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Savage getting sued

Deseret News:

A Duchesne man whose rifle exploded on a hunting trip and sent shrapnel into his face is suing the gun company for negligence.

Jesse Tatman is suing the company that makes the rifle, Savage Arms, as well as The Sports Authority ó formerly Gart Sports ó for liability, breach of warranties and negligence.

Tatman bought the rifle in January 2003 and hunted in the 2003 season during which the 300 Remington Ultra Magnum worked flawlessly, according to a lawsuit filed in 4th District Court on Oct. 20.

However, during a deer hunting trip in Daggett County on Oct. 22, 2004, when he aimed at a deer and pulled the trigger, “the gun exploded and disintegrated into dozens of pieces, sending debris as far as fifty feet away, and into (Tatman’s) face,” according to the lawsuit.

Tatman’s nose was bleeding and he had several pieces of “gun stock lodged in his face,” according to the suit.

My initial guess is faulty ammo (either reloads or an oops from some factory ammo). But we’ll see.

19 Responses to “Savage getting sued”

  1. ben Says:

    I’m guessing he had a barrel obstruction of some sort.

  2. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    Just wondering, but why the heck does one need a .300 Ultra Mag for deer? Are 400+ meter shots that common in Utah?

  3. Tam Says:

    News Flash: Sometimes guns explode. If you want a safe hobby, pick one that doesn’t involve detonating explosives in your hands, like knitting.

  4. drstrangegun Says:

    Isn’t this the kind of lawsuit that the liberals were SOOOO afraid that the anti-gunmaker busting legislation would stop?

  5. drstrangegun Says:

    Isn’t this the kind of lawsuit that the liberals were SOOOO afraid that the anti-gunmaker busting legislation would stop?

  6. drstrangegun Says:

    Ah, side note;

    Barrel obstruction? I doubt it. You won’t get a barrel obstruction to cause a massive overpressure parts-flinging like that.

    Suing the seller? That’s a lawyer’s work… milking it for money.

    Savage will probably have an expert “prove” to the jury that it was an overloaded cartridge, which is actually very likely what happened. With the case capacity that a .300 Ultra Mag has, you can imagine how lethal a double charge or worse a charge with the wrong powder could be.

    I mean, that kind of carnage could easily be caused by Bubba there loading 100 grains of bullseye under a 180gr Sierra…

  7. ben Says:

    I dunno. Nearly every commenter over at alphecca (on this exact matter) think the obstruction is the most likely cause. I’ve seen a picture of a barrel obstruction explosion, and it aint pretty.

    Have a look. Here’s a barrel in which the guy left his bore sighter in the end and then fired.

  8. Les Jones Says:

    On a total tangent – I used to be co-owner of the tatman.com domain. A friend of mine wanted to develop a tattoo Web site. Good times.

  9. Eagle 1 Says:

    That kind of result can easily happen from an obstructed bore. Have you ever looked through Hatcher’s Notebook? It would be difficult to “double charge” a rifle case with typical rifle powder, even a large capacity case like the .300 Ultra Mag. Why have the case capacity if you can’t fill it up? Loading it with Bullseye, AA #2, or something similar over a heavy bullet, well that’s a different story.

  10. Captain Holly Says:

    Just wondering, but why the heck does one need a .300 Ultra Mag for deer? Are 400+ meter shots that common in Utah?

    Yes, most of the country here is pretty wide open. I don’t know if I’d personally take a 400-meter shot, but they are possible.

    Plus mulies tend to run about 50-100 pounds bigger than whitetails, so you need some extra oomph downrange.

    And as a longtime owner and fan of Savage bolt-actions, I’d be willing to guess that it was either bad ammo or “operator error”. I’ve been out hunting and found a branch stuck in my barrel before; if I’d taken a hasty shot I might have ended up the same way.

  11. Standard Mischief Says:

    Just wondering, but why the heck does one need a .300 Ultra Mag for deer?

    Perhaps he’s practicing for that Alaska trip.

    It also seems like those who would brag over the biggest antlers might also brag over the biggest gun.

    My cousin uses something like this for eastern whitetail. I’d say it’s an overkill but he does connect, usually with neck shots, and drops them quickly and humanly.

  12. drstrangegun Says:

    I’ll remind everyone of the Mythbuster’s episode where they ended up welding a rod into the barrel of a 6.5 carcano rifle and firing it. It takes a pretty serious bore obstruction to cause actual action failure, which is what it sounds like this guy had since there were splinters of stock emitted.

  13. Ninth Stage » Blog Archive » Savage ‘Splosion Says:

    [...] There are plenty of comments at Say Uncle’s post and I’ll address a couple of them here: 1.) A double charge is unlikely in a rifle cartridge loaded to normal rifle velocities, the powder would overflow the case if you tried. It is possible to load too much of a given powder or the right amount of the wrong powder. 2.) A barrel obstruction in a high power rifle can easily blow up a rifle. Near the muzzle it bursts the barrel, near the breach it blows up the gun. [...]

  14. Kristopher Says:

    I’d like to see the cartridge he shot before the one that kaboomed the rifle.

    A squib leaving a second bullet an inch into the rifling might also do this.

  15. clay Says:

    Have you ever owned a savage?

    Total junk.

    Selling my 20 guage 22 o/u was the best decision i’ve ever made. the bullets from the 2 barrels were off in distinctly opposite directions.

  16. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    In a comment over at Alphecca, Ninth Stage notes that it’s interesting that no ammunition maker is named in the lawsuit, leading him to suspect a overcharged handload.

  17. Standard Mischief Says:

    In a comment over at Alphecca, Ninth Stage notes that itís interesting that no ammunition maker is named in the lawsuit, leading him to suspect a overcharged handload.

    Yea, I notice that too, and plenty of people said “handload by idiot” too already.

    The point I’d like to make is we aren’t really given much, not even a photo.

    So until I’m shown otherwise, I’m going to assume that it’s 90% lawyer speak, and 10% truth (namely, he likely had some kind of accident, and he’s planning to sue)

  18. Captain Holly Says:

    In a comment over at Alphecca, Ninth Stage notes that itís interesting that no ammunition maker is named in the lawsuit, leading him to suspect a overcharged handload.

    If that’s the case, the company is in a good position because my Savage owner’s manual clearly states that using handloads is not recommended and will void the warranty.

  19. Captain Holly Says:

    Actually, I looked up the manual and it only contains a warning about using handloads in the rifle, but doesn’t actually recommend against it.

    Link here (pdf file)

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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