Blown up S&W Shield

This is a newer Shield in .40 S&W. Female was shooting it and apparently didn't notice the reduced recoil and sound of what was more likely than not a squib round.... pulled the trigger again and it blew up on her.

 

Face and hand injuries for her.  Coworker took these three photos, unfortunately not more. He said the pistol owner is a "gun guy" and is definitely contacting S&W so they can examine it.

 

Ammo was some "good" Winchester hollowpoints. I'll try to find out the exact type.

 

 

Shield 1

Shield 2

Shield 3

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

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Original Post

If it's a squib load, there should be a bulged barrel and one or more bullets lodged in the barrel.

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Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

  Damn dude.

 

Hope she's OK.

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Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

Originally Posted by Dorsai:

If it's a squib load, there should be a bulged barrel and one or more bullets lodged in the barrel.

 That's what I thought, but wasn't sure if the stuck round was near the end of the barrel if that would not occur.

 

He said the barrel had "gouges" inside it, but was clear of projectiles when he looked through it. 

 

I have berated him for not either taking it or getting many more photos. 

 

I think she is going to be OK, no permanent damage.

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

I've never seen a blown gun resulting from a post-squib second shot where there was a plugged barrel still. There SHOULD be a measurable bulge in the barrel, though.

 

I wish I could be disappointed it popped the frame, but I've seen (my own eyes, not photos) three Glocks that cracked for mostly less reason than this. And innumerable 1911s that are trash or need a LOT of work after similar failures. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

A Fed agent had a bad practice round (reload) jam her M&P .40, needed a new barrel as a precaution, mag needed to replaced, gun was back inaction two weeks later.

The .40 seems to have less tolerance for bad ammo, no idea why.

Saw two Glocks solidly jammed, with mags blown out and frames cracked,  because of what was believed to be lead bullet use.

It is said a over long case can cause a fire out of battery condition, only have heard of this happening in rifles, never seen a case personally in anything but a M-2.

Certainly not an expert or engineer.

Art

 

I have been waiting for such a report to show up here. There are at least 3 long strings on the S&W forum about Shields in .40 blowing up in a similar manner, and I think there have been other mentions of this there. I skimmed them when they were new, then ignored them as not something about I needed knowledge since I won't have a Shield .40 under any circumstance I can foresee. My recollection is that Smith is trying to pin it on ammo, but it has been a while since I looked. I don't think any of the shooters were using crap ammo, either. I'd really like to see what a forum with a broader knowledge base (meaning LF) can bring to this situation in terms of knowledge.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

I'll pull my 9mm apart and look at the frame in that area.  Perhaps there is an inherent weakness in that portion of the frame that could have caused catastrophic failure. 

 

If the repeated pounding of the .40 could find a design flaw in such a small platform its not beyond belief that a particularly hot round could cause the frame to separate like that.  Unless I'm missing it in the photos it doesn't look like there is any bulge or blowout associated with a squib....

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”  Sun Tzu

Based on no mention of eye injuries,she must have had decent eye pro.  I hope she fully recovers. 

 

Alsomglad I got a 9mm Shield. So far a good little gun.  As Doug mentioned, lots of talk on the S&W forum about Shield .40 kabooms. Might be too much round for the design. 

 

Stay safe

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“Speak softly and carry a big stick;  you will go far. “

 Theodore Roosevelt

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Joined: 29 May 2008          Location: AZ

Could also have been a huge over pressure from bullet set back - I've seen some .40 JHP that my co-workers keep chambering, clearing, and rechambering that have MAJOR set back.  Luckily, I've learned to "chamber check" loaded pistols before we start shooting, and I THINK I've got most people educated to the dangers of constantly rechambering the same round.

 

Personally, this is just one more reason why I believe that the .40 S&W is one of the greatest problems in LE shooting circles now.  When it was FIRST introduced, it offered some advantages over 9mm due to bullet design (or lack thereof) - now I simply see no reason to put shooters or pistols through the stress of shooting this very high pressure round...

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle... Psalms 144:1

Setback from rechambering is something I howl about on the S&W forum regularly. That forum has some real knowledge about certain issues related to older revolvers and other collector type stuff, but matters relating to serious use of handguns can be ... interesting to discuss. My impression, unfortunately, is that these events are happening in an ordinary course of fire. It is not the first round down range, or other information that is consistent with the rechambering Kbs. Having not seen the events or the firearms, I'm just this side of SWAG. I am getting the impression that the response from S&W is consistently underwhelming, like GM's.

 

I think it was Doc Roberts who posted testing results showing that his split times were noticeably poorer with a .40 Shield compared to a 9mm, which is not all that surprising. All in all, the only people for whom I think the juice is worth the squeeze is LEOs issued a .40 duty weapon who find for practical reasons, including ammo policy in really anal agencies, that using the same issued ammo is really a high value concept. YMMV.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

Originally Posted by kjdoski:

Could also have been a huge over pressure from bullet set back - I've seen some .40 JHP that my co-workers keep chambering, clearing, and rechambering that have MAJOR set back.

Cleaning the range the other day I found a .40 with the bullet set about halfway back in the case (far enough that there was air between the case mouth and the bullet). And: a (lightish) primer strike. A kb but for the grace of god.

 

Way too many shooters, so no idea whose it was but eeeesh!

 

Doesn't anyone check their chambering count? I fine-tip sharpie the back of the top round in the mag before loading. Line is fine, X = bottom of mag. When I get about 10 in my carry loads, I famfire the whole thing and load fresh ammo across the board. This weekend, 4th fun shoot when everyone was loading up their ECD guns at the end of the day the 'best' anyone else did was "gently load."  

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

This particular instance was not a rechambering issue, the ammunition was fresh from the new factory Winchester box. He didn't know the exact type, however he mused that the ammo was "more expensive than what we carry". 

 

She was wearing eye protection.

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

Originally Posted by Roscoe's Daddy:

While the OP description suggests the squib theory, the picture sure looks like a case of an over-pressured cartridge. Bullet setback-perhaps. I'm leaning towards that or just as likely an over spec powder charge. It happens, and pretty spooky when it does.

Based on the picture a pressure issue was going to be my guess too. I had a Glock blow up on me in a Magpul class a couple years ago. The techs at Glock said it was most likely a round with too much powder (double charge) or possibly bullet setback. I was using shitty Russian ammo, not quality stuff, so that wasn't as much of a surprise. 

 

 

 

Joined: 10/16/10  Location: WA

Not being an expert or engineer, just a thought...the Shield is built heavier than the Kahr's so we should be hearing about more of these with the various small handguns out there.

An engineer type friend had his Kahr all steel .40 take a dump, he blamed it on the design being able to allow the firing pin to strike the cartridge before the cartridge was completely chambered, ie, firing out of battery.

I was not there and had no chance to observe.

Seems to happen more to .40's in full size to compact  than other cartridges.

Art

 

 I think it's interesting that Mr. Boone, has stated, on this forum, that the sammi peak pressure for the .40 is the same as the 9mm(not +p or +P+).

 

 Bob 

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"Good landing, good fight, and good luck" James M. Gavin 09Jul43

 "they say if it works, it's a good tactic...I say anything can work once" 

I knew you would show up if someone threw out a cookie.  

 

The question in my mind is what factors are causing these pressure related issues? Is it easy to double charge the case due to the dynamics of case capacity and powder type? Is the neck area of the cartridge into which the projectile is crimped so limited that setback is more likely, even on a first chambering? (I have a very vague recollection of that being a potential issue, but even I won't rely on that memory.) Not my thing at all, like most lawnerds my background is more liberal arts type, and real physics is completely foreign to me, but there has to be some logical reason for these events. I get it if someone has chambered the same round a few times like a fool, but fresh ammo, first time chambered, from a decent manufacturer?

 

Another issue that is bothersome to me is that this is not common, somewhat random even, which makes studying it a pain in the ass, at least as to the Shield. On the other hand, I have seen enough reports of it on the S&W forum, with indications of poor response from S&W, that my risk management side's spidey sense is tingling. Too many questions, not even enough hints of answers.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

 "I get it if someone has chambered the same round a few times like a fool, but fresh ammo, first time chambered, from a decent manufacturer?"

 

All the big ammunition producers, and many of the reputable commercial reloaders experience problems in production. There's a lot of reasons behind it, but the bottom line is given the BILLIONS of rounds of ammunition produced, it's kinda nice to see so few double charged rounds make it to consumers. But it DOES happen, and it doesn't matter of the box label says Remington, Winchester, or Federal. 

The 9mm and .40 cases are relatively low volume. When I loaded 9mm, I used Unique powder exclusively. It filled the case and made a double charge impossible. That said, NOTHING is perfect and the rate of defective ammo from the major manufacturers is very low, statistically insignificant. 

-------------------------

Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

Originally Posted by R.Moran:

 

 I think it's interesting that Mr. Boone, has stated, on this forum, that the sammi peak pressure for the .40 is the same as the 9mm(not +p or +P+).

 

 Bob 

 

A .40 round is carrying some 25%+ additional powder in some loads and the gas is acting over a larger area (the actual force exerted is being further divided) versus 9mm.  That means when you start decreasing the divisor (volume) or start increasing force (powder charge) the pressure curve slope *can be* a lot steeper.  That is just a general comment on why .40 may exhibit worse setback pressure spikes, I'm sure in reality when we see a KB it is usually an extra powder charge situation or bore obstruction.  I'd love to see a study but don't know of any as it would be mostly self-reported and everyone is always sooper-dooper-cautious and there is no way they double charged a case. 

----------------------------- Outrunning my headlights since '81.

Location: Saukville, WI         Joined: Late 2011

Four threads on the First two pages of the M&P forums on the Smith and Wesson Forum.

 

http://smith-wessonforum(DOT)com/smith-wesson-m-p-pistols/338155-shield-40-mishap.html

 

http://smith-wessonforum(DOT)com/smith-wesson-m-p-pistols/359609-sadly-another-40-shield-kaboom.html

 

http://smith-wessonforum(DOT)com/smith-wesson-m-p-pistols/382797-again-another-shield-40-blow-up-r-i-p.html

 

 

http://smith-wessonforum(DOT)com/smith-wesson-m-p-pistols/372544-m-p-shield-40-blow-up.html

 

 

 

Just skimming the threads. Several times Winchester White Box may been a common element.

Makes me glad I never got a Shield in .40.

Never had a problem with my Kahr all steel .40's, but obviously they are not Shields.

I have used American Eagle and Winchester White Box, with about 150 rnds of Federal HST thrown in.

I wonder if the many trainers who run high round count classes have seen any kind of a trend.

If anyone has seen this they would seem to be the most likely to note it.

Art

 

Originally Posted by gulf1263:

Makes me glad I never got a Shield in .40.

Never had a problem with my Kahr all steel .40's, but obviously they are not Shields.

I have used American Eagle and Winchester White Box, with about 150 rnds of Federal HST thrown in.

I wonder if the many trainers who run high round count classes have seen any kind of a trend.

If anyone has seen this they would seem to be the most likely to note it.

Art

 

These are not usually mechanical "gun" issues, so the make of the piece is not too relevant, although some designs are certainly stronger than others when it comes to managing an over pressured cartridge. In my experience Winchester and Remington have had the most issues. I've seen dead primers in fresh batches, primers seated sideways, primers seated backwards, bullets seated backwards to name a few. Given that ammunition production is at a post-WWII high, perhaps the problems are not that statistically significant as we might think. Of course if it happens to you that's always another thing!   

Originally Posted by gulf1263:

I wonder if the many trainers who run high round count classes have seen any kind of a trend.

If anyone has seen this they would seem to be the most likely to note it.

 

That is correct, but I'm going to bet that a .40 Shield is not going to be the pistol taken to a class of that nature unless it is to carry when not in class.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

I have heard of a few classes run for BUG training, that was a few years ago though.

Haven't heard of any agencies officially issuing Shields in .40, there are probably some out there though.

Since my 9mm Shield works fine and all steel Kahr P 40 works fine I am crossing the .40 Shield off my list.

Art

 

 

Originally Posted by shoobe01:

Doesn't anyone check their chambering count? I fine-tip sharpie the back of the top round in the mag before loading. Line is fine, X = bottom of mag. When I get about 10 in my carry loads, I famfire the whole thing and load fresh ammo across the board.

Damn good idea, thanks much.

 


Joined: 6SEPT2012 from Benton, Illinois Website: www.Precision.Works

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Originally Posted by Doug Mitchell:

I knew you would show up if someone threw out a cookie.  

 

 What's that supposed to mean?..........

 

 

 

Originally Posted by PrecisionWorks:
Originally Posted by shoobe01:

Doesn't anyone check their chambering count? I fine-tip sharpie the back of the top round in the mag before loading. Line is fine, X = bottom of mag. When I get about 10 in my carry loads, I famfire the whole thing and load fresh ammo across the board.

Damn good idea, thanks much.

 

 I'm coming very close to making official complaints or safety concerns because of how long we wait to change out our "barney round". No one has a clue how many times they've been chambered...and they sow it.

 About 8 years ago, A G22 went "high order," as Pat would say, at Los Alamos National Labs. Scientist's being scientist's, they tracked it directly to a round that had been chambered multiple times. DOE sent out a complex wide safety bulletin...it's often ignored, same as the one about Chinese batteries.

 

 Bob

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"Good landing, good fight, and good luck" James M. Gavin 09Jul43

 "they say if it works, it's a good tactic...I say anything can work once" 

You proved my point.

 

You should make that complaint. Utterly unacceptable from any viewpoint. Managers who tolerate that shit should be flogged, and I do not care if it is before or after the Loudermill hearing. A trespass notice and a boot in the ass, and it's solved.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

Originally Posted by PrecisionWorks:
Originally Posted by shoobe01:

Doesn't anyone check their chambering count? I fine-tip sharpie the back of the top round in the mag before loading. Line is fine, X = bottom of mag. When I get about 10 in my carry loads, I famfire the whole thing and load fresh ammo across the board.

Damn good idea, thanks much.

Or you could just get a second gun identical gun for training...2 birds...1 stone...

I never ran into issues with pushed in bullets but now I'm spooked that I could have.  The idea of bullet set-back was never taught to me.  I only caught onto it because of discussion here a couple years ago (after I left the Patrol).  Never was mentioned or discussed by anyone on the firearms side of the house.

 

(nor unrelated classes if I'm honest).  Now it's been added to the memory check list.

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