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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

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Images (3)
  • Shield 1
  • Shield 2
  • Shield 3
Original Post
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.

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. 

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.

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....

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...

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.

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."  

Last edited by Community Member
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. 

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 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.

 "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. 

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. 

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.

Last edited by Community Member

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 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

Last edited by Community Member
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.

Just throwing in my 2 cents.  As for bad factory rounds, I once tried to fire a factory (I believe it was Winchester) .308 and it went "click." There was no primer nor a flash hole (30 years ago).  I've also experienced overloads, but only with reloaded ammunition.  As for factory defects, don't expect gun manufacturers or ammo makers to admit fault.  Had failures to fire by several Glock 21's using Black Hills 185 JHP (late 80's, if I remember right) and neither Glock nor Black Hills admitted to ever hearing of a similar problem, which I find hard to believe (the Colts and Sigs in use fired it without a problem).  I've seen other gun/ammo combinations that didn't work well and both sides pointed their fingers at each other.  I'm leaning toward either an out of battery or an overload on this one.

Just for a point of clarification and situational awareness...prior to the two posts above mine... the next post in this thread is from 2014 and while kaboom info is always important to have visibility on-- you need to take the timeline of posting into account before jumping in headfirst. 

By all means read, digest, comment if needed- but remember 2014 was a long time ago and the shield m2 was not out yet.

Just sayin.

David

MOJONIXON posted:
TAK23 posted:

That is what I am hearing from others, not putting much hope in getting anything except maybe a look at Quality Control so someone else doesn’t experience what I have.  


You still need to make an intro post as you’ve been reminded of twice in these Shield threads.  

Reminder count is now at four. Two from XTCBX, once from MOJONIXON, and when you registered. Perhaps you should hold off on reloading. Reloading can be dangerous if you don't follow instructions, ( repeated instructions to post intro) and pay close attention to detail (not sure if maybe you didn't notice a squib.) Reloading takes patience to develop loads checking brass for signs of over pressure etc.  You posted an event, created a new post and necroposted on this. Not signs of patience. New gun, you should be taking the time and making same observations.

After your intro, I would be curious for more details. Is the bore clear, or is there a bullet(s) stuck? How many rounds fired? Any possibility you got one of you hand loads mixed in?

I'm glad you weren't injured. Props for wearing safety glasses. Please be safe.

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