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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was shooting with some family this weekend and i let a 15 yr old family member fire the weapon and i was loading a clip and his mother was watching him. He fired screamed and dropped the gun. A Federal round exploded inside the chamber sent shrapnel out the ejection port into his face cutting his face and eyebrow chipping his glasses the cuts weren't to deep but there was a lot of blood. We are debating what to do abut the situation,Federal is having me send in the remainder of the ammo to get it tested but honestly all they are doing is sending me more ammo (which honestly after what happened i don't want any more ammo from them). Anyone have any advice or heard of this happening to anyone else?
 

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Lot of possibilities here, not the least of which is you were allowing a 15yr. old fire the weapon while you were preoccupied with something else. Other possibilities: plugged barrel, wrong cartridge got inserted ahead of a proper one, mechanical failure of the gun altho the 1911 normally will not fire unless fully in battery. I'd really like to know how this one works out. Goatwhiskers the Elder
 

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If I was a gambiling man I would bet that the ammo wasn't the problem, if it was Federal will make it right. I think there is more to this story.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Gun damaged, or just a case head let go? It's not clear from your description. Other than a mag being damaged or grip panels cracking, it seems unlikely that a case head letting go would hurt the gun much. Small advantage of a steel frame, over plastic ;)

I'd guess:

1. Overpressure

2. Too-generous chamber dimensions

3. Combination of #1 and #2.

That pretty well ought to cover it. If it was a plugged bore, you'd be picking pieces of barrel out of the shooter's face, not brass. Shooter error seems unlikely?

Case heads do let go, that's why we wear safety glasses.

Send the ammo back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
the only thing we were shooting were 45 acps...i was loading another mag but his mother was watching him...he was under constant supervision....i dont understand how the front of the case gets embedded in the throat barrel??Also I made it very clear that there wont be any legal action taken against them i am very pro gun and am aware accidents happen.
 

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the only thing we were shooting were 45 acps...i was loading another mag but his mother was watching him...he was under constant supervision....i dont understand how the front of the case gets embedded in the throat barrel??Also I made it very clear that there wont be any legal action taken against them i am very pro gun and am aware accidents happen.
First, let me say I am more than glad there was not a serious injury!! I totally applaud your not feeling that you have to sue! But, after reading the above, I'd for sure want Federal to also do the right thing and give you a generous and ample supply of good ammo, if that ammo falls into the lots recalled.

GOOD LUCK!
 

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If you attended a lot of IPSC matches back in the days when shooters hot rodded the .38 super you saw this happen a lot.

Its scary but its not that big of a deal.

Usually its caused by a case head seperation like the quicker fellow said.

Those in turn are often caused by weak brass, overcharged casings, or insufficient chamber support or sometimes a combinatoin of the three.

Its more prone to happen with a .38 super in a 1911, but it has also been known to happen to .40 Glocks.
 

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SanYim,

I've had the same experience do to a near-double charge caused by a mechanical problem with my powder measure years ago. Also got some brass in the face. The case head blew out and some of the brass pieces fit through the spaces between the slide and frame. The gun jammed closed and I got a slight (0.002") bulge in barrel diameter just ahead of the thicker chamber portion. Nasty surprise.

A couple of things: You said the case mouth jammed in the throat? Unless your extractor hook failed to capture the case rim and the brass was trimmed way too long and sized too narrow at the mouth, that should not happen. You can check the rim diameter and case length and diameter at the mouth. The minimum rim is 0.470" and the maximum extractor groove diameter is 0.400". The maximum case length is 0.898", and the minimum case mouth diameter crimped over the bullet is 0.467".

If the case got chambered ahead of the extractor hook, it could jam an undersized case mouth into the throat, but it's hard to see how you would accomplish that if the diameter meets minimum. If your gun's disconnector is improperly timed, the hammer could drive the firing pin forward with the slide slightly out of battery, as can occur when a round doesn't quite chamber completely, and that could leave a lot of case head unsupported and easy to blow out. Failure to feed properly is more likely if the grip on the frame isn't solid.

Finally, there is the good old double-charge. We once had a board member posting who'd been involved in government contract ammunition testing, and he said when you fire hundreds of thousands of rounds, you eventually find examples of every kind of error a handloader could make. There are even some handloaders can't make if they are reloading fired brass, as I've twice encountered cases in new brass that had no flash holes. Commercial ammunition is generally very reliable, but only God is perfect; everyone else makes mistakes.
 
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