Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Monday, November 05, 2007


This post is to document the explosive catastrophe that destroyed my .223 gas-piston upper.

Rifle: Patriot Ordnance .223 gas-piston upper mated to DPMS lower receiver

Approximately 300 rounds of Wolf 55-grain steel-cased factory ammo, 20 rounds of Wolf 62-gr. steel-case for test purposes

On 5th or 6th round during competition rapid-fire, shooter felt explosive concussion and observed half-loaded Beta C-Mag slammed to the ground. Closer observation discovered a rectangular piece of the bolt carrier bottom and four rounds of crushed/dented ammunition at his feet. Shooter suffered no injury.

Damage to upper receiver:

(Click to enlarge)

Damage to magazine:

Possible Damage to Lower Receiver

The last-fired round is still jammed in the chamber. As soon as POF-USA answers my query, I hope to arrange for them to crack it open in my presence.

Some firearms professionals have narrowed the cause to three possibilities for me:

1. Barrel Obstruction
2. Ammunition Issues: Overcharge (high pressure) or Undercharge (high pressure spike)
3. Defective parts/manufacturing

Inspecting the chamber and fired case should narrow these down to one.

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  • At 1:54 AM, Anonymous TD said…

    Damn, that's quite a failure. Is that brass vapor deposited on the underside of the bolt?

    Glad to hear you're still in one piece!

  • At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Kristopher said…

    Find any trace of the bolt gas rings?

    They are apparently missing in the photo.

  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…

    Never had gas rings.

  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…

    That's negatory on the brass... steel case ammo was used. Methinx that's just the lighting.

  • At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Kristopher said…

    Silly question ... gas-rod operated, I guess.

    It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the back of the bolt.

  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…

    Don't sweat it, Kristopher. My gunsmith made the same observation.

  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger JR said…

    Thanks for sharing the images.

    I am very happy that you are good to go.

  • At 1:21 PM, Blogger Kevin said…

    That sucks. Is the lower salvageable?

  • At 2:18 AM, Blogger Jerry The Geek said…

    "Approximately 300 rounds of Wolf 55-grain steel-cased factory ammo, 20 rounds of Wolf 62-gr. steel-case for test purposes"

    Operative word: "Wolf"

    Garbage In ... Garbage Out!


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