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Thread: Not To Be Played With

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy ACC's Avatar
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    Not To Be Played With

    Since I joined this forum, I have seen posts from folks that want to have .357 Magnum Charges in .38 Special casings. In the two posts I remember, some of the long time members explained that this is a bad way to go.

    Well today I had the experience I wish everyone who plays games with pressure could have. Not the getting hurt part, but the suffering part.

    Let me explain.

    This weekend here in San Antonio we had a gun show. What I normally do is go to the gun show, then to the range for some target practice and that is what I did today. There were only two of us on the range. Myself and a young (25 or so) lady. As I got ready to shoot I heard pow, pow ,BOOM, and then a scream of pain.

    I dropped my gun on the table and ran over to her. It seemed that her gun, an airlite S&W (I think) had blown up. It took the better parts of two fingers and heavily damaged the rest on her left hand and injured her right hand pretty badly.

    Being certified Wilderness First Aid, I yelled at the RSO, and I started first-aid, and he called Bexar County EMS. I rode in the ambulance with her and meet my wife at the closest hospital.

    We found out that her parents live in Amarillo and if you know Texas, that is an 8 hour drive (or more) to San Antonio from there. She had come down here to go to nursing school. She had just graduated and was to start her new job Monday. I don't think she will make it.

    We stayed at the Hospital till her parents called and said they would be there in a couple of hours as they just hit Waco. When we left she was still in surgery.

    Well she will live, but they had to amputate the two really bad fingers, and she has lost a lot of feeling in her left hand. The doctors think her right hand will heal with no lost of function.

    Turns out she bought the gun last week, and went into a local gun store and asked for the most powerful .38 Special bullets they had. The clerk gave her some Buffalo Bore 158 gr. +P+ loads. I wish He would have asked some questions before selling her the ammo.

    These were way too high pressure for this gun according to the RSO. He said it looked like the first two shots bulged the aluminum cylinder and the last one was too much and it came apart.

    I applaud the members who warn some of the newer members who wish to play with the pressure snake. Pressure is not a thing to play or joke around with. It will eventually bite you. It can kill, maim, or worse. How would we feel if we loaded some really hot loads that is OK for our gun, but our twenty one year old granddaughter comes in and grabs some of grandpa's ammo, and the gun blows up blinding or killing her?

    Like one of the seasoned members said. If you want magnum pressures get a magnum gun.

    Please pray for this poor girl. Her name is Hanna.

    I am going home to be sick.

    Andrew
    ACC

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for her. Not everybody has the benefit of growing up around good mentors where firearms are concerned like I did.

    Quite frankly, I never have understood "I want the most powerful thing I can get" mentality. It rarely gives any kind of advantage and usually just makes things harder or more expensive.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    Sad day.

    BB

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Sorry to hear of the Young Ladies terrible misfortune.
    In the 12+years I worked in Gun Stores, I always asked what ammo the Gun was to be used in.

    I remember a few instances where people didn't listen. But only one as bad as you describe.
    That was one Dove Hunter with a 28ga O/U and the other a 20ga pump. Both very experienced Hunters, Reloaders and Clay Bird Shooters.
    NEVER heard a decent explanation, as to how a red 28ga shell got into a 20ga Gun that shot yellow shells.
    Twenty years a Jeweler and his left thumb just gone.

    My Heart goes out to her. Prayers too.

    I gave up the .38Spl case loaded with the Thompson Gas Check bullet seated out to allow for more case capacity. Just as soon as I could buy sufficient .357Mag cases. About 40+yrs ago.
    Same with .38-44 loads. I load one box a Year and shoot them the same day.

    With a Colt Cobra and a old M38 in My Gun Safe, I can't afford to leave hot ammo behind when I pass on.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    As someone who has lost part of a finger, I wouldn't wish losing even part of a finger on anyone.
    I hope she is able to get over the issue emotionally and is able to get back to shooting.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    +p+ factory ammo should not even exist in my opinion. Will it magically kill the bad guy deader? No, but it will maim the shooter for life if it gets in the wrong gun. Attorneys will be and should be called. My prayers are with the young lady and I hope she can heal enough to help others as she intended.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    He said it looked like the first two shots bulged the aluminum cylinder
    The Airlite cylinders are either titanium or stainless.
    On a different note...as a retired Fire Captain/Emt, I would like to give ACC a big pat on the back. There are way too many people out there that would reach for a cell phone camera rather than perform immediate and effective aid.
    Hopefully the young lady can put her life back together in time.
    The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny of government.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Absolutely horrible... luck? There should not be room for "luck" in these scenarios.

    I'm baking 38 Special bullets right now,reading this on smartphone in a shed. Thinking ammo colour coding.

    Buffalo Bore and other +p makers are very clear with their instructions. But that does not help with the fact that we have both extremely weak new guns and extremely potent new ammo with the same headstamp. Both available from the same gun shops.

    I feel sorry for her,having had no training or instruction...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Skipper's Avatar
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    +p+ factory ammo should not even exist in my opinion
    Buffalo Bore doesn't list +P+ 38 special as one of their products.
    The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny of government.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    My heart goes out to the young lady. I would believe when she asked for the most powerful, in her mind it was a test of herself not even remotely imagining that if it fit into the cylinder it could blow up in her hand. Thank you for the reminder to watch, help, educate when ever we can and pray for a speedy, full recovery for this special young lady.
    Sometimes it takes a second box of boolits to clear my head.
    Feed back thread http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...?261449-jeepyj

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Skipper View Post
    Buffalo Bore doesn't list +P+ 38 special as one of their products.
    +P+ has no real meaning but is used as a marketing ploy. Essentially from what I can tell it's pretty much "more than +P" with no other guidance. Why would you need that? I usually tell people to not try and make a gun do what it isn't designed for. If you want 357Mag velocity then get a 357Mag. Her experience is why I leave higher pressure pistol loads to my Blackhawks and don't freewheel where others have not gone. I just don't have the equipment to warn me of coming problems. In fairness to Buffalo Bore, they are quite clear about their ammunition and what it is designed to be shot in.

    Unfortunately in regards to the store clerk who sold her the ammo, it's not up to him to tell a customer what they can and can't buy but the days of knowledgeable clerks who would inquire what type of gun that was going into are coming to an end. He probably didn't know anymore than she did or less. I once went into a store to get a box of ammunition for a 308 742 Rem Woodsmaster. I told him what it was for and he said all he had was 308 Winchester and no way could I shoot that in a 308 Remington rifle with the other commando leaning on the counter shaking his head and laughing at the idiot kid who didn't know anything.

    I doubt there are any on this sight who would not ask these questions and then strongly discourage the buying of said ammunition as unsuitable for the intended gun or just outright refuse. It has made me strongly consider when I retire getting a job in a gun store. I don't know much about guns and ammo but I know enough to ask questions or find the answer if I don't know.

    As to pushing the pressure curve and why? Same reason you have gun store commando's that know everything and are ready to tell you.
    "The 556 is far superior to the 223. The 223 isn't good for anything"
    "You know how much velocity your going to lose (gain) with a 16in vs 18in barrel? Let me pontificate"
    "Everyone knows the wound cavity from a 44 Mag at 1473fps using X brand of ammo is x inches larger than 1389fps with that other stuff"
    "Cast for self defense or hunting? Just won't work, it will destroy your gun, what's wrong with you..blah blah blah"
    "45LC? That's no good for anything"
    "Hunt whitetail with a 30-30? Who would do something stupid like that, a 30-30 is way underpowered for doing that"

    I'm glad she will live but prayers for her and what happened. It's too bad. An honest mistake on her part most likely with little experience and just doing what someone recommended has changed her life forever. Kudo's to you for being on the spot and knowing what to do.

    It's also a reminder that when at a gun store or especially a range keep your eyes and ears open. If you see or hear something and it is not just silly but could be dangerous say and do something. Next time it could be you not thinking and doing something that gets stopped in time by someone else.
    Last edited by jonp; 01-05-2020 at 07:27 AM.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
    George Orwell

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    this is why I dont have any 38 special guns, only 357 magnum guns. dont want the wife or kids to get into trouble grabbing the wrong ammo.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I thought those guns also had warnings in their instruction book about using such ammo? It's a sad thing, but as some one else pointed out, +P, and +P+ ammo shouldn't even exist. 45 LC, 45-70, and 32H&R may be fine in your Ruger, but will blow up your H&R, SAA, or Trapdoor.
    I remember in my CC class an octogenarian lady showed up with a LCR 38 and the some +P 158gr ammo. The first shot cut leaves out of the trees and took all the skin off the top of her right thumb!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that happened. Anyone's hands are precious to your ability to most everything, she will heal but will be handicapped forever. Very sad.

    Jedman

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I hope this experience doesn't sour this young lady's opinions on gun ownership and shooting, though it may well do that. Seems there are quite few people in the health care occupations who are pro 2nd amendment, hope we didn't lose one.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    She was lucky that you were there.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I see a lawsuit in the future against the guy who sold her the ammunition, but a lawsuit won't erase the trauma or replace the damage to her hand.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickory View Post
    I see a lawsuit in the future against the guy who sold her the ammunition, but a lawsuit won't erase the trauma or replace the damage to her hand.
    I hope not. Personal responsibility should be upmost in everyone's mind. It's not up to someone else to save me from myself I think. Much like Sandy Hook and a few parents suing Bushmaster for making the gun instead of focusing on the criminal if some in Government get their way every aspect of our lives will be controlled "for our own good".
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
    George Orwell

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    ACC - Thank you for "being there" and going to the aid of this young lady in most severe distress! As others have already suggested, many no doubt would have rung 9-1-1 at most. As I (am also a retired) EMT, I keep a fairly OCD-directed first aid kit in my truck -- but even with this, the proper (medical) care indeed would have been quite the challenge, not to even consider the psychological addressing her.
    My thoughts, too, think re lots of "what's and what-if's", but -- to my experiences -- one most sadly cannot "rewind the videotape of life", as we used to say. I just, again, wish to thank you for your action and response at the scene; for posting -- the "safety warning"; and to add that this unknown to me young lady and her best results are in my thoughts and prayers.
    I had been at ranges (two indoor, and two outdoor) where there were firearm blow-ups through the years, and the "worst" was a fellow named Jim W. who didn't bother to measure his powder with much care, and a gorgeous Colt revolver disintegrated. His right thumb -- no exaggeration -- swelled to almost the diameter of a banana, and he complained of numbness/tingling in hand for months -- but pretty much had a full recovery.
    geo

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Sad day for the young lady. Kudos to ACC for stepping up and taking action.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

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