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It is actually a term miners use to warn others when an explosive detonation in a confined space is imminent.
That's what I should have yelled when my K 80 blew up three weeks ago . Many of you have seen the picture of ( 26 ,000 hits) and made comments ( 400 ).
I need someone to help me understand what just happened?!
I am a very safe, experienced, meticulous shooter and loader and have never experienced something like this before. But, before getting anymore guesses, I want to tell you what happened as I saw it. I was about to finish three 50 round pairs of doubles and had 6 more pair to shoot. The pair before the explosion ,I had just shot and hit both pairs. So I know I did not have an obstruction in the barrel. I also do not eject my hulls. I pull them out each time and inspect them before putting them into a shell holder. The next pair of doubles my gun fan fires and both barrels go off almost simultaneously with a very large bang. A large cloud of smoke surrounded me and my shotgun and my left forearm was hurt. The side panels of the K80 had shot off thirty yards to the right and left at about 45 degree angles, the barrels went 30 yds in front and the receiver cap went 20 yds over my head. No one, thank God, was hit by any metal but I suffered a large laceration from the heat and power of the blast to my left forearm. Luckily the heat was so intense that it cauterized my blood vessels and I did not bleed profusely. 30 stitches later, a tendon nick, and I am ok. I did have some hearing damage... something a shooter can do without.
The K80 was warm from shooting over 150 rounds and it was a warm,damp day. I had had several duds over the last few days from my reloads because of a static electricity problem I was having with a fairly new MEC 9000T hydraulic loader so this shell may not have had enough powder in it but the sound it made did not sound like a dud sound; it was way too loud. The shell casing was split down the sides and was charred and where the brass joined the casing on back had become detached. The barrel was burnt inside. The receiver, which was silver soldered, was burnt and the bottom and top barrel burned then split apart and the bottom barrel split open.
In my opinion there were many factors that contributed to my gun blowing up. The metal could be fatigued since the gun was 25 years old and had several 100,000 round through it. The round that blew up could have been a dud that had enough smokless powder to push the lead out and enough air between the wad and the powder to cause a fire in the receiver after the primer sparked the powder to burn. This would cause the casing to split and the brass to break apart.
MEC says I could not have double charged the hull with powder and/or with shot using their machine
Krieghoff says I should not have been using reloads and they do not want to assume the liability. The K80 was serviced every other year by a Krieghoff certified gunsmith, well with the recommended time periods for the amount I shot . This gunsmith also fitted any new barrels to my gun. I know my limits.
Sportsman Insurance Agency Inc.,SIAI, where I had the gun insured, says they have an exclusion in the policy for an inherent explosion. Yet our guns are designed to have a defined, controlled ignition which is sparked by the primer. This burns the powder that provides the pressure that forces the projectile out the area of least resistance; the barrel. (Basically they are trying to push the cause off as a manufacturers product defect).
In my opinion I believe there was a "Fire in the hole" and not an inherent explosion and I need for someone to give me some hard facts to back this opinion of mine. Is it possible for a light load to cause a fire in the receiver if there is enough air to allow a flame?
Secondly ,I need not only a metallurgist but a ballistics expert of my own to look at this gun and shell, first, before I give it to Krieghoff, who will have White Labs write their report. So far I have only been able to find a metallurgist. If you know of anyone that can provide me with those services that would be very helpful as well.
I wish to share with my fellow trapshooters all outcomes. I appreciate all their concern and efforts. I wish to prevent anyone having a similar experience. Thank you and stay safe.
 

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Thank you for sharing your first hand experience with us.
This is the first time an owner/shooter on TS telling us what happened without other people's hear say and second guesses.

I don't know what an under load will do to a shotgun, but I do have the experiences (more than one) about double charges.

First, it's rather difficult (almost impossible) to do a double powder charge and close the cramp. And sure is difficult not to detect it, especially on a mec 9000 (Tried many times).

Second, we tried hand crafted double charged loads on 870, 1100, and H&R toppers. None blew up.
We understand Topper has thick chamber, but 870 & 1100 don't.

So we always wonder how it happened without barrel obstruction, and in your particular incident, this is not the case.
 
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I speak for no one but I am, and I'm sure, many are thankful to hear you're healing up.

The fire theory is hardly possible as there would be no air/atmosphere between the primer and the wad. The powder produces oxygen but a fire would have only been a fire, and is not how confined propellant reacts.

Your gun was blown apart, not damaged after it failed.
 

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An incident similar to yours happened at my club before I started shooting there. It too was a K-80 and the shooter was also injured similar to you (he was a reloader too). I don't know all the details, the shooter has since passed on, but there are those that were there and his wife still lives. I do know that his gun was replaced by Krieghoff after he retained an attorney. I have also heard that certain serial number ranges had thin chambers or a metallurgical defect but this is only hearsay. I would not give up on Krieghoff providing you a replacement just yet but I would contact them. God Speed with your healing and thanks for the report.
 

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In the 45 years I have been shooting, I have heard of and witnessed dozens of guns experiencing the same "blow ups" including Krieghoffs, Remington 870's, 1100's, and 3200's, and the famous Caesar
Guerini blow up that got the gun banned at a certain gun club which was subsequently sued by Caesar Guerini. In not a single case was a definite cause established beyond any doubt.
Most remained a mystery.
 

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Guerini blow up that got the gun banned at a certain gun club which was subsequently sued by Caesar Guerini. In not a single case was a definite cause established beyond any doubt.
Most remained a mystery.
And there will not be a definitive cause this time.

You as have others, will spend a lot of money trying to find a faulty gun and that's not going to happen. The best outcomes have come from those that visited the OEM and came to a civilized arrangement that was acceptable to all. Lawyer up and you may end up loosing a large amount of cash. If these self destructed while brand new and were shooting factory high quality ammo. You may have a very thin razor blade to stand on if all the loads were factory....... as the gun was being shot using reloads......there's little if any reasonable way to place the OEM at fault..

Even Perazzi has dibs on some of their own blow-proof guns.



 

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After viewing the damage to the gun and hearing your explanation of the events that led up
to what happened. Then hearing your first hand description of the event. The only conclusion
that I can come to is that there was a smokeless powder detonation. HMB
 

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IMO, a primer in the powder drop tube of a MEC progressive loader may cause erratic powder drops. I has happened to me although I experienced no blow-ups. If bridged shot, a hull that gets canted in the de-priming station, failure to insert a wad before dropping shot or other event causes you to interrupt the normal loading cycle and remove all hulls in progress of loading, you may have a primer remaining in the de-priming ststion. On the next down stroke, the primer may be pushed into the powder drop tube and remain there.

Once, while I was reloading, I noticed that the powder (Green Dot) took a longer than normal time to completely drop and I could see a wisp of powder continue to drop after I began another reloading cycle. I watched this for a few reloads and tilted the bottles back and removed the powder drop tube. Sure enough, there was an unfired NobelSport 209 hung up in the drop tube. I cut open all the completed reloads from the MEC bin that was catching my completed reloads and found that some had only a little powder in them. I assume that the other reloads had too much but I did not measure them. The powder had to go somewhere.
 

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I am just curious as to why you would ever hand the gun off to Krieghoff ? Did they not already tell you that you should not have been using reloads a fact that removes them from any fault? I wouldn't give them anything without some sort of legal papers stating you would get it back and only after you had your own independent tests done first.
 

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Sir:
You are indeed fortunate you are able to share your story.
Over the years I have been involved in three incidents, In close proximity to K-80's self destructing...
I still have a piece of metal in my left arm from one such an incident.
I had become shy of shooting next to a K-80 shooter.
FYI: One of these K-80 failures was NOT due to reloads, I purchased the Ammo (Federal Gold Medal) from Dicks and shared same with my Buddy.
Good Luck with your settlement claim.
 

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After viewing the damage to the gun and hearing your explanation of the events that led up
to what happened. Then hearing your first hand description of the event. The only conclusion
that I can come to is that there was a smokeless powder detonation. HMB
no surprise there but I sure would like to hear the cause if its ever determined.
Bill
 

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Thank you for posting a very well written account of the failure. It's refreshing to get a first hand account. Very glad to hear no one suffered serious injuries and that your injuries were minimal compared to how bad they could have been.

A metalurgist could inspect the the failure surfaces to ID if you had a fatigue failure or a catastrophic failure, or the often found fatigue crack propogation followed by a catastrophic failure. I'm not sure how that would aid litigation one way or the other since you reload and even if you did it perfectly and are no way at fault the manufacturer would try to protray you as incompetent.


All is not lost though. Many cases brought against the company I worked for were successful even though the plaintif was clearly at fault. If you plan to pursue litigation I highly recommend discussing with your lawyer the appropriate time to make the shotgun remains available to the manufacturer.
 
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It ain't the gun. It's the powder. Guns don't explode. Powder explodes.
If there was no powder in the shell would there have been an explosion?
If there was a barrel obstruction the barrel would have bulged or split
open. The amount of damage to the gun tells the story. Excessive pressure
alone could not have caused that amount of damage. HMB
 

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Very glad to hear you are on the mend, and thank you for posting. Are you the orginal owner of the gun and do you know if work has ever been done to the barrels, that is, lengthened forcing cones, backboring, etc?
 

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I only have one thought to offer, and I learned this factoid from an old PW reloading IB. There apparently is one loading condition that can be disastrous for shotgunners, and that is a full load of powder and full load (or even double-load) of shot with no wad. (Note that in some older PW progressive reloader(s) there is some weird partial-stroke occurrence that can cause a double drop of shot.). Apparently this sets off a sequence something like this: primer ignites powder, powder burns slower than normal because of low back-pressure from no wad, heat from powder burn melts shot, shot puddle rapidly congeals from contact with relatively colder barrel, and we now have what amounts to a lead plug in our barrel with powder still burning behind it and pressure builds rapidly enough to cause the explosive event.

Not saying this is what happened, I am not a physicist, ballistician or metallurgist, but offering it as potential background for whatever it's worth.

Glad you are okay!
 

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Let me add my thanks for this first hand account and share with others the relief and gratitude that you were not more seriously injured. That's the key issue here.

I think you idea of an independent metallurgical study of the gun, along with either a ballistics expert or expert chemist knowledgeable of high and low explosives is a good plan if you wish to try to determine the root cause of this gun failure. As said, others have been down this road without conclusive proof, but perhaps you will find something here which would be a benefit to yourself and all shotgunners/reloaders.Link to google search for metallurgical labs returns quite a few:

https://www.google.com/search?q=metallurgical+laboratory&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

As with many others, I have heard many, many bloopers out on the range with the only impact being people yelling 'check your barrel for obstruction'. Its a fairly common occurrence so I remain skeptical of the low powder theory but am more than willing to be wrong.

Whatever you do, do not listen to any of the speculation of self-appointed and completely uncredentialed experts on this board, to include me! :) If you do find any facts from your investigation, please do come back and share them with us.

Cheers
 

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I also appreciate your first hand account, but do not understand "my gun fan fires and both barrels go off almost simultaneously with a very large bang." What exactly is a "fan fire"? Which barrel was set up to fire first? Which chamber appears to have been most deformed by the event? Did you retain EVERY reload remaining in your shell pouch and from the same batch?

I have paid for a failure analysis by METL here in Phoenix. Unfortunately, I suspect you will be told by a personal injury lawyer that your potential recovery from Krieghoff for a 25 years old well used gun, and your pain, suffering, and hearing loss, is unlikely to equal the cost of a forensic failure analysis and metallurgical evaluation, the expert opinion of a ballistic engineer (an opinion which will be based only on conjecture without your reloads), and the legal expenses generated in investigating and litigating your case. But maybe some sharpie will start a class action suit.

As much as we'd all like an answer, unless you are prepared to personally pay for a professional analysis and opinion, an answer is unlikely to be forthcoming, and may very well only be "high pressure catastrophic failure without evidence of intrinsic metal defects." And your admission to having some "duds" has already sabotaged your case against the gun maker. I would also suggest you not share any further information until retaining counsel.

Speaking for many here, we are thankful your injuries were not more severe, that no bystanders were injured (injuries for which you could be liable and against which your insurance company is unlikely to pay or defend), and do hope you will pursue an explanation.
 
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