FN FiveseveN Warning *Picture Heavy*

This is a discussion on FN FiveseveN Warning *Picture Heavy* within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Bummer, I hope you have full ues of your hand, if not, soon....

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Thread: FN FiveseveN Warning *Picture Heavy*

  1. #16
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    Bummer, I hope you have full ues of your hand, if not, soon.

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  3. #17
    kaz
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    Bad way to find out about this but thanks for posting about it. I've considered a FiveseveN several times, but being able to fire out of battery like thats a deal breaker for me. And their way of handling it isn't inspiring either. Thanks again, glad you didn't get hurt as bad as you could have.

  4. #18
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    you could clearly see the wall of the brass being unsupported

    Is it an unsupported barrel chamber thats the culprit or is it firing out of battery. They are two different situations.

    Many guns including the older glock 40's had chambers not fully supported with catastrophic results similar to yours.

    Sorry to hear you were injured, get well soon.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

  5. #19
    Member Array f3rr37's Avatar
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    It fired out of battery, thus the back of the case was not supported by the chamber. You can see pictures of the exposed case here:



    and video of it here:
    YouTube - Fiveseven OOB Firing3

    Images provided by blankman @ fivesevenforum.net and video shot by Ryan @ EliteAmmunition.

  6. #20
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    Thanks for the clarification. Thats not a good thing, and I have one I put away for down the road but haven't fired.

    Brownie
    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

  7. #21
    Member Array f3rr37's Avatar
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    Also, it has come to my attention that I mistyped the case trim length. The cases were trimmed to 1.128in, not 1.228/1.280 inches.

  8. #22
    Ex Member Array TacticalCompact's Avatar
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    Wow. I'm sorry for your injuries and the loss/headaches that go along with the whole incident. Thanks for posting this, as I was going to purchase a 5.7 soon. Looks like I will NOT be making that purchase until you are rightly taken care of, they are all recalled for a free fix, and the design flaw is engineered out.

  9. #23
    Member Array Redxd's Avatar
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    I agree with you totally TacticalCompact, my money will not be spent on the 5.7. Thats disappointing, as I was looking forward to owning one. Also, learned a few lesions as well. Man I hope they make it right for you. Best of luck.

  10. #24
    Member Array f3rr37's Avatar
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    To Whom This May Concern,


    I am writing this letter in request of Tommy Thacker per our conversation on this date at 7:38PM Pacific Standard Time, requesting “nothing but the facts” of the incident that happened on April 12, 2008, while I was out target shooting my FNH FiveseveN IOM pistol.


    On Saturday, April 12, 2008, at 1528HRS I was out target shooting and testing some ammunition that I had reloaded.

    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: 1.128in + 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 off 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 the gun literally exploded in my hands. 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 (off-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, 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% complete 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.


    After looking over my FiveseveN I came to the conclusion that it had 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 (Elite Ammunition, 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.
    I contacted Robert Ailes the Customer Support Manager at FN, 703-288-3500 ext 122, roberta@fnhusa.com, 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.


    I've been in contact with Tommy Thacker over the past few days via fivesevenforum.net, voicemail, and our conversation tonight. I never once wanted to blame FN for my problem, however after reviewing my original post, what I posted and what I really meant didn't not come out to be the same, for that I apologize profusely for. When I talked to Tommy I told him 2 or 3 times what my intent was with my post and he told me that that is what he got from my post. My post was out of frustration in the abundance of broken promises that I had received. I wanted to see if someone else could get more information than I could from FNH, because from the half dozen telephone calls that were made and received I had been told numerous things and they never happened. I never asked for anything from FNH, I just wanted to know if someone would want to take a look at what happen to help me understand further what caused this problem.


    I will post this response to FNH on fivesevenforum and other places I posted. I will also do my best to contact any other places that my incident has been posted to.


    I thank you for your time and sorry for any inconveniences that I have caused Robert Ailes, Tommy Thacker, and anyone else at FNH. I tried making clear in my post that all I posted was my observation and nothing more. It seems that this was blown out of proportion and beyond the control of the forum, myself, and FNH.

    ========
    End of Letter
    ========

    I talked with Tommy tonight, he said FNH wanted to take care of the problem, send me a new gun w/no questions asked. All they asked is that I send them a letter of nothing but the "facts" and they will send me a pre-paid slip to return the gun and they will inspect it and replace by gun for me at no cost.

    I want to publicly thank everyone here, and everyone at FNH for their time and effort that was put into this. A lot has happened in the past few days and this has blown way out of proportion.

    If anyone got from my original post that I was putting the blame on FN, my intentions were not such. Tommy even acknowledged that he did not feel that from my original post.

    They are investigating and doing their own testing to see if an OOB fire is possible given all the variables of the situation.

    I will try and update everyone as things happen.

    Again, thank you all,
    -Jake

  11. #25
    kaz
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    I'd decline the new pistol and ask for a refund in the amount of doctor's bills and a new Glock/Kimber/HK/ect.

  12. #26
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    I'm glad they're taking care of you now, but it sure sounds to me like it only happened after you made noise in the forums. I have no way of knowing whether they were affected, but it sure seems like a surprising coincidence if they gave you the runaround until you started writing online.

    Nonetheless, good for them to take care of you. I'm certainly going to watch this thread to see how you're handled. I hope you keep posting updates.

  13. #27
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    Red face fn-fiveseven-warning-picture-heavy-post721516

    Right On, I'm Never Buying any products, from this Company, as a result of this post.

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array Slim_45's Avatar
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    Whew iam glad i dont have one of those pistols If you can prove thats what happened i think you got them by the do NOT send them that gun & see if someone can prove this scenario for you. At least you seem to have healed up pretty quick.....Good luck
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  15. #29
    Member Array f3rr37's Avatar
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    Another update for today:

    I picked up my package today, which ended up not being a package at all, but a UPS Express Envelope. Included were two letters from FN, one from Rick DeMilt (Senior VP of Sales and Marketing) and the other from Tommy Thacker (Product Manager).

    The first letter reads:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick DeMilt
    Mr. [Fuzzy],

    In an effort of best customer service relations, FNH USA, LLC. will replace your pistol at no charge and the replacement will be sent directly to you. This is a unique situation and not a precedent for the future.

    Please be aware that the owner's manual for the Five-SeveN handgun clearly states on page 4 that FN Herstal declines any responsibility and invalidates any guarantee and liability claims for incidental or consequential damages (injuries, loss of property, commercial loss, lost of earnings and profits, ...) resulting in whole ore partly from the use of reloaded ammunition.

    If you have lost or misplaced your owner's manual please contact our customer service department at 703-228-1292.

    Regards,



    Rick DeMilt
    Senior VP of Sales and Marketing
    FNH USA, LLC
    The second letter, note the bold red header is actually on the letter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Thacker
    Warning

    DANGER CAUSED BY RELOADED AMMUNITION!

    Subject: Five-seveN serial # 386102425

    Date: 6-9-2008

    The following conclusions are results from FNH USA's evaluation of the Five-seveN serial # 386102425 sent in to our service facility after a failure using reloaded ammunition.

    Upon examination of this pistol we were able to determine that it did not fire "out of battery" and the catastrophic failure exhibited in this example was clearly caused by excessive cartridge pressure generated by reloaded ammunition.

    Our examination showed that the shoulder of the case was separated from the rest of the cartridge and it was left in place inside the chamber. The position of this piece of brass shows that the handgun was in full battery when the reloaded cartridge was fire and the excessive pressure occurred. Another indicator that confirmed our findings is the primer extruded back into the firing pin hole and a portion of the case head was stuck to the breech face. This was caused by brass flow back into the leaded chamber indicator hole.

    Additionally there was serious damage to the slide assembly which is clear evidence of excessive pressure. The lower edge of the breech face was peeled away and the slide itself was deformed from the excessive pressure. The pressure that caused this damage exceeded OEM ammunition standards.

    The FN ballistics laboratory was able to duplicate the catastrophic failure almost identically with 2x the load data provided by the consumer. In this test the shoulder of the cartridge was left in the chamber at the same position as #386102425, the slide was damaged in the exact same way as #386102425, and the cartridge case head seperated in the same manner with the brass flowing into the loaded chamber indicator hole.

    The design of the Five-seveN pistol, being a recoil operated delayed blow back system, has key parameters that prevent an "out of battery" firing.

    Our established testing data indicates the firing pin will not strike the primer of a cartridge after .1180 inch. of rearward slide travel. With the slide moved rearward .1540 - .1545 inch. (true out of battery limit), it is impossible for the firing pin to strike the primer, at this point the trigger lever does not actuate the lever of the firing pin safety. It was also noted in our examination that the firing pin safety was still fully functional on Five-seveN #386102425.

    It is FNH USA's finding that the catastrophic failure of Five-seveN #38610xxxx was due completely to excessive pressure caused by the reloaded ammunition and was not the result of an "out of battery" firing.



    Please be aware that the owner's manual for the Five-SeveN handgun clearly states on page 4 that FN Herstal declines any responsibility and invalidates any guarantee and liability claims for incidental or consequential damages (injuries, loss of property, commercial loss, lost of earnings and profits, ...) resulting in whole ore partly from the use of reloaded ammunition.

    If you have lost or misplaced your owners manual please contact our customer service department at 703-288-3500 x122 for a replacement.




    Tommy Thacker
    Product Manager
    FNH USA, LLC.
    So from FNH's findings, the cause was excessive pressure caused by a double charge (~10grains of TrueBlue powder). Like everything both mechanical and human, there was an error. In all honestly I'm still not quite convinced that I double charged the load, but from their findings of excessive pressure that they were able to duplicate in almost the exact same manner, it is probably the result of a double charge.

    I accept the findings of FNH's investigation and testing of the incident that happened to me on April 12, 2008. I accept full responsibility for the accident and hope that others can learn from my mistakes.

    I also want to make clear that in my original post, my statements were based off of my observations and firearm at hand. [I kept the Five-seveN in the original condition it was in when the failure happened to preserve anything that might help in FNH's investigation and the only thing I did was handle it, I never tampered with(or cleaned) any part of the gun.] My original post was based on the lack of customer support I had received from FNH after my accident. I never asked FNH to replace my firearm for free, I merely asked if they would like to take the gun in for inspection.


    I want to thank everyone here on the forum for their support and encouragement, also specifically Medula Oblongata, for the time he spent to help me figure this out, and Tommy Thacker who stepped up to the plate as FNH's Product Manager to take care of a situation that rocketed out of control.

    Thanks everyone,
    -f3rr37

    *Also, I received the new Five-seveN USG on wednesday. If you have questions/concerns please post them here: FN FiveseveN Warning *Picture Heavy* part1 - FN FiveseveN Forum

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    First off I hope you are healing well.

    I am impressed that FN blew up another gun to replicate the failure, and still will send you another one.

    Poo happens, but it seems like the FN analysis indicates that it was an overcharge versus OOB.

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