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Freedom Munitions 9mm ammunition warning

Discussion in 'Ammunition' started by John A., Jul 15, 2014.

  1. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    13,308
    A little while back, I bought a few cases of (NEW, not reloaded) subsonic 9mm that I had earmarked to shoot specifically through a few of my guns.

    Unfortunately, what I got was 2 cases of junk and I'm out nearly $600 at the moment.

    This post may sounds like I am bashing the manufacturer, however, it is not meant in that manner and I am keeping my personal opinions to myself. But the topic is meant nothing more than to let you educate yourself.

    I have emailed the manufacturer to request a call from a supervisor so I can request refund and to show the obvious defect in their brass that is causing an unsafe condition, but so far, it has fallen on deaf ears.

    My main concern is that you cannot tell from looking at them (at least from the outside) that there is anything different or wrong with them. But there is an obvious ridge/groove that is inside of the brass which in my opinion causes an obvious weak point that does not exist in any other 9mm casing that I know of, and probably with reason.

    Not only does the existence of the groove cause a weak point as evidenced by not one, but two casings one right after another, but also may cause a pressure spike due to the inside area being different diameters.

    I will be the first to say that I am not a trained physicists nor do I have a doctorate degree, but I have been around firearms and ammunition for the biggest part of my life and I have contacted several people who have experience far greater than mine in this subject, and they all have came to the same conclusion about this brass as well.

    Now for the story.

    All was fine with the ammo the first 7 shots that I fired through the carbine. I was on semi auto and firing one shot at a time zero'ing my irons and Eotech.

    Round #8 fired and all seemed fine, however, unbeknownst to me, the casing had entirely split in two and the front half of the casing remained in the chamber and split where the internal groove is, and the rear of it ejected normally.

    Round #9 chambered partially (at least until the bullet seated as far as it could against the remaining brass from round #8) and fired (exploded) out of the side where the groove is, causing an out of battery detonation spewing fire, powder, and everything else everywhere it should not be.

    The bullet from round #9 past through the brass remnant from round #8 that was still in the chamber and became lodged in the barrel bore (squib).

    Here are the photo's of the casing(s)

    Each round had the same internal groove and here are the photo's of the two cases that caused problems and blew up in my face.

    Here is the best photo I can get that shows the groove along the inside of the case. You can see it easily with your eye, but I can't get a better picture of it.

    freedom munitions internal ledge.jpg


    Here are the two bad cases. The brass on the left was round #8 that split (at the internal groove) and the brass on the right was the one that suffered from an out of battery detonation. Notice how both cases are approximately the same height. That's because that is the location of the internal groove.

    freedom munitions oob cases.jpg

    freedom munitions oob cases closeup.jpg

    Here is a photo showing the squib still stuck in the barrel. Note that you can also make out the lodged part of the casing from shot #8 as well

    freedom munitions squib oob.jpg



    After using the rod to drive out the squib, also pushed the split casing from round #8 simultaneously.

    freedom munitions kaboom.jpg



    Here is a photo that I found that shows the internal groove much better than I could take with my camera.

    Coincidentally, the person who took the picture below had exactly the same problems as I had that he detailed in post #34 here: http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloading/288787-ammoload-headstamp-9x19-brass.html

    freedom munition ammoload internal photo.jpg

    Attached Files:

    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  2. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    11,532
    Wow, I've never seen anything like that. Fortunately you noticed before something worse happened.

    Hope you can get it resolved with them, but it's not sounding promising.
  3. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

    Messages:
    3,624
    holy crap.... that's crazy.

    I've shot over 3k of the 9mm 115gr new and reman ammo. Only issues I've had was my shield hates reloads from FM and Summit. All new FM ammo cycles fine in my shield... and both new and reman fires great out of my G19

    I read the S&W Thread.... could it be a carbine related issue with this ammo casing? Looks like the person who had the same issue as you also used it in a PCC.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
    Dinoble1 likes this.
  4. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    13,308
    It was 2 different kinds of carbines.

    If it was an issue with the same gun, or perhaps even the same type of gun, then maybe it could be the gun.

    But the exact same issue with 2 different kind of guns? 2 different places, and 2 different times? There may be more times than that. That's just all I saw with a quick google.

    As for the company, I was able to contact a lady who wants specifics about the incident, requested photos and said they would forward it to their legal department, although I never implied anything about that. I just want my money back so I can replace the ammo from someone else.

    I am still waiting a shipping label though.
    Dinoble1 likes this.
  5. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    21,112
    I'd wager their legal department getting involved from the beginning is a good thing that should work in your favor.

    You've already outlined your terms. Accommodating your request for a full refund is a quick and painless resolution to the matter from a legal standpoint. If there's one thing I've learned from my experience working with lawyers it's that they love avoiding litigation whenever possible. Paying your refund and collecting the faulty product is a way for them to kill two birds with one stone. They'll simultaneously avoid further inquiry into the matter AND recover evidence of their negligence without having to admit any fault for the incident. If they're smart, they'll bend over backward to meet your request...
    ripjack13 likes this.
  6. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    13,308
    My wife overheard me speaking with them on the phone because she was sitting beside me on the couch when I was talking with them and when they mentioned their legal department, she kinda turned and looked at me with a raised eyebrow. After the call, she asked if she heard that correctly and after talking about it a minute, we are both under the assumption that this is probably not the first time they've been contacted about this happening and why they are handling it as they are.

    Again, I'm not trying to cause any waves for the company.

    I just want to wash my hands with them and their product.
  7. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    21,112
    You guys are on the money.

    Dealing with these incidents one at a time as they come is much more cost effective for them than issuing a mass recall or dealing with settling a class action suit...
  8. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    13,308
    Point taken.
  9. mingaa

    mingaa Raconteur Moderator

    Messages:
    2,190
    WOW! Sub sonic so it probably wasn't even close to max pressure. What are they thinking making or using a case designed like that.

    I have a 50 round box of their .223 that I won from an event prize table. Happy to have the brass but - maybe I'll knock one apart for a good look before firing any. It's not 9mm but if QC is down then QC is down!!

    Hope this shakes out well for you and glad that you (and the gun) are okay as well!!!
  10. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

    Messages:
    3,624
    I've fired almost 50 rounds of their new factory 55gr .223 Vmax.... in my bolt MVP with no issues so far.

    I had saved a lot of the brass I shot from FM I'll go check it out when I get back from work...

    In the Reman I've had a case bulge and split in my Shield about 3 weeks ago and some others jammed in the barrel which required me to pound it out with a rod. Same thing happened with Summit so I suppose my Shield has tight barrel tolerances because the same box was flawless in the G19.
  11. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    13,308
    Thank you Mingaa. Obviously, I am glad that I am OK too. And the gun as well AND the suppressor. Especially considering that it happened in my registered machinegun. Had the selector been on the auto setting when this happened, the odds that myself and the gun would've been toast increased substantially. I could easily see this could've turned catastrophic under those circumstances.

    Luckily, I was sighting the irons and the Eotech in, and thus in SEMI when it happened.

    I guess I just don't know how lucky I really was. God was surely watching over me that time. Had it waited another 3 or 4 shots before it happened, it would've been in auto.

    @Water Monkey, do you mean the brass got stuck in your chamber? Or the bullets got stuck in the barrel (squib)? Either way, that doesn't sound good either.

    While some chambers are inherently tighter than others by design, having to drive out split brass and squibs on a regular occasion is virtually unheard of.
    mingaa likes this.
  12. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

    Messages:
    3,624
    With the remanufactured ammo for both Summit and FM.... spent casing was lodged in the barrel and the extractor couldn't pull it out. No squib. But that's only for the shield 9mm. G19 has had zero issues with the same box and same ammo. I then switched to the factory new ammo and have been shooting the reman out of the G19 to get rid of it.

    I took my Shield out a few weeks ago for some practice because I was using it in another 8 hour advanced pistol course and mistakenly took a box of the reman with me. Tapped out 2 spent casings one of which were split. Other was bulged.

    With factory new ammo for FM I have never had an issue.
  13. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Thanks for the heads up John...glad you're OK !
  14. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    13,308
    Took the subgun out this evening to test it out after complete takedown and inspection from the previous ammo failures.

    Didn't have any kabooms, squibs, or out of battery detonations with the Georgia Arms ammo, although I didn't think I would.

    I put over 100 rounds through her in not much more than a minute. The gun took it in stride and asked for more.

    The new MKII upper is really sweet. The rate of fire is faster than the 1st generation and comparable to the venerable MP5, so the muzzle rise was a little more than it is with the MK1 (which is about the rate of fire as the uzi), but with some more time behind it, I'll settle in with it better, but I enjoyed my first time behind the new upper with the giggle switch flipped :)

  15. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    21,112
    Glad you were able to give it a good run after that last ammo fiasco. Sure looks like a LOT of fun...
  16. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    13,308
    The Freedom Munitions ammo is somewhere between here and Lewiston Idaho. No more of that stuff for me thanks. I already have "some" GA Arms ammo incoming as I type this.

    I had one failure to feed early on with the GA Arms (which I didn't edit out from the first mag), but I expected as much considering it's not broke in good yet. I didn't lube it prior to taking it out so the parts would wear in well together.

    I enjoy shooting it. Pulling doubles is still pretty easy with it, despite the higher ROF with the gen 2 upper. I was even able to pull a few singles out of the air every now and then.

    I couldn't make out the torso shape on the cardboard backing very well though. I was mostly guessing where the head was due to the thin line the sharpy marker made. The gong was a lot easier to make out due to the contrasting colors.

    Maybe next time I take the gun out, I'll cut the silhouette out of the cardboard backer, rather than just drawing a line with a marker. I should've known better than that anyway, I was just in a hurry to get out there for a few minutes.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  17. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    I'd have been in a hurry too!
  18. GEARCHECKER

    GEARCHECKER .410

    Messages:
    65
    John,
    You should also contact the Consumers Product Safety Commission. Let them know there's been a problem. Let them, and FA decide if a recall is appropriate. E-mail your photos and the info you've posted here to the CPSC to get their attention. If the CPSC gets involved, FA won't be able to slip this under the rug and pretend it never happened. If nothing else, they'll have to explain what happened, and how they're going to resolve this situation if it happens to somebody else in the future

    Do you know if FA makes their own brass, or do they buy it from an outsource? That will have a huge impact on how FA will handle it as well.
  19. Water Monkey

    Water Monkey The man, the myth, the monkey Moderator Supporter

    Messages:
    3,624
    I believe FM outsources their "new" brass. Ammoload
  20. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    13,308
    @GEARCHECKER I have no idea whether they make their own brass or not. This was actually my first purchase from them.

    I will say that nothing about this order went well though.

    I ordered 2k rounds and they were showing in stock when I ordered it and a little disclaimer on their webpage about a 4 day lead time before shipping.

    It was almost a full 2 weeks before they finally shipped HALF of my order, which was lost an extra 4 days past the ETA delivery time and when I called them to let them know only half of the order showed up, it took about 8 days or so before the remaining 1000 rounds was delivered.

    It was one big hassle after another, and then their ammo blew up in my gun, was more than enough for me to not want to do business with them again. Whether anyone else does or not isn't for me to say. I just want my money back because I'm through with them.

    Everyone whom I have spoken with that has knowledge about 9mm ammunition has clearly seen how and why this happened. And everyone I have spoken to has pointed directly to the brass they used being the culprit.

    But in the back of my head, I know that someone somewhere purchased this brass, loaded this brass, and shipped this brass, so even if freedom munitions isn't responsible for the brass itself, their name is still on the box and they're still liable for it.

    But I just want my money back.
    GEARCHECKER likes this.

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