Apparently, “Some Kid” saved up some money to buy himself an M1 Garand. He then bought some gun-show reloads and headed off to the range. As is often the case with gun-show reloads, the results were somewhat predictable:
The damage to the rifle looks pretty bad, but I’m not sure how much of that is due to the stock becoming kindling. Obviously, something went wrong with the reloads, but nobody seems to know what. Popular theories are:
- Detonation Out of Battery (possibly setting off other rounds in the clip)(Yes, it is a “clip” because it is a Garand).
- “Squib”, or a bullet stuck in the barrel. Another round fired right behind it, causing massive pressure to build up in the chamber. However, there are no obvious bulges in the barrel, so that’s probably not it.
- Ammo too hot. The Garand was designed to run with M2 Ball ammo, which is fairly weak (i.e. low pressure) as far as .30-06 goes. Shooting standard loads will exceed the operating pressure in the gas port, slam the bolt back too hard and bend the operating rod. However, that doesn’t explain the stock being reduced to driftwood.
- Powder mixup. Using too much of a higher pressure powder can have catastrophic results, such as this epic AR-15 Kaboom.
Side note: Is it just me or do the ar15.com Garand experts seem a little bit preoccupied with the whole “M2 ball only” thing? I understand that if you shoot standard loads you can bend an expensive part beyond repair (which should be made very clear to gun store customers buying the Garand), but I think blaming an exploding gun on hotter-than normal loads? Seems like a bit of a reach to me.