EPIC KABOOM. Faulty .38 Revolver, NOT Reloads. Shooter Shares His Story

    The internet is littered with KABOOM reports where the shooter blindy swears it was not fault or his reloads. It takes a real man to admit he made a mistake. A read emailed me with photos of a KABOOM that happened on 4 July. He admits he should not have been shooting the old, poor quality gun and is sharing his story in the hopes that it will make people more safety conscious.

    He writes …

    Here is my story which I share in the hopes that the incident will help make people more aware and more conscious. I know there will be them that will say “that would never happen to me” well I was one of them yesterday and considered myself a safe and conscientious gun owner but I became complacent in my knowledge and skill and it led to this kaboom.


    A couple years ago I inherited a RG-31 revolver chambered in .38 Special, a  brand that helped to create the term” Saturday night special” and which was notorious for poor manufacture and performance. I have put many rounds through it in spite of it having a sloppy and somewhat unreliable double action. I continued to use the gun in single action. Today while celebrating our day of freedom with a day of target shooting with the family and after shooting more the 20 rounds prior today the gun exploded. This wasn’t reloads or a squib load incident. It was due to the sloppy action. The cylinder failed to line up with the barrel. Which left nowhere for the bullet to go. These were semi-wadcutter rounds, I suspect if they were round nose the round might have sifted into place. The resulting explosion sent half of the cylinder 30 feet away denting a friends vehicle we never found that half! This could have ended up a lot worse and we are thankful it didn’t


    Note in the pictures the off center primer strike compared to a casing from same gun earlier in the day and the piece of copper jacket at the edge of barrel where it peeled off.


    I hope this will help to remove the “It will never happen to me” mentality for our minds. Please inspect your guns if there is ANYTHING questionable don’t use it! I intend to frame my mistake and put it in my gun room as a constant reminder of what could happen if I let myself get complacent again

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!