the replacement arrived. Good timing, because I was planning on hitting the range today. Brand-new rifle, gave it a look-over and headed out. Didn't have a lot of time, did try it with the following:
Remington Golden Bullet bulk-pack
Federal 36-gr hollowpoint bulk-pack
Federal Auto Match
Winchester 36-gr hollowpoint bulk-pack
I wasn't expecting perfection(wishing for, but...) out of a brand-new semi-auto, as many seem to need a break-in period besides finding what ammo it likes and doesn't. It didn't care much for the Auto Match, but the only real problem was with the Remington; and I strongly suspect the problem there is the ammo. Remington quality control seems to have gone to hell, at least on this stuff, very inconsistent in power: some was very light, some seemed very hot*. And a few rounds just didn't want to chamber. I looked those over closely, no sign of dings or whatever from feeding, just very tight in the chamber even though everything else slid right in.
There's the possibility the Auto Match trouble was from the magazine, that one's been iffy on other stuff. And I know it's that one because I took Tam's advice and numbered almost every magazine I own. Didn't have any more of that ammo with me, so next time I'll try this stuff in a different mag just to be sure.
So about 200 rounds downrange. It ate the Federal Champion, Fed hollowpoints and Eley without a hiccup**. The Winchester seemed a touch light, there were a couple of rounds that didn't quite cycle the action fully. I think I've got a box of Remington stashed away that's a couple of years old, I'm going to dig it out and see if it's a bit more consistent than the recent stuff.
I'm going to try to take this with me every range trip the next while and put at least a couple of magazines through, if there's going to be a problem I'll find it. And speak appropriately with Smith & Wesson about it if there is.
*I've had a couple of times I've cleared a gun and checked the bore because the shot seemed so light I wanted to be sure there wasn't a bullet stuck in there.
**A couple of misfeeds, but possibly mag related; rimmed cartridges not uncommonly have trouble if a round happens to drop into the magazine wrong. Badly. Whatever. We'll see.