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Winchester Quality Control?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Ben86, Jul 29, 2011.

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  1. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I've heard and read about people receiving damaged ammo when buying various calibers in their PDX1 line of ammunition. I ignored this and kept buying it because it's been one of the few premium ammo types available in store. I've since been satisfied with what I have received in 9mm +P and .45, until I bought a couple boxes of .380 yesterday. One of the cartridges is cracked about 1/3 of the way down the middle of the case. Being that I paid right at $0.80 per cartridge I'm pretty pissed off and plan to bring this up with Winchester.

    [​IMG]

    If fired this cartridge could have caused damage to my gun, my hand and at the very least a stubborn malfunction. I don't know if I'll buy anymore PDX1 again. I've never seen this happen with any of the other of the big name premium ammo manufacturers.

    Any thoughts or opinions on what is becoming a notorious lack of QC on Winchester's part?
     
  2. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    Wow that's a nasty looking crack. I would definitely be calling Winchester about that one if it were me. I would be pissed to say the least....that's unbelievable.
     
  3. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Hmm... I'd worry about a bad batch of brass with improper alloy qualities. If this is the case then all rounds could be dangerous to shoot. BTW, after reading so many bad reviews about Winchester brass I haven't bought a single box... not in a long time.
     
  4. lono

    lono Member

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    Wow, I use PDX for SD, never had a problem. This does not make me feel good about my decision.
     
  5. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    That's pretty bad considering my handgun is loaded with PDX1 right now.

    Call them, Bring it to their attention. I had bought some 9MM WWB and had about 3-4 rounds that had the bullet seated to deep and crushed the neck of the casing.

    They sent out UPS with a tracking number and had it picked up for free. After explaining the problem to them. Also, Make sure you remember who you spoke to and get a reference number and keep your tracking number and all that together. Your gonna want it just in case.

    After I had send it in, I had called about a week or so later and there still taking a look into it. Again, I called another week or so later and they told me that they were done checking it out and everything.

    They also then told me that they would be sending me a $50.00 gift certificate for Winchester Ammunition and I should have it in the mail a few days from now. A few days later and I did in fact have a gift certificate from Winchester!

    So, Yeah...Bring it up to them and remember that if you do get a certificate it's only good for Winchester ammo.
     
  6. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Last year, I had a dud round of 40 S&W 165 gr. Ranger T; resulted in a little pop (instead of bang) and a bullet lodged in my barrel.
    I was able to drive the bullet from the barrel, wasn't easy.
    I had shot about 3 boxes of ammo (150 rounds) out of that 500 round case when it happened.
    I was glad it happened in practice, not a SD situation, because that pistol was out of comission with a bullet stuck in the barrel. (Good reason to carry a back-up).
    I called and got a pick up tag, Winchester replaced the entire 500 rounds.
    I like Ranger T.
     
  7. VT Deer Hunter

    VT Deer Hunter Member

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    Good thing you spotted that, i would contact Winchester about it.
     
  8. elano

    elano Member

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  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You're right about that -- Winchester should be notified immediately. They will probably issue a recall on that lot number.
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

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    If you really want high quality ammunition you have to make it yourself. The factories are building to a price point. Profit margin is No.1 - Quality is No 2. I started reloading twenty five years ago and I have never produced any rounds with the defects that seem to be getting all too common now. (crushed primers, backwards primers, bullets setting back on 2 or 3 chamberings, inconsistent powder charges.) Every time I hear guys on the Internet explaining to the newbies that all rounds set back if you chamber it more than once, that's just the way it is, I laugh. It is sad that America has come to accept the idea that cheap junk is OK as long as it's cheap. Thank you WalMart.
     
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Better to say, "Thank you, consumers." If people wouldn't buy it, Wal Mart wouldn't sell it.

    If enough people wanted higher quality ammo, and were willing to pay for it, you can bet Wal Mart would sell it.
     
  12. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    PDX1 is supposed to be a "premier" Winchester product. I'm not bashing Winchester but I haven't bought any since the long-running issue with their brass. I won't even buy their otherwise excellent LE Ranger T series.
     
  13. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I contacted the Winchester ammunition CS department (1-800-356-2666) and left a message on their answering machine. I was called back about 1 hour later by a gentleman, who's name escapes me. I told him the problem and he gave me a speech about how they catch 99.9 % of the bad ammo but some still escapes the factory that runs at such a high rate of manufacturing. He then told me to write "small arms ammunition, ORM-D" on the box and he would have a UPS guy come pick it up or drop the label for it off at my house. When they receive it they will send a gift certificate for more Winchester ammo. He was very polite and answered all my questions.

    That's fair enough. I don't know if I'll use it to buy anymore PDX1 though. I switched back to Gold Dot for the time being.

    I also more closely inspected the remaining ammo from the box of .380 and discovered a bullet that is seated in the case at an odd angle. It sort of tilts to one side, not quite at 45 degrees. About half of the ammo has odd nicks and dents in the cases as well weird stains. Two of the cartridges look to be seated too deeply. As I said before I've been pleased with the 9mm and .45 I've bought before but this must have been an awfully bad lot. I'm just glad they'll take it back.

    If Winchester really makes this right I can forgive them. But, I don't know if I want any of their PDX1 again.

    I have been seriously considering reloading, I've always been a "do it yourselfer." Call me egotistical but I think I could do it better myself, on a smaller scale of course, if I have the proper tools and time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I think the ammo companies are behind the times -- they don't realize how news of something like this spreads over the internet, and how much it can hurt their business.
     
  15. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    I seriously doubt there's anything wrong with PDX1 in general. However, if I was buying Winchester right now I'd buy Ranger T series ammo.
     
  16. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    It's reasonable to immediately notify the ammunition manufacturer and bring it to their attention.

    Other than that, if you think the other major manufacturers don't occasionally have their own issues, you might be surprised.

    I can think of 3 occasions where the "premium" lines in use by LE customers, made by 2 of the other major manufacturers, experienced some issues with some production lots which ended up in LE hands.

    One company's loads had some short-loaded rounds produced in a couple production lots 2-3 years ago, and then apparently again recently.

    While I never saw any of those short-loaded rounds from those production lots myself, I can remember seeing and experiencing something like 4 problematic rounds from 3 different calibers produced in that line of ammunition, but they occurred over the course of having probably upwards of 150K - 200+K rounds come through a range.

    One .45 case was trimmed too long to fit in a chamber during cycling.

    One 9mm case was damaged/mangled at the lip, failing to hold the bullet in the case during feeding. Another similar instance turned up later, which I was able to keep intact because it was noticed before someone tried to chamber it:
    [​IMG]

    I had a .40 round fail to fire, apparently due to a "bad" primer, since it failed to ignite after 2 hard hits which deeply dimpled the primer cup. I didn't take a picture of it, but I kept it to add to my small collection of problematic factory rounds.

    The other company ended up getting back several pallets of cases of their premium LE load after a major PD customer decided they were experiencing too many short-loads (squibs) on their training range. (I remember getting the call from someone there as the pallets were being loaded to be shipped back.)

    I remember an instance of my own involving Winchester LE Ranger ammunition several years ago, too. I came across a box of LE rounds which had 2 problematic rounds which wouldn't chamber due to a case dimension issue (trimmed too long). I didn't have that particular problem occur while using that particular line of ammunition during the several tens of thousands of rounds used before or after that instance, though.

    Several years ago I was handed a pretty mangled 147gr JHP load by one of our folks during a qual range.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It happens. Not often, thankfully.

    On the other hand, I can't even begin to number the "bad" rounds encountered during range sessions where someone brought handloaded/reloaded/remanufacturered ammunition to some course. I usually hear someone reacting in disbelief, saying something along the lines of, "But I've NEVER had that happen with MY handloads", or, "That's NEVER happened with my FRIEND'S reloads before!" These comments have usually involved more than a single problem with the reloaded ammunition, too, requiring the line to be stopped now and again while the problems are resolved. (Now, I used to be an avid reloader when I was a young man, but I can't claim that every round I made was perfect.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  17. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I'd like to add that I used to think people who carefully inspected each round before carrying it were OCD. Now I plan to carefully inspect each round before even purchasing the ammo (only for expensive premium ammo of course) so I don't have to go through this drawn out return process.

    All brands make a little bad ammo, just like all firearm manufacturers make a few bad guns, the important thing is how they treat the customer when they have a problem.
     
  18. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Quality control..........ain`t what it used to be! RE-Load....:)
     
  19. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I found out the other box's bullets are not seated straight. They got jammed in the magazine as I was loading them as a result. Guess I'll send box #2 back. LOL

    Due carefully check your carry ammo before carrying it guys. If I mixed up this ammo, carried it and had to use it I could have had one stuck in the chamber from the crack in the case and a magazine that is too jammed up to function from the cockeyed bullets. What a mix.
     
  20. dataDyne

    dataDyne Member

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    The rounds in my recently purchased box of ''Super X'' 510gr .458 Win mag are downright filthy, with dents and bulges of varying size behind the bullet on every case.

    I seem to recall that the .45-70 winchester ammo i bought a while ago weren't exactly flawless either.
     
  21. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    Today I received a reply and a gift certificate from Winchester for $20 dollars for the box of ammo I sent them. The reimbursement is great and much appreciated. But, the letter accompanying it is perplexing, maybe even disturbing. It reads as follows:

    "This will acknowledge receipt of the material sent to us for testing. Tests conducted on the exhibits received showed that they met Winchester and industry specifications in every respect. Accordingly, we are at a loss to explain the difficulty encountered. Nothing was found to indicate that the ammunition was in any way responsible for the trouble reported. Be that as it may, we want to thank you for bringing the matter to our attention. We sincerely regret that this difficulty was experienced while using our products. With that in mind, I have enclosed a certificate for replacement product with our compliments. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for giving us the opportunity to investigate the problem and advise you of our findings. We sincerely appreciate the time and interest you have taken in Winchester ammunition products."

    A cracked case and crookedly seated bullets meet Winchester industry specifications? Really? Maybe I just got a cookie cutter letter, but this is mind boggling. I can't wait to ask CS about this. If this is up to their standard I don't plan on buying any of their "premium ammunition" any more. Wow. Are they too afraid to admit QC problems and promise to try harder?
     
  22. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    It sounds like you simply were sent the wrong form letter. I suppose you could call their CS and grill them, but I'm not sure what you are going to achieve by doing that. I guess you could either get someone to confess they sent you the wrong form letter since they aren't likely to actually say cracked cases meet Winchester industry specifications.

    You got some bad ammo and they took reasonable steps to compensate you with a gift certificate. You could launch an investigation to get to the bottom of this, but will the outcome be any different?
     
  23. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Yep....I myself, don't know what else one should expect. Winchester replied and took action in short order and compensated you for your inconvenience. Buy enough other ammo and odds are you may again have a similar experience with a different manufacturer. Factory ammo is mass produced......on machinery. Millions of rounds a day. Even if 99.9% of each of those rounds is perfect, 1000 still are gonna be imperfect. If you want better than that, and want each round visibly inspected before shipment, you need to buy custom ammo for $40 a box instead of Walmart bulk "Premium" ammo for $15. When I handload, I visually insect each cartridge before it's placed in the box. Many times I come across a cartridge that doesn't meet my standards, be it a cracked case or bullet damaged by seating/crimping. Not a big deal, it gets tossed. Crooked bullets and small dents in cases to me, are cosmetic only in handgun ammo, and unless really excessive, have no effect in accuracy(especially at SD distances) and relieabilty. For years when I used factory ammo, and even now when I buy some occasionally. would never load it into my firearm without personally inspecting it first. Just part of the game. Part of being a responsible shooter. How do I know I did not damage it myself on the way to the field? Now if one brand of ammo has more "bad " rounds (percentage wise) than another brand and costs the same, I might switch ammo. But to pay double because of an occasional bad round, which is easily detected by eye, wouldn't make sense to me. I doubt very much in Winchester has a greater percentage of "bad' ammo than other brands. They just sell more than most other brands......thus they more have examples overall.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  24. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    I don't buy any Winchester ammunition at this time.
     
  25. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Winchester QC has been slipping for some time now.

    I have some S&B produced & Winchester packaged 7.62X54 that has cracked necks right from the package.
    Nobody bothered to check the stuff before it was boxed??!!

    Customer Service has been somewhat lame also.
    Sent ammunition back for inspection, received a coupon for a replacement box of ammo, mind you the same ammo that caused issue to begin with.
    No recall ever put out that I am aware of, no explanation, no apology, just a coupon in an envelope mailed out six weeks after I sent the ammo back to them,,,
     
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