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  #1  
Old 10-10-2018, 10:37 AM
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Default Blazer aluminum 38 spl problems

Have about 500 rounds of Blazer 38 special 158 gr LRN #3522 purchased from a retailer that was in the Sacramento area.

These are less than a year old but did not shoot any until last month. Shooting them in my S&W Bodyguard 38+P revolver the bullet would unseat from the case and jam the cylinder from rotating. This sometimes happened on the third or fourth round....sometimes not at all. All were shot using a two hand hold from the standing position. Out of a box of 50 rounds my revolver had to be cleared of jams from the unseated bullets six times.



Have shot many hundreds of Blazer aluminum ammo from my 45 acp including in competition with no problems. So I wrote Blazer and got a less than satisfactory answer:

"Edward,
Were these rounds coming loose on the 5th round in the cylinder, maybe the 4th?
If so, you are experiencing what is known as inertia bullet pull. Your owner's manual from Smith & Wesson addresses this issue.
Inertia bullet pull is when the rounds are fired and the recoil along with the lightweight of the firearm, the bullet gets pulled from the cartridge by inertia. This is much the same way an inertia bullet puller works for reloaders when they tear down a loaded round.
This is also easily measured. Load your firearm normally but on the 5th round, measure the overall length of the round. Don't fire the 5th round. If your measurement is longer, you are experiencing inertia bullet pull.
We have performed numerous measurements in the past for this issue. When we have, the rounds were found to meet the product specifications prior to firing for bullet pulls. In other words the ammo was built to specifications and good ammo.
You can still use the ammo loading up only four rounds, not the 5th. If you are experiencing inertia bullet pull, this would be the way to use up the ammo.
Thanks,
Duane V. /Technical Service Representative
2299 Snake River Ave.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Alliant/Blazer/CCI/Speer
(800)379-1732
"

Well that is not much help. I have shot quite a few brands of ammo through this little gun including +P defensive ammo and my own reloads without a hint of this problem. btw, the S&W Manual says to switch ammo manufacturers if this occurs. Obviously they have tested their firearm with Blazer aluminum too.. What irks me is that Blazer seemingly recognizes that this problem exists: "...performed numerous measurements for this issue in the past." Have they ever tried to crimp their bullets a little harder? How about a warning statement on the box that the ammo may not function in snub nose revolvers?

Unhappy Customer who will not be buying Blazer again. Too bad I have 1k of 45 aluminum and several k of 9mm brass to shoot up. The aluminum ammo I will probably try and swap with someone (am no longer in California).

Thanks for listening to my rant. In case you see a sale on this ammo, consider my experience if you have a snubbie revolver.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:57 AM
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Good to know...thanks for sharing.

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Old 10-10-2018, 11:23 AM
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The semi auto blazer works fine. The brass is crimped to prevent the bullet from moving.
I have been shooting mine. 9mm and 45.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:27 AM
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Another reminder on self defense and how revolvers are fool proof
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:48 AM
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First thought I had as soon as I read what gun you were using was, "What's he thinking using aluminum cases in a revolver?"
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:15 PM
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I would try and find someone who has a seating / crimp die and try seating them 2-thousands deeper and applying a firm crimp.

Keep in mind that seating a bullet deeper can cause a dangerous rise in pressure so proceed with caution. That said, I've never had any noticeable increase in pressure when OAL varies by only a couple thousands.

While this solution would work fine with a brass case (I've done this before), I am uncertain whether or not the elasticity of aluminum would result in a similar success.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHeavyHitter View Post
I would try and find someone who has a seating / crimp die and try seating them 2-thousands deeper and applying a firm crimp.

Keep in mind that seating a bullet deeper can cause a dangerous rise in pressure so proceed with caution. That said, I've never had any noticeable increase in pressure when OAL varies by only a couple thousands.

While this solution would work fine with a brass case (I've done this before), I am uncertain whether or not the elasticity of aluminum would result in a similar success.
Yep, good advice. Am cautious about doing a tighter roll crimp and wonder if it would fatigue the already rolled aluminum. Might try it on a couple of rounds and see how it goes.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedro View Post
First thought I had as soon as I read what gun you were using was, "What's he thinking using aluminum cases in a revolver?"
Well as I said, the 45 acp and 9mm rounds work fine in Blazer aluminum. As to what was I thinking...well actually I was thinking that that considering prior experience with aluminum from CCI Blazer, that if they offer 38 special in aluminum it would probably work. Can't think of why they would make it if it would not work in a revolver; that's what most 38's are used in by far.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baih777 View Post
The semi auto blazer works fine. The brass is crimped to prevent the bullet from moving.
I have been shooting mine. 9mm and 45.
Me too, no problem there. These don't have much apparent crimp on them and that might be the problem. Their lead projectile also does not have a crimp grove...wonder why?
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:38 PM
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So, you're never buying that ammo again because of one QC issue? Yea, it sure appears that the roll crimp die wasn't set properly. It happens. Just contact CCI and they will make good on their error. It's really that simple. BTW, many bullets do not have a cannelure. It's no big deal and, as a reloader, I prefer my bullets not to have one.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2018, 1:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
So, you're never buying that ammo again because of one QC issue? Yea, it sure appears that the roll crimp die wasn't set properly. It happens. Just contact CCI and they will make good on their error. It's really that simple. BTW, many bullets do not have a cannelure. It's no big deal and, as a reloader, I prefer my bullets not to have one.
As you can see in the letter posted they just kised it off. Yes that surprised me too. CCI Speer is reputable.
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Old 10-11-2018, 5:40 AM
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I think the aluminum case doesn't hold the crimp as well as brass. Just don't use aluminum cased ammo in an ultra light snubby.
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Old 10-11-2018, 8:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheep View Post
I think the aluminum case doesn't hold the crimp as well as brass. Just don't use aluminum cased ammo in an ultra light snubby.
That looks like the situation alright.
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Old 10-15-2018, 7:28 PM
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That is an unsatisfactory answer. Either they're all made loose enough that they can't handle being used in a lightweight, and should come with a warning, or you got a bad batch.

My next email would be a demand, and if it weren't handled satisfactorily it would be followed by a summons.

If you want to save them and know a reloader, putting a little more crimp on might solve it. Do not try to use the resizing die, that'll make them worse! My reloads don't need a crimp to stay in place with my guns (not ultralights) the tension is enough. I crimp anyway, just decided to test a few without crimps to see if anything would happen.
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