What Might Cause A Shotgun To Explode? (The Answers Will Make You Amazed)

Our lives are filled with shocks - most of which occur when we least expect them. There are just those occurrences, despite their warranties, which leaves us with questions hanging.

And for the most unfortunate, these answers may no longer be accessible.

In case you’re wondering what I am alluding to, it is the perennial question that still permeates the hunting world: what might cause a shotgun to explode?

Today, we’ll just about to expose some of the neatest theories as to why this phenomenon occurs.

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More importantly, we’ll also look into ways in which you can use your shotgun safely and correctly - approaches that won’t save your life but should also veer you away from these preventable scenarios.


What Might Cause A Shotgun To Explode?

Commonly known as a “catastrophic failure,” exploding shotguns can be caused by the following:

#1 Overloaded Shell

Overloaded Shell

Accordingly, if your shotgun has an overloaded shell, chances are it should result in detonation. This happens as shotgun powders are “fast” and highly volatile in nature. They are also equipped with a doubled charge or even more. As such, this can ignite the powder which eventuates to an explosion, impacting the gun as a result.

So, once you load your shells, ensure that the loads are set on a “safe” level. Now, if that is still obscure to you, always try to purchase your ammo from your trusted retails stores as all of these crucial to your safety.

#2 The Barrel Obstruction

barel shotgun

Contrary to what most users think, the term barrel obstruction doesn’t necessarily entail any impedance to your weapon. Some obstructions like mud may cause cracks, but these don’t result in an explosion. What we mean to is the occurrence in which we may be putting an incorrect ammunition right to your shotgun.

One of the more common scenarios today is the oblivious insertion of a 20-gauge shell in a 12-gauge gun. Once the 20-gauge shell falls into the barrel, allowing a 12-gauge shell in the chamber to be fired, catastrophe may ensue.

#3 Too Much Mercury


Another possible reason is that the primers may have too much mercury. This component could go against the case of your shotguns once it is both reloaded and fired. On the other hand, black powder can serve an “unwelcome” element as it contains low pressure while the cases were washed of loadings during certain occasions. This very action can diminish your priming mixture.

#4 The Wrong Cartridge

The Wrong Cartridge

While this won’t necessarily explode your shotgun, a wrong cartridge can destroy the weapon’s magazine since the resulting gases should need to go somewhere. One primary example is the shooting of the 8X57 in the 30 to 06. You serve two misfires in this respect: the shooting of an 8mm bullet down a 30-caliber barrel is not the right way to do it since the case is not that long. As such, the head won’t also be supported.

Another example is the usage of a 358 Winchester into a 270 or 30 to 06. This scenario encourages us always to use the correct ammunition in any given weapon.

Now that we’ve tackled the possible ways in which a shotgun may explode, we’ll look into some of the safest ways to use a shotgun or any weapon for that matter.

How To Use Your Shotgun (And Other Weapons) Safely

How To Use Your Shotgun (And Other Weapons) Safely

Essentially, guns are very much safe to use. But once you’re not equipped with the right knowledge on how to use it, things can go awry. So, here are some of the tested and proven ways on how to use your shotgun safely and properly:

1.) The muzzle of your gun should point in a safe area at all times. Considered as the most primary of all the most reliable ways to deal with it, this should remove any fear of an accidental discharge. Probably an ideal space is where no humans or animals are present.

2.) Instill a mentality that your weapon is always loaded. With this in mind, your gun is always treated with safety and delicateness, if you will. This goes the same when your gun is technically unloaded. You can’t just go around pointing your weapon at someone even if doesn’t have ammo.

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3.) Your fingers should never be placed right beside the gun’s trigger when you’re just casually using it. This safety precaution can veer you away from accidental discharges which can eventuate to fatal injuries.

With your handgun, you may place or rest your fingers on the top of the trigger. Whenever you’re using a rifle or a shotgun, simply avoid touching the trigger area with your fingers.

We just can’t reiterate enough the importance of treating your gun as always loaded as mechanical and human errors are bound to happen even when everything is technically safe. One relevant example of this unfortunate chance is the failure of the gun’s safety switch.

4.) Whenever there are spectators nearby, or you’re surrounded by live objects or things, always ensure that you pay attention to your target. Your target should always be within your range and that you should always aim to hit your target as much as possible.

Failure to do this may result to the changing of the bullet’s direction and in another circumstance, may bounce off to other things which all the more dangerous.

Watch this video for a quick guide on how to use your shotgun.

Final thoughts

Although shotguns are designed decidedly for protection and hunting, this weapon is still bound to explode. Misfires (no pun here!) have already been reported and sparked controversies among their manufacturers.

However, most of these incidents can be prevented given that you follow all the safety measures that are either affixed on the manual or are simply passed on from the seasoned users in your family or your circle of friends.

And while these guns can indeed potentially explode, it is always a must that you follow the safety measure more than religiously. These will lessen the human and mechanical errors that are often inevitable in the hunting universe.

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