Near Tragic Accident

Mike, a close friend went to our target range this afternoon with three friendsiwhile I was at work. He has a 338-06 that he was practicing on some Steel that we have set up at 600 yards. Mike along with myself and many others that are serous about shooting long range do not shoot “off the shelf” ammo. Mike, because of lack of time, has his ammo reloaded for him by a very close, elderly friend. As he was shooting at the 600 yard target, he changed his ammo to a box of 200gr bullets the guy had given him to try.

When Mike fired the first 200gr round, he thought he felt some blow back in his face. But after a thorough inspection of the rifle and 200gr ammo by Mike and one of the others, it seemed fine. On the second round the gun blew up in his face. I was not there when this happened but after talking to Mike and the details about what had happened it sounds like the 200gr bullet was accidentially charged with 2 grains more then the 180gr loads were. You see, when you are loading your own ammo, the heavier the bullet, the smaller the powder charge needs to be because of the chamber pressure. So, when you step up from the 180gr to a 200gr bullet, you actually step down in powder used…..not up as these were.

This is an example of the great care that needs to be taken when reloading. Check your work and then double check. If you are ever interupted while loading…stop and then start over when you come back. There are some serious consequences if even one step is missed and possibly death. Not only is there a risk of injury to you but people around you as well. You can imagine how you might feel if your lack of care, or an oversight perhaps on your part, caused someone to get hurt or killed! Any way, it looks like Mike will be fine. He has about 300+ pieces of copper/brass shavings in his right eye. But with care he should be back to normal in several weeks.

So I would like to ask everybody to pray for Mike and his family. Pray that the healing will be fast and painless and that his family stays strong knowing that someone far larger than you and I is in control.


  • Mike

    Thank you Sean for the great write up and the prayer request. A very special thanks to all of you who did pray for me, fruit to your account. My Father in heaven has been very gracious to allow me to continue to have the use of both of my eyes and so far a speedy recovery. I have had the opportunity to share my testimony with several others telling them of God’s glorious wonders and what He has in store for those who put their trust in His Son Jesus Christ.

    I have been to the eye specialist twice now and have had my eyes scrapped. He has dislodged 200-300 pieces of brass and there is about 45 pieces left. I have to go back again wednesday morning for my last horiffic scrapping and should be done. The remaining pieces will have to stay in there as they are too deeply embedded in my eyes to be taken out. I just now am able to do anything as my eyes are so sore, scratchy and very sensitive to light.

    I checked out my rifle today for the first time since the incident. The beautiful Murtyle wood stock was split into three pieces length wise. The brand new Adams and Bennet barrel is swollen in the middle. The Pentax 4-16 50mm Gamegetter was hit twice on the bottom possibly puncturing the tube. Both scope mounts were blown loose. The Timney trigger housing is bent. The mauser action bolt is bent and the extractor is broken.

    So far I believe I am able to salvage the muzzle brake, the sling mounts and the decellerator pad! Now it looks like I get to purchase a new Weatherby .300 Mag from Joe’s Sporting Goods for their advertised sale pirce of $349.00! Praise God and pass the ammo!

  • Mike

    UPDATE…Thanks again for all of your prayers. God has been moving mightily and has been so very gracious. My eye/facial powder burns have healed so well that you can hardly tell anything had happened if you did not already know. There are only 10 or so pieces of brass left now in my right eye. I have a few more appointments to go. My 20/20 vision has already returned. SO, Praise God in Heaven from whom all blessings flow! I have been out hunting several times already and my Elk/Deer are still out there on the hoof-but not from a lack of trying! :{)