Smith and Wesson Autos

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by mainefishinggui, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. mainefishinggui

    mainefishinggui New Member

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    OK gun nuts... I have a doozy for you. Two Smith and Wesson 4006s blowing up in two weeks. Thats right, folks.

    I'm a correctional officer at the Maine State Prison, and was just out on the range today when a pistol cracked its barrel and bulged out the right side of the slide near the ejection port. This is the second time in two weeks that this has happened to us.

    The gun from last week was driven to Smith and Wesson by our armorer, and they could not identify the cause, other than the ammunition used (CCI Lawman, clean firing stuff). It wasn't a squib, and the barrel was not obstructed.

    We isolated the lot number of the ammo used last week, pulled a new lot of the same brand of ammo, and fired again this week. We were shooting from barricades at 15 meters today, when an officer's pistol did the same thing. The round did not fire as the slide closed, and it was not a squib. The officer fired at the target, felt a "spray" on his face, and inspected the gun, to find a bulge in the slide. After filling out my overtime, I went to the firearms instructor's office to look at the slide. It appeared to me that the lacquer around the primer was blown out, and the primer was slightly cratered. Both of these would lead me to a belief that the ammo was improperly loaded.

    I called my father, who is a retired police officer, and was a firearms trainer with the Orleans Massachusetts Police Department. He felt that the Smith and Wesson 4006 is an excellent gun (his department issued them, also), and that it was most likely a double charge.

    Do any of you guys have any similar CCI Ammo or S&W 4006 stories? Any thoughts, anyone?
     
  2. Minionsram

    Minionsram New Member

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    I have seen a few of dbl loads, But have never seen a S&W just break apart like that. In fact I have never seen a firearm have a catastrophic failure like that. I would say the ammo is to blame. Even though CCI puts out a very good quality product a double charge is something that could happen considering the amount of ammo they produce in a days time.

    I would have your armorer check the grams of one of ten cartridges just to be safe.
     

  3. genie

    genie New Member

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    Most interesting, especially since I am a 4006 fan and own one which was ex-LE in Mesa, AZ.

    Initially, I thought about some problem showing up in the manufacturing process of the barrel as being responsible, until mention was made of cratered, or punctured primers. 4006 barrels are stainless steel, probably some 400-series variety, and COULD be slightly less strong than a good heat-treated carbon-steel barrel, but nonetheless, .40S&W is no barrel-buster caliber.

    On the other hand, Ruger touted a test they performed when introducing their P-89, I believe it was, in which they welded a plug in the barrel, fired the weapon, and it survived that firing without visible failure. So, it takes a high-pressure detonation of smokeless to burst a modern barrel. I'm leaning toward the ammo as being to blame, for the 4006 failures.
     
  4. genie

    genie New Member

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    No disrespect intended, but the above statement does not mean it cannot, and has not, ever happened.

    A normal-use firearm failure is not an often-seen event, but it DOES happen occasionally.
     
  5. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Double load is certainly possible! I had a CCI 44 Magnum 240 grain SWC SPLIT my Ruger Super Blackhark (BISLEY) cylinder!!! That's virtually IMPOSSIBLE with a Ruger, except for a double load. My double load also deformed the primer just as you describbed. I definitely DID NOT have a squib either.