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Kahrs and Hornady Critical Defense Ammo

Discussion in 'Kahr Club' started by the perfesser, Jan 15, 2010.


  1. the perfesser

    the perfesser
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    As promised on a post I made on the "kahr cw series any good?" thread, I ran a box through my PM9 today, four 6+1 mags. Absolutely no feeding or ejection problems, recoil was fine, and accuracy from seven yards was as good as I ever shoot. I especially like that it is standard pressure. The gun'zine articles have good things to say about bullet expansion -- something that I have no way of checking. So I think that I might have found a new carry ammo. Only further testing will tell......

    And now to this thread's purpose. What are your experiences with this ammo in various Kahr models?
     

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  2. Linux3

    Linux3
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    I shoot WWB 115 Gr. ball for practice and Remington UMC 115 Gr. JHP for carry.
    The UMC is cheap enough that I get a fair amount of practice with carry rounds.
    I kind of wonder about all the talk about which round is best. I mean, if I practice with something and I can hit the target with it isn't that better than some "expert" advice on ammo that's too expensive to really test?
    The only time I don't carry my PM9 is when I carry my TP9. I shoot them a lot and I think skill is more important than a gun writer's tests.
     

  3. ltxi

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    Very much agree.
     
  4. the perfesser

    the perfesser
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    Linux3,

    Hitherto I also have kept my PM9 loaded with the Remington UMC economy pack JHP as it sat in one of my safes ready for home defense. Like you, I have also been perfectly satisfied with it at the range. But I know nothing about its expansion capabilities, esp. through several layers of clothing. The written reports on the Hornady Critical Defense are impressive.

    But it is 4x more expensive than the Remington economy JHP while not being 4x better. On the other hand, once I am satisfied with the Hornady CD's reliability I will not be shooting much of it, and will revert to WWB and Rem. UMC at the range. The advantage of the Hornady load might be a modest one, but also perhaps may be worth the minimal extra expense for the small amount that I would buy.

    Maybe I need to expand my inquiry. We both agree that Remington UMC economy JHP is satisfactory and problem-free in our Kahrs. So I invite other posters with experience with that ammo also to chime in.
     
  5. Linux3

    Linux3
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    Perfesser,
    Well said.
    My thoughts are my own. If I hear some real first hand experience I am more than willing to listen.
     
  6. Caver 60

    Caver 60
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    Ran a box through my PM9 and it worked fine.

    Bought a few more boxes. I don't consider around 69 cents a round (including tax) to be all that expensive for carry ammo.
     
  7. bigswedegml

    bigswedegml
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    I'm carrying it in my PM9 right now. Trust my life with it.
     
  8. 3putter

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    Bought 4 boxes of Hornady's CD for my CW9. Took it out to farm and about 1/3 simply would not fire -- just a click. Looked at the primer and it was indented nicely. Tried another mag with same results. Then a third mag -- no better. I called Hornady and they had me send it all back. Then I got a call from Hornady saying tht all the ammo was in specs and it is my gun. That's it. I had to pressure them to send the ammo back to me since I had paid for it and it is expensive.
    Here's the thing....NO OTHER AMMO GIVES ME A PROBLEM!! I've run cheap UMC with no failures, American Eagle FMJ with no problems, Blazer FMJ, no failures and several boxes of my favorite carry ammo, Gold Dot 124gr. SB with not ONE SINGLE FAILURE.
    Bottom line...I will NEVER carry Hornady Critical Defense or trust my life to it.
    Anybody want 3 boxes of the stuff???:steamed:
     
  9. the perfesser

    the perfesser
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    3putter:

    Thanks very much for your post. As I wrote above, I shot a full box of it through my PM9 without a hiccup. Your experience with an otherwise dependable pistol, esp. with ammo that Hornady says ins in spec, is very troubling; enough so that I will test some more to reproduce my excellent results. So for me the jury is still out. Anyone else with similarly bad experiences? You do us a service when you tell us about it.
     
  10. Caver 60

    Caver 60
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    Thanks for the post. I'll try a few more boxes in my PM9 during the next few days and see what happens.
     
  11. bigswedegml

    bigswedegml
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    3putter, I will take the ammo if you are giving it away. Worked great so far in my gun.
     
  12. ripley16

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    3putter, Can you post some pictures of the primers. I carry Hornady, so this is something I'm interested in. Thanks.
     
  13. Caver 60

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    Do you have a 'lot number' on the ammo that failed?
     
  14. Caver 60

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    I shot another box of CD ammo today. Worked fine in my PM9.

    All the recovered brass had a nice deep depression and the standard Kahr 'tear' across the primer. That makes two boxes without a problem. I hate to shoot up all 10 boxes of the Hornady CD ammo that I have, just to prove a point. I went to my dealer today and he was out, but said he had more ordered. I guess I'll shoot another box or so next week. But I really think the ammo is just fine.

    3putter, I sure wish I had the lot number of the Hornady ammo that failed.
     
  15. 3putter

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    All the failed rounds were "kept" by Hornady so I can't post any pics of the struck primers. However later on I will post the lot numbers for those that want them. Those boxes are at my office.
    If you do a search you will find that Hornady has had a lot of problems with the Critical Defense ammo. I'm not the only one that has had failure to fire problems. The Hornady rep admitted to me on the phone that they have had an unusual amount of complaints with this ammo. He also told me that they don't make the primers and obtain them from outside suppliers. I suspect they sent out a lot of ammo with bad primers. Hopefully they have changed suppliers or at least primers by now.
    Some may have good luck with Critical Defense ammo but after my experience with failure to fire and the refusal of Hornady to accept any responsibility I personally will never trust that ammo. Fro me it is not "Critical Defense" but rather "Critical Failure".
     
  16. Caver 60

    Caver 60
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    Thanks really appreciate the info.

    Seems like Hornady might want to issue a recall, to protect their reputation. In my opinion a recall would be far better for public relations than letting internet rumors fly rampant. They should know that in this day and age you can't keep a secret like that.

    Yes the lot number would be desirable. Also the approximate date you purchased them would be good info. This is definitely an item of great concern.

    ETA, Mods might want make this a sticky?
     
  17. 3putter

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    Here is the lot # of the Hornady Critical Defense that had an average of one in four FTF's. Lot # 3091299 and they were purchased from Midway in September 2009.
    Hopefully Hornady has corrected the problem but I won't be spending any more money on them trying to find out!! Today I shot a box of Gold Dot 124 gr. SB along with 50 rounds of Federal American FMJ. Gun ran perfectly with NO problems. I'll stick with what works!
     
  18. Caver 60

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    Thanks 3 putter.

    Now this leaves me in a real quandary. My lot number is one higher than yours. 3091300
    I purchased them this month and my dealer recently got the shipment in. As I said, he has ordered more and says he'll get them soon.

    I just spent about 2 hours on the net Googleing 'ammo failures.' I entered 'Hornady ammo failure.' Got quite a few hits. It was obvious from reading them that several were from the same person posting on other forums. But it seemed to me there were a significant number of failure to fire complaints from different people using not only 9mm, but 380 and other caliber ammo, especially the CD ammo.

    Now just to be fair, I also entered other ammo makers such as Remington, CCI, Federal, Magtech, and 'horrors' Winchester. I found several complaints with 22 rimfire ammo, but everybody knows ultra cheap rimfires are occasionally prone to problems.

    In the centerfire department I found the most other complaints from Magtech and even they were relatively few as compared to Hornady and mostly about some sort of feeding problem. There was one old, 2007 failure to fire, complaint against Remington. Also some failure to fire against Magtech, but not as many as against Hornady.

    This statement from you really bothers me. "The Hornady rep admitted to me on the phone that they have had an unusual amount of complaints with this ammo."

    Now it seems to me that Hornady should take some sort of action about this, especially in a line of ammo that is marketed as a self defense ammo. I have always considered Hornady to be one of the better top of the line ammo makers. I'd at least expect some sort of PR statement about this problem and if necessary some sort of corrective action.

    Also just for fun I dug out some old fired brass. I normally pick up all the empty brass that I can find in the grass at my backyard range after I finish shooting. I them stuff it back in the boxes it came in and identify it as to the pistol it was fired in. I have quite a collection.

    Anyway I found some recently fired Federal and horrors WWB 9mm that had gone through the PM9. By the way, I fire huge amounts or WWB and have NEVER had a single failure to fire problem or other problems that were attributable to the Winchester ammo. In fact I've never had a failure to fire problem or other problem with centerfire ammo that was attributable to the ammo from any brand. IMO WWB is some durn fine ammo, although I've seen others disparage it.

    I compared primer indentations from the Federal and WWB ammo to the recovered brass from the Hornady, all having been fired in the PM9. Since I have no measuring equipment capable of measuring the actual indentation, this is all subjective on my part.

    But to me it seemed the indentations were at least as deep in the Hornady brass as the other brass. I base this on both apparent depth of strike as well as the typical Kahr 'tear.' The 'tear' mark on the Hornady brass, in many cases, seemed longer than the typical 'tear' mark on the Federal or WWB. Perhaps Hornady has fixed the problem with this lot???

    Now my quandary, what to do with the remaining Hornady ammo? I sure hate to waste it on paper targets, only to find it was all 100%. I think for the time being, I'll go back to the Remington ammo I've been using until something reassures me Hornady has fixed the problem. I'm also considering firing about 60% of the Hornady ammo I have at paper, and if it's 100% carrying the rest.
     
  19. mtngun

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    I'm curious when you had the problem?
    If you're serious about the 3 boxes I'd love to try them in my pm9 at the range and let you (and the board here) the results.
     
  20. packinaglock

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    John 3:16
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    This should be done to see if there are issues with a different PM9