The Funny Thing About Reloads

Do not trust ammo packaged in the 1980s

So I went to the range last week and took with me a box of .40 S&W Sig 165 grain FMJs, a box labeled as CCI Blazer .40 S&W 165 grain FMJ steel cased ammo, and 2 boxes of Winchester white box .40 S&W FMJ brass also 165 grain. Some of the boxes weren’t quite full and the Sig box I had already shot half of in previous range trips. I didn’t count so ballpark 150-200~ rounds. The last 3 boxes were Christmas gifts to me from a family member who had someone give him the ammo but he doesn’t shoot .40 S&W. I probably wouldn’t either given the cost of ammo compared to 9x19 but its what I have, so I’ll shoot it.

It was a nice day, sunny but not too warm, and I was the only soul out that day (the perks of ranges in rural areas outside of hunting season) so I shot on the outside pistol range. I got in some decent training. My pistol is a Glock 27 sub-compact so you need a mag extender to have a place to rest your pinkie usually. I had read in a magazine that you can control the recoil a bit better by using the normal flush magazines and curling your pinkie under the bottom of the gun and towards the back of your hand. I’m surprised to say it seemed like it worked! I actually seemed to shoot better using that trick than when I was attempting a normal grip with an extended mag. I’m not going to be doing precision target shooting with that grip but for shooting at paper plates at about 5 yards, it’ll work just fine.

Back to the topic of ammo tho. I suspect that the box of CCI Blazer ammo were reloads. They were not steel cased, and not even CCI stamped on the case but instead Winchester. Hell, the box looked like late 80s or early 90s and had some mold growing inside that I only noticed after I was done shooting (I threw the box and the brass away). Based on the recoil I’d say the reloads were 165 grain. I suspect that part of one of the boxes of Winchester was also some reloads but I had no way of telling. That Blazer box of reloads gave me the first 4 malfunctions I’ve ever had with my Glock. Now, let me preface that I am not a Glock fanboy. Their pistols are workable but I would like to switch out to something that fits my hands better. I’ve read the stories about Glock malfunctions but they don’t seem to have much evidence attached and the ones that look true enough are few and far between (most US Law Enforcement agencies would not adopt a handgun that didn’t work, and neither would plenty of state militaries). But I have run about 1000 or so rounds through my Glock 27 with no problems. I shot 200 rounds through a family member’s Glock 17 with no problems. So it just seems funny to me that the only time I’ve had any mechanical problems with the gun is with a box of sketchy reloads and even then that was 4 rounds out of a box of 50! The malfunctions were as followed.

The Winchester white boxes performed well despite them also looking like old ammo. Consistent groupings and steady recoil. I think I have another box of it laying around. I will definitely take it out next time.

So, to put a TLDR on a long, unneeded rant: Don’t trust reloads from strangers that come in boxes from the 1980s!



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