View Full Version : Of misfires and holes in trucks...

October 29, 2004, 03:47 PM
I really don't know where to put this one. It could fall under many different headings, but I figure here is as good as any. If the Webmaster thinks it should go somewhere else, I guess he'll move it.

Customer comes into my shop with an old Winchester. Says he wants the barrel replaced. When I ask why (this before I even looked at the piece), I get the following account of the "accident":

2 guys are Elk hunting. My customer is one of the two. They're inside the cabin, where a roaring fire is going. Snowing outside. They head out before first light, pile into the truck (where the heater keeps it nice and warm) while they drive to a point somewhere near their chosen spot.

A few hours later, an Elk shows himself. Fellow with a Remington 700 (in .300 WinMag) pushes off the safety, sights and squeezes one off. Nothing. He re-bolts the rifle, pulls the trigger again. Nothing. His buddy decks it with the old Winchester.

My customer, loudly questioning the parentage of whoever designed the Remington 700, helps out his friend with dressing the animal out. They load everything back into the truck, rifles in the cab, Elk in the back, and start home.

Halfway home, the Remington discharges. It just so happens that the rifle is oriented towards the barrel of the old Winchester, the bullet smashing squarely into the right side of the barrel, denting it badly, and going on to pass through the passenger side of the truck and out into the wild blue yonder. The Remington, apparently, from being in hot/cold/hot/cold environments so rapidly, had accumulated a decent amount of moisture in the fire controls. This moisture promptly froze in the sub-freezing temperature they were hunting in and locked up the fire controls. After my customer pulled the trigger and nothing happened, he did not put the safety back on, nor did he bother to unload the rifle. Consequently, when it thawed out in the warm truck, the rifle discharged.

The rifle that was brought to me for barrel replacement, and I am not making this up, had had the "dent" in the barrel removed by SAWING THE DAMAGED SECTION OUT AND WELDING THE TWO SECTIONS BACK TOGETHER AGAIN! They used a metal rod to hold the sections together while it was TIG-ed back together, instead of doing the right thing and replacing the entire barrel. This had happened over two years prior and they had been shooting the rifle like this the whole time! Fortune favors the foolish.

If there's a moral to this, I guess it would be: If there is the smallest doubt, have a professional smithy repair the firearm. It's your eyesight, fingers, and life on the line after all. I think the other smithy's in here would agree that verbally running down their client base for a mistake is a bad thing, and that keeping you all safe and happy is a good thing. I'll be the first to admit that I'm all for shooters doing things on their own. I'll even go so far as to teach customer's how to perform certain easy repairs, if I think they can manage it and they're enthusiastic about it. But, using the above account as a living example, please realize your limitations.


By the way, everyone involved in the above episode was not injured. Just some new ventilation in the F250 and the Winchester.

October 29, 2004, 05:12 PM
I suppose anything is possible but I don't think that true story will ever come out

October 29, 2004, 05:20 PM
That's true. Sometimes customers tend to leave out certain facts because, lets face it, we all have done something fantastically dumb in our lives and it's embarassing. I'm no exception. Though there was one fellow who was completely honest.

He brought in a LC Smith. In a box. In about 247 pieces. He was dove hunting and decided to shoot a fish, a perch, while crossing a stream. He stuck both barrels underwater and touched it off. Believe it or not, he wanted me to repair what was left.


October 29, 2004, 06:57 PM
The trick is to line up the two barrel sections and to line up the rifling !!! :)