PRODUCT WARNING (ammunition) -- Central Florida


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Jason M
September 15, 2008, 12:58 PM
For those of you in the central Florida area, heed this warning.
Iíve been buying ammunition from an independent ammunition company named Space Coast Bullets in Melbourne, Florida. They are located off of Dow road in that industrial area. Iíve purchased from them for about a year now to fill my needs for .40S&W, .45ACP and .357SIG. Their prices are attractive, but here is my warning:

If you value the working condition of your firearms AT ALL, refrain from making ammunition purchases from them. Buy all the components from them you wish, but do not buy their loaded ammunition until you read this:

I was at the range yesterday shooting my Sig P226. I was shooting .357Sig ammo I bought from Space Coast Bullets. The fourth shot put my gun out of commission for a while. The rear of the casing exploded from the rest of the casing, causing a catastrophic failure of the extractor. He extractor was blown off of the gun and subsequently the detent pin and spring left the gun as well. I also received the normal shower of brass flake and unburned powder to my face and hands. I was wearing eye glasses and no injuries were sustained, unless you count my damaged Sig 226 (which I do!).

In addition to this, about 4 months ago, a .32ACP casing ruptured in a friendís Kel-Tec P32 (hopefully he will chime in after my post here to corroborate my warning). The casing in that event did not come completely apart, but he had the same shower of brass bits and unburned powder to the face/hands as I did.

This makes two separate accounts of catastrophic casing failure from two entirely separate calibers on two separate manufacturing lots. One failure may be ďacceptableĒ as chance, but two makes it repeatable and unacceptable. They are an ammunition manufacturer/remanufacturer and unless I am mistaken, their ammo only carries with it the standard warning that you should only use the ammo in a ďfirearm in good working condition for the caliber being used.Ē It seems as though their quality control has become lax as of late. Furthermore, I still have approximately 400 rounds of ammo from them in various calibers. I will be attempting to return the unopened packages this Saturday.

This situation is made further frustrating by the mere fact that I have shot reloaded ammunition of all kinds (.223, .270, .45ACP, 9mm) that myself, a friend and his father loaded up and we never had a single brass failure because we had some resemblance of quality control. Space Coast Bullets must be taking in any brass they get from nameless people who are looking to sell their extra brass for the $0.01 each they will buy it for.

Take this warning as you will, but please be warned.

-Jason

PS - The cost in parts for a P226 Extractor, Pin and Spring is approximately $45. Inexpensive compared to what the costs could have been--mechanically and medically!

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kingpin008
September 15, 2008, 01:31 PM
Have you notified them about the failures? If not, why not? If I had the same issue as you, the first thing I'd be doing is calling up their customer service and letting them know what went down, so they can investigate/make it right.

That said, two failures can happen to anyone. I'm not familiar with Space Coast, so I can't say how much business they do, but I'd imagine that they do a fair bit. two wonky rounds out of their entire output is understandable. Not forgiving what happened, mind you - just putting in my two cents.

Jason M
September 15, 2008, 01:44 PM
I understand your viewpoint, but I've never had factory ammo do this and they load millions of rounds a month.

Space Coast does have an extensive local business following, apparently.

And I am driving there this Saturday to take my unopened ammo packages back. I will make them aware of what happened.

-Jason

lenziggy
September 15, 2008, 01:53 PM
Many hand gun warranties are voided if you use re-loaded or remanufactured ammo. Does this outfit fall into that category? The warranty (as long as I own it) on my new Bersa 40 S&W is very specific on that.

Len

Dave P
September 15, 2008, 02:08 PM
Sorry about your problems with reloads. Reloading for profit is a serious business.

Does SCB reload their own, or do they sub it out?

It is a great little shop. I always buy my pistol lead from them.

Dave

Picard
September 15, 2008, 02:25 PM
I'd definitely contact them if I were you. Perhaps they would even be willing to pay for your gun part replacement. I am sure that they would appreciate knowing that something is wrong with their product. They're not out their to make sure people's guns explode.

Eric F
September 15, 2008, 02:35 PM
they have a forum why not post this there? I have seen a few factory loads blow up too no big deal I got ammo and mags from speer when a gold dot blew my S&W99.

Here is the forum address http://spacecoastbullets.com/board/

XDKingslayer
September 15, 2008, 02:43 PM
I'm sorry about your experience, but I find it ironic how you want us to heed your warning yet you ignore the warnings that are probably in your firearm's manual about using reloaded ammunition...

scrat
September 15, 2008, 03:27 PM
i reload. i shoot my own reloads. most people who reload like myself will only shoot their own reloads. i would never shoot anyone elses. Why because i spend the time to inspect my brass throughout the whole process. i am not a fan of the progressive press as i inspect my brass. for this matter i am very confident of my reloads. However most places that remanufacture do quick visuals then off goes the ammo into tumblers for cleaning then off to the progressive presses. where they are decapped and sized, primed, charged, bullet seated then dumped into a bin to be packaged. not much quality control there. same time primer pockets and flash holes are not cleaned and checked. trim length is not checked. Before my brass gets loaded or primed it has to look brand new. i make it happen. so i know what i am shooting. When you shoot factory remanufactured ammo this is the chances you take. Now this does not excuse them. they are still liable for what happened. However you have to know the risk involved in shooting reloads.

Jason M
September 15, 2008, 03:35 PM
Dave P,

They load their own. I've seen them do it. It is all done on a few large commercial Dillon progressives. And I hope they do take it seriously. I'm sure they do, too, but when you reload that much and in that many calibers, it is possible to get lax from time to time. I hope that isn't the case, though.

LenZiggy/XDKingSlayer,

It is not all reloaded; some of it is loaded with factory NEW brass (virgin brass). I've shot both before. Until now I have never had any problems. And many others buy their ammo, especially the .40 and .45 because they sell for $19 and $27, respectively, per 100 rounds. I shoot a lot of .40 and .45 both, so I would like to get the best price.

Maybe I am being a bit preemptive with my accusations, but exploding casings are not a desired effect of pulling the trigger. Iíll let them know about it and see what they say.

Also, if they were out-of-their-garage home reloading outfit, then yes, I would not buy it under the impression the quality through mass home production may not be there, but they are a professional (and professionally outfitted) manufacturer and you should be able to expect a greater quality from such an operation. Am I expecting too much?

Jason M
September 15, 2008, 03:38 PM
i reload. i shoot my own reloads. most people who reload like myself will only shoot their own reloads. i would never shoot anyone elses. Why because i spend the time to inspect my brass throughout the whole process. i am not a fan of the progressive press as i inspect my brass. for this matter i am very confident of my reloads. However most places that remanufacture do quick visuals then off goes the ammo into tumblers for cleaning then off to the progressive presses. where they are decapped and sized, primed, charged, bullet seated then dumped into a bin to be packaged. not much quality control there. same time primer pockets and flash holes are not cleaned and checked. trim length is not checked. Before my brass gets loaded or primed it has to look brand new. i make it happen. so i know what i am shooting. When you shoot factory remanufactured ammo this is the chances you take. Now this does not excuse them. they are still liable for what happened. However you have to know the risk involved in shooting reloads.


I can buy components from them and used my own once-fired brass to reload for slightly cheaper than I could buy it from them, so that is what I will now do. I liked buying it loaded because it did save me some time, etc. Lesson learned, maybe, but they need to take SOME sort of resonsibility for it. I'm not asking them for 100% liability, just some to a respectable extent.

larry_minn
September 15, 2008, 03:52 PM
Sorry about your problems... To be fair. Out of the millions of rds they likely reload a month you MIGHT have two bad ones...
I have factory Winchester STHP with a REVERSE primer. This is $$$ defense ammo with a visual defect. It happens. (most malfunctions are ammo related) You NEED to bring the gun/broken parts/repair costs with you. There are tons of reasons why it maybe overpressured. Such as the used brass had been reloaded many times and had small cracks/weakness in head. (I assume not visible or YOU should have seen it while loading) You could have loaded/unloaded it and cause bullet setback (or crimp may have been weak/case wall cracked/thin)
While I have never messed with .357 sig I would (assume) it is a fairly high pressure rd? So a SLIGHT bullet set back will raise pressures very quickly. Its possible some powder from last rd didn't fall so this rd got a double charge.

I had a similar thing happen yrs ago. I bought a BAG (yep a large clear plastic bag of 9mm 115 fmj reloaded ammo from local small reloader. (who provided ammo for many smaller PDs as well as the LEO training school this same load for traiing) I fired maybe 20 rds and had a overcharge. I took gun apart/cleaned/checked it as best I could. Fired a few more mags and had just gotten over it and BOOM/smoke/recoil. I took bag back after cleaning/checking gun again (everything still looked ok) So I bring back 940 rds (not by count just guess) They ask to see my gun. I take it apart they drop some rds in barrel (check if maybe not fully chambering) and some other non-shooting tests. Agree everything looks good/can't see problem so they refund full purchase price and they will not sell this but use it for testing.
They were grabbing rds from other bags of same lot and going to pull some/fire others to make sure. I.E. really cared if there was a problem. I then bought a SDB. Once I learned how to reload no problems. (except a few thousand 9mm 124g LEAD round nose ammo I can't shoot in Glock) :)

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