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Ammunition Quality Control

25-0625-06 Member Posts: 466 ✭✭
edited November 2013 in Ask the Experts
Having customers that have had problems with factory ammo lately. The first was a case of factory 410 shells, 2and1/2", #9 shot. In every box there were over half of the shells that the crimp had opened and was letting the shot spill out. The second was with a carton of 17 HMR ammo. He has shot three boxes of shells so far and every shell when shot has split the brass from the end down through the shoulder. He has shot these shells in four different 17's. with the same results in all of them so it is not the gun. It appears to me that the factories are letting their quality control slip while rushing to met the demand for ammo. I also feel that the factories should replace the ammo. Any one else having problems with factory ammo?

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think you nailed the problem. I don't think they are out to rip people off but more production with the same number of people means more mistakes made and get threw.

    Neighbor tried out his inherited 30 Carbine. One misfire out of 30 rounds of S&B, the primer was in backwards.

    Its not always the manufacture's fault. But the 2 instances you listed with .410 and .17 HMR ammo sound like factory issues. Good luck getting them to take it back.

    I load my own, same quality control guy here.
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    machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    Remington .22 RF's seem to have been problematic, for some time. A number of duds were pulled down by a friend, and he found that the priming composition had been spun in erratically, there being gaps where there was none, and not just where the firing pin strike was.

    Some foreign makers may use the U.S. as a dumping ground for substandard lots of ammo. The European C.I.P. enforces stringent quality control on all commercial ammo sold in Europe, and no such regulating body exists in the U.S. So if a particular lot is crappy, it appears that it is simply exported. I've experienced S&B .30-06 commercial cartridges that were leaking powder in the boxes through case perforations right below the case necks, and S&B commercial 9mm and 7.62 Tokarev in which the necks were peeled down by misalignment during the bullet-seating process. The ones that were leaking powder were the most disturbing, because a stuck bullet is a setup for disaster. I e-mailed S&B, but they never responded, which destroyed any confidence that I may (still) have had in them.

    The best quality control that I have observed, was among the Army ammunition plants and the Army's commercial contractors. I went through the Ordnance Ammunition School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and we were given the criteria for suspending lots of ammunition: One dud or squib round mandated the suspension of the entire lot while samples were drawn for testing. If no other flawed rounds were discovered, the lot was released, but for training purposes only. If one more round was subsequently discovered to be flawed, the entire lot was suspended permanently and was scheduled for destruction. The people in the plants stayed on their toes. And oddly, there was a myth in civilian circles that U.S. military ammunition was somehow inferior to commercial ammo.
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    richardaricharda Member Posts: 405 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    At least for Remington & Federal, .22 L.R. quality on their regular lines (when you can find any!) is now much inferior to some years ago. One or more complete duds per every 50 is routine; 10 years ago or more this was unheard of. A friend just tested a cache of Monark by Federal that was 50 years old - in a couple hundred rounds, NO duds.
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    62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Over 35 years ago, when I was a new street cop, I would inspect and weigh every round I carried. During that period we were using 110 or 125 grain .357 Mag loads from the "big three" W-W, R-P and Federal. I found inverted primers, wrinkled crimps and on several occasions rounds that weighed more than 10 grains less than the average for that box - on every one I pulled the bullet and found little or no powder. So, quality control isn't a new problem, maybe just more prevalent.
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