Photos: Bushmaster BA-50 Kaboom

Recently a TFB reader sent some photos from a local range where a reloader had a kaboom with a Bushmaster BA-50.  Below is the readers description of the incident. Glad to hear that no one was seriously injured.  Stay safe out there!

I was at the range a few weeks back, and a few seconds after they went hot for the first round of shooting there was a loud explosion and lots of yelling. Someone had managed to blow up their BA-50, peppering himself and the person to his right with brass fragments. The rifle was destroyed; the bolt head held together but the rest of the bolt was pushed rearward, and the safety lug just bowed out the receiver instead of doing what it was supposed to do. He was shooting reloads, so I suspect he didn’t get them quite right one way or another. The bullet left the barrel, and clearly the bolt was in battery. No serious injuries, just a lot of small cuts and such on the shooter’s face and arms. He did manage to get blood all over the rifle though.


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Thanks Chris for the tip and photos!


  • JumpIf NotZero

    Reloaders 🙂

    Also, pretty clear failure on that saftey lug. I suppose this is a bushmaster after all.

  • tazman66gt

    Would be interesting to see how much pressure the reloads were dealing before the CF.

  • me ohmy

    awww… he bled all over that nice scope too..

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I suppose if we were using old english, it would be reloadors and reloaders. Funny gif 🙂

  • Vitsaus

    Its scary enough to think of a 5.56 or .308 reload going up but .50 BMG… this made me shudder. A friend once showed me a .22-250 that had Ka-boomed in a winchester action, the case had heavily deformed, the brass around the primer had melted into the shape of the bolt face.

  • J.T.

    I think he is confusing the cam pin for a safety lug. The BA-50 is a strange design. It is like it was supposed to be a semi-auto but at some point, the designer just said “screw it” and made it a bolt action.

  • sianmink

    I’m shocked it wasn’t worse. Imagine what 200 grains of pistol powder could do in an enclosed space. Kaboom would be an understatement.

  • Why yes thanks very much:-) Gravitas—what does dignity have to do with it–LOL!

  • Xavier Ramos Santoni

    Imagine that was a bullpup design .50, instead of blood well see hair & brains.

  • Josh

    Double charged I suspect. I always try and check all my cases to make sure the the powder level is the same.

    • jcitizen

      Double charged? How would you possibly get all that powder in the case? I got a feeling he used a non standard powder that could not be compressed. Anyone heard of a detonation from under loading a certain powder and leaving too much room in the case?

      Personally I stick to the military powder where I know it is designed for the round, but then I’m paranoid when it comes to my .50 cal.