2 Cool Fishing Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the range this weekend here in So-Cal. In my 20+ years of shooting this wasd the first time I have experienced something like this. A guy was about 4 benches to my right at the range. He was shooting a 50 BMG conversion for the AR15. He had already busted one scope (cheap Chinese scope) after 3 rounds. I watched him beating the bolt closed on every round while loading the rifle. I have seen this before with other people too. I don't know if it is from them neck sizing brass only, or maybe the conversions are just that crappy. He had about 30 rounds or so laid out on the bench that he loaded. Some were labeled with powder content and others simply said "Hot Load". Most were 220+ grains of powder according to his labels.

Anyways a few minutes later I hear the boom and thought it was just him shooting. All of a sudden I hear him saying "Ow" over and over and he leaves the bench holding his hands. Then the blood starts to flow. This was no trickle. It was a steady stream of blood spraying out of his hand(s). The artery in his wrist was cut for sure. He started to freak out and go into shock. Immediately his freinds jumped up and another guy ran down from the range. This guy happened to be a nurse so he was probably the best person to provide support until the paramedics arrived.

The wounded guy was going in an out of shock. He ****** himself and was screaming in pain. It was an awful sight for sure. It took about 10 minutes for the Fire Department EMT's and paramedics to show up. The Forestry Service showed up also, then the Sherriff and finally the ambulance. The paramedics did not cut the gauze or take the towel away from the hands. They taped the towel on in place and jammed an IV in his arm. He was loaded up and taken to the hospital.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics. Here is the bolt blown out of the receiver.


The gun fired out of battery before the bolt was fully closed. The back of the bolt is in the buffer tube also. You can't see it in this pic but it bent/dented the tube too. The handle sheared off of the bolt. This may be what cut the guy. Anyways the brass was all just gone. The only thing left was the rim part of the case along with the primer. There was no evidence of any shrapnel from the case. It may have all been in his hands. The force was also enough to bow the upper and lower receivers. I assume this is why his left hand was also damaged. He was cradling the receiver with his left hand and beating on the bolt handle with this right.

A good portion of meat was missing from his outer palm on the left hand. A cut extended from the palm on his right hand down through his wrist. His friend said it was down to the bone and also slightly shredded. I did not take any pictures of the damage but I did see it before they wrapped his hands.

Here is the puddle of blood that came from his hands in mere seconds. This is about 3-4' in diameter. In some spots its so thick you cannot see the yellow painted line on the ground.



I took these images after the guy was hauled off. I felt like a jerk because his friends were still at the range cleaning up to go to the hospital. I am not sure exactly why the gun went off. I suspect a poorly seated primer that was pinched when he was beating the bolt handle, or the hammer dropped and hit the firing pin. Whatever the cause the damage was really bad.

I wanted to post this to warn everyone of the dangers of reloading and mis-use of your weapons. If a cartridge you loaded does not chamber then do not force it or shoot it. That $1-5 round is not worth hurting yourself or others. And of course always wear eye protection!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,287 Posts
Scary stuff.

I keep reminding myself, hands and eyes don't grow back.

Beating the bolt home while sitting on 220 grains of go? Crazy.

Sometimes I wish they would just take the forward assist off most consumer AR's. Absent a combat emergency, one should never apply significant force to get the bolt home.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have seen guys take rubber mallets to the bolt handle on these 50's. They beat on the handle with some serious force and multiple strikes. Next time I see that I might just move a bench or two over.

Then again these conversions seem kind of weak to me. The AR platform was never designed for such a large caliber, even in a bolt action design. If you want a 50 that bad spend the money on a weapon like the Barrett or McMillan. These are designed around the 50 and not an abortion of sorts to make something work.

Even if these guys are trying to save brass by neck sizing only it's not worth hurting yourself to save some money. If shooting the 50 is too rich for your blood then you shouldn't own one in my opinion. I have no desire to own one because I can't afford to shoot it. I admit shooting them is fun but not at $3-5+ per round :eek:hwell:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
I have had a few rounds in MUCH smaller calibers that were very snug when closing the bolt but never beat one closed. This was however in bolt action rifles, not on an AR platform. I have had one or two years ago, that I had to knock the bolt open on, but that was another issue. It came from developing loads while it was cool and then shooting them in temps some 40 degrees hotter. Nowadays I always try to work up loads in the heat of summer, that way I know there isn't a chance of them being overboard. I once had a primer let go for what ever reason and a piece stuck in my face just under my left eye. I felt the sting but thought it was powder, until the fellow next to me asked if I was OK. Didn't have a clue I was even bleeding. Could have easily been an eye. Your right it's scary stuff.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found out a little more about this. There is a post on a site here in CA. I guess this was a 50 DTC. The 50BMG was banned here in CA. They banned the cartridge by specs and nothing more. The DTC has the same specs except for the shoulder angle of the brass is slightly different. No one makes brass so they "fire form" the brass. This is why they beat the bolt down to fit the round into the chamber. It is not a safe practice by any means as seen here.

There is a new round out that is .499-something. It uses 50BMG brass with a smaller bullet from my understanding. I could be wrong because I never fully researched it. I was told this by a guy at the range one day shooting it. He said it was safer. After seeing what happened I can agree sort of.

Here are some better pics of the damage to the rifle. Here you can see the dent in the buffer tube from the bolt.



Another close up of the damaged bolt in the receiver. You can see how little of area there is for the bolt head to lock in place. The bolt handle is also sheared off. I'm not sure if the dent in the receiver is from this accident or from him beating the bolt open. I guess this is also a common practice when trying to form the brass.



Another angle of the bolt. You can see the rim of the case under the bolt. That was all that was left of the brass. The rest disappeared. The extractor is also gone.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Any follow up on this? That bolt could of easily gone airborne and ended up in somebodies head.

Mostly I leave other people alone but something like that I would have said something if I was witnessing it or at least gone to the range warden.

50DCT is an easy to form cartridge just a 50 BMG shortened 0.10" and the same shoulder. I can't even tally up the number of mistakes that guy was making. Almost makes you think the California ban was not a bad idea. If they could just ban stupid they would be on the right track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
Almost makes you think the California ban was not a bad idea. If they could just ban stupid they would be on the right track.
If they banned stupid, think of all those people moving out across the country, it would be like the plague spreading. They might start infecting others with their viral ideas. It's bad enough we're already subjected to half of the stupidity that comes from out there, I wouldn't want more of it spread out across the country. That said, there are some really awesome folks out there, but they are getting to be fewer and further between.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am beginning to think it is just something with this conversion. It is a Bohica (?) and I have seen others beating the bolts closed and open. This is the first one I have seen fail. It was enough for me to decide if I were to ever own a .50 I would buy a rifle designed for it. Not a conversion. I doubt I will ever own one because I can't afford to shoot it and I have no need for one.

The thread on the other site was deleted but a few things were pointed out. You can see in one pic that the safety is not on. It is on "Fire". The hammer pin is also sticking out slightly of the receiver. It could have been like that after the kaboom. Maybe the hammer relased because the pin was not all the way through the receiver? It could have allowed the hammer to slide off of the sear and strike the firing pin. Maybe the trigger is light and the beating allowed it to go off. My thought is that it should not work when the bolt is not closed.

Another guy said that the bolt head may have been overtightened allowing the firing pin to protrude. You can see the primer has been struck in that one picture. Some of his rounds did not have the primers seated flush. Some were flush, others deep and some sticking out slightly.

I think it was a chain of events. The safety not on, him beating on the rifle and a primer not seated all lead to this failure. I'm pretty sure we'll never know until the actual owner of the weapon has it inspected and posts the findings. I did learn that brass shrapnel is what cut his hands. As of Monday he was still in the hospital according to the posts.

I agree that we need to ban stupid but there is no way to get them all. I just hope they do not spread to other states.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top