One defective .357 Magnum Round: Opinions Please


January 19, 2011, 01:56 AM
Important Note: The business involved here will remain nameless as I have purchased thousands of rounds of from them with no problems. I consider them to be a very competent ammo provider and will purchase from them again without hesitation. This one cartridge obviously slipped through their quality assurance.

The cartridge pictured below is a .357 Magnum 125gr JHP. During my last trip to the range, I noticed it would not seat into the cylinder. The brass is bent, indented, gouged, etc. apparently from the factory. While other rounds "feed" easily, this one stops about half way (as you can see).

I could probably force it into place, but of course I won't for obvious safety reasons. I am intrigued with it and would like your input/answers for the following:

* Have you ever seen this before (in any caliber)?
* Will this "divot" affect primer ignition, pressure, etc?
* While the round appears to be straight, it won't feed and, if forced, would adversely affect alignment between the cylinder and the barrel (I think). Do you agree?
* How do you safely dispose of a round such as this?

Thanks much.

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January 19, 2011, 04:13 AM
Toss it...or pull the bullet and use it in another cartridge if you reload. That much reduction in case capacity will drive pressures up. The case can be saved by fire-forming it with about 3 grains of Bullseye and a wadcutter if you want to go to that much trouble.

If you want to dispose of it, spray the primer with WD40 and let it soak in overnight, then disassemble it by clamping the bullet in a vise, and pulling sideways on the case until it lets go. Don't crush the primer end. Bullet only.

That sort of thing can happen with anything mass produced. It's always a good idea to inspect factory-loaded ammunition before firing it. It says so right there in the owner's manual.

Carl N. Brown
January 19, 2011, 04:30 AM
Some of us (well, me) will expect a dent like that to "iron out" on firing with a low pressure round. THAT is NOT safe with a high pressure round. It is cheaper to scrap dented rounds than to replace a cylinder. Or ove-stress your gun even if no visible damege results from it.

I once encountered a .30 carbine round whose case evidently had not been trimmed at the factory and would not chamber. Since then I inspect each round as I load it, and in spite of years and hundreds of rounds without another defect like that showin up, it is still my practice.

January 19, 2011, 05:36 AM
The advice given by "1911Tuner" above is sound, I would follow it...

January 19, 2011, 12:07 PM
Just go to the big stores with factory stuff on the shelf & look at the boxes that have been thumbed open !!
I guess some people are naturally curious & destructive in satisfying there curiosity .

Could it have been a victim ???

I would`nt shoot it either , not on that loading .

smurf hunter
January 19, 2011, 01:31 PM
When I started reloading, I did some sloppy crimping and creased a few cases. Initially I was fearful to fire them, but some veteran reloaders at my range assured me they'd be ok given the modest pressure loads I had. Funny thing, after firing them, the creases were barely visible. After resizing they were almost completely gone.

That said, I had first hand knowledge of the recipe - AND had much smaller indentations than you have there. I wouldn't roll the dice and risk your safety or revolver.

January 19, 2011, 02:00 PM
If it's a one shot deal then just pull the bullet out and oil the primer, crush the case with a hammer and toss it. If it happens a bunch in a batch of ammo take the remains of the batch back.

I didn't get rounds with dents like yours but I did run into about a dozen rounds of Winchester ammo that had fairly sizable burrs in the rims of the casings. The burrs were holding the cases out far enough that I couldn't close the cylinder on my Model 19. It took running a finger nail around the rim to feel the burr and only then could I see the damage by eye.

In my case I set them aside and later on just kissed the burrs off with a fine cut file that has a safety edge so it didn't cut into the cylinder of the casing. But it does show that even a factory can have an off day and some mistakes can show up on the shelves.

Old Fuff
January 19, 2011, 02:14 PM
I once knew an individual who was in a line of business that had got him shot at several times. :uhoh:

He made it a habit to remove the barrel from his pistol, open a fresh box of ammunition, and drop each round into the chamber to be sure it fully seated without resistance. Any that did not (which was highly rare) for any reason were set aside. The remainder were used for serious carry.

Over the years I have encountered a tiny handfull of cartridges - both commercial and from military issue - that didn't chamber, so what you discovered is not unheard of.

January 19, 2011, 02:29 PM
Lots of the guys that shoot matches and care about their results chamber check their reloads as well as factory ammo in the same manner. Each and every round before it goes into the boxes to take to the match.

January 19, 2011, 04:56 PM
Whether you reload or not, it's actually easier, maybe cheaper and certainly safer to just buy a "case gauge" for that round.

January 19, 2011, 05:07 PM
I've actually seen that in bulk boxes of 223/5.56 but never in any of my handgun rounds.

January 19, 2011, 05:15 PM
He made it a habit to remove the barrel from his pistol, open a fresh box of ammunition, and drop each round into the chamber to be sure it fully seated without resistance.

This is the last step for my SD/HD ammo !!!!

But also the ammo gets check in all the handguns in each caliber !!

o Unforgiven o
January 19, 2011, 05:19 PM
A few months back we picked up a box of Winchester supreme .22 magnum and had two rounds in the box that had a severe dent like yours. I checked them both and neither would seat more than about 1/4 of the way so we pulled the bullet and tossed them.

January 21, 2011, 12:36 AM
Thanks for the replies. What exactly does WD40 or oil do to a primer?

January 21, 2011, 03:04 AM
Fouls the primer so it won't go bang.

January 21, 2011, 01:31 PM
I always just extract the primer and drop it in a jar of oil I keep at the bench. GO EASY and wear eye protection when decapping a live primer.

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