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Posted: 12/9/2005 11:07:01 PM EDT
OK this is my first post to this forum so I hope I did the images right. I tried doing all the suggestions with various pic hosting sites and all seemed a little different. The pics might be small but try as I might the hsoting sites would only take certain sized pics or would reduce them automatically. If this doesn't work (I have my doubts) then let me know how to get decent sized photos on this so you can see the damage. Some of it is fairly impressive. It's kind of a long post but I wanted to give all the details I could instead of doing the "oh yea, I forgot this and that".

These are pics courtesy of Bushmaster who took them once they were able to get my gun disassembled following a major malfunction of my rifle about 5 weeks ago.

I had been shooting my own handloads ... 42 to be exact. I set the AR down while I shot my Beretta Storm for awhile. Came back and loaded up some Federal 55 grain FMJ's. This particular round was one of my last 70 or so rounds of 400 that I had. Obviously, the first 330 rounds worked without incident. The first round of Federal I tried to fire caused a huge kaboom.

I ended up having a very stippled chin and x-rays show a metal fragment in the base of my throat/upper chest area as well as one in my left forearm.

There was not a squib round prior to this. I had been shooting pumpkins and I saw my last shot previous to the kaboom hit the pumpkin. In fact, the round that caused the kaboom also exited the barrel as I found out later from Bushmaster.

Aside from the damage that can be seen in the photos below the bolt release was blown off and the bottom of the trigger guard was also blown off. The upper was bulged out about 3mm at the seam between upper and lower. No amount of force that I could apply would free the bolt. Looking up into the magwell I could see the bolt and the gas rings. This is generally a bad thing to see!

Bushmaster's report says that the failure was due to a high pressure round. According to Bushmaster the weapon can't be fired out of battery, there was no barrel obstruction, and the case damage indicates a high pressure round. Bushmaster's customer service has been excellent in terms of responding to emails and phone calls. I am very happy with Bushmaster and based on customer service with me I would highly recommend their products.

The remaining ammo that I had was sent back to Federal. Federal's customer service has been very disappointing in terms of timely responses to emails and phone calls. My last conversation with Federal after they had received Bushmaster's report was one of hemming and hawing about the cause. They basically said that it was "impossible" to get a double charge and even if it did happen it wouldn't be enough to cause the damage that ocurred. I must admit this made me scratch my head and wonder what in the heck they were thinking! I guess all that stuff I've read in reloading manuals is all wrong ... if you believe Federal.

Federal now wants me to send them the damgaed rifle for their inspection. I sense more foot dragging, hemming and hawing, and turd kicking on this.

An attorney friend of mine says that I am entitled to more than just the repair cost and reimbursement of medical costs. I will be happy with just getting my repairs paid for by Federal.

I will never shoot Federal ammo again nor will I ever use Federal reloading components again.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Bolt-2.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Bolt.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/bbl-broken-teeth.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Carrier-Broken-2.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Broken-Carrier.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Cartridge.jpg
Link Posted: 12/9/2005 11:08:52 PM EDT
Holy Cow Kevatc! You're not as big a moron as I thought Iwas! The pics worked!!!
Link Posted: 12/9/2005 11:24:54 PM EDT
I have been reloading for a while and it is not possible to double charge a .223 case, even if you tried. I have heard of factory ammo reciving the wrong powder, winchester just recalled 3 lots ot .223 WSSM because of that. I am very glad that you are okay, and sorry that this happend, please keep me posted because I use a lot of fedral products. Also what did you cam pin look like befor the range session, and how old is your rifle?
Sorry again,
Icon
Link Posted: 12/9/2005 11:50:00 PM EDT
Was this fed AE or XM193 or ??
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 12:21:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Morbid_Icon:
I have been reloading for a while and it is not possible to double charge a .223 case, even if you tried. I have heard of factory ammo reciving the wrong powder, winchester just recalled 3 lots ot .223 WSSM because of that. I am very glad that you are okay, and sorry that this happend, please keep me posted because I use a lot of fedral products. Also what did you cam pin look like befor the range session, and how old is your rifle?
Sorry again,
Icon



85% of all the ammo put through my AR is my own handloads. I've never had a problem with my own ammo. I realize that you can't actually get a "double" charge of ammo but to fill it all the way to the top and then compress it by seating a bullet is a recipe for serious consequences in my book.

Can't answer on the cam pin ..... not in any of the pics Bushmaster sent to me (neither is the firing pin). I had cleaned this AR two weeks prior to the incident. My AR is about 3 years old with about 2500 rounds through her.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 12:25:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:
Was this fed AE or XM193 or ??



XM193, Lot 40.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 12:51:07 AM EDT
.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 1:29:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 1:45:33 AM EDT
Ouch. Glad it was only minor injuries.

Where were you shooting when this happened?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 1:57:08 AM EDT
Prepare yourself....Colt lovers are inbound

"If you had been using a COLT this wouldn't have happened."



Glad to see your alright...hope everything works out for the best.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 1:57:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By geerhed:
Ouch.hinking.gif Glad it was only minor injuries.

Where were you shooting when this happened?



Mountains out side of town about a 1/2 hour. Big boom and then my dogs just looked at me like "what the heck" and then they got put back in my truck and home we went. Bummer deal ... beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest. Bummer deal ... my wife loved to shoot the AR. Now she vows she won't touch it.

One in a million .... where's the lottery when I need a one in a million???
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 2:19:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kevatc:
OK this is my first post to this forum so I hope I did the images right. I tried doing all the suggestions with various pic hosting sites and all seemed a little different. The pics might be small but try as I might the hsoting sites would only take certain sized pics or would reduce them automatically. If this doesn't work (I have my doubts) then let me know how to get decent sized photos on this so you can see the damage. Some of it is fairly impressive. It's kind of a long post but I wanted to give all the details I could instead of doing the "oh yea, I forgot this and that".

These are pics courtesy of Bushmaster who took them once they were able to get my gun disassembled following a major malfunction of my rifle about 5 weeks ago.

I had been shooting my own handloads ... 42 to be exact. I set the AR down while I shot my Beretta Storm for awhile. Came back and loaded up some Federal 55 grain FMJ's. This particular round was one of my last 70 or so rounds of 400 that I had. Obviously, the first 330 rounds worked without incident. The first round of Federal I tried to fire caused a huge kaboom.

I ended up having a very stippled chin and x-rays show a metal fragment in the base of my throat/upper chest area as well as one in my left forearm.

There was not a squib round prior to this. I had been shooting pumpkins and I saw my last shot previous to the kaboom hit the pumpkin. In fact, the round that caused the kaboom also exited the barrel as I found out later from Bushmaster.

Aside from the damage that can be seen in the photos below the bolt release was blown off and the bottom of the trigger guard was also blown off. The upper was bulged out about 3mm at the seam between upper and lower. No amount of force that I could apply would free the bolt. Looking up into the magwell I could see the bolt and the gas rings. This is generally a bad thing to see!

Bushmaster's report says that the failure was due to a high pressure round. According to Bushmaster the weapon can't be fired out of battery, there was no barrel obstruction, and the case damage indicates a high pressure round. Bushmaster's customer service has been excellent in terms of responding to emails and phone calls. I am very happy with Bushmaster and based on customer service with me I would highly recommend their products.

The remaining ammo that I had was sent back to Federal. Federal's customer service has been very disappointing in terms of timely responses to emails and phone calls. My last conversation with Federal after they had received Bushmaster's report was one of hemming and hawing about the cause. They basically said that it was "impossible" to get a double charge and even if it did happen it wouldn't be enough to cause the damage that ocurred. I must admit this made me scratch my head and wonder what in the heck they were thinking! I guess all that stuff I've read in reloading manuals is all wrong ... if you believe Federal.

Federal now wants me to send them the damgaed rifle for their inspection. I sense more foot dragging, hemming and hawing, and turd kicking on this.

An attorney friend of mine says that I am entitled to more than just the repair cost and reimbursement of medical costs. I will be happy with just getting my repairs paid for by Federal.

I will never shoot Federal ammo again nor will I ever use Federal reloading components again.

i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Bolt-2.jpg

i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Bolt.jpg

i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/bbl-broken-teeth.jpg

i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Carrier-Broken-2.jpg

i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Broken-Carrier.jpg

i25.photobucket.com/albums/c90/kevatc/AR%20damage/Cartridge.jpg



Holy hell man. Glad you are okay. Did you notice any inconsistencies with the rest of the ammo? Where was the ammo purchased? Were you wearing Eye protection?

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 2:47:43 AM EDT
Glad you are ok. You should have kept one on the loaded rounds just "incase". Hopefully they will determine this cause.
But it does sound like the wrong powder was used.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:09:20 AM EDT
glad to hear your OK, keep us up todate
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:13:14 AM EDT
tag a roo
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:14:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 3:48:24 AM EDT by Rodent]
Are you going to send what's left of your rifle to Federal?

ETA it's very decent of you to only ask for repairs in this litigious day and age. I understand Federal's apprehension about lawsuits, but if they suspect that it was the ammo's fault, they should leap on the opportunity to just buy you a new rifle.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:33:31 AM EDT
Glad to hear that you survived this with relatively minor injuries. Had the headspace on the rile ever been checked at any time prior to this incident? The cartridge case looks like a total case head separation, without really high pressure signs being apparent on the primer. Maybe a cartridge case that was not to spec in terms of case length was fired in a chamber that was in spec? Take care. Charles the Gubsmith.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 4:47:12 AM EDT
Wow, glad to hear you are ok! Best of luck! Thanks for the detailed follow-up!
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:16:50 AM EDT
Wow...glad you're OK.


Bomber
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:25:12 AM EDT

I had been shooting my own handloads ... 42 to be exact. I set the AR down while I shot my Beretta Storm for awhile. Came back and loaded up some Federal 55 grain FMJ's. This particular round was one of my last 70 or so rounds of 400 that I had.



For clarification, this was a handload, and not a factory load, is that correct?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:26:44 AM EDT
Glad you're OK dude.

Looks like a high pressure load. See how much brass flowed back into the ejector hole.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:27:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:28:29 AM EDT
Federal the ammo maker that gave Glock ..40s their reputation.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:31:57 AM EDT
whoa! tagged for outcome
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:52:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 5:52:40 AM EDT by ar_mcadams]
glad your ok. Kinda maked me wonder about the Federal xm855pd stuff some of us buy.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:07:08 AM EDT
Sorry to hear about your rifle going kaboom. I think you have 2 options 1) tell federal to trust bushmmasters findings and all you want is your property replaced or 2) tell federal you will send it to them but if you do you will be getting legal console and a rifle isnt all they will be paying for. Seems if they have their heads screwed on strait it will be over quick. Threads like this can spread really fast to all corners of the world and I really dont think Federal wants that kind of publicity. Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:15:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:16:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
DO NOT SEND YOUR RIFLE TO FEDERAL!

That's an old trick in product liability cases. Ask your attorney buddy about that.

Sorry I gotta run, don't let the rifle out of your possession, if your buddy does not normally handle product liability cases, then he will know someone who does



Listen to this man!
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:18:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:32:23 AM EDT
Tag
Glad you came out of it better then the rifle did.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:36:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 6:38:27 AM EDT by SBR7_11]
Somebody posted above that their handloads are not a problem... Same here - all my firearms' ammo is loaded by me, practically 95%, very little new if any.

I have full control over my production, unlike some unattended machine sitting out on a factory floor running a-muck for who knows how long.. Then comes along all the argument of why reload when ammo is so "cheap"....

I have only had (1) ass-dent... back in 1990 ..... it came from knowingly playing with a pistol powder to try to make some seriously light loads... It blew a brand new bolt and Smith Enterprize carrier to bits, and cracked the upper also.


This was 5 or 6gr of AA-#5 and a 55gr FMJ -

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:38:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Diesel73:
Sorry to hear about your rifle going kaboom. I think you have 2 options 1) tell federal to trust bushmmasters findings and all you want is your property replaced or 2) tell federal you will send it to them but if you do you will be getting legal console and a rifle isnt all they will be paying for. Seems if they have their heads screwed on strait it will be over quick. Threads like this can spread really fast to all corners of the world and I really dont think Federal wants that kind of publicity. Good luck!



Sorry....... There is no way Federal can/will take Bushmasters findings as the correct & official cause. Accepting full responseability for all damages."Cause Bushmaster looked at it and said it wasnt their fault.

Federal will have lots of "TESTS" to do of their own. This could take some time. Keep us posted.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:43:49 AM EDT
First, glad to hear you are ok and are talking about it. That case looks like it was segmented, could bushmaster have done this to inspect the inside of the case? I do not know if anyone would expect Federal to accept liability when you openly admit to using handloads prior to your accident. Many things can appear as a high pressure overload such as an obstruction in the bore. Also a heavy bullet mistakenly loaded over the charge. Not saying any of this is what happened only that in almost every incident like this handloads are the cause in one way or another.

I would think further inspection of the barrel may rule out a stuck bullet or obstruction prior to the accident because even if both bullets make it out, it usually will show a bulged spot in the barrel if not visable, detectable by gauging the bore.

Hope it all works out for you, I wish you a speedy recovery.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:01:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kevatc:

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:
Was this fed AE or XM193 or ??



XM193, Lot 40.



That's it, scare the crap out of me. I've got about 750rds of XM193 loaded up ready to shoot in my RR this afternoon.
Glad you're OK.
Could have been wrong bullet, wrong seating depth, bullet set back when chambered. Did you notice if it chambered smooth or kind of hang up for a second?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:21:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Forward_Assist:
First, glad to hear you are ok and are talking about it. That case looks like it was segmented, could bushmaster have done this to inspect the inside of the case? I do not know if anyone would expect Federal to accept liability when you openly admit to using handloads prior to your accident. Many things can appear as a high pressure overload such as an obstruction in the bore. Also a heavy bullet mistakenly loaded over the charge. Not saying any of this is what happened only that in almost every incident like this handloads are the cause in one way or another.

I would think further inspection of the barrel may rule out a stuck bullet or obstruction prior to the accident because even if both bullets make it out, it usually will show a bulged spot in the barrel if not visable, detectable by gauging the bore.

Hope it all works out for you, I wish you a speedy recovery.



An obstructed bore is pretty damn easy to prove or disprove, and it WILL leave a mark. It does look like the case just seperated at the base, the ejector mark would be from the base trying to head off somewhere towards your shoulder. If federal is playing games, see a liability lawyer and don't send your rifle off to federal. If you have any ammo left [sounds as if you do] from the mag I'd also check [or have checked] the powder in them. Document, document, document.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:34:58 AM EDT
Looking at that case.. with the only real noticeable damage being a nearly perfectly seperated head...

Classic case failure. Reminds me of all things of the Glocks that would blow the crappy federal .40 brass.

XM193 is factory seconds. XM193PD is factory thirds. And, there is a very good reason for them being 2nd's and 3rd's. So, expect Federal to point that out to you, even if it is their fault for putting out a crap batch of ammo.

Glad you alright buddy, hope you get this taken care :)
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:42:02 AM EDT


Wow! Glad you are okay. I am tagging this for the results.

Oh, and by the way, Welcome to AR15.com!

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:57:48 AM EDT
I'd think any company with their head on straight would jump at the chance for you to just get a new rifle, and forget about it. Even if they had a ruling in court that they were not at fault, it would still cost them more than it would to just get you a new rifle, regardless if it was their ammo or not (looks like it was). Hell, if I were Federal, I'd buy you any AR you wanted, on principal for not suing like so many others in this country would. Have a speedy recovery and god bless.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 8:13:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 11:19:06 AM EDT by graywolf]
tagged
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 8:41:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dennysguns:
Impressive to say the least!

I don't see any cratering of the primer. It is interesting the case separated right where it is the thickest, right in the web. Usually case separations are further up the case, where it is the weakest.

I also do not see any signs of gas leakage around the primer. Another over-pressure sign.

Headspace is not a likely issue and you have fired 2500 rounds with this rifle and spent brass prior to the incident would have shown signs of improper headspace. You are a reloader and know what to look for.

The case separation is a beauty. Nice and round. Couldn't do better in a lathe.

This is just from pics mind you, but I would say the case just plain failed. Most likely had a concealed defect from the day it was made. When you fired it separated and dumped most of 55,000 PSI into the receiver.

Denny


The case web is where Federal had problems with the .40 S&W as well.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 8:59:16 AM EDT

Sorry to hear about your rifle going kaboom. I think you have 2 options 1) tell federal to trust bushmmasters findings and all you want is your property replaced or 2) tell federal you will send it to them but if you do you will be getting legal console and a rifle isnt all they will be paying for. Seems if they have their heads screwed on strait it will be over quick. Threads like this can spread really fast to all corners of the world and I really dont think Federal wants that kind of publicity. Good luck!




What you mean I am sending this to 6 different sites has we talk......


More then anything...Thank God you are OK and thinking of that stuff in my throat and upper chest makes me hurt...

Listen to AIMLESS I mean LISTEN TO AIMLESS..Do not sent the gun to them untill you get a lawyer.

Now it sounds like you used hand loads then went to Federal Ammo..Or ws it the last of your handloads the went Kaboom. If that is what happened then you are out of luck. If it was Federal stuff then you have a case....No pun intended.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 9:29:50 AM EDT
The day of a simple resolution to any problem is way behind us now. Get a Lawyer.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 9:35:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 9:35:46 AM EDT by Va_Dinger]
Was this factory ammo or a personal reload? I thought kevatc stated in his first post it was reloaded ammo he had done himself? If so, what would a lawyer do for him? It was his ammo.

I'm also not sure why Bushmaster would cover this. No AR is going to stand up to this kind of ammo failure. It was not the weapon that failed.


Just asking.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 9:55:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 9:58:41 AM EDT by makabi24]
What I got from the post was: he was firing his own loads AND THEN AFTER FINISHING HIS RELOADS proceeded to shoot Federal M193. He was trying to finish up his last batch of 193 when the kaboom occured. aka: The round that caused the kaboom was a Federal manufactured M193 cartridge.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 10:08:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By makabi24:
What I got from the post was: he was firing his own loads AND THEN AFTER FINISHING HIS RELOADS proceeded to shoot Federal M193. He was trying to finish up his last batch of 193 when the kaboom occured. aka: The round that caused the kaboom was a Federal manufactured M193 cartridge.



10-4.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 10:38:44 AM EDT
Tagged for outcome.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 11:12:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

I had been shooting my own handloads ... 42 to be exact. I set the AR down while I shot my Beretta Storm for awhile. Came back and loaded up some Federal 55 grain FMJ's. This particular round was one of my last 70 or so rounds of 400 that I had.



For clarification, this was a handload, and not a factory load, is that correct?



The round that screwed up my weapon was a Federal manufactured round. I had been shooting my handloads previously.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 11:16:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Diesel73:
Sorry to hear about your rifle going kaboom. I think you have 2 options 1) tell federal to trust bushmmasters findings and all you want is your property replaced or 2) tell federal you will send it to them but if you do you will be getting legal console and a rifle isnt all they will be paying for. Seems if they have their heads screwed on strait it will be over quick. Threads like this can spread really fast to all corners of the world and I really dont think Federal wants that kind of publicity. Good luck!



Yea, I've already talked informally with an attorney. He says I could get more than just the gun fixed in terms of compensation. I just want them to fix my gun.

I will take your advice that if they want the damaged parts they will get them and a letter or phone call from the attorney.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 11:19:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
DO NOT SEND YOUR RIFLE TO FEDERAL!

That's an old trick in product liability cases. Ask your attorney buddy about that.

Sorry I gotta run, don't let the rifle out of your possession, if your buddy does not normally handle product liability cases, then he will know someone who does



OK ... will take your advice. Why or how is it a trick?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 11:22:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SBR7_11:
Somebody posted above that their handloads are not a problem... Same here - all my firearms' ammo is loaded by me, practically 95%, very little new if any.

I have full control over my production, unlike some unattended machine sitting out on a factory floor running a-muck for who knows how long.. Then comes along all the argument of why reload when ammo is so "cheap"....

I have only had (1) ass-dent... back in 1990 ..... it came from knowingly playing with a pistol powder to try to make some seriously light loads... It blew a brand new bolt and Smith Enterprize carrier to bits, and cracked the upper also.


This was 5 or 6gr of AA-#5 and a 55gr FMJ -

img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/capttoyota/ARboom1.jpg



Holy Crap!!! And I thought my damage was bad. You win!! Or we both lost depending on how you want to look at it.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 11:22:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kevatc:

The round that screwed up my weapon was a Federal manufactured round. I had been shooting my handloads previously.




Thankyou, that was how I took it, but I wasn't sure I was reading it correctly. A factory load is obviously far different than a handload, and your clarification helps keep things straight.

Thanks.
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