[Ed. note: Defective ammunition is relatively rare, but it does happen. Aaron’s experience is not unique. Make sure you check your ammo for damage to prevent potentially dangerous problems.]
Recently I attended an Advanced SWAT course that our regional Tactical Officers Association offers each year. During the week of training there are several different range courses that teams were put through. While training on the Tactical Pistol course our team we were being pushed hard to get through the 4-hour block of training. When the course of fire was completed we had just enough time to load magazines and get back on line.
To facilitate the ease of loading, our team emptied dozens of boxes of ammunition into a couple of military ammunition cans and an empty cardboard ammunition box. Grabbing loose ammunition, and trying to hurry on reloads just about created the perfect storm for a catastrophic failure.
The following pictures are of one such .40 caliber cartridge that I pulled out of the can and thankfully noticed before loading into a magazine. One side appeared fairly normal, the other side … well something went horribly wrong. This was Speer 165 grain FMJ training ammunition, but I’ve seen manufacturer’s defects on other rounds too.