- Apr 23, 2020
- Rochester Hills, Mi
I have 3 autoloaders chambered in .380 caliber.. decided to take all 3 & do a comparison of the three, to see which I could shoot the most accurately.
The pistols are 1) Taurus mod. 58 2) CZ-83, and a Sig Sauer 232.
I started shooting 5 rds the each, rotating from 1 pistol to the next..had a separate target for each pistol.
Ammo was my hand loads, with 105 gr Bayou (?) polymer coated Cn shaped pills, powered by Clean Shot powder.
After running my test, a clear winner emerged..which I then used to shoot some factory Federal JHP rds. I had found in my .380 ammo stash.
Wanted to compare their accuracy to that of my loads.
Imagine my surprise when I fed this ammo to my most accurate pistol & got..nothing!
5 out of 5 rds. of the Federal JHP ammo I attempted to shoot were misfires!
I had NO misfires, no FTF, no FTE, or anything but "bang" with my hand loads... I'd shot about 120 rds. w/o incident
I know this Federal .380 JHP was old ammo..picked up from a friend that had passed. No idea how old it was, but it was stored indoors.
I recently found some .380 ammo I'd loaded back in 1987..it all fired w/o incident. I doubt the Federal ammo was that old, but it could have been.
I noticed normal looking primer strikes on the primers of the misfired rds.
I re-fed the 5 rds that had all misfired into the magazine & tried them again. Pull trigger, Click, no pop or bang.
Since I had all 3 pistols out, tried them in the other guns..with same result.
Next, I loaded another 5 rds. of the same batch of Federal ammo, & got ANOTHER 5 misfires!
That 0 fires out of 10 attempts. I had 19 rds of this ammo,& I tried them all.
Test finished, 8 rds fired,.. 11 were misfires.
Took misfires home. Pulled bullets from 5 rds. All had powder, which poured out easily, all charges weighed 4.1 gr.
I weighed the bullets I pulled, they weigh 90 gr.
The primers, despite having firing pin dent/impressions looked like they had not fired.
Took remaining misfired rds, cases, & some of the removed primers to my Gunsmith / gun guru..Doug Jones.
After examining the cases, & primers I had removed from the misfired cases, he put them on a flat spot on his vise,
& hit them with a hammer. They primers went off. Strange findings. primers did work..but not by firing pin strikes.
After discussion with Doug, went home & pulled the other 6 misfired rds. apart
I found 4 of the 6 remaining rds had powder grains that had clumped together, like it had absorbed moisture.
I have no thoughts on how moisture could have got to the powder.
I checked on Midway for Federal brand ammo,with 90gr. JHP bullets & this is what I found: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1001553491?pid=901552
The picture in the link looks exactly like the rds. I tried to shoot.. nickle plated cases,and a JHP bullet that looks identical to those I have from the misfired rds.
Really can't explain what happened, or why it did. I seldom shoot factory ammo, but in my 50+ yrs. of shooting firearms,
this was a 1st for me..to have so many misfires from factory loaded ammo.