You load up a bunch of rounds without any powder, so that only the primer's gasses are available to push the bullet down the barrel. The gun doesn't blow up until you load one that does
have powder. If the shooter had had two brain cells to rub together, he would have stopped after the first one made a funny sound and didn't put a hole in the target, and pounded out the stuck bullet with a rubber mallet and a dowel rod.
Posted by: J Greely at November 11, 2014 08:07 PM (fpXGN)
So you're saying it was deliberate because they must have used rigged rounds to do it.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 11, 2014 08:11 PM (+rSRq)
No, it's actually a fairly common mistake for a handloader, especially a newbie who buys a progressive press (one that processes multiple rounds at once, in different stages). The serious mistake was not noticing the quiet bang and lack of recoil, and firing the gun a second time. Eight was just putting icing on a cake of pure stupid.
Posted by: J Greely at November 11, 2014 08:28 PM (fpXGN)
Even worse because that's a revolver and probably only takes six rounds.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 11, 2014 09:10 PM (+rSRq)
Smith & Wesson makes an 8 round .357 magnum revolver, so that's probably what this was.
Low or no powder in at least the first round is the most likely cause, though I remember reading a post where someone had toured a museum where they had a couple examples like this, and at least one of those was caused by a massively dirty barrel. A well used revolver can already be pretty impressive in terms of how loud a bang and how much flame spurts out between the barrel and the chamber, so a shooter that isn't paying attention very well might not notice.
Posted by: David at November 11, 2014 09:20 PM (t6MPh)
It's a revolver, the gap between the cylinder and the barrel is enough to keep it from being a catastrophic failure due to pressure. Also most likely shooting 38 special. They have much lower pressures than 357 that the gun is rated for. These two circumstances most likely negate any need for bad handloads, it could be commercial ammo. Plus, the old steel revolvers like that were typically built like a tank.
Posted by: ChadAmberg at November 12, 2014 08:00 AM (2pIkc)
Judging from the condition of the bullets, and the lack of bulging in the barrel until after the 6th shot, I'd say he had at least three squibs in a row. That's possible
with bad commercial ammo, but more likely with handloads, which makes it irrelevant whether it was loaded in a .38 or .357 casing.
Posted by: J Greely at November 12, 2014 08:45 AM (1CisS)
Or maybe the gun was just a really, really good one, well designed and overengineered to the point that you could actually do something like this without it exploding. But that would just make it even more painful to look at.
Posted by: Tatterdemalian at November 13, 2014 06:55 AM (4njWT)
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