I recently shot an IDPA state championship (under the auspices of the International Defensive Pistol Association, www.idpa.com) with over 140 other good people. One was a damn good sixgunner I had met only the week before at another match, where he almost beat me. His revolver is a fine one, a Smith & Wesson Model 686 specially built by the manufacturer’s Performance Center. At the state shoot, though, he came in dead last. Defective ammunition was the culprit.
I asked him what the heck happened. “I blame it on the idiot who handloaded my ammo,” he replied. I queried who that might be. He grinned sheepishly and said, “Me.”
He’d had the same problem the week before, and if it hadn’t, I think he’d have beaten me.
If bad ammo happens to guns as fine as his, and to shooters as good as he is, it can happen to us all. Heck, not too long ago I was loading a magazine for the Evil Princess at a Glock shoot, when the 9mm cartridge I pulled from my hip pocket didn’t seem to feel right. I glanced down, and saw the problem. It was one of several loose rounds that had been sharing the pocket with a strip of brown pasters for taping bullet holes…and one of the pasters had slipped off the strip and gotten wrapped around the cartridge. Had it gotten into the chamber that way, I would have expected a stoppage. The Evil Princess would have made me pay dearly for that…
There’s also the matter of using the WRONG ammunition. My column on that in the current issue of Backwoods Home can be found at:
I’ve received a few interesting comments on it. I had mentioned in the article that running 3” Magnum shells in 2 ¾” shotgun chambers is not a cool idea. One fellow wrote in that they could indeed be fired there. Yes, they can, but there may be extraction problems, and they may cause cycling problems in repeating shotgun mechanisms designed for the shorter shells.
There’s lots of you experienced folks out there. If you have experiences in this vein to share here in the comments section, it may help someone else from making a very serious mistake.
Left, a strip of bullet hole pasters. Right, a 147 grain 9mm round. Center, what happens when the two get together in one’s pocket…