S & W Eastfield Model 916, blew up in hand!

Discussion in 'Smith & Wesson' started by dangel55, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. dangel55

    dangel55 G&G Newbie

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    It is a Smith & Wesson Eastfield Model 916 12 gauge. I clean it for a friend of mines. And clean isn't the word!!!! Once I finally put it back together I checked to make sure it pumped I went to the gun range. I loaded 1 low grade shell and when I pulled the trigger it didn't eject it just exploded!! No damage to me physically but my pride has been damaged! LOL Im just trying to see if anyone can point me in the direction on parts, manual???? I can purchase another one for him seeing that it was in my possession (MAYBE). The trigger housing is cracked and I don't think it could be fixed, trying to find major parts or replacements!!!
  2. billy

    billy G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    you got a camera?
  3. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

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    The parts manual you can find on gunbroker.com; I just looked. As for buying another one, they have two 12 gauges up for auction just now. One is at $75 with 6 bids, a 19 inch barreled defense/police cruiser model. The other is a 28 inch barreled bird gun, and is at $279 with no bids. If you could get the cruiser model cheaply enough, they also have some hunting barrels up for auction.

    What gets me is the gun blowing up after you cleaned it. You said you were firing a low power test load just to check for function? And you checked the barrel before loading to make sure it was clear? I've heard of guns blowing up before, but every time the cause has been one of four things:

    1. The barrel was obstructed (the most common cause of a blow-up).
    2. A wrong caliber/wrong size round was loaded (e.g., a .45 Colt round in a .410 smoothbore).
    3. A round too powerful for the gun to handle was loaded (e.g., loading a modern high-pressure round into a gun built to handle low blackpowder pressures, or firing +P+ rounds out of a pistol not designed to handle them).
    4. A part was defective (not properly tempered or heat-treated, for instance) or damaged (a dent or a crack in the barrel, perhaps).

    I think we have to be looking at Cause No. 3. You had just inspected and cleaned the shotgun, therefore the barrel was clear (assuming you didn't drop it in the mud or something) and the gun was sound. You loaded a shell and it chambered properly, so we are not dealing with the wrong case length (like a 3 inch cartridge in a 2 3/4 inch chamber) or the wrong size of shell (10 gauge instead of 12 gauge). That leaves only a round too powerful for the gun.

    I've never heard of this model of shotgun, though it certainly looks good with nice, smooth, elegant lines. It is designed for modern powders and not blackpowder, isn't it? How old was it? I suppose it is just possible that you missed a damaged or defective part, but somehow I don't think so.

    Do you still have the shell that blew it up? That might give us a clue here. So might photos of both the shotgun shell and the shotgun itself. But this case certainly sounds unusual if the facts are what you told us.
  4. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

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    I'm wondering if it was re-assembled properly as it almost sounds like it fired out of battery...not locked up ,or something...

    Rich
  5. Kodiak32

    Kodiak32 G&G Regular Forum Contributor

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  6. dangel55

    dangel55 G&G Newbie

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    Well I talked with Smith & Wesson and they gave me a number to the guy that dealt with this type of shotgun.
    #1.They stop making suitable parts for this gun back in 1976.( I was only 4) LOL
    #2.The pumping of the gun was kinda of sluggish. (I saw the problem after I got back home)
    #3.From what I gathered the trigger housing was a problem for these guns and that it was bound to happened.
    #4.And finally it has become GOOD OLD FIREWOOD! At least I think thats what my friend may do with it.

    Thanks anyways GUYS!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  7. Pmacaiman

    Pmacaiman G&G Newbie

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    Sounds like it fired out of battery. What caused the action to close sluggish? What is there about the trigger housing that caused it to fire out of battery or what ever happened to you. Why was it bound to have happened? The incident may be behind you but I like to make sure it's not ahead of me. Share the information!
  8. dangel55

    dangel55 G&G Newbie

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    Well the guy who was formerly employed by smith and wesson said with the age of the gun it was proned to happen. I didn't know the age of the gun my friend said he just had it under the bed for awhile!!! (lol) Don't know what awhile meant. When I pumped before I went to the range it was fine, that is without loading any ammo. Once I got to the range I SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT IT WOULD NOT PUMP WITH A SHELL CHAMBERED!!!! It didn't eject when I pulled the trigger it seems like the firing pin tapped and the shell didn't move forward it stayed right by the ejection slot. It cracked the trigger housing completely luckily I was holding away from my body. No missing fingers or scratch I was VERY LUCKY. I will try and find the website and give you all the info you may need. I read alot on this gun some good some bad, but I believe if you feed HER right she'll produce for you.
    I may ask him for the gun cause I don't like being DEFEATED!!!!!! LOL
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  9. K75RT

    K75RT G&G Enthusiast

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    'Well the guy who was formerly employed by smith and wesson said with the age of the gun it was proned to happen.'
    Honestly, I didn't know that S&W made firearms that had a shelf life for reliability/safety! I have S&W arms made in the early 20th century and there are no safety concerns.....Seems to me that something was assembled wrong I had a 916 and it function 100% never a worry....
  10. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

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    I've never Heard such a Load of Crap, in 30+ years of Gunsmithing...
  11. dangel55

    dangel55 G&G Newbie

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    Same thing I said Moose, I mean it was a first for me to hear it. Oh he's a gunsmith also, AND he worked for Smith & Wesson!!! As for reassembling I didn't take bolt out or anything just butt end of gun that has the trigger housing attached to to it. Just A WHOLE LOT OF BREAK CLEANER AND NEWS PAPER!!!
  12. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    I'm with Mooseman and Dangle. sam.
  13. jonathan plum

    jonathan plum G&G Newbie

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    need s&w mod 916 parts

    are you still interested in s&w mod 916 12ga parts
  14. billy

    billy G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    i wonder if someone slipped a glock part in it?:laughing:
  15. PAPA G

    PAPA G G&G Enthusiast Forum Contributor

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    i had one in the 80's worked great and never failed.
  16. Powderman

    Powderman G&G Regular

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    Folks, there's something wrong here.

    First of all, even in older pump guns, the design of the bolt prevents the hammer from hitting the firing pin unless the action is fully closed.

    Second, from the type of failure you describe, one of two things happened:

    1. You either fired with an obstruction in the bore; or
    2. You chambered a round on top of a 20 gauge shell.
  17. TGF

    TGF G&G Newbie

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    I was going down the wrong gauge shell road as well.
  18. TCD Armament

    TCD Armament G&G Newbie

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    There is MUCH misunderstanding here

    First let me state I have had lots of experience with these shotguns, and I am a gunsmith/gun manufacturer.

    All of the comments about over powered round, something lodged in the chamber, 20 guage in a 12 chamber, mud, ect, ect. would be a good starting guess if you did not know these shotguns. Not the case here.

    First these shotguns are severly flawed from the factory. The release lever is flawed, it has a very thin metal end that catches a part of the slide mechanism next to the bolt, which keeps the bolt closed and lets the trigger detent trip engage.

    When taking these firearms apart, if you are not EXTREMELY careful you can bend the release lever by as little as .040 and it will let the trigger detent free which in turn will let the detent engage and the hammer fall when the bolt is not fully seated/shut.


    {quote}
    As for reassembling I didn't take bolt out or anything just butt end of gun that has the trigger housing attached to to it. Just A WHOLE LOT OF BREAK CLEANER AND NEWS PAPER!!!

    I SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT IT WOULD NOT PUMP WITH A SHELL CHAMBERED!!!! It didn't eject when I pulled the trigger it seems like the firing pin tapped and the shell didn't move forward it stayed right by the ejection slot{quote}

    That tells me the story right there.........


    ALSO, by pumping the shotgun TOO HARD empty you can bend this small tab. (I have seen many people do this over the years, in my shop and TONS of people at gunshows and the shooting ranges)

    One other thing, the comment about the S&W guy saying this is prone to happen with age,,,,and there were some comments about being a load of crap.

    AGAIN,,,lets slow down and think......
    On well worn 916's I have had come through the shop the thin metal part of the release lever that contacts the slide mechanism next to the bolt...... Well, it wears out with repeated strokes (even more with dirty and gritty guns)

    So yes, in a way these guns do have a short lifespan and this is prone to happen with AGE/USE. Did the smith mean if you take a new 916 and put it in a box for thirty years it will go bad,,,,NO. I would assume he meant over time these guns will just wear out (about 1/20th of the time or 1/20th of amount of rounds a 1300 or a mossburg 500 would wear out in)

    sorry to sound like an azz but there were so many misinformed people about this gun I felt like I had to come in and share what I know.

    I actually JUST sold one of these on GB a week ago, I teach gun training at my range (in this case shotgun),,,one good thing about the malfunction of these guns is they are easily converted to MAKE the user hit the button to open the bolt and then again to close the bolt. Because it never fails, you always get the one guy that wants to pump off every round in the tube in 4 seconds......LOL (not at my range!!!!!) I made sure of that!


    thanks, this was my first and last post, I will go back to just looking and listening again.....
    Brent W Lenig
    TCD Armament
    www.tcdarmament.com
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  19. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

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    So you are saying it fired out of battery if i read your post correctly...the bolt was not locked.
  20. Hammer Down

    Hammer Down G&G Newbie

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    Hello Brent
    Thank's for you input. I had an Ithaca Model 51 shotgun that Blew up myself a few years ago. I was shooting Trap with it and shot a complete round with no issues. The second round was going good until the fifth shot when my Gun exploded. I was loading one shell at a time into it and letting the action close by just hiotting the action release button. It came aprt on me and I always felt the action bolt was not fully locked into the fire position to cause this. Here is a picture of what mine looked like after it exploded. It was not a heavily used gun. I bought it used but it was lightly used so I know it could not have been wore out, and I cleaned it everytime I got done with it so it was not dirty either and as you can see it was still like brand new before this explosion happened.... Your comments would be appreciated in this malfunction explosion matter...Regards, Hammerdown





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