Hinkey Federal .40 S&W round

Hinkey RoundI was enjoying an IDPA match at the Durham County Wildlife Club this past Tuesday evening and, aside from it being pretty cold, I had a great time. Except at the end of the fourth stage.

I was almost through my first mag when I experienced a failure-to-fire. The round had fed properly and the slide appeared to be fully closed, but all I got when I squeezed the trigger on my Glock 23 was… nothing. No click. Just… nothing. I racked the slide again to eject the unfired round and I was able to finish the stage, but it cost me at least 2 seconds, perhaps more.

After retrieving my ejected round, I noticed it looked a bit odd. Comparing it to another round, I discovered the rear of the case hadn’t been trimmed properly. It was a few millimeters too long, as you can clearly see in the photo I’ve posted here. My guess is that it prevented the slide from fully engaging. This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this, and talking with a few other shooters at the match, this was the first time they had seen anything like this either. Cool!

I’ve sent the questionable round to Federal’s service department to see what they have to say. Hopefully they’ll make things right. The delay ended up costing me first place in the Novice class. What did I learn from this? First, that even quality factory ammo shouldn’t be relied upon to function flawlessly every time. Malfunctions will occur. Practice for them. Second, that every malfunction is different. I’ve practiced my failure-to-feed drill pretty consistently, but running into a situation where the slide closed and the trigger didn’t even click was something I just wasn’t expecting. Instead of treating it like any other failure, I let my surprise delay me from taking action.

Final note: I’ve been extremely happy with Federal ammo thus far and would be surprised if they don’t make this right for me. This post wasn’t intended to criticize their company in any way, it was just a fascinating occurrence that I thought might interest others as well. Has anyone else seen a factory round that was too long like this?

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