USFA ZIP Pistol KaBoom

Gun blogger Linoge (Walls Of The City) was testing the USFA ZIP Pistol when it suffered from an out-of-battery discharge …

Immediately on pulling the trigger on the 27th Golden Bullet round, I was confronted with a bright, actinic purple flash from the ejection port and magazine well of the ZiP, the magazine was forcibly ejected from the firearm, my hand and face were peppered with some manner of debris, and my right hand felt like it caught a baseball bat mid-swing.  I basically threw the firearm on the range bench and backed away quickly.

Ouch! Lots more photos and the full report here.

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.


  • DanielKnyphuasen

    See, just upon looking at it for the first time, I (and likely many others) simply said to themselves “This is going to explode.” Seems I (we) was (were) right.

  • flyingburgers

    What’s more impressive is that he got Golden Bullets to fire. I swear at least 10% of my last box were duds.

    • David

      No kidding. You can take consecutive number 10/22s off the production line and they won’t like exactly the same brands and loads of ammo. I may be exaggerating a touch, but the point is valid. .22 caliber semi-autos are FINICKY when it comes to ammunition.

    • Because an OOBD discharge is purely the fault of the ammo? Because the striker can fall out of battery, or did you just not read the full write up?

      Not to mention all the other failures see with other ammunition, including the inability to fully cycle CCI Mini-Mags. Yes, I’m totally sure it was 100% the ammunition.

      If you go read the whole report, he tried 5 different brands, the only one that didn’t have any issues was Federal Lightning.

      • flyingburgers

        We know that 5-10% of them have issues, likely due to inadequate primer. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to wonder if some of them are overprimed. And that’s definitely a out of battery risk on a rimfire.

        By the author’s own admission, he had problems with this exact ammo which would be unacceptable if it wasn’t dirt cheap plinking stuff, so the fact it blew up leads to obvious questions. If it had blown up with CCI ammo, for example, then we could draw a more firm conclusion, but it didn’t so we can’t.

        • Except he can stick his finger in the bolt and drop the hammer hitting the firing pin.

          Basically what it boils down to is the primary ammo that failed had feed issues that resulted in a failure to go into battery. When it failed to go into batter the hammer could still fall. So yes crappy ammo, but not the fault of the OOBD unless you say guns should be able to go bang even out of battery.

      • David

        Yeah, it could be the firearm, sometimes you just get a lemon and all of the tolerances are wonky. .22lr weapons being especially finicky, I could see it exacerbating the problem. I’ve only ever seen a gun pop in person once, but have read at least a couple dozen articles and forum posts about out of battery detonation. None of those were because the firearm didn’t “work” or because the design was flawed. All we either due to operator error or ammunition used (usually hand load gone wrong).. I know, anecdotal evidence isn’t as good as statistical, but It’s still interesting nonetheless.

        • You hand load 22 rim-fire? Wow, I don’t know anyone else who does that.

          Not to mention none of those people every try and recreate it as an OOBD. Except he did. He could shove his finger in there and drop the hammer. Is a gap like that acceptable for safety. Where I’m from dropping the hammer with a gap that big can cause an OOBD.

  • erwos

    So, a rimfire going a _bit_ out of battery is nothing terribly special. My CMMG 22lr upper (which is anything but cheap) does it if I use the wrong ammo (RGBs or Win bulk). It’s just the nature of simple blowback operation.

    What’s worrisome here is the “hold the chamber open, press trigger, feel striker” bit. That’s hinting towards an engineering problem. It’s also weird hearing the creator talk about chamber pressures or whatever – again, he’s doing a simple blowback gun, that case is coming out right the hell now.

    I was interested in this gun, and I still am… but it’s clear that creator has some engineering fixes that need to happen.

  • TCBA_Joe

    A poorly conceived gun with no actual purpose or niche to fill who’s entire point is to be the “that guy” of firearms has an OOB? Color me shocked…

    • 032125


    • Sid

      I am still not able to figure out why this gun was built. What niche was the design meant to fill? Not to be too simplicitic, but what the hell is the purpose of this gun?
      The initial release with the undergun rail mounts never made any sense. Who the hell wants a .22LR undermount gun? For what?
      And I bought a pistol bayonet for S & Gs. I still don’t see the want, need, or necessity for this thing.

  • Charles

    Yikes! If I were “confronted with a bright, actinic purple flash ” I would back away too.

  • jamezb

    Why am I just not suprised by this at all?

  • B.

    Well, this killed my plans to get one of these. I was annoyed with how they
    first tried to drum up interest with the pistol to begin with – an anonymous
    shooter at a range with an unknown gun in a viral video attempt. But, I
    overlooked that, even though they should have just come out and said what it was
    and to give some stats on it. But, after this, I think I’ll save my money for
    something else… like ammo if I can ever find any.

  • Can’t shoot mine either. Tried. Did get 3 rounds in a row. And as of today NO Upgrade kit. Think Doug got out of the 6 gun business too soon. Still I have bata tested a lot of guns. i have a couple non functioning Rogaks so…went thru a lot of BS with KelTec’s P32. i am a collector.

  • ExMachina1

    I’m still in partial denial about USFA. Are they REALLY the same company that made the silky smooth as super tight SAA reproduction in my safe? Someone tell me this is all a bad dream.

  • This is my surprised face.

  • KM

    I had considered getting one of these until I saw they weren’t compact at all. They’re basically an oversized palm pistol that can be freely customized? I don’t see the draw

  • wolfkiller

    they should make these in 9×19

  • Eric S

    I’m still going to get one unless a few more negative reviews pop up. I have every intention of mounting it on a pistol for the sheer ludicrous factor, assuming the ATF says that’s legal and all.

  • Aaron

    Having “fired” this pistol during Media Day at SHOT Show I am not surprised at all. The Zip was a novel gun design, with several design drawbacks (including charging procedure). However, when it did shoot it was unique, and could have been fun.

    My buddy got it to fire three times in a row once. Every other attempt was a 1-shot, and clear jam. When I tried, I had a 1-shot and jam every time. The poor guys at the booth were beyond flustered. They tried to attribute the jams to arriving in Vegas with no ammo and having to scour the area to find cheap .22 ammo. They also said the cold affected the frame.

    Maybe, but I watched several other shooters having the same jamming problems. Seemed more like a design flaw, rather than the expected bad .22 round occasionally.

  • cee13

    my gsg522 or my moss 715t will not fire goldens at ALL

  • Leigh Rich

    Could not get my Zip Pistol from USFA to function. It was returned post paid to CT where they updated. Returned with extras. A rail and a box of CCI Blazer 22 Ammo. Great company who is trying to get their new gun working. Will test Sunday and tell you all.
    Life of a collector beta tester to be the first on my block!!!

    The one in picture does not have updates.

    • Cymond

      “Will test Sunday and tell you all.”
      Did you ever test? how did it go?

  • Leigh Rich

    I still have mine in my collection. Got it to work. A unique firearm as I have them all. Next a Taurus View.