First, let me say thank you to all. This has been enlightening.
2nd, let me say that in my original post, I was not trying to slam Federal or Smith. If you read it again, I tried to give enough info to explain the sitiuation. My reason for the post was to ask for advise as to how to proceed with S&W and Federal hoping someone had been thru this before. My intent wasn't to get them but I did want a fair shake if the gun or ammo was proven to be at fault.
3rd, for those I felt I shouldn't have upset at Smith, well so be it. $335 dollars is a a lot to me but it was more the disappointment that prompted the ill feelings that bled thru my post. I waited a long time and looks like I will wait a while longer.
Had I known this would richocett into a crime scene investigation
, I would have been more thorough. I did leave out some details as they didn't seem important to get advise on how to best negotiate with a big company.
So, as this has turned into a who did what, I hope to provide full disclosure and an update.
1. There are a few more bullets in another box. So, it stands to reason that some 18 years ago, I shot some and compiled what was left in same box and piled the rest somewhere else or shot it: however, same company, Federal and a Federal headstamp was what separated from the casing. So there is no other ammo company involved. I have never reloaded, or had a friend or family member reload. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been buying the press and supplies to reload and will be starting 9mm's this week-end if nothing changing before then. (these are 40 cals) Until now, reloads simply did not exist in my world unless by accident. The lot number is now in doubt now that I took time to look more closely because of the mixture of Federal headstamps.
2. I did not, could not send Federal the casing as it was welded into the gun. Either it went to one or the other. I honestly figured that the shield would probably be the culprit as it was brand new. I didn't want to dig it out fearing I would do more damage and might cloud the investigation.
3. S&W's letter did not say 100% that it was not the gun. It said they 'felt it was probably an overpressured bullet. I could well imagine that if I had sent Federal the gun/bullet, they might have replied the same saying they 'felt' the gun was probably at fault.
I contacted S&W yesterday. They are polite. I can have my gun back if I want to ship it myself to Federal and deal with them. But until / or unless I return it to Smith, I cannot get another one from them at dealer cost. They were not willing to ship it to Federal or help any more other than to replace it at cost. I agreed and gave them a cc #. She then told me that it might be a couple of weeks for a few months. She had no way to know and she could not just walk out there and get one off the line.
4. I have 29, Federal 155 grain bullets and 1 original box where 20 reside. I have measured them from 1.117 to 1.130. My lovely wife bought me a dillon, digital scale for Christmas. I unpacked it last night and measured the weights. They are in 2 groups so guessing the bullets are different weights which further confirms at least 2 boxes. They group together nothing with a 3 -6 grain variance that would suggest a double charge. I listed 229.5 to 231.4 in one group and 253.4 to 255.8 in the other group. Of the highest weighted ones, they were among the shortest, being around 1.118. I know that would increase the pressure but that doesn't seem to be a lot to me. Those who reload would better know that.
Now, I have pictures and a spreadsheet so I will try to contact Federal tomorrow. Searching the internet doesn't seem to bode well for contacting them. Guessing it will be a rerun of what happened with S&W.
Thanks for tuning in.