A Rifle Has A Very Bad Day

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This catastrophic disassembly was shared by “Remington Peters” on one of the gun groups I belong to.

Even broke the Leupold!
What’s left of the coned breech and extractor cut of the barrel.
The assumed culprit. I concur.

14 COMMENTS

    • Peters said the young guy who it blew up on even lost an eye and has had surgeries to save the other one. Ammo was factory ammo so they said.

  1. rifle caliber? i hurt a 721, woulda had to replace a few parts; instead had the chamber hogged out to .270/.338 Win… replaced bolt w/ magnum bolt. i concluded i had loaded a 7mm slug instead of a .270…
    this catastrophic failure probably took much more error! bore blocked, I would guess.

  2. That appears to have been a Model 70, pre-64 style, but for the vent hole on the left side of the action. I’m still puzzled by that. Sako actions have the vent on the left, but this had a Mauser-style extractor.

    The extractor came away from the bolt and ejected from the action, possibly causing injury. The top of the front ring is missing. That could have caused injury as well.

    All that might be required for such an over-pressure event with factory ammo, with the right powder, with the right charge, would be the bullet came out of the neck and engaged the lands of the rifling. I’ve seen such issues disassemble a rifle with low powder charges that my load/ballistics software indicate should have been only 50K PSI, well within safety margins for the brass and action.

    I’ve seen bolt guns blow scopes into multiple pieces, especially when they had Mauser-style extractors that took a hike.

      • These potentials are why I wear safety glasses that are MIL-PRF 32432 compliant when testing guns. ANSI-spec safety glasses are short on impact resistance.

    • I’ve seen similar failures. Usually, it’s the wrong powder (eg, shotgun/handgun powder instead of rifle powder, or an over-charge, or a magnum primer in a load tested with normal brisance primers, etc). But there can be failures this bad with factory ammo. There are sometimes esoteric reasons involved – eg, a lack of a throat chamfer in the leade, or a chamber that is cut off-center, or a “match” reamer that assumes brass with a shaved-down neck, etc.

      What happens in all cases is that the bullet encounters significant resistance immediately upon ignition of the powder. There’s no “jump” to the bullet when the pressure builds in the case, and this leads to over-pressure conditions, even with a sub-maximal load. Benchrest shooters will sometimes load their bullets to engage the rifling immediately upon chambering, but they adjust their loads dramatically downwards to account for this.

      • It’s very possible this was a result from too little powder in the factory load. Its a long known thing but very little of the shooting o reloading public know about it

  3. That looks like a detonation, as opposed to a deflagration of powder. I wonder what the storage conditions were for that ammo, and what powder was in it.

    I’ve seen and heard of similar things happening with ammo that had been stored for too long out in the desert, in a container or some such thing where the temperatures were way outside that whole “cool and dry” thing they recommend in all the books. There are some powders whose chemistry are supposedly highly prone to this sort of thing under those conditions.

    • modern powders are not very subject to temp variations. And that is new factory ammo used The first round fired as normal. Bullet it target. Second round Kaboomed

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