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April 28th, 2022

Cleaning Rod in Barrel Caused Catastrophic .338 LM Kaboom

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction
CLICK HERE to zoom image.

We first ran this story a few years back. We’re republishing it today as a reminder to our readers that safety should be their paramount concern at the range. Avoid distractions and always check your barrel for obstructions before you chamber a round or pull the trigger. A moment of inattention can result in a catastrophic kaboom.

Discharging a .338 Lapua Magnum round with a cleaning rod in the barrel — that’s a recipe for disaster. What happens when a fired .338 caliber bullet and a cleaning rod try to occupy the same place at the same time? Well you get a catastrophic kaboom, with metal pieces flying all over the place, and a shooter very lucky to escape without serious injury. This incident occurred recently in Manatee, Florida, as reported by Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg. We thank SnipersHide.com for granting permission to publish these revealing images in the Daily Bulletin. CLICK HERE for more Kaboom info from the ‘Hide.

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction
This story should serve as a chilling reminder to follow proper safety practices whenever you are at the range. Always check to make sure there is no obstruction in the bore BEFORE loading a live round.

.338 Lapua Magnum + Cleaning Rod + Inattention = Kaboom!

Kaboom at Manatee!
Sniper’s Hide member Queequeg recently published shocking photos of a catastrophic kaboom involving a .338 Lapua Magnum (Savage action). The action was blown off the rifle, shrapnel went through the roof, and the barrel split at the tenon before taking an excursion downrange. The action did crack in the front but the lugs remained engaged so the bolt did not slam to the rear (luckily for the shooter).

Here’s the report: “This happened [January 20, 2014] at the Manatee Gun and Archery Club. Al, Ren and myself were there with a couple other folks. Ren was at bench 12, I was at 13. The fellow at 11 was running a Savage .338 Lapua. He had a very bad day! He damn sure could have killed himself and quite likely Ren as well.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Queeqeg added: “After the boom, I heard Ren ask ‘Are you alright’ and then turned to look in time to see the fellow reacting in total shock — literally stunned. Ren and I went over to him and could not see any major injuries. Ren was uninjured as well but had a lot of fiberglass splinters on him. The barrel nut is what I presume punched the two holes in the roof. The shooter is a regular there[.] He had been having a problem with sticky cases though he said he was certain the loads were mild. That’s why he was content to knock the sticky ones out with the rod. He simply forgot to remove the rod after knocking out the last stuck case. You can see what happened next.”

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

Kaboom Manatee Savage .338 LM, Lapua Magnum, catastrophic, explosion, cleaning rod, obstruction

To learn more about this incident, go to the original Snipers Hide Forum Thread. There you’ll find more details and four pages of related discussions.

The Important Lesson Here
What did the .338 LM shooter do wrong here? You will say — “Well that’s obvious, he left a cleaning rod in the barrel and then shot a round.” Yes, that was a potentially fatal error. But that was his second mistake — one that occurred only because he made a more fundamental judgment error first.

The FIRST mistake was not acknowledging the problem with his ammo. Had he heeded the warning signs, he would still have a rifle (and an unsoiled pair of trousers). When he first observed that he was having problems with extracting cases, a warning light should have gone off in his head. Presuming his extractor was not broken (and that the chamber was cut properly) he should have been able to extract his brass if he was running safe loads. The lesson here we all need to learn is that if you observe a serious ammo-related issue, it is time to stop shooting. Don’t try to invent work-arounds just to extend your range session, when there are clear signs that something is wrong, very wrong.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
April 28th, 2022

Reduce Run-Out — Try Rotating Your Cases During Bullet Seating

Bullet Seating Reloading rotate cartridge Run-out TIR

Here is a simple technique that can potentially help you load straighter ammo, with less run-out (as measured on the bullet). This procedure costs nothing and adds only a few seconds to the time needed to load a cartridge. Next time you’re loading ammo with a threaded (screw-in) seating die, try seating the bullet in two stages. Run the cartridge up in the seating die just enough to seat the bullet half way. Then lower the cartridge and rotate it 180° in the shell-holder. Now raise the cartridge up into the die again and finish seating the bullet.

Steve, aka “Short Range”, one of our Forum members, recently inquired about run-out apparently caused by his bullet-seating process. Steve’s 30BR cases were coming out of his neck-sizer with good concentricity, but the run-out nearly doubled after he seated the bullets. At the suggestion of other Forum members, Steve tried the process of rotating his cartridge while seating his bullet. Steve then measured run-out on his loaded rounds. To his surprise there was a noticeable reduction in run-out on the cases which had been rotated during seating. Steve explains: “For the rounds that I loaded yesterday, I seated the bullet half-way, and turned the round 180 degrees, and finished seating the bullet. That reduced the bullet runout by almost half on most rounds compared to the measurements from the first test.”

READ Bullet Seating Forum Thread »

run-out bullet

run-out bullet

Steve recorded run-out measurements on his 30 BR brass using both the conventional (one-pass) seating procedure, as well as the two-stage (with 180° rotation) method. Steve’s measurements are collected in the two charts above. As you can see, the run-out was less for the rounds which were rotated during seating. Note, the change is pretty small (less than .001″ on average), but every little bit helps in the accuracy game. If you use a threaded (screw-in) seating die, you might try this two-stage bullet-seating method. Rotating your case in the middle of the seating process won’t cost you a penny, and it just might produce straighter ammo (nothing is guaranteed). If you do NOT see any improvement on the target, you can always go back to seating your bullets in one pass. READ Forum Thread.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 28th, 2022

Scheduled Major Events at 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

NRA Annual meetings exhibits houston Texas TX May memorial day 2022

The 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits will be held May 26-29, 2022, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Starting Thursday evening the 26th, the NRA Annual Meetings will include numerous special events over the four days preceding Memorial Day (Monday May 30th). The NRA will have a powerhouse lineup of political speakers, country music artists, plus workshops and seminars. Below major events are listed. Along with these events, the Exhibit Hall will showcase over 14 acres of the latest guns and gear from shooting industry companies. Over 540 exhibitors.

Major Scheduled Events at 2022 NRA Annual Meetings

2022 NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum Dinner & Awards Ceremony
May 26, 2022 | Crystal Ballroom, Rice Hotel

NRA Annual meetings exhibits houston Texas TX May memorial day 2022

NRA Foundation’s Annual National Firearms Law Seminar
May 27, 2022 | Imperial Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Houston

Women’s Leadership Forum – Luncheon & Auction
May 27, 2022 | Houston Ballroom, Marriott Marquis

NRA Clubs & Associations Workshop
May 27, 2022 | Room 352DE, George R. Brown Convention Center

NRA-ILA Leadership Forum
May 27, 2022 | General Assembly Hall, George R. Brown Convention Center I

NRA Annual meetings exhibits houston Texas TX May memorial day 2022
Confirmed Speakers will include: Wayne LaPierre (NRA Exec. VP), Jason Ouimet (NRA-ILA Exec. Director), Texas Governor Greg Abbott, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Kristi Noem, South Dakota Governor, Mark Robinson, North Carolina Lt. Governor.

14th Annual NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction
May 27, 2022 | Ballroom of Americas, Hilton Americas- Houston

NRA Annual meetings exhibits houston Texas TX May memorial day 2022

Annual Meeting of NRA Members
May 28, 2022 | General Assembly Hall, George R. Brown Convention Center

NRA Annual meetings exhibits houston Texas TX May memorial day 2022

NRA’S Grand Ole Night Of Freedom Concert
May 28, 2022 | General Assembly Hall, George R. Brown Convention Center

NRA Annual meetings exhibits houston Texas TX May memorial day 2022

National Prayer Breakfast
May 29, 2022 | Grand Ballroom, George R. Brown Convention Center

NRA Women’s New Energy Breakfast
May 29, 2022 | Room 320, George R. Brown Convention Center

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