My Springfield Armory M1A Blew Up!!

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Brent, May 28, 2002.

  1. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    First off I'm glad I'm alive right now. Still shaking for about an hour afterward I settled down and finished the shooting with the other guns. I did what we all know not to, and start with a higher end load, not working up slowly and it Damn near cost me my life. The load was 45.5gr H380 under a 180 Scirocco at 2.845". It blew the bottom off the bolt, blew the cartridge below it in half leaving only the back half of the case left, the front end with the bullet were gone. The 3rd and only other round in the mag was mangled. The mag follower was blown in half, the lower front corners of the mag were split down to the bottom with everything blown out the bottom. The synthetic stock split vertically completely through front and rear. At the front it ran about 6" forward and the rear it ran back into the grip and stopped. I'm glad it wasn't walnut. My Leopold survived as well as the actionand barrel were intact as was the upper visible area of the bolt and op rod.

    The Oehler 43 measured 81,500 PSI. There was some interferrance and the "auto omit" feature was activated so it deleated the shot just afterward and automatically replaced it with another that was just some interferrance registering as a shot too. I'm not sure of the velocity of the shot, I just looked at the PSI because of what happened, but the PSI was indeed 81K, not what we would think could blow apart a bolt. I thought these things were at proof tested to at least twice their operating PSI, at over 100,000psi, I guess I was wrong.

    I wonder if the action is still good after that PSI, if you could even get it open and off the case that's stuck in there.

    Makes me wonder what the PSI in the starting load would have been.

    No matter how pressures follow other book loads doesn't mean squat, so be carefull starting a little high to save time and bullets as I was. That was a $1400+ BIG mistake.
     
  2. texas

    texas Well-Known Member

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    Look Brent I want to come to Alaska but not for a funeral alright [​IMG] It's no laughting matter but VERY VERY glad that you are still alive! So now can we work on that 50 Texan you mentioned a while back. Every once in awhile we all make mistakes I made one worst than you did. Needed an electric cord with the plug in so I got an old lamp put a bulb in it to make sure it worked after it came on I turned it off got out my pocket knife and proceeded to cut it. Knife was a little dull so I had to try looping the cord to cut it. After the blade came throught it and I got shocked I realized that it was still plugged in. We live to tell others so that they don't make the same mistake of being in a hurry. Take care and GOD SPEED.
     
  3. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Brent,
    Really glad that you are OK. Guess that was one of those wake-up calls we get - if we are lucky.
    "You only get one set of eyes..." comes to mind when I read about that rifle detonating.
    Take care.
     
  4. Darryl Cassel

    Darryl Cassel Well-Known Member

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    Brent

    Glad you are OK after a close call.

    I wanted to post earlier about 7828 powder which has NO bearing on what happened to you.
    The 7828 will raise pressures FAST and just a little goes a long way. Watch out if you or anyone else tries it.

    Just a tip;
    For a bit of piece of mind, I always wear some type of protective glasses when I'm shooting any rifle and in any situation, hunting or target.

    When loading and shooting any cartridge remember, we all are working with a bomb in that chamber and a lot of pressure is being exerted.
    Everyone, please be careful. Load to the maximum slowly and when working with semi-auto rifles or older military mauser bolt actions, be especially careful.
    Would hate to see anyone from our site (or any site) here get hurt in any way.

    Glad to hear you didn't get hurt.

    Darryl
     
  5. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all,
    The load was in the Nosler book and was the most accurate powder and load for the 180gr. I figured none of the other book max loads were over an acceptable psi, so why would this one be. At the 81,000 psi it was, I wonder what psi the starting load will be in my bolt gun?

    Not the right approach as were told time and time again.
     
  6. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    Ok here's what happened. First off my trusted brother is who I got the opened can of H380 from. There's your first clue. I never used H380 before this, so when I saw it was stick powder I never new what was coming. That's your second clue. Yep you guessed it, H380 is ball powder not the damn stick powder that was in the can.

    I'll never trust anybodys reloads or opened powder again, not even blood. I almost am not speaking to him over this. I have no idea what powder it is but it wasn't H380. I wright the name of the powder on a small piece of paper, throw it in the powder measurer on top then leave only that can setting beside the measurer and keep all other away on the shelf to avoid JUST THIS.
     
  7. 10X

    10X Well-Known Member

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    UV light affects stick (wax) based powders and air affects all ball powders. so dont leave them out when not using them.


    also in alaska (for a while)
     
  8. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    Damn, Brent. Glad you're still with us! That's scary!

    Thanks for posting what can be a good lesson to us all.

    But don't be too hard on your brother. He is your brother after all. I would guess he didn't mean it and I'm sure he feels like crap about it. Sometimes mistakes are made. I've made serious ones and I'm sure pretty much everybody has at one time or another.

    Just give him a good asswhipping, then forgive him [​IMG] .
     
  9. texas

    texas Well-Known Member

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    Hey Brent have you decided to replace that M1A yet and with what? Tell your brother you might forgive him if he helps with the cost of a new gun [​IMG] . It's worth a try [​IMG] . Please be careful whatever you do we need imput for up there.
     
  10. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    I haven't talked to him but once about it since he's working about 300 miles away on a road job right now. Managed to get him on his cell phone once long enough to tell him it was not H380. He said it was marked IMR4831, it wasn't, and there wasn't IMR4831 in it either. He owes me BIG time. I think he feels pretty bad about it and sees the magnatude of the whole thing. I'll let him off after I get a new stock, bolt and some free gunsmith work out of him this winter.

    It will be an Armalite AR-10T with a 300WSM upper conversion if this cannot be fixed. Even if it can be it's comming anyway. [​IMG]

    I bought a 4 5/8" SS Ruger Bisley Vaquero in 44mag today to convert to 500 Linebaugh this winter hopefully, just what I been looking for.
     
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Well-Known Member

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    Very scary. My big sis has a habit of quoting, "That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." That may be true, but it still makes you have to squeeze your cheeks together sometimes! [​IMG]

    I saw a picture on the net awhile back from a guy that had an M-14 come apart on him about like you described. After extensive testing by a lab, they determined it was bad barrel steel (unknown after market barrel) of all things. If I can find the file I'll post it. Gives you chills just to look at it.

    Had a '14 pop an ejector out one time in training & left the spring hanging out of the breech. That was bad enough, but whew! Better lucky than good ANY day. [​IMG]
     
  12. briantawse

    briantawse New Member

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    i've had case separations where the stock has split, and the mag was rendered useless, but not near what you got- you need to strip the entire rifle down- take off all the springs, op rod , etc, ( i'm assuming you have the gi field manual of equivilent- ) then when you get the thing stripped, maybe go after the charging handle with a hammer- just a couple of good whacks,downward, and that should release the bolt- there's a special tool called a RUPTURED CASE EXTRACTOR- that can be used to extract the case- i got mine from gunparts in newyork- used to be numrich arms- now as to making it work again- provided the receiver and barrel are still ok- you're goung to have to get a smith to fit a new bolt(these things are headspaced in the old conventional way and you just can't drop in a new bolt and have proper headspace- you used to be able to get everything except the receiver itself through gunpartscorp- usually at a pretty decent price- if not , then springfield has an excellent parts depot as well- provided you want to go anywhere near that thing
     
  13. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    I beat the op rod and got it to open up with a piece of wood and a 8# hammer. There is a little scar on the feed ramps that are milled in the barrel but other than measuring things for swelling etc it looks good. A new bolt and stock is all I think it'll need, I hope. I'm having it loooked at this next week if he gets time. I can't remember what they do to set the headspace with those. I'll have to read up on it. It isn't as simple as a bolt rifle thats for sure. The FAL is pretty simple if you have the parts to do them.