Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    I had a strange issue when shooting my Ruger Mk IV pistol today. I fired 4 or 5 clips with no issues, and then something strange happened on one shot. After I fired, there was a very strong powder smell, and I had powder residue on my trigger finger/hand. The round fired OK, but I took the pistol apart to make sure nothing was lodged in the barrel. Everything was clear. The gun fired without issue for the remainder of the day.

    It almost seems like the bolt wasn't fully engaged when fired, and the gases escaped into the gun and through the gap in the trigger. Is that possible? If not, any ideas on what happened?

    Any information is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Joe

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    Firearms can fire while out of battery but it's an indication of a large trouble and is very dangerous. If you think the pistol firearm while out of battery then you need to contact Ruger and send it in.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    It's a shame you could not recover that brass. I am wondering if it was an overcharged or defective round that breached the case and sprayed into the action. You fired 40-50 rounds before, and how many after this happened?
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    Out of battery discharges can happen. ....slam fires, bolts/carriers hitting a primer "just right", etc, etc.

    Box magazine rimfire semiautos are very susceptible to out of battery discharges. The bolt/carrier cycling can be enough to do it. The bolt/carrier hits the rim to push the cartridge forward, and a highly sensitive charge of priming material in the rim can be ignited.

    The compound the issue that nearly all semi-auto rimfire guns are blow back, nothing holds that chamber closed other than spring tension.

    I had about half dozen out of battery firings with my old Remington Apache 77(synthetic gun) using truncated .22LR. Truncated rounds didn't feed properly from the box mag into the chamber. 90% would hangup on the ramp. The bolt slamming foward, with the cartridge not wanting to go into the chamber, was enough to smash the rim just enough to cause the cartridge to ignite. ...bolt open more than the length of a cartridge.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    Out of battery discharges can happen. ....slam fires, bolts/carriers hitting a primer "just right", etc, etc.

    Box magazine rimfire semiautos are very susceptible to out of battery discharges. The bolt/carrier cycling can be enough to do it. The bolt/carrier hits the rim to push the cartridge forward, and a highly sensitive charge of priming material in the rim can be ignited.

    The compound the issue that nearly all semi-auto rimfire guns are blow back, nothing holds that chamber closed other than spring tension.

    I had about half dozen out of battery firings with my old Remington Apache 77(synthetic gun) using truncated .22LR. Truncated rounds didn't feed properly from the box mag into the chamber. 90% would hangup on the ramp. The bolt slamming foward, with the cartridge not wanting to go into the chamber, was enough to smash the rim just enough to cause the cartridge to ignite. ...bolt open more than the length of a cartridge.

    I've not had that problem with my Remington Mohawk 10C, which I think is nearly the same rifle. What are truncated .22LR rounds?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    Quote Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
    Out of battery discharges can happen. ....slam fires, bolts/carriers hitting a primer "just right", etc, etc.
    My old mac10 use to do that. The brass were all bulged after firing.
    I maxed out the buffer so the bolt had just enough room to eject a shell.
    It ran 32rnds in 1.5sec. I wish I had a 1k mag for it back then.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Remington788 View Post
    I've not had that problem with my Remington Mohawk 10C, which I think is nearly the same rifle. What are truncated .22LR rounds?
    Remington Viper has a truncated cone bullet.


    The flat on top can cause feeding problems in some guns.
    Last edited by gghbi; February 21st, 2018 at 10:30 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    It is not only rimfire pistols. I recall a member here having a negligent discharge with a Springfield XD, and he traced the issue (beyond the negligence) back to the idea that the gun fired when the bolt was slightly out of battery. Yes, he did negligently actuate the trigger, but nonetheless, the gun was out of battery when it fired. At the time, I had a Springfield XD, so (unloaded, and no ammo in the room), I tested my pistol, and sure enough, the striker would drop when the trigger was pulled while the bolt was anywhere between fully closed and about 1/16" out of battery. I am not sure if it is a design flaw, or if it has been fixed/changed by Springfield, or even if it happens with any other brands.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    The newer Remington R51 would also fire out of battery however I think Remington tried to pass it off as a positive feature.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can a semi-auto pistol fire without the bolt being fully closed?

    Thanks for all of the inputs. I was at an indoor range, so I couldn't find the brass. I took it apart for a cleaning last night, and everything looked OK. I'll have a gunsmith check it out to be safe, and I'll make a visual check before firing each round for a while.

    The other gun I was shooting yesterday was a Remington R51

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