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How many misfires (duds) would it take to scare you off.

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  • How many misfires (duds) would it take to scare you off.

    Just curious. If you were shooting factory rounds, how many misfires would it take for you to swear off that brand? Would you cut shotgun shells more or less slack than rifle or wouldn't it matter? I know with .22 I've rechambered and had them fire almost 100% of the time but really that's a whole nother world and not relevant here.

  • #2
    Bad experiences and dirty ammo caused me to swear off Federal ammo for decades.
    Rim fire ammo has been made in bulk, so the occasional misfire isn't a biggie.
    In the mid 70's, when Gibson's ran specials on Federal .22 ammo, our shop picked up about $1500 cleaning unburned Alcan powder semi auto .22's.
    Same with shotguns around dove season.

    I "still" have reservations purchasing Federal ammo.

    I won't touch Wolf or Tula.

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    • #3
      I shoot thousands of rounds at the trap/skeet range every year and with other guys shooting thousands of rounds. Of course duds are not uncommon among the reloaders. Can be caused by operator error or faulty components or both. A lot of variables. Once in a great while we encounter factory shells with bad primers. Again not that uncommon no matter what the brand. Last year I even had one Winchester goose load that failed to dent the primer on three attempts. Don't recall that ever being a problem before. I don't like Federal "blue box" trap loads. They are poopless compared to similar loads in other brands. And inconsistent. The difference is very audible on the firing line: bang, bang, pop, bang ... And you can feel the difference too. My A5 auto won't cycle 1200 fps Federal shells but throws empty hulls from same load Score ammo way past the guy standing at the next trap station. A few years back I had a very expensive 1500 fps Federal pheasant shell fire a dud that didn't even clear the wad. I had to scrounge up a stick to knock it out of the barrel. No matter. Shot the same rooster later after one of Opal's most memorable setups. I won't buy Federal shotgun ammo unless there's nothing else available. Their hulls are useless for reloading. Again, inconsistent. Obviously something wrong with quality control at that outfit.

      Tuesday night my daughter fired a factory Score shell that was low on gas. I heard it even though I was at the other end on station five. She later said it had no recoil. We didn't stop the shooting to check her gun because she broke the clay anyway. Her lead must have been way off! That's the only problem with that ammo I can recall (and I shoot 20+ flats of it every year).
      Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 07-30-2020, 09:48 AM.

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      • #4
        For centerfire my limit would be three different cartridges of a certain brand. I'd be contacting the manufacturer if it was a recent purchase. For rimfire I'd probably hit my limit at five misfires.

        I've had a couple of centerfire misfires in the field. Both were my .308 handloads and I lost a pig because of one. Apparently, the primer pocket was too deep on some of the new brass, causing the primer to be a little recessed. It was just enough for my old Remington 788 not to have an adequate strike of the firing pin. Now, whenever I set primers I check to make sure they're flush. I run my finger across the bottom of the cartridge as I remove it from the shellholder. It's become an unconscious thing and I realized last week that I was doing it when I primed a couple hundred .30-06 cases.

        I've had one misfire with the electrically ignited muzzleloader in the field. That whitetail buck didn't wait around for me to try again. I was using Pyrodex pellets and apparently had the one next to the breach loaded backwards. Switching to loose Triple 7 solved the problem.
        Trump 2020 - Keep America Great!

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        • #5
          OHH: Were the Federal shotshells you shot at the club some you bought or club provided? Have you ever tried Monarch or Fiocci? Do you have a shotshell you have complete trust in ?

          Comment


          • #6
            I few years back WaM mentioned Hornady factory ammo to be suspect, after the boy having a misfire with one of the American Whitetail loads I decided to only use them for practice. Last summer I had a dud factory Barnes load as well, fortunately that was at the range. I guess since Remington took them over QC has slid some. I try to take internet chatter with a grain of salt but if something continually pops up in different sources I try to keep that in mind. Lots of good options out there to choose from so no need to take chances.

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            • #7
              I can not remember ever having a shotgun or center fire fail to fire. I have had shotguns that fail to cycle but not because of the load.
              I have had some rimfire fail to fire - maybe 2 in a brick of Remington Std Velocity. I don't shoot enough of other brands to comment on them.

              I am a big believer of using cleaners/solvents like gumout to clean a firing pin and I use K-1 to clean other parts of the fire control system. About the only place I use a little oil are on the lock up lugs. No oil on trigger or firing pin. In severe cold I keep my ammo as warm as possible. A loaded rifle would be carried under my arm for protection from the elements and the cold.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PigHunter View Post
                For centerfire my limit would be three different cartridges of a certain brand. I'd be contacting the manufacturer if it was a recent purchase. For rimfire I'd probably hit my limit at five misfires.

                I've had a couple of centerfire misfires in the field. Both were my .308 handloads and I lost a pig because of one. Apparently, the primer pocket was too deep on some of the new brass, causing the primer to be a little recessed. It was just enough for my old Remington 788 not to have an adequate strike of the firing pin. Now, whenever I set primers I check to make sure they're flush. I run my finger across the bottom of the cartridge as I remove it from the shellholder. It's become an unconscious thing and I realized last week that I was doing it when I primed a couple hundred .30-06 cases.

                I've had one misfire with the electrically ignited muzzleloader in the field. That whitetail buck didn't wait around for me to try again. I was using Pyrodex pellets and apparently had the one next to the breach loaded backwards. Switching to loose Triple 7 solved the problem.

                I did the same thing on my .450mag Marlin. Luckily did not have too many to take apart.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I used to shoot a lot more than I do now, I never cared what I shot for just punch holes. Wolf Tula golden bear federal didnt matter. I’ve made some good money fixing and selling Remington 1100s that only come out for dove season shooting cheap crap and never get cleaned. It’s almost never entirely the ammos fault it’s lazy owners. Hence guns that are dirty as heck. If it’s hunting ammo then it’s good stuff all the way.

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                  • #10
                    Fifty years or so ago a famous old Alaska outfitter flatly told me he would not take anyone who handloaded Alaska Brown Bear hunting because they had too many misfires. I looked him in the eye and told him i did not trust anything but my handloads for dangerous game. He gave me a steely eyed stare, then grinned wolfishly and took my deposit. Several months later while we were skinning a giant record book bear without looking up he said, “I’m glad you had that 375 and handloads.” Earlier he had complained i had too much gun. I had just returned from Africa where i had used and therefore felt comfortable with that round, so brought it along. He groused i should have brought a 300 or 338. The hunts climax occurred when we spotted this bear on a beaver dam a long distance down hill out of range. Our stalk unexpectedly ended up in thick cover with lots of dams. Turned out the bear had killed a moose and spotted us as we went by his kill, we did not see him. He either wanted to protect his kill or add us to the gut pile. so he surprised us with a charge from behind. I happened to glance over my shoulder, bear was full throttle feet flying through snow almost on us. The bear dropped five snowshoe steps away. The guide was looking to the front and did not see the critter when I fired, and He screamed, “don’t shoot it might be the wrong bear”. When he whirled around and saw what happened his language was most......prosaic . Oh, it was the right bear.
                    Last edited by Happy Myles; 07-30-2020, 04:56 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Another great story Happy Miles! And a good point about being comfortable with your rifle to make a quick accurate shot.

                      Over half of the deer and pigs I've killed has been with that old Remington 788 in .308 with all but one taken with handloads. I trust my handloads just as much as factory rounds... now that I know to make sure the primers are flush.
                      Trump 2020 - Keep America Great!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dewman View Post
                        OHH: Were the Federal shotshells you shot at the club some you bought or club provided? Have you ever tried Monarch or Fiocci? Do you have a shotshell you have complete trust in ?
                        The club buys the Federal shells wholesale through the company that makes our clay targets. One year that outfit sold us Score ammo out of Carberry, Manitoba. Most of us were so impressed we have since been separately ordering pallets from the factory (the target maker dropped Score because they claimed no one likes them ... which is total BS ... Federal simply outbid Score). I love that Score ammo! It really goes bang and the hulls reload fine up to three times (which is exceptional for a cheap 6 star crimp shell). However, reloading their twenty gauge shell hulls has been problematic for some reason. They often blow off crimp right out of the box. The price is very good, they go bang (maybe more bang than they should), and they are made in Canada. What's not too like? Challenger shells out of Quebec are also good but cost a little bit more than Score (but over the counter still cheaper than Federal). Their hulls reload longer. A few years back when I first started to shoot at the club the supplier sent us Estate shells out of Minnesota. I didn't have any problems but there were some complaints about cycling in Berretta autos. Very dirty. One year we were sent Rio target ammo and it seemed to be good stuff. Interesting thing about them is their target ammo has high base. Seemed to reload well. Estate did not reload well. Thin hull material. Federal "blue box" do not reload worth a damn. Even their hulls are inconsistent.

                        I have had some problems in recent years with both cycling and "duds" but it was the fault of the gun not ammo manufacturer. My old A-5 Magnum was a pieced together thing when I bought it at a gun show six years ago. And a lot of the pieces didn't match the gun! The misfires it turns out were due to someone throwing a 2.75" Light Twelve hammer/trigger group into this Magnum Twelve receiver. Both guns use the same breech block and trigger group but Magnum has a longer receiver (for obvious reasons ... to eject and feed longer shells). Problem with misfires was because breech block is 1/4" further ahead in Magnum receiver when locked into barrel. Consequently, a 2.75" hammer hit breech block and firing pin at a a downward angle instead of square. A true magnum hammer is shaped differently to compensate so it strikes squarely. So my gun's incorrect hammer was not hitting the firing pin squarely (causing three pin breakages) or hard enough (causing misfires). I have reshaped the hammer with a file to correct this (a temporary fix until the border opens and I can cross to pick up a new magnum hammer from Midwest Gun Supply). I earlier fixed the magnum's finicky cycling issues by ordering a 2.75" barrel recoil spring and friction brake. A local machinist made me a sleeve adaptor so the spring fits the magnum fore end and now the gun simply becomes a Light Twelve action when shooting at the range (magnum guts go back in for goose hunting). Cycles light loads perfectly. It is sure sweet not having to worry about dependability any more. Confidence can make a big difference. Right now I am shooting the lights out with that Frankengun. Missed fifty straight skeet on the last target Tuesday night. Shooting nothing but 22-25 at trap and in the top three at sporting clays every week this year. Not bad for an old man who is more than half blind. With the brake set for heavy loads, Score's 1200 fps 1 oz shells shoot so soft I'm amazed they're cycling. At clays I mix it up with Score's 1250 fps 1 1/8 oz shells for longer range stations. Those pups will let you know something went out the end of the barrel! On doubles I only load the soft one in the chamber with hot one up the tube. A hot one first will take me off balance for second shot ... almost off my feet. They stick some soup in those shells.

                        I don't believe I've ever shot Monarch shells. I often shoot low end Fiochi shells at pheasants and they seem to work well for the price. Their Golden Pheasant loads are way over the top in every category: price ($20/box), velocity (1485 fps), and recoil (1 3/8 oz lead at that velocity rips your head off). Federal also makes an overpriced copper plated (so what?) super-duper pheasant load that is similarly overkill. I have shot one box of both at separate times (on sale or only thing available) and once was enough! Even with my heavy old A-5 auto I was getting brutalized. And I didn't shoot very well with them either. Follow ups were pretty much out of the question. I simply cannot imagine shooting those nasty recoil shells in a fancy fixed breech O/U (that everyone who is anyone MUST have for uplands). It would be awful!
                        Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 07-31-2020, 01:21 PM.

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                        • #13
                          OHH: thank you for the detailed reply. Don't know anyone else who shoots shotguns as much as you anymore.

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                          • #14
                            Haven't ever had a problem with my handloads, or shotgun reloads. When I was shooting trap twice a week and doves, quail or ducks as much as I could manage, I used to load a variety of shot shells, and never had a problem through my 1100.
                            I have used nearly every brand of commercially loaded centerfire ammunition, and don't recall but one dud round, in the Bookkeeper's .380. Knew it was a dud from the sound and the Sig-Sauer failing to cycle. Had to rod that one out, only time it has happened.
                            Commercial ammo is better than you might suppose, I even have some that was submerged for days after Hurricane Harvey, and it still fires. I had a lot of rimfire go under water during Harvey, but nearly all of that still fires, also. Like has been previously stated, if a rimfire fails to fire, hit the primer on another part of the rim. Only had two or three so far that failed twice.
                            I reckon two rounds out of a box of twenty commercial centerfires would make me swear off that brand for hunting, and use it strictly for the range.

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                            • #15
                              I had issues with handloading when I first started loading. After several hundred or thousand rounds I have made about all the mistakes. Some simple, that were easily corrected and others that took longer to learn through experience. One glaring mistake when I first started loading for my new Model 29 S&W .44mag. Too little crimp. How does one know how much crimp to use ? Experience will tell you. I used too little once and had a bullet back out, spill it's powder all over and lock up the action. Not fun on a still loaded firearm, but you only make that mistake once.

                              Comment

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