Ex Military Explains What A Cook Off Is



  1. I don’t think that Washing the Spears 1973 was totally wrong, but perhaps, just a tiny bit wrong. My recall seems to be that once the barrel gets hot enough, when a round is chambered, that round can “cook off.” In an automatically reloading weapon, the next round is loaded into the chamber and cooks off. At that point, cutting the supply is the only real way to stop the repeating cycle. Drop the magazine or break the belt and all comes to an end.
    That is different from a squib. A squib is just a round that doesn’t fire when the pin strikes the primer. It may be that the entire cartridge is a dud or it may be that there is something cooking inside there and the round will go off in a few seconds. In the case of a squib, one just keeps the weapon pointed downrange for a reasonable length of time for safety’s sake.
    Keeping the bolt locked and in place is done so that one doesn’t have the round go off with nothing to resist the explosive result.

  2. Light Machine Guns, including the M60, generally fire from an open bolt, so there is no round chambered to cook off. This is a deliberate design feature to prevent cook offs. So air rushing into the chamber won’t cause a round to explode in your face either. Seriously, I was an M60 gunner in the Australian Army. I was well trained. I know what I’m talking about.

  3. I too have put many a round through M60s. The IAD for “ker-chunk” was to quickly rack the cocking handle to the rear and observe the failed cartridge ejected. If so, drive on. If not, our rules were different for in training than what we’d do real world. Training you break the belt and sandbag it for 15 minutes. Real world, well, you get your gun back running in any way necessary but you gotta do it quick. The IAD is pretty much the same for the 240s and most any open bolt belt fed.
    This guy isn’t entirely wrong but oxygen doesn’t have anything to do with it other than being part of the combustion triangle.

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