Slow Motion Malfunctions of Exotic Firearms

Over many years of filming with my high speed camera, I have a decent little library of malfunctions in a wide variety of guns. These don’t normally make it into videos, and I figured it would be neat to present a bunch of them together. Enjoy!


  1. Very cool.

    What was the pistol with the shower of brass that didn’t cycle all the way through? Odd looking piece.

    Total mess after shooting, a lot of cleaning on that one.

    • I think you are right. Now that I relook, it does look like unburnt powder.

      Is that because it cycled so fast, because something malfunctioned or bad powder?

      • that is because it is bullpup pistol, to chamber cartridge it pulls it backwards out of the magazine and lifts into position. Which is why some ammo just cannot work in it.

      • The cartridge “debulleted” due to the linear G forces of the action.

        The Boberg action has a feed that in geometry is a lot like the Gabbett-Fairfax Mars, pulling the round out of the magazine backwards before feeding it into the chamber in forward motion.

        When the cartridge experienced that massive backward “yank”, which my BOTE calc shows was right around 150 Gs, the case came back, but the bullet was literally “left behind” as its inertia vs. the backward acceleration overcame the crimp or etc. securing it in the case mouth. Hence the spray of propellant particles dumped out of the case as it was pulled backward off them.

        Meanwhile, as Ian stated, the bullet did a backflip and was picked up again by the empty cartridge case moving forward, which scooped it up and shoved it partway into the chamber ass-backwards. Which jammed the whole production.

        Incidentally, I’ve found very few 9mm pistols that have ever fed a Glaser from the magazine reliably. Which really isn’t all that surprising, as the Glaser bullet was originally designed for the .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolver cartridges. revolvers don’t have an issue with bullet profiles for the most part.



  2. Maybe that Pedersen was designed to do that- no clip ejection noise that got so many GIs kilt in the junglez!

  3. You forgot the Schwarzlose Standardt that still blew out the empty cases after the extractor failed to hold! Does setting off a Japanese Type 94 by squeezing the sear count as a malfunction? And how about that scene from Zardoz where Sean Connery’s Webley-Fosbery failed to recoil (because it was loaded with blanks)?

    • Check out Where Eagles Dare (1969) with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, too. At one point Burton fires a round from a “suppressed” Walther PP (probably a 7.65mm) to intimidate somebody by blowing a chunk off the guy’s chair back.

      The next cut shows Burton recocking the PP with his thumb. The blank obviously failed to cycle the PP’s action, a fault that also shows up frequently in the James Bond movies with 007 using the PPK/S.



  4. New category – gun bloopers? 🙂

    It often crossed my mind if rifles are cleaned and lubed before shoot. Imagine how long that rifle was sitting somewhere collecting dust and even rust in gas port. Those two Czech rifles should under normal maintenance work.

    Besides of this, I am aware that many semiauto rifles do not have lots of overtravel; 2-3mm is not nearly enough unless maintenance is stellar. I observe the same on my vz.52/57. SVT-41 and SKS have little more and it pays off.

    • No weapon design is idiot-proof, especially when the item is neglected for a long time. I have heard of exaggerated neglect-induced malfunctions, like a bolt blown out of a C96 whose barrel was clogged inside or a swing-frame revolver whose abused cylinder flew off the frame when the action was violently flung open. Let’s don’t even mention the rusted Trapdoor rifle that some idiot forced to fire an overcharged cartridge after literally hammering the action shut when it wouldn’t close. I hope none of those actually happened!

    • “(…)gun bloopers(…)”
      Regarding obsolete or exotic fire-arm, there is also another possible source of failures – ammunition.
      Pedersen rifle is stellar example of fire-arm using cartridge which is both obsolete (no longer in production) and exotic as having extremely thin film of hardened ceresin (for more data see: )
      Also keep in mind that steel coil springs cannot be held stressed for infinite amount of time without losing their ability to push/pull, so if fire-arm is stored for years with spring in non-neutral position spring might not function properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.