Sunday, December 05, 2010

Important safety tip:

When loading magazines, a prudent shooter actually looks at the rounds as they are inserted to ensure that they aren't misshapen, sporting inverted primers, or missing important features such as extractor grooves.

Remember, even "quality factory ammunition" is put together by humans.


Old NFO said...

Um... How can people NOT check their ammo???

Ian Argent said...

The prudent owner of firearms ensures that the people he is bringing to the range to have exactly as much fun as is legally allowed know how many rounds each magazine can hold.

Apropos of nothing in particular, and I still don't know he got the 11th round into not one, but two, magazines

Discobobby said...

The OP mentions it was at a carry class. I know it's a different type of class, but at Gunsite 150 in Lebanon this summer I had 7 fullsize magazines for my G21 and was still loading ammo with a Maglula like a roadrunner on meth. The guys running 1911s were going even faster. I could see myself missing that detail.

Now ammo for CARRY, that's a different story. I do look at those rounds individually and in detail. Even rounds that have a faint color variation on the jacket get passed over, much less hinky primers, SLIGHTLY dented cases from tight loading or slightly nicked extractor grooves.

I've never had a real failure of any kind with Winchester Ranger or Federal HST in .45 ACP, even with my "rejects" that get kicked to range use. But Murphy lurks in unseen places, so we do Type I and II drills like our lives depend on them. Because they kinda do.

og said...

"Remember, even "quality factory ammunition" is put together by humans. "

Actually, not so much. I haven't been in an Olin plant for a while, but it used to be the case that the first time a human interacted with ammo was in packaging. I suspect most US made ammo has a similar manufacturing process.

The big bugaboo in ammo manufacture used to be just this: inspection. Humans are remarkably good at looking at a pile of brass, for instance, and picking out the odd one. I always pick up 45 acp brass, and it has gotten to the point where I can tell a .40 or a 10 case and won't bend over to pick it up. That's from 6' away. And I'm a fat old man with bad eyes.

Trouble is, humans- as you say- make mistakes, and that is why they've gone to automated inspection methods, which is probably how the case in question made it through- the automated stuff used to be very buggy.

Machine vision has supplimented this and is making substantial inroads on it, and systems like this one are improving the process very dramatically. I've installed and programmed some of these, and they are VERY reliable, so ammo quality has gotten/is getting better all the time.

All that being said, the point of your post is more valid than ever; check the damned rounds when you put them into the firearm!!!!

Tango Juliet said...

Ack! Something else to remember! :)

Jay G said...

And a side note for revolver lovers tempted to gloat: I have pulled *several* rounds - of differing manufacture - out of the factory box to discover that they had been improperly crimped and were, in fact, slightly too long (and would bind the cylinder tight if missed...)

Ancient Woodsman said...

Thank you for posting that link. Most appreciated. I have now shared it at work.

The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit said...

I have a 9mm "wadcutter" around here somewhere in my weird ammo box. Bullet clearly loaded backwards into the case.

And I've got a rattling 5.56 cartridge in there that, as best I can tell, has a second bullet inside the case....

Will said...

If it had been a 1911 type, it probably wouldn't have chambered, since it would have jammed against the extractor before sliding up the breechface far enough to complete the loading cycle. Some extractors might have enough clearance to move far enough. Might have broken off the extractor hook in the process, though. Any way you look at it, the result would be ugly.

Tam said...


"If it had been a 1911 type, it probably wouldn't have chambered, since it would have jammed against the extractor before sliding up the breechface far enough to complete the loading cycle."

Most Browning-type tilting-barrel short recoil pistols operate that way, as far as I'm aware. There's enough range of motion in the extractor for it to have fed via brute force, leading to the predictable FTE.

Ian Argent said...

There's something to be said for "brute force. It's usually followed by brute stupidity." - Garfield

Skip said...

I load every round after it 'looks good to me', with thin gloves, after I've wiped the brass clean [fingerprints?].
I use the same gloves handeling the bullets when I load the cases.
Naw, I'm not paranoid...maybe a touch.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Before I left CCA, the 'box of shame' was overflowing.

-S&B .38 special FMJ crimped light enough that I pulled a bullet with my fingers (jumped badly in situ)
-LOTS of several manufacturers 9mm with half-moons of folded over case mouth (fed 95% then jammed extremely tightly)
-LOTS of AAA ammo with incorrect dimensions (all manners of malfunction)
-a couple varied rounds with missing primers (fed, primer fired, but no flash hole machined in the base.
-a half dozen visibly bent Federal .357 magnum cartridges
-hundreds of bent .22lr, both from storage abuse and feed malfunction
-handful of .30-30 rifle cartridges (nothing wrong with the cartridge, shooter malf... .30-30 not allowed)
-at least 3 badly misshapen spent cartridges fired in the wrong chamber (shooter malf/mislabelled ammo)
-several dozen various revolver cartridges with fluffy corrosion on the projectile, heavy patina on the cartridge, some to the point of pitting, some to the point they'd no longer chamber
-several unfired .22lr with holes in the case walls... at least one coming from the box that way (and a handful of the remainder the result of my Marlin 60's 'vampire phase' misfeeds with two neat punches holes from the bolt closing on a cartridge halfway up the feed ramp)

I miss the shop. But as I've been in full-tilt afterburn since day 1 of having just one job, it was the right call. I just hope I don't run out of fuel before I get to altitude, y'know?

Capcha - dowlings. Reminds me of Father Dowling Mysteries and makes me consider calling these nightmare screwup cartridges 'dowlings'...