My friends at TPM Outfitters posted this dramatic picture of a destroyed HK91 bolt head at the hands of some reloaded ammunition. The customer used the same reloads in an FAL, which not only destroyed the gun, but sent him to the hospital. TPM is repairing the 91 whereas it appears the FAL is headed to that big, beautiful range in the sky.

Be careful everyone. And don’t shoot nameless reloads.

This is why we do not recommend the use of non spec Reloaded ammunition in HK 91’s or any HK roller lock for that matter. This was from a customers HK91 that blew his mag well open and contained the blast but destroyed the chamber, bolt head and firing pin. No injuries but it’s not worth the risk unless you need or want facial surgery. The customer went on to use the same reloaded ammunition in his FN FAL and had to go to the hospital after it blew the FAL in half.


TPM Outfitters



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  • Stu

    So, the shooter (boomer?) trashed an HK91 and then, not being satisfied, blew up an FAL? Ooooookay.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Trying so hard to win that Darwin Award. Better luck next time!

      • TheUnspoken

        Fortunately the madness was stopped before the destruction of a scar 17, mr762, and a Sr-25!

        Glad the HK 91 (and the guy too) are going to be ok!

        • supergun

          I am glad he did not have a glock

          • okto

            Would have been awfully hard to fit a 308 in there.

          • supergun

            Don’t they make a glock 308. I heard it was a bad gun.

          • okto

            You’re implying liberals don’t know anything about guns and you think Glock makes rifles? Getoutahere, kid. 😂

          • supergun

            You are 100% correct on the first part of your comment. You took the bait on the 2nd part.

      • kb7rky

        Likely they’ve already reproduced, so Darwin’s lost out on this one.

        Also, people are inherently stupid.

        They likely loaded their rounds a bit too hot, seated the bullet too tightly, or some other idiotic move to save time and/or money.

      • supergun

        Must have been a liberal

        • Suppressed

          This comment is neither logical nor funny.

          • supergun

            Sorry that I offended your delicate mind. If this page is to hard for you, then I recommend you go to an cnn web site. That way you will find the lies you seek.

          • Suppressed

            I never said I was offended.

            I’m just disappoin…nevermind, it’s clear my efforts would be better spent on another task.

          • supergun

            I can understand that you are suppressed, with a name like that.

    • RealitiCzech

      I’m impressed. Blowing up a delayed-blowback gun is hard for a beginning overloader.

      • Amplified Heat

        Blowing up a case isn’t *theoretically* that hard, but cracking a bolt head with your double charge or whatever is rather formidable in 308. I’m guessing pistol powder in a rifle cartridge, same as always.

        • Gaspar Cruz III

          You’re right, those that have the attention span of a gold fish should just buy over the counter ammo.

      • Danilushka Ozera

        we don’t know that the “victim” made the reloads (foolish enough: if you don’t possess a meticulous attention to detail bordering on OCD, don’t reload) or used reloads from someone else (even more foolish as to be downright stupid)

    • supergun

      Thats what I was thinking

    • tCotUS

      I agree….You can blow anything up with improperly reloaded ammo.. So what was his point?

    • Lord Layton

      Life is hard, It’s even harder when you’re stupid. ~ John Wayne.

    • CountryBoy

      Not only that, it apparently wasn’t just ONE accidental error on ONE round that caused this, but likely the entire batch of reloads.

      I’d be curious exactly what he did wrong – or how many things he did wrong – to accomplish such a feat.

    • Michael Meunier

      Well, he still had all that ammo left. :-/

  • Drew Coleman

    Wow what an idiot.

    Also – I think you left out a word:

    “The customer used the same reloads in an FAL, which ~not~ only destroyed the gun, but sent him to the hospital”

    • supergun

      Congress should investigate this. Probably russian reloads.

      • Danilushka Ozera

        Clinton Foundation traded with Russia for Uranium. the equivalent of trading a cow for magic beans.

        • supergun

          Her husband or tote~along was paid over half millions dollars to run his mouth. No telling what she made. Trading uranium which can be used to make nuclear bombs is hardly trading a cow for beans.

  • Holdfast_II

    But He Persisted!

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      “Losers never quit, and quitters never win.”

      • El Duderino

        This is how all gambling addictions begin…

  • John Deagan

    He CAN’T borrow my M14 or Kel-Tec RFB after he gets discharged. No way!

    • XT6Wagon

      Be fun if he sent the ammo to Kel Tec to prove how safe the RFB is. I was surprised when I got mine just how solid that sucker is. Bet it nukes the action but not send anything into the space a shooters head would be.

  • PK

    What, no pictures of the FAL?

    Hope the guy is alright, too… I can’t imagine why you’d blow up one gun with some ammo, then take some more of that ammo and use it in another gun.

    • SGT Fish

      the fact that he sent his gun back to TPM before continuing with his reloads tells me that he blamed their gun and not his ammo.

      • Dougscamo

        Astute observation….

      • Flounder

        This here HK is a piece of garbage, it can’t be muh hot reloads!

        I reallyyyyyy wonder what ran through his mind after his FAL blew up…

        • Amplified Heat

          Depending on the origin of that “HK,” it very well could have been a piece of (Century) garbage. Hot loads has nothing to do with that, though.

          We know for sure that neither metallic objects nor sense ran through his mind at any point in this affair, since was still able to make it to the hospital.

        • TheScrutineer

          Pieces of brass?

          • Longhaired Redneck

            You beat me to it!

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          I would say “A piece of the receiver”, but it didn’t say he died.

        • CountryBoy

          Copper jacketing.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I wanted to see it too, but I think TPM only had the 91

  • Brad

    I bet he reloads for pistols too.

  • Harvey

    Wait a minute, the internet says only Glocks have kBs.

  • Vhyrus

    This guy blew up one gun, then took the same ammo and put it into a second gun?

    Here’s your sign.

    • Amplified Heat

      Well, obviously it worked fine in his M1 Garand and SCAR17…

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      The do the same thing with trucks and thin ice here in MN.

    • Gaspar Cruz III

      Was he trying to kill himself???

  • b725

    If first you don’t succeed, try, try, boom….

  • 2wheels

    Money can buy you an HK91 and an FAL, but it can’t buy you sense.

    • Flounder

      Or apparently factory ammunition.

    • Sarge

      Or a life or eye, fingers.

      • ActionPhysicalMan

        No, you just need to start at the bottom and work your way up, using a chrono and looking for pressure signs for every load. Rely on your own loading and safety procedures not somebody else’s data. Don’t even think of getting the government involved in any way.

  • Paul Rain

    I could understand blowing out a HK91, and then trying the rounds in a Ruger #1 or something and realising that yup, all the primers blow out on that too. This though.. wow.

  • Old Tofu

    HK 91 $1000 , FN fal $1800 . . . your face priceless

    • Amplified Heat

      Actual HK91 is a few G’s north of that figure. My guess is these were both kit builds (possibly both with jacked up headspace that caused the issue)

      • Old Tofu

        both available at those prices on gunbroker

        • El Duderino

          Maybe in 1997. Real HK91s sell for $3-$5k these days. You must be thinking of the PTR91.

  • Mr. Katt

    And if the FAL hadn’t let go, his next gun was probably an M1A

  • Ed

    When you reload ammo always pay attention and follow a proper reloading manual!!!!!!!

    • Marc

      I wonder if he bought the reloads at a gun show.

  • RealitiCzech

    Losers start their load at the book-recommended minimum and work up to the maximum. Real men start at a load that blows bolts apart and go down to a load that just shears lugs each shot.

    • Dougscamo

      “Grimacing”….

    • Right-o. In America, if “some is good, more is better!”

      • Scott Williams

        It’s a .308, of COURSE it can handle pistol powder.

  • Anonymoose

    Apparently the G3 beats the FAL in safety when morons pack their ammo too full!

  • Anonymoose

    G3 beats the FAL once again!

    • Amplified Heat

      I think this is what they call a Pyrrhic Victory

  • RicoSuave

    When laser rifles are the norm, all one will have worry about is using the right battery pack…

    • Flounder

      Someone will find a way to put it in backwards… Just like they do with the freaking polarized capacitors!

    • Amplified Heat

      Well at least then there’ll be nothing left to repair but a molten hole in the ground

    • Iggy

      Lasrifle destroyed using non-munitorium approve hotshot packs.

      • James Earl Jones

        Please report to your commissar.

  • Cyborg Fred

    From FB. Looks like it was pistol powder LOL!

    TPM Outfitters “Yes you are correct, it was pistol powder. It’s unreal how one could confuse such a thing. We have heard it all about how great my realoding, cousin, uncle, brother, roommate or friend is at this stuff but we keep repairing these issues. The big companies at least have a QC in place and sometimes have issues but no where near the magnitude of non commercial reloads.”

    • Dougscamo

      Oi!

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      Reading the name on label is such a hassle.

      • r h

        it cuts down on reloading time if you stop to do dumb stuff like “read” or “think”

  • Bob

    only reload YOUR OWN ammo. Always start 10% lower and work up. If you are using NATO type primers, reduce the load an additional 10%.
    Personally, I use Varget as it FILLS the case on 7.62 Nato (7.62 x 51 and/or .308) and .223 and .243. Never had a kaboom or even close.
    Been loading since 1979 and I LOOK in each case even though I have a dillon 550B.
    Always ONLY have ONE power out and ONE box of primers and ALWAYS LOOK TWICE to be sure it is the right one.
    I also case gage each round 100% inspection wise.

    • uisconfruzed

      I added the dual light kit to my 550B, it makes the inspection MUCH easier.

      • Bob

        where did you buy the dual light kit? from dillon or??

  • Ruru Ru

    So why are reloads bad foe these types of guns? I have reloaded for my AR and bolt action with no issues.

    • Paul Rain

      It’s not clear, but the implication is that this guy’s bought someone, or some company’s, random off brand reloaded ammo.

      There’s always a non-zero risk that if you have pistol ammo and rifle ammo reloaded in the same place, that some faster pistol powder might make its way into a rifle case, or a double charge might go overlooked. If you do it yourself, then that risk is up to you. If someone else you don’t know well, or a manufacturer who might even be trying to undercut the cheapest possible factory ammo with new cases, is doing the reloading, then bad stuff is more likely to happen.

      To compound it, as far as I understand it the roller-delayed system of the HK91 is as vulnerable as you can get to overfast powder or overcharged cases, without dropping down to straight blowback (for which you would need to have a 20-25 pound bolt mass just to handle standard cartridges).

  • Amplified Heat

    LOL at rebuilding the HK91. Barrel trashed, trunnion trashed, bolt head trashed, rollers, locking piece trashed, receiver trashed…it’s barely even a parts kit at this point (a stock, lower, and a foregrip, basically) Probably more left of that FAL he blew in half to salvage for medical expenses.

    • Here’s the repair — “Remove furniture and sights, slide brand new rifle underneath, bolt furniture and sights back on.”

  • Greg Beals

    “Wow, the FAL is defective too!” says guy on way to hospital…

  • Mischa

    There’s dumb, and then there’s too dumb to live. This guy is too dumb to live. Is he even capable of thinking and breathing at the same time?

  • jerry young

    Who reloaded his ammo? there are so many things that could cause this but it’s not the fact it was reloaded ammo but more than likely improperly reloaded ammo the same thing can and dose happen occasionally with factory ammo, reloads can be just as safe as factory but you have to be sure what and know what you are doing, I’ve been reloading since the early 70’s and have never had any problems why because I check and double check every component, the charge weight and every step of the process, I don’t try to make my own so called hot loads, I have always found loads that mimic ammo that I know works well in my guns and use reloading data from reliable books not from someone that says have I got a load for you, the only guns I won’t shoot reloads through is a new gun where it may void any warranty until that gun is well broken in and any gun that may not operate properly, articles like this give reloading a bad name when it’s not the fault of the ammo but the person reloading it improperly.

  • robocop33

    They did not say if this was his own reloads or if he got it from a friend or bought it at a gun show! No doubt he thought it was a failure of the firearm and not of the ammo. What he should have done was send off all of his reloads and have them checked out before using any more reloads.

  • Some Rabbit

    Geez, how over pressure were those? I made a few handloads so hot that when they ejected from my HK91 the chamber grooves were embossed into the casing.

  • White American

    Got any more of that ammo? I have a few old guns I’d like to try and blow up my face with?

  • mazkact

    Bullseye and Unique on one side of the room, Varget and 4895 on the other side. A friend of mine bought a rifle at a show and the seller gave him some reloads to go with it. These loads in 348 Win had “Bad boys” inked on to the card board box. Thankfully my friend had better sense than to shoot those loads.

  • Bill

    Is he the same person that REEEE “loaded” the ammo?? Somebody wanted to make sure the ammo would go off.

  • Tony

    Is it still considered a “reload” if the loader uses new brass?

  • ToddB

    Well maybe we can finally agree, some people should just be allowed to own guns. If you blow up one rifle, how dumb do you have to be to put the same ammo in another rifle? I have seen some bone headed stuff where somebody should show up, pack their guns up and leave, never giving them back.

    1 instance was reloads. Very questionable ones. Somebody I knew with his new 300AAC. Fires a couple, gun stops, well gee the ammo is blowing primers and they get down in the trigger stopping the rifle. This is your clue to set that ammo aside and get out the bullet puller. No he ‘wanted the brass’ so kept right on shooting them, stopping several times for blown primers. Some guy he knew loaded it, using .310 AK bullets sized down, or hoped they were anyways. No way I would try to shove one jacketed bullet thru my sizing dies much less a whole bunch of them. Nor expect them to size properly. But what do I know, Im just the guy who sends piles of rounds over my chrony looking for that perfect load.

    Then there were 2 of his friends. Brand new 300AAC rifle, never even used a factory round to see if it worked properly. Nope straight to the reloads. Never got a straight story on the load data they used. A duplex load of trailboss and some fast pistol powder. The first bullet barely made out the end of the barrel, your clue something is wrong. Nope maybe the next one will work better. And assumed since it did not land in the dirt 10 feet away it worked. Soon they have 2 bullets jammed in the barrel. New gun, sorry but just order a new barrel. No we will get em out….with an axe and a long spade bit, what any gunsmith would use. They beat on that spade bit, chamber end, then the other way. When they were done the muzzle break was bent from the abuse, the bullets never budged. The ‘gunsmith’ swore he used a lathe to get those bullets out with zero damage to the crown or throat.

    Best part is the ‘gunsmith’ works in a shop giving out advice and telling people every gun but a glock and Ar15 are junk.

  • James Kiser

    Another Darwin nominee!

  • uisconfruzed

    “I found pistol powder makes the .308 A screaming round!!!”

  • Pat McDonald

    I have been loading 308 for 40 years, If you do not know what your doing you better start, you will wear your gun on your face, this person screwed up and he is lucky he didn”t loose his eye, why would you blow up one gun then another. I am not perfect my self, when I screw up its with Class 3 toys. I always test stuff with HB Bolt rifles

  • “Stupid is as stupid does.”

  • Phil

    Pre-Note; If the comment below on pistol powder is correct that will do a considerable amount of damage to with a G3/HK91 or a FAL design. There is one other common thing that affects them both however…

    One of the biggest things that needs to be looked at when reloading for any originally military firearm is case head support. Both the FAL and the G3 designs rely on a strong case head to NATO specifications to avoid rupturing a case with even normal loads. If you load commercial brass it will often be weaker in the case head (cheaper to make and gains case capacity) and you CAN easily get a ruptured case and all the drama that goes with it. The reason the manuals say drop 2gr when using military brass is the added material in the case head for strength in self loading firearms.

    The G3 is an unlocked design. (Its retarded, it sure isn’t locked.) As soon as the primer fires, propellant burns and the bullet moves forward, the case is going backward. It already stretches the brass during the period before the bullet exits the case and to prevent some case stretch caused failure every time, the chamber is fluted to get high pressure gas down the sides ASAP and “unstick” it so the case continues backwards intact and the gun functions as hoped. The G3 is the most sensitive design of any NATO rifle and reloading for it successfully also means you have to operate in that narrow band AND it means you have to use good brass.

    The FAL being a tipping bolt design tends to have a more forward point of last support in the chamber and for that reason it is highly sensitive to weak case head design. Many have been blown up here in Canada due to using factory commercial ammo in them. Reloads just add to the list of fun. You can see the point of last support on fired cases usually as a clear line where the case head grows just a bit and it is quite forward on the FAL. (The M14 and AR10 design geometries, properly built, are far better at providing case head support than either of these.)

    For safety it can not be stated strongly enough: only use cases that meet NATO design specs which is generally shown by the “+” sign in a circle on the headstamp.

  • Metallica

    what exactly do you mean by a reloaded ammo ? an ammo that was loaded did not fire and then again reloaded ??

    or an ammo that was hit by firing pin but did not fire .. and was reloaded ??

    • Metallica

      well that is a stupid question is n it ?

  • El Duderino

    Then he shot it in his Ruger #1. The rifle said, “Yeah, and…?”

  • Chemiker

    You cannot fix stupid. Even with my Hornady progressive press, I check EVERY case after the powder drop. I am a coward, but I have my fingers.

  • r h

    i hope his injuries preclude him from owning firearms in future. id rather not meet his level of stupid at my local range in future
    isnt ” dont use hot/unknown reloads in your gun” in the same level of common knowledge as “dont put a baby in a microwave” and yet every year we have these geniuses who think it just wont apply to them..

    i once watched an idiot nearly take his own hand off firing a simple 2 shot 38 derringer.
    i asked WTF just happened? and he said, ” i dont know. i filled the case with powder and still left room for the bullet when i loaded it, shouldnt have been a problem” thats right folks, he went through the trouble of getting reloading tools then decided reloading requires no instructions, just fill each case with whatever powder you bought but make sure and leave a little room for the bullet at the top…. SMH