Expert Metallurgist Evaluates Catastrophic Failure in Automatic Pistol Slide

    Handgun Expert WitnessThis case involves a handgun malfunction. The plaintiff rented a small handgun produced by a prominent gun manufacturer at a shooting range. He went onto a lane and loaded several rounds of ammunition into the weapon’s magazine. He fired several rounds, before feeling an impact to his face after shooting another round. The gun slide split in half, and a piece of the slide hit him in the eye. The Plaintiff suffered serious injuries from the accident, which required significant reconstructive surgery. In addition, the Plaintiff also suffered permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Upon inspection, a flaw was discovered that most likely occurred the stamping process which was not fixed by thermal treating procedures during the manufacturing of the firearm.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Do you have familiarity with the subject matter described above?
    • 2. Have you ever published or lectured on this subject/issue?
    • 3. Please discuss your background with handguns.

    Expert Witness Response E-039298

    I do have extensive expertise in failure analysis, especially all of the materials used in the gun slide. I have fired and qualified in marksmanship while in the Marine Corps. I have traveled and lectured extensively on failure analysis. This would include the steel alloys used in a firearm. My consulting experience has involved analysis of firearms for their heat treatment quality and service ability. I have lectured on failure Analysis of components and machinery. My expertise in metals, inspection of the metals, manufacturing of components for heat treatment and quality control, dimensional stability and serviceability for the intended requirements make me qualified as a good expert for this case. I would rigorously and methodically analyze the fracture surface and the micro structure of the failed receiver and compare it with one that has not failed but has been in service. Comparison with quality control and engineering documents is necessary. My work product is a good engineering failure analysis in giving the root cause of the failure and recommendations to prevent future problems.

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