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A blown barrel, what would you do?

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Old 08-14-2009, 08:16 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
A blown barrel, what would you do?

I had a barrel balloon/blow up on me in Feb 07. I brought the barrel straight from the manufactuer in 02ish, chambered for 284win. I'm a machinist by trade and fitted then fluted the barrel. Fired 2-300 shots with no worries, I brought a 2-8 leupold for it and was sighting it in. I fired 3 shots at target then went to check it with the rfile barrel down on passenger floor. Adjusted scope then came back to fire another 3, first shot and the barrel explodes. Pulverises my thumb, blows stock off at front action screw and blows objective off scope at end of tube. I bandage my thumb and pick rifle up off ground then head to hospital 2hrs away. All the way running over why it happened. All I could think of was an obstruction in barrel off ute floor or something to do with the fluting. The loads were all the same with no pressure signs, the fluting had more wall thickness than the Model 7 308 barrel I'd pulled off. I copt a heap of **** from mates about being a backyard gunsmith etc.

Then the other night I was reading about another guys dramas on an aussie site and the same barrel manufacturer was mentioned as a possible cause, my ears (eyes) pricked and after some more questions and answers I found out the barrel guys had a bad batch of barrels from the same time as when I brought mine and there were other barrels that had done the same as mine. A recall notice was posted on their site and all their brand of barrels were banned from ranges and competition until tested. I never receiced any notices. So I sent them an email with pics of barrel and thumb and was contacted by phone the next day. This guy has only owned the business for 2 yrs and said he will contact the old owner who now lives in NZ to get in contact with me, but basically he doesn't want anything to do with it. I'm pissed off now that I think it wasn't my fault and think I should be reimbursed the cost of barrel, scope and stock or have them replaced. I'm out of pocket $1400 in materials, without the 2 weeks off work.

What do you guys think??

Cant figure out how to post a pic!

Last edited by gedsar; 08-15-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:50 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NW OHIO
Posts: 286
Re: A blown barrel, what would you do?

Pics would be very interesting.
If I understand correctly you purchased a barrel, then fluted and installed it. I would think the barrel company would point at your work just to add some doubt. In reality the barrel metal quality should be tested.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:00 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
Re: A blown barrel, what would you do?

Don't worry thats the angle they're gonna work I reckon. They started off with the chambering could of caused it until I told them that they chambered it, then they moved onto the fluting. I wonder what was the outcome with the other barrels that blew the same that wern't fluted and were fitted by gunsmiths.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:30 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,047
Re: A blown barrel, what would you do?

Was it an MAB barrel?

I have a MAB barrel in .25-06 from about the same year as yours. No sign of any problem with it yet but it makes you think? I did notice though that it is undersize. My hand loads are at max pressure with starting loads in most reloading books. With factory loads it opens up the primer pockets on the first shot.

Just shows you to always start with the minimum powder charge.

Your barrel might have also been undersized? This combined with a problem with the barrel steel and fluting could have all combined to weaken the barrel over 300 shots to the point of destruction?

I am planning on getting a new rifle built soon and was going to use another one of their barrels. Do you know of any recent problems with their barrels?
scientia est potentia
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:13 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 46
Re: A blown barrel, what would you do?

I would not be using that barrel until it gets tested Topshot, thats if the new owners will test as MAB were doing. Check out the recalls on this page.

MAB Engineering Home Page

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Old 08-16-2009, 06:04 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 912
Re: A blown barrel, what would you do?

Holy FARK ! Nasty mate. I hate blood too..

With each step in the bush, you are a step closer.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:01 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,384
Re: A blown barrel, what would you do?

I don't claim to be an expert but I can tell you for sure that an improper fluting jog can be
big trouble. (I ballooned one that was fluted wrong and didn't know there was any thing
wrong until I cross sectioned the barrel).

It looks like the barrel was a little light to flute. and the fluting was to deep.

My barrel was not to light but the fluting was very deep and It ballooned but did not blow
up like yours.

Some barrel makers will void there warranty if you flute there barrels because they have
no control of the quality of the fluting.

Most barrel makers have a minimum contour that they will flute (Like Lilja will not flute
any contour smaller than a #5 in 30 cal and a #6 in larger calibres).

I'm glad you are OK it could have been a lot worse.

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