Skip to comments.Catastrophic Failure of Semiautomatic Handguns [Glock]
Posted on 02/28/2007 11:52:31 AM PST by archy
Catastrophic Failure of Semiautomatic Handguns
The following bulletin was received from the New Jersey State Police - Officer Safety Division
Date: February 23, 2007
Continuous reloading an chambering of the same round may cause catastrophic failure in semiautomatic handguns.
The Security Force at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, recently reported on the catastrophic failure of a semiautomatic handgun when it was fired. The internal explosion caused the frame to break while the slide and barrel separated from the weapon and traveled down range. No one was injured in the incident. An investigation revealed that security personnel were repeatedly charging the same round of ammunition into the chamber.
Technical personnel at Glock Inc. advise that repeated chambering of the same round may cause the bullet to move deeper in the casing, further compacting the prpellent. When a normal cartride is fired, the firing pin his the primer, igniting the propellant. When the propellant burns, the gas pressure drives the bullet out of the case and down the barrel. However, if the propellant has been compact, the pressure may increase beyond the gun's specifications, causing the weapon to break apart. Sigarms Inc's peronnel confirm that reloading the same round five or six times will cause the problems, noting that reloading the same round even once will void their warranty. Both manufacturers stress that the problem is not with the gun, but with chambering the same round repeatedly.
The NJ Regional Operations Intelligence Center urges all law enforement officers not to chamber the same round when loading their weapons.
***For example, when you clean your weapon, most of us drop the magazine and then pull the slide back thereby ejecting the round in the barrel. After cleaning the weapon many of us will return the "same" round to the barrel that we initially extracted. Each time the slide slams forward on that same round it seats it deeper into the cartridge. Apparently, by seating the round deeper into the cartridge, it creates greater pressure when the round is intentionally detonated by a firing pin strike and is causing weaopn's to explode.
On 12 December 2006, at 0845, at Technical Area 72, Firing Range 1, a Glock 22 handgun exploded in the hands of a Protective Technology Los Alamos (PTLA) firearms instructor as he fired the handgun.
The firearms instructor was not injured, but felt some soreness in his right hand. He noted that the force of the handgun pushed his right thumb back. The handgun shattered into several pieces; the pieces flew everywhere and eventually landed on the ground. He safed the remaining box of ammunition and then reported the event to his management. As a precaution, the firearms instructor was taken to the Laboratory's occupational medicine facility for evaluation. He was evaluated, released to return to work with no restrictions, and scheduled for a follow-up evaluation the next day.
The instructor was preparing for a training exercise and was the only person on thefiring range at the time of the event. He wore the prescribed personal protective equipment for firearms use (safety glasses, armored vest, head and hearing protection, nomex gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and safety boots.)
The handgun has been secured in the PTLA armory. PTLA management has initiated an internal investigation.
Subsequent preliminary PTLA review indicated that a possible combination of excessive pressure and a bore obstruction contributed to the explosion.
The rounds used during this training event were duty rounds recently removed from service that had been used in a magazine containing a single round by PTLA forces. The single rounds of ammunition designated for initial loading in Glock 22 handguns are used on a daily basis and the one round of ammunition is typically loaded 45 times over a 30-day period. The frequent loading of the rounds continually pounds the ammunition into the chamber, which in turn recesses the bullet further into the casing. Over time and use, the projectile is seated deeper into the cartridge case contributing to an increase inpressure upon firing.
Because the event revealed lessons learned that may be pertinent to the DOE complex, the Institutional Facilities and Central Services Facility Operations Director deemed the event reportable as a management concern.
The firearms instructor had used the handgun for about five years.He noted that the last time he used the handgun was on 7 December 2006, and had cleaned and secured the handgun that same day. Before the event, the instructor had fired the handgun five times. After the event, the instructor noticed that one bullet remained in the handgun. Other PTLA firearms instructors noted that this is the first time this type of event has occurred with Glock handguns at PTLA.
Training Exercises Activity Category:
Training Immediate Action(s): As a precaution, the firearms instructor was taken to LANL occupational medicine for evaluation. He was evaluated and released to return to work with no restrictions. He returned for a follow-up evaluation on 13 December 2006.
The handgun has been secured in the PTLA armory.
PTLA management has initiated an internal investigation.
The remaining box of single round loading magazine ammunition has been removed from service and will be properly disposed of.
PTLA will not use defective rounds for training and will dispose of them.
DOE Facility Representative Input:
DOE Program Manager Input:
Further Evaluation is Required:
No Division or Project:
Protection Technology Los Alamos Plant Area: TA72, Firing Range 1
System/Building/Equipment: Glock 22 Handgun Facility
Ka-Boom!!! This will be all over Glock Talk in about 30 seconds if not there already.
so... don't play with your weapon.
maybe if cops spent more time on firearms training this wouldn't happen.
and why would you regularly a glock with a round chambered?
Don't clean it either?
Don't know why this story brought that line to mind, but it did.
Is the barrel rifled so tightly to the chamber that the bullet impacts/engages the rifling upon slide lockup? If not, repeated chambering of a round usually moves the bullet outwards, thereby increasing the space within the cartridge. Sort of like an inertial bullet puller (fast motion/quick stop). The sudden stop on lockup is much more powerful than the initial movement of the slide starting forward, which is the motion which would cause bullet setback.
Catastrophic Failure of Semiautomatic Handguns [Glock]:
Its interesting how the title of the story implies there is a problem with Glock pistols when, in fact, its common knowledge [or should be] among people who know their weapons that you do not repeatedly chamber the same round over and over or else you risk this very problem [BOOM!].
It appears that the instructor [or whomever the pistol was assigned to] had not fired his weapon in some time -or- did not heed this warning [re-chambering round].
Train! Train! Train!
Great minds think alike?
See my post in #10.
One answer is to practice with your self-defense ammo, recycling it frequently. I was too cheap to do it, frankly. Considering the alternative might be chasing my slide downrange, well, I'm thinking a reconsideration might be in order.
Something sounds a bit funky with this "accident".
"Something sounds a bit funky with this "accident"."
Now is my turn to agree...
That is convienient.
He wore the prescribed personal protective equipment for firearms use (safety glasses, armored vest, head and hearing protection, nomex gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and safety boots.)
I'm gonna try this at the skeet range.
The headline on the news tonight will be
"Glock brand handguns nearly kill 1500 Police a day"
"Glock Automatic Handguns can be Deathtraps for Police"
"Glock Assault Weapons responsible for sensitive information leaks at National Labratory"
"Glock's kill more every year than SUV's"