Sanpete County man injured when rifle barrel explodes during target practice

Posted at 10:21 PM, Sep 19, 2017

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah - When the gun Jared Young was holding exploded in his hands, he thought the worst.

"I took my shirt and covered it.  I didn't even want to look," Young explained.

"I thought for sure I was going to have to pick up fingers," Young's friend, Courtney Crane added.

The video, posted to Facebook, has been viewed over 13 million times in 48 hours and had over a thousand shares. The friends were target shooting in Sanpete County over the weekend.  Crane was holding a cell phone, recording video in one hand, and holding a spotting scope in the other.

"I hear bang, and I'm like, 'dude, you're not even close,'" Crane said when he didn't see the target move 200 yards away.

"When I look up, he's gone and the gun is backward and I'm like, 'oh no.'"

Young needed 27 stitches and a hand specialist will do surgery on the nerves Wednesday morning, but he believes he'll regain full use of his hand.

In the aftermath, Young is left trying to figure out what went wrong.

"There was probably one last thing we didn't do," Young admits. "Even though this is clean, is there any debris in the barrel, anything blocking it?"

Young said he had the barrel cleaned by a gunsmith, but admits he should have been more careful before firing the first round of the season.

"We made assumptions," he said. "I won't make those assumptions again. I'll always double check."