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Factory Ammo Misfires

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  • Factory Ammo Misfires

    How often do you get misfires from factory ammo? I've had two in the last two years. The primer is dented but no "Bang". The ammo is Winchesters Deer Season XP, .270 Winchester. What do i do with the bad rounds?

  • #2
    I have not experienced very many failures to detonate from factory ammunition. The most I have experienced were with .22 rim fires. One in a .380 ACP, and one or two (out of several thousand rounds) in .223, .22-250, .243, .25-06, .30-30, .30-'06, .338 Win Mag, 8 m/m Mauser, .375 Winchester, and .375 H&H. I seem to recall that the misfiring ammunition was a Federal load in .22-250, but that was several years back.
    I would check to see how much indentation was in the primer, and possibly have someone else try to fire them out of a different rifle, that made deep indents. If there is adequate indentation in your primers, I would send them back to the appropriate department at Winchester with a letter of explanation, but probably not expect too much from them. There could have been faulty primers, or failure to properly indent, or several other causes of failure.
    I would also have my firing pin spring checked for any possible weakness, and probably change brands of ammunition.

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    • #3
      I have only had some .22lr fail and some old, 100+ year old military surplus squib. Once I loaded some .450Marlin and I was overly vigorous seating the primers. Pulled them apart and seated primers with 'normal' pressure and they were fine.
      Besides the firing pin spring there is a gauge to check the firing pin protrusion. Another possible FTF is the headspace. IF the cartridge can jump ahead when struck by the pin, the primer may not fire.

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      • #4
        My son had a dud last fall when shooting at a doe. Hornady American Whitetail ammo. Keeping the round until we shoot the rest of the box up, any others and I'll call them about it. One in a million no big deal, but a couple in consecutive boxes could mean qc issues they should know about. Besides you pay for full boxes.

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        • #5
          In the old days when my dad reloaded we encountered this a lot with CCI primers. Same when I reloaded shotgun shells with CCI. At least one dud per box.

          Always try to fire duds a second time. Sometimes that will be enough to make them detonate. Shotshell reloaded without powder still has enough poop from primer alone to spit the shot out the barrel (but usually not the wad). What about rifles? Anyone encountered this reloading?

          I have experienced many Federal trap loads and a few field loads the last several years that don't fire. Seems to be a regular occurrence with that brand at the club. This year I had one Winchester 3" goose load that wouldn't fire. Primer was so hard it wouldn't dent even after repeated attempts. My buddy tried firing it through his Beretta 400 and it was also a no go. I threw it back in the trees. Not very smart I guess. Hopefully there's no forest fire there in the near future.

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          • #6
            Over the years I have had two win mag rifle primers missfire I have only ever had one factory round misfire and it was a 223 load. It was a round that is made for the ar-15 chambered in 223 in a bolt gun.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
              In the old days when my dad reloaded we encountered this a lot with CCI primers. Same when I reloaded shotgun shells with CCI. At least one dud per box.

              Always try to fire duds a second time. Sometimes that will be enough to make them detonate. Shotshell reloaded without powder still has enough poop from primer alone to spit the shot out the barrel (but usually not the wad). What about rifles? Anyone encountered this reloading?

              I have experienced many Federal trap loads and a few field loads the last several years that don't fire. Seems to be a regular occurrence with that brand at the club. This year I had one Winchester 3" goose load that wouldn't fire. Primer was so hard it wouldn't dent even after repeated attempts. My buddy tried firing it through his Beretta 400 and it was also a no go. I threw it back in the trees. Not very smart I guess. Hopefully there's no forest fire there in the near future.
              By my records I have loaded 30,000 CCI primers without a failure.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post

                By my records I have loaded 30,000 CCI primers without a failure.
                I have probably loaded 20,000 rounds in the last 45 years and have never had a misfire with either CCI, Federal, Winchester, or Remington primers. I haven't fired a factory round other than my 22 Hornets for over 40 years, If I do get a box of factory rounds for whatever reason, usually new caliber, I pull the bullets dump the powder and load them to my liking.

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                • #9
                  I've had a few misfires from factory loaded centerfire ammo, all Hornady (both American Whitetail and Superformance). The only misfires I've had from reloaded ammo were some loads I did for a friend's rifle. Turns out his firing pin was all caked up and when we fixed that, the problem went away.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post

                    I have probably loaded 20,000 rounds in the last 45 years and have never had a misfire with either CCI, Federal, Winchester, or Remington primers. I haven't fired a factory round other than my 22 Hornets for over 40 years, If I do get a box of factory rounds for whatever reason, usually new caliber, I pull the bullets dump the powder and load them to my liking.
                    Our problems with CCI primers were before I went in the Army (1971) and I know my dad's deer hunting buddies were also having trouble with duds. That winter just before I was inducted a CCI primer hung fire and almost took my arm off when I ejected it. Shotgun primer duds were so frequent that I didn't think anything of it and ejected for the third shell automatically to get the hen, having dropped the drake of the pair with first shot. Just as the chamber opened it went off, blew the side out of the shell, and the elbow off my parka coat. Lucky it only grazed the coat. I seem to recall some powder burns to eyebrow and eye irritation (no glasses back then) but nothing serious fortunately. No. 2 lead would have maimed or killed me had that shell come out and done a rotation. We never loaded CCI primers after that, not for rifle, pistol, or shotgun. As I recall some time later CCI merged with someone else (Speer?) and quality control improved dramatically. Their insurance premiums probably dropped considerably too!
                    Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 03-04-2019, 08:09 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                      Our problems with CCI primers were before I went in the Army (1971) and I know my dad's deer hunting buddies were also having trouble with duds. That winter just before I was inducted a CCI primer hung fire and almost took my arm off when I ejected it. Shotgun primer duds were so frequent that I didn't think anything of it and ejected for the third shell automatically to get the hen, having dropped the drake of the pair with first shot. Just as the chamber opened it went off, blew the side out of the shell, and the elbow off my parka coat. Lucky it only grazed the coat. I seem to recall some powder burns to eyebrow and eye irritation (no glasses back then) but nothing serious fortunately. No. 2 lead would have maimed or killed me had that shell come out and done a rotation. We never loaded CCI primers after that, not for rifle, pistol, or shotgun. As I recall some time later CCI merged with someone else (Speer?) and quality control improved dramatically. Their insurance premiums probably dropped considerably too!
                      Some of my family won't even look at handloaded ammo due to issues that where had back in the 70's early80's. I noticed looking back that every component was imr powder, cci primers, remington brass and speer bullets. Today I use imr, hodgdon, nosler, berger, speer, sierra, remington, winchester, hornady, cci, federal and the only thing I have had any issue with is some winchester magnum rifle primers that could possibly be my fault. I bought thise primers afew years back and forgot them in my truck over night in sub zero weather. I think that was the trouble there anyways after two misfires I discarded them completley.

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                      • #12
                        Three times stick out in my mind. All different guns. This year .243 Winchester ammo at a doe. Two years ago, 12 gauge Winchester Long Beard XR turkey ammo at what would have been my first Merriam. about Eight years ago..different 12 gauge with a turkey load at a coyote. I'm sure there have been other rounds at the range, but these three I vividly remember.

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                        • #13
                          I’ve only had a few factory rounds fail to fire.
                          PMC .308 Win and Hornady .30-06. Needless to say I haven’t bought any of those since.. probably case headspace issues.

                          Comment

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