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Thread: I thought this odd!

  1. #1

    Default I thought this odd!

    A short while back I bought 3 boxes of Federal 150 grain 7MM WSM ammo...all from the same vendor. I shot one box of them up and had less than spectacular results so I decided to pull the bullets on the remaining 2 boxes and start over with a different combination. My surprise came when these two remaining boxes of factory loaded ammo wearing the same bar code number were loaded with different powders. One box was loaded with a fine short cut extruded poiwder and the other was loaded with ball powder(looked like #12 shot). Since one was ball powder and one was extruded it makes me wonder if one box of shells had standard large rifle primers and one had magnum large rifle primers.

    I'm not real smart compared to some when it comes to loading but I do know that staying consistent with components is a must and any time I change a component I rezero my rifle for confidence if nothing else.

    I shoot 90% reloads so this is not a real big issue with me but if I were not a handloader and knowing what I know now I would bypass the Federal brand!

    Do you supose this is more common than we think and what we don't know don't hurt?

  2. #2
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I suspect that the bar codes are the same, meaning it is the same bullet launched at the same velocity or at least at nearly the same velocity. There should be a lot# marked on the boxes; these will almost certainly be different numbers indicating they are similar, but not identical loads. As a handloader you recognize there are various reasons for selecting a variety of powders, i.e. performance, availability, cost, etc. IMO switching propellants between lot#s is not the norm, but I suspect it is not uncommon.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  3. #3
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    I suspect it is more normal than one would expect from different lot numbers.

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    several years ago my son took his 7mm rem mag on an elk hunt with me - he had me purchase some Hornady 162 grain spitzer boatail, I got 3 boxes and personally zeroed his rifle prior to his arrival - on the hunt we spotted a good 5 pt and my son got into the sticks and fired 3 times with no results (455 yds) I then took his rifle (mine was in camp, filled my tag day before) and shot twice more ... nothin' but a bull strollin' off into the woods - we went back to camp and I ranged 200 yds and test fired for groups (he had emptied the factory boxes into an MTM box, mixed up - the rifle shot 2 distinct groups and I then discovered that identical ammo boxes AND lot #'s had 2 different head stamps, Hornady and Frontier - one group was spot on and one was 4" high/6" right and the groups coincided with the headstamped rounds - I called Hornady and they would not acknowledge the issue nor discuss it - factory ammo isn't always as foolproof as we have been led to believe

  5. #5
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I feel A LOT better now knowing my misses over the years were not my fault!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I feel A LOT better now knowing my misses over the years were not my fault!
    Yeah they were....ya shoulda been building your own in stead of buy store bought stuff! If I could reload 22s I would!

  7. #7
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I hear all the time how factory ammo is better than home rolled and I always snicker to myself knowing what a crock that is. I have seen this before they switch components all the time playing the powder market to make profit. What I think worse though is they are not very picky on charge weight ether, often +/-.5g is fine with them winch means they could be a full grain off. Iím not picky but I am more picky than that. There is some good factory ammo out there that I feel is as good as my loads but you sure pay a lot for almost as good.
    Andy
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    What you have found is one of the many reasons we reload. Knowing what is in a cartridge and what to expect from it is very comforting. With factory, you just don't know for sure. I use factory ammo to make empties which I can refill with what I want. I use nothing but reloads for hunting.

  9. #9

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    Did you put the question to Federal?

  10. #10

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    Bar codes are for store sales personnel to ring you up and send you on your way after they have taken your money. For ammo to be the same even from the same manufacturer you should check the factory lot numbers. These are changed as component lots are added or used up. They also allow the factory tokeep up with complaints about bad ammo and accidents causing damages to firearms, and ultimately ammo recalls. It also is used in quality control tests to insure all ammunition is regularly tested and meets SAAMI specs.
    They will be stamped in ink on the inside flap of the box or on the outside of the box depending on manufacturer. This system has been used since before WWII. Match shooter buy/aquire entire lots of ammo from manufacturers to assure consistency. Even 22LR ammo has this system in place for match shooters.
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