9mm Mis-Fire

Was at the range yesterday and got to talking with one of the shooters. He said that he was having trouble with his pistol, a S&W Model 59. Explained that sometimes the round would not fire and that thing in the back would pop out (the primer). I watched him fire several rounds out of the value pack of recent manufactured 9mm, and sure enough, one of the rounds misfired. Had him wait a bit to extract on the off chance it was a delayed ignition, then looked at the round he took out. Sure enough, the primer had backed out about 1mm and the bullet was still in the round. I suspected a squib and told him the dangers of said, and went back to shooting, carefully. Afterwards, I took the round back to my abode and pulled it. To my surprise, I found the round still had a full powder charge and a good bullet. One thing was missing, though. The primer hole had not been punched out, as you can see by the pix. Somebody hurried the process a bit on some of the lines. Cheers, Bruce.

You or your acquaintance at the range should notify Winchester of this. Even if they didn’t load the ammo (you didn’t mention the brand) they did make the case. If their brand of ammo (USA Brand, probably, if in “value pack”), then you should have the gun who had it, if he didn’t throw away the box, send them the lot number. Your pictures would probably be welcome too. They would want to know about it, especially since from what you said, there was more than one. Probably a result of drill or punch breakage during a run. I don’t know if Winchester drills their flash holes or punches them - have never investigated that feature in ammo, although you can probably tell with close examination.

The guy who had the trouble, if he sends them the lot number, and anything else they ask for if they follow up on it, and they usually do on these things (or used to, anyway), he might get some replacement ammo out of it from them.

John, Thanks for the advice. To be honest, I did contact Winchester right before I posted this, (should have mentioned that, sorry), with the advised pix, including one of the bottom of the box since with the plethora of number sequences, I couldn’t tell which one was the lot number. Also told them where it was purchased. It was Winchester Brand 100 round value pack. Something to add to my collection of oddities. Thanks again and Cheers, Bruce.

Bruce, here is the same production mistake but missing the primer (found in a Magtech box):

Thanks for showing, Fede. Cheers, Bruce.

I have seen this before with Barnaul pistol ammunition (which in my opinion is grossly inferior to Western stuff; odd considering how passable their rifle ammo is), but seeing it with Winchester is quite another thing entirely.

It’s surprising that a missing flash hole would not have been detected, but it happens. Many years ago, I found a GI .30 Carbine round with no flash hole. Somewhere I have some 5.56mm cases with no flash holes or primers, but I think those were made up for display purposes.

Here is an Iranian 7.62x51mm with no fire hole. My best guess is that before the misfire could be cleared, the cartridge cooked-off and fire-formed to the chamber of the weapon (probably a H&K G3 with a fluted chamber).


Dave: Another idea on the Iranian 7.62 m/m would be that the primer went off as it should have and then drove the cartridge case forward, the flutes creasing the shoulder. Since the flutes don’t extend down the side the cartridge likely didn’t fire. I think one can also see where the extractor bent the rim as the case moved forward. Jack