I’m seen out-of-spec ammunition over the years, but never something like this.

After a morning spent testing one of the sweetest AR-pattern rifles I’ve fired to date (more on that later), my shooting partner and I were helping his sister learn to shoot controlled pairs, when we noticed that the second round of one of the two-shot pairs sounded just a little “off.” There was a confirmed strike and no muzzle obstruction, so she kept shooting.

It wasn’t until we were packing up and she was policing up brass that she found this curiosity.


In retrospect, it’s obvious why the one shot sounded off.

It didn’t have a full powder charge, thanks to the brass shell casing fragment ¬†lodged in the cartridge case, presumably when it was formed. We could not dislodge the casing fragment trapped within the cartridge case from this commercial 55-grain factory loading.

It will be interesting to see what the manufacturer has to say about this.