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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/20/2002 2:54:17 PM EST
Pulled up at the range today and a highpower shooter showed me the remnants of a casing. Turns out a young shooter was shooting a .308 (as I recall) from the sitting position. He dropped a round on the concrete and it detonated. The bullet barely moved, but he caught about a dozen small pieces of brass in his lower leg. That's the second incident I'm aware of. I can still see the scars from the first. I was a little surprized the priemr would detonate from a drop of about 18 inches, but I guess anything is possible. Everyone was grateful it was his leg and not an eye. Eddie
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 2:55:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 3:02:35 PM EST
a high primer in factory or reloads can do this easily
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 3:03:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 3:05:59 PM EST
Sounds like a freak accident to me. I've dropped rounds several times and never even dreamed of it going off. Maybe a primer hitting a sharp surface dead on would do it. Guess it just wasn't his lucky day.
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 3:16:18 PM EST
I didn't take notice of the headstamp, but it was surplus ammo. Had the three spot crimp mark on the primer that I've seen on some imported 5.56 ammo. The primer appeared to be seated flush. The round that fragged my leg was also factory. Eddie
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 3:48:10 PM EST
It had to be a high primer (ie not fully seated) and it had to hit perfectly square with the concrete. I have drop rounds of ammo on concrete and never had this happen. Not saying it can't but it must be extremely rare!. Also keep in mind that since there was no barrel for the case to push against is the reason the bullet didn't move much. When a cartriudge is fired the case expands against the barrel throat which in turn causes all the gases to propel the bullet forward. Since the case had nothing to expand against it was a relatively safe detonation...if there is such a thing. Sgtar15
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 10:24:15 PM EST
It had to be a high primer
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Primer wasn't high. As I mentioned it was crimped in place. Two incidents, that I'm aware of, in over 30 years. That's pretty rare. Eddie
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 10:29:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 11:21:43 PM EST
Interesting. So if the brass isn't fully supported, it gives. I would've thought the bullet might dislodge, but without much force. Good to know.
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 11:29:28 PM EST
Is there any specific reason why this only seems to happen with .308's and not .223's or 7.62x39?
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 11:37:36 PM EST
Is there any specific reason why this only seems to happen with .308's and not .223's or 7.62x39?
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I don't think caliber has anything to do with it. IMO primer brand and cartridge weight would be the two biggest factors. The round that fragged my leg was .45ACP. Eddie
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 11:47:12 PM EST
In all my years of shooting I had never seen this - until last year. Within a two day period, two guys on my swat team were loading mags and dropped speer lawman 9mm on some gravel. Same result, the casing exploded sending brass flying. The first time it happend, one guy got hit in the family jewels by the brass. He thought its was the bullet and it scared the shit out of him. Lucky both incidents only led to very minor wounds.
Link Posted: 7/20/2002 11:49:18 PM EST
Most of the outdoor ranges that I go to are topped with asphalt. It's a very uneven surface. If the primer happens to land on a protruding pebble, BAM!
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 2:37:34 AM EST
I don't think it's "luck" that these were minor wounds, I think the brass fragments just don't have a lot of power to 'em and any resulting wound is gonna be pretty minor. 'Cept if you were VERY unlucky and got nailed in the eye because you were bent over or something but now we're talkin' real long odds. The reason the bullets aren't going anywhere is that there's no "gas seal" behind 'em. Normally, a handgun powder charge would be set to burn across 4" - 6" or more of barrel travel, while the .308 needs 18+. Without that, 90% or more of the powder's energy is being completely unused, leaving 10% at worst to power the light brass frags. Upshot: this isn't anything to fear losing life or limb over. It's more of a "bandaid and owwie" threat :). Mind you, I'm sure picking brass frags out of your hide HURTS, I don't intend to minimize that but y'all experienced the WORST that could happen, versus "luck".
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 2:59:44 AM EST
The eye protection thing is sort of like insurence. Sure glasses are a nuisence to wear, sort of like paying for insurence, but when you need them, they can really save you. I have heard of Federal primers being "touchy" but have no personal experience with them. Something about the metal part is thin and soft thus transfering a "ding" very well.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 3:15:13 AM EST
Once, when clearing the chamber of the household riot Mossberg the ejected shell (S&B buckshot) landed on a hard surface & set off the primer. Just the primer, not the gunpowder. Scared the %*(*%^%$ out of me. When examined most of the primer was still in place (anvil, etc) just the external metal was gone.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 3:38:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2002 3:44:19 AM EST by Kharn]
Maybe the reason .308 does it, and .223 and 7.62x39 do not is because of mass, .308 would have more energy on impact but (I believe) all three cartridges use primers with similar shock tolerances. Kharn
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 5:48:10 AM EST
There have also been reports of loose rimfire ammo thrown in a pocket with a battery detonating.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 12:16:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 8:02:21 PM EST
LS1Eddie, What range was this at?
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 8:08:28 PM EST
Shit happens.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 8:13:33 PM EST
This is scary. I'll be careful handling ammos from now on.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 8:43:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By M4Madness: I had an emergency room doctor dig .22LR brass out of my hand years ago when a co-worker smashed one with a hammer to prove that the bullet would not fly off.
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Ah, there's a smart one!
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 9:21:37 PM EST
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