Saturday, July 18, 2009

ALS 50BMG Upper Safety Notice and Recall

Advanced Long Range Systems, LLC, has issued a Safety Notice and Recall on their 50BMG conversions. The conversion may fire with the bolt out of battery.

Owners of ALS conversions should not use the units until further notice from the company. The safety notice was prompted by an accident that put one shooter in the hospital. A .50BMG round firing out of battery is definitely not a Good Thing.

Safety Notice on ALS website.


Hammer said...

The accidental discharges of the ALS 50 BMG upper receiver are caused by the operator NOT ENGAGING THE SAFETY when loading the weapon, and combined with a modified target trigger it is operator error waiting to happen. The ALS manual states "your risk injury or death" if you do not ENGAGE the safety when loading the weapon. The weapon cannot fire if the safety is engaged, unless the trigger is defective. The safety was not engaged on the weapon that accidently discharged at the FCSA match. Operator error and poor match safety supervision were to blame.

Suburban said...

Okay. That sort of clears things up.

I'm not sure that I understand why ALS posted a safety notice though.

If that were the case, why wouldn't they just say something like:
You may have heard that there was an accident with an ALS upper that put one shooter in the hospital. As it clearly states in the manual, the safety should be engaged when loading. Otherwise you risk injury or death.

What they posted sounds like "admission of guilt," when you make it sound like they gave sufficient notice in the manual.

Now I'm not sure what to believe.

Hammer said...

I have investigated further into the two ALS 50 BMG upper receiver accidents and found additional information indicating further operator error. The first ALS upper accident where an eye was lost to injury was not only an operator failure to use the weapon safety but a failure to WEAR EYE PROTECTION i.e. shooting safety glasses were not worn over his eyes.

In regard to the second accident at the FCSA match the operator not only failed to use the weapon safety but as a left handed shooter was firing the weapon from it's right side - fully exposing his face, neckand upper body to the 50 BMG bolt and chamber opening. There are no manufacturers that recommend left hand shooters expose themselves to the weapons bolt and chamber opening, that's why they make left handed weapons.

I believe the ALS safety notice, however worded, is well intended and no more an admission of guilt than any safety/recall notice from Remington, Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, or Ruger. ALS is just trying their best to make their product as FOOL-PROOF as possible to continue to make the 50 BMG affordable and available. I treat mine with all the caution and respect due that an extremely high power weapon deserves.

Anonymous said...

The ALS 50 BMG upper is not the only weapon that can accidentlly fire, the BARRETT M90 will ACCIDENTLLY FIRE when closing the bolt if the operator does NOT ENGAGE THE SAFETY when loading the weapon. I recently purchased a like new Barrett M90 #XXX having had less than 20 rounds fired through it. After a through cleaning I proceeded to test the firing mechanism for safe operation by chambering an empty primed case with and without the safety engaged. With the SAFETY ENGAGED the case chambered without firing. With the SAFETY NOT ENGAGED the weapon FIRED at 0 degrees (horizontal) as the bolt handle was closing. If this were a live round my right hand would have been had the thumb torn off.

The problem is with the poor design and workmanship of the trigger transfer bar which controls the slide of the firing pin assembly on the bolt. The rear sear surfaces are rounded, not flat. The looseness and general slop of the transfer bar engagement with the safety and the front transfer bar sear grinding that engages the pivoting trigger allows the firing pin mechanism to slip over the transfer bar and FIRE WITH THE SAFTY NOT ENGAGED.

E-mails to Barrett for information about the problem were unanswered. The Barrett M90 safety engagement, trigger transfer bar, and firing pin mechanism sear surfaces should be reground and refitted to eliminate the potential danger of an unintended discharge.