Important Safety Tip from Tac Strike

EDIT: More information here on the Tac Strike Blog:

“I know ammo is scarce, but don’t go to unreputable reloaders to save a couple of dollars. If you do and start to see malfunctions, STOP! Don’t push your luck. Bad things happen with junk. Luckily the injuries [associated with this image] were minor, but the pistol is toast.” Rob (TacStrike)


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Kilgore & Call
Richard Kilgore and Jake Call have been writing on and off for for many years now. You can reach them at or follow them on Instagram at @breachbangclear or Tumblr at
  • Mathieu

    A round went off during a Weapon RETENTION exercise? Hmmm, I must be doing it wrong with UNLOADED guns and all. Is there more to this story?

  • JCitizen

    Unless a re-loader was using high explosive, that kind of failure should not happen unless the previous round was a partial dud. Like the post says – if you have even ONE funny sounding round that goes *poof*, for example – STOP and check the weapon, to make sure a slug isn’t stuck up the pipe. Even then, I’m still surprised at this amount of damage, but then it is because of the solid reputation that Glock enjoys. I would never believe this was because of a factory defect in metallurgy or anything like that at the factory.

    I’ve been shooting reloaded government surplus ammunition for years with out one hiccup; but then we are talking about .50 caliber HBMG, so that kind of malfunction would be obvious, as one would have to clear the weapon just to get the action to cycle, and checking the bore is a prerequisite in that situation at all times.

  • Arthur

    I recall being required to submit my firearm for inspection to prove to the instructor, the safety monitor, the fellow “perpetrator”, that my weapon was NOT loaded with live rounds. In fact we even had to inspect the BLANKS to verify that they did not have dummy plastic rounds. So…. I shall say it since others might find it “not P.C.” to say it: “WTF were they using live ammunition during a weapons retention exercise?”; and, “Are they crazy?”, and “Who the hell is in charge of that training department?”.

    • FormerSFMedic

      Arthur, how else would you have them train?

  • pinktalon

    It would be total bad luck if the following were to happen, but during the reloading process (especially if it was a home reloader on a slower machine and he would put finished rounds into a box each time) I have seen one round where the powder charger got stuck (or not a full stroke of the handle) then the next one getting a double charge of Bullseye. Fortunately, as instructors when we heard a little sound from the one (one of a few times I’ve seen), we stopped and a slug was indeed lodged halfway through. I’ve had a double powder throw a couple of times over a lot of years of reloading but I was lucky enough to either spot them or the max powder alarm would.

  • Moondawg

    The way that barrel is blown out, I would guess there was a barrel obstruction, bullet lodged in barrel?. Someone fired a full power round on top of it. Glock 40s that have a Kaboom from a double charge usually blow out the chamber. I have fired tens of thousands of handloads through my own glocks with nary a problem. BUT, they were my own handloads. I trust myself and my own loads. I would never fire a cartridge that was handloaded by someone else. I think if I knew instructors were conducting pistol retention exercises without double checking to make sure the pistols were unloaded, I would do a fast exit from the premises.

  • Chipsa

    For those of you who only read half the article: the retention exercises they were doing did not involve a live opponent, and had firing the pistol as part of the exercise. Ergo, live ammo.

  • There is one sad story out there which also emphasizes the importance of using the correct gunpowder. One young man’s experience involved using some type of re-loaded 30.06 ammo for the M-1 Garand…which he obtained through the CMP. His FIRST SHOT with his new rifle resulted in an ‘eruption’ which destroyed the weapon. $2000 down the drain. A number of folks suggested that the damage was from using a very ‘hot’ propellant which over-pressured the chamber. Several pointed out that the original Garand powder has a ‘slow’ burn rate (slow being a relative term)…and that the incorrect powder was at fault. Needless to say, I recorded the types of powder they recommended to avoid this.

  • Moondawg

    Actually, for the Garand gas system to work properly and to avoid bending the op-rod, Garand ammo was loaded with (as rifle powders go) a medium-fast powder. IMR4895 and IMR 4064 are two favorites.