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  #1  
Old 02-19-2001, 11:35 AM
Billy Ray Billy Ray is offline
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Blown-up Barrel




Folks, I would really apprectaite your thoughts. I was shooting my new full size Springfield Loaded yesterday. I only have 1,400 rounds through it. Here's what happened. I had shot about 200 rounds already. I inserted a new magazine. The first shot fire fine--no problems. The second failed to chamber properly so I did a tap-rack. The third round of the magazine chambered and fired fine. The fourth round chambered and I pulled the trigger.

There was a soft "pop" and smoke poured out of everywhere--the end of the barrel, the chamber, the bottom of the mag well, etc.

The slide cannot be racked. Short of using a mallet, it will not budge. The barrel is split at 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock (when looking straight into it) roughly 1 inch from the end. It is cracked but not split at 9 o'clock and 12 o'clock.

A buddy I shoot with is the armorer for a large police department. His assessment is that there was a squib in the barrel. Even though I'm certain that the round before the damaging one fired fine, I really do trust his assessment.

He recommended that I put a new barrel in it and not bother contacting Springfield. I agree that Springfield would keep my pistol for a few months and send it back saying, "Sorry, squib load." So, I'm getting a match grade barrel put in (I am pretty damn excited about that--it was a great shooter before, but now it should be a tack driver).

What say you experts? Squib?

Thanks,
Billy Ray
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2001, 11:40 AM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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I don't claim expert status, but it probably was. I have seen barrels split from poor metallurgy though I doubt that in this case. Springfield gives outstanding service. I sent a gun back with 20,000 rounds through it that had been extensively customized. The slide stop pin hole had elongated on the right side. They said nothing about all the customizing. Replaced the frame & refit the custom parts at no charge. Give them a chance to fix it for you unless you just want to let someone else fit a barrel.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2001, 11:45 AM
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GrandmasterB GrandmasterB is offline
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You can never be too careful in a situation like this. Have your gun thoroughly checked by a qualified smith to make sure there is no other "hidden" damage. Do this before you pay for a new barrel.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2001, 12:58 PM
S. Jamieson S. Jamieson is offline
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It does indeed sound like a squib load caught
in the barrel. The same thing happened to me a number of years ago. At the time, it seemed impossible that I missed the tell-tale signature (small pop followed on the next shot by a real big pop) but I did and it cost me a barrel and bushing.

Have a smith check the gun before doing anything else. There could be hidden problems.
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2001, 04:07 PM
Bradl45 Bradl45 is offline
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I broke a .45 barrel a couple of months ago, it cracked in 3 places around the hood. I had a smith remove the barrel. Many thought that it was a squib, but thier was no tell tale sign of a ring in the barrel. I contacted barrel maker and he wanted to look at barrel and fired case, maker looked, and dertermined no over pressure had taken place and sent me a new barrel.

I'd have the barrel removed, and let us know what things look like inside. If there is not a ringed barrel, maybe Sprinfield should look at it.

Good day

Brad
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2001, 05:50 PM
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Shooter Ed Shooter Ed is offline
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May have been a double charge or since a few rounds failed to chamber, the bullet may have pushed back into the case.

Ed.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2001, 06:06 PM
John Lawson John Lawson is offline
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I could be wrong, and frequently am, but if the previous shot was normal and there was a hole in the target evidencing that the previous bullet exited, it could have been a case with an oversize neck. Damage 1" from muzzle indicates that there was a bullet stuck in the bore about at that position. What could have happened is that the bullet may have exited the case slowly, due to powder blowing by or not igniting properly, the bullet pushed through to an inch from muzzle and then the pressure wave caught up to the nearly or completely immobile bullet.
I can envision nearly the same thing happening if the bullet cocked in the case, and when fired it gyrated in the barrel, making just a slight hesitation at the 1" mark, due to loss of gas past bullet or a split case, a backed-out primer or grossly oversize primer pocket. (Your description of smoke coming from everywhere).
Something like this happened to me when a firing pin spring broke at about the halfway mark, jammed together off center, jammed the firing pin in the firing position and slam fired unlocked. The pucker factor was 11-1/2 on the Richter scale.
You are, technically, out of pistolsmithing and into internal ballistics with this one.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2001, 07:48 PM
Metal Smith Metal Smith is offline
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Hi Billy Ray,
You have some very good replies above and are on target. I Have seen Colt barrels which are forged and very strong (there is nothing stronger than forged steel that I know of) fired again with a bullet in the center of the barrel, the barrel bulged slightly and locked up the gun at the bushing. In each case both bullets exited and hit very close to the bullseye. 200 grain and 230 grain bullets, 5 grains of bullseye barrel did not split. I`d seen barells (not forged) made from barstock split from 1 end to the other with the same type of load. I'm not sure what your barrel was made of ,this may give you a hint as to what happened. Hope this helps
The MetalSmith
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2001, 04:31 AM
Metal Smith Metal Smith is offline
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Billy, I've also seen a 40 s&w bar-stock barrel split, bulge the barrel and the bar-stock slide with a bullet jacket still logded in the barrel, squib load. If the bullet jammed the feed ramp and seated to deep in the case this would raise presures but not sure if it would be enough to blow the barrel. Check your slide.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2001, 03:18 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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Doesn't Springfield use two piece barrel assemblies? In any event, you should at lease let them know what happened in case they have a manufacturing problem that needs attention. A "heads up" would seem warranted if you are sure the previous shot was OK.

Any maker can have a problem - what's important is what they do about it. Warmly, Col. Colt
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2001, 06:46 PM
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LW McVay LW McVay is offline
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Billy Ray,
Do yourself a favor and send it back to Springfield. Give them a call and get an RA number and send away. They need to see it and I'm sure your gun will come back to you quickly and in the right condition. You might even send them the barrel you bought and they could install it...just a thought. Its worth the free phone call to check.

Regards,
LWM
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2001, 07:04 PM
RYAN RYAN is offline
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That happend to me once it was a squib load felt like I shot a 22,there it was lodged in my barrel.Had to take a hammer and screwdriver to get that sucker out.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2001, 07:29 AM
Mustang Mustang is offline
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Billy Ray,
What type of ammo were you shooting? Were they reloads? If they were quality factory ammo then I might reconsider the squib load idea. If they were reloads or poor quality factory ammo made in some garage I would bet it was a squib load. Regardless, if there was no frame damage and you have the money I'd get the match grade barrel especially since your friend is an armorer. Otherwise Springfield might be interested and they do have a lifetime warrenty, THey might be nice to you and give you a break
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2001, 09:44 PM
Ken Neal Ken Neal is offline
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Billy Ray,

Good info above, send it to Springfield, and be sure you tell us about the ammo. There have two cases of blown barrels linked to S&B ammo recently, hope this is not a trend.

------------------
No man is above the law and no man is below it. Nor do we ask any mans permission when we require him to obey it.
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  #15  
Old 02-26-2001, 03:12 PM
Billy Ray Billy Ray is offline
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Thank you all very much for the replies. Well, my armorer friend managed to disassemble the gun. No visable damage, but he's having it X-rayed to be sure. The barrel is typical of a squib--there is a ring about 1.5 inches from the muzzle end.

My friend sepulates that the second round was a squib (since I had a tap-rack). The next round (fire normally) knocked the squib out of the barrel but remained lodged in the barrel. The next round (the one that caused the problem) hit the lodged bullet and blew the barrel.

I sent Springfield a letter. I don't expect them to do anything (also, I don't blame them in any way). I have a match grade Kart barrel being installed. Should be fun.

Thank you all again.

Billy Ray
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