Hornady Critical Defense FTX

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by raymac1215, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi, A few months ago I wrote that I had a bad round of Hornady Crticial Defense FTX that just made a pop noise and was unable to locate the projectile in the wooded area I was firing in.
    I contacted Hornady and they sent me replacement ammo(4 boxes) for my 2 boxes and stated they knew they had a primer problem, but it has been resolved with the new ammo they are shipping.
    I thought the problem was resolved.(lot #3100650)
    Well yesterday the very first round fired made a strange pop sound and smoke came out the sides of the P3AT. The bullet could be seen slowly hitting the back stop of our home made range. The casing was blackened at the top.
    I need help to determine if I have a defective P3AT or is it still the ammo. Does anyone else have this issue?
    It was a good strike on the primer and I saved the casing as proof. The other 6 rounds fired perfect. I will provide a pic of the casing as soon as I get home.
    We have some Federal ammo, but we did not bring it with us to try. I am deeply concerned that this ammo is not for carry and could get me in serious trouble if ever needed in self defense. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Bad ammo, there is no way any firearm could cause "good" ammo to do that.
    I no expert because I don't reload but my guess would be that there was no or very little powder in that round.
    Sounds like Hornady still needs to improve their quality control.

    JMO
    CJ
     

  3. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    441
    Sep 12, 2007
    Well I've been reloading since Moses parted the Red Sea and you're right. There was little powder in that round. If there was no powder, the bullet wouldn't have cleared the barrel. I've seen that twice over the years. (Not my reloads, though)
     
  4. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    I thank you for the responses. Do you think I should just use round nose ammo and forget about the HP'S altogether? I need reliability over expansion. Do you agree ? Any ammo you would bless as highly relaible ? I do have some Federal hydra-shok law enforcement JHP's which have worked very well, with only a couple of stove pipes and FTF....but always fired once I cleared the jam. The recoil is much stronger on the Federal which my wife does not like.
    I thought that this Hornady was premo ammo,(lighter recoil) better then Federal and would work well...advertising worked it's magic on me. I have had nothing but trouble with this Hornady..very expensive ammo. I hope other members take caution of this possible defect and possibly save their own life.
     
  5. BillK

    BillK New Member

    898
    Jul 23, 2007
    By no means an expert on ammo but since you ask... You might want to give Corbon DPX 80 grain and/or Spear Gold Dot 90 grains a try before giving up on HPs. Personally I would try to find flat nose .380 before settling on round nose .380.

    Very disappointed to hear about your problems with Hornady CD. I've got a box of 25 I've yet to try. :'(
     
  6. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi,

    I'm sorry to hear about your problems with the Critical Defense ammo, squib loads do happen, but if lighting struck twice I'd pay heed to. To guarantee expansion with the 389 Auto, you are going to have to go to a little more energetic round and more recoil than your wife would like. You might look into a P-32 for your wife which though it's 32 ACP has a lower recoil impulse , and carries one more round than the P3AT. Another alternative would be to go to the 95 grain Winchester white box TCFMJ round which has almost the same recoil as the Hornady Critical Defense round. I hope the info is helpful.

    Best Regards:
     
  7. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Sadly, lightning has struck twice and you can't tell a squib from a normal round. We are so scared of using CD in our P3AT, but the ammo has such a high rating I don't understand why this is happening. Anyone else have this problem ? I'll call the manufacturer again, but if they fail to fire...all the free ammo in the world will not save us. Will post the pic tomorrow hopefully.
     
  8. gremlinmt

    gremlinmt New Member

    314
    Nov 1, 2008
    Sure you can, weight your rounds. When I buy gun show ammunition, I always take it home and weight a random sample. It gives you an idea about how consistent the rounds are going to be. If a round is going to fail because of a low powder charge, it'll show up as light on the scale. However, all bets are off if the primers are bad.
     
  9. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Thanks gremlinmt, but i don't have a scale, however your idea is fantastic and maybe I should invest in a scale. The primer like you said is impossible. Thanks for the advise from everyone.
     
  10. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    441
    Sep 12, 2007
    Sorry Gremlin but that idea won't work with .380 ACP. I just weighed 5 loaded rounds and they came in at 150.7, 154.6, 152.5, 157.5 and 148.9 grains. Considering that my powder charge is 2.7 grains of Unique, I could very obviously have rounds with no powder whatsoever in them. The culprit is varying case weight.

    I then weighed 5 new Starline cases, all from the same lot number (never fired). The lowest weight was 46.5 grains and the highest was 47.2 grains, a difference of 0.7 grains. If you were loading with a fast powder it would be impossible to tell if you had a low charge.

    On the other hand, if you were weighing .30-06 or other fairly large capacity rounds, the idea would work.
     
  11. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Thanks Ka6otm, so now where do I go from here? I tried Federal Hydrashok Law Enforcement and the first round does not want to go up the ramp without a palm slap. no matter how quickly I bring the slide back. I tried the Federal in another P3AT and it does the same thing. The only ammo that feeds is Federal classic JHP. I guess that is what I will have to use. Thanks folks.
     
  12. joje

    joje New Member

    213
    Nov 1, 2007
    bullets are much the same. i sort my rifle bullets by weight in order to maximize group consistency and a 1-2 grain extreme spread is perfectly normal.

    as for the hydra shocks, if they cycle fine during firing, then i believe your "first round hangup" is really a matter of technique. you can either practice sling shotting or go with a more forgiving round. remington golden sabres are good hollow points that have a profile similar to FMJs
     
  13. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    441
    Sep 12, 2007
    I've tried Winchester Silvertip, Winchester SXT, Federal Hydra Shock and Speer Gold Dots in mine with no trouble at all. They all feed, fire and eject fine.

    Try some of these and see what happens. I've read a few bad things about early runs of the Critical Defense Ammo on the gun boards.
     
  14. JAB

    JAB Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2010
    East Tennessee
    I carry Hydrashoks (PD not the LE) in my P3AT and, yes, they sometimes need a little help in chambering the first round.  After that, though, my experience is that they load just fine under recoil.

    It isn't cheap but try putting a couple of boxes of whatever you decide to carry through your P3AT.  As long as they don't hang up on the ramp under recoil, bumping the rear of the slide with the heel of your hand to chamber the first round probably isn't a big deal.  Since I carry with a round chambered, that shouldn't matter in an SD situation.  Also, Federal makes a low recoil version of the Hydra-Shok Personal Defense in .380:

    http://www.smokewagongear.com/p-127...al-defense-380-auto-hydra-shok-pd380hs1h.aspx

    NOTE: I have never ordered from the above site and generally prefer not to order ammo online.  The link is provided solely because it has a picture of the low-recoil ammo in question.

    Based on recent wetpack tests by KTOG member oldgranpa, it appears that the LE version of this ammo may be bonded while the PD version is not.  In his tests, the jackets on the PD rounds he tested separated from the core while the jackets on the LE rounds did not separate.  That said, the PD rounds still expanded nicely (IMO) and, even without the jackets, the lead cores still penetrated well so I still feel confident carrying the PD version.

    The aforementioned results are linked in reply #50 from this thread:

    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1272158306/45

    Gold Dot seems to have the edge over the Hydra-Shoks (which, to my understanding, are still using an 'older' premium SD ammo design) but - as the Hydra-Shoks still gave a performance that should prove effective - the difference (for me) isn't enough that I want to spend the dough to shoot enough Gold Dot from my P3AT that I would feel confident enough in the functionality to carry it.
     
  15. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Thanks, I haven't found any Hydrashoks PD yet, but I thought they would be similiar to LE,guess I was way off on that one. I would like to try the PD. I appreciate you explaining in such detail to regain my confidence in the P3AT. Have you ever had a problem chambering under recoil? take care.
     
  16. Mike1234

    Mike1234 New Member

    311
    Jul 1, 2010
    Wow... I figured Hornady had learned their lesson in QC after the hard primer incident. I bought 150 rounds of 9mm but I had the seller check the batch number with Hornady to assure these were okay. He called me the next day and said Hornady gave him the green light. I shot 50 rounds a few days ago with no problems. (I was confirming reliability in my gun) These, obiously, are for self defense but now I'm really concerned. I'd much rather have a round not fire at all than experience a squib... especially if I'm trying to protect myself. Gee, wouldn't THAT be great... disable my strong hand with an exploded handgun just in time to make the picking easy for an assailant.

    To top it off I just bought 200 rounds of the stuff in 45 ACP.....
     
  17. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi Mike,

    I wouldn't dump the CD ammo so fast, it's different cartridges than 380 Auto, and the 45 Auto uses different component. I also got the distinct impression from Raymac1215 that this ammo was supplied to him during the time Hornady was having the component problems with 380 Auto. The ammo you bought later was probably made after these primer problems were found out Mike. Mike these are just my thoughts,

    Best Regards:
     
  18. JAB

    JAB Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2010
    East Tennessee
    The reply to your question requires a bit of detail.

    I bought my 1st generation P3AT new in the box several years ago (back before there was a second generation.)  I got it to use as a carry gun but then didn't get my permit for a couple of years so never shot it much, preferring to shoot my larger frame guns at targets.  Once I began shooting the P3AT more, it had a lot of problems - I'd straighten one thing out and something else would go wrong.  During that time, yes, I had failures to chamber the Hydra-Shoks under recoil.  That said, I had failures to chamber any of the FMJ I tried in it, too - and the Hydra-Shoks still seemed to chamber more consistently than even some FMJ.

    My P3AT has since been sent back to Kel Tec.  In order to address all the problems it had, they built me a brand new 2nd generation gun on my old frame.  Since coming back from them, it has been 100% reliable with everything I have put through it - including HydraShoks - with no failures to feed under recoil.  In other words, the failure to chamber a round under recoil was a problem with the gun, not the ammo. I still sometimes have to 'bump' the back of the slide with the heel of my hand to get the first round of Hydra-Shok to chamber but that doesn't bother me.  I hope that helps.
     
  19. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi, I was told by CD that these replacements were the new primers and yet I still have the problem. Maybe they are blowing smoke up my rear. I still believe it was a light powder load as suggested earlier and not the primer since it did go pop and the projectile could be seen striking the backboard. Normally of course I could not see the round this clearly. I think they have QC problem. I also think that the design is great...but if it don't go bang, i'll be a victim for sure. 4 boxes of ammo I'm afraid to carry. I still have their letter of apology, maybe I could show it to the BG and he would let me go. The Hyd-shok will feed on recoil, just problems getting that first round to go up. This a 2nd generation "P3AT JZY**"
     
  20. RobO-excop

    RobO-excop Active Member

    518
    Apr 27, 2009
    Reno,NV
    Okay, so whats the bottom line? I carry HCD in my PF9, haven't had any problems, but I have only fired 1 box (flawlessly) and the 2nd box is in my PF9 and spare mags. SD ammo is still a bit expensive! :(

    I bought a box about 6 weeks ago for my wifes Bersa 380 to test,  but I really want to switch over to HCD from the  Gold Dots that are in her Bersa now. I also want to carry HCD in a P3AT, when I can afford to get it. I have plenty of Gold Dots in my P95, so I can swap them into my PF9 if there is a problem with HCD ammo. The only problem is that I haven't tested the Gold Dots in my PF9 , since they are "+P" ... ::)