Split shell casings, should I be concerned?

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mickeydim468

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
5
Location
Pacific Northwest
I went target shooting yesterday and when I was done I policed my brass. I found every spent casing I shot, and found that about 10% of them were split down the side, about 1/2 the length back from where the bullet goes, towards the butt end where the primer sits. These were Fiocchi 9mm 124 Gr ammo.

What would cause this and is it something I should be concerned with? All shots were good hits and all brass extracted just fine automatically as they are supposed to. Is it just because these were cheap ammo? I didn't buy these rounds. They were given to me by my friend who received them from the dealer who sold him his JA-9. He ended up sending his gun back to the factory because a 9mm bullet would not fit in his gun. I'm guessing it was a .380 barrel installed in a 9mm lower and slide. The jury is still out on that one though because he hasn't heard from Jiminez Arms yet. He bought his gun the same day I got mine.

These were new ammo in a sealed box when he gave them to me. I have never heard of these before so I don't know if they are cheap or expensive.

I will be cleaning my gun later tonight to see if there is any damage but I don't really expect any. What should I look for?

I certainly will not be using these empty casings to reload as I expected to do at some point in the future!
 

Cheesewhiz

Hunter
Joined
Feb 8, 2008
Messages
2,114
Location
Chicago, IL
Fiocchi is pretty good stuff, they use mostly American made components. I use their 9mm all the time ( along with others ) and have never had an issue. What gun are you shooting?
 

mickeydim468

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
5
Location
Pacific Northwest
OK if I have to...


Now I get to tell my wife "I have to go shooting honey! I am doing some ballistics testing, to ensure the safe operation of our home defense weapon!" Do you think she will buy it??? LOL

I have some Remington UMC 115Gr ammo here that I can go shoot sometime this weekend. Road trip to the range Woo Hoo!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
10,560
Location
Greenville, SC: USA
As mentioned above, try different ammo and for sure wear eye protection... it is possible your P-95 is not chambered right...not very likely but possible... if so, don't fret is an easy fix... new barrel.
 

rmc25

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 30, 2000
Messages
145
Location
VA
and for sure wear eye protection...

GREAT ADVICE, Read some of the KABOOM reports. They are attention getting. My Glock and H&K both did the same thing. I switched out barrels for aftermarket ones. I haven't read anything about this happening to a Ruger. Good luck and stay safe.

rmc
 

mickeydim468

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
5
Location
Pacific Northwest
Thanks guys, Great advice. I always wear eye protection especially if something is possibly wrong with one of my guns. Ear protection too. It looks like I am not going to get to shoot until tomorrow I have to take my wife fishing this afternoon! Darn! :) I gotta love my wife! She is so cool guys! She is up for all of the outdoor stuff except when I told her I want to hunt deer. She said I can go by myself, she doesn't want to be a party to killing Bambi! LOL Oh well they can't be perfect. But she is closer than any other I have met.

I'll report back tomorrow.

My bet is on bad ammo! Not the barrel. I have Remington UMC 115Gr. to test with.

Don't worry guys I will do my best to be safe. Thanks for your concern.
 

mekender

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
103
ok first... your buddy's problem wasnt the barrel, it was the craptastic JA gun...

second, i would try different ammo too... even a "sealed" box is something that can be made in stores... i would never trust pistol ammo that was given to me second or third hand... the only exception i would make in that would be clearly sealed cases or surplus ammo where it is easy to see that it isnt reloaded...

split casings are sure signs that the case walls are weakened which is usually caused by reloading... not all reloaded ammo can be clearly seen to be reloaded, i had some blown out case necks in a batch of 9mm that someone gave to me a while back, scared the hell out of me... after checking the ammo, there was no way to see that it was reloaded so it had to have been done professionally...
 

mickeydim468

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
5
Location
Pacific Northwest
First of all, yes I know that JA is craptastic, but specifically, the barrel chamber is about 2mm too short for a Luger 9mm bullet to fit into it. Seems like a .380 barrel to me, which suggests a mix up at the factory. Someone grabbed a .380 barrel and stuck it in a 9mm pistol.

Second, I took my P95 out to the range yesterday and ran a new box of Remington UMC 115Gr bullets through it. I shot 50 rounds and all 50 spent casings were perfect upon inspection. Not one split, crack, or other anomaly. No FTF, FTE, or FTL either.

My conclusion: Bad bullets! I will still keep an eye on them, but I figure it was something like mekender said. Someone must have reloaded them. They did a professional job, because I was there when my buddy received them from the dealer he bought his gun at. It wasn't him that did anything to them. He tried to fire them and they wouldn't load in his pistol, so he gave them to me. They all fit in mine just fine, but once fired, they split!

We'll just have to see what the future brings as far as any more split casings, but for now, I am pretty satisfied that it isn't my P95!
 

resident

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
412
I recently experienced a spate of cracked/split cases on factory ammo and when I called them (Federal) with the LOT information (found in the end-flap of the box) they informed me that the ammo had probably been subjected to ammonia or ammonia fumes which causes brass embrittlement. They shipped me a case of replacement ammo, no charge, after I turned the case of bad stuff in to a local dealer.
 
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