Ultramax Remanufactured Ammo


July 20, 2007, 07:38 PM
Not strictly a handloading/reloading post, but close enough I hope.

Just got back from the range a little bit ago, and I have to ask - has anyone here had any experience with Ultramax brand remanufactured ammo?

I bought two 150-rnd "value packs" at Dick's Sporting goods awhile back and finally got around to using one of them up.

They're 230 gr. RNL rounds, mixed headstamp. I was using my Charles Daly 5'' EFS, with two Novak 8 round mags and one Chip McCormick "shooting star" 8 round mag.

Out of 150 rounds, I got somewhere on the order of 6-7 FTF's, all on the last round out of the mag, from a different mag each time. The majority of the time the slide would lock back at the take-down notch, with the round being fully stripped from the mag but not chambering fully. Maybe once the round seemed to have chambered properly, but the slide was slightly out of battery. Including this range trip, I've put just about 700 rounds downrange in this gun. I'm not ruling out issues with the pistol, but I'm curious to see what ya'll have to say ammo wise as well.

What's more than that...out of the full box of 150 rounds, there were a total of THREE cartridges that I would not load at all. This included two rounds with a noticeable bullet "set back", and one round that felt EXTREMELY light.

Now, I know that setbacks happen, even in factory loaded ammo - but two rounds in a single batch? And what about the light cartridge? That seems pretty damn shady to me. I caught the first set back cartridge by pure luck - I was randomly checking out the headstamp because it looked odd to me (reg. old winchester, just partly obscured by a little dirt) and I rotated the round in my fingers to load it and I saw the OAL was noticeably shorter than the others in my mag. After that, I checked the rest of the rounds before I shot them.

What do ya'll think? Is this typical of this brand? I'm not that familiar with remanufactured ammo at all, so far I've shot almost entirely WWB and Remmie Green Box. Definetly won't be buying them again, either way.

Smoky as all get out too. Worse than WWB, even.

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Wil Terry
July 20, 2007, 08:56 PM
Remember you get what you pay for. Fresh oats cost more than oats the have been through the horse.
There is another ammunition company here in the same town who's quality with remanufactured ammunition is nothing short of SUPERB.

July 20, 2007, 09:05 PM
of a guy's custom-built AR15 that was blown to pieces by UltraMax ammo. Here's a link to his thread:


IIRC, his buddy was shooting .45ACP ultramax, and it was 'troublesome', too.

It sounds like a brand to stay away from--period.

Jim H.

July 20, 2007, 10:15 PM
Ohhh Joy.

Well, that makes me feel lucky, I guess. Except for the fact that I still have a 150 round box of the stuff and it was too expensive to just "not shoot".


I can't afford to blow my gun, or myself up right now. I want to use it up, but now I'm paranoid that I'll end up doing bad things to my gun.

Any ideas?

Uncle Don
July 20, 2007, 10:28 PM
As a full time firearms instructor, the only catastrophic case failures I've seen behind the line was Ultramax and old Federal ammo. None blew up the gun but it sure scared them and left carbon all over ther hands and punched the mag out. I buy about 80k a year and I've had the best luck with HSM (Hunting Shack of Montana), by far.

July 20, 2007, 10:47 PM
Uncle Don - Thanks for the reply. I had a little bit of black fouling on my hands/arms from powder/carbon blowback, but thankfully that was all.

I'm still wondering what to do with the stuff. I paid...if I remember correctly $40 each for the "value packs", and it pains me to think that I'm gonna be out the money and ammo.

At the same time, I don't want to risk it, like I said.

I don't have a bullet puller, or anything like that - what are my options for getting rid of it short of just giving it away?

**which I wouldn't want to do anyhow, seeing as how there's a good chance it could be unsafe**

Uncle Don
July 20, 2007, 11:35 PM
If you still have the case, you could call them and tell them you want to swap out what you have. I did that with 7 full cases after a catastrophic case failure and they paid to have those shipped back and sent me new ones. I didn't have any trouble with the replacement stuff, but I'm a little spooked on Ultramax.

Even if you got a puller, that's all you would get done for awhile, and if you are uncomfortable shooting it, I wouldn't give it to anyone else. Call them, as long as you have the case, I think they will work with you.

July 20, 2007, 11:45 PM
I would see if you could borrow a bullet puller or just go ahead and buy one...they are good to have around anyway...and reclaim the components, minus the powder since you don't know what it is, and count your blessing that your were warned and lucky that you might have avoided a potential catastrophe.

July 21, 2007, 12:26 AM
Well, unless they'll give me a straight refund (which seems unlikely) I'm not terribly interested in any sort of exchange for new ammo from them. I'm not usually one to write off a company after one experience, but I've never seen three seperate incidences of unsafe ammo in one batch like that. And the guy with the Kb!'d AR. Not fun to think about.

I'll have to pick up a bullet puller next time I see one. I'm not really in an area where I can burn off the powder outside my house (severely uptight neighbors) but I can just dump it in the garden, right? I think I remember reading it's pretty good plant food.

July 21, 2007, 07:52 AM
When one buys ¬¬¬re-manufactured ammo, and failures happen, it’s in the case that’s in question, not the other components, per say. Yes, you have to seat the bullet and primer properly, ect, ect. But I feel what’s over-looked…. is the case.
Example: I hand-load for my 460/500 Magnums, the pressure can vary from….taking 2 separate 500 magnum cases as an example (btw. Both starting out with brand new cases)….one loaded at 13,500 PSI (girl-lee man load) and one loaded at 51,800 PSI (kiss the milk-man, as well as his cow he rode in on, good-bye load). Don’t let those numbers impress you. And let’s not get too geek-ie here with other forces, cylinder walls, ect. The whole point being, the case that was subject to 13,500 PSI would have longer life expediency, less stress and less of those “other mishaps” of chambering than the 51,800 PSI would. It goes the same with other calibers….should say, cartridges, as well. As well as, using in an auto than a revolver (less of those mishaps). Who knows how many lives the re-manufactured…..”Case” went through...how those previous loads….loaded how?
No more than Neil Armstrong can tell you, how many footprints he left in the surface of the moon?
You can only visually check, for signs that will tell one who reloads that, its time to be made into a candlestick holder. I was corrected on this, by a friend of mine, who is a metallurgist….an egg-head. Saying that the surest way of knowing is through forensics (x-raying), things that the human eye is incapable of seeing through (hidden with-in the metal). Forget! About it!
Bottom line is….your not getting new ammo for the price of re-manufactured….simple.
Think of it this way. It’s like buying a used car. Still people will buy them. And those (some) who buy them will have those mishaps. Why should re-manufactured ammo, be any different?
My philosophy is…..stay away from re-manufactured ammo of any kind! And that goes double for use in autos! Get into reloading, if to save money. One has “control” over the process of the previous fired case, as well as those other components’.
I have tried UltraMax (500 magnum), but that was “new” ammo. With starline cases (new), accurate (brand) powder. It’s not the best, but not bad, either. For the price, shooting paper, it’s not bad. Besides keeping those once shot, starline cases, for future reloading endeavors.
I tried HSM for the 460/500 magnums…but again, it was “new” ammo. Again it’s the price that was good.
I liked the HSM 350 gr. XTP-MAG (500 magnum), same “bullet” as the 350 hornady XTP-MAG cartridge, but cheaper.

July 21, 2007, 08:11 AM
I have shot a few hundred rounds of the Ultramax 55gr 223, mostly through my CZ 527, I have no complaints.

The Ultramax 9mm, however, is the nastiest, smokiest ammo I have ever shot. Further, it lands about 1-2 feet above point of aim at 25 yards. First and only batch of that I will try.

Speaking of discount ammo, with the blazer brass 45acp I seem to get way too many of rounds which seem to have the bullet seated too deep and they get stuck at an angle halfway into the chamber--anyone else get this?

July 21, 2007, 09:07 AM
I bought a box of 45 acp and never will again. lots of misfires and it was very dirty will buy from a guy who reloads locally or reload my own.

July 21, 2007, 12:18 PM
I bought a box,(50), for my then new Glock M-22. The gunshop I got it at had a practice range out back, so I got this box of 40 S&W to burn up while I waited for the waiting period to expire. What a bunch of ap-cray! Mixed headstamps, some brass some nickel cases that looked pretty beat up. The bullet was a plated lead RNFP, don't remember the weight. I was just blasting at paper targets, so I have no idea how it shot as far as accuracy. I did NOT save the empties!:mad:

I'm sure they get their brass from ranges that the cops use to qualify on. You'd think it would be once fired!?:confused: IF they sorted as to headstamp and brass from nickel, they'd have to charge more to pay some one to do the sorting.
so you don't have to click on the link, here's the text from ultra-max.

Ultramax 10 Step Quality Assurance System

1. Ultramax machine inspects all previously fired cartridge cases for flaws. Case inspection machines are fully automatic and perform several critical functions. All cases are probed for any foreign objects and pressure tested for cracks or dents. Spent primers are removed, flash holes are cleared of any foreign material, primer pockets are probed for flaws, and finally, primer pockets are reamed to insure compatibility with any new commercial primer.

2. Ultramax liquid washes all previously fired cartridge cases after they have been processed through the case inspection machines to insure the cases, primer pockets and flash holes are clean and devoid of any foreign material. All cases are then tumble dried to a high-luster finish.

3. Ultramax roll sizes all previously fired cartridge cases to meet S.A.A.M.I. specification on new cartridge cases. Roll Sizing is the only method available to insure that the previously fired cartridge cases are sized down to the rim of the case. This results in flawless functioning in semiautomatics and perfect chambering in revolvers.

4. Ultramax selects the optimum powder charges for each caliber and bullet type of ammunition after testing hundreds of loads for accuracy, velocity and pressure.

5. Ultramax selects powders for each type of ammunition that fill cartridge cases as close to capacity as possible. This step makes double or over-charges impossible.

6. Ultramax loads all ammunition on fully automatic loading machines which are preset to S.A.A.M.I. specifications for priming depth, pressure and overall cartridge length.

7. All loading machines are equipped with state of the art electronic safety switches to insure powder charge accuracy to within a half grain of powder. If the powder charge is not within specifications, the switch will automatically shut off the loading machine and will indicate a powder charge problem has occurred. We check all safety switches three times per day for switch failure.

8. Ultramax has our own indoor underground range for testing. We test fire samples prior to starting a production run of ammunition, and every run is tested daily. Any change in powder lot numbers or primer type is tested before continuing the production run. Random samples are tested with the targets, chronograph and pressure gauge results retained as permanent records.

9. We require that all ammunition pass a thorough visual inspection process, which includes 100% chamber size testing to ensure proper chambering.

10. Finally, lot numbers are assigned to each production run to identify the following: date ammunition was loaded, person who loaded the ammunition, machine used to load the ammunition, powder type, primer type, bullet loaded and inspector who approved the ammunition. This lot number appears on each individual box of ammunition and the case pack.

It seems that IF they actually do all these tests and inspections, they should be charging a lot more for that ammo!

July 21, 2007, 04:08 PM
I ran a thousand rounds of 223 Ultramax 55g FMJ thru my AR a while back. Did not have any issues with the ammo, other than it's overall accuracy was not quite as good as I had hoped. But hey I got 1000 pcs of LC brass. I doubt that I would ever buy any more of it.

July 21, 2007, 08:37 PM
<<Ultramax 10 Step Quality Assurance System>>

A lot of these steps listed are academic for reloading. Simpler when used in practice them putting them on paper.
I’m not trying to dump on companies that reload, previous loaded cases. It seems that (those steps listed) they do a good job, of quality control. But like anything else, there is no 100% guarantee it will perform as new ammo would. Besides, even well know, well quality controlled, new ammo….at times goes out the warehouse door by mistake (smiling), ammo recalls….just about everyone has heard and seen this happen. Thanks to a well connected world (computers) we live in, we find out about these things. Hopefully, it’s not a day in, day out occurrence.
A production world we live in today. Put it together as fast, humanly possible, keeping quality control in mind and out the door. Name of the game, productivity. That’s with anything today.
Had (myself) ammo from a well known company that jammed, duds.
But one wants to avoid these peccadilloes as much as one can. By making reasonable choices about the ammo one is buying. Besides faith, in the sense that the box(s) of ammo one is buying from that company, they keep up their end up, on things.

July 21, 2007, 08:44 PM
WOW I am going to stay away from it :D If you have any left wear eye protection while shooting... LOL

July 22, 2007, 10:20 AM
I bought 4 boxes of 45LC. This was for the brass. I have less of a problem buying remanufactured ammo for a revolver than I do for a semi-auto pistol or for a rifle. I didn't have any problems.

July 31, 2007, 10:29 PM
I have 5 150 round boxes of this stuff and my Oly shot 150 rounds of it exceedingly well. Very accurate.

What can I do to check the remaining rounds I have? I'm planning on buying a reloading setup but don't have one yet. Can I run the assembled cartridges through a die to make sure they are in spec?

August 1, 2007, 09:16 PM
What can I do to check the remaining rounds I have? I'm planning on buying a reloading setup but don't have one yet. Can I run the assembled cartridges through a die to make sure they are in spec?

You need to actually weigh the rounds. If any are significantly over or under weight (in grains), don't shoot them.

August 2, 2007, 05:42 AM
Not only would I not take it for free, you couldn't pay me to shoot that crap!

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