WATCH WHAT YOU FEED YOUR GUN
This is a cautionary tale that relates to what we often tell our students in class and during orientation at our local gun club.
Recently, a student bought a Tavor X95 from us, went to the range after the transaction, then proceeded to bring the “new” X95 back to me from its first outing. The gun was jammed, and he could see brass through a slightly retracted bolt. He told me the magazine blew out. He also related how he sometimes picks up ammo off the deck and uses it. I was able to determine the gun was not loaded, fortunately. However, it was good and stuck. It became obvious that I was not going to clear it using conventional means and did not want to void its warranty. I suggested he send it to IWI for inspection and possible repair, as I put my 3 pound engineer hammer back in the toolbox.
IWI called him today regarding the status of his rifle. Apparently, the bullpup was fed a 300 Blackout cartridge and was destroyed. The receiver, bolt and barrel were trash. The gun blew up as designed - out the bottom and side. The bullet actually exited the muzzle, which is testament to the pressure a .30 inch bullet went down 16.5 inches of barrel that was .223 inches wide. Talk about a “catastrophic malfunction”! Fortunately, no one was hurt. It was an expensive mistake.
Lately, ruined rifles are often caused by loading a full magazine of 300 Blackout. In this case, it was one round that was picked up off the deck. So now we have rule number one: Do not pick up unseen cartridges off the deck that are not yours. Even if they are yours, inspect the cartridge for caliber and possible damage. Don't use dirty or dented rounds.
Take extra steps and pay attention to detail. Visual inspection of any caliber when loading magazines is a critical step in keeping your firearms in good condition. Ensure that cases are not damaged and also look to see if bullets are over-seated. An over-seated 9mm round managed to destroy my Glock 45 during a class a couple of years back.
ALWAYS VISUALLY INSPECT YOUR AMMO
Another practice is to have separate ammo cans for each caliber. Mark the cans. When done shooting that caliber, put any unspent rounds away before shooting and loading a different caliber. Put the gun in its case and put that way too.
If you have 5.56 and 300BLK, use a different type of mag or mark the mags clearly as 300BLK. Marking your gun isn’t a bad idea either.
Better yet, if possible, bring one caliber or the other when heading out to the range. That is a foolproof way to avoid a catastrophic failure. 300BLK is an awesome cartridge that fills a niche between intermediate calibers and full-blown 30 cal.
300BLK provides a hard hitting round in a familiar and handy platform. Safety comes first! Good habits and discipline can prevent the AR boom-boom.