BREAKING: Winchester Recalls Lots Of .22 Long Rifle Ammo

Image courtesy Bud's Gun Shop

If you were one of the lucky few guys who found any .22 long rifle on the shelves in the last thirteen months, Winchester needs you to check your stockpile. It turns out they double-charged two lots of their M22 plinking/target ammo, and these accidental .22 Super-Duper Magnums can blow your gun up and ruin your chiseled, movie-star good looks. Make the jump for the recall details . . .

From Winchester’s Recall Page:

1/28/2014

Olin Corporation, through its Winchester Division, is recalling two (2) lots of M*22™ 22 Long Rifle 40 Grain Black Copper Plated Round Nose rimfire ammunition.

Symbol Number: S22LRT
Lot Numbers: GD42L and GD52L

Winchester has determined the above lots of 22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition may contain double powder charges. Ammunition with double powder charges may subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury and/or death, or cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable.

DO NOT USE WINCHESTER® M*22™ 22 Long Rifle RIMFIRE AMMUNITION WITH LOT NUMBERS GD42L or GD52L. The ammunition Lot Number is imprinted (stamped without ink) on the left tuck flap of the 500-round carton as indicated here. The 1000-round intermediate carton does not have a Lot Number.

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the Symbol Number and Lot Number. If it is Symbol Number S22LRT with a Lot Number containing GD42L or GD52L immediately discontinue use and contact Winchester toll-free at 866-423-5224 or visithttp://www.winchester.com/Product-Service/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx for free UPS pick-up of the recalled ammunition.

This notice applies only to Symbol Number S22LRT with Lot Numbers GD42L and GD52L. Other Symbol Numbers or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall.

If you have any questions concerning this 22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition recall please call toll-free 866-423-5224, write to Winchester (600 Powder Mill Road, East Alton, IL 62024 Attn: S22LRT Recall), or contact Winchester Customer Support online.

We apologize for this inconvenience.

Inconvenience? INCONVENIENCE??? Does Winchester really appreciate how hard it’s been to find any .22 long rifle ammo in the last year? This recall notice doesn’t even promise to promptly replace the defective ammo; I’m sure they’ll win plenty of customer loyalty with that.

There have been rumors that ammo QC has been slipping over the last year. This is the first concrete example I’m aware of, showing the risks that manufacturers are running by pushing their production lines 24/7 and training up entire shifts of inexperienced employees.

This risk to shooters is aggravated in this instance, because M22 ammo was specifically designed to be used in AR-style semiautomatic .22s. A bolt-action or break-open .22 probably wouldn’t give a rat’s ass how much powder Winchester stuffed into a .22 long rifle case: it would rupture the case and maybe spit some hot gasses out of the breach but otherwise survive without damage. But a straight-blowback semiautomatic .22 could experience catastrophic internal damage as the still-burning cartridge blasted the bolt rearwards and continued to cook itself off while being ejected from the gun.

This miserable story is a reminder that even the lowly .22 rimfire still demands eye and ear protection. A ruptured .22 long rifle is damned unlikely to kill you, but escaping combustion gasses and case fragments can ruin your vision if you’re not protected.

Shoot safe. Always.