HK 45-C Kaboom!

Ryan, of Tropical Firearms in South Florida, had a customer bring in this HK 45-C pistol (with HK 45-CT threaded barrel).

Ryan said (emphasis added) …

Reloads were used, and its suspected to have been an “extra powder” error in measurement, no fault of the pistol. The shooter’s hand was burned a bit but the real injury is the busted HK… By the way the barrel bore and suppressor baffles had no damage, and the slide appears ok too. On observation we think the Hogue grip helped to protect his hand from the blow-out. And later in the day it was noticed that a pice of “flak” had hit a tube of lithium grease and pierced it; I think it was the extractor.

Many thanks to Ryan for emailing me the photos.

Many more photos of the carnage after the jump …


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • SoulTown

    Extra powder + suppressor = …

    No wonder. As much as I want to bash HK for ANYTHING, can’t say I can blame them…

  • Lance

    In my opinion stay away from suppressors with stranded ammo and always watch like a hawk when you reload ammo!

  • Kyle Huff

    Hey, I’m not sure it counts as a kaboom unless metal parts break.

  • looking at the damage to the case and the relatively undamaged condition of the chamber, it appears to me (by no means an expert) that the round went off before it was fully seated in the chamber. I doubt the slide would allow the hammer to fall before it was fully forward, so it occurs to me that it might be a case of a dirty firing pin jamming forward. I don’t know if this is even possible with the design of the gun, just a little mental masturbation.

  • Martin (M)

    I second that, hojo. From the looks of the case, it fired out of battery, not an overloaded round.

  • jdun1911

    This have nothing to do with the suppressor. He double charged his reload and that was what caused the KB!.

  • I think using hot loads out of a suppressor is kinda counter productive. Suppressors are supposed to make it quieter, without subsonic loads, it’s just a penis extension.

    • hojo, I think most rounds going through a suppressor are supersonic. The suppressor cuts down a lot of noise regardless of the speed of the ammunitoin.

  • jdun1911

    Subsonic rounds are quieter because they don’t produce sonic boom. They also less effective at stopping people, reduce range, cycling problems that will cause malfunction, and squid round that can lead to a KB!.

    Be careful when dealing with subsonic rounds.

  • The fact is the pistol handled the overcharged round quite well. The frame can easily be replaced, as well as the missing extractor.

    In addition to this, and what is actually much more important, is that there was little injury to the operator.

  • FWIW: The majority of factory .45 ACP ammunition is subsonic out of a 5″ barrel, with the exception of certain +P loads with 185gr or lighter projectiles.

  • RP

    So you spend $1000 on a fine handgun, then you are too cheap to buy factory ammo? Congrats to HK for building a firearm that protected the shooter from his own stupidity.

  • Advocate

    looks like a typical double charge KB!

    actually gives kudos to HK for just cracking the frame and not blowing the chamber.

    say what you will about HK, but they know how to make weapon systems.

    • hkwielder

      “say what you will about HK, but they know how to make weapon systems.”

      he who has raked, planted, sow and reaped the proceeds may eat!
      he who has researched, saved up, complied religiously and legitimately with all requirements to conceal carry MAY SAY A THING OR TWO ABOUT HK!!!

      and the statement….. THEY DONT KNOW HOW TO MAKE WEAPONS!!!!

      PLEASE DON’T WASTE MONEY!!! the barrel, slide and other metal parts MAY BE!!!! BUT THE MOTHER FUCKING FRAME, its made in HK – Hong Kong, as in Hong Kong China!!!!

      • hojo

        I don’t know about where you’re from, but in Texas, concealed carry isn’t very hard to get. I don’t recall a section related to firearm quality.

      • mike knox


        I can just picture purple veins on your forehead. As far as I can tell a, you seem like one of those catastrophically disappoined ex-HK fans.

        HK produces weapons to their standards and expectations. And they do it firstly for Military and Law Enforcement expectations, not civilian satisfaction..

  • Martin (M)

    This is NOT a double charge. It’s is a fired-out-of-battery. Just look at the way the case was smeared over the feed ramp. If the gun was in battery, the base might be torn off, but the case wall would not come into contact with the feed ramps as it would have been pressed against the chamber wall. This is why there was no damage to the barrel or slide. As it was out of battery, the expanding gasses took the path of least resistance and wrecked the polymer frame, only cracking it and dislodging the extractor.

    Seriously! Look at the flared base of that case! It detonated without being fully in the chamber!

  • W

    handloading epic failure.

  • Michael

    Another one! Hand loading requires ones full attention and knowledge of charge data and accurate measuring methods. Stop thinking about economics and focus on safety and performance and double charging will not happen. Even if a slow burning powder is heavier than posted data, it won’t blow the gun up!