My 9mm Suppressed AR Tried to Kill Me

Recently, I put an Olympic Arms 9mm AR upper (pre-2006) into the shop for a chop-and-pin. I had a Gemtech Tundra suppressor that used to run on my Smith & Wesson M&P9 SpecOps (until I sold it). Owning nothing else in 9mm with a threaded barrel, I found myself with a wayward can in search of a home. It found it – permanently attached to my 9mm AR upper. I picked the rifle up at the shop last Friday, just in time to take it (as of yet unfired with the new work done) to Gunsite. Where it promptly tried to take my hand off.

You can see my hand twitch after firing the first round – It hurt, but my mind didn’t register. Not yet realizing I had a (serious) failure, I stayed on target and went to engage with a second round. I quickly figured out something was wrong, tipped the rifle to check the bolt, and from there the audio speaks for itself – Holy crap.

What I’ve experienced is a double feed, one of your standard malfunctions. Unlike your average everyday double feed, I somehow managed to have a round partially in battery and seated… meaning it was able to fire. Uh oh.

“Serious malfunction.” Thank you Captain Obvious for that potent revelation. In my defense, my hand was starting to twinge a bit; we’d done prone work prior to this and I wasn’t wearing gloves for the first section. Mmm . . . Raw hands with open cuts and a magwell venting of hot gas and burning powder; makes for a little tickle.

So; what caused this? It could be  a number of things: new ammo (147grn FP @ 1050fps in a 5″ bbl), shoddy magazines (they are after all, still Sten magazines, likely almost three times my age), a screw up in workmanship, etc. Regardless of what caused it; could it have been prevented? Answer there : yes. There’s a forward assist for a reason, use it. If it doesn’t “forward assist,” you can register that there’s a problem with your firearm before burning yourself as I did. Or worse.

comments

  1. avatar BLAMMO says:

    My 9mm Suppressed AR Tried to Kill Me

    9mm Suppressed ARs don’t kill people. People kill people.

    Good thing you had the presence of mind to stop. That’s what you should always do when something doesn’t seem right.

    Stay safe.

  2. avatar Dom1104 says:

    I have seen this exact thing happen over, and over, and over again.
    A 9mm AR is one thing that I will never personally own.

  3. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    Glad you didn’t get hurt worse than you did, Ben!

  4. avatar Andrew Snyder says:

    This is a great example of why I always suggest loading a single round in the magazine for any gun that is new, has been modified since firing, or has been lent out and returned. Had you loaded a single round, you probably would have noticed something was wrong without risking life and limb.

    After enough single round reloads to be comfortable, then go to two rounds per reload. This forces you to at least give the gun a small once over before loading the next round.

    Yes, it takes extra time and prevents you from going all Rambo right away. But you know what is cooler than indiscriminately spraying tons of hot lead in quick succession like Rambo? Living!

    Just Saying.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      IGOTD!

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    “There’s a forward assist for a reason, use it. ”

    +1, Benjamin. I haven’t had a double feed since I started using the forward assist like it was meant to be used, and not as an emergency button.

  6. avatar Bob H says:

    “My 9mm Suppressed AR Tried to Kill Me” – You should have gotten the help it needed when you knew it was suppressed, instead of waiting for the inevitable explosion.

  7. avatar Andy G says:

    That’s a Citadel class ring isn’t it? Class of ’85 here. Have enjoyed the site for a while. I’ll enjoy it even more if a Grad is writing for the site.

  8. avatar bill says:

    Ehm, So What caused the round to go off? Inertia from the firing pin? It’s still an AR so in order for it to go off the bolt has to be closed so the hammer can run the course and hit the firing pin. was there odd ball parts causing timing issues or improper lock up of the hammer? Weak firing pin spring?

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