M14 KABOOM

Blain at ARFCOM reports

I felt the stiff recoil from the explosion at the same time as hearing the blast, and feeling the hot hair blow in my face, and through my hair. I knew what had happened. Something, I had heard of happening with bad rounds (Indian, mystery handloads), something I hoped to never personally experience.

A round blew up in my chamber.

The problem appears to be a case head failure. The operator was not injured and the rifle survived. All modern rifles are designed to handle this kind of failure gracefully.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]



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.


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  • I have an 8mm casing from one of our machinegun shoots that looks like the twin to that round. It occurred while running a belt through an ANM2 .30 and other than a very slight and almost unnoticeable hiccup in firing (didn’t realize it at that time, only when watching video afterward) and a big puff of smoke under the gun when the casing was ejected the gun continued to run. Gotta love those John Moses Browning (Peace Be Upon Him) designs!

    • Gregory, you should put the vid on youtube! Send me a link if you do.

  • Lance

    Mistake was he used Indain Ammo. Every one ive talked to and read from says its dangeriously faulty and poorly made. Bullets had lead hanging out of the jacket. Do NOT use 7.62 NATO Military ammo from any Asian and most South American country. PMC and Norinco Commercial ammo is ok to use in a M-14.

    Buy European ammo. British and German ammo works well in US and Polytech M-14s.

    Austrilian Ammo is great too the best. But is no longer imported since the antigunners there had it destoryed and ammo banned from export.

    South African can be tricky some lots very good some very poor in make. Some have very soft primers which will be punched threw with a fireing pin in a M-14 or even a German G-3/H&K 91.

    Take care of your 14 there a treasure to have.

  • Casey

    Hey Lance,

    He said it wasn’t Indian “mystery ammo”… it was NATO stamped… this could happen to anyone of us.

    Glad he was all right.

    This is basically an advertisement for the M14.

  • kerrmudgeon

    I experienced an incident quite similar to this in my DPMS Tac-20 [.308]. The case head of an IMI-made 7.62NATO round fractured precisely as illustrated in the above photograph. The floorplate of the 19-rd magazine was blown out and the 7-10 rounds remaining in the magazine wound up in the dirt.

    Astonishingly, nothing at all was damaged beyond the ruptured case. The unfired brass survived, the floorplate and magazine retaining tabs were not bent and readily reassembled, and the bolt and receiver didn’t appear damaged at all. The only sign of a failure was a slight patina of brass deposited around the locking lugs of the bolt face.

    I think Israel’s IMI is currently on the list of suspect ammunition manufacturers that DPMS will not warranty.

    http://dpmsinc.com/support/warning.aspx [Israel is top of the list].

    I should have submitted this to the Firearm Blog and we’d be calling it an advertisement for DPMS . . .