View Full Version : Federal 5.56 Ammunition
Last year I bought a new Savage heavy barrel and 10 boxes of Federal 5.56 ammo the Black Label stuff that was loaded in LC Cases.
Started getting misfires with the ammo so sent the rifle back to Savage and the ammunition went back to Federal. Savage checked the rifle out and couldn't find anything wrong with the rifle. Federal sent back ten new boxes of the same type ammunition and claimed there wasn't anything wrong with the ammunition.
So I tried the new Federal ammunition and every other cartridge would not fire. Tried the Federal ammunition in a CZ and it misfired. Both rifles fired every other type of ammunition so my best guess was faulty ammunition. Called Federal and they told me the ammo was made for the AR rifle and the bolt guns didn't have enough striking power.
So trade all the unopened boxes back to my gun store. Today I was shooting with a friend and we tried the remaining Federal ammunition in two different AR and it misfired in both.
This was my experience with the Federal 5.56 ammunition loaded in LC cases.
I'm seeing and hearing more and more of this exact problem and in fact had it today at the range. I have noticed these newer rifles to have what I call a light primer strike. A very light indent on the primer, I guess you could just change the striker spring to something a couple of pounds stronger, this fix worked for a rifle of mine that was mis-firing. Anyway while at the range today the very first cartridge I tried to fire in my newer 25-06 was a misfire so I ejected it rechambered it again and tried a second time and that was a no fire. I went on to fire another 20 or so rounds with out any problem. By the way the rifle put 3 shots into a group you could almost cover with a full size asprin tab. A friend shows up and I show him the cartridge he notes that he thinks the primer is seated to deep. I still like the older guns that drive the firing pin in deep and hard. What all this story is saying is that I think it is a combination of several things, short firing pins, short stroke of the firing pin, deep or hard and deep seated primers and weak striker springs in any combination. Food for thought No? Oh yes I had to stop shooting twice to let 2 nice antelope bucks cross from one side of the range to the other I think one was a solid 13 incher and the other was a 14-14 1/2 inch with nice cutters and mass. To bad I didn't get a tag for this area.
Four different rifles not being not able to fire ammunition sent directly from Federals customer service is a little more than I have ever experienced. Did have a 45 acp 1968 National Match not fire that was my first and only to this experience 40 years later. The 45 was 1 misfire in a lot of 1,000. The federal was 10 misfires out of twenty using four different rifles.
I use Federal commercial ammunition and it has never misfired this was just the black labeled stuff they sold using LC Military cases.
I've heard a lot of good things about that ammo so the fact you had such trouble even after sendng it in is odd.
Dave in NGA
This argument begs the question of whether this lot of ammo is identical to what's being issued to the military or if this ammo was directed to civilian sales due to quality issues.
I thought the same thing myself about the military. One flaw that did stick out was the brass was a couple thousands over the max length on the rounds that would not fire. I assumed my Savage wasn't completely going into battery and it was a safety issue.
My dealer took back 8 boxes of the stuff from me. He had several cases of the ammunition. He claimed no one else was having a problem. Find that hard to believe but it could have just been my bad luck. The first bunch wasn't as bad as the second lot that Federal sent back. My friend with the ARs is pulling the bullets and salvaging the brass.
My AR's woun't fire is the case length is over spec. Bolt looks like it goes into battery but no fire. Case can't be over spec max lenght.
Too many variables. I have some suspicions but I'll be curious to see what Federal (ATK-Alliant) says about this ammo.
Variables are one Savage, one CZ and two AR rifles that fire any other ammunition without misfires. One box of Federal ammunition that misfired in all four rifles with ten cartridges left over.
This ammunition came directly from Federals customer service to replace ammunition that failed to fire in the Savage. The replacement ammo was worse than the original batch send back. Calling Federal the second time they claimed that the ammunition was designed for the AR rifles and may misfire in bolt action rifles. I found that to be false when two different ARs were tried that had never failed to fire would not fire this stuff.
I'm not going back to Federals customer service for the third time. Posted this information to hopefully keep friends from making the same mistake buying this stuff. A word to the wise if you get a deal on this stuff instead of stocking up buy one box and see if it goes bang or not.
Found my other opened box of this ammo 2 misfired three fired. American Eagle Lot No u49 z548 Also found the shipping receipt from Federals Product Service. Doesn't have their phone number on it or I would call and give them an update and to see if the person handling this is still employed.
I appreciate the heads-up. I have already shared your comments with a friend/AR-shooter. - Liam
I found a number and gave them a call. They called right back and offered to exchange for something else. Just not worth the trouble over such a small amount so I declined the offer. Gave the last box to a friend that has enough energy to break them down for the brass. Have only heard good reports about this ammo but myself I would buy one box and give it a try before stocking up.
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