Duty weapon training advisory

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by greyhawk50, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    I borrowed this from another small but informative forum.
    I had never considered this as a potential problem. Good food for thought.

    > In September of this year a GCPD officer was involved in a situation
    which quickly became a use of deadly force incident. When the officer
    made the decision to use deadly force, the chambered round in his duty
    pistol did not fire. Fortunately, the officer used good tactics,
    remembered his training and cleared the malfunction, successfully
    ending the encounter.
    > The misfired round, which had a full firing pin strike, was collected
    and was later sent to the manufacturer for analysis. Their analysis
    showed the following: “…the cause of the misfire was determined to
    be from the primer mix being knocked out of the primer when the round
    was cycled through the firearm multiple times”. We also sent an
    additional 2,000 rounds of the Winchester 9mm duty ammunition to the
    manufacturer. All 2,000 rounds were successfully fired.
    > In discussions with the officer, we discovered that since he has small
    children at home, he unloads his duty weapon daily. His routine is to
    eject the chambered round to store the weapon. Prior to returning to
    duty he chambers the top round in his primary magazine, then takes the
    previously ejected round and puts in back in the magazine. Those two
    rounds were repeatedly cycled and had been since duty ammunition was
    issued in February or March of 2011, resulting in as many as 100
    chambering and extracting cycles. This caused an internal failure of
    the primer, not discernible by external inspection.
    > This advisory is to inform all sworn personnel that repeated cycling of
    duty rounds is to be avoided. As a reminder, when loading the weapon,
    load from the magazine and do not drop the round directly into the
    chamber. If an officer’s only method of safe home storage is to
    unload the weapon, the Firearms Training Unit suggests that you unload
    an entire magazine and rotate those rounds. In addition, you should
    also rotate through all 3 duty magazines, so that all 52 duty rounds
    are cycled, not just a few rounds. A more practical method of home
    storage is probably to use a trigger lock or a locked storage box.
    > The primer compound separation is a risk of repeatedly chambering the
    same round. The more common issue is bullet setback, which increases
    the chamber pressures often resulting in more negative effects.
    > In addition to following the guidance provided above of constantly
    rotating duty ammunition that is removed during the unloading/reloading
    of the weapon, training ammunition utilized during firearm sustainment
    and weapon manipulation drills, should also be discarded if it has been
    inserted into the chamber more than twice. This practice lessens the
    likelihood of a failure to fire or more catastrophic results.
  2. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

    Thanks greyhawk. It would have never occured to me that the primer could be compromised by that sequence of events. I do the same thing with my carry pistol but not every night like the subject officer. I guess I should change my ways just a little to insure that doesn't happen.

    When I used a 1911 for open home carry I did have a couple incidents of bullet setback when loading the top round into the chamber from the mag. They were the Federal hydra-shock personnel defense rounds back around 2004. Just barely noticed it as the slide went forward.

  3. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

    grey, that's some good information you posted, and something to keep in mind if you unload and reload your pistol. a loose primer is one thing we would never ever probably think to cause a round to fail to fire. thanks for the heads up.
  4. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    As I read through the advisory, it seemed to indicate that the compound in the primer failed. My understanding is that the primer compound is a plaster type substance. If the compound becomes a powder due to repeated mishandling, then it will fail to ignite when the cup impacts the anvil. Correct me if I'm wrong but that was my interpretation.

  5. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

    grey, i am not for sure either, but that sounds reasonable and could very well be what happened. all in all, very good article and shed some light on how we handle our ammo in the future. thanks for posting it.
  6. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

    I believe, but am not positive, that describing primer compound as a plaster type material is fairly accurate. I think it's a powder type material that is mixed with a binder in a solvent for application. So when it's dry it would be a brittle substance subject to shock damage.

    Another reason to choose revolvers.:)
  7. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

    Good info brother...thanks for sharing.
  8. aka

    aka Well-Known Member

    I use the same practice just not on a daily cycle. I do however use my loaded magzines at the range then reload with fresh ammo when finished. This article sheds some interesting thoughts. However they did not say his second round miss fired or failed either.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  9. 28Shooter

    28Shooter Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    Great post Grey! I never would have given that a thought. Thank you.