User “P08” over on arfcom has posted about his recent stimulating lesson in handloading.
“Bought a lightly used Sig 320 with the Romeo 1 sight on it last Sunday. Loaded up 100 rounds and went to the range. the first 80 went fine, then KABOOM! Felt a stinging in my right index finger and caught two pieces of something in my right cheek and center of my bottom lip. Was not wearing shooting glasses like a dumb ass (that will change). I got lucky that I have my fingers and right eye still. Got the gun apart and found the extractor gone, probably in high orbit somewhere? Side of the frame split (got and extra frame with the gun). The guts seem fine as does the slide and barrel even though it still has the body of the case stuck. Gonna try to freeze it to get it out. Will pack it all up and send to Sig to make sure the slide and barrel are safe to reuse.
Lesson learned is wear shooting glasses! If you are wondering the load was 4.5gr of Win 231 over a 115gr fmj.”
Beyond the obvious lesson of always wearing some sort of eye protection , there is a lot to be learned from reports of KABOOMS.
P08 figures he managed to get a double charge of powder in one rounds.
“I had two times where the bullet turned in the case. One of those times I am gonna guess I got maybe half an extra charge? Max load is 4.7gr, I always leave a little wiggle room from max. I know that the manuals always make max load pretty safe pressure wise. It was either over charge or and I doubt it was a under charge detonation? “
I’m not so sure about that. It is not easy to dump a double charge using a progressive press and the type of powder used will over low if two charges are attempted. I would suspect a bullet set back or the case was old and tired and let go. There seems to be a lot of opinion that the 320 has a tendency to go off out of battery though. A quick google search shows a lot of discussion about OOB kabooms on the 320. I’m not as quick to pile on the 320 for this being an OOB either. In my experience most out of battery usually results in just a bulged case. The owner is sending the gun back to SIG so hopefully they can provide some answers on what happened.
Unlike both sides in the glock/SIG war that rages online, I don’t have any strong feelings about either, I will say I like a lot of SIG pistols more than I like most Glocks.
The frame not being metal is one of the reasons I would never personally carry and use any of the plastic guns. In the vent of a kaboom I would much prefer an all steel framed M1911. But that is personal preference. P08, luckily got an extra frame with his gun so if he can get the slide off, he will be back in business more or less.
I think before I started shooting, I would make sure i wasn’t using any of that suspect batch of hishandloads and I would give a short prayer to God that I still had my fingers and eyes from the last time.