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.