it did not help his nerve/confidence. Not wanting to scar this guy for life, I made sure the barrel was clear and no cracks, then showed him several (single manually loaded) face shots with ease. Then he shot and had a blast. He left, I went back to practice again (from a different lot) and had a 2nd kaboom! I then switched to singe-loading M118LR and shot best group of the day (0.6 MOA).

The picture is actually from the 2nd kaboom. The case from the first one is all deformed, look compressed, and bent out of shape. The AF guy took it.
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"So we can suffer, and in suffering we know who we are" David Goggins

"Aide-toi, Dieu t'aidera " Jehanne, la Pucelle

Der, der Geld verliert, verliert einiges;
Der, der einen Freund verliert, verliert viel mehr;
Der, der das Vertrauen verliert, verliert alles.

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Last edited by frostfire; 11-15-2016 at 21:20.
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Old 11-16-2016, 18:37   #14
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update

1. Larue's Customer Service is unparalleled. Plain and simple.
I was asking for a price quote to send the rifle for inspection and fix. John at Larue told me it will cost zilch, nada. I just have to ship it there. So here's a 5 years old rifle damaged by user error and poor ammo, and Larue Tactical still stands behind the product! They went above and beyond by not only replacing the extractor and ejector pin, but replaced the entire bolt, restored it to factors specs, test fired < 0.75 MOA, and UPS it back for free.
Needless to say, once HPA is passed, I see Larue's tranquillo suppressor in my near future for the bolt and gas guns.
Moral of the story: OBR will survive multiple kabooms, still deliver sub-MOA, then Larue will restore it to like new for zero dollar out-freakin-standin!

2. Freedom Munitions emailed be stating they stand 100% behind their product. I sent back 10 boxes of 147 gr Freedom Munitions re manufactured. I asked for new 147gr to restore confidence in their QC. FM send me 15 boxes of 147 gr re manufactured I thought they'll be happy to know they only have to pay for shipping instead of rifle damages, but I am still waiting for the reimbursement for shipping and the damaged magazine.


p.s. Although I won't trust it for reliability anymore, the 10 rds magpul 7.62 continue to run despite the cuts on the top and by the retaining area. I am going to run polymer and not metal mags from now on. Might have require some suturing had I used metal mag.
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"we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" Rom. 5:3-4

"So we can suffer, and in suffering we know who we are" David Goggins

"Aide-toi, Dieu t'aidera " Jehanne, la Pucelle

Der, der Geld verliert, verliert einiges;
Der, der einen Freund verliert, verliert viel mehr;
Der, der das Vertrauen verliert, verliert alles.

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