On February 23, 2014 I was at Okeechobee Shooting Sports (where I work) along with a few members and friends enjoying a game of 5-stand. I was also there to help a friend get his wife — who happens to be terrified of guns — comfortable and interested in shooting. I had grabbed a flat of Rio 12 gauge 1-1/8 #8 off the sales floor. During the outing, a shell exploded in the Fausti Caledon I was shooting. The bang was loud enough that shooters from the two neighboring fields came over to see what happened. I was literally stunned for about five minutes. My right ear went almost deaf for 30 minutes or so and was pretty sensitive to loud noises for a month . . .
The shotgun was completely destroyed and fragments impacted the shooter as others tore a hole through the metal roof of the shooting station. This catastrophic explosion is far greater than anything we’ve seen in over 50 years of gunsmithing experience.
As you might expect, my friend’s wife may never get near a firearm again. We notified Rio Ammunition of the issue and sent them the remaining flat of shells along with photos of the shotgun. A month or so passed with no response when an explosion at the Rio plant in Tennessee happened causing the tragic death of an employee. Many more months pass with no response despite our efforts to reach out to them for any kind of communication.
We finally threatened to seek other remedies. Ten minutes later, Patrick from Rio called stating he would take care of it. He made several calls that month promising compensation to cover the destroyed shotgun, but still nothing.
It’s one thing to say “No, we aren’t going to reimburse you,” but it’s a totally different story to tell us, “Yeah, we will take care of you,” and then ignore our calls. Many of you in the shotgun sports have firearms that cost far more than ours. You would probably be irate if your Kriegoff of Perazzi was destroyed and not replaced by the ammo manufacturer. I caution everyone to think twice before using Rio Ammo due to the threat of personal injury or loss of your firearm.
This originally was posted at shotgunworld.com and appears here with permission.