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Old 05-28-2018, 08:50 AM
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Default 1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo

Hi All,

Anyone have any problems with WWB in a 1917? Shot a box today and found it wildly inconsistent. Had at least 3 rounds
that sounded like squibs. Stopped and checked to make sure they exited the barrel. Had 2 go off like Magnums, bound up cylinder and had to pushed out. Other 45 rounds functioned perfectly. The 2 bound up rounds were split from case mouth to cannelure. Never had this happen with Winchester factory rounds. Seems like I should avoid WWB.

Any opinions?
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:04 PM
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I have not heard of any problems with this Winchester ammo.

Do you have a pic of the box?
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:07 PM
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Sounds like a bad box of ammo. White Box is their cheap stuff, but usually sound.

If the gun works fine with other ammo, send this to Winchester. I think they'll make good on it, and may recall that ammo batch.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:42 PM
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Thanks guys,

Its typical WWB 230 gr FMJ. The item no is Q4170 (835 ft/sec)
Don't really care about replacement for 5 cartridges, but was a
little scary when the 2 went off that split the casings. Sure wouldn't want to have a blow up.

I'll call them tomorrow and give them the lot nos. etc.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:46 PM
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What do the primers look like on the two with split cases? Overpressure causes the primer to swell against the hammer nose bushing and flatten. Sometimes, the primer is penetrated and you get blow back (soot). If you have that, it is a sure sign they were over loaded.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:47 PM
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Hi Wiregrass,

The primers appear normal, but the case is split top to bottom pretty raggedly. Almost looks like the kind of splits on old surplus brass. When they fired, it felt like a magnum. The cylinder bound up and had to be tapped open gently. The cases
had to be punched out. These were the last cartridges in the box.
All the others (48) fired Ok with the exception of the 3 squib sounding ones.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:36 PM
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"the case is split top to bottom pretty raggedly"
You should send those two split cases to Winchester with the lot number and the information you have posted here.

I never would have shot up the remaining rounds after I saw one split / become hard to eject like that. But what's done is done. I don't know if Winchester will do anything meaningful but they should be told.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:19 PM
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Wow. I've used it a lot, and in many calibers without problem. Is it possible you have worn chambers or a worn forcing cone? Your experience seems pretty wild.
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:29 PM
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Well all I can say is see what Winchester says.

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Old 05-28-2018, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post
"the case is split top to bottom pretty raggedly"
You should send those two split cases to Winchester with the lot number and the information you have posted here.

I never would have shot up the remaining rounds after I saw one split / become hard to eject like that. But what's done is done. I don't know if Winchester will do anything meaningful but they should be told.
What Jack said!

Back in the 1970s, a fellow police officer bought a nickel M29. He decided that since he was shooting a S&W, he would use S&W branded ammo (no longer made). He had basically the same problem you had, except that his did squib and the bullet had to be driven out of the barrel. He then had another officer handload some ammo for him.

I had problems with Remington .22 Long Rifle standard velocity rounds. Some were faster than normal, others barely cleared the rifle barrel.

Any ammo company can have problems.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harkrader View Post
Wow. I've used it a lot, and in many calibers without problem. Is it possible you have worn chambers or a worn forcing cone? Your experience seems pretty wild.
Yep, that's my inclination as well...
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:06 AM
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Yes definitely send the cases to Win so they can possibly identify the problem and issue a recall if needed you may save someone .That said I have never had any problems with WWB ammo but most if what I have fired has been their rifle cartridges . I also use their primers with never a problem so far.

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Old 05-29-2018, 11:19 AM
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Hi Guys,

Just an update. Don't want to be "that guy" who started a thread
and never updated. Called Winchester but couldn't be connected to an ammo tech. Left message and also submitted a contact thread to them this morning.

Took the 1917 to a dealer/gunsmith friend last night. He examined both the revolver and all 50 fired cases. He further test fired it with Federal, Aguila, and magtech 230 gr FMJ. No problems at all. The revolver functioned fine and ejected smoothly.

None of the 50 Winchester fired cases showed overload or high pressure in his opinion. The squib loads should be discounted since they left the barrel and cylinder. The 2 ruptured cases he
attributed to weak or improperly processed brass.

The revolver is in fine shape mechanically but is approaching 100 yrs old to bear in mind. He further advised me to contact Winchester and report the ruptured cases so that they can get it on record as to the lots.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:30 AM
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As long as you report the problem and the lot number. Winchester (or any mfg.would want to check into the problem) The one time I reported a problem to a mfg they sent me a thank you note and two bricks of .22 RF rounds.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:11 AM
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Thanks for the update ,inform us if anything further comes up ,glad your firearm is in good shape .Hope I can pass inspection at 100 years lol.
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Old 06-09-2018, 02:21 PM
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Hi Guys,

An Update, sort of. I called Winchester direct, and also used their contact email. A rep returned the call almost 2 weeks later. Nothing was received from their email contact.

The rep explained she was a facilitator, and wanted to know about
the problems which I explained. She took the lot and code numbers and said she'd pass them on to the appropriate departments. She never asked for the fired exploded cases.
She stated this was the first instance she had heard of WWB not being within specs. She never mentioned someone would get back to me for further information etc.

As far as I was concerned, it was pretty much a wasted call
Winchester pretty much didn't really offer any kind of interest at all. They didn't seem to be very concerned in this case.

With the revolver, I shot it again this week with no problems at all but Remington ammo as my range requires factory ammo.

With my gunsmith friend, he just advised to use quality ammo, and use the revolver occasionally. While it is a high quality revolver, go easy on it and use it occasionally, but not as a modern shooter due to its age. He cautioned to stay away from cheap bulk brass ammo, aluminum, or steel cased ammo.


Wish I could report more and wish that Winchester was more responsive, but as long as the revolver didn't blow up, they
really weren't concerned.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:32 PM
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Interesting post, in my past I have fired thousands of rounds that were Winchester White Box, at one time it was considered THE "Go To" ammo for people I ran around with that wanted SAFE, relatively cheap ammo to shoot and rely on for consistent dependability and lack of problems. I still have a case of Winchester White Box 5.56 stashed away that has nearly doubled in value over the years. I have found Winchester brass to work fine for me in nearly every application, a box or two of WWB was a good way to get started with a cartridge I was considering on reloading. In other words if I was interested in a firearm that fired a cartridge I did not reload for I might be interested in getting a few boxes of WWB to try out the firearm and in that way would have a good start on good brass.
I am not surprised that Winchester has taken the "lawyered up road" in response to your inquiries, corporate America will never be the same.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:47 PM
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Yes, WWWB is usually pretty reliable ammo. That sounds like a case failure to me. Sometimes older brass will do that, kind of an age hardening condition? I have never had a failure of any kind with WWWB or REM-UMC, even though they're bargain ammo. I keep a good bit of this bargain ammo on hand in case i don't have enough hand loads to meet my plinking needs.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:03 PM
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Me too, that's what has me bugged with this thread. WWB has always been what I considered "SAFE and SANE" when it came to recommending and using ammunition that I did not personally hand load. When trying to obtain brass for a new cartridge it was often easier to just buy the WWB then reload the empties, a little more expensive but if time was not your friend or brass in short supply it worked.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:16 AM
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Have fired many boxes if WWB in 9mm,38 special,40 S&W and 45 acp. Never had a problem with it in any of the calibers listed. Fired exactly one box of Ren-Umc in 9mm luger and that little escapade cost me a new firing pin for my Beretta 92FS. And that is the reason for my changing to WWB for most of my pistol shooting. Frank
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:00 AM
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That 1917, at the time, would accept any military ball ammo, factory load. So, any new factory pack should not be a problem what so ever.

A bad box of factory Winchester ammo would be very rare encounter. I've purchased plenty of the white box bulk rounds (hardball) with never a bad round nor anything even remotely similar to your experience.

First, where did you buy the Ammo ? At a retail store or at a show ? Perhaps at a bargain table ?

Many times those who reload ammo just place them back in a factory box but usually a conscientious reloaders, re-labels the box, some old timers do not. That split case is usually relative to cases that have been reloaded several times and / or an oversized cylinder bore.

If you saved all the brass from that box of Winchester ammo, examine with magnifier for the head stamp markings to see if they all match. When I reload for precision target ammo, (e.g. Giles .45 Auto target loads which I used on model 25 target revolvers, too) I match and weigh all the same brand and type cases. However, for bulk reloads, I don't match cases to brand and type and / or weight.

That said, check the cylinder bores to see if the .45 Auto / .45 Auto Rim chamfers are still there or someone honed it out to a .45 LC. A correct cylinder bore gauge should be used but in absence of that a visual check may suffice. Take a new, factory .45 Auto place in cylinder at each of the 6 positions, one at time to determine if they fit properly or are bouncing around in there (loose fit).

Some of the home done, non-professional, boring out of the cylinder to accept .45 LC are just plain sloppy. Usually, a very visible roughness or evidence of a drill (home done) to drill out the chamfered area.

Take a .45 Cal mop, wet with any light oil of your choice (for a good reflection on cylinder bores) then take a properly focused and lighted photo of the cylinder bores, to post picture here.

Although if modified to accept .45 LC the face of the cylinder is sometimes "decked" but not always as there is usually sufficient headspace.

Can you read the serial number on the face of the cylinder clearly ?


This should be interesting to see.
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:15 AM
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I'm sure the entire episode sounds bizarre, at least it does to me. To elaborate on some of the questions:

The WWB was bought at the local Walmart. They were not reloads by
someone or myself. I'm limited at the local indoor ranges here to use factory cartridges only, although I do reload.

The cylinder is in excellent condition. serial no can be read clearly. There is no reboring or home gunsmithing to it - no rechambering. You can clearly see the chamfering in the bores.

In operation, the revolver has fired factory Aguila, MagTech, Federal, and now Remington UMC with no problems. Extraction of fired cases or clips is easy with no markings, swellings etc.

As most folks have had no trouble with WWB, I'm pretty convinced the problem was bad brass that somehow got thru Winchester Quality Control. I've searched here and other forums and have found no real
problems with Winchester. Most folks love it for the price and reliability.

As bizarre as my story is, the more bizarre is Winchester's response. It
took them almost 2 weeks to reply, and that reply is handled by a faciliatator, not a tech. They never responded to the online "Contact Us"
by email. They took all the lot and code info and said it would be sent to
the appropriate dept. Will I hear any more from them? I sincerely doubt
it as the rep seemed to discount the events. She never requested the
box, brass or ruptured cases.

At this point, I would say I had a fluke with some bad brass cases. The
revolver functions fine with other brands of ammo, and the other Winchester I fired that day. I further have to mention that I've been using WWB 9mm in my M&P 1.0 and 2.0's with no problems at all.
Go figure.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:56 PM
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I tend to agree that you had a highly unlikely ocurrance of a small number of cases with bad brass. If it was confined to splitting of cases and all bullets cleared the barrel, it probably didn't really cause any damage. I am certain that you reported this as it happened. I will still use WWWB as before since ship happens and a miniscule failure rate of 1/1,000,000 or so is acceptable in machine produced ammo. JMHO-YMMV. I'm glad this was not a more serious failure.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:22 AM
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Hi Dixie,

I only brought the post up to see if anyone else had problems with WWB. Apparently not. It seems to be good plinking ammo
at a reasonable price for most folks. I've fired thousands of rounds of it in my 1.0 and 2.0's (9mm) with no problems at all.

There were problems in my box of 45ACP (Q4170) 5 problems in 50 cartridges (10%) - 3 squibs (cant be determined) and 2 ruptured cases. This lot is apparently manufactured 2/18 so it was fresh.

The revolver was found to function as it should. The ammo seemed to be defective for whatever reason.

My problem is with Winchester. They really didn't take any kind of interest in the problem at all. I never expected anything
from them, but wanted to get it on record that I had problems with their ammo. Someone might fire it in a firearm in lesser mechanical condition with not as good results as me.

There you have it. The 1917 was checked out, test fired by a competent smith and found to function perfectly with quality ammo suited to it. The ammo was reported with the problems described. The codes and lot nos were reported, after 2 weeks
from initial contact. Should Winchester contact me, I'll certainly
update.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the follow up, Noro! You would be surprised how many times someone comes on this forum, drops a bomb, and then is never heard from again. You handled this very well.

If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't let this drop. I would kick it up a level or two by finding out who is in charge of Quality Control at Winchester and send the information to him. You could send copies to Engineering, Management, even the CEO. You don't have to be peevish, just let them know that you are perplexed by the "Don't Know / Don't Care" attitude you have encountered, especially since this is potentially a safety issue. If you still get little or no response, you may want to contact the NRA. They publish letters and / or may assign someone to investigate this who will not be ignored.

E-mails may work fine, but sometimes a hard copy letter gets more attention. Your call. Good Luck.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:26 AM
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I've had issues using WWB in my 1911. Inaccurate, key holed, had 2 that failed to feed because the projectile had pushed back in the case. Still have half a box.

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Old 06-11-2018, 11:18 AM
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jackcpat,

Thanks for sharing. glad I'm not the only one.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:43 AM
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Jack Flash,

Followed your recommendation. Now we're really bizarre!!
Called the main number on the box - only a recording. Called
the facilitator again (recorded her no. from my caller ID) Now
she's somewhere else from the main no. Main No. area is 618.
Her no is in 314 area.

She has the info and passed it on. I asked to speak to her supervisor, and she got flustered. (WHY- she says) I feel that
we should have gotten more involved. She declined to transfer me.

She then asked for the ruptured cases and the box, which I have. Now she wants to send a label and schedule a home pickup to receive them by UPS. She tells me they can only receive EVIDENCE by UPS, and it must be submitted by home
pickup or dropped off at a UPS hub, even though its an empty box and 2 fired (but ruptured) cases. We're really getting involved now! Lets just see where this goes once they have the box and cases.


Now I really like this forum. I find the members here to be friendly, helpful and informative. I gotta say that I'm no stranger to S&W products. In fact, I was one of the fools that
paid almost double the list price for a model 29, in 1972, ($229-list price - $425 I paid, and that was a lot of money then)
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:45 PM
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1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo 1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo  
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About 2 years ago, I bought some Winchester 30-30 150gr. softpoint ammo. There was 1/10 of an inch difference in the case lengths. Overall length was the same so all the bullets were seated at different points. I took pics and sent them to Winchester with the box info. I informed them that the recoil varied from cartridge to cartridge. They informed me that since the overall length was the same, it was nothing to worry about. The only winchester ammo I have bought since then is shotshells. I have had no problems with that.
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Old Yesterday, 02:18 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
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1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo 1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo 1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo 1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo 1917 and Winchester White Box Ammo  
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Sellier&Bellot the Czech ammo manufacturer used in their ads that they make ammo for the U.S. Ammo manufacturers. Maybe just maybe S&B are making up the 45 line of ammo for Winchester.I have reloaded many of the 45 S&B cases. though one complaint seems to keep coming everytime someone mention S&B. The claim is usually when repriming the S&B and that they just toss them as soon as they see the headstamp, Found out a long time ago if you take the pointy end of a case neck tool and give it afew good twists. Whatever crimp there is isn't there after the case neck tool is used. I load all cases in a Dillon 550 and never had a problem after the case primer mouth was slightly chamfered. Me and my buddy would run like heck over to the pistol line to snatch the brass left behind by the pistol shooters. the only ones we trashed were the Hungarian MFS. Off center flash holes was the biggest complaint. Frank
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