Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

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Charles L. Cotton
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Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:33 pm

I've been shooting for 63 of my 67 years and I've seen many different types of malfunctions. Today I saw something new and it was scary. It could have been a life or death situation for Martha.

Martha carries one of three handguns: 1) Kimber Ultra Carry .45ACP, 2) CZ75 P-01; or 3) SIG P238. She was about to leave the house today to go shopping and she wanted to try a different holster with her P238. I unloaded the gun for her and when I racked the slide, it extracted an unfired empty case. Gun powder poured out and with a few taps, the HP bullet came out as well. This was factory Corbon jacked HP rounds.

I've never seen this happen and I have no idea why or how it did this time. The ammo was fresh out of the box and had not be subjected to being chambered and extracted numerous times. Due to teaching and other activities, I do that quite a bit with my EDC, countless time actually, but I've never had the cartridge come apart. (The force of chambering a round dozens of times won't equal one strike from a kinetic bullet-puller.) If anything, the bullet gets pushed back into the case.

I'm going to measure the case and other rounds in the box to see if there is a lack of crimp or sufficient crimp. I'll post my findings. That's my only theory. I tried pushing the bullets in the remaining cartridges and was not able to move them at all.

Martha had been carrying a non-functioning gun. Thank God (literally) that she didn't need to use it in self-defense.

Chas.
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#2

Post by RHenriksen » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:37 pm

Wow, that's bizarre. Thank goodness she didn't need that round!

It's funny, a recurring dream (nightmare) I have had over the years is pulling a pistol in time of need, and having it malfunction. Hopefully that scenario continues to exist only in my dreams (and hers)
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#3

Post by Mxrdad » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:47 pm

I would certainly inspect the rest of that batch and anymore of the boxes if you purchased more than that 1 box. I have never heard of that before and I hope we dont ever see it again. I'm glad you found it when you did!
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#4

Post by AndyC » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:01 pm

I've seen that happen once with a poor reloader's batch of ammo - the bullet got stuck in the rifling and the cartridge pulled apart on extraction. Measuring the other rounds from the box, it was apparent that many of the bullets hadn't been seated deep enough so they were sticking way out further than they should, which seems to have caused that bullet to jam right into the rifling.

Never seen it happen with factory ammo, though.
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#5

Post by Russell » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:26 pm

That's nuts!

A buddy of mine had a factory 9mm round literally blow up in a gun he was firing at the range recently. If he hadn't been wearing safety glasses there would have been brass bits ejected into his eyes instead of at his glasses - left some nice scratches on them is my understanding.

Inspection yielded that there had to have been a weak point in the casing or perhaps too much powder, as there was nicely sized hole in the *side* of the case... Not exactly the direction you want it to go!
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#6

Post by DanD » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:46 pm

I had something similar happen to me. I went to unload a Ruger LCP and the slide was stuck. After pulling really hard on the slide I got it open but the bullet was stuck in the barrel and gun powder was dumping out of the case I was able to extract.

I checked all the other rounds in the magazine and the box of ammo they came from and they were all the same length and the bullets were all firmly seated. This was factory ammo but unfortunately I don't remember the brand. I just assumed it was a round that did not have the bullet seated all the way. This was the first and only time I have experienced this malfunction.

Does anyone know if the headspace for .380 is tighter than for other types of pistol ammo?
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#7

Post by eureka40 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:49 am

Use the rest of that box at the range, or ditch it. Glad you discovered it when you did.
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#8

Post by mrvmax » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:06 am

Interesting, cannot say I have seen that much less heard of it.

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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#9

Post by Jusme » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:17 am

Glad to hear nothing serious occurred, Charles. You said it was jacketed HP rounds, the only other scenario I can think of, is that the jacket, may have slightly separated, or "peeled back" when it was chambered, causing it to lodge in the chamber, and the the case pulled free when it was extracted. I don't have any experience with the Corbon rounds, but I had a HP round hang in a gun I carried several years ago,and I had to take the gun to a gunsmith because I couldn't get the slide to even pull back, he said that the copper jacket had peeled back and lodged the round in the chamber.
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#10

Post by Mike S » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:38 am

AndyC wrote:I've seen that happen once with a poor reloader's batch of ammo - the bullet got stuck in the rifling and the cartridge pulled apart on extraction. Measuring the other rounds from the box, it was apparent that many of the bullets hadn't been seated deep enough so they were sticking way out further than they should, which seems to have caused that bullet to jam right into the rifling.

Never seen it happen with factory ammo, though.
I'm thinking this is the likely culprit. I'd contact Corbon with the lot #, & any photos you may have taken.

Hopefully their customer service/ QC people are more interested than the Blazer Brass guys I dealt with a couple years ago when a student's target was peppered with jacket fragments; ("its caused by the sharp rifling in some pistols cutting through the thin copper plating we use; just don't shoot so close to the target & you won't notice it.." :banghead:


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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#11

Post by txtaxman » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:57 am

Suppose that bullet had been used in a training or testing situation. You may not have even noticed it. The bullet was certainly defective, but, it likely would have fired, if it had not been ejected.
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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#12

Post by mojohn » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:16 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I unloaded the gun for her and when I racked the slide, it extracted an unfired empty case. Gun powder poured out and with a few taps, the HP bullet came out as well.

That's the reason we all routinely practice "tap, rack and fire" drills, right?


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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#13

Post by Mike S » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:38 am

mojohn wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:I unloaded the gun for her and when I racked the slide, it extracted an unfired empty case. Gun powder poured out and with a few taps, the HP bullet came out as well.

That's the reason we all routinely practice "tap, rack and fire" drills, right?
If the projectile was lodged right where the rifling begins, it's not likely that another round would have fully chambered. If it had, and gone into battery, then the Tap/Rack/ Assess would have possibility resulted in a catastrophic failure. As described, I'm thinking it wouldn't have been able to go into battery.


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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#14

Post by MechAg94 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:19 am

Years ago I bought a baggie of reloaded ammo from a dealer at the gun show to help break in my new AR15. One of those rounds did that to me. I tried to eject it. The empty unfired casing came out and left the bullet. There was powder scattered about inside the chamber. I had to use a cleaning rod to knock out the bullet. I have no idea if that round would have fired. I had some other issues with fired primer pockets falling out and jamming the rifle also. I stopped buying ammo in baggies after that.


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Re: Strange factory ammo failure - it could have been bad.

#15

Post by rotor » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:42 am

I would notify Corbon and they probably will want you to mail that box back to them. At least I hope they do. I wonder if this could have caused a squib and catastrophic failure with the next shot.

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