What would cause a round to “implode” in a firearm and injure the shooter, as in this video example?

I believe such accidents are rare. However, in the interest of safety, is there anything we can do to help safeguard against such incidences?

What comes to mind is keeping the firearm clean, and well maintained; Using the correct caliber ammo, reading the manual, looking for high quality manufacturers of both the firearm and the ammunition.

I noticed a couple of years ago, during an ammo shortage, I had heard of concerns on quality.

I’ve a few different models by different makers, but never had a serious malfunction, thankfully. Recently seen more posts on persons looking into purchasing a shotgun too.

Open to advice.


Without watching the whole video to know what happened with his shotgun, here are a few things that come to mind that could cause a catastrophic failure in amy gun, in no particular order…

Over-pressure ammo. This could come from bullet setback, or defective manufacturing/reloading procedure. It could also come from using +P In a gun not designed for it. It’s unlikely with quality factory ammo to get this defect.

Barrel obstruction. This would likely happen from a squib lodged in the barrel that went unnoticed. I got a squib .38 special stuck once, during the great ammo shortage, when all I could find were “factory reloads.” Luckily I didn’t try firing another shot and got it out safely with no damage to the gun or me.

Metal fatigue or poor manufacturing quality control. Basically, a barrel (or revolver cylinder) that is worn out, or one that simply was not made correctly, and the metal is not at the strength it was designed for.


Most of the time it is caused by not using factory ammo in the correct cartridge (aka caliber).

Reloads/handloads that are loaded incorrectly creating over pressure…or reloads/handloads that result in a squib (bullet stuck in barrel) and the next round has nowhere to go so pressure overloads.

It could also be putting the wrong ammo in even if it’s good factory new ammo. .38spl +P in a gun only rated for standard .38spl

It could be buying old surplus foreign questionable over pressure ammo (like Kentucky ballistics did)


Squib or maybe in this case dropping a 20 gauge round into a 12 gauge barrel and then firing a 12 gauge round behind it. If memory serves the 20 gauge round with some 12 chokes will lodge in said barrel. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.


Great points all. I remember once when taking a newer person to the range— asking them to stop and let me know if the there was no “bang”, and keep it pointed in safe direction, until I could inspect it. There were .22’s, so we had a few “hangfires”.

This link talks about what a “squib load” and “hangfire" are, the importance of hearing, seeing, feeling one before and when it occurs, and what to do next. Do it safe, check your range-bag first aid kits so they are still properly stocked.


That’s what I’ve been taught to do.

As repeatedly stated by others, firearms maintenance and good ammo selection matter.
In a self-defense scenario, there’s no timeout while officials review.


Nope you are correct, I did that once, I was hunting and reached into my pocket grabbed a shell and without looking dropped it into the over/under I was using, when I went to load the second round I looked down and got confused, I swore that I had put a round in but it was nowhere to be seen, looked down the barrel and there it was, lodged at the choke. I swore that I took all the 20 gauge out of my pockets but was wrong.


Yeah, I like to carry with me to the range and hunts, a short cleaning rod for the hand guns, and a bore snake for the long rifles. Plus a flashlight. I probably should bring my long-gun cleaning rod as well.


Once upon a time, probably about 15 years ago now, I fired a 9mm in a .40 S&W pistol. It fired, but slide didn’t come back. Case was all ballooned up.


What do you do with the bore snake?


Shoot it with a shotgun. :wink::grinning:


Thanks @Karacal , that’s a good bore snake video, but I guess I got confused. I thought the discussion had changed to clearing squibs and hangfires. I was hoping maybe I might learn a new bore snake trick :grinning:


I know right? Like a bore snake squib removal kit.
Happy Birthday :tada:


Happy Birthday @Gary_H , and I hope you have a great day


Thank you @Virgil_H

Just finished my “some assembly required” presents from my son:

I am looking forward to training with them

The stands work with either 2x4 or 1x2 uprights.


Roger that brother! Enjoy!


In general manufacturing quality has dropped since covid restrictions. Different industries display changes in quality in different ways, some more than others. Don’t know when the shotgun referred to here was manufactured, but there have been reports of flaws in gun steel (specifically a dealer shared with me that certain handgun frames have developed cracks in ways they never have before covid). Quality of ammo may also have fallen. Factory workers affected by long-term covid-related health issues, intermittent staffing shortages, supply-line pressures, etc may all be contributing factors.


Happy belated Birthday brother @Gary_H


Thank you @Johnnyq60 , and a belated thank you to @Karacal :+1: