Like others have said, it's likely a combination of inferior materials and poor treatment from the players using the drum. My buddy has an '80s Supra that cracked three lugs in a short time period. He knows how to tune and maintain a drum, so it wasn't a question of abuse.
In my decades of drumming, and buying, selling, restoring snare drums, I've NEVER had a lug broken as the one pictured! As some others have pointed out, I have had a few lugs with broken mounting feet, which can happen when removing the mounting screws. The only drum I've heard with the tendency to break lugs was the Tama snare drums from the late 80's and 90's that used the longer lugs on 6.5" and deeper snare drums. I remember reading about how Craig Krampf would scour local music stores for extra lugs for his Tama snare drum!
I posted earlier that I thought it could be a combination of bad lugs and overtightening, but I've changed my mind a bit. You simply got a snare with a bad batch of lugs. As noted, I've seen these Ludwig breakages several times before, but I can't remember more than one lug on a drum. You lucked out, my friend. I don't think your friends are to blame.
Buy yourself some new lugs and carry on. Life continues . . . .
Oh, thanks for sharing this with us. Sometime in the future, somebody with the exact same problem will see your post and be comforted . . . in some way or another.
I thank all of you for sharing your knowledge and experience. It's been very educational and helpful. I hope this thread can be of some help for some drummers out there.
I guess I should buy lottery tickets more often!
I've never seen a lug break in my life. However, I had taken my reso head off my 1st kit I ever owned, but left the lugs on,
Over the corse of several months, i did have them bend on me.
No not common at all for one to break
Sorry to revive the thread again, but I have on last question. I have a new drum lug ready to install but I noticed there isn't a spring inside the lug. Should I place the old original spring from the old broken lug or should I leave it without a spring? My phone's battery is dead so I can't post any picture yet.
I was working at a music camp this summer & while digging through their drum gear i came across a 15x5 KB Ludwig snare that had at least half the bowties snapped in the middle exactly like that. They weren't notched bowties either, as they were on a wooden drum. Long term abuse can kill even the earlier bowties apparently.
Here's a tip: buy a Drum Dial. It's a tool used for checking tension on drums when tuning them. You use the tool to check tension at each lug. Costs less then $40, easy to find on eBay. Very simple to use. And you can use it on all of the drums, not just snares. Allows for easily repeatable tuning on any drum.
And in your case, I wouldn't let anybody crank the heads on your drum past a setting of '90' on your drum. On snares, I go as high as 90 on top, and 88 on the bottom. That's pretty high...