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Thread: Bullets - same part number but different shape

  1. #1
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    Default Bullets - same part number but different shape

    Warning: I'm going to go on a bit of a rant.

    On the weekend I noticed that I only had 6 rounds of my favorite handload recipe for the upcoming deer season. This should be more than enough, but not wanting to be stuck without ammo at a crucial moment, I decided to quickly put together some handloads. No problem, I thought. I have all the specs for my load, I have the components, I just need to slap them all together. So I spend a couple of hours and assemble the ammo. Once I finished, I noticed that the powder didn't have any space to move around in the case, which I don't remember from the previous rounds I put together with this recipe. I thought that maybe this was because I full length sized the cases this time (some had been fired in a different rifle), but I could not believe that this would have such an effect on the case volume. So I took the old rounds out and compared them to the new rounds. Immediately I noticed that the bullets were visibly different. The ogive shape is different, the tip is more blunt, and it looks like there is a smaller bearing surface on the new bullets. This results in a longer jump to the lands, less free volume in the case (for the same COL) and will give different ballistics. This is using the same part number, but the bullets I used this time were from a new box I purchased within the last year, whereas the previous rounds were assembled 4 years ago. In the 3 years in between, Hornady redesigned the shape of the bullets, but they kept the same part number.

    I find this extremely irritating. In my case, it shouldn't be a safety issue, but I would be very surprised if the two batches group together, which would be an issue for long shots. I will likely now have to re-work the load that I had spent a lot of time and a fair amount of money perfecting. I mean, it's one thing if the company discontinues a bullet, but to keep the same part number on a bullet that is visibly different is wrong. The least they should do is include some sort of revision number (V2.0). Now I understand why some people by components in huge batches! Maybe I'll take the opportunity to switch to a tougher bullet like a Nosler Partition. A huge batch of those is going to hurt the wallet though.

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  3. #2
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    It's not very wise for a company to make a revision to a product without updating or amending the part number, perhaps you received a mis-labelled batch? I work for a large Diesel engine manufacturer and any changes to a part = new part number. No matter how minuscule the change, we always supersede to a new number

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by anfield21 View Post
    It's not very wise for a company to make a revision to a product without updating or amending the part number, perhaps you received a mis-labelled batch? I work for a large Diesel engine manufacturer and any changes to a part = new part number. No matter how minuscule the change, we always supersede to a new number
    Uh...good point. They were both Boat-Tail Spire Points, but hopefully they are the same weight because that could be a serious problem. I will weigh a bullet tonight.

  5. #4
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    Don't you just hate having to go to the range to test out ammo...

    Having worked in a profession called 'Configuration Management' ....that is a No-No....a change requires a new part number. I would have thought would be even more important with a Ammunition manufacture. Worthy Rant !!
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

  6. #5
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    The old bullets were discontinued, likely before you bought them off the shelf.

    Couple years later, new designed bullets are released but use same part number.

    Not a good practice but it's been done with more then just bullets.
    Take the warning labels off. Darwin will solve the problem.

  7. #6
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    I remember when they were discontinued, but I figured that was due to the ammo shortages - they were concentrating on highest demand bullets. I guess they were actually redesigning it. They should have brought it back with a different part number. Imagine if autoparts suppliers did it this way - with the same part number for a part that is different.

  8. #7
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    I am going to look really hard at the bullets I have from now on, I have some old 200gr Partitions, the plan was to build a load and get new when I need them, may not happen as nicely as I had hoped.

  9. #8
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    I weighed a bullet from the new batch last night. It is the same weight as the previous batch, so at least I don't have to pull them.

    Fox, I'm relatively new to handloading, so I naively thought that a load developed with a certain bullet (same part number) would be good forever. That appears to not be the case. Like I said, now I understand why some handloaders buy powders by the tens of pounds and bullets by the thousands. When you spend a lot of time and effort to develop a load, you want to make sure you can use it for a long time to come.

    Anyway, until I shoot these two batches, this whole discussion could be moot. Maybe the difference wont show up until beyond 3-400 yards, which is farther than I plan to shoot at a deer.
    Last edited by rf2; October 19th, 2018 at 09:24 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #9
    Apprentice

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    I would call Hornady & discuss this seriously.... Any re-design affecting Fit/Form/Function is a major change, and must automatically result in a P/N roll.
    “Think safety first and then have a good hunt.”
    - Tom Knapp -

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by G.S. View Post
    I would call Hornady & discuss this seriously.... Any re-design affecting Fit/Form/Function is a major change, and must automatically result in a P/N roll.
    I understand what you are saying, but I'll wait to see the results (on paper) so that I have a complete picture. Maybe it doesn't affect the Fit/Form/Function for 95% of the users who use this hunting bullet to shoot game at short distances.

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