Some Bad Factory Safari Ammo - Conclusions Pending

Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
4,108
Reaction score
6,809
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
8
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
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.
@Newboomer
The slow way to load but the best as you know everything is going to be 100% correct.
I use a powder thrower but still weigh each of my charges on an electronic scale as well. Slower still but I know all my hunting rounds are as consistent as I can make them.
Old and slow the only way to go when reloading the best hunting ammo.
Bob
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
4,184
Reaction score
6,568
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,616
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
My first load exercise with any new cartridge/rifle is to pick the bullet I want to use and do a ladder test with 10 rounds and from that one trip to the range I have sufficient information to load another 10 to confirm the load and I am set to go
This is the 200yd ladder test for the 6.5 Grendel-Max and you can see that loads 7,8,9, and 10 were right in the center of the vertical vibration swing. I wrote the #10 load wrong and it should have been 2695 rather than 2615 with loads 11 and 12 exiting the barrel on the end of the upward swing with earlier loads all ove the place so I tested two loads with 32.4 and 32.6 and chose the 32.6 load on next range day which confirmed its choice and have used it ever since then to kill dozens of goats for the freezer.
008.jpg


This is the confirmation target for the 32.6gn load which is the standard load now and out performs the standard Grendel by a decent margin. So two range sessions and it was done. I have switched to the 123gn SST with the same results on paper and better results on animals
Best group at 200 yds.png
 

SnowLeopard

AH member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
47
Reaction score
84
Media
1
My first load exercise with any new cartridge/rifle is to pick the bullet I want to use and do a ladder test with 10 rounds and from that one trip to the range I have sufficient information to load another 10 to confirm the load and I am set to go
This is the 200yd ladder test for the 6.5 Grendel-Max and you can see that loads 7,8,9, and 10 were right in the center of the vertical vibration swing. I wrote the #10 load wrong and it should have been 2695 rather than 2615 with loads 11 and 12 exiting the barrel on the end of the upward swing with earlier loads all ove the place so I tested two loads with 32.4 and 32.6 and chose the 32.6 load on next range day which confirmed its choice and have used it ever since then to kill dozens of goats for the freezer.
View attachment 374408

This is the confirmation target for the 32.6gn load which is the standard load now and out performs the standard Grendel by a decent margin. So two range sessions and it was done. I have switched to the 123gn SST with the same results on paper and better results on animals
View attachment 374411

Nice 200 yard group. What rifle is this from?
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,121
Reaction score
7,069
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
86
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
If true I’d never use those brands again. I’ve never had such an experience. I get some of my ammo loaded by Safari Arms and it is excellent.
Something to really consider for DG. I especially appreciate the idea of weighing all DG rounds.
Philip
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
4,184
Reaction score
6,568
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,616
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
Nice 200 yard group. What rifle is this from?
A mini mauser that I lengthened the magazine, altered the bolt handle and rebarrelled to my custom wildcat 6.5 Grendel-Max in a stock I made to house it in
6.5 Grendel-Max.png

This is my Grendel-Max compared to the standard grendel.
6.5 Grendel and Grendel-Max.png
 

fourfive8

AH elite
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
1,814
Reaction score
3,133
Media
234
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
@Newboomer
The slow way to load but the best as you know everything is going to be 100% correct.
I use a powder thrower but still weigh each of my charges on an electronic scale as well. Slower still but I know all my hunting rounds are as consistent as I can make them.
Old and slow the only way to go when reloading the best hunting ammo.
Bob
Yes^^
I am 100% confident that my ammo is better and more reliable than any factory ammo. Slow, slow, slow and methodical with NO distractions. I do one step at a time and don't proceed to the next step until all finished with the step in process. I do throw charges with a Lyman 55 to just below target weight, then trickle in balance beam to exact weight then charge each case. After all are charged I eyeball each case with light to confirm charging. Then proceed to bullet seating step....

On loading at range??? Fine if you have control of the range like it is your private range but usually not the best idea if people are there... blasting powder out of your charged cases with brakes, yakking and telling you all about their latest Savage 110 "target" rifle or rattle battle of some flavor with at least 5 or 6 rails mounted with a scope with at least that many scope knobs or the buddy of a shooter on a spotting scope calling shots after every shot at 100 yds- have mercy! The only rifle I load at the range is a muzzleloader :)
 
Last edited:

Professor Mawla

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
801
Reaction score
2,289
Media
58
Articles
13
Probably the very worst factory ammunition ever to be manufactured , was the Super Speed brand of .458 Winchester Magnum ammunition ( 500 grain full metal jacket solids and 510 grain soft nose ) as manufactured by Winchester .

Some rounds were loaded with ball propellant and some were loaded with extruded propellant ; often in the very same box .

Frequently , several batches of bullets were under sized and they did not engage the rifling at all .

And then we have the inherent shelf life problems , caused by the compressed loads . Ball propellant should never be compressed and kept in loaded ammunition , for extended periods of time .
 

DWB

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
239
Reaction score
393
Location
South Africa
Media
12
Member of
Lowveld Hunters, BASA
Hunted
South Africa
I bought some Sako 450 Rigby ammo loaded with 450gr Swift A-frames specifically for use on DG. Somehow the recoil of this ammo was substantially less than my loaded ammo and I just could not figure out what I am doing wrong....
Until I started weighing the factory ammo and something did not add up....

Pulled a bullet and my suspicion was confirmed... they loaded 400gr Swift A-frames.....

IMG-20201108-WA0022.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TheWhitetailNut

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
122
Reaction score
141
Location
Valparaiso, In.
Media
4
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Hunted
Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, New Mexico, Namibia
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.
I'm sorry to hear that happened on what sounds like a solid adventure.

Was the Nosler bullet pushed out of the case? Or, was there just the click of the pin striking the primer?

Far more likely to be primer seating depth, or other primer related failure than powder charge. The odds of rounds passing through the various QC processes without a charge have got to be at least 1,000,000/1. You said it was a .470, but not which one and I'm too lazy to look up what flavors Nosler Loads for. Headspace is usually the culprit of ammo not going bang second to primer seating depth, but if you are using a Rimmed version that just about eliminates it as a possibility.

The days of handloads being better have been over for nearly 2 decades now.
 

mikecatt13

AH fanatic
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
575
Reaction score
731
Media
29
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
2
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)
Honestly not a surprise with Winchester. I've had too many issues with them, the one that made me swear them off being a bullet failure that was recovered when my wife shot the exact same deer we tracked for 7 miles a year later. Their response when I called them solidified my decision. Have seen so many failures from other users since then I've lost count. Not enough money in the world for me to shoot their stuff.

You would be surprised how many ammo failures happen, whether it be from careless handloading, small ammo remanufactures, or the "big guys". On a normal year without ammo shortage I witness literal millions of competition rounds being fired, the stuff you see gives you a decent feel for quality that's for sure. I find it rather disturbing that one of the big brands can possibly send ammo without powder especially in a big bore. I know the equipment they use, and for that to happen is truly an impressive amount of negligence.

OP: Did you pull a bullet on one of the lighter weighing cartridges and confirm this?

Glad luck was on your side and you're safe and sound!

Stories like this are why I'll be handloading my safari ammo. Even ammo brands I trust fully for lots of things, I just dont with my life. Primed by hand, electronic powder measure, single stage press, and triple checks every step of the way.
 

fourfive8

AH elite
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
1,814
Reaction score
3,133
Media
234
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
The days of handloads being better have been over for nearly 2 decades now.
Hmmm? Seems just the opposite. IMO, for the experienced, knowledgeable and responsible reloader, the days of factory loads being better have been over for a loooong time! Right now I am 100% confident in my reloads because I am the QC officer for my ammo in my rifles. I surrender that control, authority and responsibility if I use factory ammo or ammo loaded by someone else. I am not 100% confident in any factory ammo or ammo loaded by another for use in my rifles- period.

The only exception to that rule is for self defense ammo, which use is judged by a different set of standards and in a completely different way.
 
Last edited:

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,838
Reaction score
4,094
I bought some Sako 450 Rigby ammo loaded with 450gr Swift A-frames specifically for use on DG. Somehow the recoil of this ammo was substantially less than my loaded ammo and I just could not figure out what I am doing wrong....
Until I started weighing the factory ammo and something did not add up....

Pulled a bullet and my suspicion was confirmed... they loaded 400gr Swift A-frames.....

View attachment 374756
what, sako ammo as well as sako rifles?
some say the cream of the crop.
others have had their fingers burned.
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,838
Reaction score
4,094
don't worry,
sako is the accepted rolls royce of the firearms industry.
just ask anyone that has yet to have a problem with them.
bruce.
 

Pondoro

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2014
Messages
917
Reaction score
1,245
Media
88
Articles
1
Hunted
Norway, Sweden, Namibia and Botswana
I only use Norma or Federal ammo...that said I have used a lot of .375H&H Remington ammo on PG too...never any issues..

Worst issue with factory ammo was some .375H&H RWS ammo ca. 1990, loaded with 300 grain Kegelspitz bullets....I shot them in a ZKK 602 in sub zero temp....tremendous recoil and muzzle flash....and bolt binding after each shot..stopped after 3 shots..did not dare more..
 

TheWhitetailNut

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
122
Reaction score
141
Location
Valparaiso, In.
Media
4
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Hunted
Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, New Mexico, Namibia
Hmmm? Seems just the opposite. IMO, for the experienced, knowledgeable and responsible reloader, the days of factory loads being better have been over for a loooong time! Right now I am 100% confident in my reloads because I am the QC officer for my ammo in my rifles. I surrender that control, authority and responsibility if I use factory ammo or ammo loaded by someone else. I am not 100% confident in any factory ammo or ammo loaded by another for use in my rifles- period.

The only exception to that rule is for self defense ammo, which use is judged by a different set of standards and in a completely different way.
I understand the desire to be the captain of your own destiny so to speak. But what you describe is a psychological concern, not a statistical one.

20 years ago there were but a pitiful few loads with premium bullets at all. Today you can buy a factory loaded fodder in scores of combination from Berger to Barnes. There was a time I loaded and fired more than 200 rounds a week, that has been over for 15 years. Screw that.

Aside from something for retirees to occupy their time, the reasons to reload were better; accuracy, velocity, bullet availability.

Today (for me) accuracy is out. My most traveled .300 Win. Mag. shoots 5, yes 5 factory 180gr. loads under .5"

Velocity- the only way to achieve higher velocity than factory is to generate more pressure, and since almost no handloaders have accurate equipment to measure said pressure they all say "with no pressure signs".
 

pamtnman

AH member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
55
Location
PA USA
If it’s not for deer hunting, I load my own. The original post is why. For most older rifles, I pour the bullets so I’m confident of the proper alloy being used. Otherwise it’s Woodleighs and Hawk Bullets. If either of those fail, it’s one in a million. Thank you for posting this very helpful information
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,708
Messages
721,238
Members
67,472
Latest member
MaiekTisen
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
 
Top