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  #1  
Old 07-29-2004, 01:44 AM
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Thumbs down Hornady V-Max 17 HMR Brass Cracked


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Has anyone else had this happen? I went to the range about 10 days ago and had 2 of 15 rounds of the Hornady 17 HMR V-Max split at the neck when fired. This was the first box that I just pulled out of a new case of 500 rounds. It just so happened that my gunsmith of 30 years was at the range also and took my Savage back to the shop with him to check out the chambering. I got a call the next day and the gun had checked out fine. A couple of days ago I sent the cracked brass back to Hornady with a letter. I will let you know what they say, and how I am treated. I figured it was not the gun because it has had over 300 rounds of various 17 HMR through it with 0 problems. It may be that Hornady just got a batch of bad brass.

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  #2  
Old 07-29-2004, 12:40 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
 
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Thanks for the report, Trent -

I've used the Hornady .17HMR ammo almost exclusively and never had a problem with it.

Think CCI makes the brass for Hornady, and yes, very likely there was a defect with it. Will be interesting to see if there's any more of them in your brick of ammo.
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2004, 09:49 PM
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I just want to let you know that as of Saturday August 7th, I have not heard from Hornady or received anything in the mail from them. If I have not heard anything from them by this Friday I will call them on the phone. I will let you know but I still believe this may just be a bad batch of brass. I really want to hear from them because this box was the first 15 rounds out of a case of 500 and don't want to be a ginny pig for defective ammo.

I will let you know what I find out.

Trent
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2004, 10:03 PM
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It will be interesting to hear what they have to say. I fire Hornady ammo in my .17 primarily and have had no problems like you mention. Accuracy seems to vary a little bit, lot-to-lot, but no case failures.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2004, 06:49 AM
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We have not experienced any brass cracked.
We have now had a pretty good look at the .17 Hornady and I think a fair comparison with the .22 Magnum. We have compared a Marlin 883 .22 Magnum to a 917-bull barrel and Savage Favorite single shot in .17 Hornady. The 883 has the pen/spring trick so it has a pretty nice trigger. The 917 came equipped with Marlins new T-900 trigger assembly. Both are acceptable triggers but the newer T-900 has a safety that is much easier to use. The T-900 trigger has a better shape to it and I believe this makes it makes the rifle easier to hit with.
I have only shot CCI JHP .17 HMR ammunition but it has proven to be surprisingly accurate. My initial impression is the .17 Hornady is not quite as sure a killer as the .22 Magnum for critters of the jack rabbit and skunk size. Bullet placement is just a bit more critical. Within 100 yards, a good solid hit by the 17 grain bullet in the heart lung area will stop a jackrabbit, but will not always put him down immediately. In the .22 Magnum I use the 50-grain Federal JHP ammunition for these larger critters so it may not be a fair comparison. The lighter .22 Magnum loads such as the 30-grain Sierra JHP from Federal and the 30-grain Remington plastic tip bullets require the same careful placement to ensure quick kills.
On barn rats the .17HMR is a sure killer, both quick and clean. For smaller ground squirrels care must be taken to keep the bullets up in the heart lung area. A ground squirrel hit too far back will escape. The same hit with a .22 Magnum of any bullet weight assures a clean kill. The superior accuracy of the .17HMR helps to ensure proper bullet placement and I find the .17HMR easier to shoot well.
How do my initial results compare with yours?
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2004, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william iorg
We have not experienced any brass cracked.
We have now had a pretty good look at the .17 Hornady and I think a fair comparison with the .22 Magnum. We have compared a Marlin 883 .22 Magnum to a 917-bull barrel and Savage Favorite single shot in .17 Hornady. The 883 has the pen/spring trick so it has a pretty nice trigger. The 917 came equipped with Marlins new T-900 trigger assembly. Both are acceptable triggers but the newer T-900 has a safety that is much easier to use. The T-900 trigger has a better shape to it and I believe this makes it makes the rifle easier to hit with.
I have only shot CCI JHP .17 HMR ammunition but it has proven to be surprisingly accurate. My initial impression is the .17 Hornady is not quite as sure a killer as the .22 Magnum for critters of the jack rabbit and skunk size. Bullet placement is just a bit more critical. Within 100 yards, a good solid hit by the 17 grain bullet in the heart lung area will stop a jackrabbit, but will not always put him down immediately. In the .22 Magnum I use the 50-grain Federal JHP ammunition for these larger critters so it may not be a fair comparison. The lighter .22 Magnum loads such as the 30-grain Sierra JHP from Federal and the 30-grain Remington plastic tip bullets require the same careful placement to ensure quick kills.
On barn rats the .17HMR is a sure killer, both quick and clean. For smaller ground squirrels care must be taken to keep the bullets up in the heart lung area. A ground squirrel hit too far back will escape. The same hit with a .22 Magnum of any bullet weight assures a clean kill. The superior accuracy of the .17HMR helps to ensure proper bullet placement and I find the .17HMR easier to shoot well.
How do my initial results compare with yours?
I've never used a .22Mag, but between the .22LR and .17HMR, the .17 has superior accuracy, and can hit predictably out to 200yds. Trajectory is dead-on at 50yds, .75" high at 100yds, and 4" low at 200.

I've never shot a critter at 200yds, but most of my experiences with smaller animals are that it's quite destructive, unless you're real close, like 30-40yds or so. At that range, with squirrel-size animals or smaller, it penetrates vital areas like a laser; straight through-and-through. Not what I expected, and that was with the Hornady 17gr. Then again, squirrel and such in AZ are smaller than their Eastern cousins, but I've not shot anything bigger to date. That will hopefully change this weekend. The CCI's & Federals don't have near the accuracy as the Hornady's in my NEF, and I'm waiting to try the 20gr rounds.
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2004, 12:20 PM
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You're sure right about the accuracy of the.17 Hornady. It is a very confidence-inspiring cartridge.
Our barn rats are pretty solid bodied. The adults run about 7" in the body from nose to the start of the tail. The body is pretty dense and the .17 opens up on them pretty well at all distances. We have experienced a few "kickers" with devastating wounds using the CCI JHP bullet.
The ground squirrels are typical "picket pins" and provide very little resistance. Hit at distances ranging from 25 to 50 yards they simply fall over dead when hit in the heart lung area. Hit too far back they are opened up but still have the ability to crawl away. Your thoughts on the bullet not opening up well at 40 yards are interesting. We will begin keeping a log and try to record results. We have not experienced what we would call a failure to expand on the closer shots. .17 Hornady wounds on the light ground squirrels certainly seem substantial but not overwhelming. The .22 Magnum with the 30-grain Federal Premium Sierra JHP loads comes close to overwhelming. This is a very explosive load on ground squirrels and rats.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2004, 11:08 PM
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Responce from Hornady

Well after 2 weeks of not hearing anything I finally called them. I left a voice mail to a Cindy and got an e-mail back the next day. They supposedly lost my package and below is a Copy / Paste from the E-mail I got back from Cindy.

Mr. Pearson,
I'm sorry, sir, but we have no record of receiving a package from you. It must have been lost in the mail.
The 17 HMR cases may crack because of the annealing process when they are made. The annealing process is what makes the material brittle or flexible depending on the length of time and degree of the process. This is a precise procedure with any other case that can be reloaded, as we want the case to be hard enough to do the job but soft enough to stand up to several reloads. The 17 HMR case is dispensable and can not be reloaded, therefore the annealing procedure isn't quite as strict as with other cases. When the case cracks, it's because the neck was annealed a little harder than it needed to be, making it more brittle. This does not affect the accuracy or performance of the ammunition. Normally, the fired case will eject the same as any other, and unless they are picked up later, the shooter may never even know they had a case with a split neck. We would prefer that none of the cases split, (and the majority of them don't), but it seems redundant to spend the time and money on perfecting the case when it isn't practical or necessary. Our lab has evaluated cases with cracked necks, and the powder is fine, the case necks are just more brittle.
I hope that answers your questions. Please feel free to contact one of our techs who are much more familiar with our bullets, cases and ammunition than I am. Most of our technical personnel are at the Grand in Ohio this week, but will be back next week. They can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-800-338-3220.
Cindy
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2004, 03:15 AM
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From their response, it seems that Hornady isn't too concerned and really doesn't think it's a problem. On the reloading part, they're right, but I'd be concerned if my rifle had an out of spec chamber if I started getting split brass, just like Trappertrent when he first discovered the issue.
Trapper, if you're out there, was the split just on the neck or did it travel into the shoulder of the case??
Did you notice any blowback of gasses or other signs of the case not sealing in the chamber??

Seems that since the cases are not reloadable, then Hornady would tend to err on the softer side of any anealing process, as the harder cases streatch less which adds to reloading life.

I also take a little offense at the comment in the letter about not noticing the cracks unless they are picked up. Think most folks will do their best to chase down and pick up most of the empties, even if they are disposible. Not a big job, especially with a bolt action.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye on my cases. May not be an end of the world problem, but still doesn't sound right to me.
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:45 AM
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Just back from the range this morning. Had some Federal .17HMR's. Out of the 50 in the box, had one round that the bolt on my Ruger 77/17 wouldn't close on. Ejected it and went on shooting. Another shooter picked it up off the range floor and brought it over to show me the chambering problem. The case neck was buggered up on one side and the bullet was exposed it's entire length. Must have had a problem in their seating die at the factory.

Oh, Well - guess one out of 50 ain't bad.
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2004, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullClip
From their response, it seems that Hornady isn't too concerned and really doesn't think it's a problem. On the reloading part, they're right, but I'd be concerned if my rifle had an out of spec chamber if I started getting split brass, just like Trappertrent when he first discovered the issue.
Trapper, if you're out there, was the split just on the neck or did it travel into the shoulder of the case??
Did you notice any blowback of gasses or other signs of the case not sealing in the chamber??

Seems that since the cases are not reloadable, then Hornady would tend to err on the softer side of any anealing process, as the harder cases streatch less which adds to reloading life.

I also take a little offense at the comment in the letter about not noticing the cracks unless they are picked up. Think most folks will do their best to chase down and pick up most of the empties, even if they are disposible. Not a big job, especially with a bolt action.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye on my cases. May not be an end of the world problem, but still doesn't sound right to me.
Full Clip and Others...
The bottom line is. "This is not right". As I stated in my letter to Hornady and in my first post, the Savage chambering checked out within spec. I bought this gun for my Son for his 15th birthday. It has had over 300 rounds through it and it has always worked perfect and will drive tacks an day of the week with good quality ammo. We always pick up our brass and put it back in the box when we are at the range. I became alarmed when my Son showed me the brass that had cracked the shoulder of the case. The necks had not split. It seemed to have the neck blown out! I had really hoped for more concern and the willingness to investigate further. This clearly has not happened thus far and I will call them on Monday to express my concerns. God knows I have fired thousands of 22's and never had this problem "that I am aware of". How convenient.... They can't find my package!

Trent
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  #12  
Old 09-12-2004, 03:07 PM
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TrapperTrent,

I know this will not go down well, but the reason Hornady does not seem comcerned is that there is no reason to be concerned! Cyndi's (sp) answer is in every way correct.

Look at this logically. If the neck does not split there are still gasses released against the chamber/thruat at the mouth of the case which do no damage. Why would anyone suppose that a crack letting a small amount of gas impinge ahainst that same steel aprox .1" further back would be a problem? If you look at most fored bottle-neck cartridges when fired you will see the outside of the neck is stained bu powder gasses that blew back along the neck before full obturation accured. This is completely normal and acceptable, and in cartridges developing pressures into the 60,000 psi+ area.

The bottom line is that as long as gasses aren't vented out of the rear of the chamber as a result of a ruptured rim there is no problem.

If you don't believe this note, please send me a private message and I'll list my credentials for you!
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2004, 05:47 AM
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I was under the impression that the main cause of any
cracked cases was an oversized chamber.

No ammo manufacturer can be held responsible for that.

Every time someone splits a 9mm or .40 case in a Glock,
Glock gets the blame because of their oversized chambers.
Nobody blames the ammo maker.

The chamber may be "within specs", but that doesn't mean
it isn't too big to prevent split cases.

Dave
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