Bad Ammo / Primers

Recently I’ve bought Winchester Red and white box 165g and 180gr .40 cal ammo. I experienced several “weak” primer strikes where the round did not fire, one round being after 3 consecutive attempts. I switched to another .40 cal same thing. So, I took out a box of 9mm and had the same experience with (2) different 9mm handguns with (2) different grains 115gr., and 124 gr. Respectively. Has anyone else out there experienced FTF with Winchester Red & White? I’ve never had any issues with that brand and I have used it practically all of my life. Also. Recently I’ve seen videos of another brand that “may be” overpowering their powder loads according to videos circulating, the brand is known as ZSR there is a circle near the Z that makes me think of the acronym for CZSR (Caesar) .308 / 762x51 Turkish ammo. Is anyone else experiencing any issues with either brand? I’m in the state of Georgia, where is your location? Did we get a “bad lot” or is it a one off? Let us know please. Thanks.


My range took ZSR out of inventory due to the frequency of light strike failures to fire. I avoid white box in pistol calibers but have had good results with rifle calibers. I don’t use Red box (for no particular reason).


I posted this a while back.
I have stopped using Winchester ammo.

FOUR GUNS DESTROYED WHILE USING THIS AMMO (ZSR 7.62x51- LOT 15) - Recommendations & Recalls - USCCA Community (


Winchester ammo is not good. It’s not reliable. I’ve experienced and witnessed (significantly) more Winchester failures than all other manufacturers combined. I refuse to buy it any more. (Lake City mil series stuff may be an exception since Win took over that plant for that stuff, IDK, not trying myself)

This is my personal experience over years. I have contacted Winchester with pictures, lot numbers, and mic measurements of out of spec rounds personally and never heard back.

So my personal opinion, just don’t buy Winchester

I had two separate calibers of Ranger Talon with unusable rounds that should not have passed QC, there have been over/double charged winchester .22lr that got recalled, I had out of spec (beyond max COAL) win white box .357 sig FMJ, there is the above Zastava known problem, I’ve had win .40 with primer problems failing to ignite, i’ve had a Win .40 180gr FMJ that damn near squibbed the round fired was so weak it didn’t move the slide and literally the bullet hit the paper target about a foot low at 7 yards as it was hardly existing the barrel. And they don’t respond when contacted with absolute proof.

Ask any group of people who shoot much and you seem to get the same kind of feedback/experiences


My personal recommendations based on experience for range ammo:

Speer Lawman (harder to find at good price these days)
Federal American Eagle

Those are my favorite. But also, CCI Blazer Brass, Federal Champion even the Aluminum stuff it’s weaker but reliable for me, Prvi Partizan/PPU, Fiocchi, Sellier and Bellot, Fiocchi.

When in doubt the ATK stuff, all of the CCI/Speer/Federal, is what I default to and have not been disappointed

In rifle, (5.56 mostly I"m talking) any of the NATO countries or IMI seem good too.


I haven’t shot all that much Winchester white box. I found it to be dirtier than other options that I usually can find for cheaper.

I did somewhat recently get through a case of Winchester Train and Defend 9mm FMJs that I bought several years ago for cheap. Think it was a little cleaner than the white box and they all went bang. I would have considered buying more if the price was right but now I’m wondering if Winchester’s quality control is getting worse?

I prefer the options @Nathan57 listed above. I have had especially good luck with the cheap Blazer Brass and Federal options. Can’t remember a single failure that wasn’t due to a defective gun with either of those. I’ve had especially bad luck with cheap Remington though I haven’t bought any in over a decade because of that.


It used to be that WWB (winchester white box) FMJ at Walmart was the best deal going. When I started shooting pistols it was about $9 per 100 for the loose back bulk boxes of WWB 9mm at Wally World. It was THE standard for training/blasting ammo, and it worked. But sometime between then and now the products changed.


I had 2-3k rounds of Winchester 124 NATO 9mm and have shot about 1k of it with no issue. No zsr, but bought 2k rounds of Diamond Dogs Turkish 124 grain, and cripesakes it makes my Winchester NATO stuff seem weak. Haven’t blown anything up with it, actually like it in my M9, but stuff’s a handful in the subcomponents.
Got some Igman surplus 5.56 from '82-'86, and my mini-14 and AR’s love it, but primers are too hard for my Mossberg MVP.
I get ribbed on this by some, but like Freedom Munitions ammo for the most part. I’ve bought $7k in ammo from them, their brand, mostly pre covid prices, and haven’t had more than a couple duds out of thousands of rounds in .45, 9, .223/5.56 and .308. Recently bought and shot some of their “American steel” 9mm and was impressed, and reloaded 9, 45 and .223, and shooting a sample lot of each was fine.


I haven’t bought anything recently, but the Turkish 9mm I do have, Yavex, is not just strong/hot, but the muzzle flash too, it’s crazy

FWIW, a couple duds out of thousands would be unacceptable to me. I have high standards, though, mjy go-tos listed above I have probably 10-15k with 0 less than perfects.

1 Like

I stopped using Winchester ammo long time ago just because of light strikes. At the beginning I was blaming my firearm, but eventually I found the ammo was a problem.

I do have a great experience with ZSR 9mm ammo. Because of its low price I’ve been shooting it for last two years. So far zero problems.


I have some of the Freedom Munitions 9mm and have had good experience with it. The price can be right if you watch for sales, and it makes for decent training/fun shoot ammo.


Just got 250 rounds of their reloads for $10/box this week, with that $2.99 shipping. Added the 5 box limit of .223 reloads and 3 boxes of 77 grain match to get the shipping deal. A couple purchases ago got that 4-14x Vortex and rings for free. That was sweet…but I had to get another upper lol.
I love their 155hp and 168 a-max in .308. Very consistent and accurate.