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I recently brought my thousands-of-dollars Grizzly Custom Guns .357 modded Marlin to the range for some pre-hog hunting testing. One shot – BANG! – and the lever froze open. My gun done broke. Well, that’s what happens to mechanical things. They break. Some guns are specifically designed not to break. The AK, for example, is famous for its extreme durability. Which is why owners who value that never-say-die quality are ill-advised to modify the gun. Of course, some people don’t care a lick what I think and do it anyway. So, question: what gun(s) have you broken and how?

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  1. I try not to buy guns that break when used in the role for which they were designed. That goes for stocks, optics, and magazines as well.

  2. I disassembled a winchester model 94 once to thoroughly clean it. I ended up taking a bag of parts to my grandpa for assistance in reassembly. It broke me.

    • Don’t feel bad. For a long time my favorite gunsmith was getting bags of parts from me while hearing me swear they were all one gun at some point. Eventually he just sat me down and taught me how the things worked in the first place. Of course, this was before everything was on the internet. I think the handful of parts happens to everyone eventually.

    • We like to call that “a basket case,” where the gun comes to us in a basket.

      The Win94 is a bit challenging to re-assemble, so don’t get too choked up about it.

  3. I had the hammer spring from an old savage break open go flying off into the void of lost socks when I took it apart.

    Since I could not find a replacement I bubba’d it with a hammer spring from ‘something else’.

    Does that count?

  4. When I first joined the military Desert Storm had just ended and all of our tanks had just come back from deployment. Service ammunition is a lot more powerful than training rounds (at the time the 120mm service ammo was M829A1 and M830). Our tank had fired so many rounds that the extractor shaft was bent. The extractor shaft is about 2 inches in diameter and it’s solid steel. We had to beat it out of the breech block with a sledgehammer and a crowbar.

      • Speaking of Joe, we were cleaning weapons and one of the Joes decided that oven cleaner would be a great way to take carbon out of an M-16. I mean, that’s what it does in the oven, right?

        So he liberally applies the oven cleaner and lets it sit for an hour.

        That was a very, very shiny M-16…

        • LOL! When I was heavy into MCs we used that stuff strip anno out of aluminum so we could polish it shiny. Easy Off ain’t no joke.

    • My first Platoon Sergeant always told me if you sealed a tanker in a round room with nothing but two ball bearings he’d break one and lose the other.

    • +1 on a Bearcat, a nice old one with a brass trigger guard. Timing issue blew a crater next to the forcing cone (between the forcing cone and the ejector rod). The folks at Ruger made things right.

  5. Had my Taurus 840 break several times. How silly of me to actually put rounds through it! I broke a Bersa BP9cc doing the same thing. That one broke after only 300 rounds. I also broke a Rossi 357 by dry firing it… hmm, I am starting to notice a trend here…

  6. When my best friend was dtationed in iraq, an officer backed a humvee over my friend’s issued rifle and busted to stock. Does that count?

    My marlin 336 had a feed issue, but that’s because of the ammo. It ended up jamming the carrier and caused it to break.

    • I’m sure your friend was severely reprimanded for aiding in destruction of government property and obstructing an officer’s path.

        • I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t resist. Once upon 1978, I was required to carry a concealed firearm as a pilot aboard an AF aircraft. I was trained on a 6-shot S&W with FMJ ammo, and then required to carry a 5-shot Colt, with 2 rounds of one kind of ammo followed by 3 rounds of another type. For those who don’t know revolvers that well, the S&W and the Colt cylinders rotate in opposite directions. I’m pretty sure I was the only one in my unit who knew which chamber to put under the hammer in order to accomplish what we were told to do, I don’t know about the couple dozen other units doing the same job. When I brought it up, nobody cared.

        • My brother disassembled the bolt of his brand new Winchester bolt gun, then when he couldn’t reassemble it blamed everyone for dismantling his rifle. He still swears that it was someone else.

  7. Well there’s only one gun that I can really say that ‘I’ broke. Back in ’13 I bought an incomplete Argentine Hi-Power from one of my favorite distributors on Gun Broker. I pieced it back together with some surplus Canadian parts, aftermarket parts, and even two pieces i had custom fabricated by a machinist friend. The final product was pretty ugly, but worked pretty solidly. Well up until I screwed up and fed it some ammo that I didn’t know the vintage of. Turns out another friend gave me some bad 9mm ammo. And that ammo was so hot loaded it blew the shell cashing apart in the chamber and blew the magazine floor plate off and ruining the magazine. Kind of a testament to the design of the Hi-Power that it didn’t hurt the handgun itself.

    Now all that said I also enjoy rebuilding broken and incomplete firearms. So I’ve had a good dozen ‘gun smith’s specials’ over the years. But that’s the only one I can really say that I broke.

  8. Model 44 mosin nagant. But I deliberately torture tested it to death. In all honesty, it wasn’t broke, I just lost my nerve and would no longer shoot it.

    • JWM, I have to ask – what could you possibly do to a Mosin that made it unsafe to shoot? I thought they ran forever?

      • Mostly I wanted to see how long and how often you can shoot a mn with corrosive ammo and not clean it. I would take it to the range, shoot it and take it home and put it in the garage. This was when I could get surplus ammo in the 20 round string wrapped paper for 1.75 per 20. I got the mod. 44 for 50 bucks or less. I’ve had half a dozen of those m44s and wound up giving them all away except this one.

        Turns out after about 10 months of regular shooting with no cleaning and the m44 takes on a life of its own. I swear, their were life forms growing on that thing that science has yet to identify. Once I lost my nerve, I could no longer see down the barrel with a light for the rust, it went to a buy back program.

  9. I broke a GLOCK 30 SF. Locking block just broke off while firing at the range. Couldn’t get it back into battery and took me and a few guys from the LGS looking at it and comparing to others for a while to figure out what piece was missing. Only had a few hundred rounds through it at the time.

  10. I added an aftermarket takedown pin to my Ruger LCP. I noticed it seemed to slip some, so at the range two months ago, I was checking the pin after each magazine. After about 50 rounds, I noticed the pin’s head was completely sheared off. It still functioned, but without the pin head, it’s hard to take the gun apart. I had to extract the broken pin with a super-magnet. Fortunately, I was really paying attention and was able to find the sheared pin head on the floor at the range.

    This seemed odd, since the aftermarket pin was billed as being better than the stock Ruger. The maker has since changed the pin design from being narrowed all the way around to being grooved only on one side to catch on the retaining spring.

      • The factory pin has some reputation for creeping out. The original aftermarket pin was tapered around the retaining wire area to supposedly prevent that. It seemed like a good upgrade on top of the other LCP add-ons I got at the time, and adding it was cheap because I already got free shipping.

        They replaced it with a better pin, that uses a groove on one side rather than an all-around taper:

        Also has a slot and a dot so you know where groove is supposed to go. I’m still leery about this pin and it’s producer. The maker swears they have never had one break before.

        Dunno if you have a Ruger LCP, but if you look around one for a while, it’s easy to see why aftermarket companies see small flaws in things like the takedown pin design, and make their own improvements.

  11. Dropped the hammer on a disassembled PF-9 and it cracked the plastic shelf in the frame. Gun still works fine and far as I can tell is still safe.

    When I was a kid I got some stuff jammed in the barrel of a Crossman Pumpmaster and used a coat hanger to get it out. The hanger absolutely destroyed the barrel leaving gouges everywhere. Still worked fine however the accuracy such as it was diminished considerably.

  12. Dry fired my CZ52 to break the firing pin on purpose the day my new one came in the mail. Then, being the master smith I am, I launched the barrel straight into my tv when I tried taking it out of the slide. Wii-mote damage doesnt have anything on a Czech piece of steel. That was an expensive day 🙁

  13. I know a guy that broke an AK. He’s now referred to as, “that guy that’s so dumb he managed to break an AK.”

  14. After about 2000 rounds thru my PF-9, the head broke off the assembly pin (part #427), but the pin stayed in the pistol. I got a new pin from KelTec for about $3 and replaced it. After about 5000 rounds, the spring that holds the pin in place broke. Got a new spring from KelTec and replaced it. It’s now at about 7000 rounds and still going strong.

    • You should get some gold stars for firing 7,000 rounds in a PF-9. Not one of my favorites to shoot for sure, beats my hand like a ball peen hammer.

  15. CZ 52 firing pin. Replaced with stainless.

    AK(WASR beater) had a tripod knocked over on it at the range. Dented the magwell, had to straighten with a hammer and chisel. Gun of people is function great now!

    Marlin 30/30 severely smoke and heat damaged bluing and stock. Re-profiled, sanded and stained wood ebony black then painted gun with HD appliance epoxy. Shoots better than it did before… still confused on that one.

    Crossfire MKII had to TIG a new clip on the shotgun magazine because I made the mistake of actually trying to USE IT. It was a HORRIBLY designed firearm in every possible way.

    Bryco, shattered barrel band, Pot metal junk, Throw away pistol.

    Uberti cattleman revolver, spring whizzed past my ear and was never found…. EVER????

    Some people also say I “broke” a Mosin I call “the Abomination” but it was already broken…. I just made it heavy.

    • I really liked the WASR story. 😉

      You have an interesting taste in the brands of guns you buy. It’s amazing you’re still alive.

      • It was an old military crank style(elevation knobs and stuff) anti-aircraft tripod they were using to shoot a 50. The thing had to weigh 75 pounds and one of the sharp corners hit the edge of the magwell just right to dent it.

        I buy what I can afford and always have, I don’t even own a credit card. Most of these happened back when I couldn’t afford much. I’m quite a bit more discerning these days about my firearm purchases.

      • it’s the weakest part of an AK receiver, it can happen.

        I slipped and dented part of the magwell on a fully heat treated NDS AK receiver while riveting it up with bolt cutter tools. Smacked it back into shape with a mallet, no problems.

        • I like having an AK or two around. Instead of taking it to a gunsmith for repairs just grab a bigger hammer.

  16. Took an A-5 Browning apart at the kitchen table when I was about 19, that gun never did work again.
    Broke a firing pin on a CZ 28ga shooting in a clays tournament (that gun wasn’t really designed for high volume shooting).

    • You probably had put the recoil bushings back onto the magazine tube incorrectly. The A-5 requires you pay attention to the recoil bushing order and orientation.

  17. I blew the extractor off of my LC9. I was warned since childhood never to use steel cased ammo. The lacquer builds up in the chamber. Then a brass case failed to go completely into battery before firing. A hole ripped out of the casing and sent my extractor into low earth orbit. Never found it. Ruger sent me a new LC9. I’ll never use steel ammo again.

    • Unless that was old steel cased ammo it was not laquer coated. All commercial steel cased ammo that I know of has been coated with a polymer coating instead if laquer for quite some time.

      Before I started reloading for my autos I fired north of 10,000 rounds of Tula through several of my pistols without any problems.

  18. During a speed steel match, the slide came off my custom colt and landed in the dirt. Even had a live round in the barrel.
    They tried to DQ me, but I sucessfully argued that the “gun” was still in my hand.
    I put the safety on and holstered it.

  19. Broke a 20 gauge Benelli Montefeltro after +2000 rounds one day while shooting doves in Argentina. It was a lodge rental, so no idea how many rounds it had already fired. It simply stop firing and parts were rattling around. The Argentina shells were pretty hot, and dirty, which I’m sure contributed too.

  20. A buddy of mine ripped the butstock right off an M16A2 on the bayonet course in basic. The platoon drill hat bought him a burger.

  21. I have a Chiappa 1911-22 (and you shouldn’t. They suck).

    One day the barrel bushing just… broke. When I was shooting it. And sent the mainspring and other assorted parts downrange.

    Rather than endure the embarrassment of asking for a full range ceasefire (indoor range with mechanical target holders), I just quietly packed up my crap and left.

  22. lets see… my Winchester model 88 .243 had the end of the firing pin sheared off, took about 4 months to find a replacement… The barrel on my Raging Judge Magnum mysteriously split and I had to send it back for repairs… cracked the stock on my Rossi R92 .454… oh and I took my Ruger .44 mag carbine apart and couldn’t get it back together, so I got to pay the LGS $100 to correct my mistake.

  23. 1) This weekend I messed up the magazine release spring on a Canik TP9SA – anyone know how to get that back in without compressing it so much that it fails to properly retain a magazine? I do have a whole new appreciation for the simplicity of the Glock design on this point.

    2) As a youngster I messed up the firing pin spring on a SAW by repeatedly dry-firing without a bold. Oops.

  24. when i put new grips on my 686, somehow i had loosened the strain screw. made double action unreliable and cocking the hammer require an unreasonable amount of force. tightened i back up and it’s fine.

    yes, i am that much of a novice 😛

    • The strain screw is not used to adjust the trigger pull on a S&W. It is either fully tight or out of the gun. It is not to be left semi-tight.

  25. IO sporter AK that fired a round out of battery!!

    Blew the dust plate off and it hit the bill of my hat and knocked it off my head!!

    It was about 45 seconds later before any of us could break the dumbfounded silence just staring at each other thinking what in the flying f*#& just happened lol..

    Gun was toast. Bent the receiver outwards among many other lets call them “blemishes”

    And before somebody gives me the ‘ol shoulda inspected your ammo, I inspect every round that goes in a mag (though however briefly) but my friend and I bought the same rifle and his did the same thing just not as dramatically as mine decided to be.

    • I observed similar with an AR at the National Matches, I was a range officer and this guy fired, with a strange sound resulting, he had had a case separation and the next cartridge had slam-fired when chambering. I’m trying to advise him how much time he has left to complete his course of fire, when he rolls over, his face bleeding, and says “I’m done”, and struggles to clear the gun. Training, training, training! He didn’t really care about the condition of the gun, which looked pretty reasonable, he tossed it and bought another for the next day. But he did feed back to us on the range that the original gun, which looked OK, had a receiver some 3/8 inch longer than stock. Not thinking it would have worked very well.

      Just by the bye, this guy was one of many I saw at NM who absolutely drowned his AR in oil, the parts were swimming and it squirted every time he fired, a norm for 1911s during pistol there, but my training said “dry” for ARs, I don’t know if that was a player.

    • Careful there—you are stomping all over those who claim those things NEVER have problems….lol. AKs and SKSs have lots of problems.

    • OK, let’s talk for a moment about slam-fires on semi-auto military rifles.

      On the Garand, M-14/M-1A, M-16/AR-15 and some AK’s, you have a firing pin that “floats” in the bolt. ie, the firing pin just slides back and forth inside the bolt, and when the rifle is in battery, then (and only then) should the hammer fall, smacking the back of the pin and striking the primer. Some AK’s have a small spring that pushes the firing pin to the rear inside the bolt, which is why I said “some AK’s” have floating FP’s. Usually, it is the cheaper/nastier AK’s that have no spring.

      This floating firing pin would seem to be begging for slam-fires, but it doesn’t happen as long as you load the chamber by putting a round in the magazine and then allow the bolt to strip the round off the top of the magazine to load the rifle.

      Two things happen when you load the chamber by feeding a round off the top of the magazine:

      1. The bolt is slowed (considerably, in fact) in the forward travel by the friction in the round coming out of the magazine.

      2. The energy with which the firing pin can strike the primer from slamming home is limited by the fact that the round is right in front of the pin hole in the bolt as the round+bolt moves forward. You can still see a very light dimple form on primers of rounds that have been chambered in a Garand or M1A from the pin strike. This is why you should use CCI primers with harder cups for reloading for service rifles, but that’s another topic for another time.

      Now… here’s how slam-fires happen with alarming regularity in service rifles: You want to single load a cartridge. You put the cartridge into the chamber through the ejection port by pretending to be a light arms proctologist. You then allow the bolt to slam home from a full rearward position or off the bolt stop, onto said round that is now fully in the chamber by ministrations of your big, fat finger.

      If that round was something loaded with a soft primer cup (eg, Federal primers or Federal match ammo)…. it might well suck to be you at that moment with that rifle.

      • Yes. My SKS had the floating pin as does my Mak. Sloppy or half as*d cleaning can allow gunk to build in the channel for the pin. Which can also lead to slamfires if the pin is “frozen” forward.

        I used commercial made Winchester 7.62×39 just once in my SKS. Apparently the primers were soft enough that the pin actually punched holes in some of them. After that I used Russian made ammo and the problem never repeated.

  26. Glock 23. Took it down, and the takedown “lever?” slid out the side into my hand. Was unusable until fixed. I felt bad since it was my cousin’s EDC.

    My buddy was using a polymer receiver AR, went to use the sling while shooting and it broke in half right at the takedown pin. Luckily he wasn’t mid squeeze cus there was nothing between the bcg and his shoulder.

  27. When I was deployed in Iraq, my issued M-9 had so much slop that I could move the slide by shaking the gun. I was afraid that if I fired it, the slide would come right off. I ended up “dropping” it under a MRAP tire by “accident” and got a better pistol issued to me.
    I never ended up having to use my pistol at all, but it was reassuring having a functioning pistol if I ever had too many issues with my M4.

    • My M9 in Iraq was so bad, I wouldn’t offer $150 bucks for it at a Victory Drive Pawnshop….

      It had a built in camo pattern of bluing, rust, and shiny worn metal. It sounded like a baby rattle, and at 15 yards it shot 2 feet lower than POA.

    • Hey, that’s a fine gun! My wife carried one around 8 years before graduating to a Colt Detective Special around 1972. In some pretty rough neighborhoods, coast to coast. I trained her how to aim it effectively, ie, jam it in the rapists ribs and keep pulling the trigger till his willy goes weak. And, I eventually got rid of it, selling it at a gun show for around 10 times what I paid for it, 30+ years later.

  28. My 10/22 fell over, the front sight hit the bottom of a cheap bookcase, and the sight blade broke clean off.

    • Since mine were never recovered, I don’ know if the fall to the bottom of the lake ‘broke’ any or not 🙂

  29. This is why I do not shoot the gun I use for self defense a lot. I practice with other similar guns. Once the gun is broken in, and proves reliable, I only put a few rounds a month through it.
    Even though there are very reliable guns on the market, you never really know when one might fail. I think this thread proves that.

    • Most of us are not claiming “failure”, here, we’re confessing “dumbass”. I think that is the goal of the exercise. Mine is far below.

  30. The bolt from a Stevens model 37 .410 fits a Mosin-Nagant action well enough to lock it up solid and require gunsmithing. Though I was never warned of this specifically I still take partial responsibility.

  31. I “broke” a Nagant Model 1895 revolver dry-firing it. One of the pieces of the lockwork broke, can’t recall the name of it. Bought a replacement and with lots of help from #1 son put it back together.

  32. I had a Remington 740 in 6mm Rem. that had the bolt seize so bad that I was never able to repair it.

    Blew the extractor of a Keltec PF9 when I had a case head rupture on a gunshow reload.

    • A good reason to not buy other folks reloads. They may mean well, but reloading is a serious business. Somebody with less than stellar eyesight, might have interpreted a maximum powder charge to be 44.0 gr., instead of 40.4 grains that was written in the manual.

  33. Back when you could actually stop by Wal-Mart and pick up a 550rd brick of .22lr for around $20, I was putting a brick a week through my S&W 22a plinking at the range. Somewhere over 6k rounds down the pipe I heard a weird “pop” and the next round jammed and would not load into the chamber. Tap, rack and another jam. On closer inspection I found that the case head had blown off, leaving just the brass cylinderstuck in the chamber. After a little work with a cleaning rod I was able to push it out but after that I never could get it to go into battery. I called S&W, explained what had happened and ask for an RMA to get it repaired. I fully expected to pay for the repair since the fault seem to be with the cheap Winchester Western ammo I was shooting and not the gun. 2 weeks after sending in the gun I got a call from S&W customer service who apologized for not being able to fix the gun and ask what FFL I would like my replacement gun shipped to. I’ve got to say I was impressed with the customer service, they paid shipping both ways and I was back out shooting within 3 weeks.

  34. Broke an Uzi clone once, modified the cocking lever and added a rail mount for an optic and it stopped cycling well enough to take the next round, it was s till a great single-shot uzi, ended up selling it to someone for spare parts.

  35. Trying to fix up a Yugo M48 Mauser that has a cracked wrist (non-numbers matching). The main reinforcement was completed without issue, but I goofed when trying to drill out one side of the crack and pushed the drill bit through the stock – have a nice oval-shaped white spot in the wrist from the dowel for this one.

    Same rifle, disassembling it for cleaning, I managed to sling-shot the floorplate detent into next year. Found the spring at least, so made a new detent on the lathe.

    Same rifle, replaced the stock rear pillar with a larger, slightly longer one (by a couple thou – now I can torque the rear screw down and it’ll line up with the lock screw without backing it off). I also coated everything with a release agent (paste wax), but still managed to glue the rear screw in place. Broke/bent several straight-bladed screwdriver inserts with a hand-held impact driver and slightly stripped the screw, but I did manage to get it all apart without seriously breaking anything.

    Definitely feel like Bubba with this rifle. At least it’s just a mis-matched Yugo and not something more collectable/valuable.

  36. My father purchased a Jennings 9mm back in 2003. After about two hundred rounds the loaded chamber indicator broke free and after five hundred rounds it just locked up and wouldn’t cycle. I don’t know if it would be fair to say he broke it but it did break.

    Back when you could buy a box of S&B 9mm for $6.50 I had purchased a police trade-in Beretta USA 92FS. At the time I had a well paying high stress job and the pistol range became my second home. Two or three trips a week to the range and at least two boxes per trip meant that I burned that pistol out in about a year and a half. By the time I traded it for another Beretta 92 it probably resembled some of the M9s currently in service with the military.

    • I think if something is disposable, it doesn’t count as broken if you’ve gone through its useful life 😉

      You might have unintentionally hit the most rounds through a Jennings 😉

      • No doubt about that. I’m amazed anyone could get a Jennings to work long enough to get that many rounds through it.

        • That’s why you don’t get two magazines with a Jennings, they never last long enough to ever need the second mag!

        • You got that right. Was backpacking in rattlesnake country with friends. We all had guns, and one of them had a Jennings .22 which never worked once in trying to shoot 3 different rattlesnakes with it.

        • I had one of those Jennings .22s. Couldn’t get it to fire more than 3 rounds without a malfunction. It may still be in the Ohio river. I can concede now, 40 years later, that I may have let my temper go a little.

  37. AK47 variant—piston seized up in the cylinder. Had to put a steel rod down the barrel and hammer the bolt open.
    S&W model 19—screw backed out jamming the cylinder (was checking it prior to going on duty. Also forgot to oil it after cleaning it once and it failed to fire.
    Husqvarna rifle failed to fire in cold weather due to oil getting stiff.
    Russian SKS went full auto on me at the gun range.
    Another SKS slam fired at the range when using commercial ammo.
    AR15 went full auto on me at the range—had to replace the hammer and trigger.
    Bottom line is that there is no such thing as a gun that won’t jam or break no matter what you believe. If you shoot long enough it will happen. Anyone who says it won’t or doesn’t simply has not put enough rounds down range. Having put hundreds of thousands of rounds down range as a civilian, as a soldier and as a police officer, I have first hand experience with and have witnessed plenty of others to know that NOTHING is goof proof!

  38. Glenfield (Marlin) tube fed .22, older gun. Bang, bang… no more front sight. Or tube. The front sight was on a band connecting the feed tube to the barrel. The unfortunate design was held in place with a set screw. Humpty Dumpty is back together and working well, with a dose of Loctite on that damn set screw.

  39. So many to list, so little time. I was mechanically curious in my youth.
    But I have one that ends well.

    After putting well over 30,000 rounds through my P90, I started pushing the loads a bit. Eventually I got to what could only be called .45ACP+P++P+Q, cause at that point you can’t get enough Ps in there. Finally, the frame cracked near the take down pin. I sent it to Ruger explaining what happened and asking if it could be fixed. They sent me an email back saying not to fix it, and what other Ruger .45ACP would l like to replace it. They sent me my first 1911, their not yet in the stores SR1911. Charged me shipping. Totally turnaround time from the day I sent my gun in was 12 days. That 1911 was worth twice what I paid for my P90 new, and more than a decade of abuse later. Made me Ruger customer for life. I need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the Ruger guns I have now, and I’d buy another any day.

  40. This one wasn’t me, but my (now ex) wife had a squib in a Kel Tec P32, but didn’t realize it and fired another round with predictable results. Contacted the ammo manufacturer, and they told me to send them the gun and the unused portion of the box of ammo. They paid to have the gun rebuilt and sent back to me and even sent me a check for the MSR cost of the box of ammo. I still have that little Kel Tec.

  41. Bryco/Jennings 380 that emptied the entire mag with one trigger pull (fun if you knew it was going to happen)
    Noble (Nobel??) pump 20 gauge that broke the firing pin and wedged it in the forward firing position
    Taurus M66 that wouldn’t fire if all the chambers didn’t have something in them…weirdest gun malf I’ve ever seen. 5 empties and a live one? Bang. 4 Live rounds and two empties? Ban, bang, click, bang, bang, click. 3 empties and two live rounds? Nothing…Nada…couldn’t cock the hammer manually or pull the trigger at all. Open it up and put another round in and start shooting again. Two Beretta M9 locking lugs; one on a brand new gun fresh out of the box, and one that had a bit over 4k rounds through it.

  42. The cocking handle on an old 22 from Sears broke after many decades of use. It was pot metal. Found a replacement at Numrich. Didn’t fit. Finally found a guy making replacement parts for old guns, and bought the handle and other parts (just in case), now it runs like new.

    Broke the extractor on a Sig 1911 after many thousands of rounds. That causes really nasty jams. Had a gunsmith replace it because Sig apparently uses hydraulic presses to assemble their guns.

    The plastic front sight on an almost new Walther PPQ went flying off in the desert while target shooting. Replaced that one myself with a steel replacement.

  43. I broke the Striker on a H&R 20ga and the firing pin on a Remington SPR 18N (May God curse it’s name) once.

    • You just reminded me. When I was about 14 I had a Sears catalog single shot 16 ga. Was in some thick stuff after rabbits and went to reload it. Broke the action and the shell and the ejector went over my shoulder. The roll pin holding the ejector and the spring for same in snapped and off they went. Never found either.

      I used that gun for years after. I just had to pry the empties out.

  44. Haven’t broken any guns just yet (the day is young) but have gotten really close a few times. First it was my almost mint Winchester 1897 12 gauge that I got when my grandfather passed. I was young and stupid and took it apart then scratched the hell out of it trying to put it back together. That was over 20 years ago. The gun still looks great except for an idiot scratch on the receiver.

    More recently, I noticed after a day at the range that the ambi safety on my home built AR was loose. Examined the rest of the gun an the castle nut had come completely loose. Luckily nothing was “broken” but I assume things could have gone badly if I had not caught those issues when I did. Locktite and staking are your friend when it comes to ARs.

    Lastly, I was removing the safety from my M&P 9mm and almost lost a spring and little metal bit that went flying across my room. Miraculously, I found them both and managed to put the gun back together. By the way, those little covers that go on the pistol to cover up where the safety used to be are a real pain in the ars to put on.

  45. Brand new Smith and Wesson Model 60. 75 rounds and approx. 350 dry fires. (I know, I’m so abusive.) On its way back to Smith for repairs as of this morning.

  46. I’ve blown the front sight off my .460 XVR (which I replaced), worn out some Glock mags, worn out the recoil springs on a 4006, and a few other things over the years. My Glock 27 trigger needs work, but that’s just a crappy trigger and a lot of rounds. Needs new tritium sights as well.

  47. This is something of a tricky question for me. Being a gunsmith, there are times when a gun comes it that is wedged up tight, or screws are frozen solid tight. The customer wants something done about this, and so… a warning is given that “this might hurt and bit…” and we proceed.

    I’ve broken off screwheads (those hurt when the screw is still in the hole), broken leaf springs (I can make ’em brand new from spring stock I have – it’s a nuisance issue more than anything) and sometimes, something might get scratched. That’s bad. I’ve had “mostly broken” stocks come in, where my only way forward is to finish breaking off the piece of wood and then get on with a glue-n-clamp job to get it cleanly and properly mated again.

    So, I guess you could say that there are times when I’ve broken guns… in a somewhat deliberate fashion.

    Most of this wouldn’t happen if people would prevent their firearms from corroding. People who want to keep guns in humid environments need to either oil them down very regularly, or these people need to discover Cosmoline.

  48. Blew up two – yes, TWO – Italian-made .45 Colt Single Actions. one was a rare factory overload, and the other was my own stupid fault double-charge reload. On both, the top of the frame was dramatically bowed, and the top half of the cylinder was never found. For my large cartridge reloads, my powder of choice now is Trail Boss.

  49. My SR9c doesn’t seem to want to reset the striker after every cycle. About one in 20 cycles and no reset. Full disclosure, I have polished the striker and the trigger where it engages the striker. It is exceptionally smooth, but yeah, doesn’t help if the striker doesn’t reliably reset after every round. I can even get it to malfunction if I cycle it by hand while empty.

    Still trying to figure out why this is happening as I didn’t remove any more material than you would see on a well worn in part.

  50. My GF lost the guide rod plug on her 1911. in our very small and not well furnished living room. i tore this place apart. its in another dimension at this point.

    • I did that with a spring from a Hi-Point .380. I searched the tiny space where it HAD to have landed for 3 days with no luck.. Called Hi-Point and true to their warranty, they sent a new part out with no charge.

      I installed the new spring when it arrived and then almost immediately found the missing spring by stepping on it in my bare feet when I walked out of the room.

  51. Last year hunting, the sling swivel broke on my Savage 270 while i was carrying it and it hit the ground.. Cracked my shiny new boyds stock….I wanted to cry…

  52. I have worn out a few guns but in general I am pleasantly surprised how reliable guns are, most run 10s of 1000s before failure. Now the add-on parts like scopes, bipods, lasers, lights, etc… fail me at a steady rate.

    • I used to have the same problem. Then I realized that it just isn’t worth the hassle, to buy a cheap scope, and then have to replace it in a few months.
      There are tons of really cheap scopes on eBay for $50.00, or less. Most all of them are not worth the cost of the box their shipped in.
      Now I buy only Leupold, except for precision pistols, like the Contender etc. Then it’s Burris.

  53. I have had very few guns break. Most of the time I see the problem long before the gun actually breaks. I had a Kel Tec P3AT break the support rod for the recoil spring, take down pin, extractor and ejector. Other than that I had a Mossberg 500 break an interrupter.

  54. Bought a used Universal M1 Carbine once. The operating slide broke after the first magazine. In case you are looking at one, there are NO Universal replacement parts anywhere. (And no, the slide is not G.I.).

    • Same thing happened to me about 30 years ago, or so. What a piece of crap! I think a Jennings would hold up better!

  55. I disassembled a Hi Standard HD military pistol wrong, ruining the spring. I bent the first replacement trying to get thing thing in. One week later, and the second replacement spring and retaining plug shot out and hit me in the face, leaving a nice bruise under my eye.

  56. I broke a Kahr CM9. About 400 rounds through it. I was at the range and the gun locked up. I had to send it back to Kahr. They fixed it, sent it back and I then sold it. I never learned exactly what happened, didn’t care. I could not trust my life with that gun.

  57. If they ain’t breakin’, you ain’t shootin’. I’ve had a couple of broken firing pins, a hairline crack on a wooden stock and once had a front sight twist completely sideways on a handgun I was testing for TTAG. By and large, I don’t make guns break, but they make me broke. Which is okey-doke.

      • It must have been an auto ghetto gun. One shot verticle, the next 3 (before it jams) held sideways. Neat that they were able to make the site move like that. Must be a High Point or some other high end maker….

  58. all I got: I took a vintage 50+ year old German made Kienzle Tam-Tam alarm clock case back off. There was a dead bug in the face. Only way to remove the glass was to remove the back. The screws that hold the back on led to the revelation that you had to remove the clockwork to remove the face from the inside. Damn German engineering. So I loosened the 4 nuts that held the clockwork in, not realizing they also held the clockwork TOGETHER. A little bit of light shaking and the bug fell out. The mainspring released all of it’s energy in one go, ( about 48 hours worth ) twisted the minute hand like a corkscrew, broke the timing gear and various other pieces decided to liberate themselves from their 50 year prison. The local clock repair guy shook his head at me. We’re searching ebay and etsy for a replacement movement.

  59. Hokay, I’ve had a good time kibitzing on everybody else, plus nobody will read down this far anyhow.

    2xLC9, I am just so WISE, I am going to modify them to be what I want. I remove the LCI, the Mag safety, the frame safety, aren’t we having fun? All set, head for the range, and fire one shot, from one gun. OOps. The firing pin is sitting on top of the hammer, promptly falls on the floor. I call a halt, and around $10 in parts, and $10 in shipping costs later, and several months in process, I have 2xLC9 with no LCI, no frame safety, and no mag safety, but I sure screwed the pooch initially, I broke those nice guns!

    • Can’t remember anything I have actually broken, though as a kid I did leave finger prints on the both barrels of my dads old Savage double barrel shotgun, which later rusted in perfect finger print patterns, and I had strip and re-blue the whole gun myself to win forgiveness. I also took the finish right off part of my first S&W 442 by grabbing a yellow rust remover cloth for a wipe down, which I mistook for a silicon cloth of the same color. Man I felt like a dumbass.

      But a ‘qualified armorer’ totally broke my LC9, so I can somewhat relate. I took it to a LGS for a sight installation. It was XS big dot sights I bought, which was a mistake in itself. I could not hit shit with those things compared to the factory sights and eventually went back to the originals. Anyway, this guy apparently did not know LC9s are booby-trapped with spring-loaded parts (mag disconnect thingy) under the rear sight and they totally launched out when he removed it. I am told they had to crawl around for a half-hour on hands and knees to find that little detent plunger pin. Then when the put the new rear sight on, they did not keep that pin pushed down fully when sliding the rear sight on. It popped up and blocked the rear sight from drifting into position, and they just hammered away on the rear sight until the pin sheered. So when I got to the range to try my new sights and pulled the trigger…click, nothing. Tap, rack, click..nothing. When I took the rear sight off myself and saw what had happened, I order a replacement detent plunger (or whatever) for $2 from Ruger and fixed it myself. The owner of the LGS made it up to me by selling me my SR9c at a steep discount, so I forgave them. But their armorer will never touch another gun of mine.

      The only other gun that I indirectly f-ed up was when I took my old Colt Anaconda .44 to get a variety of things done. Bead-blast finish for the stainless steel (came out great), polished trigger face (came out OK) and a trigger job. The trigger job FELT better until I realized that after it was done, the cylinder could get stuck between chambers if you partial pulled it in DA, and then released, then tried to pull it again. Before the job, it would do that fine. bang every time. After the trigger job, it was hit or miss. I ended up selling it w/ full disclosure, and at a loss. I don’t live where there are giant brown bears anymore, but I still miss that gun sometimes.

    • My Mosin 91/30 trigger broke after about 100 rounds. Got that replaced with another Milsurp trigger. My Marlin model 60 also had a snapped recoil spring and the firing group broke after 10,000 rounds. I got that used and it’s seen 40,000 rounds before that happened so I’m not complaining over a 100$ rifle. My mauser had a bad headspace on a hand load, but the rifle turned out to be fine. The gas did vent into the magazine and destroy the ammo within though. I’ve also had a ram rod snap on my Pedersoli Pensylvania long rifle while trying to clear a squib. My friends dad got a remmington 870 that just refused to extract. I also have fired a jam o matic USAS full auto 12 gauge. Broke a 760 pumpmaster air rifle , the barrel literally just started coming off the gun. Only guns I haven’t had a problem with are my K31, and my Mossberg 500. They have been absolutely flawless. My grilfriends Mossberg Plinkster has also cooperated rather well.

  60. At an engineering internship in college I earned the nickname “The Terminator” for how many tools met an early end at my hands.

    No guns… Yet

  61. Years ago when competing in IPSC matches at that time I was running .45 loads in a modded 1911 with a Tony Lissner barrel over a chrono while working up a major factor load. Popped a squib load and manually ejected the casing, forgetting to check the barrel for the projectile that may still be in place.

    Fired the next round behind it and noticed my hands stung for some reason (the word idiot did come to mind)! The slide was frozen and I had to use a rubber mallet to beat the slide off the frame. Problem was the barrel had cracked from the chamber forward about 2 inches, expanded and froze the slide in place.

    I mentioned it to Tony through my ‘smith and althought I had admitted it was my fault, Tony replaced the barrel at no charge. The slide and frame were fine and fired thousands of rounds after that with no problems.

    • I only have 2 real breaks, one my fault and one is on the ammo. The ammo was American Eagle 357 in an Uberti 1873 rifle. Round number 91 through the rifle fired but the lever locked up and couldn’t chamber or remove the next round. LGS had to pound out the broken case in the chamber and showed me the primer strike on the round I was trying to chamber. Apparently the case broke. One part out the barrel and one stuck in the chamber. Number two failure is a Garand with the O16 bolt, the only one I can find recalled by Springfield. Made in late 43 or early 44 it matches my serial number. Had the gas block locking screw go downrange and the bolt lock up. Finished the clip manually racking each round after I got the bolt moving. New locking screw in and peened the front sight grooves. Found the lower band pin missing and replaced that too. Thinking the bad heat treatment on the bolt caused the failure in the first place, but going to give it another try before I replace it. Anyone know anything about the O16 Garand bolt heat treatment recall?

  62. My gun done broke.

    Omg please don’t start speaking grammatically incorrect deep country Texas speak (no offense Texans). You are from Rhode Island. You learned to speak in the New Englander states. There is no shame in that.

  63. Upon trying to disassemble my Polish Tokarev for the first time, the slide-stop retainer clip snapped in half. It took me almost a month to source a replacement, but when I did I bought a lot of them.
    While qualifying on the M2 prior to my first deployment, my AG tried to charge our weapon while the backplate was off during a break for cleaning/PMCS. In so doing he launched the driving-rod & spring assembly out of the receiver; it zipped between us, out the open classroom window, and into that dimension where all spring-loaded parts land and vanish forever. Even better, not more than 30 seconds beforehand our arms-room NCOIC had warned us specifically NOT to try charging an M2 with the backplate off. He got pretty creative with our corrective training. To this day I’m still amazed at how much velocity that driving-rod achieved and I wonder how far it actually flew, because we never found it even after several hours of searching by the entire class.

    • This is a great launching point for me to make an important point to amateur gunsmiths and armorers here:


      Yes, I’m shouting. In a DI-esque voice, even.

      With all the springs, detents, etc inside a gun that are spring-loaded, it is VERY easy to catch a flying part in your eye and suffer eye damage. There have been guys who have nearly lost the sight in an eye from catching a spring flying out of a gun. I’ve had springs bounce off my face and safety glasses upon occasion.

      • @ Dyspeptic Gunsmith
        I couldn’t agree more, safety glasses are essential while working on any firearm. I don’t know exactly how much force it takes to puncture an eyeball, but I do know that a firing-pin or FCG spring can do so easily.

    • We were told in basic that when compressed that spring stores energy comparable to a .45 bullet. We heard that during the same “don’t charge the weapon with the back plate off” lecture.

      • @ DJ
        I can’t remember ever hearing that particular explanation; only that it had enough force to easily kill a dumbass private, and after witnessing it happen I don’t doubt the .45 comparison.
        I wasn’t a complete neophyte on the M2 prior to this incident and had taken previous warnings to heart, but my AG was a soup-sandwich fresh out of AIT and definitely had problems paying attention to detail. He managed to accomplish what we were specifically told not to do before I could physically stop him; “Hey, don’t f***in- RACKABOING!” The sound that spring/rod made when it cut loose and flew between us was very distinctive, like how a mini-slinky would if it was launched from a giant slingshot. The pucker-factor was pretty high as well.
        But being an M2 gunner was by far one of my favorite things about being in the Army, I still have a headspace-&-timing gauge too.

  64. Firearms break? Gonna catch hell for this. Way back, we used shotguns for everything but sex, well, ok, sometimes they were used for weddings. Never cleaned the things. 16 gauge semi-auto shot forever. I did pull the barrel out of shape of one 16 gauge, shot a quail too far out. But, I just hit it against a tree trunk, it was fine. Had a 20 gauge as my first shotgun, full choke, it was a single barrel one shot, only time it jammed was when I put two shells in it, side by side. Yeah, it surprised the squirrel too. Made a few bucks as a magic act, shooting a .22 bolt action left handed. It was in South Carolina, they never seen nothing like that. I better stop before I start lying.

  65. I have a Remington R1 carry that locks up whenever I engage the safety, and refuses to disengage for anything, Remington has been less than helpful on resolving this issue

  66. on 710, {30-06} 3nd round, bolt froze shut {factory ammo} factory changed the barrel, seems barrel slid forward slightly changing head space! upon receipt of said rifle at firing range, 12th shot, bolt handle fell off!
    Crane and housing bent firing after 6 rounds in a .327, {Federal factory ammo} got a different pistol
    Model 1895 7mm Mauser, snapped firing pin on dry fire, replaced pin with roofing nail, third shot was a charm, pierced primer blew spring back split open web of thumb!
    Taurus .44 mag, every other shot cylinder would lock up
    Keltec .32 slide bent in a motorcycle accident, shot once then would not cycle, rebuilt at factory runs good!
    Another Brain fart, as a kid, Uncle took me bird hunting let me use old side by side with double external hammers in a 12 ga, saw bird cocked both hammers, of course double fire! my Uncle said he thought I got it
    .45 ACP forgot to put powder in cartridge case, found out in an IDPA match! extreme time limit on 3rd stage, Had too knock out Bullet wedged in barrel!
    Slam fire with SKS, oiled bolt and firing pin, kinda cold that morning about -3,

  67. TTAG, no comment on the cameraman for the video being forward of the muzzle during live-fire exercises? Could be a nominee for an irresponsible gun owner award….

    see at 2:50 elapsed-time in video.

  68. Broke one of the stock bands on my K31. Fortunately Numrich’s still had a ton of them at the time.

    Broke a Norinco SKS firing pin due to a Wolf popped primer – there was an epidemic of those around 2009, one bit my rifle hard. The primer knocked the pin back hard enough that one of the machined ridges in the pin was stripped right off, allowing the pin to jam forward in the bolt. It was the last round in the mag, and so it didn’t slamfire and run away from me.

    I broke the safety on my Romanian WASR while trying to bend it out slightly to loosen up/smooth out its travel. I pulled a bit too hard on it and the safety arm snapped right off at the pivot pin. No big deal, I ordered several Polish AKM safeties as spares, which were more nicely made than the Romanian one any way.

    I had a CNC Warrior Romanian AIMR birdcage flash hider pop open like a blooming onion on the range while it was attached to my .308 Zastava M77. I was wondering why the hell my shots were grouping so poorly, then I looked at the muzzle and saw the mangled mess. I had two of these flash hiders, so I looked at the other one, sure enough the other one had minute fractures at all the plunge cuts of the cage. Could’ve been a major issue for someone sitting next to me at the range if one of the broken chunks had let loose. CNC Warrior was nice enough to send me the “improved” version with a thicker wall, hopefully it won’t eat itself alive over time installed on a .308 rifle.

    Release lever/catch on an East German AKM wire folder snapped in half. Welded it up and has never been a problem since. Apparently this was a common issue, welding the thin section actually makes them stronger.

    And my least favorite.. I left the tube magazine insert for my “pre-ban” (13rd capacity, I think) Marlin 60 at the range one time, and never got it back. I still haven’t managed to get a replacement, as everybody seems to have only the 10-rd tube inserts.

    Anyone with a small collection of military weapons, especially combloc surplus, I would strongly suggest buying as many spare core parts as you can.

    • Oh, almost forgot..

      I broke the floorplate spring on my dad’s old BSA .270 CF2. He had hunted with that rifle for years since the ’70s, but the one winter I hunted in Montana with the rifle did it in. It was so cold out that when I returned to the truck and hit the mag floorplate release to empty the rifle, the spring just exploded into several pieces and disappeared into the snow.

      I was able to determine with the leftover piece that a Remington 700 spring was an almost exact fit. Rifle back in service.

  69. Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 mag. The transfer bar broke off. Had to turn it upside down and shake it aimed down the range because it was already cocked so I couldn’t take the cylinder off. Ruger fixed it, replacing the barrel as well as all the internals. Charged me $146 to reblue the gun. I can’t see how anything I did caused it to break.

  70. My first gun was a Taurus .38 snubby. After 50 rounds the cylinder went out of timing and jammed shut. My friend bought the same gun. After 50 rounds his went out of timing and let a bullet hit the forcing cone destroying the gun. No more Taurus for me.

  71. Just did a super light AR-15 build, managed to totally ruin a Mag Tactical Upper. When torquing the barrel nut, the pin in the barrel actually got dragged and elongated the notch in the upper, resulting in an improperly timed barrel.


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