Guns & Weapons

Avoid A Tube-Fed Disaster: The Dangers Of The Pointed Bullet Chain Reaction

These days “high capacity” generally means a stacked, top-loading magazine. Ten, twenty, and thirty round mags come to mind. However, in the olden days, it meant a tube. Think .30-.30, lever-action cowboy gun. Those still have their place. I shot my last deer with a Marlin model 336.

The tubes have a potential drawback that the vertical stackers do not. With tubes it is best to use flat tipped bullets and not those of the pointy variety. The fear is that one point could strike the primer of the bullet ahead and start a chain reaction.

I have never heard of this happening in real life. But it can. AGG posted a video about just that kind of Chain Reaction. If it happened, it would be a total disaster and potentially deadly. Please watch:

Tube-Fed Disaster

Video by TAOFLEDERMAUS / YouTube.


Here we see a line of points, as feared by a few and disregarded by many. Under test conditions in the experiment, this is what happens when the first (or last) bullet in the tube misfires into the ones ahead:


If it happens (and that is a big if), the result is total destruction. Everything (except the “target”) is blown to misthereens. You do not want this happening in a deer stand.

Again, this potential problem is extremely rare. Myth has it that it simply cannot happen. And those myths are now busted.

As with anything related to firearms, common sense and safety is imperative. Just to be safe, always use flats in a tube feeding rifle. That or wear body armor…

Related: You have to see the gun that has the ATF stumped for what to call it!

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.

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