Hornady Recalls Some Critical Duty 9mm Ammo


Hornady’s announced a recall of one lot of their 9mm Critical Duty 135gr +P ammo. This isn’t a huge recall and probably won’t affect a large number of buyers, but given that this is personal defense ammunition, it’s worth checking your inventory. Here’s the notice posted at Hornady’s site: “Hornady Mfg Company ballisticians have determined that some cartridges from Lot # 3141635 may exhibit light or no powder charges. Use of this product may result in firearm damage and or personal injury. If you own this Lot # or have any questions regarding this recall, please call 800-338-1242. Hornady Mfg Company will make all arrangements associated with this return and replacement of the product.”  [h/t ShootingTheBull410]


  1. avatar Steve in MD says:

    Went to check, then realized I don’t use the +P version.

    1. avatar Electric Lady says:

      + 1

  2. avatar ST says:

    Definitely a smart move making the announcement. A squib load followed by a +P round mid-gunfight is the stuff of gun ninja nightmares.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    The only injury would be pulling the trigger on a bad guy and NOTHING happens. Wouldn’t it just be a snapcap? BTW is this the result of ramping up production to meet demand?

    1. avatar Menger40 says:

      The possibility of a light powder charge is much more dangerous than no powder charge. A light powder charge can leave you with a bullet lodged in your barrel. A followup shot with a plugged barrel could do some serious damage to your handgun.

    2. avatar Layne says:

      The primer alone can lodge a bullet in the barrel with no powder at all.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Confirmed. I did that with a revolver, many years (a couple of decades?) ago.

    3. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Not true. Depending on powder, it is known that a REDUCED powder charge can actually cause a pressure spike that exceeds the rating of the gun and can cause varying degrees of damage to gun/shooter. This sounds counter-intuitive at first but is well-documented, with a reasonable sounding explanation. It generally occurs with slower burning powders, and when a small enough charge is used that when placed on it side (as would be oriented most times during firing) the powder level is below the center-line of the cartridge where the primer is located. The general consensus is that when the primer detonates, it creates enough pressure to unseat the bullet from the case neck and push it into the rifling. However, if the powder takes long enough to begin deflagrating (slow burning powder, not directly ignited by primer) the bullet can stop in the rifling. Since the rifling holds the bullet much tighter than the case neck does, once the powder DOES begin to burn, the pressure builds much higher than usually before the bullet begins to move (if the receiver doesn’t let go first). so to sum up, having a significantly reduced powder charge can actually be pretty dangerous, depending on case capacity and powder selection.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Although I have heard of the effect you describe, it is my understanding that it happens only in cartridge cases with a fairly large powder capacity, such as the .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and larger (.44/.45) revolver cases. I have never heard of it occurring with a 9mm, .380, or other small-powder-capacity case.

        Due you have any specific info to the contrary? References would be nice; my education is ongoing, and I like to read-up on matters such as these.

  4. avatar Dark says:

    Squibs galore from low charge rounds. Good move Hornady.

  5. avatar Scrubula says:

    Hey, at least they recalled the small batch rather than letting people experience it for themselves.
    I assume they will be shipping a new box to anyone with the recalled ammo…

  6. avatar hh says:

    Oh man. I guess this teaches me the lesson that I need to keep my boxes. I loaded it up into a couple of magazines and tossed them when I was done. I guess I should also replace it without firing, to be safe?

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      Use it at the range.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        If you do, shoot it slowly (or in one-shot drills) at a close-range target, making sure you see a bullet hole appear in the target for each shot. If no hole appears then stop shooting, clear weapon, check bore for obstructions before firing again.

        1. avatar Steve in MD says:

          ^ This.

      2. avatar Shane says:

        Dispose of it safely, if there’s any chance that you got some of the defective batch. Why take any chance at all when the consequences could be so dire? I know I would rather lose the cost of a couple boxes than damage my carry piece or my person.

    2. avatar Corey says:

      I’d get a very accurate digital scale and weigh a known good lot bullet and compare with the ones you have. Don’t want your gun to go BOOM.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    If 9mm+P has “light or no powder charges,” wouldn’t that make it 9mmP?

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      For the light-charge, I’d say yes.

      For those with no powder, it would be a 9mm no-P (no powder or no pressure; your choice). Technically (as pointed out by Layne, above), the primer would give it SOME initial thrust, but not enough to make it do any productive work.

      1. avatar John L. says:

        The ammo that keeps your undies dry in a DGU?

        1. avatar DJ9 says:

          Only until your own blood (released by the effects of the unsuccessful DGU) drips/trickles down to the waistband…

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          You can only call it “no-P” if it causes massive swelling of the prostate.

    2. avatar John L. says:

      Or 9mm-Pbar.

      (Not to be confused with antimatter rounds…)

      1. avatar Heathen says:

        Antimatter rounds FTW, for bringing on TEOTWAWKI !

  8. avatar NDS says:

    Nothing like reading this at work, knowing the G19 on your hip has these exact rounds but not knowing the lot number until getting home.

    At least there is an AR at my desk and a backup XD-S in the car for the ride home, but disconcerting nonetheless.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      AR at your desk?

      Either the military, or an unrealistically awesome civilian working environment.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Maybe it’s an AR pistol. Tell us NDS, what is that thing you got stashed at your desk?

        1. avatar NDS says:

          It’s a pretty standard 14.5″ 556 carbine. “At my desk” is more like “leaning against the filing cabinet right next to me”. My office is highly secure and on private property which I am responsible for.

          This being St. Louis, the rifle is somewhat prudent, but hopefully unnecessary.

  9. avatar DJ9 says:


    From the Hornady link:

    “This lot was shipped between the dates of 6-5-14 and 7-16-14.”

    So, unless you bought the ammo fairly recently, you should be good to go. Feel better?

    1. avatar NDS says:

      Yes! This batch is 3-4 months old. Thanks DJ.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Glad I could help. I agree that being in that situation would suck.

    2. avatar Shea Grubbs says:

      Whew. Yes. I feel MUCH better. Thank you. Was “sweating bullets”(hardy har), as I already disposed of the box for mine, a while back. Thanks again.

  10. avatar John Thomas says:

    i bought some critical defense 115 gr. in that time frame. ill keep paying attention and see if any additional recalls come out.

  11. Sub 50 round boxes of pistol ammo is for CHUMPS. Friends don’t let friends buy this BS. Cops get their duty ammo in 50 round boxes and thanks to the internet (and a VERY few good local shops) I do too. We should all boycott 20 & 25 round boxes of SD handgun ammo. I’m pretty sure this will seal off several popular hollow-points in certain brands but Federal HST and Gold Dots are both readily available in 50 round “LEO marked” boxes…just not at Gander Mountain or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

  12. And now I see that Critical Duty IS available in 50 round boxes. See here:


    So sorry for that rant!

  13. avatar freakshowSMVM says:

    When I first read this yesterday…looked at a pic of the box I had loaded in my gun(which for some reason I started doing for this very possibility)

    Sure enough….recall lot

    Glad I had my lcp with me too, allowed a quick switcheroo

  14. avatar archangel187 says:

    So, this is a Critical Doodie (low-hanging fruit, don’t judge me)? Shit could get very real. Props to Hornady for telling people about it instead of hoping either no one notices or that the customer blame the kaboom on the plastic gun.

  15. avatar ThunderbirdSport302 says:

    ^the critical “doodie here is thinking that guns with plastic are the only ones that KaBoom.

    (then again, all my steel guns are safe, right? hmmm….last I knew, my poly framed guns had..gasp..steel barrels. just sayin’..)

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