Bad Ammo: Bad Consequences

Since ammo is scarce and some may be tempted to lower their standards for the ammo they shoot, or try their hand at reloading with inadequate attention to detail or experience, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone that bad ammo can have bad consequences.

I’m seeing alot of ‘seconds’ for sale on line and it’s important to remember that these rounds, or components, may not meet all specifications.

This is a firearm that a friend of mine uses as a training aid in one of his classes. It is the result of a squib load and an inexperienced shooter that was not closely supervised. It’s actually not the worst that could happen because no one was hurt (physically)



And don’t forget to check your ammo. The pic above is from a box of federal fmj. What scares me is the rush to production and quality control suffering, even from great companies.


That’s why I really don’t use reloads. I don’t have the tools to do it myself, and I don’t want the waste of time, money, or life from a reload.

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Last week I saw rounds from two different boxes of FMJ fragment when being shot at the range.


Got to think the rush to production is affecting QC. A good remainder we have to pay attention to our equipment, which extends to ammo.


A few years ago I got a box of factory ammo. It was shooting fine thru my Ruger semi but one round didnt sound right and didnt(Thank God) have enough power to cycle the next round. Cleared the weapon and looked down the barrel and there was a bullet 1/2 way down the barrel. So even factory ammo cant have duds.


Most military people are used to daily and weekly inspections. I’ve carried that with me now. On a monthly basis every piece of gear, all new ammunition and every firearm is inspected for functionality, readiness and cleanliness, especially carry gear. The same way we service our cars or air conditioning in the home is the same way we should treat our lifesaving tools.


The squib load is a scary deal. Glad you noticed and follow protocol @Kenneth94.


I’d like to disagree.

I have no control over factory ammo which is made with automation… relying on someone else’s quality control.

When I reload, every primer, every case, every grain of powder etc is controlled by me. Plus I’m making one round at a time vs millions. I have the luxury of inspecting every round I make.


@Sheridan I agree with you. I wish I had the time and patience to do it myself.

Case in point above. Two rounds of .357 Sig from the factory I was loading for EDC a couple years ago.


It scared the crap out of me and never again did I buy a box of that ammo.

I am in no way saying that reloads aren’t good I am saying I lack that knowledge and the tools necessary. @Craig6 I would buy his ammo, as well as several others on here. I would buy from the range I’m a member at head RSO.

I don’t trust that every reloader is as meticulous until I get to know them is all.


I know guys who handload everything. They are fanatics about that. These are the guys who do long range shooting so everything has to be dead on correct.


Wow! New round table discussion. To reload or not to reload. (sure does beat the debate about 1911 v Glock or 9 v 45).:face_with_monocle:
I would have saved tens of thousands of dollars had I taken up the second hobby of reloading, time and safe space are definite prerequisites. I have and always will pay for better manufactured ammunition. Knock on wood never had an issue.


Maybe this community should be in control of discussions about new law and order and not the politicians!


Wow, that is bad, and obviously dangerous.

As long as they are licensed to sell ammo.

One of the rules of reloading is…don’t shoot someone else’s reloads. That said, there is a couple of us very comfortable with each other’s reloads. Yet, there is a good friend who’s reloads I wouldn’t shoot in YOUR gun :-/

The others are, don’t reload while distracted. In other words, don’t be watching a movie or talking on the phone while reloading.

Don’t drink or use drugs while reloading

Never smoke while reloading

Only use product of known origin. Back to quality control. Don’t use unknown bullets, powder, primers…the “recipes” are pretty exact. One miscalculation and things can go very wrong.


I can’t even begin to tell you or calculate how many $10,000’s I have saved in reloading over the past 30+ years. The ammo I produce for my precision bolt and gas guns are routinely in single or low double digit ES’s (Extreme Spread of velocity over a number of rounds fired) The pistol ammo I make is not so precise but due to the vagaries of case and the small amounts of powder used the ES’s are wider. Add to that, unless you are firing from a Ransom Rest or similar your hands will cause velocity variations.

I am of the opinion that my bolt gun ammo you will not get unless you are shooting my rifle as it is loaded at the ragged edge and custom fit to my sticks. Rattle battle 223 and pistol ammo sure I’ll let you shoot some of it but I won’t sell it to you. I will teach you or help you load your own and even let you use y equipment to do it.

I run factory SD ammo in my carry guns because I have a fair bit of it and I have the recipe to recreate it on the press should the circumstances warrant that.

We learn our guns, we pay attention to things that seem out of the ordinary. Click no bang, beats the he!! out of POP no eject. On a revolver you need to pay attention to things just like an auto.




I do it for cost savings and the fun of it (it is kind of fun. Once you get “into the zone” your mind clears of all the junk bouncing around in your head).

I’m not one to mess with the manufacturers recipes. I’m not looking for the holy grail of accuracy. Again, I do this for fun :slight_smile: