SAFETY WARNING!

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by PaulT, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    First of all am I not saying that all Blaser guns are crap or dangerous.
    In fact, I think many of them are great guns, but I seriously don't trust the R93.

    What I really like to comment on, is about Mauser actions blowing up.
    I have witnessed 2 Mauser actions "blow up" because of mistakes done by the shooter/handloader.
    They far from acted like grenades.
    Some wood and small metal parts flew around, but one without any injury to anyone.
    Neither to the shooter or the shooters besides him.
    The second got some bruising on his lower left arm.

    The Mauser actions that blew up like hand grenades was as far as I know mostly spoils of war that US soldiers brought home after the war.
    These Mausers were in general made rather late during the war and the metal and hardening quality of them were poor at the best.
    The metal in those actions are very often brittle.
    Some also claim that the hardening process was sabotaged by the workers in the factories making them.
    I don't know if this is true or not.

    We learned that many of them were brittle very well here in Norway as the military used them for some years here after the war and the home defence forces used them for many years til they started to use H&K AG3.
    They made sure to pressure test every one and rather many of the late war ones didn't do so well and got melted down.

    When people ask me about what Mauser 98 actions to buy, I always recommend them to get pre 43 ones and even better pre 40 ones.
    Specially the ones from Czechoslovakia and Argentina if they could get their hands on that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  2. BG338

    BG338 New Member

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  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    A few thoughts from me.....

    1 ) @BG338, Welcome to AH! We are a pretty friendly and polite crowd here. If what you have said in this thread is true, I can understand why this would be a hot button issue for you and that it would draw out emotions. However we've seen many an issue here on this forum, as I have on forums. I've learned to be objective about things and not to jump to a conclusion based on one person's, a person whom I've never met or know nothing about in particular, input here on the good old internet. Please don't misinterpret objectivity as disagreeing with you.

    2) No rifle no matter what the cost when operated under specified normal conditions should not put the shooter at risk of injury or death. There are ways to make rifles less costly without compromising safety. Any company that would purposely cut corners on safety in order to reduce cost is a poorly managed one and should not be in business in my opinion.

    3) While I'm not a fan of the Blaser straight pull bolt rifle, I can't imagine a company with their reputation intentionally putting out a rifle that was unsafe. I can imagine that they are a company run by humans, whose products are made by humans. Humans who certainly are capable of error.

    4) There's no question this rifle failed and as mentioned, the question is why? Nobody seems to have shown why. Poor design, poor manufacturing or hot load or a combination of any or all three would seem to be the issue. I hope we find out.

    5) BG338, no matter what caused this, I sincerely hope your friend has or will make a full recovery.
     
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  4. Kano

    Kano AH Senior Member

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    The problem with the R93 accidents is not one of excess pressures, but of design. Blaser's argument has always been "Our rifles have been tested to pressures far in excess of even standard pressure proof loads". This is true.

    What happens within the action in most instances of "Blown back in your face" is different.

    Fact 1: There have been several accidents in which Blaser R93 bolts have blown back in the face of the shooter, with serious injuries as a consequence.


    Shooters after accident:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]






    Bolts after accident:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Fact 2: Blaser has always denied that the rifle (R93) manufacturing or its design were in cause in these accidents, instead blaming the shooters' alleged use of inappropriate ammunition.

    Fact 3: Blaser has developed the R8, with similar straigt-pull characteristics and barrel interchangeability as the R93. In its advertisement, Blaser mentions the new trigger block/magazine unit as an improvement.

    Fact 4: R93 and R8 barrels are not interchangeable. This to the dismay of R93 owners who have several barrels, who like the R8 system, who would like to change their R93 for a R8, and can't unless they sell all their barrels and buy new ones.

    Let's examine why the barrels are not interchangeable.



    [​IMG]
    R93 bolt (above) and R8 bolt (below)

    It immediately appears that the shape of the locking "fingers" (we'll call them just that…) is different, as well as that of the bolt head. Since the fingers lock in a recess in the barrel, this explains why R8 barrels won't fit on a R93.

    But let's look closer.

    [​IMG]
    Sections of R93 and R8

    The differences in the locking system are substantial.




    Let's examine the R8 system.

    [​IMG]


    In this picture, the bolt is locked. The orange sleeve is pushed forward when locking the bolt handle, thus sliding under the extremity of the fingers, pushing them outwards, and positively locking the system. It is impossible for the fingers to retract from their recess as long as the sleeve is in the forward position. The back face of the bolt head is almost at 90 degrees from the body, and the fingers work in shear. There is a lot of surface to hold the pressure, since the lock is assured on the whole circumference of the head. Whatever happens in the chamber needs to break that very strong ring before anything bad happens outside.


    What of the R93 system?

    [​IMG]

    Here, the story is completely different. Instead of being pushed outwards by a solid steel sleeve, the fingers are pushed forward by the bolt handle and its cam, and slide up the back face of the bolt head, which has a conical slope of slightly more than 50 degrees.

    There is nothing to prevent them from sliding down that slope, except for that thin spring blade connecting them to their common sleeve.

    If that spring blade, for whatever reason, buckles, then the locking system is compromised.


    Questions:


    What would happen if a case ruptured, and escaping gases exerted high pressure on the end of the fingers, and within the space between the bolt body and the spring blade?

    Where do escaping gases go, when they blow the extractor, which is the easiest way out for the gases? Note that in the two blown bolts pictured earlier, the fingers directly behind the extractor are missing.

    What would happen to the locking ring of steel, if all of a sudden two of its links (the fingers by the extractor) went missing?



    More question:

    Why did Blaser think it necessary to completely redesign the locking system of their straight pull rifles, when they always said that the system was safe, and nobody has complained of a major flaw in that system?

    Why on Earth would a major manufacturer develop an entirely new system, patent it, re-tool its production line, and keep conspicuously silent about it? Anytime a manufacturer makes the slightest innovative amendment to an action, they are very quick to trumpet it around...

    I have never seen Blaser adverts or literature mentioning the difference between the two systems. If anyone has a reference to this, I'd gladly peruse it. Similarly, I have not seen an advert for the R93 since the R8 was introduced, and I'd be glad if someone could point to a recent R93 advert printed in a hunting or shooting magazine.

    Qui potest cogitare, cogitet...
     

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  5. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I agree with Norwegianwoods, all rifles can blow up under certain conditions, but when an R93 blows up, the bolt goes straight into your face.

    This happened in my shooting range a few years back, a friend of mine witnessed it, and said it was ghastly besides the damage to his face the shooter is now blind.

    And, yes, Red Leg, Blaser has never been found liable in any civil action, but that does not prove anything, does it ? Maybe no civil action has been filed against them.....I will go no further in legal matters.
     
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  6. BG338

    BG338 New Member

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    Thanks Phil - I like your reply mate - it's spot on :)

    And this is just me having my input to what I know to be fact and have seen , not this crap oh I heard this and I heard that !

    I'm not heated but - as bellow in old mates exclusive write up - I can't stand hearing this BS about he was doing this he was doing that ! What a load of crap ! So as for all these claims and rumours about stupid things the operator was doing - forget it it's all BS and a cover up !

    And if you believe it then more fool you are - and i honestly hope that anyone who believes these rumours and still shoots blaser - never ends up looking like these poor guys below - or my poor mate !!! its not write and its not fair for a guy to go to a rang and come home looking like that after going to hospital first ! thats if he comes home ! so many could of been killed buy this its so close to a death - is that what it will take for someone ? Blaser to act ?

    Where is Blaser response to what old mate just posted - showing all these people injured - that's way to many people damaged by one brand of rifle ! I don't think Blaser are a bad company or make bad firearms but they have made a mistake here somewhere and the customer keeps paying for it !!!!!!! Well it's about time Blaser Paid For it !!!!
     

  7. BG338

    BG338 New Member

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  8. Kano

    Kano AH Senior Member

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    BG338, I sent you a PM
     
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  9. Bruce Fletcher

    Bruce Fletcher AH Member

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    I am pretty well versed in Remington 721 and 700 actions. I have great faith in them. The Mauser action with controlled round feed I have used and am familiar with but have only limited experience with. The only experience I have with straight pull bolt guns is what I have read or seen on TV. I do have what I think to be healthy skepticism about this kind of warning or report when sources for the facts are not available. Who was involved? Where and when did it happen? What were the circumstances. Was the rifle in question new or had it been heavily used? Was the rifle maintained? etc. The reason I ask is due to the controversy surrounding Remingtons model 700 and some of its trigger systems. I did a lot of research and my own conclusion was there is a problem with some of their trigger groups if they are not kept clean and allowed to rust and accumulate debris or they are tampered with. I guess my questions would be along the same lines for the straight pull rifles.
    I never shoot handloaded ammunition in any of my rifles that I do not handload myself. It's one rule I don't deviate from.
    I must say if I was fortunate enough to own a Blazer rifle, I wouldn't have any fear of shooting it with good ammo.
     

  10. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I must say I'm a little suspicious, there have been some modifications (not that a company should not look to improve on previous models), but you would have to know all the details. Was the gun modified at all from the factory? Was is it factory ammo or reloaded ammo?
     
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  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    It would seem that the spent brass would also help tell the story of what happened.
     
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  12. BG338

    BG338 New Member

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    Well
    After Seeing the Results - of a Person you Knows Face Blown to Shit By A BLASER !!!!! Eye damage Vision damage , loss of income and list of everything else - I think you would reconsider !!!!
     

  13. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Peace! :) My comments were not meant as an indictment of mauser actions. I have a safe full of them. But when they let go, it tends to be a catastrophic failure of the whole action, which in turn, creats a shrapnel effect - sometimes relatively small - sometimes large. The same is true of the Winchester M-70 action (essentially a modern mauser and not put together by slave labor). Any can fail if enough pressure is
    But the "legal matters" are important. These are indeed ghastly photos and emotional testimonies. But one has to ask how is that Blaser is still in business if the weapon has a legitimate design flaw producing these sorts of injuries? One successful suite would likely crush Blaser. Where is that plaintiff who has proven product liability? If the design of this rifle rather than an obstruction or overload hurt anyone, I wish them every success in court. Facts, not forum posts, will matter in that venue. Until then, my own experience with Blaser ,and that of a fairly broad range of colleagues, is universally positive.
     
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  14. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    The lack of a trial and subsequent verdict does not necessarily indicate there hasn't been legal action. I'm not a lawyer and have no idea how civil suits are handled in other countries. But I do believe in this country in such suits, if an out of court settlement is reached, with it comes a nondisclosure clause that nullifies the agreement if violated.

    I don't wish to sound cold, but if Blaser feels they have an issue, settling out of court in this manner would be from a purely business perspective the wisest route to go. A court decision saying Blaser was at fault, would in their eyes be the equivalent of tipping the first domino.
     
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  15. Kano

    Kano AH Senior Member

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    In the early fifties, the De Havilland Comet was the first jet airliner to be put in service.

    That was the very best of modern technology, a revolution in travel, the most prestigious aircraft one could fly in.

    Only that, unbeknown to the engineers, there was a series of mistakes in the design, which failed to account for metal fatigue in some of the alloys used (this was not well understood at the time).

    Three airliners broke up in flight, killing everybody on board, before the aircraft was grounded.

    One detail seemed so innocuous that nobody thought it would possibly lead to accidents: the windows, hatches and inspection panels had square angles, or squarish angles. Fatigue cracks developed there, and CRASH!

    Same thing in this case: the original R93 design seemed sound. The bolt face being a cone, whatever pressure you apply to it would only force it tighter in the locking fingers, reinforcing the lock. But... The way it is designed, you can pull the fingers out of the lock.

    And this, my friends, is what nobody thought about, until KA-BOOM!, and even for a while after.

    Until someone realised what was happening, and came up with a solution: remove the cone, and physically lock the fingers. The R8.

    Now, you have hundreds of thousands of rifles out there... What do you do? A full recall? Bankruptcy. Can you say that you have developed a new safer system? Can you advertise your new locking system?

    Again... Those who can think, think.
     
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  16. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    As you said.
    I think, and I will never shoot a R93 and I will never let my girlfriend or our kids shoot one.
    There are plenty of other guns to choose from.
    What others want to do is their own decision.
     

  17. Bruce Fletcher

    Bruce Fletcher AH Member

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    I most certainly would. I take back what I said. If I owned an R93 I would return it to Blaser and ask for a settlement. Is there any information on this case that can be researched? I am not being doubtful, however I would like to find out about the incident . My sincerest sympathy to the person you know that this happened to. Is there a lawsuit against Blazer over this? I would appreciate any information you can provide.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
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  18. Bruce Fletcher

    Bruce Fletcher AH Member

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    BG338 - is there a website I can access to get more information on the incidents mentioned? You said you know the person who was injured by the blow back. Where and when it happened, who the victim was etc.
     

  19. spoonieduck

    spoonieduck AH Veteran

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    I know nothing about the Blaser so am unaware of fundamental defects. The same kind of accident can happen with regular mauser actions as I unfortunately can attest to. Faulty headspacing may be a problem. The kind of headspace problems that can blow guns up and blow bolts back is excessive headspace. If headspace is excessive, the round will chamber easily--too easy. A "tight" round usually isn't a problem. With excessive head space the cartridge case may stretch to the rupture point, releasing deadly pressures into the chamber. The same kind of problem may occur when a slightly smaller cartridge is fired in a larger rifle. I've seen this twice. Both times a .270 Win round was fired in a 7 rem mag. One rifle, a Browning semi-automatic, was completely blown up.

    Interestingly, "hot" handloads rarely blow up guns. At worst, the over-expanded cartridge case may stick in the chamber and the bolt may be impossible to operate. An underloaded cartridge case can be a real problem, however. Ordinarily the cartridge case behind the bullet is nearly full of powder i.e. the powder doesn't move much when the cartridge case is placed in different positions. If the cartridge case is significantly underloaded, however, the powder can move. When the cartridge is placed on the horizontal, as it will be when shooting a rifle, the powder distributes itself along the "bottom" of the cartridge case ["bottom" is that half of the cartridge case closest to the ground]. This leaves an airspace on the "top" of the powder. When the primer fires, the fire flashes over the entire upper surface of the powder, igniting almost all the powder instantaneously. The pressures increase enormously and the cartridge case may explode with very negative results.

    I had a serious accident--with head injuries--from a Carcano 6.5 mm rifle. I was doing experiments on the Kennedy assassination and had purchased 5 Carcano rifles of Oswald-type to conduct my experiments. All went well using only one rifle. I probably fired 75 rounds through the rifle without problems. For reasons that escape me now, I decided to try another identical rifle. To complete my experiments, I wanted my bullet to exit the rifle going the same speed that it struck Kennedy's head at [if I can remember rightly] at 157 feet. Therefore, I pulled 5 old Carcano cartridges apart and decided that it might be best if I use new powder rather than the old--maybe 70 year old--powder that was in the original loaded cartridges. Of course, using a reloading manual, I downloaded in such a way that the bullet should leave the muzzle at maybe 1800 fps rather than the 2200 or so that the cartridge is rated at. Probably, although I can no longer remember it, the new powder was more modern and "hotter" than the original powder i.e. it took a smaller volume of powder to produce the same effect. Therefore my 5 reloaded cartridges were very much underloaded in terms of cartridge case volume.

    I took the first shot with the 2nd Carcano and the rifle blew up. It was like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. The stock split and the bolt blew halfway out of the rifle. Hot gas and metal frags were blown back in my face. The only thing that saved my right eye was the scope. It must have been blown back against my orbit protecting my eye from flying shell case and bullet fragments. A piece of metal, likely the primer, destroyed my right maxillary sinus. Anyway, I don't recommend it. There is no doubt the round was underloaded but there is a possibility that the 2nd rifle wasn't headspaced correctly. All of these rifles were very old war surplus and it is quite possible that bolts and rifles were mixed up. My fault.

    I purchased a used, lever-action, model 99 Savage Rifle. I was firing store-bought ammo with 150 grain bullets. The rifle isn't terribly accurate but accurate enough for ranch deer shooting.....but....recently I noticed that the fired primers were just a little bit "blown". No other overpressure signs but the primers were pushed back just a little. This is the first time I've ever noticed this using a factory rifle with store-bought factory ammo. The rifle--probably from the day it came from the factory--has too much headspace. I'm presently trying to remedy this potentially dangerous situation but, if I can't fix it, I'll have to hang my beautiful rifle up as a decoration.
     

  20. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Scary stuff there spoonie. Case head separation is not a happy thing. Had it happen once a couple years ago. Opened the bolt and only retrieved from about the rim back on my .300WM. Gunsmith got the rest out for me. Good guy as he didn't charge me for it and took time to show me what I was doing wrong resizing brass and how to do it right.
     

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