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HSM Ammo blows primer

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Old 08-25-2013, 08:21 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Star, ID
Posts: 263
HSM Ammo blows primer

Bought 2 boxes of 168 berger's at Cabela's last week, mostly because I can't find brass any cheaper.

Pulled 5 bullets and weighed the powder. Powder was a fine ball, and measured an inconsistent 86-89 grains, which seemed really high. Primer appeared to be Fed 215, but of course I'm not sure.

I reloaded those 5 with my go to 74.0 gr of 7828, and reseated the bullets. Shot 5 of these, and all shot well under MOA at 200 yards around ~3145.

I shot 5 of my Win brass with all other components the same, also well under MOA ~3125, same point of impact, which I would expect.

Decided to shoot up to 5 of the factory loads to compare. First shot, seems off when I pull the trigger, including real heavy recoil. Open the bolt ok, but NO primer in pocket, and amazing ejector mark on head. Look at my bolt face and there is actually a mirror image of the headstamp, in a shiny brass finish on it. Otherwise the gun seems fine.

I think it is a simple case of too much powder, though I can't know for sure. I'm taking my bolt to my smith, to check it out.

Anyone else using this ammo? If so if you find some on the shelves now, be careful, I just bought these boxes at Cabela's a week ago.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 4,603
Re: HSM Ammo blows primer

A few years ago I tried a couple of boxes of ammo from HSM on my .300 Win Mags (Savage 111F and SAKO M995) both shot under 1 MOA without any problems.

My co-worker and hunting buddy has using the HSM 180gr Berger VLD in his Weatherby MKV in 7MM Mag. We were at the range this AM and does not have any problem ... also under 1 MOA.

There's a lot of good people in HSM contact them and let them know your experience.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Star, ID
Posts: 263
Re: HSM Ammo blows primer

Thanks for the contact info.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:16 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ashland, WI
Posts: 42
Re: HSM Ammo blows primer

I've shot a few boxes through my 30-378 and it was good stuff.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Halfway between Lubbock and Dallas
Posts: 4,633
Re: HSM Ammo blows primer

Yep, it's generally good ammo. I've shot quite a bit of it in several different calibers.

Something is definitely wrong, 3 grains variance is no where close to acceptable and obviously it's dangerous.

Contact them and don't shoot any more of what you have.
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:54 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: wyoming
Posts: 19
Re: HSM Ammo blows primer

I'm a huge STW fan and for the last year I've shot the hsm ammo with no problem at all. I haven't seen any available for the last six months and I've been on the back order list with midway for ever and a day it seems like. I have had 3 boxes in the hunting gear for a while and on saturday i went to make sure the rifles were still on and the first shot rocked my world more than normal and the bolt was stuck. I had to beat it open and I found the primer was blown. I thought it was odd so I grabbed another round and it was even worse and it took me literally beating the bolt to get it open and the primer was blown and my bolt head had a ring on it. Like a idiot I got out another one of my STW rifles and grabbed a round out of a different box of five in the box of 20 and pulled the trigger. Smoke came out the little hole in the side of the action and that bolt is welded shut. I couldn't break it free for the life of me.
Monday morning I called hsm and told them what had happened and they transferred me around and I gave them the info off the box and told them I had two other boxes as well that were unopened. I told them they either came from midway or cabelas and purchased around a year ago and I had no idea of telling which came from where. I told them I was in a bad spot because I only had 6 rounds left from a box that was open and shooting great and had been used in my second STW (the one with the spent brass still stuck in it) and I was leaving in 3 weeks for my deer/elk hunt. I'm always very prepared and keep tons of ammo on hand and told hsm I didn't want to fire any rounds out of the other boxes if it was from the same super charged batch. I also told them the rifle that has the stuck brass was sighted in prior to the shot (took a antelope 5 days earlier) and the stuck round hit 7 in high and 3 in to the right at 255 yards.
The guy I talked to was very nice and said he would look up the Ammo info based on the info I gave him from the boxes and call me right back and see what we would have to do from there. I never heard back from them on Monday. Waited tuesday with no word. Tried again today and was never called back again.
Normally I wouldn't be bothered so much but my hunt is coming up and STW ammo is about as scares as unicorns and I have 3 boxes of ammo I can't shoot and a rifle with a welded shut bolt. I was hoping there customer service would be standing a little more behind there product and working to fix the problem. Hoping to have better luck tomorrow. I just googled hsm blowing primers and this post popped up so I wanted to include my .02 cents on the matter.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Star, ID
Posts: 263
Re: HSM Ammo blows primer

Dangerous, I'd say.
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