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Thread: M1A Kaboom

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  1. #1
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    M1A Kaboom

    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0637.jpg

    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0648.jpg

    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0649.jpg



    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0650.jpg

    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0651.jpg

    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0652.jpg

    http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/IMG_0653.jpg

    This rifle belongs to a friend. It happened some months ago, and I only have these pics and second hand story. Rifle was a new SA M1Aicon, 14X,XXX I think.

    They were shooting Cabela's factory remanufactured .308 ammo from the bench, 165gr bullets w/ Lake City cases. The case blew at the case head, and blew the stock up into several pieces. No known damage to steel parts other than magazine floor blown out. Shooter got blowback, but no injury. This was second shot from rifle, bullet scored hit next to first shot at 100yd.

    Owner thinks it did not chamber fully and fired out of battery, does not think it was a slam file. SA took the rifle back and told the owner that the ammo was overcharged or faulty. The chamber was relatively clean, rifle had grease in right places, no obvious defects with ammo or rifle externally.

    Pics are not the best, any opinions welcome. Would an out of battery fire be likely? Sensitive primer? Despite being a LC case, I tend to think it could have been a case failure.

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    He should know if it was a slam fire by whether or not he pulled the trigger to shoot or it went of without trigger input immediately following the first shot.

    Can he remember the circumstances to confirm this?

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    Senior Member RED's Avatar
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    I believe I would...

    ... have a conversation with Mr. Cabela.

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    most educational!
    Check ammo before shooting.
    Check chamber before shooting.
    Check bolt, firing pin, extractor, ejector, and that anatomy portion that requires both hands behind back, palms forward-just below the waist!
    Scary, and this is not the first time I have heard of this.
    So far this has been second hand knowledge.
    I hope to keep it that way.
    Ammo supplier help any?
    Thanks, Paul
    Houston, Texas

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    Thread Starter
    Stevo thx much for helping with the pics! You have a good point about a slam fire, I should have known better. Owner says for sure the second shot was a normal trigger pull, so sounds like it could not have been a slam fire.

    He did not notice a bolt stuck open or any issues prior to pulling trigger. He thinks it fired out of battery. Owner did not get rifle checked by independent gunsmith before sending back to SA. SA said it was the ammo, not sure if he sent them the case with the rifle. Owner says the rifle was fairly clean and lubed. SA Factory did not state anything about a dirty chamber or dry rifle in their feedback to the owner after examining it. There is no explanation why the round would not have fully chambered.

    Based upon M1 and M1Aicon mechanisms, what is likelihood of bolt sticking open and getting an out of battery fire upon trigger pull? Anyone ever hear of that happening? I tested my M1A on an empty case. When out of battery, my M1A will let the hammer fall, there is a loud click, but hammer will not strike firing pin, or the firing pin will not hit the primer. My understanding is that this is an intentional safety design to prevent out of battery firing.

    Owner has the rest of the ammo back at his farm, never been used. When he goes back home and returns, he will bring them down and I am going to weigh them on the digital scale and look them over for him. I forgot to ask if he has the exploded case, if so I will ask him to bring it too to see if I can post a better pic of it. Thx

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    You're welcome. To display the pics inline just put on either side of the full photobucket link manually or copy the address with the tags already included from links under the pic in your photobucket album.

    I'm not intimately familiar with the M1Aicon but, like you said, I'm positive it's designed to prevent an out of battery ignition. IMO, that leaves two possibilities:
    1) Case failure on a closed bolt.
    2) Mechanical failure/malfunction in the trigger group or bolt leading to out of battery ignition.

    I can't see how "overcharged" ammo would leave the rifle mechanically intact, yet blow out the mag and crack the stock.

    I'm not an expert nor have I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, so all opinions are for entertainment purposes only.

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    Really Senior Member Griff Murphey's Avatar
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    Pardon me if I bore everyone (again) with my M-14 blowup story. One of my fellow squaddies at ROTC summer camp, 1970 at Fort Sill, was messing with his rifle. He took the contents of two or three other blanks, and topped off a round of 7.62 blank ammo with blank powder. Then, he put a twig in the end to "hold the powder in". He poo-pooed my suggestion this was not a safe thing to do. Did I mention the rifle had a BFA on it? We were doing a night raid patrol. At the rally point he came walking up holding the 3 main groups of the rifle and bleeding from his left forearm. The damage was identical to this except the lower third of the bolt face was blown out and the rifle was frozen - action could not be opened. Anyway word was they condemned that lot of blank ammo. BTW, none of us ratted on him. On the basis of my one witnessed M-14 blow-up; I suspect excessive pressure on this M-1A one, just not as bad as the overcharged Fort Sill blank-blow-up was. Suspect Cabelas just had one hot one.

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    Griff:

    Well, then ... that's TWO M14icon's that have been blown up with blanks. The Rocket Scientists at the Navy Honor Guard (Washington DC) tried exactly the same stunt around 1988 or 89. I got to examine the pieces at Crane.

    The bolt face of the M1 and M14 do not support the case head very completely. If there is a case head failure for any reason, the pressure is vented below the bolt into the mag well, causing the damge noted here. The extractor is usually blown off as well, but not always.

    Resp'y,
    Bob S.
    U.S. Navy Distinguished Marksman No. O-067

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    Let's hope it was just one, for the sake of everybody shooting those reloads. I've seen similar malfunctions with "hot" 7.62 x 51 ammo from other countries (some South American stuff that made it in during the '80's was notorious for case separations), but Lake City brass is thick and durable. Like any brass, it can get old & brittle, but I'd more likely suspect an overcharge. If SA, Inc. replaces the stock and anything else that needs it, I'd call that charity, or a "customer relations" gesture.

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