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Old February 21, 2013, 01:38 AM   #76
jerryv
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Someone has already brought ruger into this conversation so ill add this tidbit of info fwiw.

Here is a pic of a ruger lcp with a Crimson Trace laser on it that i blew up with my reloads. no powder in one round and a shooter (me) not paying attention to what he was doing.

I had no intention of contacting ruger or ct but after i posted pic on ruger forum i was advised to contact ruger that they might help in replacement cost. I did and told them exactly what happened , they said to send them the gun. Sent via ups as gun parts, cost me $8. Two weeks later i received a new lcp with same serial # as original. the #s were white. no charge.

I sent ct this pic and within a hour i got a call saying that they were sending a new laser and a return mailer for the damaged unit. No charge. they had my info from the laser registration i had sent when i bought it.
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:14 AM   #77
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^ Way to stir the pot....


Your experience with Ruger is very fortunate. They are a good stand-up company, and so is Smith&Wesson; but they may have different warranty policies. Your actual experience with your blown-up LCP is also different from the OP's.

Although it would be great if the OP did get a free replacement for his broken pistol, we cannot force S&W to give him a replacement gun nor are they obligated to do so under the circumstances.

L2R, good luck and keep trying to get a hold of Federal and see what they have to say.
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:40 AM   #78
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Based on jerryv's post I stand corrected that Ruger
Quote:
won't replace a gun that the end user blew up with a poor/uninformed ammunition choice.
I agree with Justice06RR,
Quote:
Your experience with Ruger is very fortunate.
This goes against Ruger's policy and is unbelievable though not in the literal sense as I am not, nor do I have reason to question jerryv's integrity.

The following is taken directly from page 12 of the Ruger LCP owners manual:

AMMUNITION (CARTRIDGES) NOTICE
WE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE
OR INJURY WHATSOEVER OCCURRING IN CONNECTION WITH, OR AS
A RESULT OF, THE USE IN RUGER FIREARMS OF FAULTY, OR NONSTANDARD,
OR “RE-MANUFACTURED”, OR HAND-LOADED
(RELOADED) AMMUNITION, OR OF CARTRIDGES OTHER THAN THOSE
FOR WHICH THE FIREARM WAS ORIGINALLY CHAMBERED.
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:39 AM   #79
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I think what Ruger does is based on Bill Ruger, as there's a lot of stories of him blowing up guns and replacing them for customers.
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:13 PM   #80
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I think these become case by case and who reviews them or not may mean no versus yes. I have blown both guns and casings up in all my years of shooting. I have never blamed anyone but myself. They were not over loaded casings or poorly made guns. Sometimes it will just happen since humans still build the guns and ammo. I have reloaded but never with the idea to damage the gun. Companies have repaired or replaced guns or parts (Accessories-like scopes)based on their choice to, not on my insistance that they do it. We all have the option to not buy a gun or product from a specific manufacturer if we feel they do not stand behind it.

I have to admit I was very suprised to see jerryv's image. I would not expect that from a .380 no matter what. I would have given you a new gun just for the picture.

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Old February 21, 2013, 02:53 PM   #81
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Well the blame is on the manufacturer if they did something wrong, obviously. If they made the gun shoddily or incorrectly and that caused it to blow up, then they're at fault. Same with the ammo manufacturer if they loaded the wrong cartridges.

There's stories of getting .44 Magnum in .44 Special boxes. While most of us would see it and say "Hey that's not right!" there isn't much we can do if it's stamped correctly but loaded wrong.

If you hand load, that's on you obviously.
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:49 PM   #82
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update on the situation

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.
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:10 PM   #83
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I have sent guns to Taurus, Ruger and Springfield for repairs or adjustments. Those three companies have always corrected my issues and paid return shipping to me free of charge. I have a smith 629 classic that shot loose and the timing went south. Sent that gun to Smith they fixed it for a price. In my experience Smith and Wesson has the crappiest warranty department. For a firearm manufacture that stands proud and touts its self as the best they should stand behind issues especially one like mine. I shot a Taurus m44 to a point of no return they sent an entire new gun free of charge and paid the shipping both ways. All of my guns get reloads that i make.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:11 AM   #84
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but,but, but, it's a S&W. It has to be somebody else's fault.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:12 AM   #85
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Quote:
I did not, could not send Federal the casing as it was welded into the gun.
This, alone, is sufficient evidence that the ammunition was massively overpressure. There is no firearm-induced malfunction that could result in the case being welded to the chamber of a firearm that was operating normally up until that point.

I think that many people don't understand that there are often very obvious clues as to whether a catastrophic incident was the result of an ammunition problem or a firearm problem.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:04 AM   #86
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Was the headstamp on the grenaded round "Federal" or "FC"?
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:23 AM   #87
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If you are still have any old .40 ammo when this is all said and done. Do yourself a favor and dump them in the bad ammo bin at your local range.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:20 PM   #88
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My father always tells me, 'Life is tough and then you die'. I hope this works out to where you are okay with the experience. It seems to me there is a lot of opinion intertwined in this thread, but very little factual evidence established. Personally I do not see any proof that S&W, or Federal as the responsible party, as no one can prove that it was Federal factory ammunition, some other manufacturer's factory ammunition, or reloaded ammunition.

No matter what the strong opinions may be, I do not see the OP having convinced a 'Jury' of those that support gun ownership, so I doubt a jury of antigun advocates would see it his way either. I do not see this going to a trial, so I suspect the best the OP can expect is the very generous offer by S&W.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:29 PM   #89
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Quote:
Was the headstamp on the grenaded round "Federal" or "FC"?
Assumption is that these are the only two choices, and that the headstamp portion provided went with the casing stuck in the chamber. A lot of assumptions and speculations that would take a lot of time to establish, prove, disprove in court.

So if it is not going to court, why not accept the S&W offer ? I suspect a more refined approach could be taken with Federal, but I also suspect the ammunition is so old that Federal will not rise and accept responsibility either. However, who knows, other than the Shadow that is ?
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:23 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook686
Assumption is that these are the only two choices, and that the headstamp portion provided went with the casing stuck in the chamber. A lot of assumptions and speculations that would take a lot of time to establish, prove, disprove in court.

So if it is not going to court, why not accept the S&W offer ? I suspect a more refined approach could be taken with Federal, but I also suspect the ammunition is so old that Federal will not rise and accept responsibility either. However, who knows, other than the Shadow that is ?
Given that the OP states 1) That he was shooting Hydra-Shoks and 2) That all the other brass in the box was headstamped "Federal" or "FC", this is a pretty safe assumption to make.

I, too, would counsel OP to take S&W's offer, and suggest that it is unlikely, given all the other variables in play, that Federal/ATK is going to feel compelled to do anything here, but I thought he might want to know that if he has any other old "FC"-headstamped .40 Hydra-Shok lying around that he should not fire it in the replacement pistol, as Federal redesigned its .40 brass with a thicker web and changed the headstamp.

That was all. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled picking fly poop out of pepper...
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:09 AM   #91
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Bad chamber? And how can you tell with brass welded in it?

Maybe the caution for all is to contact both parties beofre sending anything to anyone and negotiate from there.

And if further question arrives you have the parts in hand to do more forensics.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:22 AM   #92
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L2R, so you are just taking the offer from Smith and buying a new one at cost?

Sorry to hear how this played out, but sometimes we gotta take the bad with the good, or as they say "make lemonade out of lemons"
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:29 AM   #93
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Not to beat on S&W here but there's always two sides to every story. They've always proved to be second to none for me when it comes to warranties. Second to None!!!
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:35 AM   #94
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As JohnKSa indicated, the physical evidence described by the OP strongly tilts the scales toward an overpressure round.

And, though the OP says he doesn't reload or mix ammo, he has extractor marks on at least one of his rounds in the photo he provided. So perhaps the OP is in the habit of frequently rechambering his factory rounds, which can lead to setback and overpressure.

And, as Tamara noted, depending on the age of his ammo, he may have some from a timeframe when FC .40 was known to kaboom from inadequate case thickness.

NONE of the evidence provided or described by the OP indicates a failure of the weapon itself. If anything, it sounds like the weapon did its job - the OP did not describe loss of fingers, or suffering of shrapnel related injuries.
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Old February 23, 2013, 08:25 AM   #95
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short version update

I took pictures of the inside of the gun and headstamp.
All was sent to Smith as all of it, to me, was evidence.

F C was on the headstamp.

These were purchased for a Glock that I will say had less than 100 rounds put thru it in it's lifetime. These were bought for defense. So it makes sense that a few rounds could have an extractor mark on it as appears that about a half of box was shot to make sure they cycled in the gun and a few times, these would have been removed from the magazine and gun to shoot less expensive ammo. Best guess is this gun made it to the range only 6 or 8 times at most.

So I got a shield was was doing the same thing. Seeing that hollow points would cycle in the gun.

As for the brass being welded in, maybe a poor choice of words but it expanded to the point where I didn't see an easy was to dislodge it without mangling it beyond recogntion and I thought it best to leave intact so someone could see it. At the time, I didn't know if something happened the round before or if the extractor was somehow involved. All I knew was that the barrel was clear and the headstamp and mag was on the ground.

I still believe that the ammo is factory produced. There were 3 involved, the shooter, the gun and me.


I am taking 100% of the load on this. I took the offer. I have no idea when I will be sent another gun. They said it could be weeks or months before they have on to send me.

They will NOT let me have both a new gun and my old gun. As I have no leverage to make them do both, I choose to get one that I can use.

For those who think it was a reload or have absolute clearity on this, I will say that no one, not even S&W said anything was absolute. So I am past wondering who was at fault. All I can say is there have never in my lifetime been known reloads in my possesion.

When it first happened and old friend told me that S&W would no doubt replace it as it was cheaper to do that than do a lot of research and haggling. Their cost is probably less than $200 and that is small change for good PR. So, to those who think like that, well, we live in a different world today.


I have written a letter and it
will be sent via mail or email this week end to Federal to see what they have to say. Either way, I have paid for it out of wallet. Not expecting anything else. IF Federal also believes that it was an overpressured one and they made it, then I will accept an offer if one is given. Not holding my breath though.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:20 AM   #96
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Why take the offer from S&W without contacting Federal first? They just might have found something in the ammo and compensated you. That just doesn't make sense to me at all.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:21 AM   #97
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Re: s&w warranty isn't bullet proof

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyeyezz View Post
Why take the offer from S&W without contacting Federal first? They just might have found something in the ammo and compensated you. That just doesn't make sense to me at all.
Agreed
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:19 PM   #98
L2R
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settling with S&W

S&W would not forward my gun and their bullet casing to Federal.
S&W would not sell me another gun to replace the broken one unless they had possession of the broke one.
As it took S&W a full 2 months to review this, I am expecting another delay from Federal.

They have succeeded in wearing me down.
I have waited now 10 months for a shield and Spring is on the horizon.
I chose to let S&W keep the gun, to save me from paying for it to be shipped 4 more times at my cost and God knows how long to hear what Federal has to say.

I have a document from Smith acknowledging the issue, plenty of pictures.
It probably isn't enough to get anything back from Federal but I am ready to move on and go shoot some this Spring.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:25 PM   #99
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I truly feel bad for you in this situation. If you were trying to be cool and loading hot loads or something of the like I wouldn't, but that is not the case here. Best of luck, happy shooting and get rid of that old ammo.
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Old February 23, 2013, 03:53 PM   #100
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Just trying to save you some money bro, I know it sucks.

I would send Federal the ammo anyway, you just know they will blame the gun if they got it and back and forth it will go.
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