friends, stuff happens. If you ride a motorcycle long enough,
eventually you will go down. If you work a chef's knife on a board long
enough, eventually you will get cut.
Well, if you shoot long
enough.... eventually something will go not-right. Usually, almost
always, it will involve a slip in concentration and a stupid mistake.
shocking as it may be, Carteach is not immune. After a lifetime of
shooting, a slip in concentration led to a serious whoops... and a
severely damaged rifle.
There was no one else at fault, and no
one else to blame. This one was all me... and it was dumb. Nothing
malfunctioned outside my own brain. Luckily, no one was hurt. In
fact, not a single person at the range even noticed the issue but me.
I fired my AR-15 with a foreign object in the bore.
it was does not matter. How I came to be so stupid, doesn't matter.
The series of mistakes I made in procedure leading up the event are of
importance only to me. It happened, and I own it.
The Colt upper
took the event in stride like it was nothing, but the barrel suffered
the damage seen in the image above. The 62 grain bullet upset in the
bore on striking the object, and the immense pressure swelled the barrel
right at the point where the factory muzzle brake was screwed on and
tack welded in place.
I realized the instant it touched off that I
had screwed up on a whole new level, and suspected my entire upper unit
might be a write off. While not another soul on the crowded range
had a clue anything untoward happened, they may have wondered
at my field stripping the rifle right at the shooting bench.
Then again, the folks there are used to me doing unusual things. They hardly even look twice anymore.
cleared a chunk of bullet jacket from the brake area, and ascertained
the bore was clear and straight. Hoping against hope the rifle had
escaped injury from my stupidity.... I tried a few more rounds. Sadly,
the 100 backstop had become an unobtainable goal. The rifle which held
two inch groups with open sights could no longer reliably hit even the
I packed it up and took it home.
upshot, I had damaged the end of the barrel quite badly. Not so
terribly that it couldn't be cut down, but enough to render it useless
After machining, the undamaged part of the
barrel measured just over a legal 16" by using the ATF's own method,
and that was enough. The rifle now sports a snazzy new look, and if
anything shoots better than it ever did before.
fellow shooters.... a word of advice from someone who just looked over
the edge into that abyss. If you are working on a weapon, keep live
ammo FAR FAR away from the area.
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