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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

How common is slam fire with Garands?

I had an apparent slam fire incident with a Garand last weekend.

I was single loading HXP for standing practice. After about 30 rounds or so, the rifle went off upon bolt closing. The muzzle was pointing in a safe direction.

I later took the rifle apart. It was relatively clean. There was some light oil in the bolt, but the pin was moving freely and easily. It is the lighter style pin.

I picked up the hot case. It has a different looking pin strike compared to the rest.

I also shoot reloads with this - WLR primers.

Any suggestions?

Daniel39
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions.

I took the bolt apart. It looked fine. No dirt inside, no burrs, no sharp edges in any of the pieces. Cleaned with a small brush, wd-40 and compressed air. Re-assembled dry.

Please note that this incident did not take place out-of-battery. The bolt was locked - at least enough to secure the action.

Attached are a few pictures of the HXP brass. Note the different pin mark on the slam fire case.

What do you make of these pics?

The black coloring on the head may have been there before firing as some of this is dirty, not sure. There was no evidence of gases escaping out of the action.

Daniel39

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Slam fires are not uncommon with Garands. Military rifles have free floating firing pins that move inside the bolt. When the bolt stops it's forward movement, the firing pin lags behind just slightly and continues forward striking the firing pin when the bolt comes to a stop. Slam fires are most common when single loading. The action of the bolt stripping a round out of the clip is enough to slow things down and keep the firing pin moving with the bolt. Don't dismiss a high primer in the ammo, but this isn't too often seen in MILSURP ammo.
A series of events is usually the cause, not just one mechanical fault or glitch. Most slam fires occur when the round is seated nearly all of the way into the chamber and the bolt has nothing to slow it down as it moves forward over the bullet guide. Easiest way to avoid a slam fire is to make sure the round is only about a third of the way into the chamber and to hold onto the oprod and let it go after the bolt face is about half way over the bullet guide. There is no guarantee that you will never get another, but these are the easiest things to do to reduce the possibility of them occurring in the future regardless of the source of the ammo.
Good luck in the future
NavyChief, thanks, your advice makes a lot of sense to me. I was indeed loading the rounds by hand into the chamber. So was Dave Carlsson per his post. I will not do that again. Maybe use the sled. I'm pretty sure my rifle is perfectly fine.

I'm curious, your post has some pretty specific advice - have you done testing on your own or is this Navy collective wisdom?

I wonder if there is more to this than just the mechanics. Feeding the round into the chamber by hand allows it to heat up before the bolt is slammed close. I had shot over 30 rounds and the rifle was warm or hot even. I hand fed a new round after each shot, then waited a while before closing the bolt.

Perhaps the hot chamber heats up the case/primer and makes it more sensitive. The primer could go from 75F ambient to 150 or 200F in a minute or so in a hot chamber.

Daniel39
 
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