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Glock 29 kaboom

Discussion in 'The 10 Ring' started by deadandgone, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. deadandgone


    Jul 27, 2010
    Kaboom happened today...kaboom part at the end of this important part of the story

    hot ammo question
    First, apologies as this relates to a 40 cal xdm. Why I am asking here is that it relates to some ammo Mike Willard made up for me before he passed, a scalding hot 165 gd at 1325 fps. What happened to me yesterday I have never seen or heard of before, so since this forum deals with issues of high speed and high pressure and all the surrounding issues, I come here. I have a g29 and am used to firing hot loads...but anyway...

    Here's what happened. I was just going to shoot my xdm because I was bored, and it had been a while since I shot it, so I carried it outside with a few of Mike's rounds in it. Full mag.

    I fired the first round, and enjoyed the feel. I looked down on the ground, and an unfired shell was on the ground. I shot a few more rounds, and went inside. The uncertainty of what just happened made me pause and think. So I loaded up the gun just like it was before, went back outside, and the exact same thing happened. I think the shell jumped out of the gun somehow....I don't know

    Now I'm really perplexed. I fill the mag up with some 180 grain federal hst.....go back out, and problem, no issue.

    So....I'm completely lost and perplexed. I think the issue was with the ammo...I do have a stronger recoil spring.

    The xdm appears fine, fires normal ammo ok. Next weekend I'm going to shoot it more to try to figure out what is going on.

    Any ideas?

    part two
    figured it out
    Shot a little today...shot some regular 40 cal problem, smooth as silk.

    Put a few rounds of hot Swamp Fox in....same as before except this time instead of the live round flying out of the gun intact....a stove pipe occurred, with a live round.

    I was almost happy to see this, but I had to test some more.

    Put regular ammo back in, smooth as silk. Swamp Fox...stove pipe with a live round.

    If Mike were still alive we'd be in touch. But....I'll just use my regular ammo in the 40 and be happy. The Swamp Fox 40 ammo is hereby quarantined. I have no desire to mess with it anymore. As of this moment, it ain't broke.

    kaboom part
    My right hand is wounded and I am shaking as I type. My wife and I got the crap scared out of us. I say my right hand is wounded....fingers intact, but I am bruised up pretty bad. Most of us think about high speed loads etc....every now and then a dose of reality sets in...let this be the dose for all of us, not just for me.

    I have a lone wolf conversion 10mm to 40 cal barrel, and I knew the Swamp Fox 40 cal ammo was no threat to the almighty Glock 10 mm, so I go out to shoot some of it up, to use it up and just shoot some. I shoot two rounds, hit my target, and decide to do a double tap. I am not sure where in the next part the crap hits the fan, but I pull the trigger and the gun explodes in my hand. I run inside and make sure all my parts are still there, I have my wife check just to be sure as my heart is pounding 7000 beats a minute. I go back outside and find that the magazine has blown out of the gun, and a small plastic piece on the right side of the gun has blown out as well, adjacent to the mag(somebody tell me what this is cause I need a new one, no patience at the moment, more important to give out the warning), there is a spent shell in the barrel, and a live round pops out of the gun. I have to move the slide back and forth to get the empty out of the chamber.

    The magazine with the live rounds is in the trash, there was some melting. The Swamp Fox 40 cal ammo is in the trash, a promise I made my wife. My wonderful Glock 29 has a hole in the right side and is out of commission.

    I am at a loss for words. My hurt hand is nothing....I can't believe what just happened, and I can't believe that as bad as this could have been, that I able to type out this warning. I saw the Ravens fan thing about a bad attitude being the only true disability. Dang it, I am ok....I AM OK!!!!And I am so grateful, and make no apologies for my gratitude.

    But I have to look out for you, because I don't have all the answers to what just happened. I only hope and pray that someone wiser than I can sort this out, so that we don't have to live this again.

    Apologies for no descriptions at the moment...explosion blew the mag out of the bottom, Swamp Fox 40 cal ammo, melting of the mag at the top, small plastic piece blown out on the right side, otherwise gun appears intact.

    G29 has 21 lb recoil spring

    I am, at the moment, consuming a strong beer.

    cause there for a moment, I thought I was really....


    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  2. 4095fanatic


    Oct 12, 2006
    Ill leave theories to others more knowledgable than me, but I'm glad to hear you're ok. I'd get it checked out just to be safe (local urgent care clinic should be fine).

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire

  3. ctious


    Dec 12, 2011
    I would say that the 40 ammo was hot. But also it was oversize. Dia. That us why it had trouble feeding. When there is no side room off the case to wall it cany exp and release the bullet. Causing a pressure spike. Causing the blow out. I would bet if you took a new round and tried dropping it in the barrel it won't freely drop all the way in.

    Lone wolf barrel are tighter also. So it would have amplified the pressures.

    Take the barrel out and grab a unfired swampfox load and see if it will fall freely in the chamber.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  4. ctious


    Dec 12, 2011
    As a thing of safety. I always will randomly grab a bullet out of a box and always check to chamber drop in before I dream to fire it. Just to make sure the lot was sized properly.
  5. GIFF


    Jan 31, 2013
    wow, I'm glad your alright.
  6. deadandgone


    Jul 27, 2010
    Thanks for all the kind words.

    I grabbed the Swamp Fox ammo and mag out of the trash, and dropped the ammo into the conversion barrel. I dropped about ten into the barrel, all went in just fine. Just to be sure that my thinking isn't skewed, I took some 10 mm ammo and dropped into the 10 mm barrel....the fit is the same.

    By figuring out what it is not, we will hopefully figure out what it is.

    And, just so we can say it has been said, the correct ammo(40 cal) was used in the correct fashion (used with the 10/40conversion barrel, which I have used in the past with no issues), and no I was not drinking alcohol prior to the kaboom.

    I understand that the repairs are all on me, that Mike is no longer with us, and the gun was not stock.

    I did have some work done on the grip, with a grip reduction. Don't know that it has anything to do with anything, just want to give the experts all the info I have at the moment.

    I have had no issue shooting nuclear ammo 10 mm rounds(Swamp Fox and Underwood and Double Tap). I am completely clueless.
  7. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Wow... Glad you are okay. Sorry if you've already answered this (I'm on iPhone)...

    Is it a Gen3 or Gen4? Have you mic'd the chamber and brass expansion? Have you loaded any HANDLOADS at that level out of your same G29?
  8. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    deadandgone: I am glad that you were not seriously hurt. I am sorry to hear that your Glock is hosed. Thank you for getting this information out there.

    This is yet another gun blown up with SF ammo. I have reserved my personal thoughts about SF ammo, but I may let a little "leak out" now.

    First, Mike Willard was a standup guy who graciously shared a lot about his struggles with his ammo business. His passing was untimely, and we miss him here at GT. He shared more than what most prudent business people did, but he did that for the sake of ongoing discussion with his customers and fellow 10mm enthusiasts.

    He always tried to make things right; like replacing a couple of kaboomed firearms. He also personally worried about the levels of gunpowder that he was putting in a given load. He obviously had restless nights worrying about his loads. It was not clear what methods he was using to pressure test his ammo.

    Secondly, he had some very basic misunderstandings about internal ballistics, and/or had shifting views. In the end, it seemed to me that Swamp Fox was more or less a hobbyist that had the courage to stuff a ton of Longshot powder in his cases and then sell them to the general public.

    Exhibit A: Hodgdon, with a ballistics laboratory, lists a max of 8.2 grains under a 200 grain FMJ @ 35,000 psi. Hornady's max is 7.3 grains. SF was stuffing 10.0 grains (22% more than Hodgdon & 33% more than Hdy) under a longer high friction XTP. He had a "de-rated" load at a bit less. But that begs the question: If we know that the pressure curve gets steeper, and if 8.2 grains = 35,000 psi, what is the pressure of a 10.0 grain charge?

    When these loads caused problems, he looked to unsupported chambers, or weak recoil springs, something peculiar about G29s, or barrels that were too long; rather than analyzing the pressure levels of his ammo.

    The downside to Mudrush (his GT user name) so generously sharing his load data, was that he shared his load data. Folks assume that since a small producer of hot ammo loaded those recipes, they must be good-to-go. To say the least, these loads must be approached with extreme caution. Better yet, they should be avoided.

    Thanks again deadandgone for posting this word of caution.
  9. deadandgone


    Jul 27, 2010
    OK, I finally had the guts to look at it real close. I see at least 2 hairline cracks in the frame near the mag release and near the trigger on both sides of the trigger. The piece that blew out is/was part of the mag release.

    Dang it...I loved that gun. The slide appears ok with no cracks, and it seems to function ok. If I got a new frame, it may take forever. Getting a new g29 appears as that would take forever. Any ideas about where to get either a new frame or g29?

    I'm giving some thought on just giving up on finding another g29 but I do have a lot of 10 mm ammo stockpiled.

    I'm just grateful that these are my most pressing issues at the moment. These things will sort themselves out. I am alive, and healthy. Thank God!
  10. TKM

    TKM Shiny Member Lifetime Member

  11. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Glad to hear that you are OK. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
  12. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Great outlook and attitude. You are right, there is a lot to be grateful for.

    In Boise area (Meridian) the Sportsman's Warehouse had a couple G29s very recently. I don't know if they ship though.

    Cabelas in Boise had a used gen 3 SF in their gun library for $499. It had external barrel wear to indicate that it had been a shooter. Otherwise pretty clean. Again, I don't know if they ship or not.

    Too bad about the frame.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  13. Any Cal.

    Any Cal.

    Oct 27, 2008
    You could get a 30 and use your upper for multiple calibers. You could sell the upper. Might could send in the frame to Glock and pay for a replacement, though that could add up w/ shipping the frame both ways. The mags themselves are worth a bit right now, between them and the upper you could get $400+ out of it, replacing the frame could cost you close to $300.
  14. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    Glad you're okay. How old is the LW barrel? I ask because the XDm has pretty good case support and later LW barrels don't have the support they used to have. I don't know what powder he used, but if it was Longshot, from what I've tested it's pretty good up to about 10% over book in the .40 with a well supported barrel. It sounds like it could have been a lot worse, any pictures of the gun and the brass?
  15. Bongo Boy

    Bongo Boy

    Jan 11, 2012
    Colorado USA
    Very happy to hear you're not seriously injured. I've had two barrel blow ups--nothing quite so serious--and I can appreciate the Level 10 pucker factor.

    As for what happened, it may never been known for certain, but if you or a friend has a bullet puller, an interesting experiment would be to pull those remaining rounds and look at the charge weights. We may not have a clue as to what powder is being used, but it doesn't matter really if you see a wide variation in the charge weight.

    Recently Shadow posted the results of a pulldown he did from a small ammo manufacturer, and found two rounds with a WILD variation--as in near-squib sub-grain charge in one, extra biggie in the other.

    So the explanation could be that simple: pushing maximum loads and then having crappy process control could easily lead to a blown gun.

    My opinion is also that these guys who are selling ammo probably in very few if any cases have actually taken the time to set up a lab where they can measure pressure. They're just guessing. That's my opinion. I don't really care who they are--if you don't measure both your process (charge weight being an important part of it) and your pressures, then you're flat-out guessing at what you're selling.
  16. deadandgone


    Jul 27, 2010
    No pics of the brass available as they fell in the woods...however, my wife and I both remember the spent shell casing as being black, and I think there was a hole in the back of the spent shell....which would explain it all.

    The only pic that would indicate anything amiss would just show the part of the mag release that is not there(on the right side, where my right hand would reside,which hand is burned/bruised), and maybe a little melting at the top of the magazine. The small cracks in the frame I do not believe my camera would pick up.

    In a way, the glock did hold up, in that my hand is still in one piece. I cannot fault glock for what I believe to be faulty ammo. I mean, Mike jacked this up for me, because I asked for it, but I did say that it must be safe. Mike assured me that it was. I will say no more about Mike as he cannot respond to anything I say.

    After all this, I have decided to get another g29sf. I have too much ammo, too many after market parts to just walk away. I feel the gun is safe. I cannot say the same for all the ammo out there. I do have some Swamp Fox 10 mm that I am not sure of anymore. I've never had an issue with any of his 10 mm ammo. Still.....

    Just glad to be I can think about all this stuff. Somewhat wiser, and a little more jaded.

    If I feel led tomorrow, I may post a pic or two. No promises: a pic would tell you no more than I already have. And hey, I have an excuse. My hand hurts.

    Also, the barrel is signs of cracking or damage, a lot of soot but nothing else.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  17. deadandgone


    Jul 27, 2010
    got pics

    cant figure out how to get them here

    clicked everything I know to click

    tried at the bottom

    tried at the top


    educate me, never needed to post pics before

  18. deadandgone


    Jul 27, 2010
    2 pics
    new pics

    one showing cracked frame

    the other showing my injured hand

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  19. MarineHawk


    Oct 23, 2011
    If I understand correctly, an insufficiently-supported chamber won't necessarily damage the barrel as much as it will allow the explosive gases to explode through the back of the case doing pretty much what happened to you. Not blaming the barrel, but a fully supported chamber might provide better protection against this. But the main culprit may be super-hot loads that are not really thought through and tested properly.
    I am happy that you are well.
    I would put the rest of that SW ammo in the trash and try to live a long life.
  20. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    BS. Absolute BS. That ammo was loaded way too hot. Someone trying to make a 40 into a 10mm and thats what will happen.