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Posted: 1/6/2019 8:28:44 PM EST
After about 70 rounds downrange today with no issues, then this happened....

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Fortunately, my son was wearing eye protection and not directly holding the mag while shooting.
Other than a sore hand and a small abrasion on his cheek, no injuries.

The gun, of course, was done for the day.

Obviously, the Bolt Carrier is toast. The Bolt is probably damaged also. I haven't managed to get it apart yet.
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 8:33:29 PM EST
Oh no!
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 8:40:08 PM EST
Ouch! That hurts.

Glad everyone is safe and sound though.

Any theories as to the cause? Overcharge maybe? Never seen that big of a chunk blown out of a bolt before.
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 8:45:04 PM EST
Looks like an out of battery detonation. I have seen that happen on an AR-15. It blew out the mag and ruined the ejector, but no other damage...Bill
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 9:04:47 PM EST
Oh wow. Just glad nobody was injured.
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 9:04:51 PM EST
Here's some of the debris along with a round that might have been in the magazine.

Those pieces were in the upper receiver. The bullet wasn't in the barrel and wasn't found.

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Link Posted: 1/6/2019 9:31:05 PM EST
Mist importantly, I'm glad your son is OK. Was the ammo factory ammo, or reloads? I have seen three weapons blow up, and all of them were with reloads.
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 11:15:13 PM EST
Ugh...another AR-180 set sail for Valhalla!
Link Posted: 1/6/2019 11:40:39 PM EST
Glad he is safe. Sorry that that happened! Looks like it was out of battery?
Link Posted: 1/7/2019 7:45:06 AM EST
If it was out of battery the firing pin wouldn't even be able to hit the primer... right? It's an inertial firing pin held back with a spring, shouldn't be able to touch the primer until it's fully locked, I thought.
Link Posted: 1/7/2019 8:33:53 AM EST
Wow!

Like everyone else, I’m curious about ammo type.

I’m glad the shooter was okay.
Link Posted: 1/7/2019 11:18:53 AM EST
Damn, are there any bulges to the upper and lower receivers?

I have seen on GB that an AR180 BCG listed but not sure if it is still on there. Then again, it could have been a listing for a B series BCG.

I would try see if Rick on AR180S.com has extras or a lead for an original.
Link Posted: 1/7/2019 12:21:33 PM EST
I suspect the cam pin jumped out of its guide and allowed the bolt to turn. That has been known to happen and will allow it to fire out of battery.

You would need to check it out very well even with a new parts to make sure it won’t happen again.

Good thing is most problems with the receiver, other than a trunion, that get messed up can be fixed. Big hammer and a tig welder can put her back in service. Although it may not look pretty when you are done.

Contact me through my site and we can figure out whatcha need to it fixed.

Link Posted: 1/7/2019 12:29:24 PM EST
I would also like to see pics of the trunion locking lugs. Might give us some clues.
Link Posted: 1/7/2019 11:07:49 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AR-180:
Wow!

Like everyone else, I’m curious about ammo type.

I’m glad the shooter was okay.
View Quote
I'll post some more pictures soon. I did get the Bolt out of the Carrier.

As for the Ammo used, I learned a few years ago that it's foolish to save a few cents with cheap reload ammo.

I had a Colt 1911 that I was shooting cheap gun show ammo through at the range one day and the Range Officer commented on how much smoke it was making. The very next round wouldn't chamber. So I put the gun back in my bag and gave him my remaining rounds. He said his Glock would eat anything. I hope it did.

When I got home, I pulled the gun apart and found the last bullet still in the barrel. The reason the next round wouldn't chamber was because that bullet had only travelled a short distance and was blocking the end of the chamber.
If it had travelled just a little bit further, I could only imagine how that gun would have fragmented in my hands if the next round went off normally. Thankfully, that was left to my imagination only.

So anyway, all my ammunition is first load stuff since then.
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 12:25:05 AM EST
I couldn't find any damage to the Lower.

This is the only damage I could see on the Upper:

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Nothing that I can see here:

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Link Posted: 1/8/2019 12:30:29 AM EST
The Bolt Carrier fragment deposited itself inside the lower.

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Bolt and Cam Pin. The Cam Pin was damaged, but I think the Bolt looks good.

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Link Posted: 1/8/2019 9:03:18 AM EST
Frontier ammo has been linked to a few kabooms lately. I thought I’d mention that just in case.
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 12:56:36 PM EST
When you get some new parts I think you will see that the cam pin has very little engagement with the guide. A custom pin that is longer should fix you right up.

I can clearly see where it jumped out of the guide. It wasn't locked when it dropped the hammer.

The fact that early Costa Mesa guns used an AR-18 firing pin could have contributed to this malfunction. If the hammer dropped and the bolt carrier was not all the way forward but the bolt was all the way back, it can still contact the tail of the firing pin. I don't think it could do that with a later 180 firing pin.

I'd be happy to help you get this fixed and would love to pics of your gun on my site.
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 1:36:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BigRix:
When you get some new parts I think you will see that the cam pin has very little engagement with the guide. A custom pin that is longer should fix you right up.

I can clearly see where it jumped out of the guide. It wasn't locked when it dropped the hammer.

The fact that early Costa Mesa guns used an AR-18 firing pin could have contributed to this malfunction. If the hammer dropped and the bolt carrier was not all the way forward but the bolt was all the way back, it can still contact the tail of the firing pin. I don't think it could do that with a later 180 firing pin.

I'd be happy to help you get this fixed and would love to pics of your gun on my site.
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@BigRix do you have a photo of an AR18 firing pin alongside an AR180 firing pin? If one (or more) of my AR180's have AR18 firing pins, can I/should I, swap them out for AR180 firing pins?
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 5:22:55 PM EST
Closest thing I could find was this comparison of the 18, Early Howa, and standard production 180 pins.



I would not replace the 18 style pin but rather double check how much engagement your cam pin has.
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 10:52:41 PM EST
Ar-180 firing pin in the rear, Ar-18 in front



-Josh
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 11:13:50 PM EST
I don't know why so many people jump to OOB firing when it's usually case head separation.

Some brass just has imperfections in it and doesn't get caught.

What type of ammo was it?

I see Winchester head stamps but maybe I missed the details of the ammo.
Link Posted: 1/8/2019 11:17:26 PM EST
case head separations occur when fully in battery, not out of battery.
Link Posted: 1/9/2019 9:32:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LRRPF52:
I don't know why so many people jump to OOB firing when it's usually case head separation.
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If a case head separated, how would the powder ignite?
Link Posted: 1/9/2019 9:55:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GreyGhost99:

If a case head separated, how would the powder ignite?
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The case head seperates AFTER the powder ignites. Original WWII MP44 kurz ammo has a bad tendancy of doing that (I've had it happen three times).
Link Posted: 1/10/2019 1:54:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By Urban_Ops:
Ar-180 firing pin in the rear, Ar-18 in front

https://i.imgur.com/47gAnch.jpg

-Josh
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and this is the Firing Pin that was in the gun when it malfunctioned.

I hadn't noticed that divot on that shoulder until looking at this photo.

Link Posted: 1/10/2019 11:37:15 AM EST
that divot on the shoulder most likely happened during the out of battery detonation when the firing pin was blown bac violently.
Link Posted: 1/10/2019 11:52:06 AM EST
This thread has inspired me to inspect my Sterling AR-180.... appreciate all the details everyone is providing
Link Posted: 1/13/2019 4:52:13 AM EST
I'm glad that no one got hurt in this incident with the KABOOM. Thanks OP for posting and sharing all the photos and the experience. I have two AR-180 (Costa Mesa and Sterling) and I would hate if that would happen with any of them. All the best.
Link Posted: 1/13/2019 10:48:14 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mauiblue:
I'm glad that no one got hurt in this incident with the KABOOM. Thanks OP for posting and sharing all the photos and the experience. I have two AR-180 (Costa Mesa and Sterling) and I would hate if that would happen with any of them. All the best.
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Thanks Mauiblue (and everyone else!).

The damage seems to be isolated to just a few parts. So I'm hoping to find replacements and be back in business. Any help along those lines would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/13/2019 3:12:54 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rarecat:
This thread has inspired me to inspect my Sterling AR-180.... appreciate all the details everyone is providing
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I shall do the same.
Link Posted: 1/13/2019 6:55:05 PM EST
I've been seeing parts for AR-180 on Gunbroker. Check them out. I was fortunate to have a small cache of main parts for my AR-180 rifles that I was given from the previous owner. Also Bigrix might be able to help you get the parts you need to get the gun running again. Good luck and be safe.
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