Defective Ammo: Winchester 9mm JHP "Personal Protection"


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stevemis
July 24, 2009, 10:30 PM
Just a quick note/warning. Yesterday, I purchased several boxes of Winchester USA9JHP Personal Protection 9mm ammo. This is our normal 9mm carry load, and I've bought lots of it in the past.

This evening, I was loading up a couple of magazines and noticed the brass didn't look very nice. Almost every round had scuff marks and/or corrosion. I then noticed a round had two very deep gouges in the case, at which point I unloaded everything and took some pictures.

I've only looked at two boxes thus far. Both are labeled:

Carton No. CT512
E125667
K6673

Update: It turns out the lot # is pressure stamped inside the flap on the box. It's lot # 3 CCD51 or 300D51 - the stamp is very light.

These were purchased from Dick's Sporting Goods on July 23, 2009 on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh, NC.

I've sent an email to Winchester.

The round with the deep gouges is the first one on the left in the picture.

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kingpin008
July 24, 2009, 10:49 PM
That first case almost looks like the brass was partially crushed or creased during loading, rather than gouged. Any chance at getting some better, closer-up pics of it?

And most definitely keep us informed in regards to Winchester's response. I can't imagine they'd give you any hassle, it's pretty obvious the ammo is damaged.

stevemis
July 24, 2009, 10:56 PM
I need a camera that can do better macro work. This one just doesn't cut it. These two shots are the best I can do with my current setup.

It almost looks as if someone tried to take a bite out of it!

I can imagine this cartridge got damaged during loading, but almost every other cartridge has circular scuffs on the brass, and/or corrosion. This ammo, quite frankly, looks like Bubba Reloads, not factory ammo.

I'm not very confident in Winchester JHP anymore. I've been carrying & shooting this stuff for several years, and it cycles perfectly in all of my 9mm's. Sadly, I think it's time to investigate offerings from other manufacturers. This defective ammo really torques me off, because the store has a 3 box/day limit (my wife picked up 3 more boxes this morning) and I could have bought usable 45 or 223 instead.

stevemis
July 24, 2009, 11:10 PM
This seems appropriate.

kingpin008
July 24, 2009, 11:14 PM
While it never hurts to explore other brands, I wouldn't be so quick to write off Winchester this quickly. Any large manufacturing company has issues with the product now and again, and if you've been buying and using this same ammo for years without coming up with a dud, I'd say it's fair that it's a one-time thing.

Give 'em a chance to make it right, and see how things go from there. If it is a one-time fluke thing (and I can't see how it wouldn't be) you've already got a load that you know works - why switch things up needlessly?

Oyeboten
July 24, 2009, 11:19 PM
Is Winchester 'outsourcing' to Red China now?

Phydeaux642
July 24, 2009, 11:26 PM
Is it possible that someone could have switched the ammo for some bad reloads? Just sayin'.

stevemis
July 24, 2009, 11:45 PM
Is it possible that someone could have switched the ammo for some bad reloads? Just sayin'.

I doubt it. The guy at the counter said he unloaded the big shipment the night before. It's also all headstamped correctly and nothing is mixed. The bullets are also all JHP and look like the last batch I bought.

I also noticed the brass looks wavy, and the bullet base shape and crimp is very visible especially compared to my last batch (about a year old) ... almost like the case material is really thin. I wonder if Winchester is cutting some expenses by thinning the brass?

danprkr
July 24, 2009, 11:47 PM
Is it possible that someone could have switched the ammo for some bad reloads?

I was wondering that very thing. Where did you get it? At a big box store (Walmart etc) it's probably a Winchester problem. At some guys table in the local gun store who knows? Last time I checked ammo didn't come with seals on the boxes to indicate tampering so I question the source.

stevemis
July 24, 2009, 11:54 PM
Where did you get it?

Dick's Sporting Goods. They're a pretty big chain here in the Southeast...

http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/

danprkr
July 25, 2009, 12:07 AM
Dick's Sporting Goods. They're a pretty big chain here in the Southeast...

Yeah, they're growing into my part of the world. We just got one a few blocks from my house, and there are several here in the central TX area. I'd be leaning on Winchester fairly heavily then. I suppose there could be a rogue employee, but that's beginning to stretch the concept.

rbernie
July 25, 2009, 12:13 AM
Looks like they're simply making ammo too fast, trying to fill the demand. Contact Winchester and let them deal with it. They'll send you replacement ammo, without a doubt.

Trebor
July 25, 2009, 12:30 AM
This is the Winchester White Box JHP's labeled "Personal Protection", right?

I would NEVER recommend that ammo for self defense use. The Winchester White Box line is their budget ammo line. It's fine for plinking and target practice, but should be avoided for self defense use.

The reason is that it is a *Budget* ammo line. As a budget ammo line the assembly is entirely automated, as is the QC. That means no human being actually lies eyes on the ammo at any point in the process, until you open up a new box yourself.

The other disadvantage of the budget line is that it does NOT use a "low flash" propellent. Instead it uses a cheaper, standard propellent. This means that if you shoot this ammo in low light you'll get a larger muzzle flash. This can temporarily blind you. And, since most defensive shootings occur in low light, this is a valid concern.

The only reason they market this as "Personal Protection" instead of "Target/Range" ammo is because they load it with JHP bullets instead of FMJ bullets. But, those JHP's are an older generation bullet as well.

Just because something has a JHP bullet and is labelled as "Personal Protection" does not mean it is the best choice, or even a good choice, for that purpose. Between the lack of QC and the non low-flash powder, I'd skip this for defensive use and go with a better brand that has better QC, low flash powder, and more up to date tech for the bullet itself.

Guns and more
July 25, 2009, 12:48 AM
The Winchester White Box line is their budget ammo line.
Maybe so, but I've never had a problem like that.

21bubba
July 25, 2009, 12:52 AM
I use it on all4 of the 9mm's that i own, and all of them love it.
As far as SD use goes, I don't want to be shot with it.

danprkr
July 25, 2009, 08:38 AM
As far as SD use goes, I don't want to be shot with it.

Which caused me to briefly wonder, "What ammo does he want to be shot with?":confused:

stevemis
July 25, 2009, 09:36 AM
Which caused me to briefly wonder, "What ammo does he want to be shot with?"

Lester's Ammo!

http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5782041&postcount=4

stevemis
July 27, 2009, 11:44 AM
Looks like they're simply making ammo too fast, trying to fill the demand. Contact Winchester and let them deal with it. They'll send you replacement ammo, without a doubt.

Winchester is issuing a UPS call tag to pick up the ammo. Initially they wanted to send me a Winchester Gift Card so I can re-purchase their ammo. I explained that I was able to amass 8 boxes of this product due to sheer luck AND two trips to the store on separate days due to rationing, and that they should issue a complete refund OR a replace the product. Gift cards tied to specific products which will likely be unavailable is not acceptable.

Supposedly I'll know more in 3 weeks and will update this thread. If I don't have resolution in 4 weeks, I'll call American Express and let them deal with it.

FYI Dick's Sporting Goods does not accept returns or exchanges on ammunition or firearms.

ljnowell
July 27, 2009, 12:13 PM
This is the Winchester White Box JHP's labeled "Personal Protection", right?

I would NEVER recommend that ammo for self defense use. The Winchester White Box line is their budget ammo line. It's fine for plinking and target practice, but should be avoided for self defense use.

The reason is that it is a *Budget* ammo line. As a budget ammo line the assembly is entirely automated, as is the QC. That means no human being actually lies eyes on the ammo at any point in the process, until you open up a new box yourself.

The other disadvantage of the budget line is that it does NOT use a "low flash" propellent. Instead it uses a cheaper, standard propellent. This means that if you shoot this ammo in low light you'll get a larger muzzle flash. This can temporarily blind you. And, since most defensive shootings occur in low light, this is a valid concern.

The only reason they market this as "Personal Protection" instead of "Target/Range" ammo is because they load it with JHP bullets instead of FMJ bullets. But, those JHP's are an older generation bullet as well.

Just because something has a JHP bullet and is labelled as "Personal Protection" does not mean it is the best choice, or even a good choice, for that purpose. Between the lack of QC and the non low-flash powder, I'd skip this for defensive use and go with a better brand that has better QC, low flash powder, and more up to date tech for the bullet itself.


Yes it is a budget ammo line, but that doesnt mean that it doesnt work. If the OP tested it and it is reliable in his firearm and accurate, go for it. I have seen expansion tests done on this ammo (albeit redneck backyard tests) and they were favorable. My own self defense ammo cost me about 20 dollars /100 for my g21. Cheap can be good. Of course, I load my own.

ants
July 27, 2009, 12:30 PM
In the reloading world we call that 'buckling'.

As rbernie suggests, it is generally the result of poor Quality Control during the assembly process.

It is often the result of improperly adjusted seating and/or crimping dies. I would sincerely doubt that the case is made thinner. The bulging of the case around the bullet would disappear if the case wall is thinner.

One possibility: Bullet diameter should be 0.356 or 0.3565 inches, but if .357" or .358" the out of spec bullet not only bulges the case around the bullet, but jambs the case mouth into the crimping die and buckles the case.

Keep us posted.

rbernie
July 27, 2009, 12:47 PM
<thread drift>

The other disadvantage of the budget line is that it does NOT use a "low flash" propellent. Instead it uses a cheaper, standard propellent. This means that if you shoot this ammo in low light you'll get a larger muzzle flash. This can temporarily blind you. And, since most defensive shootings occur in low light, this is a valid concern.
It absolutely is. To quantify that concern, I have shot several thousand rounds of the 147gr WWB PP ammo in low light conditions and determined that the muzzle flash is not distracting or debilitating for me, using my pistols.

The up side to the 'economy' PP ammo is that us'n mere mortals can shoot it frequently. I consider the reliability data that I collect by shooting my SD ammo frequently to be of greater priority to me than anything else.

</thread drift>

KenWP
July 27, 2009, 01:12 PM
If you shoot off those banged up rounds the dings disappear and it looks perfect after wards. Even with Remington ammo I have found rifle loads that were dinged. As long as they feed into the chamber go for it.

blutarsky
July 27, 2009, 01:19 PM
If you shoot off those banged up rounds the dings disappear and it looks perfect after wards. Even with Remington ammo I have found rifle loads that were dinged. As long as they feed into the chamber go for it.
:eek:

scndactive
July 27, 2009, 09:04 PM
If you shoot off those banged up rounds the dings disappear and it looks perfect after wards. Even with Remington ammo I have found rifle loads that were dinged. As long as they feed into the chamber go for it.

Maybe some other reloaders can chime in here. It is my understanding that a ''dinged'', creased case can significantly raise case pressure by lowering the amount of space available for the gases to expand, possibly resulting in a ka-boom.

ants
July 27, 2009, 09:54 PM
My humble opinion:

Depends upon the powder charge and case volume. Factory rounds might not explode, but no need to take the chance. The OP did the right thing to contact the manufacturer.

Yes, minor dings fireform easily and we do it all the time, but usually not a buckled case. That goes in the recycle bin if it doesn't straighten out in the full-length sizing die.

Furthermore, hazard arises should they not go fully into battery while you're blasting. It's not the end of the world, but not to be taken lightly either.

AKAMac
July 27, 2009, 10:08 PM
I'm not a pro but I'd say that they were not trimmed. Case length is important during the bullet seating/crimping stage. A shortened case may cause loose crimping but a long case will buckle the case and cause over pressurization.
Glad that Winchester has given you the opportunity to get some good stuff back.

Eagles6
July 27, 2009, 10:26 PM
Dozen years ago or so I bought 4 boxes of Winchester white box .30 Carbine sp. Some of the primers failed to go bang. Sent it back, 2 boxes (who paid? I don't remember). They said that some of the primers were contaminated with oil. Couldn't have been on my end. They sent me certificates for 4 more boxes all of which worked.
Stuff happens. It's more even more unacceptable when something visually defective gets by.

lbmii
July 28, 2009, 03:02 PM
I had similar crushed case in a box of white box Winchester in 357 Sig.

searcher451
July 28, 2009, 08:10 PM
Thanks for the heads-up on this one. I've been known to run this stuff through my Walther P99 on occasion. Of course, I haven't seen any in months and months and months. Still, good to know.

pharmer
July 28, 2009, 08:44 PM
Almost looks like the machine was set up to load .357Sig. I wouldn't shoot it in any case. Ammo companies are good at replacing defective rounds. Last time, Remington sent me double (12 ga OO Buck), Federal sent double and a check for $20 (.32HR mag, boy that was a long time ago). Joe

stevemis
October 5, 2009, 10:20 AM
It's been over two months since I mailed my ammunition back to Winchester. I've called a couple of times since. Each time I call in, they tell me to expect it "next week" and next week comes and goes without any resolution.

The last time I called I was informed the person who handles these issues "unexpectedly retired". To this day, there is no job listing for customer service on Olin or Winchester's websites.

I filed a BBB complaint this morning.

stevemis
October 8, 2009, 05:27 PM
Looks like the folks at the BBB were able to cajole Winchester into finally replacing my bad ammo. This morning I received a case (500 rounds) of 9mm JHP from the UPS man. It was overnighted, even.

CombatArmsUSAF
October 8, 2009, 10:01 PM
Dang, i never thought the BBB actually did anything. I stand corrected.

It's awesome that they sent you a case of it, how's it look?

Nicodemus38
October 9, 2009, 12:19 AM
arent you allowed to look inside the box of ammunition before you buy it? every store ive gone to has always let me look inside. especially the ones that have large aisles of ammunition.
If you dont look inside ammo, do so. Once found a box of .308 with 3 30-06 headstamps in it.

351 WINCHESTER
October 9, 2009, 12:55 AM
I don't buy centerfire ammo unless I'm allowed to open the box and inspect the contents. Substandard factory ammo happens as do ammo recalls. I have had outstanding service from Winchester especially for recalled ammo.

pancakeofdoom
October 9, 2009, 05:38 AM
a local shop i used to go to had signs everywhere saying "don't open boxes of ammunition". kind of suspect IMO.

edit: btw, i do realize this is a safety concern when they have firearms not 5 feet away from ammunition, but they could just keep it behind the counter and let you inspect it anyways

Rifleman6555
October 9, 2009, 08:35 AM
When I worked for Wally World selling guns and ammo I never minded most folks opening the boxes. Even the sealed Remington boxes to check the cases before they bought.

I did mind the occasional Bubba who would want to see into several different boxes and then scratch the lead tip with their thumbnail leaving a big gouge in the tip and then asking for a new unopened box. What are they checking? Do they have Brinell gauges in their thumbs? I kept a box of the damaged bullets and got to know which customer would do this and would pass them the same box they or some other Bubba had damaged before. They happily regouged the lead and were joyful in their Bubba heads and I cut down on damage loss for my shift.

While I'm on Wally World, my favorite was the guys who would come in and drop nearly a thousand dollars on rifle and scope and then want ammo at $2.00 a box. Or the guy who came in all bug eyed asking if I had 300 Remingtin Ultra magnum because he had a deer coming out in his yard at 200 yards and he didn't think his .270 would reach that far. Our deer are average 100 to 150 pounds. I asked him when his African safari was, his wife roared in laughter and I educated him on the effrectiveness of his .270. He came back later with pictures of the deer. I was supposed to sell guns, no matter what, but I just couldn't let this one past.

Sorry for going off on a tangent from the subject.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 9, 2009, 09:12 AM
I broke a tooth once on a piece of magnet about the size of a pencil erasor that was in a Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I called the manufacter (one of the largest known). They had me ship the entire bag and the piece of magnet (that could have easily been mistaken for the size and shape of a Chocolate Chip -- except for color which was black as opposed to dark brown).

Once they had that, they reimbursed me for having the dentist fix my molar, and that is all they paid for. They sent me a complimentary box full of their various products and several coupons.

As for what happened to have a broken piece of magnet in my cookie? They never let me know. The outcome was apparently none of my business.

So, when you return these, don't expect to hear much back, except possibly an apology that you were not satisfied with their product and a coupon or two (or a replacement box or two).

In today's litigious society, no one is going to admit to anything in writing, and most likely not even over the phone!

Drachenstein
October 9, 2009, 09:18 AM
I once bought a box from a well respected local range, didn't open it to inspect, when I got it home the center row was missing.:uhoh:

jon_in_wv
October 9, 2009, 09:25 AM
The other disadvantage of the budget line is that it does NOT use a "low flash" propellent. Instead it uses a cheaper, standard propellent. This means that if you shoot this ammo in low light you'll get a larger muzzle flash. This can temporarily blind you. And, since most defensive shootings occur in low light, this is a valid concern.

I have to question the accuracy of this statement. I used to keep a couple hundred rounds of the Remington UMC JHPs on hand but one night I was shooting them near dusk and the fireball those suckers made was HUGE. I switched to the 115gr or 147gr WWB PD ammo for that purpose. It has very low muzzle flash even when compared to some of the other more expensive ammo I've tried. It is budget ammo and its fair to criticize it on other counts but I don't think muzzle flash is a real issue with it.

KBintheSLC
October 9, 2009, 03:46 PM
This is the Winchester White Box JHP's labeled "Personal Protection", right?

I would NEVER recommend that ammo for self defense use.

I disagree. I have used the 147g WWB-PP ammo for years. Never had a failure in my Glock. I even did some expansion testing in wet phone books in which it worked great.

I assume the OP just got a bad batch... It can happen. That is why you inspect every round before you load it into your carry gun. I actually weigh my ammo as well. This WWB-PP stuff makes a great load to put in your extra mags... load your gun with the high end stuff and the spares with WWB for an economical alternative.

Deanimator
October 9, 2009, 03:58 PM
I disagree. I have used the 147g WWB-PP ammo for years. Never had a failure in my Glock. I even did some expansion testing in wet phone books in which it worked great.
It's all I carry in my two 9x19mm handguns. It's been 100% reliable. It tested well at Box 'O Truth, both for penetration and expansion.

inSight-NEO
October 9, 2009, 08:05 PM
As I do not generally use Winchester ammo for anything but practice, I cant comment on this one other than to say I almost exclusively use Federal 115 grain JHP (9BP) for 9mm (as an HD load).....when and IF I can find it.

Blue Brick
October 9, 2009, 11:24 PM
No Winchester here only Federal…I am boycotting Winchester.

outerlimit
October 10, 2009, 12:23 AM
I found a 9mm round that had a case that was about 1 or 2mm too long. It didn't want to chamber in my gun.

I've also has some Speer .38spl ammo that had a few crushed cases.

It happens.. inspecting the ammo before shooting is a good policy, though I don't always inspect it real closely myself. I try!

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