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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you already know I had a malfunction of my dearly beloved FN FiveseveN IOM pistol, which I used as a CCW for just over 1 year, that caused my gun to literally explode in my hands.

On Saturday, April 12, 2008, at 1528HRS I was out target shooting and testing some ammunition that I had reloaded. Before anyone says, "It was a reload, he probably double charged it!" let me say this:
I did not double charge this load, everything was well within specifications.

I had loaded 200 rounds of the following:
Bullet: Hornady 55grain FMJ BT
Case: Once (a couple might have been twice) fired 5.7x28mm brass
Primer: Winchester Small Rifle
Powder: Ramshot TrueBlue 5.0grains
Case Length: 1.228in + or - .002in
OAL: 1.580in + or - .003in

I load every single round by hand using a Lee hand press, RCBS 5-0-5 Scale, RCBS calipers, RCBS seating die, etc... Each round is placed in front of me with plenty of lighting while I am measuring powder, then after all powder is measured and placed in the cases I inspect the case for powder, as even 1.0grains more or less is quite easy to see, then placed in the hand press, topped off with a bullet, and then the bullet is seated. If the powder was double charged it would fill up into the base of the case's neck. Like I said, cases are inspected for overcharges.

Back to the accident. I had fired 66 rounds all reloads of various bullets (Hornady 40grain VMAX, pulled 28grain HP from SS195LF, Hornady 55grain FMJ). My 2nd 20round magazine I fired 5 rounds of 40VMAX I had some failure-to-eject (these were loaded with HS-6, I've had problems with that powder causing FTE), then tossed the magazine so I could pull those bullets and reload them with Ramshot TrueBlue. After that I fired 20 rounds of the 28grain bullets, all of which functioned flawlessly with Ramshot TrueBlue powder. The next magazine of 20 rounds was the 55grain FMJ with the load data above. The first magazine fired flawlessly, I even noted in my reloading book that it I might want to try loading to 5.1grains and see how they functioned. The 2nd magazine is when I ran into the malfunction, the first round fired like the previous 20, the it happened.

On the 2nd round I realigned my sights, slowly pulled the trigger, and all hell broke loose. I saw bits and pieces of the top of the slide cover blow. My first reaction was, "Oh crap what just happened." My second reaction was, how are my hands, I released my grip with my left hand and blood was trailing down my palm dripping off my hand. I could see 2 sources of the blood flow, one on my thumb and the other the web of my hand. I tossed down my FiveseveN into the grass in front of me and inspected my right hand. My right hand faired much better than my left, a small spot on the tip of my thumb.

I immediately pulled my cellphone out of my pocket and called my wife who had just arrived at my father's residence where I was at, I was ~1/2mi from the house. I told her to tell my dad to get out here, my gun just exploded, and not 2 seconds later I heard the 4wheeler start up and hightail it down the driveway. I started walking to the gravel road to meet him and he quickly arrived and assessed my injuries. We went back to the house, cleaned my hand up a bit, bandaged it up, and went to the hospital ~40minutes away with my wife and mother-in-law.

Spent about 2 hours at the hospital getting 1 stitch in the web of my hand and 2 xrays. The xrays revealed a chunk of brass in the middle of my hand between my index and middle finger, and two very small peices between my index finger knuckle and the web of my hand. I have gone to a surgeon to see about getting the large piece of brass removed from my hand but he cautioned against it as it would cause more damage taking it out than leaving it in, as it is embedded into the muscle in my hand a probably isn't going to go anywhere so there isn't any worry about it moving around and slicing tendons and such.

I initially lost feeling in over 50% of my index finger and my thumb felt like it had been hit by a hammer and had numbness for about a week. I have gained some feeling back in my finger and am at ~35% numbness now.

My FN FiveseveN IOM is a complete loss, the magazine is still inside the grip, the remaining 18 rounds were forced out of the bottom of the magazine.







Here are some pictures of my hand and the progression of healing:

After removing bandages the next morning:





Here is a picture of my loss of feeling and where the brass is in my hand:


Two days after the accident my hand started swelling, which lasted for about 1-1.5 weeks, here is day two:



One week after the accident, a comparision of my left and right hands:



More pictures of my injured hand at 1 week:




16 days after the accident:





Three weeks:


And finally one month:


After looking over my new $1000 paper weight I've concluded that my FiveseveN fired out-of-battery. There is 0 damage to the chamber and barrel that I can see. From what I can figure the round fired (out-of-battery) and the case was able to hold the pressure enough to allow the bullet to clear the barrel and the case wall gave way in the rear because it wasn't being supported by the chamber. The expanding case broke off at the neck while being extracted and as you can see from the photos above the whole back end of the case gave way. One chunk of brass is embedded into the right side of the grip, I almost had a matching chunk of brass in my right hand, but the grip stopped it.

After talking with a few friends and showing them my new paper weight they came to the same conclusion. Ryan from Elite Ammunition (www.eliteammunition.com, Custom 5.7x28mm Ammunition, both reloaded and virgin brass loads) also concluded that the cause was from it firing out-of-battery. He also stated that he has observed that with the FiveseveN the hammer will drop at up to 1/4inch out-of-battery.

That my friends is where the problem lies. It doesn't matter what load is used in the pistol, reload or factory, it is an inherent design defect that allows the FiveseveN to fire out of battery by up to 1/4"!

Try this for me... if you have a FN FiveseveN clear the weapon, clear it again, insert an empty magazine, make sure the gun is empty, move the slide to the rear and slowly creep it foward and see how far out-of-battery it can be when the hammer drops, I imagine you will see anywhere from 1/8-1/4".

That is completely unacceptable at the pressures that this cartridge operates at. I'm sure FN knows all about this and is just trying to sweep me under the rug and hope that it doesn't happen again. Imagine if it did happen to an officer who carried the FiveseveN as his/her duty weapon. Not only could he/she have damage to their hand, they could lose their life if they were in a situation of life or death.

FN needs to acknowledge this problem and fix it before someone else ends up worse than I did.

Do you want to know how FN has treated me?

I contacted Robert Ailes the Customer Support Manager at FN, 703-288-3500 ext 122, [email protected], on the 14th of April and told him my situation. He told me that he would talk to his boss about it and contact me the next day. Also told me that since I was shooting reloads that the warranty on my gun is void.

Next day, no phone call, so I called after hours and left a message for him to please return my call and gave him my cellphone number. So around noon on the 16th he called me and told me that "someone" would be contacting me soon. I asked when they might be contacting me and he said he did not know, but they would be in touch. I also asked how much it would be to just get it fixed/replaced and he said he didn't know, I would have to talk to the person who will contact me. I was expecting a call from FN's legal team...

April 28th... I called and left a message for him, asking him what the situatino was and when/if someone was going to contact me. At this point I pretty much felt as if they were just waiting for me to go away so they wouldn't have to deal with the situation.

April 29th... Rober Ailes returned my call and said the best they could do for me was send me a pre-paid packing slip that would be here by Thursday (May 1st) to ship the gun to them so it could be looked at, held for 30 days, then destroyed. I asked if I could get it back after they looked at it, and he said no and that it would be destoryed. He also offered me a "deep discount" on a new gun, but gave no details as to how much it would be.

Today is May 10th, 2008, and I have yet to receive a packing slip from FN. I was told I would get a call from "someone", never got that either. I'm thoroughly disappointed in FN and how they've dealt with this. Their weapon needs to be fixed, period.

I'll probably end up with a couple hundred dollars in medical bills because of their weapon design. Until they make this right, I will never buy another FN product again and will continue to share my experience with what happens when a FiveseveN fires out-of-battery.

I know this was a long post, but I had to get it all out. For those of you with FiveseveN's, please... be careful, you might want to consider wearing some decent shooting gloves.

If you think their weapon has a problem, as I do, give them a call and tell them it is unacceptable.

Bob Ailes
Customer Support Manager
703-288-3500 ext. 122
[email protected]

Thanks everyone,
Jake
 

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Well, I can confirm that the hammer will drop when the slide is back about 1/4 inch. I haven't checked to see if the hammer will hit the firing pin at that angle though. It feels to me like it won't.
I'll put in a round with just a primer and see if I can get it to go pop out of battery.
 

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Bad stuff... Sorry that happened to you!

I still believe that with the thousands of Five Sevens sold - this is the first kaboom I have ever heard of. As you were using reloads, that has to have something to do with it.
 

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ShipWreck said:
I still believe that with the thousands of Five Sevens sold - this is the first kaboom I have ever heard of. As you were using reloads, that has to have something to do with it.
Yeah. The case was probably not perfect, otherwise what would have been holding the slide open?

I'm curious to see if I can replicate this accident. For those who use the five seven as a carry weapon there is the risk of the slide being pushed back a bit when wrestling with an attacker.
 

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Promoted Pawn, that'd be a good test. Please let us know how you fair. I'd suggest wearing some gloves either way while you test it. Primers are viewed as "small" explosions, but why risk it.

Ferret, sorry to hear about your situation, thanks for the information. I've not had any problems with my 5.7, but I do not use reloads in it. On the other hand, I have had reloads in my .45 and .40 that fail to return to battery because of the resizing process. They luckily did not fire, but there are about 3-4 different things that can go wrong during the resizing process that may have caused the round to fail to return to battery. That being the case, the gun still should not, in my opinion, have been able to drop the hammer on the round. Promoted's experiment will be telling. From what I've seen in over 28 years of shooting (20 of them serious), most pistols will either return to battery because the hammer will return them to battery by hitting the part of the slide that is designed to re-cock the hammer, or they will stall in what I'd equate to a "half-cock" position because the round is sized incorrectly. The problems arise when the sizing die has reached a point that the lube used to help in sizing has become impregnated with "stuff", be it dirt, dust, corn cob from cleaning, or spiderwebs if you load on every third full moon. Once the die is no longer performing it's function at 98% or better (arbitrary number), it may begin to incorrectly size the brass. This is of course simply from my personal historic data. Bullets, no matter how well trimmed, lubed, powdered or seated may have defects. I've been a reloader for a good portion of the time I've been shooting, and have had a few that failed to return to battery, but never any that blew up like that. It is apparent in the photo's that the neck of the cartridge was unsupported when it went off and that the gun did not return to full battery. I'll be awaiting Promoted's test.

Get to healing, friend, and remember the snake didn't bite you because he didn't like you, but only because that's what snakes do. Keep shooting.


Zhur
 

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Feel for you on this - that injury is not good. However I think you are very premature on your assessment. A couple possibilities to think about on the (reloaded) ammo side:

High primer, possibly with bad sizing is a possibility here.

I also had a case head blow out on a .40 S&W SW99 that caused something like this, although not as severe. The action was locked when the case head blew, but ended up looking like this. Same with a .40 S&W Taurus PT140 - had to dig parts out of my hand on that one. Turned out to be bad lot of PMC reloaded brass. My reloads were good, but there were brass defects (thin web at the extractor cut) that were made worse by the resizing process.

T
 

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I would like to say that I am very sorry for your incident. I have has a 5/7 IOM for several years and have never had a problem. I am also sorry that dealing with FN has put a bad taste in your mouth. I usually talk with Bob at FN often and have always been delt with professionally. I hope the healing works out and again I'm sorry
 

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f3rr37 said:
thirsty, read my original post, no.
I read the OP several times, I just want to confirm. You allude to the gun being very reliable the previous 66 rounds. If you were slow-firing, allowing the pistol to cycle before taking aim and firing the next round, you probably would've noticed if the slide didn't seat fully.

I don't blame you for being pissed about the failure and wanting to place the blame for the death of your gun. But insisting the gun is of a defective, unsafe design and calling out FNH USA for it is out of line. The 5-7 design is more than 10 years old, and this is the first time I've ever heard of a KB.

FN is explicit in noting using handloads in their weapons voids the warranty of those weapons. It says a lot when, even after finding out you used handloads, Bob still offered you a "steep" discount to purchase another gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There are 4 cases of KB's in the 5.7 platform, the 3 others are in the PS90 using factory ammunition, most notably SS197.

It also says a lot when they tell me two things: I will receive a call from "someone" which I waited 2 weeks for, never heard anything from anyone, then called Bob again, he acted like no one was ever going to really call me back. And the second thing I was told was that I was to receive a UPS packing slip to ship the gun back to them on Thursday (2 days after the call) and it will be 2 weeks tomorrow since that call.
 

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I don't think it's safe for ya'll to have these dangerous guns anymore. Please box them up and send them to my FFL asap.

Thank You. :p
 

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Texas Armadillo said:
I don't think it's safe for ya'll to have these dangerous guns anymore. Please box them up and send them to my FFL asap.

Thank You. :p
Send me a big check and maybe I'll send ya mine :lol:
 

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Damn! Good thread!
I'll be following this one! I am surprised with the report of the non-contact with FNH customer support! I had 2 FNP's repaired, and the Service and contact was top notch!

Sorry this failure happened! :oops:

I have been re-loading for 27 years and have never had anything bad happen!
A few raised primers, that's nothing to get excited about.
 

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Fiveseven

I'll be watching this thread more. I was planning on buying a 5.7 for my wife at home now I'm not so sure.
 

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Posted Here on ARFcom. This was borrowed from the other forum, see if you can guess where.

Originally Posted By Pac4Life:
I want to share this with you all, as it seems post are being removed there that do not agree with their opinions.

Second Item:

The Five-seveN will not fire out of battery as claimed and falsley demonstrated on this post.

The Five-seveN slide will move rearward .1540-.1545" before it is considered out of battery. This measurement can be taken by pushing back directly on the barrel. After that point the barrel lug is locked and the slide will continue to move rearward. Now you are considered out of battery.

Up to this point the hammer can still fall but you will not strike the primer. The hammer will strike the bottom of the slide and not the firing pin. At .0840" of slide travel the firing pin disconnect is out of reach of the firing pin safety. The firing pin safety is the part that lifts the firing pin block out of the way allowing the firing pin to travel forward after being struck by the hammer.

Tommy Thacker
FNH USA
Product Manager
Third Item:

Do not reload this cartridge unless you completely understand this system!

If you do not create the appropriate pressure at the appropriate time you will create a catastrophic failure. I am not saying this is what happen in this case, so let me explain.

The 5.7x28mm has been through milions of dollars of testing to make sure this does not happen. I am sure that no one on this forum or any other has put in the time to develop the exact timing needed to produce the proper timing of this cartridge. Without this timing and proper development of pressure at the exact time you can cause the slide to start the rearward progression too early. This premature movement will result in the pressure spike occuring after the case has been partially removed from the chamber. And I beleive everyone knows what the end result is.

Pressure from the expanding gasses will folloow the path of least resistance. If the case is partially removed before it has developed all the pressure quess where that path is now?

The cartridge is designed to form to the chamber during this process, this is why it the shoulder is not the same after firing factory ammo. The shoulder forms to the chamber and is all a part of this critical timing.

I personally would not reload this ammo. I am saying that as one man to another, not because of company policy. I reload, I have loaded more than 500,000 rounds of .38 super for competitive IPSC/USPSA competition. I understand the need for reloading as it does save money and you can create a load that works for your needs. This cartridge is not as easy to load because of the timing and pressures. It was never intended to use heavy bullets with high velocities. Light bullets create the high velocity not heavy bullets.

Tommy Thacker
FNH USA
Product Manager

I will post more on Thursday...
The only reason FNH USA would keep someones gun that is sent in for repair is due to BATFE regulations.

If a firearm has to be replaced then it must be destoyed per BATFE regulations. A manufacturer cannot issue a replacement of a serialized item without properly destroying the first serialized item. This is public knowledge and if you are not aware of this take it up with BATFE not FNH USA!

Couldn't let that one go over night...

Tommy Thacker
FNH USA
Product Manager
 

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Thanx for the post.

And Thanx to Tommy Thacker. :?

There used to be a thing called "taking responsibilty for your own actions" but too many people have never heard of it.

Why not man up and say "damn, look what I did, don't try this at home folks!"

Instead, push the blame on someone else... like the lady in the McDonalds drive thru who spilled coffee on herself.

Now, Erica doesn't trust her duty gun, and at least two people have posted that they have reconsidered buying a 5-7.

That's just not right.
 

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Thats their loss, all this thread has done for me is further my opinion that reloading is stupid unless professionally trained, not backyard training.

The 5.7 will be my next pistol purchase.
 
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