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PredatorDown

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Reply with quote  #1 
Had a bit of a reminder a while ago about always checking your ammo, even when it's factory loaded. 

I randomly decided to check concentricity on a box of factory Hornady 123gr Amax I had recently got, and noticed something looked a little off on one of the rounds. At first glance, it just looked like a blemished tip (discolored), but then I noticed it had a cannelure. I figured ok, maybe a 123gr SST got mixed in with the Amax somehow. I grabbed a 123SST bullet and another of the factory loaded rounds, and set them all side by side to compare.

 

Seeing them all side by side is where I really noticed something was different. Notice the different necks? Sure enough, different caliber bullet.



It was loaded with what appeared to be a .277 110gr Vmax. The case was still headstamped 6.5 Grendel, so it's not like it got switched somehow with a 6.8SPC round.

I doubt it would have been able to chamber, but at the least it would have resulted in one hell of a stuck case.

The next day, I grabbed a different box of factory ammo (same lot #) to use as a baseline to check some of my hand loads with. I went out and shot a quick ladder with BL-C(2), then decided to chrono some factory rounds to see where they shot before moving to my AR-Comp and CFE ladders.

Something felt off after firing my first factory round, and I checked and saw I had a stuck case which resulted in a double feed. I dropped the mag to clear the live round, noticed that the extractor still seemed to be intact, and slammed the bolt home in hopes of grabbing the spent case and being able to pull it free. 

Bad mistake.

I wound up breaking the extractor in the process of trying to free the stuck case, which ended my day at the range. All because I didn't want to take the time to drive home and get a cleaning rod to knock the brass free.

Once I got home and tapped the brass out, I noticed severe primer flattening/cratering as well as a pretty bad ejector swipe. And the kicker? The round only chrono'd at 2460 from my 22" barrel!

I contacted Hornady the next day and told them everything that happened, and they seemed surprised that the .277 cal bullet didn't crush the brass when it was seated. I explained to them that I had 5 boxes of their factory ammo that I deemed unsafe to fire (I've shot probably 200 rounds of their ammo before without problem), and they sent me a prepaid shipping label to send it all back to them for testing. They asked how I would like them to make it up to me, and I responded that I just wanted projectiles back that I could load myself. 

Moral of the story: just because it came loaded from the factory, at least do a quick visual check before firing it. Don't just assume it's safe to shoot.


As a side note, JP Enterprises stepped up and got me a new extractor in no time. I explained to them exactly how it broke, that the cause was in no way their fault, and that I would be more than happy to pay for a new one instead of it being covered under warranty (this extractor had approximately 1700 rounds under it). They said not to worry about it, and sent one out that day. All they asked is that I email them the serial number on my broken one for record keeping.


*UPDATE*

Hornady got back to me and said they shot 5 rounds through one of their test barrels, and the average pressure was only 45k so the ammo itself was "good to go". They said all they'd be able to do since they tested it as good was send the remainder back. I told them I didn't want the ammo back, I wanted unloaded projectiles in return. After arguing for a few minutes, he connected me with his manager. The manager said that since it was a 2016 lot# that they would be able to circulate them back into inventory and send me the unloaded projectiles I was wanting. 

Wait, what?!

They didn't even mention the case with the .277 bullet in it! From the sound of it, they only opened one of the 5 boxes I sent back and didn't even bother to check any of the others. The one with the .277 is probably getting put back into circulation without any other thought from them!

And then to top it all off, I just received 4 boxes of unloaded bullets to replace the 5 boxes of ammo I sent them. I can buy loaded factory ammo for the same price as unloaded projectiles locally, so their production costs should be at least similar. I would think they would have at least made it square with me, as I really wasn't looking to get ahead here. And it's not like that $20 would have affected a company the size of Hornady in the least. They lose more than that in lost production anytime an employee takes a crap!

Instead, with how this whole ordeal went down, they have lost an extremely loyal and vocal supporter. I will no longer buy anything Hornady if I have a choice with the exception of modified cases to check length. 

My only regret now is that I have over 2k 123gr amax at home. If there was anyone that would trade for any of the other 123gr pills (Nosler, Sierra, Lapua) I'd do it in a heartbeat. It really is a shame, because their bullets have always shot so well for me. 

I know my not buying any of their products won't do anything for them, but this has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I just can't continue to support them
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