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Posted: 7/25/2011 7:29:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2011 6:15:32 PM EST by NVCapCop]
My S&W M&P15T was destroyed today with an epic Kaboom (catastrophic failure).

I did not suffer any major physical injuries - received a welt on my left bicep (MagPul AFG hold) that looks like a bad bug bite or bee sting from shrapnel impacting my skin.  A tiny little cut on the left forearm as well as lots of tiny red dots on inner side of elbow.  The injuries felt kind of like a rug burn a few hours after the event.

Cartridge #45 out of the first 50 round box.    USAammo 223 55 gr FMJ Lot #2906113.

The ammo was recently purchased USAammo, remanufactured on once fired LC brass.  As you can see from the pics, the usual parts suffered catastrophic damage.  The Troy quadrail seems to have helped keep the upper receiver from completely coming apart.

The destruction:  Both sides of S&W factory upper assembly, the dustcover, both front corners of the magwell, hairline fractures directly under the left and right sides of the picatinny rail, cracked barrel extension in the middle of the feedramp, factory lower bulged on the bolt catch side.  The PSA MPI bolt, the Failzero bolt carrier, and the PMag were completely damaged also.

Possible damage: BCM vltor gunfighter CH, RRA 2 stage trigger/hammer, pivot pins.

Parts and accessories that survived the blast:  ACOG TA31F with LaRue Mount, MagPul AFG, BAD lever and MOE grip, BattleComp 1.0, Vltor Modstock, Troy Rail and Sights.

Update 7/26/11:  Spoke to the CEO this a.m.  He is eager to investigate the ammo lots so KBs don't happen to other purchasers.  He admitted that some of his ammo has been overpressured due to "Western" powder supplier using powders with faster burn rates.  The overpressure would also explain why my buddy had so many stuck cases of .308 175 gr. match ammo in his ArmaLite AR-10.

Update 7/28/11:  Refund for ammo issued IMMEDIATELY after UPS tracking # emailed to USAammo.  Firearm shippped overnight to Company FFL for inspection.  CEO has promised payment for the cost of the rifle, aftermarket parts, shipping.  Total to be determined.

Update 7/28/11:  Recall for specific lot number issued today to all purchasers who bought ammo this month (July 2011).  Contact CS for return instructions.  Post on p.7 from member in PA stating a similar type KB occurred with his M&P15.

Update 8/1/11:  Although the cause of the overpressure issue remains a mystery, the CEO has agreed to reimburse me for my loss.  The company has taken all necessary steps to prevent future issues.

Update 8/4/11:  I received my check for the damaged rifle today.  USAammo absolutely did the right thing.  In the process of purchasing parts for a new build.








Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:31:02 PM EST
Glad your ok
Damn that was bad
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:34:11 PM EST
Man glad your ok and that sucks for your rifle..the one thing I always notice in these accidents is how well the AR15 absorbs the kaboom and protects the operator.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:37:32 PM EST
Never buy someone's reloads?
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:37:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By pun:
Man glad your ok and that sucks for your rifle..the one thing I always notice in these accidents is how well the AR15 absorbs the kaboom and protects the operator.


thats a good point, i wonder how something like a SCAR or ACR would hold up? glad your ok OP
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:39:43 PM EST
Glad you are ok!

Think Magpul will warranty the  magazine?


Tag for ammo company outcome.......
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:41:24 PM EST
I don't think I've seen one were the lower was affected also(Possibly wrong) Also looks like the barrel extension cracked?(By the feed ramp)
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:44:33 PM EST
Wow. I don't think my pants would be clean after an incident like that haha.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:46:16 PM EST
So glad you are okay.
What a bad day at the range.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:47:24 PM EST
Tag

Sorry to hear about your rifle, at least it was not an NFA lower
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:54:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 7:57:36 PM EST
Thank God you are OK.  That could have been tragic.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:09:30 PM EST
glad you did not get hurt



Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:10:09 PM EST
Holy shit.  Tag.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:14:40 PM EST
damn....your a lucky lad.  That is devastating.  Looks like that P-Mag absorbed quite a bit to.  Glad your alright.  Sorry about the rifle though.  
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:15:27 PM EST
glad to here your safe. that is an epic kaboom.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:18:31 PM EST
How did you get away without a scratch on that one?  Man, some destructive forces at work there.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:23:36 PM EST
Glad you were not injured. Sorry about the rifle.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:35:32 PM EST
Oh my. You seem pretty calm and rational about the whole thing. I fear I would not be. Glad you are ok, and hope your rifle is up and running again soon.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:43:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/26/2011 2:19:04 AM EST by NVCapCop]
Originally Posted By blwallace5:
Oh my. You seem pretty calm and rational about the whole thing. I fear I would not be. Glad you are ok, and hope your rifle is up and running again soon.


Thanks.  I suffered no injuries except for a bit of hot gas escaping through the CH and some small shrapnel marks on my inner left arm.  My buddy feels bad because he bought the ammo.  Luckily I have other ARs as backups.

Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:44:42 PM EST
Like I told a friend of mine when he was INCONSOLABLE over  a 1st generation Colt he had that blew the top of the cylinder and the top strap of the gun off, it's just a damn gun, you didn't loose your eyesight or get a scratch. The gun is easy to replace!
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:49:08 PM EST
You are one lucky man.

Are those pieces of brass I see by the bolt lugs?

EDUB
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 8:49:33 PM EST
Holy shit that must have been some a hot fucking load!!! Glad you are ok, and tag for the outcome. This certainly reinforces why I stay away from reloaded ammo.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 9:00:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By Logan09:
I don't think I've seen one were the lower was affected also(Possibly wrong) Also looks like the barrel extension cracked?(By the feed ramp)


those surprised me also, glad your face is o.k.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 9:13:25 PM EST
Damn! Glad you're ok. I'm interested in how this turns out for you since I'm pretty sure I ordered some ammo from the same place
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 9:26:37 PM EST
I know I have seen it before and read what causes it....but I just can not remember right now. What caused this?
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 10:00:05 PM EST
You are really lucky. Glad your ok. Thanks for sharing the pics.

Link Posted: 7/25/2011 10:54:29 PM EST
what ammo was used?
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 11:02:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/25/2011 11:08:33 PM EST by KILLERB6]
One word (to avoid):  reloads.

You just about never hear of KBs with factory ammo...just sayin'.

The most important thing was no one was hurt.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 11:10:11 PM EST
Holy crap glad your OK! Tag for outcome as i recently purchased some ammo from the same company. (maybe this is why it hasn't been shipped yet)
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 11:11:42 PM EST
Glad you weren't hurt.

Have you contacted the ammo manufacturer?  There is a possibility they will replace your rifle if it can be shown their ammo was at fault.  Just saying.  You may be able to recoup some of your losses.
Link Posted: 7/25/2011 11:15:40 PM EST
Glad you are ok. That is scary shit. Hopefully the ammo company takes care of you.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 12:17:36 AM EST
Tap, Rack, Bang. You'll be fine.



I'll live through your experience and never buy those cheap reloads. I'll stick with federal for a few more dollars.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 1:57:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By Engel12626:
Wow. I don't think my pants would be clean after an incident like that haha.


Link Posted: 7/26/2011 1:58:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/26/2011 1:59:36 AM EST by MIDGAPATRIOT]


Shit, double tap. Stupid phone.....
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 2:09:05 AM EST
Glad to hear youre ok. I have 100 rounds of usa vmax 55gr sitting here. Starting to wonder if I should use it or not
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 2:19:01 AM EST
Wow! Glad and amazed you didn't get hurt.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 2:26:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By mikeb87:
Damn! Glad you're ok. I'm interested in how this turns out for you since I'm pretty sure I ordered some ammo from the same place


My buddy had issues this week with .308/7.62x51 ammo from the same company.  His brand new ArmaLite AR-10 was tearing rims of their 175 gr. match ammo.  Assuming the problems were caused by the new rifle, he sent his upper back to ArmaLite for inspection.

We still have about 450 rounds each of 5.56 and 7.62x51 left which will be returned.

Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:14:55 AM EST
Wow, that is an epic kaboom.  Glad you're okay.  Sorry about your rifle.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:18:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By KILLERB6:
One word (to avoid):  reloads.

You just about never hear of KBs with factory ammo...just sayin'.

The most important thing was no one was hurt.


I would like to clarify a couple of things here.

1) Reloads are fine, if YOU reload them and YOU follow the rules and ensure it's done properly. I've fired THOUSANDS of rounds of reloaded ammunition in several calibers, both handgun and rifle, without any issues whatsoever. The key here is to not trust reloads from a stranger. That is taking your life into your own hands, IMHO.

2) While they do happen less often, you most certainly CAN have a kaboom with factory ammo. I have heard of more than a single instance of this happening. Ammo factories can make mistakes too. The production machine leaves a powder charge out of a single round of ammo, also known as a "squib". The primer/low charge round has enough oomph to launch the bullet, but not enough to get it out of the end of the barrel. The round behind the squib comes into battery, gets fired into the obstructed barrel, and blammo... you're holding shrapnel.

The key here is to be careful kids. If you want to shoot reloads, buy a press and some books, get a mentor, and learn how to do it properly to be safe. Wear eye protection when you're shooting. Don't count on perfect ammunition just because it's factory ammo. Factory ammo can fail too. If you're being safe, none of the above will usually cause major bodily damage and you'll live to shoot another day.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:26:12 AM EST
Wow, that's the worst I have seen yet.
Glad everybody is ok and no permanent damage..

Please keep us updated as to the source and lot # of the ammo, I have a guess but we will see.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:29:08 AM EST
The gas rings were not staggered....there's your problem...

I'm impressed...nice blow out.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:29:35 AM EST
Sucks about your rifle OP, but so glad you weren't any more injured.  That looks as though it could have very easily caused more tissue damage.  Things like this should re-emphasize how important protective gear is....ear plugs, glasses etc.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:37:23 AM EST
Wow glad you made it through that with minor injuries. Also glad to hear your ACOG made it through that (Larue mount must have deflected the shock).

I saw some reloads at a gunshow a couple days ago that I was tempted to buy. But like a previous poster said, I just don't get a warm fuzzy buying reloads from a stranger. In the end, I'll just spend a little more for the peace of mind.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:55:23 AM EST
That really blows...literally!  Glad none of the severe damage happened to you.  Sucks for your AR though.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:55:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/26/2011 3:57:31 AM EST by HBruns]
Pics of case?
Any damage to your barrel? (looking for signs of an obstruction)

A true OOB discharge would separate the case head, would it not?
The condition of the bolt looks like the carrier group tried to open the action while still under pressure (and partially or mostly succeeded); the cam pin twisted/tore the tail of the bolt off.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 3:57:48 AM EST
How about some pics of the barrel?
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 4:02:36 AM EST
Glad you're doing well.  
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 4:05:01 AM EST
In for the reply from the ammo manufacturer / seller.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 4:05:17 AM EST
Wow I'd really like to know what was in that round.  That looks like more damage than an over charge of a normal powder for .223 could cause.
Link Posted: 7/26/2011 4:09:11 AM EST
Thats definitely an epic kaboom. Glad you are ok. Had I known I would have called dibs on the stuff beforehand but I dont think I'd want whats left of that rifle!
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