Is this normal?


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jawman
August 25, 2013, 05:14 PM
So I noticed that the casing on my Federal HST 40 S&W rounds has crimps or dents in it. It's hard to explain, so I just recorded a video of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NteqMzFIHHQ

Please note this is factory ammunition and is not handloaded.

Is this safe? Should I toss these out? Or is this nothing to be concerned about?

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rcmodel
August 25, 2013, 05:24 PM
Perfectly normal & perfectly safe.

They are score or fold marks where the jacket is designed to rupture and form a perfect mushroom.

See the photo on Federals website:

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/handgun.aspx?id=1014

rc

jawman
August 25, 2013, 05:32 PM
NO. I'm not talking about the bullet. I know how that works and why those marks are there. I am talking about the casing (the nickel plated part) having random dents/crimps in it, some spots more extreme than others, other spots not affected at all. Did you watch the video?

Edit: I should have been more clear in my video, but I am talking about the casing, not the bullet. Ignore the bullet and only look at the silver colored casing. It will help if you watch the video in full screen and change the quality to 1080p to really see what I am talking about.

918v
August 25, 2013, 05:44 PM
No it's not normal. It's defective ammo.

Sam1911
August 25, 2013, 06:01 PM
Woah. That's strange. I'd ask for a replacement.

rcmodel
August 25, 2013, 06:09 PM
It will help if you watch the video in full screen and change the quality to 1080p to really see what I am talking aboutIt would help even more if you had just posted a good close-up photo of it!

I did watch the vid again all the way through.

And I agree the dents are not normal, and Federal should replace it.
Looks like bullets were seated crooked and buckling the cases.

rc

Jim K
August 25, 2013, 07:57 PM
They look like crimps below the bullet intended to prevent the bullet from being pushed back into the cartridge case. But if so, they should be uniform and identical for each cartridge, and I am not sure I am seeing that,

Jim

Drail
August 26, 2013, 09:05 AM
If you want high quality reliable ammunition you must make it yourself. The ammunition manufacturers proved this to me 20 years ago.

ChCx2744
August 26, 2013, 09:49 AM
That is not normal. Contact the ammo company and explain your situation to them. I think you may be able to get some new ammo.

surferdaddy
August 26, 2013, 12:43 PM
Mine started out nice and straight but after loading and unloading them in my m&p mags a few times they ended up that way.

jawman
August 26, 2013, 12:58 PM
Mine started out nice and straight but after loading and unloading them in my m&p mags a few times they ended up that way.
Interesting that you say that, because these rounds were all loaded in my m&p and when I took them out of the magazine, that's when I noticed the dents... I checked all my other boxes of Federal HST 40 S&W and after inspecting each round, they were all looking normal, however they were never loaded into a mag...

Sam1911
August 26, 2013, 01:03 PM
You have mags that will DENT brass? Yikes. Don't think I've ever seen that before.

I'm not sure how you could insert a cartridge with your bare thumbs if the spring pressure was so great as to dent the brass. I mean, it's not like you could dent a loaded case that close to the bullet with your bare hands, even by pressing a metal object against it, probably. That's pretty resilient stuff.

Jawman, you might want to set up a carefully controlled experiment with some fresh rounds to see if you can duplicate that phenomenon.

surferdaddy
August 26, 2013, 01:41 PM
M&p mags are pretty stiff, especially when inserting the last couple of rounds into a full size mag. I've found that the nickel plated hst 40 have pretty soft cases. My nickel gold dots don't really do this. I have some brass hst and wonder if they will do this. I haven't tested it yet but I believe it's the case rim being pushed into the next round that does the denting. I still shoot it and the chamber does a nice job of straightening the dent out after its fired.

mesinge2
August 26, 2013, 01:48 PM
Mine started out nice and straight but after loading and unloading them in my m&p mags a few times they ended up that way.
That's exactly what I was going to say. Its fine.

That is an artifact of the magazine. My M&Ps do this as well but only with certain ammo. It doesn't seem to dent hornady brass; yellow or nickel. But it will dent fiocchi nickel-plated brass, I can some pics when I get home.

surferdaddy
August 26, 2013, 01:53 PM
After a bit of tinkering, I now feel that it's the ridge running down the sides of the m&p mags. It dented my brass cases hst just the same. Doesn't do this to any other brand if ammo that I've tried. To the op, I'd bet that you often rechamber the top round. I think it's this reciprocating motion of the top few rounds up and down into the mag along that ridge that does the denting. Maybe federal should toughen up their cases a bit eh?

allaroundhunter
August 26, 2013, 01:57 PM
After a bit of tinkering, I now feel that it's the ridge running down the sides of the m&p mags. It dented my brass cases hst just the same. Doesn't do this to any other brand if ammo that I've tried. To the op, I'd bet that you often rechamber the top round. I think it's this reciprocating motion of the top few rounds up and down into the mag along that ridge that does the denting. Maybe federal should toughen up their cases a bit eh?

I have a hard time believing that it is the magazines causing this. I would be looking for another solution.

jawman
August 26, 2013, 01:59 PM
I just don't see how my fingers would dent the brass just by loading them into the magazine. I'm not that strong. But surferdaddy may be onto something. I'm going to try and test this sometime this week and see, but it sounds like Federal definitely needs to toughen up their casings. Maybe with the current ammo shortage craze they are trying to push out more volume and their QC is suffering as a result.

surferdaddy
August 26, 2013, 02:11 PM
Well, there are only three points of contact on the affected cases that I observed. The follower (which wasn't touching the specific rounds affected), the round utilized to depress the affected round and the walls of the magazine. When a fresh batch of ammo is inserted and then pumped back and forth a bit it is only the top few rounds affected. These rounds are in a location in the magazine which has these ridges. The radius of the dents also corresponds to the radius of the ridge more than to the shape of the case rim. This ridge has my vote. Are federal cases known to be softer than others? I wonder how much the cartridge's design has to do with this, as the back of the bullet is in a perfect location on the 180 gr hst cartridge to provide a rigid backing whereby the case may be more easily dented than on another 40 cartridge.

surferdaddy
August 26, 2013, 02:13 PM
I have actually observed this phenomenon on hst bought well before the shortage, jawman.

jawman
August 26, 2013, 02:15 PM
My concern is if these dented rounds are safe to use. The same amount of powder is being ignited and fired through a tighter space resulting in a higher pressure within that shell casing. I'm not sure how much more pressure the dent creates, but I would assume that it can't be that much more since these are not +P rounds.

Sam1911
August 26, 2013, 02:19 PM
I've never noticed Fed. cases to be especially soft, but who knows?

I can't imagine that TINY bit of displaced volume within the case would cause an over-pressure situation, not nearly as much as bullet set-back, for example. I'd shoot them.

jawman
August 26, 2013, 02:30 PM
I think you're right Sam. I was checking these rounds specifically for setback which I periodically do from time to time due to rechambering, and that's when I noticed this. And the only rounds that were affected were the rounds in the magazine. After checking every round meticulously from each box of Federal HST that I have, the boxed rounds were all fine. It was only the rounds in the magazine that have been loaded and unloaded that were affected with dents. And it was only 5 rounds, probably the top 5 but i unloaded the mag so fast I didn't notice if it was only the top rounds or not. I'll try to do an experiment this week and confirm but it's all starting to add up now.

mesinge2
August 26, 2013, 02:54 PM
I can't imagine that TINY bit of displaced volume within the case would cause an over-pressure situation, not nearly as much as bullet set-back, for example. I'd shoot them.

Me too

F-111 John
August 26, 2013, 09:40 PM
I'm guessing you dented the cartridges when you loaded your magazine by using the rim of the cartridge to push down on the side of the cartridge already in the magazine.

Try getting one of these:

http://www.butler-creek.com/products/lula_pistol_loader.html

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/UpLULA_On_Mag_m.jpg

jawman
August 26, 2013, 11:02 PM
I actually have that exact UpLULA mag loader, but I almost always load by hand because I try not to rely on a tool when my natural bare hands can get the job done. It's good practice being able to load quickly by hand and I never want to rely too heavily on a mag loader. I only own the mag loader for when I'm at the range and want to utilize the most of my range time, or when shooting outdoors in the winter time as the cold fingers do not like loading a magazine by hand. And the ladies prefer the UpLULA mag loader as well. Whenever we're at the range we sometimes do a fun race as to who can load a magazine faster, with her using the UpLULA and me using just my hands.

Anyway, I heard back from Federal, their answer:

"That looks like a magazine issue. That ammo is safe to shoot. When ammo is in magazines it may become dented from sliding around in the magazine.

Thanks
Federal Ammunition"

Jim K
August 26, 2013, 11:23 PM
Well, Federal's explanation makes as much (or as little) sense as the others. A case that would be dented from "sliding around in the magazine" would have to be pretty darned thin, like tinfoil.

Jim

allaroundhunter
August 26, 2013, 11:38 PM
It really looks like it is from you loading the magazine by hand.

tarosean
August 27, 2013, 02:28 AM
I was checking these rounds specifically for setback which I periodically do from time to time due to rechambering,

Why are you continually chambering bullets?

jawman
August 27, 2013, 10:52 AM
Why are you continually chambering bullets?
Who said anything about "continually chambering bullets"? I don't "continually" chamber rounds. I was checking for bullet setback because I recently returned from a long road trip in which I carried during that road trip (FL and AZ permit holder), so I was just checking to make sure the rounds were still okay and that's when I noticed the dents. Plus whenever I go to the farm, I'll carry because there are lots of coyotes in the area, and when your pet dog is missing bone in her leg from an accident and has trouble walking, she becomes targeted as an easy meal.

Besides, anyone with a brain should check for setback if they ever chamber rounds. While rare, setback can still occur from very few or even one single chambering.

cfoodeat
August 27, 2013, 04:34 PM
Who said anything about "continually chambering bullets"? I don't "continually" chamber rounds. I was checking for bullet setback because I recently returned from a long road trip in which I carried during that road trip (FL and AZ permit holder), so I was just checking to make sure the rounds were still okay and that's when I noticed the dents. Plus whenever I go to the farm, I'll carry because there are lots of coyotes in the area, and when your pet dog is missing bone in her leg from an accident and has trouble walking, she becomes targeted as an easy meal.

Besides, anyone with a brain should check for setback if they ever chamber rounds. While rare, setback can still occur from very few or even one single chambering.
Yep, I load and unload my semi-automatic handgun every day as I have to transition into "no carry" zones. Bullet set-back does occur, and can be a serious issue in .40 caliber loads.

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