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Thread: Reminder of a valuable lesson.

  1. #1
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    Default Reminder of a valuable lesson.

    I have visited this forum often but felt I had to register and share some important information. If this is the wrong place to post it, please let me know if it is moved.

    I recently broke a cardinal rule I have about gun shows and paid the price.

    NEVER EVER buy or use reloaded ammunition from a person you do not know and trust implicitly!! I acquired this rule from reading an article online about a guy that blew up his HK USP 40 from buying reloaded ammo at a gun show.

    I went to a Palmer Gun Show at Raven Hall on the Fairgrounds a few months back, I wish I could recall what date. Walking into the hall and to the far right hand wall was a gentleman with a few items for sale. What caught my eye was the “Lawman 180gr TMJ .40” he had in 50rd factory boxes for $15 each. They appeared to be factory boxes for all intent and purposes. He did not label the boxes as reloads nor did he represent the boxes as reloads.
    I was the only person at his table at the time and I had his full attention. I purchased 4 boxes for $60 after trying to haggle a bit with him, but to no avail.

    I left the gun show feeling that I made a good deal, until I arrived home and opened one of the boxes to discover, drum roll please, they were reloads with mixed brass and soft lead bullets. (See photo) After a few choice curse words about my inability to open a box of ammo to confirm it's contents before purchase, I tucked them to bed in my gun safe. I was annoyed at the gentleman for being deceitful but moreover I was pissed at myself for not taking a moment and opening one of the boxes before purchase.

    A few weekends later I let my guard down, loaded my car to head to the range and grabbed my HK USP 40 and decided to give the rounds a try. The gun functioned flawlessly as expected. I returned home feeling that I was being overly paranoid about my cardinal rule and tucked the ammo and cleaned pistol into the gun safe.

    A few months later I returned to the range and brought my USP again and my Walther PPS .40. The PPS is my carry gun so I like to shoot it now and again to make sure it is functioning and I am comfortable drawing and firing.

    The HK chewed up a magazine of the reloads without hindrance. Then it came time to fire them through the PPS. I loaded a 5 round magazine and racked the slide... The gun fired fine for 3 rounds and then all hell broke loose! The 4th round had obviously been well overloaded with powder and blew out the back of the casing, not just the primer, but he entire back of the casing! This forced the slide to disengage prematurely. This caused the polymer frame to split and a bulge to appear to the left of the frame just near the slide. The pistol was jammed open and the casing could be seen splayed open over the feed ramp. This could have been SO much worse. I am lucky to have my hand.

    This of course voids my factory warranty and I will have to pay for repairs.

    Lessons:

    DO NOT sell your junk reloads at gun shows and act like they are factory rounds. Tell the buyer what they are purchasing. If you recognize the pics to be your handiwork, thanks for the reminder why people like you cannot be trusted. You knew full well that your reloads were misrepresented as factory loads.

    DO NOT buy or use reloads from people you do not implicitly trust and are willing to bet your life on, or at the very least your shooting hand. Always, and I mean ALWAYS ask to open the box before purchase and confirm they are indeed factory loads. When in doubt, put them back down.

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    Really sorry to hear this, but yes that is very good advice. It no longer surprises me to see people misrepresent stuff they are selling. Some folks are just crooks. I've been stung a time or two myself but never quite like this. I do not use other peoples reloads and I don't load for others. I have let some folks use my loading gear under supervision to load their own ammo. This is a hard way to learn a lesson but hopefully someone else will think twice before using unknown reloads. Really glad you didn't loose body parts and thanks for sharing.

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    I've said it before on the forums and I'll say it again, although some folks take exception to this. Never loan a gun to anyone. They won't take care of it the way you would want them to. Never shoot someone elses handloads in your gun. Never shoot your handloads in someone elses gun.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    As long as this gets one person to heed the warning than I am glad I posted it.

    I put the blame squarely on myself. I knew better and made a bad choice.

    I would post some pics but am too new to the forum. Will update at a later date.

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    I'll add another one, years ago I had bought some powder at a garage sale, a couple of the cans were open and I thought I got a good deal, not long after I stopped by a local gun shop which had a rifle on the counter that was blown up, the guy behind the counter said it belonged to a guy that had shot a reload out of it. the guy said he thought that maybe his grandkids had gotten into his powder and did some mixing. what ever the reason I decided to dump the open powder out. a good reminder not to trust an open powder can unless you were the only one to open it and know it was stored properly

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I never buy ammo at a gun show unless it were in sealed military spam cans or perhaps a sealed case of Federal 223 ammo. Too risky.

    Sorry to hear about your PPS. I have the same two guns. I've fired my full house duty ammo in the PPS and it works just fine (a little painful, but not as painful as it would be for the bad guy should I ever have to use it). That must have been some overcharge.

    BTW, do you have a good holster for your PPS? Took me a while to find one, but I'm looking to buy another if you have a brand to recommend. It is a fantastic CCW, but they have been slow to come up with good holsters. When I bought mine, S&W and Walther didn't even carry them as accessories!

    Glad your hand and eyes stayed intact.

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    I know you feel bad about this but I'm going to offer you some help here.....I think.

    I don't think your gun was damaged by an overloaded reload.
    I think it fired before it closed and that is what ruptured the case the way it did. Now it may have failed to fully close because the reloaded case wasn't sized properly but you should still seek warranty repair for your Walther. I cannot see how an overload will cause that failure. The full circumference of the case was ruptured. The case head was blown off and the case body was left in the chamber? Right. I'll go on record as saying it wasn't an overload. But your rule is still a good one.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8

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    +1 for what Murphy said.
    The 40 S&W is known to rupture a case every once in awhile...but not the entire case head. I think Murphy is right: failure of round to chamber completely because the round was not sized properly. I do think it's wise not to trust or use anybody's reloads but your own. I would never trust someone else's reloads, especially from someone I did not know. And always double-check your own reloading data...

    Marshall/Ak
    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    You would be surprised at the number of people who bring their "new" ammo into the shop and try to sell it to us. Sometimes the reloads are real obvious, sometimes not.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    I never buy ammo at a gun show unless it were in sealed military spam cans or perhaps a sealed case of Federal 223 ammo. Too risky.


    BTW, do you have a good holster for your PPS? Took me a while to find one, but I'm looking to buy another if you have a brand to recommend. It is a fantastic CCW, but they have been slow to come up with good holsters. When I bought mine, S&W and Walther didn't even carry them as accessories!
    for a good ccw holster goto www.crossbreedholsters.com the super tuck is the best IWB i have ever come across

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll look at Crossbreed. They've gotten good reviews.

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    Good poat AK-Hoplite, there are never enuff safetly reminders as we all make poor decisons occasionally!

    I owned a sporting clays range for 10 years and can't count the number of live rounds we picked up virtually each weekend - was tempting to shoot but I pitched em all as you just could not be sure.... One of my employee's hit one with a mower once that discharged - that will get your attention!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    Thanks, I'll look at Crossbreed. They've gotten good reviews.
    Sorry for the delay on the reply to this...

    I have a Comp-Tac Infidel IWB holster and I cannot recommend it enough. I don't know how well it works for other guns but for the PPS it is perfect. I have the belt clip without the strut.

    I can wear it under a light t-shirt with some cargo shorts on a hot day and it never imprints.

    http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=68

    As an additional note. It looks like Walther America is going to be replacing my PPS at no cost, other than shipping. They are shut down for two weeks right now but I will follow up, hopefully with a happy ending...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I know you feel bad about this but I'm going to offer you some help here.....I think.

    I don't think your gun was damaged by an overloaded reload.
    I think it fired before it closed and that is what ruptured the case the way it did. Now it may have failed to fully close because the reloaded case wasn't sized properly but you should still seek warranty repair for your Walther. I cannot see how an overload will cause that failure. The full circumference of the case was ruptured. The case head was blown off and the case body was left in the chamber? Right. I'll go on record as saying it wasn't an overload. But your rule is still a good one.
    You described the appearance of the brass perfectly, so you may be entirely right.

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    Galco makes a nice one for the PPS.

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