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No matter how careful you think you are...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Saddlebag Preacher, Feb 20, 2018.

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  1. Saddlebag Preacher

    Saddlebag Preacher Member

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    I have been using firearms since I can remember (and I'm about to turn 60.) My dad taught me safety with firearms and hunting beginning when I was a child, he was career Army. I've carried a firearm for my jobs since I was 21. During this time, and since I've retired from LEO and security jobs I've done handgun competitions, historical reenacting and live fire demos, and have a range in my back yard. I have never had a an accidental discharge nor any other problem.

    But, and but is a bad word, somehow this occurred the other day and I still can't figure how I did it.

    I occasionally take my CCW to the back yard to shoot the carry ammo out of it. This is a S&W Shield which I carry 95% of the time. I practice a lot with it, but use FMJ practice ammo when I do. I carry Hornady Critical defense and about every 4 months or so I shoot it out and put in new rounds.

    This day I did my usual, and when I pulled it and shot at my target, it jammed on the third round, it did not feed. I tried to eject it with no success and do the rack, smack drill, but had a time trying to clear the gun. I was worried that something was wrong with the gun or the magazine, so I picked up the unfired round and put it back in the magazine. The gun wouldn't chamber. When I looked closer, it was a Hornady .40S&W.

    I do own a .40 Sig and use Hornady in it, but I keep my ammo totally separate in their packaging and away from the table when I'm cleaning a firearm. I have NO idea how that .40 got mixed in with the 9mm. I was also surprised how it fed into the magazine as easy as the 9mm. It shook me up, thinking about carrying it in that condition for the last three months and if I needed it, I would have had a major problem.

    My point is, I guess you can think your the most careful, safety minded individual out there, and something can still go wrong. I will say, I don't take it for granted now, I look at the case head every time I load a cartridge in a magazine.

    P.S. I do know that I bought some federal .38 special a few years ago and there was a .357 in the box, but I'm sure this was my fault. Beats me how I did it.
     
  2. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Wow
    I’m glad you’re ok
    So glad it happened in practice and as you said not in a life or death situation.

    Thankfully Murphy bit you when it didn’t matter.

    If any good came out of it it’s that you’ll check your ammo much more carefully in your carry guns.

    I only have 9mm and 45 ACP. I’ve toyed with getting a 40 but you may have convinced me to stay with the two calibers I have. I’m pretty sure it’s hard to mix a 45 and 9mm for each other. (Cringing as I type this as I know someone will comment in a non flattering way)

    Anyway all kidding aside. Thanks for posting and maybe you helped someone
     
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  3. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    I'm with you that no matter how careful you think you are that stuff just happens. It happens to all of us. It isn't' like you have a ND. It is just another lesson to learn that we all need to be careful in this wondrous hobby. Good think you weren't shooting 40 and the gun loaded a 9MM. It probably would have fired and not ejected - that is all.
     
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  4. jrmiddleton425

    jrmiddleton425 Member

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    I'm going to be "that guy" and raise a point that I haven't seen in this thread: given that a Hornady round came out of a Hornady box, is there a possibility, no matter how small, that it slipped by quality control AT THE FACTORY?
     
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  5. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    Wow, a learning experience for sure. Thanks for sharing your story and for reminding us regarding the fact that we cannot be too safe when handling firearms.
     
  6. Saddlebag Preacher

    Saddlebag Preacher Member

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    Honestly, I thought of that. (maybe a QC oversight at Hornady) but I hate to blame someone else when I can't prove it. Either way, it was something I never thought about until it happened. I know it's nothing like a ND safety wise, but it could be unhealthy in a bad situation, which I unfortunately had to depend on my sidearm in the past. I just wanted to post it in case it happens to someone else.
     
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  7. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    And THIS would be why I don't own any .380s. I fear mixing the ammo with the 9MMX19MM
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    A .40 round would go in the Shield 9MM mag?
     
  9. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    About 25 years ago I was at a range shooting my Uberti repro 1873 Winchester. It was normal that I policed my brass as I had the .44-40 cases reloaded. I found one with an odd outward bulge, sorta like ( ) that. Looking closely, I found out I had chambered and fired a .41 magnum round in my carbine!
    It was a new store bought box of Winchester .44-40 ammo.....I had no reason to suspect any odd caliber rounds were in it. There was no damage to the gun; I suspect there was enough blow by that the pressure didn't build up too much.
    It gave me quit a start. I never did find out how that magnum round got in that box ... ... ...
     
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  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I only own .45 ACP, .45 LC, and .38 Spl. Hard to mix them up.
    Patronenpoltergeist.
     
  11. Bigmike79

    Bigmike79 Member

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    double message
     
  12. Bigmike79

    Bigmike79 Member

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    The first time I ever took my CZ p01 to the range I made it about halfway through the mag and the gun failed to cycle the next round twice in a row. I couldn't believe it, as this is a pistol that is said to be about as reliable off the shelf as it gets.

    I picked the empty casings up to see if anything didn't look right, and guess what........................I had loaded 2 380ACP rounds into it (maybe)

    I have know idea how this could have happened to this day, as the box was new and unopened to my knowledge. Both rounds were also of the same manufacturer, Perfecta.
     
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  13. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    A lot of the 9mm and 40 mags for the same make and model of gun are actually the same mag, just with different followers, so it wouldn't surprise me that you could load one into the mag. I can also see the wrong caliber cartridge making it into the box at the factory, since once loaded they are the same length.

    Good lesson for us all to check such things in our carry guns at a minimum.
     
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  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I didn't think that possible but the OP said it not only loaded in the mag but did so easily. wow
     
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Here's a technique that may help - store your mags in the corresponding ammo can with that caliber. Only load 1 caliber at a time, then close the feeder can. I load mags the day before I go to the range. Also, color code mags with a paint marker by caliber (I use blue for 9mm, green for 45, etc.) A friend who shoots 300 B-O and 5.56 in AR's uses black mags for 223 and desert tan P Mags for 300. On the 300 he installed a desert tan pistol grip.
     
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  17. TN Outlaw

    TN Outlaw Member

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    With as many different people ive seen posting these type cartridge/caliber mix-ups, its really made me more aware.

    As i posted in another thread, i cant believe it hasnt happened to me with how me and my buddy's used to throw all of our ammo down on the table and shoot away at all different calibers. We checked box labels/head stamps in a half hearted mannor cuz we were in a hurry to load back up and shoot some more. We were very lucky to never have a mix up.

    As i got older ive become more aware and i only have one chambering at a time on my bench but after seeing these numerous posts of this happening im going to take it another step such as a color code as mentioned.

    Thanks for bringing awareness because safety truly is the prime goal, followed by enjoyment.
     
  18. sota

    sota Member

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    On another board, someone mentioned that they gauge test their carry ammo, by manually dropping it into the chamber of the barrel on their disassembled firearm, before loading it into a magazine for carry. I thought that to be a bit excessive... now I can see some small merit to the idea..
     
  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    See, and this is why lengthening the 357 magnum case was a great idea back in the day, to avoid loading it in 38 revolvers. Revolvers win again. ;):D

    Seriously though, that is disturbing and this thread does serve as a good reminder that we need to LOOK at each round we load. Fear of factory QC is yet another reason I am glad I got into reloading. It will only lead to better consistency and control of what goes through my guns. When I have enough tool heads, I plan to only shop for components, and load all my practice ammo myself. My SD loads may remain factory.

    Be it a factory issue, or a user issue, the lesson is a good one for all of us.
     
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  20. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I was thinking about this thread whilst I was shootinng my .300 BLK today as I am always extra careful to be sure no .223 is anywhere around.

    Speaking of dumb mistakes, after switching ranges and targets (I was alone on the range, 10 degrees, icy, shocking!) I managed to set up and touch off a round with the .300 BLK without my ear pro on while testing some new hunting rounds.

    Good news for hunting, no ringing or anything, bad news for the health of my ears... no ringing or anything :scrutiny:
     
  21. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Similar experiences (2) when I was testing my wife's Glock 19 for accuracy with a new load and realized after I had fired a couple of mags and got back home, that for months it had been sitting in her nightstand with 9mms loaded into a G23 .40 magazine. Never had any issues firing it, thank goodness. Anyway it was good-to-know information.

    Also, discovered I had been carrying my CCW Glock 27 (40) for a while loaded with 357 Sig ammo. Now that could have been downright embarrassing. :what:

    It's always good to pay attention. And it sucks getting old(er).

    M
     
  22. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    -Just because a box of ammo is fresh off of a store's shelves doesn't mean that some idiot didn't open it and fumble with the contents... .
     
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  23. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    Safe if you only use .380 and .45acp :)
     
  24. jonb32248

    jonb32248 Member

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    I shoot 99.99999% reloads in 9mm. The other day my wife and I were at the range and while shooting my Walther PPS M2LE when one round didn't go off. I cleared it and went on after throwing the dud in my range bag. When I got home I'm cleaning out the bag and came across the dud and found it to be a .380. The only explanation I can come up with is one or two times at my old range I have found an unfired round and picked it up. I may have assumed it to be a 9mm. Have to be more careful.
     
  25. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I once inherited an old .32 S&W "suicide gun" as my dad called it. It came wirh a box of old ammo. I took it out and shot several cylinders of ammo, then i had a squib. I was already squeezing the trigger when a little bird said.....you ought to check that barrel!....sure enough there was a bullet lodged in the barrel!!
     
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