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Seecamp letter re:ammo READ!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Bob79, Aug 20, 2004.

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  1. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Got this today:

    Ammo Recommendation Change

    Experiences with some recently produced Silvertip ammunition has caused us to reevalute that recommendation. Pistols that had been functioning flawlessly for years are suddenly experiencing a rash of feeding problems. 32 Silvertip ammunition has undergone a design change. Bullets are harder and shinier. They now have small expansion cuts at the nose tip. While they look prettier, without exception those we have examined slide into the case when shooting. Unlike the old Silvertips, the bullets are not crimped into the case. The new Silvertip bullets slide into the case even when they are still inside the magazine. As the gun recoils to the rear, inertia causes the bullets to collide with the front magazine wall with sufficient force to seat the bullets deeper into the case. When the bullets hit the feed ramp, an additional sliding into the case takes place that often causes jams.

    The slide assembley on the LWS 32 is only 2.5 ozs. Because of its relatively small mass its forward momentum on returning to battery position is easily upset by an obstruction along its course. When bullets slide in to thier cases much of the forward inertia of the slide is lost. I shall cite one example of a recent "repair". A fairly new pistol was sent to me which had jamming problems. Prior to test firing, the gun was gone over with a fine tooth comb. The feed ramp was reworked and all parts related to smooth cycling were polished. Four magazines of Hydra Shok were shot, followed by 2 magazines of old style Silvertips without hint of failure. Then 2 magazines of new style Silvertips were shot. Both magazines had failures. The unfired rounds still in the magazine were measured. From a start length of about .912 they had all shortened. The shortest was .901--this after only 2 rounds having been fired from that magazine. The 2 rounds that jammed were also measured. One was .894 and the other .887.

    To verifty that nothing had changed with the pistol, it was again extensively fired with the old style Silvertips and Hydra-Shoks without incident. It has since been brought to my attention that some recent manufacture old style Silvertips not properly crimped may also have this problem of bullets sliding into the case.

    For this reason our ammo recommendation likely will be switching to Hydra-Shoks which I am becoming familiar with and seem to work flawlessly in the LWS 32. I have also heard Gold Dots work reliably and will investigate further. My rather limited experience with the Gold Dots suggest excellent performance. The new redesigned Silvertip ammo is the ammo we have been recommending for close to 20 years. The harder bullets take away any advantage there might have been with increased deformation due to softness, and what we have seen thus far with the new ammo does not make us happy. We would hope this is a temporary problem and not a sign of thing to come.

    August 19, 2004

    Well there it is word-for-word, the bold text was bold in the letter also.
     
  2. rhedley

    rhedley Member

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    Is this letter from Larry Seecamp???
     
  3. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Yes

    I received it today with my LWS-32.

    He didn't sign it, but I'm sure its from him.
     
  4. rhedley

    rhedley Member

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    Thanks
     
  5. nero45acp

    nero45acp Member

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    rhedley,

    Did you get through Charlie OK? I saw you weren't taking orders for a little while, everything OK now? Would like to order a Seecamp LWS .32 backpocket holster from you.


    nero
     
  6. rhedley

    rhedley Member

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    I was out of power for 5 days, but all is well now. Site is now open, and I will thank you in advance..
     
  7. aut2no

    aut2no Member

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    I bot my Seecamp (CA edition) a few months ago - love it...I apparently have "older" W/W silvertips. Have shot about 250 rds - only 1 stovepipe and that was the very first clip.

    This is discouraging since Hydra-Shoks & Gold Dots were NOT to be used in this pistol, but now are OK? The pistol was specifically designed around the W/W Silvertip ammo.

    Because of limited choices in Mass compliance list, this was really the only choice for a pocket auto - a $600 pistol using $22/box ammo.

    Maybe I'll stock up on ammo and cut back range use until this is resolved.
     
  8. Barry in IN

    Barry in IN Member

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    Thanks for the heads up.

    I don't have one, but my best pal does. I'll pass it on.
     
  9. aut2no

    aut2no Member

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    Speer Gold Dot data

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs9.htm

    partial quote of test with subcompact:

    .32 ACP
    All expanding JHP bullets in this caliber demonstrate inadequate penetration performance. Test results for the Gold Dot JHP substantiate our claim that the 71 grain FMJ bullet is the best choice for personal defense.

    We feel a truncated cone-shaped FMJ bullet would provide the best combination of adequate penetration and wounding efficiency for both .32 ACP and .25 ACP. The truncated cone-shape is more efficient in crushing a larger diameter permanent cavity than a semi-pointed round nose-shape. Sadly FMJ-TC bullets are not available in these two calibers.

    An informal test of a modified .32 ACP 60 grain Gold Dot JHP demonstrated ideal penetration results in ordnance gelatin. The bullet was modified to inhibit expansion by plugging the hollow cavity, effectively turning the bullet into an FMJ-TC.
     
  10. ajwharton

    ajwharton Member

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    It was me

    I know that this is my first post to this forum (so many forums, so little time), but I was forwarded this thread from a friend. The LWS that Larry refers to is mine. I had a long conversation with him on the phone about this after I had sent my gun in for repair as I had several FTFs in one shooting session.

    It was less my particular gun than the batch of "new" Silvertip that Larry got that caused him to stop recommending Silvertips. My gun was the proverbial "canary in a coal mine". I got a nice handwritten letter from Larry basically stating what you received.

    In subsequent phone calls, I told him that under NO circumstances would I carry Silvertips again, given their miserable performance. I guess he thought the same thing.

    Also, I had a batch of "old" Silvertips that were also causing the problem. Although they were not the new bullet style, it appeared that there was no crimping on the cartridge at all, and a simple racking of the slide set back the bullet in the cartridge 0.01". Enough to give me heebie jeebies about excess pressure.

    Anyway, Larry is a really standup guy and talked to me continuously thoughout this process. I LOVE my LWS and wouldn't trade it for the world. Well, maybe the world.

    BTW, I am now carrying HydraShoks and they are a LOT jumpier than the 'Tips. The gun actually hurts to shoot. But, reliability is the name of the game, right?
     
  11. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    I've also spoken with Larry on the phone twice when my LWS-32 went in for a repair, hes a great guy.

    I have tried Cor Bon (a few and ouch, never again), Hornady, Gold Dots, Silvertips, and Hydra-shoks. I didn't have feeding problems with any though. And I'm gonna stick with Hornady, and the reason is because if you look at the bullet the hollow point cavity is very small, and shallow. Its the smallest and shallowest of any of the bullets I just listed. And I'm sure this is why on Golden Loki's site where he tested with the P32, it penetrated the deepest, second only to Miwall for Hollowpoints if I remember correctly. The Hornday didn't expand at all either, and I can't find any Miwall's to try so I'm sticking with it since you can't shoot ball stuff (too long).

    If I'm not mistaken the Silvertip was used because it was the smallest round at the time, and better than others at that time (20 years ago). With trying to keep the gun compact, and using a spacer in the magazine to reduce/eliminate risk of rimlock, they needed a small round. But now fast forward 20 years later and there are many manufacturers making 32 cal bullets that size (but in HP obviously). I asked Larry about shooting other ammo before this letter came out and he said it was OK as long as it was close in size to the Silvertip. Because I read all the time about how people are "afraid" to fire anything else (understandably so, manual says ONLY SILVERTIP all over the place) like the gun is gonna blow up or something. But as I understand it, it was the length of the bullet that was the main concern, and please if someone else has better facts than me please let us know, thanks.
     
  12. aut2no

    aut2no Member

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    ajwharton

    Thanks for posting aboout this - hope you stay around this thread for awhile till this is resolved. This worries me about the "old" silvertips being a problem also. I've got 3-4 boxes in the safe, I'll try to examine them this week end,

    (BTW, on a local note, I've forwarded this thread to Four Seasons in Woburn to see what they can find out also)

    RELIABILITY IS MY CONCERN. I carry my LWS always for a reason.

    Devil's advocate question: Why if other ammo could not be recommended, can it suddenly be OK NOW to use Hydra Shok?
     
  13. aut2no

    aut2no Member

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2004
  14. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Interesting!

    Well, I've always liked the 65gr HydraShok over the 60gr Silvertip.

    Test from my P32 a few months back, with the HydraShok far left.
    [​IMG]
    From left to right:

    65gr Fed. HydraShok
    71gr MagTech JHP
    60gr Win. Silvertip
    60gr Hornady XTP
    60gr Corbon JHP



    (Edited by GH Hill to make things a bit easier)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2004
  15. rhedley

    rhedley Member

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    Is that the Gold Dot on the far right?
     
  16. nero45acp

    nero45acp Member

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    Is it possible to tell if a batch of silvertip ammo is properly crimped by visual examination?


    nero
     
  17. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    First, let me say that Larry kicks butt.
    Second, I have some old Silvertips that have worked fine in my gun.
    I have not tried any other brands yet in actual firing, but they hand-cycle ok.
     
  18. jc2

    jc2 member

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    Boy, that's kind of a scary. Imagine shooting your absolutely must work, last ditch, defensive weapon for years without a flaw then the ammunition manufacturer changes how they manufacture your carry ammo. All of sudden the weapon you literally bet your life on becomes an unreliable POS through no fault of you (or the weapon). It sure makes a S&W 442 look good.
     
  19. rhedley

    rhedley Member

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    jc2

    But with a loose crimp on the .38 ammo, even the 442 could fail..
     
  20. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    How is that gonna make a wheelgun jam?
     
  21. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Recoil pulls the bullets from their case, extending their OAL so much that they protrude from the cylinder, inhibiting its ability to rotate.

    Instant jam.

    Mike
     
  22. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Rhedley, from left to right:

    65gr Fed. HydraShok
    71gr MagTech JHP
    60gr Win. Silvertip
    60gr Hornady XTP
    60gr Corbon JHP

    All after one layer of denim into play dough from a KT P32.
     
  23. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Lucky for me....:)

    The stash is full!

    WildbutgonnatestroundsfromeachboxAlaska
     
  24. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    "Recoil pulls the bullets from their case, extending their OAL so much that they protrude from the cylinder, inhibiting its ability to rotate."

    That seems a bit far fetched for a crimp that is just slightly loose. I would think if they were that loose, you would notice while handling the rounds. Am I wrong here?

    In the auto, the cartridge slams into the feed ramp while cycling. That makes a lot more sense to me as far as causing significant bullet movement.

    How much recoil is needed to effectively pull a bullet out of the case and cause a cylinder jam? How loose do the crimps need to be for this to happen?
     
  25. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Concerning .38specials inching out of their cases, I've had that exact thing happen to me while using my Taurus M85CH with AA 158gr LRN.

    I noticed the cylinder locked up tight after a couple shots... after an inspection, the culprit was a slug that crept out enough to cause problems.
    I was told later this was a common problem with certain lead slugs and snubs (especially the lighter variety).

    In retrospect, I'm not even certain American Ammunition bothers to crimp their ammunition in the first place.

    So "yup", it certainly happens.
     
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