View Full Version : M4 Catastrophic Failure

M&A Parts
05-07-07, 09:34
From a good friend in the war zone.

An M-4 destruction due to bad ammo.

What an M4 might look like if you get a bullet from a round lodged in the barrel and follow it with another round. Amazingly, when this weapon exploded, the shooter suffered only a slight scratch on the left thumb.

This happened on our range today here in Sadr City, the ammo was Lake City M855. We had experienced some previous malfunctions with a previous lot of ammo. This was a new lot.

There was, obviously, some operator error as well.

The shooter heard a light pop, thought it was weird, and realized the
the weapon didn't cycle, so he performed immediate action and tried

Bad juju.


I have witnessed a similar event where the shooter thought he had a failure to fire, did the smack, rack drill not knowing a 55 grain bullet lodged forward of the chamber of a no powder round. He then fired the cycled round which was bullet point to bullet base of the forward projectile. A 110 grain .223 round.

In a Colt CAR-15, we had to beat the bolt open. The extractor and spring were destroyed but other than a smoke ring (bulge) in barrel forward of the chamber, no other damage and it shot as good as before.

All said, NOT recommended.

On the range...should you experience a failure to fire accompanied by any unexplainable noise...popping sound, stand down and check your chamber / bore.

In a fight, it is not possible and you do what you must.

Failure to fire on the street means transition to handgun while moving quickly off the line of threat.

A far more detailed discussion required...

Stay safe.


Jeff Chudwin, ITOA www.itoa.org


05-07-07, 09:45
Damn! :eek:

Glad no one was hurt!

05-07-07, 09:47
Wow - can't tell from the pictures but what kind of damage was done to lower receiver?

M&A Parts
05-07-07, 11:30
Wow - can't tell from the pictures but what kind of damage was done to lower receiver?

To clarify, this was forwarded to us by reliable sources.

The picture attached is the only one we had.

Notice the splaying of the bottom end of the magazine- this means that a whole lot of energy escaped downward and through that channel.

Note the odd appendage from the front right top- appears to be the ft pivot pin. Whatever happened, however it looked, I think the lower might best be used as a paperweight.... by "Mr. Lucky" himself :D

This picture is cleaned up:

12-12-10, 16:24
Pat Rogers saved me from a similar fate (twice) in one Carbine Class. He just so happened to be watching me when my experimental PCI ammo had failures (crazing at the shoulder/neck interface) of the cartridge lodging a bullet in the bore of the barrel. Steve Fisher pounded out said bullets for me. Lesson: pay damned close attention to both the ammo and felt/perceived recoil.

Thanks, Pat and Steve!!