Hornady Critical Defense - Misfires at Range

Hornady Critical Defense - Misfires at Range

This is a discussion on Hornady Critical Defense - Misfires at Range within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I went to the range today to sight in my new Crimson Trace Lasergrips for my SP101. I also took along my 642 and SA ...

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Thread: Hornady Critical Defense - Misfires at Range

  1. #1
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    Hornady Critical Defense - Misfires at Range

    I went to the range today to sight in my new Crimson Trace Lasergrips for my SP101. I also took along my 642 and SA Mil-Spec 45 for a little range time. This particular indoor range doesn't allow magnum rounds, so I figured I'd sight in the lasergrips with Hornady Critical Defense, .38spl. 110gr.+P rounds.

    I fired the first cylinder full and had the laser sighted. On the second cylinder, I was resting the Ruger on the bench and shooting DA at the laser dot, no sights, to confirm POA/POI. The first round fired and hit the laser dot dead on, then... Click... I was shocked by what just happened. I laid the gun on the bench and just stared at it. I carefully opened the cylinder and gently removed the bad round. It appeared to be a light strike so I checked the gun. So once again I took aim and Click... Another dud? Can't be? Checked the gun… removed the round. I took aimed and Click... Now I'm thinking something broke on the Ruger. Checked the gun and all appeared to be fine with gun. I took aim with the last round and Click... That's four out of five that didn't fire...

    I took a break, then inspected the rounds. The primers looked like they had barely been struck. So thinking the SP101 could be at fault, I loaded the four misfired rounds and one fresh round in the cylinder of the 642. The first round was fresh and fired perfectly, then rounds two and three fired (second strikes), but rounds four and five failed to fire again (second strikes). I stopped using The Hornady rounds and finished the session with some WWB and some old Silvertips that were about 20 yrs old. All fired from both guns flawlessly.

    When I got home, I took some pics of the rounds and called Hornady. I was quickly transferred to a technical/design person. I explained what happened and he quickly set up a pickup for UPS to pick up the ammo, so they could examine it. When I gave him the lot number, he was surprised that it was this years production. He told me they had experienced some problems with hard primers last year and switched primers, which they thought resolved the issue. He told me he would be in touch once they got the rounds in-house. Overall I was very happy with their customer service, everyone was very courteous and professional.

    Here are the pics I took...

    Box, with Lot number
    Hornady-0102.jpg

    The two rounds in the corner, are the last ones that didn't fire...
    Hornady-0101.jpg

    More CD brass with some light strikes, but fired anyway...
    Hornady-0103.jpg

    WWB brass showing good primer strikes from SP101...
    Hornady-0104.jpg

    So I'm a little skittish about carrying my SP101, until I get back to the range. Which will be this weekend. I'm also waiting for a reply from Hornady.

    What do you guys think???
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I think you are lucky you were shooting at the range and didn't need those rounds for SD,It goes to show why it's a good idea to fire a few rounds from every box of carry ammo,I was reloading some ammo and had some primers that caused several FTF's in my SA XD9 ,I thought it was the gun at first,but they wouldn't fire in my P11,or S&W 6906 either,most of them took 2 hits to fire
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    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    When I first got into carrying (at 21 ) I thought these rounds seemed like a good choice. I picked up a couple boxes of the 185gr .45 ACP Critical Defense to go test on the range. After getting only 7 rounds of 20 to fire in an XD45c which had over 5,000 flawless rounds through it, I gave up.

    And, this isn't the first time I've heard of someone having FTFs with Critical Defense.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

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    Member Array edlex's Avatar
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    Good to know. PDX1's in .40 are my primary carry ammo and Federal HST's are my practice ammo. I'm not big on change but always good to know where not to go. My rule of thumb is to fire at least 200 rounds of SD ammo before I trust it. Sounds expensive but worth it if you're depending you're life on it.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I wouldn't carry Hornady CD anyway, but this just confirms my belief that it's overhyped and underperforming...
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    I wouldn't carry Hornady CD anyway, but this just confirms my belief that it's overhyped and underperforming...
    Yeah, the whole idea behind them is to solve an issue which no longer exists. (Hollow points plugging in heavy clothing). They would have been cool back in the late '80s, and '90s
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

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    New Member Array JonEllsn's Avatar
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    Wow... you have just inspired me to go back to the Federal HST's I used to carry... Thanks for the heads up...

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    Yep, I've put away the couple of boxes I still have. I was really surprised the guy told me about them having problems before. I've always stayed with older proven rounds, don't know why I changed this time. I guess the evolution of defensive ammo, should've stopped in the 90's...
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I wouldn't necessairly say that; the Ranger-T, HST, and DPX/Barnes bullets all are great examples of moving forward in bullet design...the CD, on the other hand, simply shows that not all new designs are improvements.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Yup, I carried the stuff for a while, but it only took one trip to the range and one hard primer for me to change to the Golden Saber 125gr +p stuff for my carry revolvers. I carry the 125 gr +p Gold Dots with equal confidence. Four consecutive rounds going down at one time is well beyond faulty ammo IMO. That's just ridiculous, and could cause someone their life.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    If you google "Hornady Critical Defense light primer strikes", you'll find many posts detailing similar issues. When I was looking at the CD round a while back for my LCP, I found that a lot of people were only having light strike issues with the CD round in their gun. All other ammunition worked. I think that it was limited to a certain batch of ammunition, but the way that Hornady customer service handled the situation soured me on the whole thing.

    I decided to stick with Speer Gold Dots since they have a proven record.

  12. #12
    Member Array Sleipnir's Avatar
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    I have 15 sitting in a box in my drawer. Took them out of the revolver as I didn't like that they weren't designed with barrier penetration in mind. Later on, on the Ruger forum, I found out about the hard primers and a few catastrophic failures in a few SP101s and GP100s due to improper powder type (rifle powder IIRC.) Needless to say I no longer trust the Critical Defense line, the Custom line is still good though, though there are now more modern bullets with much better terminal characteristics than the Custom line (Gold Dot, HST, PDX1/Bonded Ranger T.)

    Also, in the .357 Magnum revolver rounds the CD is woefully underloaded (1000-1050 fps out of a 2.25" SP101) whereas the Remington R357M1 that I chose to replace the CD is as close to fullhouse as they get (1225-1250 fps out of the same SP101.)

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    Member Array BubbaDX's Avatar
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    These bad reports about the HCD concern me a bit as that is what I have in my EDC right now. Would it be beneficial to compare the batch numbers on the boxes with failures?

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaDX View Post
    These bad reports about the HCD concern me a bit as that is what I have in my EDC right now. Would it be beneficial to compare the batch numbers on the boxes with failures?
    Most definitely.

    How many rounds of it have you fired through your EDC?
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  15. #15
    Member Array BubbaDX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    Most definitely.

    How many rounds of it have you fired through your EDC?
    I have shot 1 box of 25, lot #3110229 without a single issue. I loaded my magazine from another box with the same lot #. Sorry, I meant lot number and said batch number.

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