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$11.22 in misfires, or a review of True Velocity polymer case ammunition. Login/Join 
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted
A relatively new development is ammunition with a steel case head and polymer case body offered by the True Velocity company. I had previously seen reviews of a few cartridges sold as basically collectors’ items in special packaging, but a few days ago I noticed that MidwayUSA had a 308 Winchester load with 165 grain Nosler AccuBond bullet for sale.

I’ll put the link below, but with a warning that its price for 20 rounds may give some readers heart palpitations. Yes, it’s hideously expensive, and that’s the basis for the figure cited in the title of this thread. Why did I pay that much? Inquiring minds like to know, and I was particularly curious about something that could become a revolution in how ammunition is made.

All that being out of the way, I decided to post a review for those who might also be curious about the ammo, but are also understandably unwilling to actually purchase any of the stuff.

The test today consisted of shooting two five-round groups of the TV ammunition from a Tikka T3x TAC A1 rifle in an effort to shoot groups that were as small as possible. The weather for the session could not have been better. My bench was set up in the shade, the temperature was about 46°, and being relatively early in the day, the wind was calm. I have a very sturdy portable bench and I used a heavy rest for all shots. The target was set at a rangefinder-measured 100 yards.

As controls before shooting the TV groups, I first fouled the bore with three shots of Federal AE308D 150 grain FMJ, and then fired seven rounds of Federal 168 grain Gold Medal Match. I haven’t had any “cold bore” problems with this gun, but wanted to eliminate any possibilities. Because I forgot that an adjustment had to be made when not using my suppressor, the first two GMM shots nearly missed the paper, but the two holes touched. After adjusting the sight I fired one five-round group that’s pictured on the left below. That precision is typical of this rifle, and is often what I can expect with appropriate ammunition such as the GMM and Hornady match loads. It measured 0.462 inch center to center, or ~0.44 minute of angle.





The two groups at the center and right were then fired with the True Velocity ammunition. The left group measures 1.232" CTC or 1.18 MOA; the right group 0.504", 0.48 MOA. The right group would be very satisfactory for factory ammunition, but the left (center) group is mediocre for today’s ammunition and rifles.
Why the groups differ so much, I don’t know. Four shots were fired in each group, then breaks, and finally a fifth shot for each. Why that regimen? Because of the 13 rounds I attempted to fire, three failed to fire even after three attempts each. Because with tax each round cost me $3.74, the three failures were the basis for my thread title. And no, I have not had any other light strike misfires with this rifle in the ~250 rounds I’ve fired it with various types of ammunition. And yes, the firing pin/bolt assembly were disassembled and cleaned after the gun’s purchase.

One odd thing I noted about two of the misfires was that the front of the bullets became discolored when chambered and then ejected. The discoloration almost looks like it was caused by excessive heat, but I didn’t shoot enough rounds rapidly enough to raise the chamber temperature to any significant degree. I did check, and none of the unfired rounds had that discoloration. And as also pictured, one of the misfire cartridges didn’t show the bullet discoloration.








The primers pictured are, left to right, failure to fire, fired, unfired. Although it may not be too obvious in the photo, the fired primer was flattened very noticeably, and I consider that to be a high pressure sign. It may not be excessive, but most other factory load primers I’ve examined are not flattened to that degree. The steel case head obviously contains whatever chamber pressure is developed by the rounds, but I do have questions about rearward force on the bolt lugs.





One of the many firearms safety rules shooters should be aware of is the traditional advice to keep oil or other lube off the cartridge cases and out of the chamber, especially of high powered rifles. When a cartridge with metal case fires, the case expands, briefly adheres to the chamber wall, and then contracts for extraction. That adherence of the case to the chamber reduces the rearward force on the rifle bolt, but if oil or lube is present, the adherence is less and force on the bolt is increased. Because I suspect that the polymer of the case does not adhere to the chamber wall the same way as brass or steel, what does that mean for the gun if high powered ammunition is being fired?

So, that’s my review. If anyone has other information about or experiences with the True Velocity ammunition, please post them here.

MidwayUSA link:
https://www.midwayusa.com/prod...024290388?pid=854493




7/93
 
Posts: 46083 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Discoloring because polymer does not act as a heat sink?


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Posts: 14616 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by RichardC:
Discoloring because polymer does not act as a heat sink?

Possibly. But why two and not all three, and why at the front of the bullet and not farther back where it’s closer to the barrel are puzzlers. You do bring up a point that I’ve seen some other discussion about: Will the lack of heat absorption by the cartridge case result in the barrel heating up to a detrimental degree?

A question that occurred to me about the misfires was whether the length of the case could have an effect. I checked the TV cases with a headspace gage and they seemed to be very slightly shorter than the Federal cases. It seems unlikely that the difference could have affected the ignition, plus the case is held against the bolt face by the extractor, but …?

And I hope this effort succeeds despite what it would mean for reloaders. It would be good to get away from the need for all metal cases, especially brass.




7/93
 
Posts: 46083 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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I checked the True Velocity site again and under the “Safety” page is a link to a video about light strikes. After pointing out that the plastic case isn’t rigid like metal and therefore absorbs some of the firing pin striking force, then, “It’s probably your gun that’s defective.” (Paraphrasing of course.)

https://www.tvammo.com/new-page-1




7/93
 
Posts: 46083 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
“It’s probably your gun that’s defective.”
Sure. What else could it be? Roll Eyes


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NRA Life Member, Rifle & Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer

“A man’s treatment of a dog is no indication of the man’s nature, but his treatment of a cat is. It is the crucial test. None but the humane treat a cat well.”
-- Mark Twain, 1902
 
Posts: 8413 | Location: Northern Virginia | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I swear I had
something for this
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I know this is a sample of one, but I’m glad the Army went with Sig on their NGSW project. It looks a lot like if you don’t have a gun that smacks the bejeesus out of the primer, you risk a FTF. You’d also think with all the weight savings and being a polymer case instead of brass that prices would be better.

To me, it’s not ready for prime time and on the avoid list. Thanks.
 
Posts: 3206 | Location: Kansas City, MO | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
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quote:
Originally posted by DanH:
To me, it’s not ready for prime time and on the avoid list. Thanks.


Me too, except I want a handful of empty .223/5.56 cases to play with.
 
Posts: 9909 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of 229DAK
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quote:
Originally posted by DanH:
I know this is a sample of one, but I’m glad the Army went with Sig on their NGSW project. It looks a lot like if you don’t have a gun that smacks the bejeesus out of the primer, you risk a FTF. You’d also think with all the weight savings and being a polymer case instead of brass that prices would be better.

To me, it’s not ready for prime time and on the avoid list. Thanks.
Dan, you are spot on. Polymer ammo is still in its infancy and the risk was too great for the Army and DOD.


_________________________________________________________________________
NRA Life Member, Rifle & Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer

“A man’s treatment of a dog is no indication of the man’s nature, but his treatment of a cat is. It is the crucial test. None but the humane treat a cat well.”
-- Mark Twain, 1902
 
Posts: 8413 | Location: Northern Virginia | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have not seen or handled polymer cases yet. I'm curious about how much neck tension there is to hold the bullet.
 
Posts: 32 | Registered: July 11, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
It's pronounced just
the way it's spelled
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If I were to manufacture polymer cased rounds, I think I would use an adhesive that would melt, burn or vaporize instead of trying to tension the neck.
 
Posts: 1351 | Location: Arid Zone A | Registered: February 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RichardC:
Discoloring because polymer does not act as a heat sink?


One of the fatal flaws of polymer based ammunition; nothing to draw the heat from the chamber.

With that said, either OP didn’t notice the round originally and it is an artifact from the manufacture of said projectile, or there’s some really weird poop going on.

It takes a pretty solid, high temperature to discolor metals like the one in the pic.
 
Posts: 804 | Location: NE Pennsylvania | Registered: December 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Uppity Helot
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I checked the True Velocity site again and under the “Safety” page is a link to a video about light strikes. After pointing out that the plastic case isn’t rigid like metal and therefore absorbs some of the firing pin striking force, then, “It’s probably your gun that’s defective.” (Paraphrasing of course.)

https://www.tvammo.com/new-page-1


I have hardly a speck of mechanical aptitude and I too wondered if the polymer case lacking the rigidity of a metal case wouldn’t absorb some of the firing pin strike. The misfired case looks like it had a pretty light firing pin indent. Kind of disappointing that those with more of a mechanical background (the manufacturer) did not foresee this as a bigger problem. A lame disclaimer is of no consolation if the cartridge misfires when you are trying to harvest game.
 
Posts: 2766 | Location: Manheim, PA | Registered: September 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
Picture of Flash-LB
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quote:
Originally posted by divil:
A lame disclaimer is of no consolation if the cartridge misfires when you are trying to harvest game.


It's of no consolation if you're trying to defend your life either.
 
Posts: 9909 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Three Nails To Protect Us
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So what is the point?
Seems ridiculously expensive and well not very reliable.


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I think that when those dark voices start calling our name in the back of our head we need to remind those voices who we belong to!
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Posts: 24108 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
Picture of Flash-LB
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Black92LX:
So what is the point?
Seems ridiculously expensive and well not very reliable.


The point was to build reliable polymer cased ammo for the military so they could carry more rounds for the same amount of weight. If you could do that, you'd make a fortune.

Unfortunately, it isn't ready for prime time.
 
Posts: 9909 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Let us keep in mind that my experience was a small sample of one particular cartridge and load, and it would be a mistake to assume that what’s posted here demonstrates anything else. FWIW, the company reportedly has much experience with the ammunition being used reliably in military weapons.




7/93
 
Posts: 46083 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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