Warning - Winchester 17HMR ammo

mdw717

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Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
16
Remember when Outdoor Life published stories in the back of the magazine titled "This Happened To Me?"

My story is not quite that melodramatic. While shooting my new Ruger American rifle in .17 HMR, I noticed the bolt gradually became more difficult to open until I got closer to an 80 round count. I also had a round that lost its crimping force on the bullet such that it rattled into and back out of it’s brass casing.

Then, as I was shooting at a ground squirrel, the rifle discharge sounded completely different and it felt like someone had thrown sand in my face. After wiping my face and blinking my eyes a few times, I looked down to find my magazine “grenaded” and beside it on the ground lay the head-stamp end of a .17 HMR round. A quick glance in the chamber showed the rest of the rimfire casing. I packed everything up a returned to my cabin to inspect more closely.

A closer inspection showed the bore to be obstructed with the bullet. It tapped out with a wooden dowel. Also, I noticed the ejector was damaged and bent so as to be non-functional. The extractor and bolt appeared to be okay to my naked eye. I removed the now baseless cartridge casing from the chamber. It came out pretty easily and had a longitudinal split running the length of the case neck into the shoulder. This made me curious, so I recovered and examined more fired brass casings and they showed the same split along the neck from case mouth to shoulder. Next I examined some unfired rounds in the cartridge box and they showed what looks to me like a scored groove (possibly a tool or die mark) in the same location I was finding splits cases.

I could find no recall on this ammo so I photographed everything and have contacted Winchester for resolution.
This is Lot #1NH30 of 20gr jacketed hollow point ammo.
 

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CVCOBRA1

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Sep 20, 2014
Messages
754
Location
Illinois
Glad you weren't hurt. I think I would also contact Ruger and point out you are not blaming them for anything, just think they should know. That way they might want to issue some type of warning also. Good luck with Winchester, obvious they have a problem there.
 

mlayne

Member
Joined
May 7, 2014
Messages
7
I had this issue with my Ruger American and Winchester 20 gr 17 HMR rounds. I was trying out Winchester 20gr and CCI 17 gr rounds. About 1 out of 5 Winchester rounds split at the neck. I didn’t have the dramatic results that others have had but I’ve never bought another Winchester product and likely never will.
 

mdw717

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
16
FWIW....
Winchester made good. They offered to replace my 2000 rounds of ammo which I returned to them as requested. I declined saying I preferred a refund. Received a check yesterday. They told me they found nothing wrong with the returned ammo. :) They also agreed to pay Ruger for a new rifle. All in all, a satisfactory customer service experience.
 

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