5 thoughts on “1911 Kaboom!”

  1. I had a head seperation that looked a little like that. I belive it was simply a case that had been loaded once too many (I was lazy and hadn’t inspected my brass before loading), so mine was a weak case. All it did was blow out the head, it spat out the primer, and it nocked the bullets on the top two rounds down into their cases.

    I had to hammer the broken case out with a dowel. Still that split case from the magazine, and the broken grips makes me think it was a warm load that got away from him.

    My 1911 also checked out A-OK. I’m now MUCH more careful with the brass I use. Also for me no injury (though I think the primer hit me in the forehead as I had a single drop of blood there) but the two other guys on the firing line didn’t even notice. Did scare the shit out of me though. The first thing I did was put my hand on my face just to make sure it was still there ; ]

  2. Weak case would make sense but I gotta be suspect based on your description and the photos that the bullet that went off in the mag had a misplaced primer that got touched off. I’d check out the mag, was more than one mag used?

  3. No no, the only primer that did ANYTHING in the gun was the one that the firing pin hit (and then it got popped out….probably from backpressure and being dislodged by the head changing shape)

    All other rounds were only molested in that a few had the bullets set back into the case by gas pressure. All primers and powder were un-burnt (I dumped the contents of the mag into a range’s dud-bucket)

    The mag appeard fine, though I have since replaced it with wilson mags

  4. Used to see stuff like this all the time with IPSC shooters in the days of unsupported 38 super barrels. From the shooters description, the key is the case in the chamber was bulged at the botom rear on firing. It bulged because there was hugely, way too much pressure in the case from too hot a load. As the the ejection cycle started the barrel moves backward driving the bulged case with it and helped by the extractor. (I bet there is also a damaged rim on this case where the extractor tore loose, a big sign of excessive pressure in a 1911.) The bulged case catches on the bullet nose of the next round to feed at the top of the mag. This drives the the round in the top of the magazine back very forcibly until it hits the back of the magazine and the frame. Every 1911 mag I have ever seen has a welded seam up the center of the back. It doesn’t have to be rough just a little higher than the surrounding sheet metal. As the loaded round is driven back the base deforms briefly until the primer impacts the seam causing the primer to detonate and set off the powder. A high primer would make this even more likely to happen. Because this case has virtually no support it blows out the weakesyt spot (the side), taking the grip panels with it, but leaving the bullet in the case. He’s really lucky that he didn’t have hard plastic grips or he would be having a conversation with a surgeon to get the pieces out of his hand.

    1) Double check the weight / volume of the load you are using.
    2) visually verify powder level.
    3) Seat your primers to the correct depth.
    4)If a primer doesn’t seat completely right, get rid of it.

  5. Great info. I have my failed case here on my desk and I can indeed see the mark on the rim and case body from the extractor.

    Very neat. I’m lucky all turned out ok

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