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Old December 10, 2005, 10:55 AM   #1
Join Date: October 2, 2005
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Practice makes perfect (sense)!

I do a whole lot of shooting at the range, tactics training, dry fire, and even the CCW stuff. However, one thing that NEVER occured to me was to shoot my self-defense rounds to check for functionability!(I mean, it's factory ammo, so IT HAS TO WORK!)

I recently purchased some HP's from the ammoman, so I decided to shoot off the other HPs that wERE stored in my CCW/home defense on the way to my shotgun pistol.

Despite the fact that I had these HPs for over a year, I would have never thought that I could have bad ammo! When I shot these suckers off, every other one resulted in a FTF (bad primer) or a mini kaboom!. I was tapping and racking....and eventually just racking like a maniac! Naturallyl, I ASSUMED that it was my pistol, but I tried 4 other guns, and got the same results. This scared the sheize out of me! I felt (still currently feel) like an idiot for NEVER TESTING THIS BATCH OF AMMO OUT BEFORE I STORED IT IN MY WEAPON!

So from now on, I will not have a lot of self-defense HP's lying around for more than a month; I will always shoot off at least 20% of the box to "test" it before I store it in my weapon.

Has anyone else ever tripped upon this "discovery" before?
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Old December 10, 2005, 11:19 AM   #2
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Never happened to me before but now you've got me worried. I don't make a habbit of test firing each batch since I only buy 2-3 magazines worth at a time. Oh well, guess I'm going to the range this PM.

Did you try to re-strike any of the primers/rounds? Did any go bang the 2nd time around?

Anything unusual about the ammo? Appearance? Was the primer dented?

What brand/cal/grain ammo???
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Old December 10, 2005, 11:26 AM   #3
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never happen to me. i shoot at least a box of hp. i am using umc hp for the 9mm and hydro-shock. i shot a box of each to see if my gun would shot it. it does. and from ever box i buy i shoot at least 5 rounds just to make sure.
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Old December 10, 2005, 12:53 PM   #4
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That's some pretty scarey stuff! Have you given any thought to contacting the manufacturer? If you still have it, save the box, and give them the lot number. Since their business (and a possible lawsuit) is on the line, I'll bet your call would be well-received.

Another possibility here, any chance your ammo was exposed to WD-40 or another oil or solvent? WD-40 is notorious for penetrating primers and ruining them.
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Old December 10, 2005, 02:35 PM   #5
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That is why I normally just stick with Hydra-Shocks and Cor-Bons in my carry gun (well, used to be guns).

I ran about 100 rounds of each through the USP, the FM, etc... before I decided to stay with these brands. Nothing happened except for a BANG and a hole in the paper.

When they come out with the next "greatest and latest" SD ammo, I still just got my Hydro-Shocks and my Cor-Bons, they were tested and true and it cost quite a pretty penny to do that!

I had some (forgot the name) SD ammo that I bought because it was the "latest and greatest" and had so many jams that I gave away the rest I had left (and yes, I told the person that I gave them to) and he had the same problem. Guns used (this I remember) was the USP .45 and a Glock, so it was the ammo, not the guns.

Also, it's good to do this, this way you know:

I load up my mags with the SD ammo of choice. Every six months I goto the range and empty said ammo down range into a piece of paper and load up with the same type of ammo but fresher.

Why do I do this?

1. When you clean (I clean my carry gun every two weeks) you can rotate the cartriages in the mag and then put one in the pipe.

2. You can only rotate so much before you may start to drive the bullet into the casing and causing high pressure buildup.

3. It gives you a chance to retest your SD ammo of choice.

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Old December 10, 2005, 02:43 PM   #6
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Strange? I'm used to seeing rants about his and that but what kind of ammo? Details please?
I havn't seen a bad lot of ammo since the 90s when Federal had that ka-boom brass in the LEO .40S&W.
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Old December 11, 2005, 05:33 AM   #7
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Odd. The worst ammunition I have seen recently was AA-American Ammunition from Florida. They should be shut down. The GSA gave them a contract to supply ammunition. IIRC, AA also has/had a DOD contract for supply too.
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Old December 11, 2005, 12:10 PM   #8
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When I skimmed over this quickly, this is what I saw: However, one thing that NEVER occured to me was to shoot my self

But then I re-read it more slowly, and realized we weren't dealing with someone suicidal.

It's a good thing you found out about this ammo problem at the range, rather than in a serious situation. As previously mentioned, if at any time this ammo got contaminated with wd-40 (or possibly another similar oil), that may have ruined the primers.
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Old December 11, 2005, 12:54 PM   #9
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Shooting up Defense Ammo.

I know that a lot of folks will say that they keep their defense ammo for years without a problem. I know that I shoot a lot of old ammo, BUT...I got into the habbit of rotating my defense ammo about every other month. It's good to practice with your defense ammo and 50 rounds every other month isn't a bad investment for peace of mind.
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Old December 12, 2005, 02:59 AM   #10
Join Date: October 2, 2005
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Sorry guys I can't remember the brand of ammo it was (I bought it almost two years ago now that I think about it). Off the top of my head I will say it was Federal ????

I kept the ammo in a safe, could that have been a factor?

Well, this won't happen to me again...that's for sure!!
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Old December 12, 2005, 03:50 AM   #11
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The ammo should not have failed to function because you kept it around for a couple of years or because it was stored in a safe.

So H&K4Life, all of this older HP ammo you had was only what was in your guns? You didn't have any leftovers, an old box, or anything to recall what type it was? That seems a bit strange especially since you are so emphatic on not having something like this happen to you again. I would have thought that the first step in not letting this happen to you again would be to avoid that brand and model of ammo.

As for not storing ammo for more than a month, that isn't going to do anything to help with ammo reliability unless of course the reason the ammo went bad was because of the primers and/or powder contaminated with an oil or solvent (as noted above).

Just curious, before you put up your guns, do you spray them with some oil and wipe off the excess or do you spray some in a rag and wipe it over the gun? If the former, then you may have ruined your own ammo.

Just curious, how did you come up with shooting 20% of a box before putting defense ammo into your guns? That seems a bit excessive. I am not suggesting it is wrong, just excessive.

If you purchased your ammo from, can you recall if the ammo was LE only reclassified to practice ammo? Occasionally Eric gets that sort of ammo and markets it accordingly. However, the reclassified stuff I have purchased has been great. The ammo got reclassified (Speer Gold Dot) as I recall for some primer ignition issues. Apparently, something like 1 round in 1000 would be expected to fail. That was too high and so the ammo was reclassified.

I have had some for close to 4 years and it still shoots fine. Being 4 years old hasn't resulted in the ammo failing at a faster rate. With about 1200 rounds so far, the ammo has been 100% in igniting properly.
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