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Thread: Issue with Hornady Critical Defense

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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    Issue with Hornady Critical Defense

    So I recently started using Hornady Critical Defense in .45 auto. The round seemed to be great. The other day however, I went to chamber a round and it did not feed. I removed the round and noticed the the round had pushed back into the casing. All the rounds have a pretty big step on the casing and after loading a couple different rounds a few times I realized the rounds were starting to push back into the casing. As they started to push back it exposed this large step and I started having jams when loading. I showed the round to a couple of my friends who also use rounds from Hornady (not Critical Defense) and they had the same problem with rounds from their primary magazines.
    Just thought you all would like to about this and keep an eye out. It seems the crimp on these things are not very good and after loading the same round a couple of times it shows. I have switched back to my Winchester Rangers.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    after loading the same round a couple of times it shows. I have switched back to my Winchester Rangers.
    There's your problem right there!

    Is it possible that you really were unaware of bullet setback, especially in the .45acp, if you load the same round into the chamber several times? (As a matter of fact, that's one of the tests to see if your round will set back!)

    Do not blame the manufacturer. If you are unloading often (why you would do that I do not know1) then drop your top round to the bottom of the stack so you do not set the bullet back so soon.

    stay safe.

    1 - your handgun is safest when it remains in its holster. Every time it comes out of the holster you increase the chances for a negligent discharge. You also subject the finish to wear, but some think a handgun with holster wear looks good.
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    I'm curious; what kind of gun were you shooting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    There's your problem right there!

    Is it possible that you really were unaware of bullet setback, especially in the .45acp, if you load the same round into the chamber several times? (As a matter of fact, that's one of the tests to see if your round will set back!)

    Do not blame the manufacturer. If you are unloading often (why you would do that I do not know1) then drop your top round to the bottom of the stack so you do not set the bullet back so soon.

    stay safe.

    1 - your handgun is safest when it remains in its holster. Every time it comes out of the holster you increase the chances for a negligent discharge. You also subject the finish to wear, but some think a handgun with holster wear looks good.
    Lotsa people don't know about bullet set-back.

    Why, even I, with my vast wealth of wisdom, gun knowledge, and rugged good looks, was not born with the info, and only discovered it after being connected to the gun world for a little while. I was however born with a deep humility, which makes up for lacking the bullet set-back knowledge.

    The gun may be safest in the holster, but I've had periods where I had to unload once a day, although the necessity is less this last year or so. Even so, I should probably dry-fire practice more often, which would raise the unloading/reloading count.

    You could try using Corbon's DPX as your chambered round, even if the rest of the mag is Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Corbon crimps the casing behind the bullet. I know a fella who does this. No more problems with bullet set-back.

    You still have to watch out for the extractor messing up the rim of the casing from repeated unloads/reloads. Eventually, you might get a failure to extract. The extractor claw buggers up the rim a little each time--you can actually see this by close visual inspection.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-07-2012 at 01:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    There's your problem right there!
    Well, he did say a *couple* of times, but we don't know what his definition of "a couple" is. No round should set back significantly with just a few times in the chamber--a dozen or more, maybe. Maybe his batch of ammo just doesn't have good neck tension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CO-Joe View Post
    Well, he did say a *couple* of times, but we don't know what his definition of "a couple" is. No round should set back significantly with just a few times in the chamber--a dozen or more, maybe. Maybe his batch of ammo just doesn't have good neck tension.
    I have had them set back in as little as 4-6--nice defensive ammo, not Winchester USA white box.

  7. #7
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    My FEDERAL EFMJ defense rounds are approaching $1 each, too expensive to dispose. I've taken to using my trusty micrometer and gauging the rate of set back. They are setting back but none has kaboomed and I've not seen a published limit.

    The larger consideration is that this may be evidence of systematic changes in the shooting community that was not anticipated by the manufacturer/designer.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Sorry, Citizen. I'm so old I forget that all you whippersnappers did not get to attend the "old school" schooling. And I did ask if it were possible that the OP did not know, and got my answer indirectly.

    As for the question of how many times you can reload before seeing set-back - I've had it happen on the 3rd chambering of 185 grain .45acp (Sig 220 with a 24# spring), as well as on the 5th and 6th rounds of 185 grain .45acp in a S&W 325 PD.

    As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the best way to avoid set-back is to switch to a heavier bullet weight. Hornaday Critical Defense is 185 grains http://www.hornady.com/store/critical_defense/?page=2 as is Corbon DPX http://www.chuckhawks.com/cor-bon_DPX_pistol.htm . Moving up to at least 200 grains, but prefereably 230 grains, should eliminate the problem.

    I'm not going to get into what people "should know" about ammo if they are putting it in and taking it out of their handguns without shooting it. Citizen will present the class on extractor claw rim deterioration right after he explains how you can really have a rim to be deteriorated on a rimless cartridge. (I know how and why, but I'm not going to spoil his surprise ending.)

    Class dismissed.

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    While I do teach this issue, I have found the most highly effective (and still economical) way to eliminate it. I carry FMJs, and being in a .45 this is not only possible, but really all you need. The gun stays loaded until it is fired (so far all these firings have been in plinking or training). The it is reloaded with the same ammo. It is very rare that I need to unload my carry gun. The loaded gun stays in its holster and is robed/disrobed as a whole.

    But for those who must unload often, you NEED to know about bullet setback and rotate that ammo! Many cops have had their guns blow up because of loading and unloading everyday and never shooting, until one day they did. The .40 became famous for this as a more modern, higher pressure round.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    SNIP I carry FMJs, and being in a .45 this is not only possible, but really all you need.
    Experts like Mas Ayoob will advise that even the .45acp will perforate (shoot through) the bad guy, having the potential to hit innocents on the other side.

    Has happened.

  11. #11
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    But for those who must unload often, you NEED to know about bullet setback and rotate that ammo!
    Until the 1 November 2011 passage of our Act 35, legally armed citizens that wished to carry their gun in a motor vehicle were required to unload before entering and re-load after getting out of the car.

    That an openly carried pistol can be loaded in a motor vehicle is at issue in a current court case. The case law elements of the crime of concealment were not altered by Act 35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Sorry, Citizen. I'm so old I forget that all you whippersnappers did not get to attend the "old school" schooling. And I did ask if it were possible that the OP did not know, and got my answer indirectly.

    As for the question of how many times you can reload before seeing set-back - I've had it happen on the 3rd chambering of 185 grain .45acp (Sig 220 with a 24# spring), as well as on the 5th and 6th rounds of 185 grain .45acp in a S&W 325 PD.

    As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the best way to avoid set-back is to switch to a heavier bullet weight. Hornaday Critical Defense is 185 grains http://www.hornady.com/store/critical_defense/?page=2 as is Corbon DPX http://www.chuckhawks.com/cor-bon_DPX_pistol.htm . Moving up to at least 200 grains, but prefereably 230 grains, should eliminate the problem.

    I'm not going to get into what people "should know" about ammo if they are putting it in and taking it out of their handguns without shooting it. Citizen will present the class on extractor claw rim deterioration right after he explains how you can really have a rim to be deteriorated on a rimless cartridge. (I know how and why, but I'm not going to spoil his surprise ending.)

    Class dismissed.

    stay safe.
    Nuh-uh. 200gr bullets won't solve it. I've had 230gr bullets do it in just a few reloads.

    The Corbon DPX's are both under 200gr in 45acp. BUT!! They are crimped behind the bullet precisely to reduce or prevent setback. Corbon says right on the webpage that they put the crimp there for that reason.

    OK, smart-alek. What is the name of the part of the of the cartridge that the extractor claw engage on a rimless case.



    ETA: I just checked the Corbon website about the crimp. Now, as an admission, I was not checking because I wanted to make really sure Corbon said they put the crimp there to prevent setback--I was already sure they said it. I was checking their website so I could quote their website, pasting the exact quote here, so I could act all smug about it. However, dammit, I cannot now find where Corbon's website says anything about it.
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-09-2012 at 03:13 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Experts like Mas Ayoob will advise that even the .45acp will perforate (shoot through) the bad guy, having the potential to hit innocents on the other side.

    Has happened.
    Many hollow points will as well.

    Look how many people are touting bonded hollow points with even greater penetration. I applaud Hornady for making a critical distinction between ammo designed for cops versus ammo designed for personal self-defense.

    I don't suggest a .45 FMJ will not penetrate through a target. I also guarantee you that it will penetrate less than the hollow points in my .357 Magnum, and you don't often see people say it is too much gun for self-defense.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  14. #14
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    OK, smart-alek. What is the name of the part of the of the cartridge that the extractor claw engage on a rimless case.
    Extractor groove of course

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Extractor groove of course
    Ah, yes. Thank you.

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Ah, yes. Thank you.
    I also carry Hornady Critical Defense in both my 1911 .45 and XDm 9mm, but the set back is much more pronounced on the .45 after only a few (5-6) chamberings, such that I rarely unload it now, the holster comes off my belt and on my nightstand at night with the gun snug inside.

    It's not that much of a issue for me here in Va. that I am willing to change ammo for, though I do keep some Golden Saber on hand anyway. I have seen some tests with Hornady Critical Defense in person and the only time it didn't expand properly is when hitting very hard material. (steel plate or balistic vest) I put my trust in it.

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    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    I glad I stumbled upon this thread. I have never heard of this before, so I'm glad I'm aware of it before something bad happens. This got me thinking, so I measured my rounds that have been in my carry pistol for about 6 months. One round has been chambered and extracted a MINIMUM of 50 times, and it is only one one-thousandths (.001) of an inch smaller than the factory, never chambered rounds. I carry Federal Premium HST Law Enforcement .40S&Ws in my Springfield XD40 Service. Since these are steel cased, does this make a difference? They are not crimped, such as someone mentioned before, so I don't see why it wouldn't get pushed back. Also, There is no noticeable damage to the rim. Does steel vs. brass make a difference in this? My Kel-Tec P11 chews the rims up like no other, and that's with brass. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    I glad I stumbled upon this thread. I have never heard of this before, so I'm glad I'm aware of it before something bad happens. This got me thinking, so I measured my rounds that have been in my carry pistol for about 6 months. One round has been chambered and extracted a MINIMUM of 50 times, and it is only one one-thousandths (.001) of an inch smaller than the factory, never chambered rounds. I carry Federal Premium HST Law Enforcement .40S&Ws in my Springfield XD40 Service. Since these are steel cased, does this make a difference? They are not crimped, such as someone mentioned before, so I don't see why it wouldn't get pushed back. Also, There is no noticeable damage to the rim. Does steel vs. brass make a difference in this? My Kel-Tec P11 chews the rims up like no other, and that's with brass. Thanks!
    I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes, but the unequivocal answer is yes, it makes a difference. It increases the internal chamber pressure. Bullet setback changes the internal chamber pressure. Your pistol is designed to operate at a certain chamber pressure (OK, within a range +/- "x"% of optimum) and even if it does not go ka-boom the first time you subject it to a higher pressure you are subjecting it to harder wear and tear. If you want the best possible answer, look up your cartridge in a reloading handbook and see what the allowances are for bullet depth and OAL. Without becoming anal about measuring every single one, try to stay within those limits either by trusting your ammo manufactirer or verifying if you have reason to believe it "looks different" or something has happened that might alter the round (like multiple chamberings when reloading).

    Does steel casing make a difference over brass casing in setback? Yes, and No. Depends on how the case is formed and the bullet seated in the case. Same for the extractor groove - it's more a factor of the extractor and geometry than it is the groove material itself.

    The point is to know what might happen to cause your ammo to become unsafe to use. As I said, I'm so old (served on the feasability committee for dirt) that I sometimes forget that others haven't gotten around to knowing half the stuff I've forgotten. And just in case anyone wants to go there - yes, there is a whole lot of stuff I don't know.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    Sorry it took so long to get back. I actually forgot I started this. I actually was not aware of bullet setback so thanks for the education. As far as how many times I loaded it I'd say it was arond 4-5 times. And to the question of what I was carrying it is a Sig 1911 Target. And I don't keep a round chambered while I'm sleeping. It's just a safety step to make sure I have to move around a little and wake up.
    Last edited by decklin; 01-10-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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    Regular Member badkarma's Avatar
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    I just purchased 40 rounds of this. Although I have not heard of this before and never experienced it, I unload my ammo when I fire it. So unless I reload my ammo in different mags frequently, I assume I should never experience this issue.

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    Just to add to the thread here...

    My first CC gun was my P-64 and at the time the only modern HP self defense ammo available (and that I could find locally) in 9x18mm Mak was Hornady Custom ammo loaded with their 95 gr XTP bullet. I shot enough of it to be comfortable with it as my SD round, so I loaded up my mags, chambered a round, holstered the gun and went about my merry...

    About a month later it was time to clean the carry fuzz out of my gun so I unloaded and noticed that the round that had been in the chamber had a significant amount of set-back. That bullet was deep deep in the case, like the ogive was past the case mouth deep. I then chambered several more of the Hornady XTP rounds and each one came out the same way with extreme set-back, after only one chambering.

    I switched to Corbon Power Ball ammo after that.

    Now, I don't know if it was just my particular P-64 not liking that ammo (it would feed just fine) or if that particular box of Hornady ammo was "bad" or what but I have not had that problem with any other brand of ammo or bullet type in that gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    So I recently started using Hornady Critical Defense in .45 auto. The round seemed to be great. The other day however, I went to chamber a round and it did not feed. I removed the round and noticed the the round had pushed back into the casing. All the rounds have a pretty big step on the casing and after loading a couple different rounds a few times I realized the rounds were starting to push back into the casing. As they started to push back it exposed this large step and I started having jams when loading. I showed the round to a couple of my friends who also use rounds from Hornady (not Critical Defense) and they had the same problem with rounds from their primary magazines.
    Just thought you all would like to about this and keep an eye out. It seems the crimp on these things are not very good and after loading the same round a couple of times it shows. I have switched back to my Winchester Rangers.
    Did you notify the manufacturer? I have the CD ammo for my 9mm and my .45ACP, I've yet to experience a single problem with the ammo and I've used two different bullet weights, some of which have been chambered multiple times. I have experienced such a problem with some bulk Remington hollow point ammo, reported the problem and they took care of it.

    If you have not, report the problem. They will specifically need the lot number from the box.
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 01-13-2012 at 10:18 PM.

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    After seeing performance reviews on them I switched to Speer GoldDot which are spectacular.

    Your defensive round needs to work perfectly, never jam and always fire.

    Shoot off your Honidays at the range and go with Gold Dot +P's. Maybe there is a reason why the cops use them.

  24. #24
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Huh? Why are you unloading your carry weapon? The only way mine is unloaded is into paper (never had to shoot a BG,,,in 40+years).

    Think now: Why do you load and unload your carry weapon? (or any weapon for that matter) Your weapons have to be considered loaded at all times (if they have ammo in them or not) Why not just remove that doubt...they are always loaded...because they have ammo in them...don't you think?

    The first thing I teach my grandkids, then prove it by sneaking one in the chamber and having them "dryfire" (not) into a target. They never forget that demo....

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    Huh? Why are you unloading your carry weapon?
    Because I dry-fire practice with it several times a week sometimes. And, etc, etc, etc. Lots of reasons a fella might have to unload his gun before he gets to a range.

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