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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been firing UMC through my Kimber, and have heard a few things about it which made my ears perk up.

- ammo not seated deep enough or seated too deeply. can too deep of a seating cause enough overpressure to blow the case?

- ammo not "crimped".

- one guy reported actually having on blow up his gun.

- I've actually noticed "slivers" of copper where the bullet meets the cartridge. Like what you get leftover when you use a cookie cutter. Not a lot of it, but enough to seem odd.

I recently had a round (Ultramax, remanufactured. yeah yeah, I know...) rupture on me and I've become a little gun-shy. Aside from Hydra-Shoks (pricey!), UMC is really the only option I have locally.

Hearing about potential quality control issues with the ammo has naturally made me nervous.

What's the deal here, and how should I go about making sure I'm firing legit rounds? How much caution is warranted? On a related note, how many rounds is it safe to fire in a sitting without properly giving the barrel a cleaning? 200?

[This message has been edited by Kayser (edited 11-21-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's some interesting observations. I had picked up 4 boxes of UMC on the way home from work today.

Out of curiosity I opened them up to see if I could see visible differences in cartridge lengths. So UMC comes in these nice little black plastic racks, right? Hold one up with a nice bright light behind it, tilting the rack so that all the cartridges are resting to one side, to keep them as "even' as possible. Look down the rows. Look down the columns. In a perfect world, you'd expect all the cartridges to form neat little rows with no difference in their heights. Now, I'm no expert, but I could easily see _noticeable_ differences in height. The large majority were identifiably the same. However, there were a few definitely taller and even fewer shorter. I don't have precision measuring equipment handy, but I would guess the biggest discrepancy put the shortest of them too short by the thickness of the flat part of the round.

If I take a "short" one and a normal or "long" one, place them on a flat surface and then try to balance a box on the heads of the bullets, there's most definitely a tilt in the box.

So, ammo experts - is this normal? Should I expect a consistency beyond what is obviously visible to the naked eye? At what point should I be worried about a "bad" round (long or short)? What's the worst that could happen?

A few more things (yeah, I know, I've got enough questions to make a 5 year old blanch). Should I expect each and every round to have a visible spot on the cartridge where its crimped at the _inside_ end of the bullet? And, how concerned should I be about seeing obvious dings and dents on the brass itself?
 

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Here ya go Kayser

I figured a couple pics will be worth several thousand words.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=791681&a=5846341&p=20693480&Sequence=0&res=high
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This one has some of the brass that recovered in my pistol and some embedded in the magazine that blew out of the pistol.
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=791681&a=5846341&p=20693481&Sequence=0&res=high
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This one is a regular round, another round that was found further in the magazine that would have blow it up if it wasn't for the one in the chamber that did, and the other was one I put very light pressure on with my thumb and it went further into the case with the lighter pressure.

Now we know a bullet gets slammed into the chamber and, there is no doubt in my mind, that hitting the feed ramp had a ton more pressure push on the bullet than my thumb did.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=791681&a=5846341&p=20693486&Sequence=0&res=high
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Damage that was done to the mag

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=791681&a=5846341&p=20693497&Sequence=0&res=high

The shiny spot on the lower right front is a piece of brass that was embedded into the magazine.
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Some pics of the gun after the incident

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=791681&a=6305755&p=21279666&Sequence=0&res=high

The frame on the left is a Glock 23 (40 cal) and the frame on the right is the Glock 32 (357sig). The one on the right is the one that contained the explosion. You'll see that the rails are pushed further out from the frame than they are on the example on the left.
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The Glock 23 is on the bottom and the 32 is on the top. I'm not sure if you'll be able to notice on this pic but there is noticable bow to the sides of the one on top than compared to the bottom example.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=791681&a=6305755&p=21279667&Sequence=2&res=high

Yes it is a 357 sig cartridge and they are a higher pressure round than the 45. But I still wouldn't trust UMC ammo in 45.

Hope this helps Kayser

Ross T.

[This message has been edited by ROSANGHAL (edited 11-22-2001).]

[This message has been edited by ROSANGHAL (edited 11-26-2001).]
 

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ROSANGHAL,

I can't get the pictures but from the text it looks like UMC needs to settle!

My department uses a lot of UMC in 9, 40, and 45. I've been present during the firing of probably over a million rounds. Back when we used P7's, UMC was REALLY dirty...fouled up the gas system in less than a hundred rounds. Word was that it was assembled in Mexico. Since we went to 40, it seems to have cleaned up just a little, but not much. I haven't noticed a lot of difference in OAL, but what I have noticed is that some of the brass is too long, causing the Beretta 8040D slides not to fully chamber the round. Does wonders for our Malf clearance training, but is really irritating. We have not, thank God, had the problems you describe!
 

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Shooter452

I don't know why the pics are not coming up? They ran fine when I posted it. I changed the post to provide links to the photos and hopefully they'll show up then.

UMC did settle. I got an apology (in writing) and a little $ for my troubles. Nothing like the money you get for burning your crotch on McDonalds hot coffee but I didn't want that much anyways. I just wanted them to pay for the repairs, the case of ammo I got from them and the difference I was going to lose when I sold the repaired pistol compared from brand new value.

I hope the links work for you.

Ross T.
 

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If I try to access any of these photos using Netscape, I get a message that the picture is no longer available. I can get them all with Internet Explorer.

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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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Incidently, there is noticeable difference in the "working pressure" of the .45 ACP and the .357 SIG. The .45 is a fairly low-pressure round. The .357 SIG is as high-pressure as you will find in a pistol cartridge; it's up there with hot rifle rounds. So there is less margin for error with a .357 SIG.

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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 
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