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KABOOM Goes the AR

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by CarryTexas, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. CarryTexas

    CarryTexas

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    A friend of mine was recently out shooting with one of his acquaintances and as I was told he heard an unusually loud bang. As you can see in the pictures, it resulted in a catastrophic failure of the guys AR.

    I don’t have all the details, but I do know he was shooting his reloaded ammo and was using H-335. I also use H-335 and I know that a double charge will more than overflow a case so I am not sure how someone could make that mistake.

    What could have happened?

    My theories:
    1. Squib followed by a live round
    2. Wrong powder i.e. pistol powder was mistakenly used in place of rifle powder

    Since I don’t know this person directly I don’t have all the facts so I thought I’d draw upon the GT brain trust to see what could have possibly caused this.

    The last I heard the owner was contacting the manufacture to I guess try to get them to warranty it.

    Is there any possible way this could have been anything other than my two theories?

    ETA: There were no serious injuries.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  2. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

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    Wow yeah I'm with you, I bet he loaded pistol powder instead of rifle.. I don't really know of any rifle powder that would allow a double charge without massively overflowing the case.

    IMHO, a squib then live round would blow apart the barrel, not back by the bolt.
     

  3. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Well if it was the first round of a run of ammo, could be wrong powder. I read where a guy mistook PP for H335, not sure how, they look nothing alike. You are correct, a double charge of H335 will not fit, nor will any other rifle powder in the 223. Maybe a squib followed by another round, but I doubt it by the looks of that.
    24-25gr of any pistol powder is going to do something like that. Not unlike most things, verify 2, 3, 4X before proceeding to be safe & not waste time, money, injury. IMO, I can NOT see how anyone loads the wrong powder if they are paying just a modest amount of attention.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  4. CarryTexas

    CarryTexas

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    I agree!

    I did hear of two AR Kabooms a while back where two guys shared a reloading press and there was pistol powder in the hopper and it was used to load .223...

    I am fanatical about process when I reload. Keeping the powder separate and is double and triple checked when I am setting up the press.
     
  5. dkf

    dkf

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    That one of those cheapo plastic lowers?

    Lots of pressure there, well over proof pressure. Depending on the profile of the barrel a squib should show some damage on the barrel, bullet particles stuck in the brake and etc. Looks pretty obvious the bolt was locked up, pressure just made its own window. Probably pistol powder in the case.

    The manufacturer should not warrenty that gun since he blew it up with his own reloads.

    I don't keep powder in my measures unless I am currently loading ammo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  6. themighty9mm

    themighty9mm

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    Wouldn't have to be a double charge or the wrong powder for that to happen. Could be as simple as simply and over charged load. If he was pushing max load to begin with and just went up a few more grain. You can get the exact same thng
     
  7. Atomic Punk

    Atomic Punk

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    well....looks like there are a few parts he can use to build another. wonder if the barrel is still good? looks like there may be some extra flare on the barrel extension.
     
  8. CarryTexas

    CarryTexas

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    Looks like a forged lower to me.

    I agree

    Same here. However, I reload every few weeks. Might be different if I was reloading all the time and had several measures... I would label them.

    I have no idea. I am assuming that he would have had a proven load that he was shooting. I guess it is possible if he loads right at the max he could get one with a variation that could put it over the limits. The damage suggests to me that it wasn't just a borderline failure.

    Yeah, like the stock group and handguards!
     
  9. FL Airedale

    FL Airedale Dog Breath

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    I don't know what happened, but I look at those pics and think of my AR and it brings tears to my eyes. I guess I'm too attached to my firearms.
     
  10. steve4102

    steve4102

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    No way, a few grains above 223 Max will put you into 5.56 range and that is what the AR 223/5.56 is designed to shoot. To get that kind of KB it has to a hell of a lot more than a 62K 5.56 load.
     
  11. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I agree. I don't think you can get enough rifle powder in the 223 to KB it like that. Blow a primer maybe, but not the gun.
    FWIW, I do leave powder in my measures all the time, it can safely be done if one just pays attention. I have three presses on my bench, all can have diff powders in their measures. I simply put a sticker on the measure with the powder that is inside written on it. You would have to be a total moron to mess that up or maybe just illiterate.:dunno:
     
  12. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

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    Question. Way off topic. One of my reloading buddies typically leaves his 223 powder in the hopper. The mfgs say not to do that due to potential deterioration (hygroscopic properties and all that). My buddy's powder started kind of gumming up and clumping together after a couple of months. Same powder also showed pressure signs with loads that had been fine earlier: same lot, same charge, same rifle, bullet and primer. Mixed brass as usual. This was an older hopper so oils were not this issue. Ever seen this problem from leaving in the hopper?
     
  13. copo9560

    copo9560

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    Any chance your buddy loaded a 300 Blackout in the magazine by mistake?? Sad thing is these will chamber in a 5.56 rifle, with results similar to what your pics show.
     
  14. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

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    Sure is. Plastic and some sort of metal insert.

    I am betting squib/barrel obstruction followed by live round. A case full of H335 would not blow up the gun like that. Destroy the case and maybe blow out the extractor, but not the whole barrel, barrel extension, bolt and upper.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris

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    I agree with both. That damage is far beyond a "hot load".

    The lower is plastic/metal, MSRP $49. Whatever was chambered and se off would have ruined any lower though.
    http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/ame...-ar-15-new-gun-review-shot-show-2014-preview/
     
  16. dkf

    dkf

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  17. OrangePwr9

    OrangePwr9

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    Where's the cartridge case?
     
  18. CarryTexas

    CarryTexas

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    In the pictures it's still in the chamber.
     
  19. jmorris

    jmorris

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    Drop a cleaning rod in and mark the depth on each end, now tell us how much space is full of bullet(s).
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  20. Jbehredt

    Jbehredt

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    Grab the sawzall and stick what's left in a vice. The answers are stuck in the gun still.