Some Bad Factory Safari Ammo - Conclusions Pending

rookhawk

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Just reporting TWO different bad ammo scenarios as of recently. I'm pleased to report that both manufacturers are taking the ammo back for testing. Please take heed of this info and monitor this thread for updates. In any case, I will come forward with lot numbers once I'm absolutely certain of the facts.

1.) The Nosler Safari Grade .470 Ammunition. This is the ammo featured on sale rather frequently these days that comes with the monometal solids produced by Nosler. The ammo appears to be loaded by Norma since it says "manufactured in Sweden" in the fine print.

Defect noted: Two cartridges didn't go boom. I'd be dead right now if those cartridges happened to have been the two prior cartridges! The bullets slightly protruded and the primers completely dented. I weighed the failed cartridges and it is roughly 111gr light of other cartridges. The inference is that some of the cartridges were loaded without powder. I own two cases of this stuff that Nosler is going to receive and inspect further.

2.) The Federal Premium Woodleigh Hydrostatic solid in .375 Holland & Holland. Unfortunately, I bought two cases of this ammo and cannot determine which of the two (or both?) lot numbers are for certain problematic. The ammunition failed to pass-through on consecutive shots at Eland, Kudu, and two Zebras at minimum. (when we started paying attention to perfect shots and difficult recoveries.) The solids were not pushed up against the skin on the opposite side of the animals either. Deadly-unsafe dangerous game ammo. Federal is going to test the ammo in their ballistics lab. One of the cases of ammo is about 7 years old. The other case of ammo is about 4-5 years old.

All ammo was kept in hygenic, perfect storage conditions.

What I would do if I was reading this:

A.) It's all just rumor until the ballisticians assign root cause, but maintain caution. I have no axe to grind and no interest in slandering good American businesses. I post this interim update because this is dangerous game ammo that creates life-and-death scenarios. Failures can result in tragedy.

B.) The Nosler ammo appears clean-cut on how to verify good ammo. Give your ammo a shake. If you don't hear your powder rattling you have a problem. Alternatively, weigh all your ammo and make sure its the same weight.

C.) The Federal ammo is a bigger issue. It's either wholly defective, or the Woodleigh Hydrostatic Bullet is unsafe for use in 375HH for whatever reason of how it functions. Not a good soft, and a non-functional solid, in my experience with these ammo lots.
 

Newboomer

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That's why I load my own. I know the components and how they went together one round at a time on a single stage press.
 

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I had multiple rounds of Winchester factory .300 WM Ammo not fire this year. I later discovered that the primers were seated too deep to be contacted by the firing pin. Two rounds were discovered faulty as I was shooting at an elk. Thankfully I carry extra ammo and was able to reload and successfully shoot.
I have now learned to check primer seating depth. I’m not sure what to do with the faulty ammo. Suggestions?
I’m quite glad it was not a DG experience (and the elk is now in my freezer)
 

thriller

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I had this happen years ago with a box of hornady bullets for my 308 out of a box of 20 about 6-8 fired properly. Never figured out why but it shook my confidence in those rounds for years please keep us posted.
 

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Can't recall a failure with any ammo, neither reload nor factory. I haven't shot a factory round at a big game animal in so years I can't remember. The only factory rounds fired have been either handgun or shotgun.... for both practical and liability reasons. I figured out, about 1972 or so, that I could control and ensure quality of every part of reloaded rifle hunting ammo myself but had no control of any part of factory ammo.
 

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I had this happen years ago with a box of hornady bullets for my 308 out of a box of 20 about 6-8 fired properly. Never figured out why but it shook my confidence in those rounds for years please keep us posted.
Hornady rounds or cartridges....
 

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Glad there wasn't a bad outcome. Staying tuned for what the manufacturers find.
 

thriller

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Hornady rounds or cartridges....
Cartridges fully loaded cartridges (I have always used those two terms interchangeably but hey I am from Alabama so you can’t expect too much haha)
 

rookhawk

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Glad there wasn't a bad outcome. Staying tuned for what the manufacturers find.

yeah, with the anti’s patrolling this forum I’m hesitant to give the full story of what/when, but channel in your mind the very, very worst moment to discover a problem with a 470 double rifle loaded with solids. That would have been 5 seconds and two rounds earlier than when by sheer luck I had my ammo malfunction issue. The malfunction protracted a hunt by 30 seconds that an ethical hunter is eager to resolve instantly. Had things gone in different order, a stomping would have been the outcome.
 

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I had a malfunction with a factory Remington 235gr fmj 45acp in a competition once. I had just finished a course of fire in one scenario and was starting to move to the next when the RO hollered "Stop! Don't move!" There was a bullet half way out of the muzzle. It must have been a real light load or just the primer. Might have been interesting if it had happened in the middle of a string of rapid fire. I sent the remaining rounds in the Mega Pak back to Remington and they sent me a replacement. Their tests showed other bad rounds in that Pak. Pucker factor went up a few notches and I quit using Remington Mega Paks.
 

Shootist43

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Rookhawk, this might be a good time to consider "rolling your own." It gives you something to do between hunts and provides a lot more satisfaction. In the meantime I'm glad you found these issues in other than a life threating situation. Reloading might prove to be another way of spending quality time with the kids.
 

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I'll be interested especially in the Woodleigh findings.

I have used the same Federal .375 version on bear and PG and have never recovered one. A friend and PH used two boxes I left with him for a couple of seasons (yes, another of those .375 armed professionals) and still raves about them.

But you are correct. You should not be recovering them.
 

rookhawk

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Rookhawk, this might be a good time to consider "rolling your own." It gives you something to do between hunts and provides a lot more satisfaction. In the meantime I'm glad you found these issues in other than a life threating situation. Reloading might prove to be another way of spending quality time with the kids.

i agree, but I’m not logistically set up for load development. Just too far to shoot, tweak, return.

my plan is to pull bullets, toss powder, and handload to a prescribed regulating load. I just need to send my double off and get the ideal loads made so I know what to repeat.
 

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i agree, but I’m not logistically set up for load development. Just too far to shoot, tweak, return.

my plan is to pull bullets, toss powder, and handload to a prescribed regulating load. I just need to send my double off and get the ideal loads made so I know what to repeat.
Load at the range. Saves time and money and not that difficult.
 

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my plan is to pull bullets, toss powder, and handload to a prescribed regulating load. I just need to send my double off and get the ideal loads made so I know what to repeat.
Are these the Woodleigh? Would you let us know what the charge weight was?
 

rookhawk

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Are these the Woodleigh? Would you let us know what the charge weight was?

no, I’m speaking of the Nosler 470 solids. They are a fine bullet but they don’t regulate well enough to use for brain shots or for long shots on game. Once I get a regulating load, I was just going to dismantle and rebuild the factory rounds. I can’t by brass and bullets for what I paid for the loaded ammo so it’s still dollars ahead.
 

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