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There is another possibility with a gun blowup

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by g7777777, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Explosion and how it could happen in a gun

    There is another possibility with a gun blow up

    it might take two things but maybe only one

    1. wrong powder - or a faster powder

    2. cocked wad that is cocked enough so as to allow the powder to lay horizontally so as to uncover the primer

    the cocking also compresses one side of the wad compression portion

    Primer now ignites and it has a several time greater surface area- maybe even 20-40 times as much surface area of powder it ignites at once

    what happens is that this increased surface area equals a tremendously increased burning rate- way beyond what the normal burning rate is--

    Thus an explosion by definition

    That happens in some "light" pistol loads with unique

    this situation has been well documented with unique and light pistol loads- where the powder could lay horizontally there because of air space

    This just dawned on me

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  2. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I changed the name of the thread- to better explain how this does happen with "light" pistol loads

    and thinking about how it could happen with a shotgun load by analogy

    regards from cold, windy and snowy Iowa

    Hope to get the dogs out the day after Christmas

    Gene
     
  3. 3 wood

    3 wood TS Member

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    Gene, the wrong powder could definitely blow up a gun, but that usually doesn't happen with shotguns, but more with rifles or handguns. A tipped wad will usually release pressure rather than build it--- so no blown gun. You have to have more mass(double shot charge). That is how proof loads are made--heavy shot charges and heavy charges of a faster burning powder. Again reloader error----3 wood
     
  4. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Imagine it this way- which could also accont for the trace of melted lead

    The shell is laying on its side- in the firing position- because the gun is held that way--- much more likely to occur in trapshooting by the way

    A tipped wad could allow enough additional volume ( if it is tipped to the upward side- that the powder is now laying sideways also- and the top of the powder laying in this position is below the primer

    A tipped wad goes in the shell much harder by the way- and logically it would come out much harder

    the primer ignites and burns across all the powder instantaneously- no progressive burn as in a normal shell

    the ignition is so fast that rather than burn its an explosion- minimal containment needed(only enough to limit air space and one half cylnder powder charge-- essentially all the powder is ignited instantaneously

    A example is dynamite or even a plastic explosive- it ignites so fast that it litteraly explodes- with no containment needed- and its burn is not only fast but it is hot

    this is what happens in the "light" pistol loads- less powder, below the primer equals explosion even though the powder charge was much lower and no blockage of the barrel - the pistol blows up

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  5. Irfner

    Irfner TS Member

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    It is hard for me to imagine someone changing the powder type for one shell while reloading shotgun shells and not knowing about it. I would think double or even triple loads of powder might bulge a barrel but I still have a lot of trouble with a disintegrated receiver. A double load of shot would be hard to crimp. My normal trap load is 1oz. I often shoot 11/2 to 2oz loads when hunting so it is hard for me to picture a double trap load blowing up a gun. The nature of the barrel should direct the energy foreword and out the muzzle. I would normally expect an obstruction to be foreword of the receiver and damage the barrel at that point. But an obstruction is still a possibility. Maybe we should call it a UBO, unidentified barrel obstruction.

    Gene your hypothesis seems a reasoned one. A cocked wad or one not seated allowing the powder to drop below the primer. Thus creating an explosion instead of a burn. It might also wedge itself in the shell during the explosion. I can see this happening during reloading. I have no idea what kind of pressures this might or might not cause. But I do wish there was some way to test this theory. And no I am not going to try it in my gun.
     
  6. Tracer

    Tracer Member

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    Gene, there is the posibility of a charge of powder going what's called "high order" especially in light pistol and rifle loads. The gun being fired in a horizonal position allows the powder in a light load to fill only half or less of the cartridge and the white hot fragments from the primer traveling over the top of the powder charge cause a large surface to be ignited with instant high pressures. Powder no longer is a progressive burning substance but acts more like black powder. We done some tests on 25/06 cartridges back in the 70' because so many were blowing guns up and found that igniting powder in that fashion you could get 2 to 2.5 times the pressures generated normally. I believe that if you had a big enough space in a shotgun hull you could get the same results. Another culpret is defective primers that have a very low calorie output. It ignites a small portion of powder in the back and pushes the bullet part way out of the case into the rifling and then compleatly ignites. Just a thought. Del
     
  7. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    GN7777777 , State just one documented case of a handgun blow up with a light load of any pistol powder.
     
  8. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    JerryP

    There are numerous documented handgun blowups with light loads - for awhile the powder manufacturers and the major sporting magazines published warnings against this "light" load issue with pistols- particurally using unique because of the low volume to charge weight

    I even believe there were warnings in the powder manual(s)

    Its the low volume that is the issue=== if the volume causes the powder to fall below the primer (actually I imagine it can be even with the middle of the primer or maybe even top-- the flame of the primer now ignites all the exposed powder at once rather than a progressive burn

    Thus an explosion

    You can do your own research--
     
  9. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    What would happen if the reloader didn't put a wad in the shell? I think that the powder could migrate into the shot spreading powder into a considerably larger area.

    Bob
     
  10. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    GN7777777 has accurately described the light powder charge problem that is known in pistols and rifles. I have some difficulty transferring this problem to a shotgun shell, but it is a suggestion that has some basis. Rather than a cocked wad, perhaps a wad that was to short and allowed more volume in the powder area. I can see how the wrong wad laying around might get accidentally loaded.

    Pat Ireland
     
  11. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    GN7777777, There are no documented cases of what you describe. The baloney has been circulating for years. American Handgunner did a story on that a few years ago. They even offered a reward for anyone who had documented evidence of such a disaster. They searched in vain. Finally concluded it is nothing more than urban legend. I have read the same stuff you mention in magazines. It was all based on what they heard, nothing more.
    You do your own research. Again, state one documented case. American Handgunner will pay money for it. You won't find any legitimate story.


    There also has never been a documented case of detontation in a shotgun. I have searched for that one also. Has never happened in a shotgun or handgun. Experts say it can happen in larger naval guns but not a shotgun. more urban legend
     
  12. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    I can only say that I shot a least 1,000 rounds of 158 Gr. semiwad cutters out of a M14 S&W revolver using 2.8 Gr. of bullseye. With the bullet seated about 3/8" in the case it left almost 5/8" of a pocket to the inside bottom of the case. Spread that little amount of powder over that length and you would have a thin layer of powder. This load is from the Lyman manual. Gun never blew the the top strap off.
     
  13. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    We've been subjected to the old 2.7 gr bullseye and 148 grain hbwc blowup stories for all of my reloading life (52 years) and I've never seen it or seen hard evidence of it. We, my dad and I, used to load commercially and sold hundreds of thousands of that very load. We bought Bullseye by the fifteen pound drum and bullets in multiple thousand lots. Never had one.

    I have heard stories of slow powder detonation in drastically reduced loads also, don't know about that but the magazines seem to give it more credibility. I still cringe when I hear people say that the manuals are only guidelines and they go as much as 10% over the top loads.

    I maintain that blowups are 99.999% operator inspired. Take your chances, load hot, just don't shoot next to my station.

    Stan
     
  14. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    http://www.reloadammo.com/liteload.htm

    this was a 1 second web browse- and a guy that gives an email address- claims he has a Phd and is a good writer- claims it happened to him

    take you chances when you feel the bottom of that wad catch on the case mouth next time

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  15. dezcon

    dezcon Member

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    With all due respect with everyones' opinions, I have a "gun blow-up" story to tell that happened to me and I HAVE NO DOUBT WHAT HAPPENED! I normally shoot a K-80 and one Thursday club-night in the winter, I decided to use my Model 12 in lieu of the K-80. I was shooting reloaded AA Super Handicaps of 24.5 grains of 7625 with AA wads and 1-1/8 oz #7-1/2's loaded on a Hydraulic P/W. Half way through the night...KABOOM!!! My stock which had a lot of cross grain cracked in half and hit the ground with a "thud". According to the guys next to me, they thought it was my head and were afraid to look over. The Model 12 held together, but would not open. It was swollen closed. Everybody was pretty well shook up, and my night was over...obviously. I gave the gun to Mark Hoffman who is a machinist and very familiar with Model 12's to take home and to work on to try to open up. He did and pulled the stuck shell out. When he did, he called me and asked if I still had the empties from the previous shots. Since I was reloading, I did. He asked me to check each shell that I had in the empty bag for a shell without a base wad. Sure enough, there was one shell WITHOUT a base wad. There is no doubt in my mind, the base wad of the shot previous to the KABOOM-shot got stuck in the forcing cone and only for me to load the gun again. There is NO WAY to load 49.0 grains of 7625 and a AA wad with 1-1/8 of 7-1/2's. If there was no wad, I think and excess pressure would "blow-by" the shot in the barrel as it travelled down the barrel. I sent the gun to Stu Wright to rebuld and the chamber was 0.022 out of round. He re-sleved the chamber and it shoots fine today. Good work Mr. Wright! There is only one other side comment to this condemnation of any shell with a 2 piece base wad. About a month previous, I was shooting the K-80 with the same load. After a shot, I ejected a shell into my hand and the base wad was stuck on crimp folds of th discharged shell. I did not give the event the significanse that I should have at the time and only checked the barrel between shells before loading since we were shooting about 15 men on the line. I remembered it when I found the shell without the base wad in the empties bag. Those two events convinced me NEVER to shoot a RELOADED two piece shell in any gun I own ever again. Now, I know that a number of people are trying to tie these type of disasters to P/W reloaders somehow, but my P/W loads STS's just fine and I am happy with that. That's my story and I am stiking to it. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! David Zofko
     
  16. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    I believe the powders were Winchester ball powders. I believe there were a couple guns that blew up at the National High Power Matches at Camp Perry Ohio in the early eighties. HMB
     
  17. hdskip

    hdskip Member

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    Here's another theory that makes about as much sense as many I've read in the last several days. FECES OCCURS!
    Gary
     
  18. antidote

    antidote TS Member

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    What a crock !!
     
  19. 3 wood

    3 wood TS Member

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    Rifles and pistols can blow with the wrong powder, where the powder is much too fast in burning speed to push the bullet down the barrel without developing excessive pressure. Handguns have also been blown with light charges of fast powder, but they either had to be overcharged with powder or have two bullets. Shotguns already use fast burning powders (light loads) so it is difficult to really use a much faster burning powder. That leaves double charges of shot and powder with no wad to create a possible blow-up situation. Most of these problems didn't occurr before progressive loaders became popular with target shooters.
    3 wood
     
  20. 3 wood

    3 wood TS Member

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    Flincher100, I think most of the problems you are recalling came about when large quantities of surplus powders like 4831 (slow burners) were available for 50 cents/lb and this powder was loaded into everything at all kinds of charge weights. Detonations and blown guns were reported. I think the NRA even ran some tests to try to duplicate the problem. Reload manuals now warn against reducing loads of slow burning powders. 3 wood
     
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