I have a coworker who recently asked me to give her some range instruction. She’d shot before, but she wasn’t familiar enough with how her new Ruger LCP operates to be comfortable. Naturally, I obliged.
This was our second session, so it was still pretty much the basic. Grip. Trigger control. Understanding the Four Rules. Sight picture.
She was loading four rounds per relay, and in one of them she got a nice “CLICK!” on the third round. She was shooting Blazer aluminium cased ammunition, so I figured it was primer-related. I talked her through clearing the malfunction and she fired the last round in the magazine with no problem.
I wanted to use this as a teachable moment about cheap practice ammo. “It’s not bad, but things like this are going to happen so just keep that in mind. Malfunctions like this happen all the time, and it’s not your gun.”
We loaded the same round in the top of the next magazine (Tam, I can hear you screaming from here) because I wanted to show her that bad primers will often fire on the second strike.
Now, I don’t have a .380 anymore, but that looked like the bullet was set back a bit. I pulled out another round from the box and sure enough it was a couple thousandths difference. I’m pretty sure that setback happened as a result of the failure to feed, but it’s possible it was preexisting and caused the FTF.
But then….something else didn’t look right, either:
Now, if you’re slow like me, you probably don’t see it. Here’s a 9mm round for reference:
Yeah. The rim is missing!
So this round had probably two, and possibly three, factory defects. We’re actually pretty lucky the primer was bad (although it could be that the case is slightly shorter than the chamber, so the firing pin didn’t hit deep enough) because extractors don’t work so well without something to grab on to.
The rest of the box was fine.