You’re going to see the media calling this a “grenade launcher” accident all day long, but the 37mm launcher—to the best of my knowledge—is legal to own without mountains of ATF paperwork because it can’t fire real grenades.

In any event, the shell in this particular launcher seems to have detonated in the tube, seriously injuring the shooter.

A Walkerton man is being treated at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after a starburst grenade detonated, and blew off his hand.

41 year old Kevin Patterson was airlifted from Plymouth Airport to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for injuries he sustained firing a starburst grenade round from an AR-15 platform rifle.

“The 37 millimeter starburst grenade is an aerial illumination round similar to an aerial firework, said Conservation officer Ashlee Jackson.

Indiana Conservation officer Ken Dowdle said the accident happened just before 12:30pm on Sunday at a private shooting range located at 3725 Plymouth Laporte Trail in Walkerton.

Quite obviously, the shell or the launcher (or both) did not function properly, and it is a shame that Mr. Patterson lost this hand. If the detonation is traced to a defect in the shell and/or the launcher, expect a civil lawsuit to be forthcoming.