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Thread: bad factory ammo

  1. #1
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    Default bad factory ammo

    I've never had this problem before, and, as I don't usually shoot factory ammo, I'm curious how common it is.
    When I found out Down Under was going out of business this summer I sent my wife in to pick up some 35 Whelen ammo for me since I was in the Lesser 48 at the time. She got the last box. All I really wanted it for was the brass, since I could buy the loaded ammo from Down Under cheaper than I could order new brass.
    Anyway, about a month ago I was doing some shooting and had a misfire. This had never happened to me before. When I got home I pulled the bullet, dumped the powder out of the case and examined the primer. Everything appeared normal, and I just wrote it off as a fluke which I was lucky to catch at the range rather than in the field.
    Today I went out to try out some loads I have been working up for the same gun and took the last 3 factory rounds from this same box with me. Out of 3 rounds, 2 were misfires. I haven't pulled the bullets yet, but I'm sure I'll find the same thing I did before.
    In the past year I have fired 2 other boxes of Remington factory ammo in this gun with no problems. I've also fired handloads without any issues. Needless to say, I'm not real impressed with Remington right now and I sure wouldn't recommend that anyone go out after dangerous game (or even plain old house cats) with their ammo.

  2. #2

    Default Bad Ammo

    You didn't mention the rifle, but you might want to check:

    1.Accumulated fouling, residual factory grease or other crud slowing down your firing pin or the mainspring itself.At a minimum, a good ****** of Gunscrubber into and through the entire bolt wouldn't hurt.Disassembly and total cleaning with acetone, followed by very light reoiling with Remoil or graphite might solve the problem.

    2.Storage conditions for the ammo.Gremlins can creep in due to humidity, weather exposure and other adverse conditions.

    3.Acid test: reprime ONLY with your favorite primers...I happen to like Federal's stuff, but that's just my preference...find a safe spot and torch off 20 primers in your 20 cases.Let us know if you encounter any misfires.

    Any OEM can run into bugs, but generally speaking, it's a mechanical problem with the rifle when you encounter 3 misfires out of one box of factory.

  3. #3

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    Bad ammo is really rare, but I do know of it happening once in a blue moon. The maufacturers are anxious to hear about it when it happens, so I'd pass along the experience.

    To the list of possibilities, I'd add head space- though it's unlikely in a factory round. In reforming my own cases for wildcats in the Contender, most notably the rimless TCU series of cartridges, you had to be careful to get a good shoulder formed for first fire forming or you would get misfires. The "official" explanation was that without the shoulder the case could budge forward slightly upon impact of the firing pin, reducing impact just enough to cause a misfire. Never tested it, but it made sense, especially with the weaker hammer fall of the Contender compared with a bolt rifle.

    It comes to mind because of the neck configuration on the Whelen, but it's idle speculation on my part.

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    Default My 2 cents.

    I have also heard of Remington ammo having misfires. When I loved back in Michigan I hunted with a friend and he used some kind of Remington ammo that had multiple misfires in a box. Ended up losing out on a chance at a decent whitetail. Needless to say I will never buy Remington ammo.

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    Default cleaning

    We can eliminate fouling and cleaning issues as a cause of this problem. I am extremely anal about cleaning my rifles. Also, in each case, you can see where the firing pin struck the primer. There doesn't appear to be any external difference between these and the rest of the box (or any other round I have fired in this gun) which worked as advertised.
    When this first happened, I attempted to detonate the primer with a punch after disassembling the cartridge. Nothing happened.
    I should also mention that all of my ammo is stored in a gun safe inside my house. In all the years I have been shooting, there has never been any problem with any ammo I have stored there.

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    Default Let the Ammo Co. Know

    Other than .22 and M1 for Garrand matches, I don't shoot much factory ammo. I have some ammo that must be over 30/40 + years old and every now and then I'll pull out a firearm that goes with that ammo and fire off a few rounds. It's always gone bang.

    Several years ago a coworker brought me a Remington case that had gas/powder burns around the primer. Been a leak of some kind. I sent the case to Remington for their examination. They sent back a letter that stated their "lab" had taken the case apart and the primer had caught an edge during seating resulting in the gas leak when fired. Sorry for any problems. Thanks for sending in the case for their review. Also sent coupons for two boxes of ammo.

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    Default update

    Well, I pulled the bullets from the cartridges in question yesterday and attempted to detonate the primers with a punch. No luck. On the one hand, it was good to know that there wasn't an issue with my rifle. On the other hand, I have no faith whatsoever in Remington now. 3 bad rounds in 1 box is completely unacceptable. I took the rifle out again last evening and fired several of my handloads. Once again, no issues at all with the ones I loaded myself.
    I e-mailed Remington, and they told me that if I sent in the cartridges in question along with the box, they would send them to their "lab" and try to determine the problem. Of course this was after I had already pulled the bullets. I e-mailed them back and told them that I would be happy to send the cases so that they can see that each of the primers has been struck several times without going off, but I haven't heard back from them yet. We'll see what happens.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Bad ammo is really rare, but I do know of it happening once in a blue moon. The maufacturers are anxious to hear about it when it happens, so I'd pass along the experience.

    To the list of possibilities, I'd add head space- though it's unlikely in a factory round. In reforming my own cases for wildcats in the Contender, most notably the rimless TCU series of cartridges, you had to be careful to get a good shoulder formed for first fire forming or you would get misfires. The "official" explanation was that without the shoulder the case could budge forward slightly upon impact of the firing pin, reducing impact just enough to cause a misfire. Never tested it, but it made sense, especially with the weaker hammer fall of the Contender compared with a bolt rifle.

    It comes to mind because of the neck configuration on the Whelen, but it's idle speculation on my part.
    I thought of this possibility as well since there is a definite difference in the necks of my once fired and factory new cases and the Whelen is known (or at least rumored) to have occasional headspacing issues. I had never had a problem with it before, and now that I have tried and failed to detonate the primers, I'm sure that the issue is with them rather than with headspace.

  9. #9
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    Default Factory failures not that uncommon

    I've had more than my fair share of bad factory ammo. Just within the last year, I can tally up at least 5 factory ammo failures that I've had or witnessed. I had 3 rounds of CCI Blazer .40 S&W fail to fire in a single box of 50. All had good primer hits but no ignition. Three other boxes of the same lot that I had purchased all at the same time worked fine.

    Earlier in the spring, I had a .223 Rem failure of some military "green tip" ball ammo. When fired, the casing split into 2 pieces circumferentially near the mid-point of the case. This left the forward half in the chamber of an AR-15 and the rear portion caused a feedway malfunction that visually looked like a stovepipe with what appeared to be a 9mm brass sticking out (this was the base of the .223 case). Fortunately the forward half was lying loose in the chamber and slid out when I held the rifle muzzle up, but it would have been a crappy thing to have happen to a soldier overseas who was under fire. I've saved the pieces of that case as a "you won't believe what happened to me" proof of the story.

    A week later, another guy had a very similar failure with another round from the same lot using a different AR-15 rifle. In both failures the round went off and the bullet hit the target, it just left the operator scrambling through malfunction drills with an atypical presentation.

    As I think back over the last 5 years that I've been a firearms instructor, I can count another half dozen or so times where I've seen failures of factory .40 S&W ammo. Usually using Federal AE for training purposes, I've seen a few failures to fire as well as quite a few rounds that were found in the box with the primers in backwards. However, this has all been with ammo at the low end of the cost scale with large quantities consumed during training. I have not seen similar issues with the high end "duty carry" ammo, but that stuff is not fired nearly as often.

  10. #10

    Default Bad Ammo

    I had it happen to me once!!! Sent it back to the manufacturer and they sent me a new box of ammo. Before you take these apart you might want to contact them and see what they'll do. You might end up some more brass. grin.
    RIDE TALL, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH

  11. #11

    Default

    The only misfires I have had with centerfire rifle ammo have been the result if insufficient firing pin protrusion. The 2 rifles usually shot just fine, but ocassionally had a misfire. I now check every rifle before it leaves the shop. When others tell me they have a misfire the first thing I do is tell them to check the protrusion. THey usually (almost 100% of the time) say it is fine because it works with brand X,Y, and Z ammo. I ask what is the measuerd prutrusion, and they say "I don't know but it is fine." I tell them to check it anyway. Usually it is marginial. Firing pin protrusion should be between .055" and .065".

    What is the firing pin protrusion on your rifle?

  12. #12
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    Default Non-fired/Misfired Rem Ammo Here Too!

    Last summer, 2006 I was out hunting with my Kimber 84M .308 and experienced 3 rounds in a row of non-fired/misfired with some factory Remington Ammunition. I emailed and got a thread of communication going with the folks at Product Services in Lonoke. They wanted to examine it so I attempted to send it to them and guess what? You can't sent it out of Alaska to them like you can from the Lower-48 states. You have to be a contracted or licenced small arms ammunition dealer to send or receive ammunition in/to Alaska as prescribed lawfully. Thats what the UPS folks told me. So I still have the little mis-fires. Now after learning this I found some more of the same lot-number of this ammunition and had more non-fired/misfired at the rifle range this summer, 2007. I find it interesting to hear about others having Remington ammunition not fire in their firearm.

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    Default

    When you state you attempted to fire a primer with a punch, does this mean you removed the primer from the case, or was it still in the case?
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