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GlockWheeler
07-05-2011, 17:05
Just a heads up that one of the officers at my agency experienced a squib load with department issued Federal 180 grain HST this weekend (S&W M&P40 full size). Apparently the bullet lodged about half way through the barrel. Luckily, the officer did not attempt to chamber another live round behind the obstructed bullet. The lot number on the ammunition box is 2 48R606. Waiting to hear back from Federal as to what they recommend but as soon as I know I will update this post.

FatBoy
07-06-2011, 11:25
I know I am in a huge minority, and not tacti-cool, but that is why I don't automaticly go into a T-R-B drill after a malufunction. May not have ended well.

FB

cowboy1964
07-06-2011, 14:43
This is why you need to actually see if your shot hits the target, if at all possible. And just have an instinctive feel for when the shot didn't feel right.

fastbolt
07-06-2011, 15:33
Glad the other cop apparently managed to recognize the problem before firing another round and experiencing the unpredictable outcome of an obstructed bore event.

It can happen.

I can think of a few instances involving other agencies ... and 2 of the major, popular LE premium duty loads from different companies ... where this short-loaded (squib) condition occurred to a number of their people. To the best of my knowledge, all the occurrences happened on qual ranges and they were able to stop using/return that ammunition.

I know of a couple of instances where the potential problems were able to be identified as having occurred within a specific production lot range, and that ammunition was identified (by lot numbers) and returned to the manufacturer, being replaced with other ammunition of the same line.

I've only had it happen to me once, in many more tens of thousands of rounds than I care to remember. That was while using one of the "less-expensive" duty ammunition lines from one of the major companies. In my case the bullet cleared the barrel, but the slide cycled only just enough for the empty case to just barely clear the ejection port and then "dribble" along the top of the slide, as I watched, until it fell off. I'd recognized the reduced cycle force and was able to immediately stop my intended shot string, and then realized I'd heard a reduce sound signature, as well.

I've experienced a few other issues over the many years I've worked as a firearms instructor, though ... light/bad/inert primers, mangled cases and even a couple of improperly trimmed cases (too long to allow the slide/barrel to go into battery during live-fire on the range). Another one of our guys happened to run into a single improperly trimmed, overly long case, several years later, when using a premium duty load from one of the other manufacturers for quals.

From what I've seen, most normal procurement contracts not only have a description of the "performance characteristics" the ammunition has to meet in order to meet the stated specifications, but they can also include how many "problem rounds", within what range of rounds (number in a case or production lot, etc) are considered acceptable before a case/lot of ammunition is able to be considered unacceptable and returned for replacement. The manufacturers are pretty good about taking care of such things when problems are identified.

PghJim
07-10-2011, 18:03
I have had 2 squib load in the last 15 year and both were Federal and Hyrda-shok. One made it out the barrel the other did not. I might have chambered a round, except when I opened the slide everything was black. Of course the case did not eject.

GlockWheeler
07-11-2011, 12:25
Just spoke with a Federal Rep and they are issuing a pick up tag for the rest of the ammunition we have and will be shipping replacement ammunition at no charge. He said that this is a very uncommon problem (which is most likely true) and I am sending the fired casing and recovered bullet back as well. Hopefully, this will be the one and only time this issue occurs.

fastbolt
07-12-2011, 01:33
Interesting timing for this thread.

Sitting next to me is a .40 round which failed to fire after 2 attempts when I was doing some range work earlier today. After the first failed attempt I decided to try the round again. A loud click was again the result. No bang. The striker hit the primer hard enough, too, exhibiting a rather deep indentation, nicely centered.

The brand really isn't important. Suffice to say it's one of the premium duty-type loads made by one of the major companies.

As best I can remember, the last round with an apparently "bad" primer which I personally experienced was back several ten's of thousands of rounds ago, spread across 5 calibers of ammunition. That's not bad odds, I'd think.

As long as it's an isolated instance in that particular production lot of cases we're received, as well as the cases from other previous and subsequent productions runs, I'm not too concerned.

We train for stoppages and malfunctions for those infrequent, isolated instances when such a round might someday turn up when being used off the range, and not just during some training/practice/qual session. ;)

Foxtrotx1
07-12-2011, 03:25
No matter how much we try to ready ourselves for a situation, things out of our control can always take the reins.

GlockWheeler
07-13-2011, 10:33
Some of the officers are having reservations about the ammunition after having seen it malfunction in this way. Regardless of whether it could happen with any ammo manufacturer the fact is that it happened with what they are using for duty and they are uneasy. Can't really blame them given the circumstances involved and it's intended purpose on their behalf. In a situation like this, however unlikely it may be to have the same thing happen twice, some of them are thinking it may be beneficial to carry a backup weapon chambered in a different caliber.

fastbolt
07-13-2011, 12:51
Some of the officers are having reservations about the ammunition after having seen it malfunction in this way. Regardless of whether it could happen with any ammo manufacturer the fact is that it happened with what they are using for duty and they are uneasy. Can't really blame them given the circumstances involved and it's intended purpose on their behalf. In a situation like this, however unlikely it may be to have the same thing happen twice, some of them are thinking it may be beneficial to carry a backup weapon chambered in a different caliber.

The personnel component is always a hard one to resolve. People get nervous about something. Sometimes when they don't understand what's happening, and sometimes even if they do know the cause.

This isn't that much different from having to have some bad gas cleaned out of a patrol car, though. Or replacing some tires that may have been affected by manufacturing problem during a short time of production. Sometimes things happen and we have to deal with replacing equipment or component parts which have been identified as being out of spec.

Doesn't mean the replacement equipment is going to have the same problem.

Short of running a couple of random cases of replacement ammo through some of the folk's guns, showing it works, dunno what would satisfy them.

Manufacturers don't like problematic ammo out there, in LE/Gov hands, any more than we want to come across it.

Just changing brands may make everyone feel better, but there's no way to know if you're moving away from a short term problem which has already been identified and resolved by the first company, only to risk running across another problem in another company's line when you make the move. :rofl:

I remember when I got the call about a large agency where one of our guys were training one week. I'd been there just after they'd received and put into service not quite a million dollar's worth of some LE-Only duty ammunition (which is highly prized and sought by folks among gun forums such as this one, BTW). Anyway, it seems they eventually decided they were experiencing an "unacceptable" number of repeated short-loads (squibs) on their training range using that ammo. They finally decided to return all remaining pallets of it.

Now, just to show how things can sometimes get weird, the previous major brand from which they'd switched (to the stuff they were now returning), itself later on had a couple of instances where some lots produced some short-loads which were identified in LE hands. Go figure.

When the ammo companies are running 24 hours a day, at least one of which claims they're able to produce a million rounds in a 24 hour period, it's hardly surprising that something happens every once in a great while in a single box, or a couple of boxes in a particular case, or couple of cases, or even within several cases in one, or a couple, of production lots.

The companies always want to make these things right, though.

We don't stop buying tires just because a company might have shipped out some with a defect discovered later on. We replace them and keep driving (and we're much more likely to get injured or killed in motor vehicle collisions, since we're actually driving hours out of every day).

Dunno how to tell you to restore confidence in the ammo. maybe if they know you've tested it and are willing to carry it yourself, and they trust your experience and judgment.

I know one of the other senior instructors who was with me when I came across the bad primer in the duty load was REALLY surprised and bothered by it. I was more surprised by his reaction than I was by getting the bad round. You'd think he'd never come across one before the way he was carrying on. Hey, maybe he's been really lucky and hasn't. I have, but then I've not only been shooting since I was 5 years old, but I've been a LE firearms instructor since '90. I've observed an occasional issue arise in the hands of other folks, and I've had a small number of my own experiences in ammo I was using.

Probably not the last time, too. ;)

I'm still carrying the same brand ammo with which I had the "dud" the other day, too.

Different box, of course, since the rest of that box, and another one from the same case I was using, were fired without issue. Nobody else has yet had a similar experience, and if it's just one of those isolated experienced, then it's just one of those things. I let the guy running the range nowadays know about it so he can monitor things. I kept the dud round to add to my growing collection of such things from the major companies which I've been collecting over the years.

I stopped collecting each and every bad round, however, once I had collected so many I was starting to fill the one tray of the parts bin I was using. I decided to just keep the ones that were different from the rest, or representative of different brands, calibers, etc. The rest just get disposed of at the range.

Same thing happened a couple of years ago when a case was apparently improperly trimmed too long (same major ammo company who sells boat loads of LE/Gov ammo) and the loaded round wouldn't chamber during a range session. No similar problems during the course of shooting more than another 100K rounds of that load, though. Just one of those freak occurrences.

Weirder still is that I personally pulled 2 rounds from the same box of another major company's duty ammo about 5-6 years ago which also had improperly trimmed cases. The cases were just slightly too long to allow chambering in my duty gun during some range work. What are the chances? I'd fired several tens of thousands of rounds of that specific load without problems in recent years, and went through some more cases of it afterward without running into anything similar ... only to change brands of duty ammo a few years later and have one of our guys run across that long-trimmed case which wouldn't feed in his gun. (Different caliber, too, since mine were .40's and his was a .45)

Like I told the other instructor who witnessed the dud round I came across the other day ... that's why we train ourselves and our people to be able to deal with such potential problems.

Like was said earlier, though, sometimes things just happen out of our control.

cowboywannabe
07-13-2011, 13:11
i had a problem with a federal .40cal 180gr. hi-shock (not hydra) in the 90's. federal told the oshp armorers to piss up a rope.

that was enough for me to use federal as paper punching ball ammo only.

GlockWheeler
07-13-2011, 13:43
The personnel component is always a hard one to resolve. People get nervous about something. Sometimes when they don't understand what's happening, and sometimes even if they do know the cause.

This isn't that much different from having to have some bad gas cleaned out of a patrol car, though. Or replacing some tires that may have been affected by manufacturing problem during a short time of production. Sometimes things happen and we have to deal with replacing equipment or component parts which have been identified as being out of spec.

Doesn't mean the replacement equipment is going to have the same problem.

Short of running a couple of random cases of replacement ammo through some of the folk's guns, showing it works, dunno what would satisfy them.

Manufacturers don't like problematic ammo out there, in LE/Gov hands, any more than we want to come across it.

Just changing brands may make everyone feel better, but there's no way to know if you're moving away from a short term problem which has already been identified and resolved by the first company, only to risk running across another problem in another company's line when you make the move. :rofl:

I remember when I got the call about a large agency where one of our guys were training one week. I'd been there just after they'd received and put into service not quite a million dollar's worth of some LE-Only duty ammunition (which is highly prized and sought by folks among gun forums such as this one, BTW). Anyway, it seems they eventually decided they were experiencing an "unacceptable" number of repeated short-loads (squibs) on their training range using that ammo. They finally decided to return all remaining pallets of it.

Now, just to show how things can sometimes get weird, the previous major brand from which they'd switched (to the stuff they were now returning), itself later on had a couple of instances where some lots produced some short-loads which were identified in LE hands. Go figure.

When the ammo companies are running 24 hours a day, at least one of which claims they're able to produce a million rounds in a 24 hour period, it's hardly surprising that something happens every once in a great while in a single box, or a couple of boxes in a particular case, or couple of cases, or even within several cases in one, or a couple, of production lots.

The companies always want to make these things right, though.

We don't stop buying tires just because a company might have shipped out some with a defect discovered later on. We replace them and keep driving (and we're much more likely to get injured or killed in motor vehicle collisions, since we're actually driving hours out of every day).

Dunno how to tell you to restore confidence in the ammo. maybe if they know you've tested it and are willing to carry it yourself, and they trust your experience and judgment.

I know one of the other senior instructors who was with me when I came across the bad primer in the duty load was REALLY surprised and bothered by it. I was more surprised by his reaction than I was by getting the bad round. You'd think he'd never come across one before the way he was carrying on. Hey, maybe he's been really lucky and hasn't. I have, but then I've not only been shooting since I was 5 years old, but I've been a LE firearms instructor since '90. I've observed an occasional issue arise in the hands of other folks, and I've had a small number of my own experiences in ammo I was using.

Probably not the last time, too. ;)

I'm still carrying the same brand ammo with which I had the "dud" the other day, too.

Different box, of course, since the rest of that box, and another one from the same case I was using, were fired without issue. Nobody else has yet had a similar experience, and if it's just one of those isolated experienced, then it's just one of those things. I let the guy running the range nowadays know about it so he can monitor things. I kept the dud round to add to my growing collection of such things from the major companies which I've been collecting over the years.

I stopped collecting each and every bad round, however, once I had collected so many I was starting to fill the one tray of the parts bin I was using. I decided to just keep the ones that were different from the rest, or representative of different brands, calibers, etc. The rest just get disposed of at the range.

Same thing happened a couple of years ago when a case was apparently improperly trimmed too long (same major ammo company who sells boat loads of LE/Gov ammo) and the loaded round wouldn't chamber during a range session. No similar problems during the course of shooting more than another 100K rounds of that load, though. Just one of those freak occurrences.

Weirder still is that I personally pulled 2 rounds from the same box of another major company's duty ammo about 5-6 years ago which also had improperly trimmed cases. The cases were just slightly too long to allow chambering in my duty gun during some range work. What are the chances? I'd fired several tens of thousands of rounds of that specific load without problems in recent years, and went through some more cases of it afterward without running into anything similar ... only to change brands of duty ammo a few years later and have one of our guys run across that long-trimmed case which wouldn't feed in his gun. (Different caliber, too, since mine were .40's and his was a .45)

Like I told the other instructor who witnessed the dud round I came across the other day ... that's why we train ourselves and our people to be able to deal with such potential problems.

Like was said earlier, though, sometimes things just happen out of our control.



Great insight, sir. Interesting thing is that the officers who seem to be most bothered by the malfunction are those who are not carrying a backup weapon of any sort. Personally, I have seen this same type of malfunction a few times in the past, but never with duty grade ammunition. This is probably the result of our agency cycling out duty ammo on an annual basis and there are far fewer duty rounds fired in comparison to practice ammo. The thing that has spooked them the most is the realization that with a squib load the weapon is completely out of commission and no malfunction drill is going to remedy the problem on the street. Hopefully the officers will seriously consider looking into secondary weapons as a result.

fastbolt
07-13-2011, 14:19
Was the short-load with the duty ammunition that someone had been carrying in their gun for a year?

The reason I ask is that before we started buying duty ammunition as training/qual ammunition we also had folks carrying the same loads for quite a while. (The state contract pricing has apparently prompted a couple of the major companies to now price their duty loads like they used to price their "budget" loads, making it possible to buy premium duty ammo at training ammo prices.)

When we once again started issuing new ammo on a regular basis we had everyone turn in their old ammo for range use. Not only was the condition pretty variable (to put it mildly), but we found that there were a number of "dud" rounds encountered. The best guess (judging by the condition, appearance, etc) was that some of the people exposed their ammo to excessive amounts of penetrating oils ... and who knows what else. :whistling: )

Authorizing secondary weapons is all well and good (unless it isn't according to the admin, of course), but folks can have all kinds of ideas of what makes for a reliable secondary weapon, as well as the manner of carrying it.

When many folks don't practice with drawing & presentation from the duty belt holster, you can imagine the fumbling that can occur when trying to get at a secondary weapon ... and that's just on the range, not during the middle of rolling around in the mud, the blood & the beer ... or in some bathroom stall after falling against (and then through) the stall door, into some cramped place while trying to gain some position of advantage in a fight for your life, without dropping the gun into the bowl once you do get it out.

You've still got to feed it ammunition, though, and therein's the rub, so to speak.

At what point does someone find that infrequent defective round with a bad primer, case without flash holes in the primer cup pocket, short powder load, etc?

Or, when is that contaminated firing pin channel going to reach the point where there's just too much resistance to hit that next round hard enough to fire it? I usually find someone at the cleaning station who's cleaning their gun in the same "bucket & slosh" manner they use on their car, saturating the weapon with an excessive amount of solvent/CLP ... which can introduce it to places it isn't intended to go.

You shoot long enough, you're probably going to come across the errant factory round which isn't up to snuff. Nice to be able to walk around in denial and pretend they aren't out there, but nothing made by machine ... set up, programmed and operated by humans ... is likely going to ever be 100% perfect (advertising to the contrary).

Can't eliminate the rare potential for an ambush or "sniper" attack, either. I realized that when I was driving one night and took 2 rounds through a rear/side window from out of the dark. I was fortunate that they missed me. the shooter was never caught, to my knowledge. Pretty much didn't matter what gun & ammo I was wearing at the time, did it? ;)

If you can prevent yourself (and your training staff) from appearing freaked out or unduly concerned over the unwanted (but probably inevitable) isolated case of a "bad" round, and use it to illustrate the need for skills training to be better able to deal with those instances which can hopefully be remedied in the field ... (meaning something other than a bore obstruction) ... then you can hopefully make them more aware of things which are seldom encountered, but can still make our days problematic. Let them see that you aren't losing confidence in the equipment (ammo).

FWIW, when I was talking to someone at the state about some short-loaded rounds in one series of production lots a couple of years ago, I was told that the problems encountered (by at least 2 agencies at that point) involved bullets leaving the bore and wildly keyholing. No obstructed bore events at that point, just short-loaded powder charges.

The last short-loaded round I encountered several years ago had just enough power for the bullet to clear the barrel and cycle the slide just enough to let the empty case clear the ejection port.

Then again, while our attention can be easily caught up in the seldom ammo problem, it's the preventable human/ammo/gun problems that annoy me and make me break a sweat sometimes. We had a guy who blithely grabbed the wrong caliber from the duty ammo station and loaded his magazines, and gun, with the wrong caliber (.40 in a .45) ... and then carried it around on his belt until the next time he qualified, which is when it was "discovered". :steamed:

The potential for another type of obstructed bore event when this sort of thing happens can raise the hairs on the back of your neck when you see it almost happen on a training ore qual range. I've had a few instances where some cop (or private citizen in another type of class/qual session) either loaded a 9 in a .40, or a .40 in a .45 ... and ended up firing the gun so they were awarded with a ballooned & split case.

One time a guy tipped his 1911 muzzle downward while fiddling with his gun and I watched a .40 cartridge spill out the end of the barrel. (I thought that only happened to Elmer Fudd. :wow: )

Anyway, imagine the potential for an overpressure event if the extractor lets the wrong caliber/smaller cartridge slip forward into the bore, making the shooter think a round hadn't been fed & chambered, so the shooter does a tap/rack and triggers off a round ... the bullet of which then finds the live cartridge parked in the barrel. Ugh. Bad.

GlockWheeler
07-13-2011, 15:28
Actually, this happened to a new recruit and the ammo was issued about two months ago (new in box when issued).