Another AR-15 Kaboom
from the AR15.com forums
03/08/2003 : 18:15:21
While out with my wife today
shooting my Olympic Arms CAR97 I had a problem. I had
fired 44 rounds through the rifle when a large bang went off.
At first I thought that it didn't sound right, but then I realized
that something was terribly wrong.
I felt the blast on my face and
my hands where I got burned and I received a small scratch on my
left forearm. When I looked down, the magazine had been blown out
of the bottom of the mag well and was laying on the ground. The
magazine floor plate was blown off and the spring was hanging out
of the bottom of the magazine with bullets laying on the ground.
Then I looked into the magazine well I could see that the bottom
of the bolt carrier was split down the side leaving the bolt
jammed in the rifle.
Following are some photos of the
weapon: (Click for larger images)
Notes about the photos:
You can see the chalky white
powder residue on the upper receiver on both sides.
The magazine base plate was blown out of the magazine along
with the spring and 6 rounds. The follower is stuck sideways
inside the magazine along with 10 rounds of ammo.
My first reaction wasn't to get mad,
just a little discouraged. Its not
every day you spend over a $1500.00 on a weapon and its
accessories and only have it for 2-1/2 week and have it break.
Later when I could feel the powder burns on my face I was very
grateful to have not been injured any worse. My wife told me about
it, asking me if I saw all of the dust come up but I really didn't
It appears that when it fired it
ejected the spent case. At the same time it must have blown a lot
of gas pressure back and split the bolt carrier down one side on
the bottom. This caused the bolt carrier to take a small chunk out
my USGI 30 round magazine as it went back. Thus not allowing
another round to be fed into the chamber. Now the bolt and carrier
are stuck in the rifle in such a way that I cannot take the upper
and lower apart. So now it is dead.
I purchased this rifle about 17
days ago and I have shot a total of 264 rounds through this rifle
on three separate occasions with out a single misfire. I was
shooting Remington 55-grain FMJ bullets. This is my third AR and
so far I have been pleased with it until today.
The rifle, as stated before was
an Olympic Arms CAR97 and the ammo was Remington 55gr FMJ
purchased from Cabalas about a month ago. I know that there
wasn't a bullet stuck in the bore as I was sighting in my scope
and watching each shot. By the way I had 3/8" groups at 100 yard
when this happened.
Posted: 03/17/2003 :
I have been in contact with Andy
at Olympic Arms and he has been great. They determined the cause
of the accident was a very hot round. They have also contacted the
ammunition company and they have agreed to repair my rifle for me
and exchange the 739 rounds I didn't fire for new ammo. Now I just
have to wait for my rifle to get back.
Posted: 04/08/2003 :
Well after 30 days of unbearable
waiting my baby is finally back home. I went and picked up my AR
today and put her all back together. But now she has grown up a
little. No longer a 16" heavy barreled fake carbine. Now she is a
24" free floated stainless steel bull barreled gal ready to go out
and get Wyle. I also had Olympic change her out to an A3 flat top
receiver and then I added an 8X32x40 varmint scope and a Harris
bipod. Now I am just waiting to get my A.R.M.S. 38S-EX Swan rail
to have a back up iron sight to go along with the detachable front
sight I have for her. The lower has my old serial #'s on it,
but it looks new. There was no wear in the mag well and no scrapes
on the outside anywhere. This was a fairly new AR but it still
looks like they replaced the lower on it.
I guess its out to the range
this weekend and I hope that I never have to go through that
I wish to thank Phessor
for allowing me to host this story on my website. While this
case worked out with Phessor getting both his rifle repaired and
his ammo replaced, I feel confident that this is another example
to indicate that the AR-15 weapon system has the potential to be
extremely hazardous if it is fed improper ammo!
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