wpe1.jpg (9010 bytes)

Split bolt carrier and cracked bolt, bulged magazine, bits and pieces

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Right hand side of receiver still attached to lower and barrel

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Bolt blew into several pieces

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Bolt carrier split in several places

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Left side of upper receiver

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Blown apart and bulged magazine

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Two halves of the upper receiver

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Barrel extension cracked in 3 places

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What's left of brass from fired round still in chamber

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The right hand side of the receiver

On a trip to a military installation for a match, I arrived just in time to see this M16 blowup. The G.I. shooting this rifle was shooting the standing portion of a practice, he had loaded a round of U.S.G.I. issue ammo into the rifle and had sighted in on his target, when he pulled the trigger he heard the rifle go click with a very light pop sound. He racked the action, ejecting what he thought was a bad round of ammo. He then proceeded to drop another round of ammo into the chamber and close the bolt. When he pulled the trigger this time the rifle disassembled in his hands. Fortunately he was a left-handed shooter since the explosion blew off the left side of the upper receiver along with other parts.  What he had ejected from the rifle was the brass from a round of ammo that had no powder in it. The primer had enough power to push the bullet out of the case and into the barrel. He then loaded a live round of ammo in behind that bullet and pulled the trigger. Since good ammo is not easy to come by for the 223 a lot of guys handload their own ammo and if you are not careful it is possible to make ammo with no powder. It is best to check the weight of finished round of ammo to determine if it has a charge of powder inside, especially if you use a progressive  reloading press..... Anytime you get an audible Pop from your rifle always check the bore for an obstruction. That's on any firearm. BE CAREFUL, YOU cannot TRUST COMMERCIAL AMMO EVEN. WHEN YOU RELOAD DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING AND SHOOT SMARTLY. THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING.