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Old July 11, 2006, 09:39 AM   #21
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,088

That's something of a different circumstance. A case separation in a rifle caused by an overcharge can be a LOT more dramatic.

The reason you got sprayed with crap is very likely because the gun functioned as designed -- it directed the escaping gas out preplanned routes designed to vent the gun without destroying it and without hurting the shooter.

The escaping gas carried bits of brass and powder with it, and that's what hit you.

Sometimes even a well designed rifle can't take the pressure. My old gunsmith had a rifle, a Winchester, IIRC, that was in about a dozen pieces.

Turns out the guy doing the reloading had loaded 40 something grains of Unique instead of 40 something grains of his chosen rifle powder.

He was pretty badly hurt by the resulting explosion. My gunsmith estimated that the peak pressure in the action before it left loose was probably 175,000 to 200,000 PSI. How he arrived at those figures, I don't know.
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