If you own a firearm with a tube magazine, you probably heard at some point that you should never load pointed rounds in it, which supposedly could cause the gun to go off or even explode if you dropped it. The assumption was simple: with pointed bullets, a sudden drop could force the tip of one round into the back of another, acting as a firing pin and setting off the primer. The resulting explosion could be catastrophic, and according to anecdotal accounts, it can completely shred a gun—and the shooter if they’re not careful. However, how likely is this to happen under normal circumstances? We know that with certain rounds this is more likely than others: looking at you rimfire .22 LR.
YouTube Taofledermaus decides to find out how easily pointed rounds can detonate in a tube magazine. To do this, he put four 5.56 rounds in a clear tube magazine, complete with spring, and loaded them into an old shotgun. Instead of jostling the gun or dropping it, the team decided it would be safer to put a fiberglass plate against the butt of the gun and simply shoot it. As you can imagine, it wasn’t exactly the most practical test.
You can see the results below.