Results of a Squib Explosion in a Glock 35 Pistol
Russ Chastain 02.12.19
Here we have a guy who broke his gun — his custom-made competition Glock 35 pistol which he’d named “Liberty” — while shooting in a USPSA match. He’d loaded his own ammunition in a hurry the night before the match, and one of the rounds had little or no powder inside.
When he dropped the hammer on this “squib” round, the primer explosion propelled the bullet into the barrel, where it lodged. Thinking the round had not detonated due to a light primer strike (a condition in which the cartridge remains fully intact), he “racked” the slide to recock his pistol. This removed the empty brass case (he thought he was removing a complete cartridge) and chambered a loaded round. When he next pulled the trigger, the gun exploded.
The video contains the failure, but unfortunately his body blocks our view of the pistol at that time.
Afterward, he takes the pistol to a shop where the gun is disassembled — but not without a lot of work. The explosion distorted the slide and split the barrel in three places, ruptured the frame, and destroyed a number of internal parts. The full process and aftermath are shown in the video.
He states several times that people who reload ammo should “load just 4 or 5 and test them” and “make sure you chronograph your loads.” This is not bad advice, but it has nothing to do with the failure of this gun. It was not destroyed by a load that was too hot; it was destroyed by being fired with an obstructed barrel.
Thankfully, the shooter was not physically hurt in any way. This may have been due to the large compensator attached to the muzzle of the barrel, which prevented it from going “full banana” when it split open.
The lesson here is to always pay attention when you are loading ammunition — and while you’re firing a gun.