Accident

nell

Well-Known Member
#1
Was recently told of a stalking accident where the stalker had his rifle bolt embedded in his shoulder, story went that whilst reloading for another shot at a group of hinds the cartridge went off before the bolt was locked down sending the bolt rearwards through his biceps and into his shoulder.
Reason given for the accident was that the firing pin had stayed in the fired position, so as it was thrust forward striking the primer...
Has anybody ever heard of such a malfunction?????
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
#2
It's called a 'slamfire', I believe. I've never heard of it happening in a bolt-action rifle though. It's a good example of why regular checking & cleaning of your rifle (not just necessarily the bore) is a damn good idea though
 
#3
Was recently told of a stalking accident where the stalker had his rifle bolt embedded in his shoulder, story went that whilst reloading for another shot at a group of hinds the cartridge went off before the bolt was locked down sending the bolt rearwards through his biceps and into his shoulder.
Reason given for the accident was that the firing pin had stayed in the fired position, so as it was thrust forward striking the primer...
Has anybody ever heard of such a malfunction?????
You started the gossip. When, where?

Stan
 

dave 67

Well-Known Member
#6
Possible if the firing pin snapped during the reload process thus allowing the firing pin to fly forward under the firing pin spring pressure.

Would have to reload very vigorously to create enough force to set of a primer if the firing pin was already proud of the bolt face.

Slam fires are usually seen in semi auto rifles where the bolt carrier is powered forward by spring pressure used to reload after the gases have blown the bolt carrier group to the rear and extracted the spent case.
Also this would cause a nice full auto x number of rounds burst till the mag went empty
 
#9
Had it happen to me about thirty years ago, with a Sako, hand extremely swollen thumb especially but no damage other than that nothing broken, and no damage to the rifle.
Why did it happen don't really know had rifle checked and no cause found.
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
#10
Why did it happen don't really know had rifle checked and no cause found
That would be a worry. Maybe a dodgy primer & a stuck firing pin at the same time?

I know the military use hard primers to prevent this exact thing. The only time I ever heard of a slamfire was with a Stirling smg, but that was due to negligence as the WAAF concerned hadn't visually checked chamber & let the working parts slide forward with a round still in. As the smg had a fixed firing pin she ended up sending it downrange. Thank f*ck she didn't have a mag' on!
 
#11
That would be a worry. Maybe a dodgy primer & a stuck firing pin at the same time?

I know the military use hard primers to prevent this exact thing. The only time I ever heard of a slamfire was with a Stirling smg, but that was due to negligence as the WAAF concerned hadn't visually checked chamber & let the working parts slide forward with a round still in. As the smg had a fixed firing pin she ended up sending it downrange. Thank f*ck she didn't have a mag' on!
I know of a similar recently with a G36 which has a floating firing pin that somehow got stuck in the forward position so when loading and making ready it caused the round to go off into the loading bin. ND/ADs do happen which is why we all take precautions when loading, unloading etc. luckily no one was seriously hurt this time.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
#12
Quite easy to cause a slam fire in any bolt action. Hold the trigger down as you push the bolt forward so the sear doesn't catch the cocking piece. Much easier if you are a left handed shot shooting off left shoulder using a right handed bolt and operating bolt with right hand. You would need to operate the bolt quite vigorously.

I could see the same result if shooting in long heather whereby a piece of heather blocks the trigger, or if the trigger mechanism has a bit of crap in there stopping in going back to the rest position - I have had a rifle go off when a grass seed got into the trigger mechanism. Pressed the trigger forward to set it and boom.

Indeed early pump action shot guns would be slam fired deliberately by soldiers using them in WW1 to clear trenches. Hold back trigger and keep sliding that foreend.Winchester Model 1897 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Last edited:

RHE

Well-Known Member
#14
Sorry to here of this unfortunate accident.
I hope the chap makes a good recovery.
I would be interested if a definitive answer as to the cause is given, so that we can all learn from this.
Have tests been done to find out just how much force is required on a primer?
Does this "slam fire" also mean that carrying a rifle with a live round in the chamber but not having the action cocked, constitue a real danger of the firing pin resting against the primer and in the case of the rifle being dropped, generating sufficient force to set the primer off?
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
#16
Does this "slam fire" also mean that carrying a rifle with a live round in the chamber but not having the action cocked, constitue a real danger of the firing pin resting against the primer and in the case of the rifle being dropped, generating sufficient force to set the primer off?
No. Main reason being that the firing pin itself has so little mass that its inertia will be far too small to generate enough force to set the primer off, even if the rifle's dropped
 
Last edited:

Top