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View Full Version : Can defective ammo cause a catastrophic failure to a Colt AR 6920 LE?!


Mamluke
02-13-2012, 8:11 PM
Since Colt ARs are now available in Cali and very much in demand as I contemplate my next rifle; the following is a bit unnerving!

I came across this incident, in which a Colt 6920 Law Enforcement experienced a catastrophic failure in a civilian training session, due to defective ammo (according to Colt) upon firing just the second round.

A- I find this hard to believe, but could the 'experts' chime in on this please?
B- Ammo can cause a 'failure' but not in extremes like this.

The owner of this Colt suffered minor injuries, ammo used was PRVI Partizan 5.56 M193.

Parallel [op]That leads us to the most dramatic Gear failure of all. Once I had determined that I would need to move the ACOG on my SIG (and therefore would need to re-zero it) I decided that I would mount it on my much lighter Colt 6920. The SIG556 was heavier by nearly four pounds than the 6920, so I decide to give the Colt a go. I switched the ACOG to the Colt and got on the firing line. The drill was firing from the urban prone, weapon side position. We loaded and made ready and I waited for the threat command. When the threat command came I went into the urban prone position and fired. On the second round the upper receiver blew apart. It took a few seconds for me to get oriented and realize what had just happened. I checked to see that there wasn’t another round in the chamber and raised my hand to let Travis know there was a problem. Travis was already on the way as he said that he thought that I was on fire from all of the smoke that was rising from me. There was a medic who checked me out real good to ensure that some shrapnel hadn’t penetrated my skin anywhere without my being aware of it. I sustained only minor injuries (a bruise on the left forearm and some flash burn to the face).

Pictures:

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/6811/6920blownapart.jpg

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/7967/6920upperblownapart.jpg

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/7765/6920boltcarriersplitf.jpg

http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/9154/6920boltfacesplit2.jpg

Parallel [OP]The verdict is in, and as most had guessed the verdict is that the cause of the catastrophic failure was from an ammo defect. At this point I'm just glad that the lower is salvageable. Other than having the bulge fixed and finding a new complete upper, I'm not sure what my next move is. I have had some tell me that I should go after the ammo manufacturer. While I haven't ruled it out, I know that the cost of the repairs aren't worth the hassle. Still some point to the fact that I could have been injured and they say that I have a responsibility to others who might be injured due to bad ammo from this manufacturer (Prvi Partizan). I just need to think this through and decide if I agree with that or not. Anyway, here is the official (mildly redacted) Colt Manufacturing Engineering Exam Report.

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/4917/coltengineeringexamrepo.jpg

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/436/coltengineeringexamrepow.jpg

A link to the thread:

http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/general-gun-related-off-topic-stuff/41162-magpul-dynamics-dynamic-carbine-1-2-colts-verdict.html


........

darqhelmet
02-13-2012, 8:16 PM
That looks like what happened once when I was on the KD range during quals. One of the Marines had a squib load and didn't notice it during the rapid fire at the 200 kept shooting and BOOM went the A2. That isn't a Colt issue, that can happen to any firearm.

jeffrice6
02-13-2012, 8:18 PM
Damn!

dieselpower
02-13-2012, 8:22 PM
yup. I have posted this pic as a warning to many who think Colts are some how indestructible and incapable to suffer damage. They are just like any other firearm...period.

Colt has no special sauce, no secret formula. The Colt 6920 is no better than a Stag-15, BCM, DD V2, S&W M&P15..blah blah blah. They will all explode like a pipe bomb if a squib round goes off. If you are lucky, the blast will be directed out the magazine well with an open BCG and simply rapidly dis-assemble the magazine...LOL Hope your hand isn't on the magazine when that happens either. If you are not lucky, as was this shooter...well you can see what happens.

phish
02-13-2012, 8:28 PM
yup. I have posted this pic as a warning to many who think Colts are some how indestructible and incapable to suffer damage. They are just like any other firearm...period.

Colt has no special sauce, no secret formula.

you lie! It's a Colt! Colt's milspec!

Kalderis40
02-13-2012, 8:29 PM
Man! I'm glad your OK. This should be a reminder to us all that we all need to pay attention.

CSACANNONEER
02-13-2012, 8:51 PM
Yep. A few years back several calgunners had similar experiences with their ARs and some bad Remington factory ammo.

Mamluke
02-13-2012, 8:55 PM
So it is the ammo then!

And the key is not to shoot cheap ammo?!!
How can you tell you have a 'squib' before it's too late? ... You probably can't!!
.....


.....

Merc1138
02-13-2012, 9:14 PM
So it is the ammo then!

And the key is not to shoot cheap ammo?!!
How can you tell you have a 'squib' before it's too late? ... You probably can't!!
.....


.....

No, the key is not to shoot crap ammo. That said, it's possible to get a squib from even the best ammo available since nothing is ever completely perfect.

Noticing the squib would be a matter of the situation you're in. Slow fire(1-2 seconds between shots at a basic public range) the recoil will feel different, the sproing will sound different, and most notably there won't be a hole in the target. That's why you should be familiar with what "normal" is and then as soon as something happens that is the slightest bit odd, stop.

Doing some sort of training with rapid fire, and I would guess being in combat would be a different situation since your focus probably isn't completely on what your gun is doing.

CSACANNONEER
02-13-2012, 9:39 PM
So it is the ammo then!

And the key is not to shoot cheap ammo?!!
How can you tell you have a 'squib' before it's too late? ... You probably can't!!
.....


.....

The Remington ammo I refered to earlier was not the cheapest ammo on the market. I woldn'tr even call it "cheap". Also, while sqibs are one reason that a gn can KB, they are not the only reason. In the case of the Remington ammo, the brass was defective. It did not have flash holes.

RONIN.
02-13-2012, 10:31 PM
yup. I have posted this pic as a warning to many who think Colts are some how indestructible and incapable to suffer damage. They are just like any other firearm...period.

Colt has no special sauce, no secret formula. The Colt 6920 is no better than a Stag-15, BCM, DD V2, S&W M&P15..blah blah blah. They will all explode like a pipe bomb if a squib round goes off. If you are lucky, the blast will be directed out the magazine well with an open BCG and simply rapidly dis-assemble the magazine...LOL Hope your hand isn't on the magazine when that happens either. If you are not lucky, as was this shooter...well you can see what happens.

dieselpower i totally agree..

this can happen to ANY firearm.. ur glock, your 1911, yes even your HK WHATEVER, BCM, DD, SCAR, ACR, HOME BUILT AR..

as for COLT.. not having a special sauce.. lol it has to be GOOD the military uses them.. :rolleyes::rolleyes: haha

this is something that people SHOULD not take lightly. this is why.. QUALITY ammo should be used at all times..

this reminds me of a thread I saw on an another forum, where the guy hand loaded his 300 win mag with pistol powder.. brand new rem 700 went kaboom..

firearms are dangerous, this is something many people take lightly, which they should not..

ronin

darqhelmet
02-13-2012, 10:31 PM
One side affect of a squib load is the bolt not cycling all the way, weak recoil, or the brass cassing just kind of falling out of the rifles ejection port. (this applies to Semi autos of course)

maxima
02-13-2012, 11:26 PM
Regarding the guessing of damaging from squib, there are following questions i can think of:

1. Was the barrel plugged with 2 bullets stack on each other that caused higher pressure?

2. If the squib(without powder) that caused bullet stuck in the barrel, the next round won't even chamber, since the primer itself would not push the bullet further(This is my experience).

3. Was that batch of 223 ammo loaded with fast burning powder(pistol, shotgun powder) that caused kaboom? If so, why only one round/incident?

FourLoko
02-13-2012, 11:31 PM
sweet, I got some of that ammo on Friday

DasBoost
02-13-2012, 11:55 PM
sweet, I got some of that ammo on Friday

Same here. Have 1200 rounds of the M193 and 200 of the 62gr 223. My Mini has had no issues and the prvi is fairly clean and accurate. I guess everyone has an off day- even ammo manufacturers.

:TFH: as I eye my 500 Miwall .45 reloads... :oops:

pacifico23
02-14-2012, 1:25 AM
Arghh same here. I just bought 800 rounds of this on Saturday. How reassuring...

hyperion.excal
02-14-2012, 1:44 AM
What ammo should we stay away from? I know to stay away from USAammo and russian hot loads. I only feed my AR15 - federal XM193 no problems but sometimes i worry since this ammo is dirty outside.

Grumpyoldretiredcop
02-14-2012, 1:52 AM
Years ago, I had a Wolf case (the old style lacquer coated steel) separate in pretty much the same the same manner. It was not a squib. The damage wasn't quite as bad (my upper bulged, but held together), but my Colt SP1's upper was a total loss.

It can happen to any rifle. Colts aren't immune to bad ammo.

Bobby Hated
02-14-2012, 6:26 AM
"the cause of the catastrophic failure was as a result of a very high pressure discharge. well above the established prooof pressure range."

this seems to imply that a round was overloaded. but how can you overload a 223 case to the point that it blows the receiver apart? there's only so much room in the case above the standard powder charge. even with a hot powder and a 55g bullet.

it could have been a squib as others seem to assume or a case with a hole or crack in the side of it.

how to detect a squib: if your rifle goes bang, and the bang isnt a BANG!, stop what you are doing and call for a safety check. and DO NOT look down the barrel from the front. remove the upper receiver and look down the breech, or run a rod through the barrel to see if theres a squib in it.

thank God you weren't injured worse than you were.

zfields
02-14-2012, 6:37 AM
Can happen in AKs too.

And glocks


And CZ's


And Springfields


And BCM's



For squibs, just be sure that the recoil "feels" right.


That sucker looks bad.

Below.Zero
02-14-2012, 6:42 AM
Wow... that really is CATASTROPHIC isn't it....

:eek:

Sicarius
02-14-2012, 7:52 AM
It doesn't matter what firearm or make it is. Any ammo can cause a firearm to kaboom. Most times it is a squib with a followup shot but anything can happen when dealing with explosives. Every manufacturer can produce a bad round. It is just that the higher end ones have less of a chance. Colt does make a good product but there are also better ones out there which would have failed in the same way.
Kevin

FourLoko
02-14-2012, 9:05 AM
What ammo should we stay away from? I know to stay away from USAammo and russian hot loads. I only feed my AR15 - federal XM193 no problems but sometimes i worry since this ammo is dirty outside.

Dirty outside really means nothing. I've been shooting XM193 as well.

I bought the PRVI because it's 5.56 (more powa!) and was at a pretty good price. As for what to stay away from, there will always be at least one person who hates a certain ammo.

This is obviously a random, isolated incident so no need to get all worried.

FatalKitty
02-14-2012, 9:55 AM
according to the dates on the colt letterhead.... this happend TWO YEARS AGO!


i thought I had seen those photos before.

chesterthehero
02-14-2012, 10:02 AM
squib is a squib.. nothing else malfunctions like it...
as for overcharged factory loads.. well.. sht happens.. unless you weigh every round these things happen..

INDABZ
02-14-2012, 11:40 AM
Yes defective ammo can cause a catastrophic failure in a COLT 6920LE...

Defective ammo can cause a catastrpohic failure in any rifle or pistol....

All Colts are pressure tested....not every manufacture does this...

Shooting is a sport and has it's dangers.....just like riding a motorcyle....dress for the wreck...

Eyes, ears, long sleeves....etc;)

starsnuffer
02-14-2012, 11:55 AM
It can happen in almost any weapon. Many European barrel manufacturers that use cold hammer forging and tapering will experience the failure with a ballooning of the barrel after firing a round into a squib instead of an asploading receiver. Other then this, there isn't much you can do about it.

-W

mdimeo
02-14-2012, 12:18 PM
:TFH: as I eye my 500 Miwall .45 reloads... :oops:

I use their .40. I check every single case visually for bulges (very important with .40 reloads); haven't found anything yet. .45 is low pressure, so it's probably less likely to kaboom.

Before I developed that habit, I did find a 9mm round in one of their 1000 round 40 cases. I found it by the fact that it made a pop instead of a bang when I shot it (I usually load by feel). Scary. The case mouth blew up to .40 size and sealed the breech, so no harm was done.

chead
02-14-2012, 12:24 PM
Agreeing with the above; it can easily happen. There is actually a recall of over-loaded 5.56 out there right now. If it was in fact an ammo issue, there's not really any rifle that could stand up to it.

Mamluke
02-14-2012, 12:28 PM
Yes defective ammo can cause a catastrophic failure in a COLT 6920LE...

Defective ammo can cause a catastrpohic failure in any rifle or pistol....

All Colts are pressure tested....not every manufacture does this...

Shooting is a sport and has it's dangers.....just like riding a motorcyle....dress for the wreck...

Eyes, ears, long sleeves....etc;)
.

Tell me about it;

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/LavaBull/MCreek4.jpg


... my 'armored tactical' riding suite .... :D saved my hide in more ways than one!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/LavaBull/LavaBull1.jpg


.........

dieselpower
02-14-2012, 7:33 PM
Regarding the guessing of damaging from squib, there are following questions i can think of:

1. Was the barrel plugged with 2 bullets stack on each other that caused higher pressure? That is what happened here. One round was under-powdered (squib) and logged pass the throat of the chamber.

2. If the squib(without powder) that caused bullet stuck in the barrel, the next round won't even chamber, since the primer itself would not push the bullet further(This is my experience). A squib can be just the primer or not enough powder to push the bullet OUT of the barrel. In this case the bullet was far enough to allow the next round to chamber

3. Was that batch of 223 ammo loaded with fast burning powder(pistol, shotgun powder) that caused kaboom? If so, why only one round/incident? The pressure has to go somewhere..it can't push past the two stuck bullets...its going to push hard against the BCG. As you see in the picture the red arrows tell the tale of what gave way.

Its been awhile, but as I remember the situation, the shooter had a Failure to EJECT. He didn't think about the why ...the case didn't eject, he simply pulled the Charging Handle, saw the empty case eject, let the Charging handle go forward (This is called Immediate Action Malfunction drill) and pulled the trigger again...KABOOM!

DasBoost
02-14-2012, 7:49 PM
I use their .40. I check every single case visually for bulges (very important with .40 reloads); haven't found anything yet. .45 is low pressure, so it's probably less likely to kaboom.

Before I developed that habit, I did find a 9mm round in one of their 1000 round 40 cases. I found it by the fact that it made a pop instead of a bang when I shot it (I usually load by feel). Scary. The case mouth blew up to .40 size and sealed the breech, so no harm was done.


I will be sure to; when I got home I poured out each can and just kind on skimmed over for anything major and then as I load it up for the range I will do a closer inspection. No issues with factory ammo and this is my first foray into factory reloads. *fingers crossed*

zfields
02-14-2012, 8:03 PM
I will be sure to; when I got home I poured out each can and just kind on skimmed over for anything major and then as I load it up for the range I will do a closer inspection. No issues with factory ammo and this is my first foray into factory reloads. *fingers crossed*

Hopefully Load-X in Santa Rosa. They are pretty damn dependable.

glock7
02-14-2012, 8:04 PM
Yes it's the ammo. Though you gotta love the opportunity that was presented to jump on colt. I did some research and found kabooms on del-ton, stag, dpms. Seriously....

bohoki
02-14-2012, 8:09 PM
neat there is probably some salvagable parts like the forward assist

i dont know why the front sight is scrap the gas tube and pin looks fine

as does the barrel nut and delta ring assembly

i question the charging handle damage as well

i would proably salvage the barrel attach an extension and make a dedicated rimfire from it

i'm great at making lemonade

Mamluke
02-14-2012, 8:59 PM
Yes it's the ammo. Though you gotta love the opportunity that was presented to jump on colt. I did some research and found kabooms on del-ton, stag, dpms. Seriously....

My intention was not to jump on Colt, and as others have stated, virtually any rifle can experience such a catastrophic malfunction due to defective ammo! To my surprise, I have to add!

In fact, the way I came across this was by random research on Colt rifles, as I was seriously considering an AR type platform for my next gun. I love the SIG 516 Patrol, and it was gonna be my first choice, but since Colts became available in Ca. and due to their namesake, I figured; why not an American made Colt... and there ... I was really shocked by the extremity of what bad ammo can cause, quite catastrophic! Yes; No child play, firearms that is!


..............

RTE
02-14-2012, 9:42 PM
Arghh same here. I just bought 800 rounds of this on Saturday. How reassuring...


IF you have any questionable ammo
Put the ammo on a digital scale and check each and every one out for weight.

maxima
02-14-2012, 10:15 PM
Its been awhile, but as I remember the situation, the shooter had a Failure to EJECT. He didn't think about the why ...the case didn't eject, he simply pulled the Charging Handle, saw the empty case eject, let the Charging handle go forward (This is called Immediate Action Malfunction drill) and pulled the trigger again...KABOOM!

Thank you for the explanation. I cannot find the detailed info in OP thus those questions. If it was just like what you described, then that is for sure ammo issue. Wish all ammo manufactures could learn something from this and treat quality control as top priority.

Mamluke
02-14-2012, 11:53 PM
neat there is probably some salvagable parts like the forward assist

i dont know why the front sight is scrap the gas tube and pin looks fine

as does the barrel nut and delta ring assembly

i question the charging handle damage as well

i would proably salvage the barrel attach an extension and make a dedicated rimfire from it

i'm great at making lemonade


WTF ... ^^^^

http://cf.drafthouse.com/_uploads/galleries/4464/young_frankenstein1.jpeg ... http://www.hostingwiththemostzing.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/dr-frank.jpg ...


............ it's ALIVE!!! ...


............

RRichie09
02-15-2012, 1:22 AM
Since Colt ARs are now available in Cali and very much in demand as I contemplate my next rifle; the following is a bit unnerving!

I came across this incident, in which a Colt 6920 Law Enforcement experienced a catastrophic failure in a civilian training session, due to defective ammo (according to Colt) upon firing just the second round.

A- I find this hard to believe, but could the 'experts' chime in on this please?
B- Ammo can cause a 'failure' but not in extremes like this.

The owner of this Colt suffered minor injuries, ammo used was PRVI Partizan 5.56 M193.





A- I'm not expert.
B- Yes.

C- it doesn't matter if it was the 2nd round or the 1000th round. Shooting another round after a squib round has lodged itself in the barrel will cause this to happen. Colt makes an awesome AR but it ain't invincible.

D- I have seen a video where this is done on purpose on a revolver and it took it. :eek: No bulging or anything.

Grumpyoldretiredcop
02-15-2012, 10:41 AM
neat there is probably some salvagable parts like the forward assist

i dont know why the front sight is scrap the gas tube and pin looks fine

as does the barrel nut and delta ring assembly

i question the charging handle damage as well

i would proably salvage the barrel attach an extension and make a dedicated rimfire from it

i'm great at making lemonade

Like jacking up the steering wheel on a wreck and sliding a new car under it? :nuts::D

Merc1138
02-15-2012, 11:33 AM
Thank you for the explanation. I cannot find the detailed info in OP thus those questions. If it was just like what you described, then that is for sure ammo issue. Wish all ammo manufactures could learn something from this and treat quality control as top priority.

What people fail to understand is that ANY ammo manufacturer can have a bad round get past their QC, and that these situations are rare. Think about how many rounds are fired daily for every catastrophic failure you read about? Then there is the issue of people buying reloads and having things blow up. You probably have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than have this situation happen, however that doesn't mean you should get complacent. You need to know how your firearms operate, and be able to determine when something didn't "feel" right. That's all there is to it.