Guns that Go Boom… Badly

Nathan S
by Nathan S

Wide Open Spaces has collected an impressive amount of photos of various catastrophic detonations in firearms. While most of them would likely have left the shooter stunned, there are a few that I would hazard caused some damage to both the gun and the shooter.

Interestingly, it shows that no one type or model of gun is immune to badly loaded ammunition. Wide Open Spaces has photos of Ruger Revolvers, Glocks, Remington bolt-actions, and 1911s.

Hit the link for the full photo gallery. It is not for the faint of gun heart.

Nathan S
Nathan S

One of TFB's resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR's, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.

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  • JCitizen JCitizen on Jul 26, 2015

    Ouch! Fortunately when my Ma Deuce gets a round of badly loaded ammo(thanks Obama), it is just a matter of getting out the broken shell extractor and driving on. Of course even US issue ammo can and does blow up - but I've shot over 5000 rounds of it, with no such trouble. I do tell folks to watch out for yellow tip South American aircraft ammo. That stuff is just too hot, even if you do have an AN/M3 .50 cal. Better have a stellite liner though.

  • Arch Arch on Jul 26, 2015

    I've been a single stage hand loader since 1964. I started with 9 mm for my Browning Hi Power and 30-30 for my Marlin. I took a year off and spent the days reading American literature, shooting and hunting, tasting French wine, listening to Beethoven, Mozart and Bach and reloading - in that order.

    Back then, there were surplus stores in Oklahoma City that sold German 9 mm loaded for sub machine guns. It had a muzzle velocity of about 1800 fps. Like the idiot that I was, I bought some and test fired it. It was spectacular. A friend who was always bragging about his .44 and .357 magnums took the bet and tried unsuccessfully to put a round through an old telephone pole in the Canadian River bed. The 9 mm would throw splinters out 100 ft. Twenty buck was a lot of cash to win; a Hi Power sold for $80, new in the box.

    A few months later Larry & I were back in the river bottom shooting. After 3 rounds, instead of bang, the Hi Power went pop. Counting to 30, I noticed smoke coming out of the gas port. When I racked the slide, it ejected a spent piece of brass and chambered another cartridge. Fortunately, I decided to drop the mag, and field strip the gun. The first bullet was lodged about 2" down the barrel. This incident changed my schedule - reload early then taste the Bordeaux.

    I'm still a hand loader - 30-06 spfd, 270 WIN, 243 WIN, 10 mm, 40 S&W, .45 ACP, 9 mm, and 380 ACP. In fact, I found the new presses less than adequate. Recently, I found an old RCBS Jr, circa 1970, on eBay for $75. It was made in the USA, not China. RCBS was bought by Federal and their customer service is outstanding.

    The gun that scares me is the Glock 40 S&W. The combination of 35,000 psi and an unsupported brass case is in my opinion, dangerous. If you look at range brass, you'll see lots of spent 40 cases with "!" firing pin marks and a Glock bulge pictured on the left below. It's very hard to resize this brass without seriously weakening it. After 3 reloads, I toss Glock 40 cases. If the base fails it could KB the whole double stack mag.