Odd round in a box of ammo.


October 4, 2006, 08:13 PM
Went hunting this weekend, and brought along a box of Federal Vital-Shok. So far, it's the only ammo I have bought for this rifle, and I have tested it with 5 boxes of ammo since I bought the rifle.

While sitting in the RV on the 3rd or 4th day, I found a round in the box with a different tip to it. It looked like the exposed lead tip had been broken off. Obviously, I didn't want to use that round for hunting, so I was putting it off to the side for future range use, when I noticed that it was noticably lighter. A quick shake confirmed that there was powder in the case, but very, very little.

Got home and brought it to a neighbor who reloads, and he weighed out the rest of the box, and that round weighed 78 grains less than the other rounds :what:

The bullet is not-so-obviously a different design, the copper jacket is just slightly longer than the other rounds.

In addition, the headstamp on the ammo is different, instead of F C 30-06 it is R P 30-06, Reminton Peters.

Here is the thing, this was a brand new box of ammo, bought at a reputable dealer, the suspect cartridge wasn't one of the end cartridges in the box, it was in the middle of the line of cartridges. The box didn't appear opened in any way, in fact it was the most pristine of the boxes, which is why I saved that box for the hunt. Also, it couldn't have gotten have gotten mixed in on my end, since I haven't bought any other ammo in that caliber. Only 6 boxes of the same Federal load, 5 of them shot already.

It has really thrown me for a loop. I can imagine what would have happened if I had loaded that cartridge without looking carefully during my hunt.

Best case scenerio would be missing a shot at an animal, worst case would be getting the bullet stuck in the bore without knowing, and firing again.

Just thought it was intresting.


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October 5, 2006, 10:15 AM
I don't know how a Rem cartridge could have ended up in a box of NEW Federal ammo, short of somebody tampering with the box.

I recently ran across something strange, too...I purchased a couple of boxes of Rem 16Ga 'sluggers' (shotgun slugs) for a shooting buddy. I didn't really pay attention to the boxes, although one of them was torn a bit, and had large clear packing tape on it. Looked like maybe the box had gotten struck to the shpping box (case of ammo).

Whne I opened up the taped box, someone had swappped the 16Ga sluggers for 12Ga #4 steel shot....Winchester brand.

Now. even though it sometimes bothers the guy behind the counter, I ALWAYS open the box and at least look at the headstamps.

Ben Shepherd
October 5, 2006, 11:11 AM
I open the boxes and take a quick look after I have made the decision to purchase them.

Bought one of those cabellas bulk packs that includes a free dry storage box in 30 carbine.

Took it home, opened it up to repack the ammo in my storage area, and it was 250 rounds of HSM 22-250, instead of 300 rounds of 30 carbine. Aw, shucks. Too bad for little 'ol me.

Called them up, and they didn't want it back becuase it had left the store.

So I sold it to a buddy that has a 22-250.

Twice when checking a box of federal american eagle 357 158 grain JSP ammo I've found upside down primers.

ALWAYS check your ammo before leaving the store.

October 5, 2006, 11:39 AM
The last time I opened a new box of Federal Tactical at a store, one of the hollowpoint bullets was in the case BACKWARDS. A box I'd looked at at a show had the hollowpoint's depression off center.

I stopped buying Federal. If their quality control allows that sort of thing past, I'm too worried it'd also allow for a badly over or undercharged round, something that might squib or explode when most needed to exit the gun in the direction of an attacker.

Keeping to Hornady, Speer, etc.

October 5, 2006, 09:10 PM
I bet there's somebody out there with a box or Remingtons, with a Fed. in there.;) Sound like a "can I see X ammo, and can I see Y ammo", pulling 2 rounds, checking them out, and misplacing them back in their boxes.

October 5, 2006, 09:56 PM
I dunno about the brand switch, but in my job, one day I was bored and checking out some random boxes of Winchester White box .40. In it was one random .45ACP bullet--and we don't stock the white box .45. I was mildly confused.

Maybe it just happens. Or maybe there's just some idiot farther up the line who doesn't realize the difference.

October 5, 2006, 10:45 PM
I'd contact the manufacturer, though I suspect the true culprit was along the lines of what MisterPX described

Mal H
October 5, 2006, 10:54 PM
I also think MisterPX has it nailed.

Except for .22's, I never buy any commercial ammo without taking a quick peek in the box at stores, gun shows, etc. unless the box is sealed from the factory (e.g., .17 HMR). Obviously, not possible with mail order ammo, but that ammo is usually not seen or touched by the general public. Never had a problem with mail order stuff.

October 5, 2006, 11:20 PM
I'd contact the manufacturer, though I suspect the true culprit was along the lines of what MisterPX described

Already contacted them, and hope to hear back from them soon.

I thought of the possibility of what MisterPX described, and that would be my first thought, except for a few things. First, the place where I bought the ammo is mainly a mail-order company- they don't get many customers in buying in the actual store. Plus, the odd round wasn't one of the edge rounds, but was #5 in the plastic strip.

I also don't think it was a store mistake because the actual bullet doesn't match the design of any of the Remington loads that are sold at that store. In fact, the closest match I can find is another Federal load, the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw.

Add in that the round came from the most pristine of the boxes, and didn't look like it had been opened.

Even then, a round that is loaded that lightly shouldn't have been loaded into any factory box, so there is something seriously wrong.

This thing has me seriously stumped.

One thing is for sure, somewhere, someone, royally screwed up, and it could very well have cost me my hunt, or worse.


October 6, 2006, 11:28 AM
I see not checking a box of center fire ammo as akin to not checking a carton of eggs -- you don't know what you're going to get unless you check.

October 6, 2006, 12:48 PM
Its funny i was just talking to a friend about federal ammo this morning. He purchased his first gun this week a ss 20ga and bought some federal ammo for it. This morning he called and was asking general questions about hunting with it and if the ammo would be ok. I told him not to take it hunting.
Ive never had a problem with any ammo before except for misfires from cheap 22 shells but a friend of mine bought a box of federal steel shot for duck hunting a few years back and they were all well short on powder. He contacted them and they wouldnt even replace the box.

Sam Adams
October 6, 2006, 01:42 PM
I think that its probably either a mistake at the factory (no factory is perfect, especially not one which deals with the manufacture and shipping of tens of millions of round of ammo per year), or someone inadvertantly exchanged the round for one from another box in the store.

However, there is one other possibility-deliberate sabotage. The enviro-freaks have been known to spike trees with iron bars and to vandalize labs where animals are used in testing, so it is at least a possibility that an anti-gun freak decided to slip in a round of ammo that would (based on the description) be a squib round that would get lodged in the barrel, and then you (and maybe those around you) would get injured or killed when you sent the next round down the barrel. Yeah, its a bit paranoid, but it is not outside the realm of possibility - not since we found out that there are people in the world who drive airplanes full of people into buildings full of people have I underestimated the potential for depravity in the human soul.

Any way you look at it, check your ammo - preferably at the store or when you first get it, but ABSOLUTELY before you load and fire it.

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