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  1. #1
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    Hornaday Critical Defense (Critical Failure)

    I just shot a 20 round box of Critical Defense in .45 ACP in the 185 grain FTX configuration. I was evaluating it to carry in a Glock 30.

    12 out of 20 rounds had primer failures. The primers showed dimples from being struck, but took a second, and in one case a third strike to fire. All fed properly. The gun has never had any ammo issues, and I shot 150 rounds after the failures without a hiccup.

    I tried to contact Hornaday via their web site but their messaging system wasn't working. I have since learned of others reporting primer failures in these rounds. Not to knock a major manufacturer, but at $1.25 a round this failure was alarming, especially given the bold name of the product.

    My point in posting is to remind everyone to test fire any ammo they plan on trusting with their life.

    Back to Gold Dots for me!

  2. #2
    nightwalker is offline Junior Member
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    Wow! Makes one think, eh? I appreciate any and all input, since I'm pretty new to shooting, myself.

  3. #3
    jdw68 is offline Member
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    I have heard of primer failures with Hornady Critical Defense rounds and have read many reports online about this problem. Most of those reports were about older ammunition and were thought to be a bad bunch of primers. I personally have shot several boxes of Hornady Critical Defense in 9mm, 45 ACP, and 357 magnum and have never had a single failure to fire. I really don't like 357 magnum CD rounds or 9mm CD rounds just because I think there are better options available. I do like the 45 ACP CD just because my Colt 1911 in picky on what hollow points it cycles, but those rounds feed just fine. My Colt 1911 is also the officer's edition and has a 3 1/2" barrel and the CD Hollow points have been shown to open up with the slower velocity. It is always a good idea to test fire several boxes of the ammo you choose to use in your gun. Gold Dots, Corbon DPX, and Federal HST are great rounds if your gun will cycle them!

  4. #4
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    I called Hornaday today and spoke with a rep who was concerned and listened to my problem. I just bought the box from my LGS a few weeks ago, so they should have been fresh. The fact that I didn't keep any of the failed rounds to send back didn't help the situation. (Totally my fault)

    Lesson learned: keep any failed rounds, and test fire your defense ammo.

  5. #5
    Jammersix is offline Banned
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    Hornady never answers email. Ever.

    I've had primer failures with Remington Golden Saber, also.

    Carrying a 1911 smaller than government size and then obsessing about ammo is like ignoring a sliced artery to deal with a hangnail.

  6. #6
    870ShellShucker's Avatar
    870ShellShucker is offline Junior Member
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    I hope this primer problem is not common in the Hornady Custom XTP loads. I recently picked up a box each of 125 Grain .38 Special, 125 Grain .357 Magnum, and 200 Grain .45 Auto. I stayed away from the higher price of the Critical Defense. Now I'm glad I did.

    FWIW, my POA / POI is better with 230 Grain Golden Sabre, than it is with 200 Grain XTP, in my Remington 1911R1 45 Auto. My POA / POI appears to be best with Remington 230 Grain ammo offerings across the board, after trying several brands. I'll target practice with the Federal, Winchester, and Hornady loads I have, but I'll bet my life on the Remington loads.

  7. #7
    Jon54 is offline Junior Member
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    I bought two boxes of the Critical Defense loads for my CCW. Funny, I can't hit the side of a barn with it but group quite nicely with simple target loads. I think given the other comments, I am going to shoot up my CD loads and find something else for CCW. It was recommended to me that I look at the Winchester Ranger rounds.

  8. #8
    Jammersix is offline Banned
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    I wouldn't "bet my life" on any load.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crescentstar69 View Post
    I called Hornaday today and spoke with a rep who was concerned and listened to my problem. I just bought the box from my LGS a few weeks ago, so they should have been fresh. The fact that I didn't keep any of the failed rounds to send back didn't help the situation. (Totally my fault)

    Lesson learned: keep any failed rounds, and test fire your defense ammo.
    you say fresh but did you offer the lot number from inside the box flap?... if NO then how do you expect anyone to take you serious . are they suppose to guess at it... how do they even know you shot them at all

  10. #10
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    Lot number was provided. Why so snotty?

  11. #11
    Ft.Defiance is offline Junior Member
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    Barstoolguru

    I have shot ammo over 20 years old and stored in less then ideal circumstances. I have yet to see a use by date on Ammo! Assuming that the Glock was not delivering to light a strike on the primer Hornaday is at fault. The lot number should only serve the same role as a receipt: proof that he purchased said ammo from Hornaday

  12. #12
    rolin808 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the heads up

  13. #13
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Could of been a weak hammer spring or firing pin wore out. It's not always the ammo.

  14. #14
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    Trust me, this time it was. I'm not bashing Hornaday and I didn't ask for anything from them either. Their rep mentioned previous problems with not enough cake in the primers.

    My post was only meant as a heads up so people can shoot the ammo before carrying and relying on it to make an informed decision on whether or not it works for them. Failure to shoot defense ammo for reliability is my point. Carry CD if it works for you.

  15. #15
    berettatoter's Avatar
    berettatoter is offline Senior Member
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    I run the Federal 230 grain JHP's in my .45 pistol, and the Hornady Critical Defense in my 9mm. I have not tried the Hornady stuff in my .45 yet, but will stick to what works for that gun, and that is the Federal ammo. My 9mm seems the like the Hornady ammo though.

  16. #16
    OldGunner is offline Junior Member
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    Just had a major problem of my own shooting Hornady CD rounds. The first 5 rounds fired fine. Reloaded and the first round fired, but did not sound right at all. Rather than the expected report it sounded more like a bottle rocket when taking off. Opening the cylinder I could clearly see the back of the projectile wedged approx. a quarter inch into the barrel. Thank God I didn't pull the second shot. The round is still wedged in the barrel. Hornady was very helpful yesterday over the phone. I'm sending them the pistol and remaining CD rounds. We'll post updates as they come in.

  17. #17
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    I will not buy Hornady ammo,this has been going on for a long time.Their components are just fine,but that means you must reload.For some reason they just can't get it together to make good consistant ammo.

    The OP's problem wasn't a problem with powder as they said,it was from high primers being seated on the first strike or a batch of primers that had bad anvils or primer compound.OldGunner got a serious undercharge.

    That stuff is expensive and should work but this issue has been happening for years,beware.Everyone has a bad run at some point but this is rediculous.

  18. #18
    OldGunner is offline Junior Member
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    OldGunner is just lucky to still have his eyesight and fingers. This woke me up to the fact that my focus on gun safety has been way too narrow. Its been all about preventing accidentally shootings. I've just added ammo to the "watch your ass" list.

  19. #19
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    You had great awareness not to pop another off,good on you.That's one of the reasons I got into reloading,shooting combat matches things move in tenths and hundredths of a second.I have control of my ammo so the likelihood of backing up a squib basically dissapeared.Not that it could never happen,but I'm anal about seating primers and charging cases.If there is a problem,there was an unknown bad component.

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