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There are various issues here:

- The quality of the rubber being used to make flat bands;

- Band thickness;

- how the bands were cut i.e.preferably no fraying edges;

- how much taper there is;

- how much abrasion the inner surface of pouch holes causes to the band ends;

- how the bands are tied to the pouch and how much "play" there is at the connection points while drawing the bands and releasing these;

- how the bands are tied to the forks, and whether there is friction potential at the forks (good sanding is thus essential);

- Whether the ammo is too light for the band set concerned (hand-slaps are an indicator);

- Ambient temperature, exposure to UV in sunlight.

- Other possible causes.

I use band remnants to wrap & tuck flat bands, and get roughly 200-250 shots per set. The Chinese rubber ribbon looks very interesting.

Band failure should ideally always occur at the pouch side, hence the relevance of tapered bands. You do not want bands slapping in your face when they break, and should consider wearing safety glasses (nice modern designs) when shooting, just in case this were to happen.

I visually check my bands carefully before each shooting session, but also at intervals during the shooting sessions. If something feels "wrong", I change them for a new set.
 
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