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Old June 16, 2010, 03:42 PM   #1
Skans
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Who has ever experienced a true "hang fire"?

Reading one of the threads below about a FTF someone had, I decided that I'd like to see how many people here have experienced a true hang fire.

I've shot many thousands of rounds through many different guns and have never experienced a delayed fire or hangfire. I'm starting to wonder if the "hangfire" is a mythical creature of legend and lore.

Now, I know the procedure for dealing with a hang-fire, so there is no reason to rehash that here. But, if you've actually experienced a delayed hang-fire or have been near someone when this happened, please describe your experience. Just wondering if "real people" have ever experienced this.
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Old June 16, 2010, 04:04 PM   #2
Tom Givens
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Actually, I have seen several. They usually occur in old military ammo that may not have been stored properly. I don't recall seeing one in modern commercial ammo in the past ten years.
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Old June 16, 2010, 04:12 PM   #3
jhenry
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I have had duds, and I have seen duds. I have also seen catastrophic failures. I have never seen or experienced a true hang fire outside of muzzle loaders. I have seen a few with those, and have had a couple myself.
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Old June 16, 2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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hang-fire and failure to fire...

Several years ago I purchased a bunch of military surplus stuff from S. Africa, .303 British with the Queens head stamp and dated from the 1940's. I thought I got a good deal until one 4 were usually hang-fires and some never fired.
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Old June 16, 2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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Back in high school when I was on the shooting team, I had a hang fire with my Anschutz .22

not wanting to spoil my good target, I carefully adjusted to aim at the berm, and a few seconds after the round went off.

luckily it was during a practice session, so it didn't really matter all that much.
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Old June 16, 2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Winchester, 12ga, low brass. About 25 years ago I was shooting hand thrown clay birds with a friend of mine, I pulled the trigger and heard a pop.

I pointed the gun at the ground a few yards in front of me, and waited, nothing, then just as I pulled it away from my shoulder it went BANG, darned near broke my shoulder as it slammed back into place.

Yes, They do happen sometimes.
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Old June 16, 2010, 06:18 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
I've shot many thousands of rounds through many different guns and have never experienced a delayed fire or hangfire. I'm starting to wonder if the "hangfire" is a mythical creature of legend and lore.

Me too!

I've had a few genuine duds, all rim-fire, and a few that went "Click!" the first time and "Bang!" the second, also all rimfire, but I've never seen or experienced a "Click!, hm,... Bang!"
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Old June 16, 2010, 06:27 PM   #8
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Had a hang fire with an M1 while at the range while in the Navy. About a 4-5 second delay before BOOM"!!!! Will scare the crap out of you!!!!!!!! Have had several with old .22 ammo. Same thing!! 'Mo
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Old June 16, 2010, 06:50 PM   #9
animal
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Misfires… several (no idea how many)
true hang-fire … only once, and it was with a black powder pistol (old caps) went off on count of three. It's an "attention-getter" for sure ... a few words heard mostly on a golf course were used
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Old June 16, 2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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On Centerfire; Only on shotshells.
On Rimfire; Never!
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Old June 16, 2010, 08:05 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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I've had three with .22 rimfires, and even had one with a pellet rifle. Never with any centerfire.
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Old June 16, 2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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While it's not critical for this thread, understand there are specific differences between a misfire, a failure to fire, a dud, and a hangfire... and it ALL depends on where you go and who you talk to. Different organizations use different definitions, and that's true even within the DoD. If it's critical, ensure you and your team/unit are aware of terminology being used.

Personally, I've witnessed some very scary hangfires. misfires, partials and low-order dets that were not always attributable to human error and unfortunately, in some cases, ended fatally. Rundown off the top of my head:

A) .22LR
B) Surplus .30-06
C) 81/120mm mortars stuck halfway in a hot tube
D) 155mm Howitzer that hung and scattered the pipe
E) Blasting caps and high voltage dets (RP-80/81) sitting on anything from a brick of of TNT up to 2000lb GP bombs to a couple tons of RDX/C4/PETN
F) Very frequent with Soviet ammunition, from old 7.62 through 125mm smooth bore

With the larger stuff, 30 minutes cook-off is fairly standard practice.
It happens, definitely not tall tales.
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Old June 16, 2010, 08:30 PM   #13
the rifleer
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I have but only with black powder. Its happened more than once, its usually about 1/2 second, which is just enough time to throw your shot way off target.
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Old June 16, 2010, 08:31 PM   #14
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Ive had them before two or three times with .22lr ammo, and once or twice with rifle rounds...forget which caliber. Kind of runs a shiver down your spine.
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Old June 16, 2010, 09:01 PM   #15
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Once.

A friend of my Dad's loaned me a sporterized 8mm Mauser when I was a kid (about 14) so I could deer hunt. I took it by my grandfather's house to show it off, he had a few old rounds of WWII era German ammo that were moldy and green, so we decided to shoot it in the basement of his house. (He lived in town)

I aimed, pulled the trigger, heard "click", kept the muzzle pointed into the hand-dug dirt wall of the basement, turned my head and said "I think this one was a.. BOOOOM!!"

Three lessons:

1: Old green, moldy ammo is unsafe.
2: Never fire a center-fire rifle in the basement without hearing protection. (or at all, if possible) My ears rang for days. (I was a kid and didn't know any better) It's amazing just how much dust is in a hundred year old hand-dug basement.
3: An 8mm Mauser fired a couple of feet below a kitchen stove will make all the pots jump and dance, and your sweet little grandmother scream at you while shaking a dishrag at the top of the basement steps "I don't know what you're doing down there, but STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"

It became a family legend, but could have easily ended badly. If I have a misfire now, I let it sit for five or ten minutes pointed downrange.

Total delay was probably three or four seconds.
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Old June 16, 2010, 10:47 PM   #16
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I've seen plenty of failures to fire, mostly with cheap .22 LR ammunition when I was a kid shooting rifles at matches. I've had a couple of failures to fire since I bought my gun a year ago and took up shooting again -- both with inexpensive ammunition that I bought at a gun show. I haven't ever experienced a hang fire, however, and I doubt I will ever see it as long as I keep the habit of buying decent quality ammunition.
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Old June 17, 2010, 12:07 AM   #17
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When I was a kid I bought some reloads out of a jar. They sold them individually. I don't know what the heck they loaded them with but I dropped the hammer and ........ nothing. Then "hiss." A moment or two passed then it went off. Same thing second round. I don't think I tried anymore.
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Old June 17, 2010, 01:46 AM   #18
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I had a whole bunch of them with some surplus .303 British ammo in a No. 4 Mk. I Lee Enfield. These, however, didn't give much delay between the striker falling and going off, about like firing a flintlock. I thought perhaps my striker spring was worn and replaced it with the heaviest one I could get from Wolff, but alas the issue persisted and was only cured by switching to S&B ammo.
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Old June 17, 2010, 01:48 AM   #19
troy_mclure
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bought a bag of loose silver tipped 7.62x54.

i had a handful of them hangfire.

also a few muzzleloaders.
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Old June 17, 2010, 05:14 AM   #20
ISC
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lots of times with pakistani .303, Turk 8mm, and syrian 7.5 french. The delay was never longer than 1 second. Old ammo that was improprerly stored will do it pretty frequently.
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Old June 17, 2010, 05:46 AM   #21
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Yes I've had a true "hangfire". Centerfire pistol cartridge that went click so I waited, gun pointed downrange, and started counting ONE-onethousand, TWO-onethous...BANG!

Honestly it startled the bejesus out of me because the "wait and count" was always just a "best practice" formality for me before that.
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Old June 17, 2010, 07:21 AM   #22
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Never had one personally, but several months ago while instructing a new shooter with his gun and ammo, we had just finished a discussion about procedures for hangfires or squibs and he had one. Great teaching/learning experience. Only time I have ever seen one for real. Turned out to be a squib.
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Old June 17, 2010, 07:37 AM   #23
Skans
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I've personally have experienced two squibs, many duds, but never a true hang-fire. The responsed to my question have been quite informative - I've enjoyed reading them. There does seem to be some correlation between old poorly stored ammo and hang-fires. Not quite sure what the exact cause is, though.
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Old June 17, 2010, 09:22 AM   #24
briandg
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Only duds in rimfires, and only one hangfire that I can recall. It was a .243 winchester loaded with 4350; after the striker dropped, there was just a heartbeat space before it fired. I wasn't sure it happened, but the group had a flier of about 3/4 inch.
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Old June 17, 2010, 12:11 PM   #25
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Hmmm.

Most harrowing post: booker_t

Funniest post: Dr. Strangelove. I can picture my own dear grandmother hollering at me!

Quote:
I had a whole bunch of them with some surplus .303 British ammo in a No. 4 Mk. I Lee Enfield. These, however, didn't give much delay between the striker falling and going off, about like firing a flintlock.
Precisely my experience. Pakistani .303 British, to be precise. Every 12th round or so, CLICK . . . BANG!

No duds I can recall, thus far.
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