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Old April 16, 2012, 05:02 PM   #26
Will Beararms
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Everyone has jumped on the 1911 bandwagon. Stick with a proven company: Springfield Armory, Colt, Kimber, etc.
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Old April 16, 2012, 06:23 PM   #27
TunnelRat
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The use of bargain ammo is just something that may sometimes contribute to an existing gun and/or shooter issue, making it a bit more complex to diagnose.

I have no concern over the ammo someone else uses in their privately owned handguns. I neither shill nor recommend specific ammo. (Sure, I have an interest in the ammo used in an agency-owned weapon that I'm responsible to help support & maintain, and as an armorer I'd like to know what's being used if someone brings me a gun for diagnosis & correction of a reported "problem", but that's a different subject.)

Luck to you.
See you keep calling it bargain ammo. I don't have the luxury of being able to buy large quantities of Speer Lawman or Winchester Ranger easily. I am not a LEO that is given practice ammo, I must buy it. Now could I order that online? Certainly. At more of an expense. Now you might say it's worth the extra expense. I can see your point. However I have never had an issue with Federal Champion 45 ACP in any of my firearms before this, and not really any issue with it in 9mm (with the exception of some very stiff recoil springs that needed breaking in). With that kind of experience with it, I have a hard time believing it is all the ammo.

But all this is neither here nor there. Luckily S&W will be figuring it out .
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Old April 17, 2012, 11:39 AM   #28
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See you keep calling it bargain ammo.
If what I've heard is correct (who knows?), the Champion line is made for Wal-Mart so it can be sold as a low cost budget ammunition line for their stores. (Can you find it in Federal's website?)

It's not uncommon for such intended low cost store lines to use the least expensive components. Can you buy Federal American Eagle for less money? If not ... bargain ammo.

While I've used bargain/contract loads myself, upon occasion, I typically don't look toward them as necessarily being representative of "regular" loads. I'd prefer to use more mainstream loads for things like function-testing (to diagnose potential gun problems), just to help eliminate low power/borderline power levels or some component issues (primer sensitivity, taper crimp strength, etc).

If you have the time, let us know what S&W discovers about your pistol.
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Old April 17, 2012, 12:14 PM   #29
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I'd prefer to use more mainstream loads
Such as? What's your definition of a "mainstream" load.

I know Federal Champion isn't match grade ammo. However, again I have never had any problems with it in the past. Not one hard primer, not one case flaw. I have had a number of issues with Winchester White Box on the other hand. And again that same ammo ran through other weapons fine, from the same box. So to me blaming the ammo is just illogical.

Just because something is low price, doesn't mean it's garbage. Now obviously there are times when that isn't true, but in my experience this isn't one of them. Maybe you ought to give it more of a try yourself.
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Old April 17, 2012, 01:45 PM   #30
gyvel
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I called Smith and Wesson and was informed the manual is incorrect. The closed end of the recoil spring goes on the guide rod first and is an interference fit.
That has been the policy with 1911s since time immemorial.
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Old April 17, 2012, 01:47 PM   #31
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Just because something is low price, doesn't mean it's garbage. Now obviously there are times when that isn't true, but in my experience this isn't one of them. Maybe you ought to give it more of a try yourself.
I don't shop at Wal-Mart, so I'm probably not going to be trying the Champion line any time soon.

Ammunition prices have risen significantly in recent years. I've seen a box of Remington & Winchester .357 Magnum JHP carry ammunition go from $12 to $49 for a 50-rd box (since I was buying a lot of ammunition). Pistol ammunition similarly. Incredible.

Once I'm no longer putting in time as an instructor & armorer, and have to pay for my own range time at a public range ... and all of my own ammunition, instead of just the 2-3 calibers I buy at my own expense ... I'll no doubt cut back on my training/practice even more than I have since I retired.

I don't have the answer regarding which of the budget ammunition lines are consistently the best bang-for-the-buck, quality-wise. We take our chances.

I've seen some run great ... and I've experienced (and observed) an occasional QC issue. I've listened to guys coming back from schools where some brands of the bulk practice loads they bought to use just didn't run well ... but other brands did (when they had to borrow ammunition). Just depends.

However, when the big names are running their production lines for their low-cost offerings, they're reportedly sometimes using components that have been left over from other product runs, or just their less expensive components. How else can they afford to shave pennies per round? Sometimes it might be different brass (not as cleaned, polished or as consistent in allowable dimensions), sometimes different primers (sensitivity) and/or sometimes different powder (dirtier, less consistent & with more flash signature) than what's used in their "premium" lines. If not, how can they sell it for less? It's not just a fancy hollowpoint that costs more.
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Old April 17, 2012, 01:51 PM   #32
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Sometimes it might be different brass (not as cleaned, polished or as consistent in allowable dimensions), sometimes different primers (sensitivity) and/or sometimes different powder (dirtier, less consistent & with more flash signature) than what's used in their "premium" lines. If not, how can they sell it for less?
Again, I already agreed that Federal Champion isn't the best ammo out there. I don't trust my life to it. But again, I've never had an issue with it, so I'm not likely to stop using it at the range.

Quote:
I don't shop at Wal-Mart, so I'm probably not going to be trying the Champion line any time soon.
Still didn't answer my question. What do you consider a "mainstream load", as you put it earlier?
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Old April 17, 2012, 01:52 PM   #33
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I called Smith and Wesson and was informed the manual is incorrect. The closed end of the recoil spring goes on the guide rod first and is an interference fit.
I wish this sort of mistake was rare, but it can happen more often than we might wish.

I've come across more than a couple of mistakes in various armorer manuals (which you'd think would receive some careful attention in the editing process). Sometimes it's a picture that doesn't match the wording, or the image is outright incorrect (how about reversed?). When I've asked about such errors I've been told they're going to be corrected in a subsequent revision.

It's not just one brand, either.
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Old April 17, 2012, 01:55 PM   #34
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I called Smith and Wesson and was informed the manual is incorrect. The closed end of the recoil spring goes on the guide rod first and is an interference fit.
My manual actually had this printed correctly, I checked after you asked. Maybe they revised it?
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Old April 17, 2012, 02:03 PM   #35
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Still didn't answer my question. What do you consider a "mainstream load", as you put it earlier?
One not just made for a major chain store for bulk/budget sales.

Personally, I'd also tend to shy away from anything which comes in a bucket or bulk bag, too. Or, if for some reason I did use such loads just for range/practice ammo, I'd not be surprised if I experienced more QC-related functioning issues than I do when using more expensive offerings still within the "low-cost" product lines. I wouldn't "blame" the gun for not running well on lesser quality ammo. Some guns might, and some might not.
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Old April 17, 2012, 02:25 PM   #36
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One not just made for a major chain store for bulk/budget sales.

Personally, I'd also tend to shy away from anything which comes in a bucket or bulk bag, too. Or, if for some reason I did use such loads just for range/practice ammo, I'd not be surprised if I experienced more QC-related functioning issues than I do when using more expensive offerings still within the "low-cost" product lines. I wouldn't "blame" the gun for not running well on lesser quality ammo. Some guns might, and some might not.
Lol, you can't give me a straight answer can you? What ammo brand do you run through your own firearms then when at the range? If you're so convinced it's the ammo that's the problem, tell me what ammo I "should" be running then. I have a candystore of a gun store 20 min from my house. Tell me what ammo I should buy.
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:17 PM   #37
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I gave you a straight answer. It may not have been what you were expecting or specific enough for whatever you may have had in mind, though.

I mentioned earlier that I don't shill nor recommend specific ammunition. Habit from teaching firearms classes to both LE and non-LE students. I tell LE users to use whatever they're issued, or, if they're allowed a choice, to pick one of the more modern loads being sold by one of the big name companies that have acquired experience in providing duty ammunition to LE/Gov customers.

I'm not set on staying with any specific brand, although I prefer to use something made by one of the larger American companies.

At one time or another I've used training & duty ammunition made by Federal (Classic, American Eagle & Hydra-Shok), Remington (Express & Golden Sabre) & Winchester (Ranger, USA & SXT/T-Series) & Speer (Gold Dot). I've bought some of the same, and in earlier times I occasionally tried other brands (both foreign & domestic).

When I buy ammunition over-the-counter, I'll usually spend my own money on Winchester Supreme, RA38B/PDX1 (.38 Spl) or T-Series (individual LE sales); Remington Express or Golden Sabre; or Speer Gold Dot. Mostly. I'll buy Federal revolver ammunition, but not so much their pistol ammunition.

I've bought budget ammo for an occasional last minute qual or practice session (UMC, Lawman, Blazer, American Eagle or USA). Upon those occasions my expectations are a bit different than if I were using the premium loads offered by the respective makers, and I'm less surprised if a QC problem occurs.
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:22 PM   #38
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fastbolt
From that list it sounds like all you're buying is duty ammo or typical LE training ammo. You shoot Gold Dots at the range? How many? I carry Gold Dots, but when I shoot 100 rounds a weekend I don't shoot 100 Gold Dots. I shoot a box a month to function check and make sure I can hit with them effectively. I see no reason for every bullet I fire to be a premium bullet. I wouldn't be able to train even a fraction of what I do now. And again, for me and my primary carry, an HK45c, theFederal Champ has been just fine. I'll use what I use based off of experience. If you disagree, that's fine.

You have the luxury of being issued duty ammo. That is something that majority of us don't have. That's nice for you, but if you think that's what everyone else shoots you must think we're all rich.

As for your point that ammunition can be a factor, this I know and knew already. I don't think it is the problem in this case. I will agree that trying different types of ammo can be constructive, and I did this with recent problems I had with a Walther P99. But again at that point all I tried was some off the shelf Winchester and Remington in addition to the Federal (it still failed with them too by the way). If something won't work with any off the shelf ammo I don't want it, if that makes me a cheapskate then fine. My guns my choice. This practice hasn't failed me yet.
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Old April 20, 2012, 02:24 AM   #39
jedi391
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TunnelRat,

Relax a little, Fastbolt's trying to help you out and he's patiently answered every question you've asked even though you've acted a bit snippy. Personally I've learned allot from his posts over the years and haven't seen him cause problems in any thread. He's been there and done that, try to show a little respect and you may learn something.

That being said, I know this situation must be frustrating so you should get a little slack. Hope it works out for you.
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