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Thread: Blazer Brass, Shrapnel. Jacket separation?

  1. #1
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    Blazer Brass, Shrapnel. Jacket separation?

    so I was at the range today vetting the new PALMETTO STATE 15 round micro dagger magazines for use in my G 48 when I noticed the target was peppered with shrapnel. I pulled it in and there were multiple little rectangular holes in the cardboard that had fragments, from the bullets copper jacket in them. I was shooting several different types of ammo, but I noticed this with the blazer brass 147gr Flatnose FMJ.

    IíVE DONE A GOOGLE SEARCH ON IT AND ONLY FOUND ONE POST FROM SIX OR SEVEN YEARS AGO OR SOMEONE WAS DESCRIBING THE SAME THING AND APPARENTLY BLAZER CLAIMS THIS IS NORMAL. FOR THAT REASON, THEY HAVE A DISCLAIMER ABOUT USING BLAZER BRASS, FMJ In PORTED PISTOLS.
    (.. sorry about yelling! the caps lock was on while I was dictating and I donít feel like going back and fixing it. Lol.)

    I donít recall seeing that particular warning, and Iíve never heard of this happening everybody at the range, including the RSOís were confused by this as I was. Has anyone here experienced the same thing?

    Iíve got a couple of pictures showing the shrapnel holes and the shreds that Iím pulling out of them. All of this was shot within 5 yards and none of these shrapnel shards penetrated thru the cardboard to the opposite side.

    I just want to make sure that thereís nothing wrong with my pistol or the ammo. I have not seen this before and Iíve shot plenty of blazer brass. Although I honestly canít say Iíve shot a whole lot of it inside 5m like I have today. As I said, I was pretty much just dumping rounds today to vet these 15 round magazines before I use them for EDC.

    (Ö BTW, anybody thatís interested 2 range sessions so far, Ran about 400 rounds through those two PALMETTO STATE Mags, and not a single issue with the magazines in my G48.) 😎

    Oddly enough, the very first round of the day was a 124 grand federal HST with a bad primer. And again Iíve never seen this before, but I ejected the round, fired a couple rounds, put it back in the magazine, and tried it again, and it failed a second time. Never had a federal HST round fail on me once let alone twice prior to today.

    Today is a strange Ammo day! 🤷*♂️.
    anyways,Ö Iíd be curious to know if anyone else has seen this phenomenon. Or if anyone knows whether or not, this is libel to damage the firearm. I was seeing some of this with some blazer brass, 124gr FMJ as well. But it was not as pronounced as with the 147gr.

    I field stripped the pistol to check the barrel. AFAICT, thereís no defect in the barrel that would account for ripping the jacket off the ammunition.

    Hereís what are the shrapnel holes look like in the cardboard;
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    And hereís what I was picking out of those holes in the cardboardÖ
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    Last edited by Chomps; 09-24-2023 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Lon's Avatar
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    Saw a lot of this in the Rangemaster Advanced Instructor class this weekend. Tom said he sees it a lot because the bullet arenít jacketed any more, theyíre plated. And itís not just ported barrels. I was using a ported barrel and my partner wasnít. When we switched partners, I stopped seeing that and I didnít switch guns or ammo. Other non ported guns were doing the same thing. Whether a ported barrel does it or not depends a lot on the source of the ports. Monsoon tactical backbores theirs to avoid this.
    Formerly known as xpd54.
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  3. #3
    To clarify, was the gun OP was using a ported or comped gun?

    Comped or ported guns and plated ammo sometimes don't mix. I think the plating on Speer TMJ bullets is a bit thicker than some other plated bullets out there, but it can still be a problem.

    I've seen plated bullets do weird things before like that. Years ago I had some 147gr West Coast plated bullets that'd leave a "swirl" of lead on targets, that was obviously from the thin plating being cut buy the rifling, and leaving marks on the paper at closer ranges (10-15 yards). I also had some old Winchester White Box 9mm that had brass jackets that would keyhole a small percentage of the time, from a couple different guns. Others at the time noticed the same problem. I think they had a batch that was undersize. They quickly changed that ammo back to copper jackets and the problems went away.

    I've recently fired a few hundred rounds of 124gr Blazer Brass without noting any issues. Unfortunately, Speer has been marking the boxes as FMJ, not TMJ, though its fairly obvious to me that they are plated.

    ETA: My guns are not ported or comped. If I was having issues like this, with or without the ports/comps, I'd probably stop using that ammo.
    Last edited by WDR; 09-24-2023 at 08:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Deadeye Dick Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    I observed a really bad problem with Blazer Brass 9mm. A guy on my squad at a USPSA match was shooting a Glock 17, and had a squib. Unfortunately, the RO is hard of hearing and by the time I and another guy yelled "STOP", the shooter racked and fired again. Fortunately that round was a squib as well. He found both bullets stacked up in his barrel, and there was no visible damage to the gun.

    So... Blazer Brass is not high on my list of ammo right now.
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  5. #5
    open channel D fatdog's Avatar
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    Seen this sort of spall effect from the blazer brass plated bullets going back a decade now, both 115 and 124 plated bullets. It seems more pronounced with some batches and with some guns. Had some 40 and 45 barrels that do the same to a lesser degree with Berry's and Montana Gold.
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  6. #6
    Saw it years ago with Cor Bon practice ammo plated bullets.
    There was an IDPA BUG match, S&W M642s and that ammo provided. The revolvers were hot and dirty, the targets were peppered with plating fragments.
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  7. #7
    I quit hand loading plated bullets a long time ago because they are too fragile, so this isn't surprising in the least. Disappointing from a major manufacturer.
    Last edited by Spartan1980; 09-24-2023 at 11:09 PM. Reason: clarification

  8. #8
    I had this jacket seperation spalling happen a few years ago in a P320 with loose-packed Blazer Brass 115 from Natchez. No ports or muzzle device. It also sprinkled shrapnel around the barrel and inside the slide somehow. Fortunately I heard it and stopped shooting so no permanent damage was done.

  9. #9
    Member Chomps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WDR View Post
    To clarify, was the gun OP was using a ported or comped gun?

    Comped or ported guns and plated ammo sometimes don't mix. I think the plating on Speer TMJ bullets is a bit thicker than some other plated bullets out there, but it can still be a problem.

    I've seen plated bullets do weird things before like that. Years ago I had some 147gr West Coast plated bullets that'd leave a "swirl" of lead on targets, that was obviously from the thin plating being cut buy the rifling, and leaving marks on the paper at closer ranges (10-15 yards). I also had some old Winchester White Box 9mm that had brass jackets that would keyhole a small percentage of the time, from a couple different guns. Others at the time noticed the same problem. I think they had a batch that was undersize. They quickly changed that ammo back to copper jackets and the problems went away.

    I've recently fired a few hundred rounds of 124gr Blazer Brass without noting any issues. Unfortunately, Speer has been marking the boxes as FMJ, not TMJ, though its fairly obvious to me that they are plated.

    ETA: My guns are not ported or comped. If I was having issues like this, with or without the ports/comps, I'd probably stop using that ammo.
    My pistol is NOT ported. The post I mentioned in my op only said that Blazer doesnít support using their ammo in ported weapons. I do remember reading somewhere where improper indexing of ports or even cans could result in bullet strikes that peel jacketing. That was not the case here. Mine is a Stock Glock 48 except for the PSA mags.

    So,.. I assume by your warning, you feel thereís a chance of this spall doing damage to the barrel before exiting? I donít recall seeing this with any of my other guns. But as I mentioned,.. Im not usually shooting inside 5yds. and the 147 grain Flat nose is what I use in my PCCís. Iím definitely not shooting them inside of 5 yards. I will have to double check this @ my next range session.

  10. #10
    Member cosermann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    I observed a really bad problem with Blazer Brass 9mm. A guy on my squad at a USPSA match was shooting a Glock 17, and had a squib. Unfortunately, the RO is hard of hearing and by the time I and another guy yelled "STOP", the shooter racked and fired again. Fortunately that round was a squib as well. He found both bullets stacked up in his barrel, and there was no visible damage to the gun.

    So... Blazer Brass is not high on my list of ammo right now.

    Well, this sucks, said the guy with half a case in transit to his front door. . . .

    Previously, I've run thousands of rounds of Blazer Brass with no issues. Would be unfortunate if they were to begin now.

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