M14/M1A "SlamFire" KABOOOOM

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by mrm14, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    On July 4th at the shooting range I go to a fellow was trying some of his reloads in his M1A and this happened.

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    The guy, as far as I know, wasn't severly hurt but did have a piece of the rifle stock in is face. It was reported that the shooter who reloaded his own ammo was using Varget. Upon dissassembly on one of his rounds, it was discovered that he had 46+ grains of powder in his load. IMO, I believe that the charge of powder wasn't the cuase of this mishap, rather the typical reloading problems associated with the Garrand actions that can cause "SlamFire" or OOB (out of battery) discharge.

    With the M14/M1A as well as the M1 Garrands (probably more so with M1's) "SlamFire" can be attributed in most all cases to hand loaded ammo errors.

    Heres an article that I dug up that goes over the do's and dont's for reloading for the M14/M1A. http://www.m14.ca/reloading/14_loading.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    That sucks. BTW, I shoot at Sac Valley.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Holy Hell!!! :eek:

    I have heard of this happening, but I had never seen the aftermath of it. That guy is SERIOUSLY lucky to be alive. There are a lot of pieces to what used to be, presumably, a nice weapon.

    Thanks for posting!

    JD
     
  4. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    This guy was a guest at the range and one of the members of NCPPRC was setting up his chrono next to him when it happened. It was reported on their webb site. I wasn't there (Thank God) to see this as I have seen it before. Not a pretty sight. The guy was lucky that he wasn't life flighted out.
     
  5. 13BangBang

    13BangBang New Member

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    Just curious mrm14 did you used to be an artillerymen? Just wondering because of your "out of battery" comment
     
  6. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    Holy hell! :eek:

    and I built a 458SOCOM so I can get into reloading why? :eek: I'm gonna need to do a whole lot a reading and researching before i feel comfortable taking up reloading. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  7. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Don't let this post stop you from reloading your own ammo. Just be vigilant about being accurate with your reloading techniques.

    I've put over 40,000 rounds through my M1A and approxmently 8,000 rounds have been my own reloads without hitch. I'm somewhat anal retentive when it comes to reloading my own ammo. Probably because I'm looking for accuracy but saftey is forefront also in there as well. Particularly for this type of action. AR's have some similar and their own issues when it comes to the ammo you feed them particulary if you are reloading your own and reading and researching your rifle in this area of reloading your own is a good idea. But don't let this post stop you from reloading your own ammo.
     
  8. 13BangBang

    13BangBang New Member

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    This isn't just for the M1A it goes for any weapon. I've been out duck hunting with a guy who had loaded his shells a lil too hot. Well he went to shoot a duck and his barrel mushroomed which in return knocked him to the ground. And the stupid ****** stood back up said he thinks something is wrong with his gun and told me to shoot it. I still have a brain so I just laughed at him and told myself well this was the last time I'm going hunting with you.
     
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    thats a rare occurance. its also why most if not all reloading manuals say start on the low end and work your way up carefully. 458 socom is very similar o the 45-70 and some of the lower end 458 winmag loads.

    assuming the bullet used was a 168grn my speer manual shows that 46grn charge is over max for everything cept one powder. without knowing the bullet and powder type its hard to tell. but my guess the shooter liekly did not triple check his gear and just cranked out ammo without spot checking.

    powder settling air pressure miniscule changes from can to can in even the same batch can lead to drastically different charge weights. every time i load i check the first ten loads to make sure the powder measure is throwing the right charge. once im comfy i spot check every 20 rounds or so to make sure settling in the measure hasnt occured.

    handloading is one hobby where being anal retentive on safety is a plus.

    ive loaded and fired prolly close to 50-60k rounds with only one incident of a round getting buy without a charge. had to pound the bullet out of my sig 220. ive caught plenty of overcharged rounds and spent hours with bullet puller.

    just a few qc measures will keep you safe.
     
  10. General-Logic

    General-Logic New Member

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  11. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    It's hard to kill an M14/M1A with just a "Hot" load alone. These rifles are somewhat sensitive to primer seating depth (I seat my primers .004" or more deep past flush with the head),case trim height (I trim my brass for the M1A to minimun SAMMI spec height for every reload) I Keep my shouldr clearance at minimum of .003" off the chamber and the bullet at least .004" off the lands. I use small base dies as well. The M14/M1A and the M1 Garrands have a relitively loose chambers and the speed of these rifles actions, in stock configuration, really beats up the brass. These are some of the things that you really have to watch when reloading for these rifles.
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Very likely a high primer that went off before the action was fully locked.
     
  13. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I know this sounds simple. But, you have to wonder if this guy was properly cleaning his primer pockets. I could see that leaving a primer exposed.
     
  14. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Normally the amount of carbon left behind in a primer pocket is not enough to leave a high primer. 7.62 NATO brass has crimped primer pockets, most of the time. If the crimp is not properly removed, the new primer will not seat properly.
     
  15. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    There was some additional info on a couple of other boards about this. It seems the shooter had what could be described as a squib. He manually ejected the "fired" case and chambered a new rd which was probably stopped from going all the way into battery by the bullet from the previous squib. He never checked for a bore obstruction prior to chambering the new rd even though he only had a small "pop" with a hissing sound on the rd before.

    Good thing nobody was hurt, but pity about his rifle.
     
  16. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    More info on this mishap posted by another person that shoots regularly at Sac. Valley.

    I was at the range today and talked with Larry the AGM, and took a close look at the rifle. Larry said he pulled a couple bullets and weighed the powder charge and it was 46gr +. Whether it was actually Varget or not is not known. The person who did the reloading said it was, but we know that people have loaded the wrong powder before.

    The barrel split on the breech end on both sides where there is a machined groove. The split on on one side is about 1/8" wide, and both splits go forward about 2 inches or so. The case is still in the chamber minus the case head. The threaded end of the barrel is now shorter than when it left the factory as the rear most part of the chamber is missing about 1/8"-1/4". There is no obstruction in the barrel now, and the barrel does not appear to be bulged from having had one.

    In all likelihood the person doing the reloading ran more than a few highly over charged rounds through the rifle until it could take no more and went KABOOM. Unless he filled his cases with pistol powder I highly doubt just one over charged round could do this. If it was a slam fire or OOB, the bolt would have blown off but the chamber should have maintained integrity because once the bolt was blown back there would have been a drastic reduction of chamber pressure with nothing to contain it.

    But, as has already been said, this why care must be taken when making up hand loads, and why manuals list maximum loads.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010