The NRA has banned the use of a certain batch of RWS target ammunition while it investigates an usually high number of blown primers.
The batch in question – RWS .308″ Win batch number 261919 – is found in bright blue boxes. Competitive TR shooters will recall similar boxes containing ammunition from non-affected batches were issued by the NRA until last year’s Imperial Meeting, after which RUAG lost the ammo supply contract.
The affected batch has now also been found packaged in boxes marked “RWS Target Elite Ammunition .308 Win. 154gr”. A picture from the NRA illustrates the second packaging, with the batch key identifier being stamped into the lid of the box:
The NRA’s official warning states that while its investigation with RUAG into the blown primers is ongoing:
…in the interim the use of RWS Target Elite Ammunition .308 Win. 154gr marked with batch number 261919 at Bisley and in all NRA-sponsored competitions is prohibited in any rifle that is not fully compliant with CIP Regulations.
The statement further warns shooters that Target Rifles which bear 7.62mm NATO or .308″ Win proof marks may not comply with the CIP’s permitted chamber dimensions. This dates back to a dispensation memorandum issued by a British proof house some years ago permitting the reduction of certain chamber dimensions by a specified amount, which was adopted as the standard 7.62mm/.308″ TR chambering. New barrels bear a prominent “non standard” mark in addition to the proof mark, but older barrels may not have this warning.
It appears that the NRA has discovered the ammunition batch they returned to RUAG in 2013 has been returned to the market in different packaging. UKSN contacted RUAG and they responded with a full statement.
UKSN thinks the safest course of action is simply not to use RUAG/RWS batch 261919 until further notice. Check your ammo stocks carefully.