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Old July 1, 2014, 03:59 AM   #1
cajundefender
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Winchester White Box Potential Catastrophic Error

I recently ordered some WWB 158grn FMJ from Cabela's. Before storing ammunition for range days, I inspect each box for safety and I inspect each defense JHP round individually. Going through the boxes and checking in a random zig-zag motion for serious casing issues, serious corrosion, checking all primers for serious errors, and just looking at the general average condition of the box. Most cartridges passed with about a third having some discoloration and dents in the casings, but not serious enough to be pulled for being unsuitable for firing, but I did find something disturbing: One of the rounds seemed like it sat lower in the box than the rest. Suspicious, I pulled that one and looked at it. It is shorter than the rest of them, and when comparing it to another one, it looks as if the bullet is seated too deeply into the casing, as the casing is the same size yet the bullet isn't. There are also two gear/plier marks on the bullet and the casing, and several small dented patterns towards the primer, with a serious bent indentation with gear marks on the back of the casing next to the primer. Obviously, this round was pulled and I am re-inspecting the others. The bullet appears to be seated properly with the same look as the others, but it is about a millimeter shorter than the others. What do you think is wrong with it and is it common? Regardless, the round will be disposed of. I have about a dozen other defective cartridges in .38. Possibly a stupid question, but could I pull the bullet out and study the rounds? Especially with this one, I want to see what the bullet looks like compared to the others. Is it just molded smaller than the others or is it likely just seated too deeply. I don't want to blow myself up... Thanks!
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Old July 1, 2014, 04:26 AM   #2
cajundefender
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I clamped down on the bullet after reading the safe way to remove the bullet. The metal jacket came off. The lead core did not. Finally the casing snapped in half. On the inside, there was not enough powder (I opened a good round for comparison and the defective cartridge did not have even half of the powder of the good one) which might have caused a squib if fired. The bullet sizes appear to be about the same, but the slight shortness of the defective round can be attributed to its lack of a metal jacket. I think all it was was that it was seated too deep. As for the powder and the possibility of a squib, I can't say whether it is coincidence and others may be like it or if the amount of powder might be affected by the deep seating of the bullet. Just glad I caught that. I would complain about their quality control, but for a few 100 pack range boxes and only one serious defect, not too bad. Probably about a third of the others either have discolored primers, casings, or bullet or there is some minor denting, but not too bad for bulk production of range-value ammunition.
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Old July 1, 2014, 08:19 PM   #3
Bob Wright
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You, Sir, have just reinforced my pleasure in loading my own ammunition!

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Old July 1, 2014, 09:20 PM   #4
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Apparently that ammo is low cost because the maker skimps on QC and inspection. But that kind of checking should be automatic, built into the manufacturing machinery. I don't know how many rounds were involved, but IMHO one error of that kind in a couple of hundred thousand is way too many.

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Old July 1, 2014, 09:23 PM   #5
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It used to be that factory ammunition was as close to perfect as you could get. Now, I continue to read more and more reports of bad ammunition coming out of American factories. This is a very disturbing trend.
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Old July 1, 2014, 10:53 PM   #6
cajundefender
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It's not like it was some kind of hidden error either. It was very obvious when I scanned over it that something was very wrong. The dents can be expected but this is ridiculous and unacceptable.
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:26 AM   #7
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You should contact Winchester. I had a box of Remington hard ball 9mm that one of the rounds had a crushed primer in sideways.
Sent them photos of the box with the lot number and one of the round.
They sent me a sorry/thankyou and a box of 50 new and a hat.
Yours is a reminder that we need to check what we stuff into our guns in these days that the ammo production lines are running 7 days a week 24 hours a day.
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Old July 2, 2014, 11:40 AM   #8
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The cop shop I once worked out of had a chart on the wall with pictures of ammo defects, including split cases, sideways primers, upside down primers, etc., with the warning to inspect YOUR ammo before loading YOUR weapon. I don't know how much it helped, but it was good advice for anyone carrying a gun, not just LEOs.

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Old July 2, 2014, 01:51 PM   #9
BigJimP
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I've seen a variety of issues with factory ammo cartridges.../ and at the speeds they run their equipment, I guess its not that surprising... ( inverted primers, split cases, bullets seated too deep, significant dents in cases, etc....)..

( but its another reason I've been happy reloading my own ammo for the last 40+ years)....
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Old July 2, 2014, 02:43 PM   #10
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Next time you need to pull a bullet; might I suggest a bullet puller?

It would have been good to contact Winchester before you destroyed the evidence. No point in it now.

Because my experience tells me that Winchester brass is superior over all others (IMO), I have purchased a lot of Winchester White Box over the decades. Mostly, 45 ACP (230 FMJ) and 38 Special (130 FMJ), but also 357 Mag (158 JHP).

Over that time, I've seen lots of anomalies - mostly dents in the cases and OAL variations. And the situation seems to have indeed gotten worse. Sorry you ran into this issue.

This showcases an example of why I cringe when I hear phrases like "as good as factory ammo." The ammo I - and probably most here on TFL - load, is superior to factory ammo.
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Old July 2, 2014, 04:23 PM   #11
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Maybe it's because they have been trying to crank out ammo like crazy since the shortage.

At any rate 99% of what I shoot is cast by myself and loaded by myself in a single stage press. Every load is triple checked visually before seating.
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:11 PM   #12
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on the other hand, cant really complain about it, not like it was a triple charge..
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Old July 3, 2014, 02:05 PM   #13
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Those boxes are not sealed. It could have been tampered with while sitting on the shelf.
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Old July 3, 2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Maybe it's because they have been trying to crank out ammo like crazy since the shortage.
I think your on the right track here. With the way they have been running full bore plus since the ammo craziness, and when you consider the amount over the norm they are cranking out, it makes perfect sense.
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Old July 3, 2014, 07:41 PM   #15
barnbwt
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Quote:
I clamped down on the bullet after reading the safe way to remove the bullet. The metal jacket came off. The lead core did not. Finally the casing snapped in half.
Too much fail for words . FWIW, I got a Tula 9mm FMJ with two bullets and (thankfully) no powder stuffed in it. Dud primer, too. One does have to ask what kind of crappy machinery is even capable of doing such things

Maybe it's a bizarre inverse of Project Eldest Son wherein the ammo supply is sown with duds so as to reduce our combat effectiveness? You can bet your case wouldn't have broken in half if it'd been made from that tin foil

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Old July 3, 2014, 08:06 PM   #16
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I had an old Winchester /Western box ox 357 158 HP's that had one case that was too long and crimped over the ogive of the bullet. I also have a 9mm W/W hollow point round with the primer seated side ways in the primer pocket.
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Old July 4, 2014, 02:41 AM   #17
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on the other hand, cant really complain about it, not like it was a triple charge..
Yes, but it could have caused a bullet to lodge in the barrel with potential bad effects when the next round was fired.

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, not everybody has the presence of mind to check the bore when they get a squib load.
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:14 PM   #18
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Sounds like a factory issue to me, but I was in a Cabela's this week. Noticed several ratty looking boxes of ammo, some with exposed shells inside. They must be scraping up the stockroom to find stuff to put on the shelves. Certainly possible damaged rounds are being put back in damaged boxes and put up for sale.
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:51 PM   #19
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Man is imperfect, anything made by Man is also imperfect.

I had a round of military surplus 45 ACP with no flash hole in the case. The primer backed all the way out when it fired but the round was dud.

I had an entire box of factory 44 Specials split the cases when fired. I didn't notice until I had fired 48 of them.

It happens. Can't get too excited about isolated instances of ammo malfunction.
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Old July 6, 2014, 12:41 AM   #20
johnwilliamson062
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when you go to 3 shifts a day 7 days a week you have to bring on new/inexperienced people. Run long enough like that and everyone gets tired.

You get what you pay for. I have purchased a fair bit of WWB and seen some odd stuff.

WWB is not loaded such that it pushes the limits of any gun. What you describe could have caused a dangerous pressure spike, but I doubt if it would exceed the limits of most handguns. I bet it would have fired just fine and most shooters would not have even noticed the problem.
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Old July 6, 2014, 12:38 PM   #21
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Most factory ammo is loaded under stringent scrutiny. Still, a few bad apples get by. Seems in the OP's case it was readily apparent and should have been spotted, even by someone with little experience with firearms. The markings on the bullet, the marks on the case, the difference in OAL and the absence of powder in combination, tend to make me a tad suspicious that it may be Cabela's instead of Winchester that one should avoid.
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Old July 6, 2014, 03:24 PM   #22
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A shooting buddy and I have seen at least one " will not fire ", out of each box of 20, usually the 150 grain from Winchester----also many Winchester .22's that don't fire, we solved the problem simply enough, we don't buy any Winchester ammo period---none of our guns had issues with Remington/Peters, CCI, Federal, and several other brands of common ammo---this is not to say that the others don't let a bad one through from time to time, but with Winchester it seems to be way too often---
What good is the gun if your not certain the ammo will fire ?
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Old July 6, 2014, 04:58 PM   #23
johnwilliamson062
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1 in 20? I think you are making a significant exageration there. 8 have had nowhere near that number. Even cheap bulk rimfire isn't close to that. If you were having that many problems consistently it was something else.
A misfire during a range session is an opportunity.
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Old July 6, 2014, 05:47 PM   #24
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I give a brief once over to each round I load in a gun, target or self defense ammo. regarding WWB I haven't ever had a bad round in 9mm, .45acp, .32acp, .38spl. I haven't shot enough of it in .380acp or .357mag to give a fair assessment but not one of those were bad either.
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Old July 7, 2014, 04:30 AM   #25
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Well, there's your problem. They're makin' the stuff at Ole Miss!
http://businessfacilities.com/winche...-in-oxford-ms/
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