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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Was in a match yesterday, and in the 3rd shot of the a 16 round course, i suddenly felt hot gas hit my face, sort of like firing a wet suppressor. the sound was a bit strange, a little sharper than normal. i got a bit nervous, but it sent a 12 yard round plate down. i continued to finish the course in 14+ sec. after which i went looking for my brass and found a fiocchi brass with the base wall in one part blown off. i went to the safe area to inspect the weapon and found nothing amiss except the worried look in my face. there seems to be nothing wrong with the weapon. the casing fragment was jammed in the recoil spring but it did not affect its function for the rest of the course. a small part of the JF mag was chipped off, otherwise it was fine. here are pics of the shell and the mags. i'm sorry for not being able to come up with better pics:

does the primer look like it's over pressured? i'm loading 180 grain molly-coated LTC over 4.8gr N320, OAL of 1.150. this is definitely range pick up since i dont have any fiocchi brass and only have a mix of armscor, hornady and starline. i've had a hornady case w/ 3 short vertical cracks in the base wall touching the rim. definitely, ill no longer trust range pick ups from now on. thank God my gun is fine, and thank God it's an HK.
<Edited: no reloading q's>
 

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Wow that was a close call! Happy you are ok and that your tried and true USPt is intact! Just a testiment on how tough these guns truly are.
 

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Good outcome. Glad nobody was hurt. Also glad that the chronograph guy didn't get that one. Awkward.
 

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I guess you got lucky. It went bad but not bad enough for a KB. If they have a lottery in the Philippines I would buy a ticket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the primer strike is not a smooth, rounded dimple like in low pressure rounds. it doesn't have sharp edges like in pressure limit rounds. its sort of like an inverted truncated cone shape, like a trapezoidal profile. they all look alike with the other fired rounds of the same loading. also similar with my custom carry loads loaded to VV max listings for N340
 

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Was in a match yesterday, and in the 5th shot of the a 16 round course, i suddenly felt hot gas hit my face,... the sound was a bit strange, a little sharper than normal. i got a bit nervous, but it sent a 12 yard round plate down. i continued to finish the course...
Is the reason you kept firing because the plate was hit and you knew the barrel was clear? I've read - and tend to agree - that continuing to figure after the piston does "something funny" is a serious recipe for trouble, mostly due to not knowing for sure whether a round is jammed in the barrel.
 

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You're very lucky. I've seen blown up USP's for this same reason. I was thinking about buying some reloads, I'm second guessing myself now.
 

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The pressure looks low, based on the primer, but then the gas escaped out before the primer had time to flatten. Earlier, you had two other photos, which showed higher pressure. Those primers, while not completely flat, did show signs of a stout load.

You'll get an idea over a period of continual reloading, how many times you can resize, before you need to discard - cracked mouths, heavy stiations, shinny spots. On the real low pressure stuff, like .38 WC with 2.7 grs. of Bullseye, I've loaded until the brass split from the mouth to where the bullet ended in the case. Then, and only then would I discard.

I don't load for .40s , but due to the pressure, you should get at least 10 reloads. Keep checking for the signs noted above. Brass is cheap, fingers are not. Glad you're ok.
 

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Was with one of our club gurus just last night. He cautioned not to use more than 165grains in 40 S&W as there is too much danger of compression. The larger round does not leave much room in the casing.
 

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Reloading discussions are not allowed folks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes Brownie, ill get a ticket today. Lottery jackpot = more HKs than you can dream of!!!

Is the reason you kept firing because the plate was hit and you knew the barrel was clear? I've read - and tend to agree - that continuing to figure after the piston does "something funny" is a serious recipe for trouble, mostly due to not knowing for sure whether a round is jammed in the barrel.
I kept firing because i knew the barrel was clear (plate fell with convincing force) and because the grip felt intact, and a also took a split second look and the mag was there. Also, because my time was runnin' and this was an all LE and military competition. matter of pride! (bagged overall standard div for the first time!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
straightgrain, my intention for including the load data is to emphasize that it wasn't particularly hot, and so i could give an input to other HK usp owners what exploded in mine (and thus could possibly explode in theirs) i'm sorry if it induced some reloading and semi-reloading themed posts.

i tried to put the case in the chamber again. it's strange, the slide actualy slams home fully with it, but part of the casing base is still exposed, up to that line above the hole. i looked at the blown case against other fired brass, but it's even a bit shorter. strange. here are pics, the last one is a normal case in the chamber. the slide is capable of full battery with the blown case:
 

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Glad you are ok and your USPt tool it like a champ.

You're very lucky. I've seen blown up USP's for this same reason. I was thinking about buying some reloads, I'm second guessing myself now.
Buying reloads??? I would never suggest anyone to buy reloads. Never shoot reloads they themselves didn't reload. Caution.



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Has anyone ever really lost fingers in a KB?
The worst I have seen looking around the internet is burns and small cuts. People have been more seriously injured when rifles KB though.
 

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two things have kept me and my guns shooting well over the years.

1. no safe queens
2. no reloads

glad there was a good outcome to your experience.
 

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I've shot reloads for years, and will continue to do so. I haven't made my own for years, simply because I don't have my presses set up. I also would not have a problem with shooting reloads from a reputable manufacturer. I believe Black Hills comes to mind.
 
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