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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend and shooting companion bought a brand new Smith & Wesson 380 ("Shield", I think) a couple of weeks ago but couldn't find any ammo to test it with. I scrounged through my assets and found 30 rounds of Sig-Sauer branded 115ge FMJ, and about 20-odd others, some JHPs, some FMJ and we were set to go to the range. He also had a new Taurus Tx22 and a brand new Rossi rifle in 22LR. We were set for a range day, and on the way over, just on the off-chance, he stopped in his LGS and they had just got a couple cases of Sellier & Bellot at $19.00/box. This is a stiff price but since he had bought the Taurus and the Rossi from them, they cut price for him to @$17.00 and he bought two boxes. I got out my Kel-Tec P3AT and we were all hyped for an interesting afternoon.

We fired off all my assorted cartridges and popped open his Sellier & Bellot and he found that he could not load the magazine, even using the Lula Loader. "Here! You load the confounded thing!" (I hear this a lot - he has massive case of arthritis in his fingers). He tossed the magazine my way. I tried the Lula and they would not load. I tried the ol' reliable thumb, but they still would not go into the magazine. I took the barrel out of my Kel-Tek for a "plurnk test" and the cartridges would stop over one-eighth of an inch out of battery. The case-walls were straight and true, but just too fat to fully enter the chamber. Andwe are not about to force the issue.

His local LGS will be his first stop tomorrow morning, to let them see the product and see if they will find him some 380ACP ammo.

And the big question for others on the forum: " Have any of you ever had issues with Sellier & Bellot ammunition being out of spec?" I've fired a few thousand rounds through the years and never had an issue such as this.
 

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Never used the stuff, but my comment is if you're saying the $19/box is a stiff price for .380 then you haven't shopped around much lately. Best price I can find online for that cartridge is about $40 - $45.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It ain't worth seventeen CENTS a box if it won't fit and function in the gun it was advertised for. Wouldn't you agree with that?


Actually, the question was "anybody else have trouble with S&B ammo not being properly sized?"
 
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Did you check the cartridge headstamp? It sounds like the S&B was miss marked 9mm rather than .380. A 9mm will chamber but will not allow the breech to close due to the added cartridge length. The 115gr bullet is a common weight for 9mm cartridges and not often used in .380. Due to the price, I wonder if these could have been reloads. If so, the reloader may have failed to set his dies for the proper cartridge length.
 

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I have quite a bit of Sellier & Bellot in both 9mm and .45ACP. Have had no problems with it at all. Wonder if it was 9mm in a .380 box? Wonder if the ammo was even Sellier & Bellot?
 

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Did you check the cartridge headstamp? It sounds like the S&B was miss marked 9mm rather than .380. A 9mm will chamber but will not allow the breech to close due to the added cartridge length. The 115gr bullet is a common weight for 9mm cartridges and not often used in .380. Due to the price, I wonder if these could have been reloads. If so, the reloader may have failed to set his dies for the proper cartridge length.
Oops. Shoulda read your post first before I let my fingers do the walking.
 
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Never used the stuff, but my comment is if you're saying the $19/box is a stiff price for .380 then you haven't shopped around much lately. Best price I can find online for that cartridge is about $40 - $45.
I have to agree. It's not worth a plug nickel if it doesn't fit in the gun, but just finding 380 for less that $25/50 I would have bought a bunch of it and I don't even own a 380.

To answer the OP's original question, no, I've never had any trouble with S&B ammo.

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I think jdavis nailed it. S&B only makes one load for 9x17 aka 9mm cort aka 380 Auto, and that uses a 92gr. bullet. Reloads or counterfeit.

And on counterfeits (not apropos to your problem, but...) There are a bunch of counterfeit LULA loaders out there: FAQ
Also, for some 380 mags, the baby upLULA is a better choice. (Also not part of your problem, just thought I'd mention it.)
 

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I've never had any problems with other calibers of S&B ammo in the past, but I've never used their .380 . I haven't purchased any new ammo from any manufacturer in the last 2 years though.
 

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My friend and shooting companion bought a brand new Smith & Wesson 380 ("Shield", I think) a couple of weeks ago but couldn't find any ammo to test it with. I scrounged through my assets and found 30 rounds of Sig-Sauer branded 115ge FMJ, and about 20-odd others, some JHPs, some FMJ and we were set to go to the range. He also had a new Taurus Tx22 and a brand new Rossi rifle in 22LR. We were set for a range day, and on the way over, just on the off-chance, he stopped in his LGS and they had just got a couple cases of Sellier & Bellot at $19.00/box. This is a stiff price but since he had bought the Taurus and the Rossi from them, they cut price for him to @$17.00 and he bought two boxes. I got out my Kel-Tec P3AT and we were all hyped for an interesting afternoon.

We fired off all my assorted cartridges and popped open his Sellier & Bellot and he found that he could not load the magazine, even using the Lula Loader. "Here! You load the confounded thing!" (I hear this a lot - he has massive case of arthritis in his fingers). He tossed the magazine my way. I tried the Lula and they would not load. I tried the ol' reliable thumb, but they still would not go into the magazine. I took the barrel out of my Kel-Tek for a "plurnk test" and the cartridges would stop over one-eighth of an inch out of battery. The case-walls were straight and true, but just too fat to fully enter the chamber. And we are not about to force the issue.

His local LGS will be his first stop tomorrow morning, to let them see the product and see if they will find him some 380ACP ammo.

And the big question for others on the forum: " Have any of you ever had issues with Sellier & Bellot ammunition being out of spec?" I've fired a few thousand rounds through the years and never had an issue such as this.

I bought a 1000 rounds of S&B .45 ACP a good while ago, and I get failure to feeds in a Glock 30 occasionally...I've never had a problem loading magazines with the cartridges though.

Never used S&B 380.
 

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I'm going to presume that the defect is a result of rushed ammo production attempting to meet demand during the present ammo shortage because although I've personally never shot Sellier & Bellot .380 ACP ammo, I've never heard anyone say that it was a faulty brand of ammunition, and I've seen plenty of folks shooting it on YouTube without issue.
 

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Did you check the cartridge headstamp? It sounds like the S&B was miss marked 9mm rather than .380. A 9mm will chamber but will not allow the breech to close due to the added cartridge length. The 115gr bullet is a common weight for 9mm cartridges and not often used in .380. Due to the price, I wonder if these could have been reloads. If so, the reloader may have failed to set his dies for the proper cartridge length.
Very good point--and I can't remember exactly how S & B 380- ammo is head stamped??
9 MM is pretty much 9 X19 or 9 MM Luger I am pretty sure!
I have shot quite bit of S & B and never had any issue with it, finding it to be very well loaded and above most American ammo velocities.
I know the primer pockets seem to be very snug when seating a primer in them during the reloading operation.
 

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I too have found S&B ammo to be top notch quality. On par with anything. I thought 115gr sounded a little stout for a .380. Actually IIRC my last purchase of .380 was S&B and BTW I would be VERY thankful for $19 a box ANYTHING let alone .380. Hell I am happy to find FMJ .380 at $29.99 per box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Proper headstamp, "380". Proper case length 17 mm. NEW brass, no marks of any kind that would indicate once fired or reloaded. C risp, new boxes showing no signs of ever having been opened before.

Just fat cases, in front of the extractor groove. Definitely over-fat cases.

I think I'll run up to his place Monday with a set of micrometers, height gage, and a portable surface-plate (taking along a SAAMI drawing of the 380 ACP) . Maybe even pull one projectile and weigh it, too. Maybe even drive over to his LGS to do the autopsy.

Oh, the fun we can have since we've been retired.
 

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That is weird. My Bersa Thunders (the only .380 pistols I own) do not like the S&B 92 grain rounds, but they do chamber properly. No problems with their other calibers, though. As an aside, I've never seen 115 grain .380 except for reloads.
 

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I spent $19.00 on Sig 9mm hp at Academy the other day. It's more at other stores.

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I spent $19.00 on Sig 9mm hp at Academy the other day. It's more at other stores.

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If that's a 50 ct box of 9's, that's not bad at all, at today's prices.
 

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Proper headstamp, "380". Proper case length 17 mm. NEW brass, no marks of any kind that would indicate once fired or reloaded. C risp, new boxes showing no signs of ever having been opened before.

Just fat cases, in front of the extractor groove. Definitely over-fat cases.

I think I'll run up to his place Monday with a set of micrometers, height gage, and a portable surface-plate (taking along a SAAMI drawing of the 380 ACP) . Maybe even pull one projectile and weigh it, too. Maybe even drive over to his LGS to do the autopsy.

Oh, the fun we can have since we've been retired.
Could you post a couple pics of the box? (This is not an indication of doubt in what you are saying, just that things make no sense.) As I said before, I'm suspecting counterfeits and would like to see if I can spot clues to that. Product code? UPC? Point of mfg?
Maybe pics of the cartridge, too...
 

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If that's a 50 ct box of 9's, that's not bad at all, at today's prices.
Unfortunately it was for just 20 rounds. Finding any self defense rounds is really hard in my area and can run up to $35.00 at the LGS.


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