Evaluation of a M1A failure

onetoe

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This catastrophic failure took place on a M1A. Would like to hear some failure evaluations on this firearm, especially if you have experience with this type of failure. The rifle is not mine and I was not there. I understand that he fired a couple of rounds then it went "KABOOM"!

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Jer

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Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

Sounds like a round stuck in the tube and he fired again. Just a guess.
 

onetoe

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Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

After the failure,the barrell bore was inspected, and at that time there were no obstructions.
 

Chiller

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    Need to know info on the ammo. the events that happened just before. blah blah blah

    Springfield will want to know the same.
     

    Valken

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    10 will get you 20 It was a re-loaders rifle. Maybe a high primer or long headspace possible short head space.
     

    ORD

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    Without more info, especially about the ammo the shooter was using, you aren't going to get much in the way of useful evaluations of what caused the KB.

    Hope to hell the shooter is okay though! That one probably hurt (in more ways than one)!!
     

    lone_soldier

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    no, he must of swapped it out with a walnut stock, wonder what else he did with it. we have to have more ammo info
     

    Chiller

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: lone_soldier</div><div class="ubbcode-body">no, he must of swapped it out with a walnut stock, wonder what else he did with it. we have to have more ammo info </div></div>

    Bingo....
     

    MK14 SEI

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bwo6.5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">After the failure,the barrell bore was inspected, and at that time there were no obstructions. </div></div>

    What else did this 'inspection' reveal?
     

    ORD

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: H2O MAN</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bwo6.5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">After the failure,the barrell bore was inspected, and at that time there were no obstructions. </div></div>

    What else did this 'inspection' reveal? </div></div>

    And on top of that...who did the "inspection" and what all, specifically, was done?

    The reason we ask is that "inspection" has to be more than someone picked up the barrel, looked in one end and saw light on the other end.
    wink.gif
     

    XMC

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    I blew up a standard model about 25 years ago. I sent the rifle and ammo back to Springfield but never got any answers. My research indicated headspacing issues. I read a report back then that you could actually push a bullet into the barrel about half way and fire a round and it would bulge the barrel but not cause catastrophic failure, UNLESS there was unburned powder in the barrel. I never tried it myself and won't. My receiver bulged, stock split and broke, and the mag looked like a cigar that has an exploding load in it. I got one piece of schrapnel from the bolt area in the cheek and a swelled hand that was holding the magazine (wearing heavy winter gloves.) I learned more on headspacing and and went to small base dies. I make sure to adjust the dies so that the bolt closes on the round without squashing it or lowering the shoulder. So far I haven't blown another one and I use reloads and factory ammo.
     

    onetoe

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    I don't know what the load was, but I do know that he reloaded the cartridges that he was shooting. I don't have alot of information. I have never seen a failure of that magnitude and thought it would be rather interesting. I do have a question. Some people have brought up slam fire. My understanding of a slam fire is anything that causes the weapon to fire other than pulling the trigger. I do have a M1A, but I am not that familiar with them. Most of my experience is with the AR platform, both 5.56 and 762 mm. I haven't reloaded, always used black hills ammo. I have shot alot of rounds with both caliburs. I have experienced slam fires due to trigger jobs that I did improperly and did not have enough engagment with the disconnector. So after pulling the trigger, it would fire approximately three times, then due to timing issues the hammer would get jammed under the bolt carrier. I have seen slam fires where the primer was to high and if I am not mistaken when the M16 was initially introduced it had the same issue with high primers causing slam fires. I have read some articles on this subject and my question is that the bolt is unlocking in the same format as if the trigger was pulled and the gases would escape mostly through normal paths. How would a slam fire increase pressures and cause a chamber failure?

    Brad
     

    MK14 SEI

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bwo6.5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    I do know that he reloaded the cartridges that he was shooting. </div></div>

    I would focus my attention on that.
     

    sotexhill

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    As several prior posters have said, check ammo and more info.

    Sounds and looks like an "out of battery", bolt not locked in place, discharge of the cartridge, probably due to a high primer. Did the bolt impact the back of the receiver? If so, out of battery cartridge discharge. The fact that gases appear to have gone into the magazine also implies out of battery discharge.

    I saw an out of battery discharge on an M1 Garand. It looked like the original poster's pictures, with the additional feature of the rear of the reciever was partially broken when the bolt slammed back against it. A check of the guys' reloaded ammo showed several rounds with high primers.

    If a primer is too high, as the bolt pushes the cartridge forward, when the cartridge shoulder hits the forward part of the chamber and stops, the bolt can ignite the primer before the bolt rotates into the locked position.

    I have run many reloads through my M1A and Garands. I am careful to not get any high primers. I have only used Lake City match brass or commercial brass, primers not crimped with either. The first time I reload, I full length size the brass and then trim it to max length less 0.010 inch. After that, I uniform the primer pockets to ensure they are the proper depth. Then, for subsequent loadings, I check the length on at least ten cases to see that they are still within limits.

    When I prime them, I check that the primers are not protruding. If the primer pocket is the proper depth, the surface of the primer will be slightly below the surface of the case rim.

    Mulitple discharges with one pull of the trigger is not the usual definition of a slam fire, it is usually referred to as "doubling" or "tripling" or "going full auto". In this case, the bolt locks into battery before the cartidge is fired.

    FWIW and YMMV.
     

    9H_Cracka

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    It is not about chamber pressure on slam fires. If the round it touched off before the bolt fully cams over, you can get some pretty bad kaboom action out of the M1-type actions.

    Looks like on this one a case full pistol powder though.
     

    Pok

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SouthTexasHill</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As several prior posters have said, check ammo and more info.

    Sounds and looks like an "out of battery", bolt not locked in place, discharge of the cartridge, probably due to a high primer. Did the bolt impact the back of the receiver? If so, out of battery cartridge discharge. The fact that gases appear to have gone into the magazine also implies out of battery discharge.

    I saw an out of battery discharge on an M1 Garand. It looked like the original poster's pictures, with the additional feature of the rear of the reciever was partially broken when the bolt slammed back against it. A check of the guys' reloaded ammo showed several rounds with high primers.

    If a primer is too high, as the bolt pushes the cartridge forward, when the cartridge shoulder hits the forward part of the chamber and stops, the bolt can ignite the primer before the bolt rotates into the locked position.

    I have run many reloads through my M1A and Garands. I am careful to not get any high primers. I have only used Lake City match brass or commercial brass, primers not crimped with either. The first time I reload, I full length size the brass and then trim it to max length less 0.010 inch. After that, I uniform the primer pockets to ensure they are the proper depth. Then, for subsequent loadings, I check the length on at least ten cases to see that they are still within limits.

    When I prime them, I check that the primers are not protruding. If the primer pocket is the proper depth, the surface of the primer will be slightly below the surface of the case rim.

    Mulitple discharges with one pull of the trigger is not the usual definition of a slam fire, it is usually referred to as "doubling" or "tripling" or "going full auto". In this case, the bolt locks into battery before the cartidge is fired.

    FWIW and YMMV. </div></div>

    Are you saying that the bolt itself ignites the primer in your scenario or the firing pin rocks foward and ignites it?

    I think the safety bridge should retain the firing pin (unless it fails) until the bolt is in battery.

    Im just wondering, as I am not very experienced, if it is the bolt face itself crushing the primer into firing.

    Since the left side of the receiver is missing it does look like the bolt wasnt locked in battery. If it was Id think that the barrel would give first. I actually think the right side of the receiver should have given first also, as there is less steel there, and a big port to release gas pressure from
     

    ORD

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: H2O MAN</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bwo6.5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    I do know that he reloaded the cartridges that he was shooting. </div></div>

    I would focus my attention on that. </div></div>

    +1M!!!

    I'd almost guarantee you it was a result of improperly reloaded ammo (in one respect or another). As folks have already mentioned, it was most likely a badly seated primer (high primer) that allowed the rifle to discharge out-of-battery which in turn caused the KB! What a shame...if that is the case...some quick checks and balances in the shooter's reloading process could have prevented this whole mess.

    Do you have any info on the shooter's condition? That KB had the potential to be deadly (or at least cause some serious injuries).
     

    sotexhill

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    If the bridge is not locking the firing pin back until the bolt rotates into locked position, then it could be the firing pin. But, if the bridge firing pin safety notch is intact, yes, the bolt itself can fire the high primer. The problem is the high primer with most out of battery slam fires.

    Another kind of "slam fire" could be the sear releasing the hammer when the jarring of the bolt going home jars the sear. That is why the NRA and CMP require 4.5 pound triggers on M1's and M1A's used in competition.

    It becomes a matter of semantics, how a particluar person defines or uses the term "slam fire".
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    I can't see the chamber portion of the barrel clearly enough to see if it is distorted. I'm guessing it is.

    I am fully aware that it's purest conjecture to try and diagnose a failure from looking at some pictures on the internet, or reading things that don't have a scientific basis.

    Reading that the shooter is a handoader and that the ammunition in use <span style="font-style: italic">at the time</span> was handloaded, there may have been <span style="font-style: italic">no</span> problem with that particular batch of ammunition.

    It is my personal opinion that whan pressure excursions and handloading are involved, handloading will be at the core of the problem.

    IMHO overpressure cartridges <span style="font-style: italic">always</span> diminish the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) factor. By this I mean that for every overpressure event, regardless of any lack of immediate 'outcome', the number of expected safe firing cycles is decreased by a significant number until the point arrives downstream in time when even a 'normal' cartridge can trigger failure. The outcome is assured long before the actual failure occurs.

    It's a simple matter of basic metal fatigue.

    There is no such thing as 'getting away with it' when twisting the dragon's tail with hot loads. The bill always comes due. In light of this, experienced handloaders usually arrive at the understanding that the disadvantages outweigh any illusion of advantage to be obtained from playing around with high pressures.

    This is why I will never buy a used rifle unless it comes from an original owner whom I know well and trust sincerely.

    Greg
     

    rambler

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    I bought a NIB standard model Springfield M1a back in 2001. On round #201 of factory American Eagle ammo, the entire trigger and hammer assembly pins desintegrated! Parts flew out the bottom. No other damage was done but once SA fixed it, it went bye bye. Lots of castings in the newer guns, dont know if that could be an issue with this one as well.


    Rambler
     

    longebow

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    I hope that the shooter is ok.

    Agree with the assessment that it was out of battery due to a high primer.
     

    BCP

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    I've seen one blow up like that before. It was because the round went off before it was fully chambered. Maybe ammo he was using, maybe stuck firing pin, who knows. I've seen a garand do that too using reloads that were WAY too hot, some dumbshit bought standard 06 handloads from some hillbilly handloader at a gun show and tried to run them in his garand.
     

    Sailormilan

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    2nd hand info posted on another forum.

    "The ammo was not loaded by the shooter, it was borrowed from a buddy who got the data from a Long Range shooter.
    Many mistakes we're made that lead to this event.
    I hope the owner of the rifle will chime in here or on Cal Guns and set us straight.
    Lots of speculation going on, a fun game for sure but not helpful in getting to the bottom of the KABOOM."
     

    ORD

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sailormilan2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">2nd hand info posted on another forum.

    "The ammo was not loaded by the shooter, it was borrowed from a buddy who got the data from a Long Range shooter.
    Many mistakes we're made that lead to this event.
    I hope the owner of the rifle will chime in here or on Cal Guns and set us straight.
    Lots of speculation going on, a fun game for sure but not helpful in getting to the bottom of the KABOOM." </div></div>

    Well that is as bad if not worse than it being his own reloaded ammo!! So he attempted to fire reloaded ammo from a "Long Range shooter" that was probably WAAAAY too overpowered for an M1A, or had the same high primer problem discussed at length in this thread, or...who the hell knows! Regardless of the exact details...SO MANY AVOIDABLE MISTAKES contributed to this KB based on the information that is circulating.
     

    Hogstooth

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    Re: Evaluation of a M1A failure

    It could have also resulted in the shooter trying to top load the rifle when it went dry, meaning that there was no ammo in the mag and the bolt was locked to the rear. The shooter will lay a round on top of the magazine and send the bolt home, with the M1A's if you do that you are more than likely going to get an out of battery detonation!! This is very common with M1A's and I have seen two of them happen in person, I however have not seen that type of damage like your friend had, hope he is ok!!