Bizzare Happening

Had a pretty strange thing happen to me today at the range. First of all I am pretty lucky to have a range not 10 minutes from work and am able to run over and pop a few rounds off at lunch.

English: A Smith & Wesson Military & Police ha...

As co-worker and I were shooting, I had a malfunction on my S&W M&P 9mm handgun. At first I thought it was the magazine so I did a quick tactical reload and the round still wouldn’t chamber properly. I put in a third mag, still had the same issue of the round not chambering fully and only moving forward in the barrel about a third of the way. I did a quick field strip and just happened to look down the barrel and saw a copper “thingy” about an inch inside the barrel. I had an aha! moment. The actual bullet was stuck in the barrel. It had fired and ejected the brass but only went down the barrel a short way causing the follow on rounds not to load properly. Good thing in reality if you think about it. If the bullet actually allowed the next round to load normally and I squeezed the trigger again, I could have had a very bad situation.

The range owner was able to knock the bullet out with a hickory stick ( which was cool, he didn’t want to use a metal rod). It was funny he initially said that I was using Winchester ammo, I chuckled back that it was his ammo I was using. He was very apologetic. I got to looking at the rest of the ammunition in the box and I found two more rounds  that had the actual bullet or lead portion pushed about a third of the length of the head back into the brass. I showed the owner this also. He was pretty cool about the whole thing and offered a few rounds to replace what was defective.

I really wish I had the foresight to take a few pictures but I was in a hurry to get back to work.

Lessons learned:

Check your ammunition before you load it. Don’t take it for granted that it has passed QA. Hundreds of thousands of rounds are made every week/month. Statistics say there will be failures getting through the production line.

If you have a bizarre malfunction, don’t force the issue. Stop and look at your equipment. In my case I was pretty lucky. There was no real indication that there was a serious problem, it fired, and the brass ejected normally.

If I were on a two way range and had this malfunction? I’d be dead. There was no quick fix to get back in the fight.

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