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This never should have Happened! Shotgun ammo fail – By Oleg Volk

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Old 12-28-2016, 12:39 AM   #1
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This never should have Happened! Shotgun ammo fail – By Oleg Volk

This should have never Happened! Shotgun ammo fail – By Oleg Volk



Shooters who have to rely on properly functioning weapons like the B3E Founder CJ Johnson to stay alive have little patience with unfulfilled promises when performance issues are raised with gear and ammo.

I was introduced to OATH Ammunition by Kel-Tec employees. For about a year, I helped them with product photos and supplied the design concept for their Max Cavitator rifle load. Over time, I started noticing poor quality control: overpressure pistol ammunition, rifle ammo with no powder, but assumed those were rare problems with pre-production loads. The story of their TSR 12ga expanding slug made me change my mind.

TSR is a highly expanding wasp-waisted hollow point copper slug available in plastic, aluminum and brass shotshells. I wrote about it before, but my articles were based partly on the information provided by OATH. Eventually, I got ten sample cartridges in plastic cases for a test fire. The results showed good accuracy from rifled shotgun, despite some degree of keyholing. The round was useless from a smoothbore for which it was advertised because it tumbled almost right out of the muzzle. Bigger problem was the lack of reliability: four out of ten rounds I had squibbed!

Here is a video showing the test firing:

https://youtu.be/HD1fwf_IEe0

I let OATH know of the problem, they assured me that this was an isolated issue and supplied a lot more ammunition, nearly 80 shells in three types of cases. Test firing yielded the same 40% squib rate with the plastic hulls. About 35% of the brass-cased slugs failed to go into battery due to oversized shell. If squibs were easy to fix — the slug did clear the bore — the only way to return the shotgun to action with the brass cases was to hit the charging handle against a solid object like a tree. Aluminum cases fed and fired fine, but even the fully rifled bore of the SX2 failed to stabilize the projectiles.

Since the ammunition sells for a bit over $6 to $7 per shot, I expect that some people would buy a pack and save it for real action. Turns out that this would have caused problems — very severe with plastic and brass cases, slight with the aluminum cases — even if the ammo was used in a break-open shotgun, much less a repeater. Given the poor QC on current OATH products, I cannot recommend them even for recreational use.

EDITOR’S NOTE – We hope that the (expensive) ammunition tested and proved to be less than adequate is made better by the manufacturer and once we have evidence to that fact we will run a follow-up story. This issue shows very clearly the need to train and practice with what you use to make sure both your skills and your gear is up to the task. More than once I loaded some magazines for a pistol that I carried for self-defense with ammo I later found to be jam-prone, but that was ignorant and I was just lucky. Be smart and use ammo, guns and gear that YOU know work well so when the time comes to protect you and your family there will be no unfortunate tactical surprises.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:21 AM   #2
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I do find it quite incredible he kept shooting after each squib without checking the bore in the video!!
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:59 AM   #3
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I had to quit watching.
Not only not clearing the barrel. Why would you just keep on shooting.
Just an accident waiting to happen. They never inspected the ammo, just kept shooting.
I have had 2 squibs, and I remember them clearly in detail.

He had very poor trigger discipline. He was always on the trigger.
Granted he was pointed downrange, and planned to shoot, but discipline should still win out.

I keep wondering why we need so much special, extra deadly ammunition.
6.00 a round is insane. Do we really need to kill someone really really really dead.

I would think a new operation would have very close quality control, and move slow enough to get everything right.
That would make me never consider their ammo ever.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:12 AM   #4
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As others said, firing again without checking the bore is nuts. It's a good way to end up seriously injured and have your shotgun do a spontaneous disassembly.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:42 AM   #5
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I cringed after the shooter had malfunctions and did not check the bore. This does not speak well for the ammunition or shooter safety.

Oh well, at least he did not lose any fingers or eyes............this time.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:53 AM   #6
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Stupidity flourishes until reality sets in and by then it is too late.
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:04 AM   #7
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My Dad worked as a cop under a Chief of Police who was missing his left hand and wrist many years ago.

He had an obstruction in the bore(s) of a SxS he was hunting with and the resulting kaboom left his hand and wrist unfixable.

To this day, I look down the barrels each and every time I load up my O/U. My 870 is used less often but I pay close attention to whether or not the report sounds right and I get what seems to be the appropriate amount of recoil each and every shot.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:43 AM   #8
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One of my squibs, I was photographing bullets. It was done in the dark. I had a table I sat at, and the camera was on a tripod.
I was doing my S&W 29 in 44 mag.

I would hold the camera open with a remote, and fire the gun.
Then recock the camera, and go again.
This in a small indoor range, next to a large range.

I fired the gun, recocked the camera, cocked the gun. Then I thought the sound was not right.
Lowered the hammer and looked. Squib about 3/4 down the barrel.

I learned never to let anything distract me from the gun.

I took this that day.

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