Friday morning I had a first: my first misfire with a factory hunting load in 35 years in the field. Since I recently raved about HeviMetal, it’s only fair to mention it was a HeviMetal primer that didn’t go off. In fact, it didn’t go off twice, although the second time was my fault. Because I have never had a dud in the field, it didn’t even occur to me that the primer was the problem. I figured it was my gun. So, I put the shell back in the chamber and about five minutes later a greenhead came into the decoys and my gun went “click” again.

This time I looked at the primer and saw that it was deeply dented. I tried shooting it in the air to see if the third time would be a charm. It wasn’t it. The shell was clearly a dud. I tossed the shell into a decoy bag to be retired. Fortunately there were more ducks and even a flock of geese in the decoys the other morning, and my remaining HeviMetal shells all went bang.

As I said, that was my first dud factory load ever. Either I am lucky, or factory ammo really is that reliable. I have reloaded shells with bad primers, but factory ammo has always gone off for me. To get a wider sample, let me ask all of you: ever had a dud factory shotshell?

Light primer strikes don’t count. That’s a gun problem. I have had three light primer strikes in the field: two with new guns that still had too much grease and oil on the firing pins (always a good idea to put a drop of BreakFree onto the firing pin of a new gun) and one last winter when it was very cold and snow got into the chamber of my gun, freezing everything up.

So, who else has had a dud round in the field?