Cracked case neck on Winchester 7.62x54R


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fireman 9731
March 22, 2010, 01:17 PM
I picked up a box of Winchester 7.62x54R 180gr soft-points to try in some of my mosins and maybe do some eventual deer hunting with.

When I got home and was looking at them I noticed a decent crack in one of the case necks. Its about 3/16 of an inch long. I checked all the others and they were fine. At more than a dollar a shot I wouldn't expect this from Winchester ammo. So I figured I would give them a call and see what they wanted to do about it. There is no number on the box, so I looked online... no number on their website. I tried Googling Winchester customer service, Winchester customer service phone number, and a few others and came up with nothing.

Also while looking over the box, it says MADE IN CZECH REPUBLIC. I figured all Winchester ammo was American made... I guess not.

So does anybody know Winchester's customer service number or have any ideas on what I should do?

Here is a photo of it, Its about the best I could get. The crack is much more visible in real life.

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs492.snc3/26912_618888401003_48212436_35571359_3235692_n.jpg

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Onmilo
March 22, 2010, 02:33 PM
I say go ahead and shoot it.
If the brass is faulty it will split the neck down to the shoulder.
If it is a minor stress crack the case will not split and you can anneal the case and trim it down past the crack when you reload.

As far as I know the Winchester "Metric Caliber" ammunition is loaded by Privi-Partisan and they make pretty decent ammo.

I have a box of Winchester full metal jacket and a box of the 180 soft points I haven't gotten around to shooting.
I will pop the boxes and see if any of my brass shows any signs of cracking.
Thanks for the heads up.

Jeremy2171
March 22, 2010, 02:35 PM
It's made by Seller & Bellot not PPU.... :D

Onmilo
March 22, 2010, 02:38 PM
Well, that explains why it has a cracked case neck now doesn't it!:D

SlamFire1
March 22, 2010, 02:39 PM
New ammunition should not come with case neck cracks. While cracked case necks are not dangerous, (body splits in the web area are), when you buy new ammunition your expectation is that it is not defective.

Cracked case necks cause fliers for one thing. And you cannot re use the brass.

Zoidberg523
March 22, 2010, 02:49 PM
I also have had bad experience with Winchester ammunition. In particular, I bought a box of 20 ga. slugs, and on one of them, the brass was scalloped in a semi-circular style almost down to the powder!

I had always thought their ammunition to be quality, but now I only buy it when I have to - not because I fear a malfunction or an accident, but because I am not going to pay regular, premium prices, for shoddy and poorly made ammunition, especially from an "American" company that makes it's products in other countries. :fire:

fireman 9731
March 22, 2010, 03:01 PM
I guess its more of a split than a crack, it is the full depth of the brass.

New ammunition should not come with case neck cracks.

Exactly!

So does anybody know of a phone number for Winchester?

Clipper
March 22, 2010, 06:01 PM
...Call your local public library and ask for the business and industry desk. They can look up the corporate phone numbers of any corporation in the US from their reference book. ask for customer service, but get public relations too. I guarantee you, if CS doesn't take care of you, PR will.

Bearhands
March 22, 2010, 06:51 PM
Winchester Ammunition
Attn: Web Site Dept.
427 N. Shamrock St.
East Alton, IL 62024
618-258-2000

Maybe they can help you..... got that from their site.

Onmilo
March 23, 2010, 02:08 AM
I went and looked at all forty Winchester/S&B cartridges I have on hand, 20 soft points and 20 full metal jackets and sure enough, under magnification every single one of them has what appears to be a light stab crimp at the case neck.

This is either done as a seperate stage after the bullet has been seated and taper crimped or there is a flaw in the seating die and I can't believe they use but one single seating die.

Your cartridge must have gone into this stage and was slammed into the die way too hard by the machine or the case itself was not properly annealed.
I am leaning towards improper annealling, seen this on all kinds of factory loads. Cases get knocked over or shoved to the sides of the annealing furnace and do not get culled by the operator but are sent on for loading.
Don't feel like your 7.62X54 load is the first round that has ever had this flaw.

I will tell you what Winchester has done for me on defective ammunition in the past and what will probably happen with you.

They will have you send the whole box of ammo back to them.
They may, or may not, provide a return shipping container postage paid.
They will issue you a coupon good for a replacement box of ammunition or two boxes of ammunition if you pay the shipping back to them.

You will get the coupon in 4 to 6 weeks after you ship the ammo back and no explination of the problem will ever be related to you by Winchester.

Me I would just go ahead and shoot the round, if it splits, it splits.

I like the Privi Partisan stuff better anyway and wouldn't have bought the Winchester if I had been paying more attention to the actual manufacturer.

fireman 9731
March 25, 2010, 04:11 PM
They will have you send the whole box of ammo back to them.
They may, or may not, provide a return shipping container postage paid.
They will issue you a coupon good for a replacement box of ammunition or two boxes of ammunition if you pay the shipping back to them.

You will get the coupon in 4 to 6 weeks after you ship the ammo back and no explination of the problem will ever be related to you by Winchester.

Well this is pretty much exactly what they want to do...

After punching numbers into my phone for 15 minutes, getting disconnected and sent to a voice-mail, I finally got to talk to an actual person. A person that was not very polite or glad to help me...

I have to send the whole box back, wait 4-6 weeks and then go from there...

About 15 minutes later the person I left the voice-mail with called me back. She was much more polite and willing to help. They are paying for shipping through UPS which will probably be a nightmare but we will see how that goes. I also mentioned that I was surprised to find out that some Winchester ammo is made in the Czech Republic. She was also, she said that she was under the impression that all Winchester ammo was American made.

Another 5 minutes goes by and the original person I talked to calls me back, in a very unfriendly tone and begins to interrogate me on why I gave them 2 different shipping addresses(one work/one home). I kindly explain that UPS has trouble finding my house and it would be easier to work with them from my work address. She then says that she will have to cancel the other order and doesn't know if she can and why didn't I give her the right address and yada yada yada....:banghead: She was quite possibly the most rude person I have ever talked to in customer service.

I am tempted to type up a letter and include it in the box describing my customer service experience...

So long story short, at least half of Winchester's customer service employees are hateful hags, I have to deal with UPS(which I despise), Winchester's own employees don't know where their ammo is made, I'm out of a box of ammo for God knows how long, and I will never want to buy another Winchester product ever again...

You-Two
March 25, 2010, 09:37 PM
I think I would've just taken it back to the shop where I bought it and asked for a new box or a refund. Let them deal with their supplier...seems easier than dealing with all that hasle just for a box of ammo!

Did the store refuse to take it back? I had a bad primer (sideways) on a box of Remington .30-40 and just took it back to the shop for a new box.

fireman 9731
March 25, 2010, 11:34 PM
I think I would've just taken it back to the shop where I bought it and asked for a new box or a refund. Let them deal with their supplier...seems easier than dealing with all that hasle just for a box of ammo!


I bought it at Duhnams Sporting Goods. They have a no returns on ammo policy. And of course they are the only store anywhere around that carries ammo like that...

And yes, it is a hassle for one box of ammo, but its the principle of the thing. At more than a dollar a shot, I would expect quality from Winchester. Instead I get Czech made crap. I have gobs of surplus that shoots well, I just want a decent soft-point to do some hunting with...

fireman 9731
April 13, 2010, 10:13 PM
I finally got a letter from Winchester today.

Just a generic "Sorry for your hassle" and "We'll pass it on to our quality control people" deal and $25 worth of coupons.

No mention of the Czech made ammo or an explanation of the problem. No phone number to call for further questions, nothing.... And I understand that Winchester is a big company, and they probably get lots of complaints but still, they should try a little harder keep their customers happy.

So needless to say, Winchester's customer service sucks and I guess I'll buy 2 boxes of Winchester 22 ammo instead of Czech made junk.

_N4Z_
April 13, 2010, 10:43 PM
I just want a decent soft-point to do some hunting with...

PRVI Partizan, 150gr SP/BT, made in Serbia. Very accurate in my Finn Mosins. I usually get quite a few reloads from the spent brass too. Never seen a cracked neck on factory new.

It is also sold as Wolf Gold. Same stuff, but more expensive.

Can be found online at both AIM Surplus, and ammunitiontogo.

Brimic
April 14, 2010, 09:12 AM
Wolf Gold is good stuff.

Onmilo
April 14, 2010, 01:28 PM
Wolf Gold IS Privi Partisan.
Fireman 9731, the return speed IS getting much better! :)

Cosmoline
April 14, 2010, 01:37 PM
S&B had the contract to make Winchester metric for years. I've heard that it's now being done by the Bosnians or somesuch. Either way they're still responsible for quality control, and that brass should never have gone out cracked.

I've handloaded a LOT of 54R, and the S&B does tend to be more brittle than Norma or Lapua. I get maybe one or two handloads out of it before it starts to fail. It used to be that the Winchester brand 54R was the only SP factory you could get apart from low-end Wolf or Barnaul and high-end Norma. Now there's Privi, Ingman and Wolf Gold, which I believe is made in Serbia. It all seems to be pretty good stuff.

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