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Maybe You do need to cycle your Carry Ammo.

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by First shot, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. First shot

    First shot

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    Okay, I've always been of the opinion that ammo stored "cool and dry" would last a long long time. A few hours ago, I decided to shoot my M&P 45C here at my home range with my CCW ammo. I switch between it and my 26 for CCW. Federal Hydo-Shock, 230 gr, probably 3+ years old. It's 8+1. First 3, boom. Next 3 FTF. Racked each out each time, waited a bit, and looked at them. Good primer strikes, same as the ones that fired. Next 3, all booms. Had 7 left in the box so I ran them and all but one fired. Refilled my carry mag with 6 month old Winchester PDX1 Defender. Ran 11 rds, no problem. I'm now a "BELIEVER". Better to learn here than somewhere ugly. Even at over a buck a shot, I'll be cycling it from now on. First shot.
     
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  2. Glock179mm

    Glock179mm

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    Sounds good to me.
     
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  3. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Ammo will last a long time. I am shooting up some 1950s 06 in my Garand, but that is stored in ammo cans in the relatively stable garage. EDC, not a bad idea to rotate yor carry ammo out annually, especially if you unchamber often. Bullet setback is a concern with high pressure rds.
     
  4. GLOCKITIUS

    GLOCKITIUS

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    If it were measured how much is too much regarding bullet setback?
     
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  5. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I ran vel tests comparing loads & shortening up by 0.010" each time. Nothing exciting started happening until I got to 0.060", about 1/16". Then you would see quite a bit of vel increase, meaning pressure increases too. So for high pressure stuff, like 9+p, 357sig & 40, that would be my limit. Keep a factory round aside to compare the top round in you mag with. If it is more than 1/16" shorter, retire it IMO.
     
  6. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    One of the recent recommendations heard within recent years within the gun/ammunition industries was for LE to replace their duty ammunition annually.

    When I was working a lot more as a firearms instructor, I was often replacing my duty ammo monthly, and my assorted of-duty ammo at least 1-2 times each year (if not more often, depending on which guns saw more range time).

    Now that I'm retired, and I'm no longer going in & out of variable temperature and humidity conditions so frequently each day, I'm back to maybe once a year. I've gone longer, sometimes.

    I take normal precautions against allowing any cleaners/solvents, CLP's or any other lubricants - or moisture - near my ammo, or inside the magazines (where it could contaminate carry ammo)

    I remember when we had a lot of older duty ammo turned in when we first started replacing it at each qual. Some of it was probably years old, and it looked pretty grungy, discolored, etc. It was recycled as qual/practice ammo, and there were a very few rounds that didn't fire. To be fair, I've also seen it happen where an occasional new round didn't fire (usually from among budget lines, but not exclusively), and can think of instances where this occurred with at least 3 of the major ammo makers.

    Now, I'd not get all lathered up about it, as the problems have, over the long haul, been few and far between. I'm talking about 1 or a couple "problem" rounds out of a particular box, or perhaps a case, but then a few pallets of cases get used without any problems at all. FWIW, in some of the state ammo contracts I've reviewed over the years, there's usually language that deals with an allowable number of problems out of some representative number of rounds, and if that's exceeded, than a process for returning the unused affected(suspected) case(s) and having it replaced. (In the event an ammo manufacturer discovers a manufacturing problem involving a production lot/s, then they may request all outstanding lots be returned for replacement with new lots.)

    Ammo carried on the person is pretty much outside what may be considered "normal" storage conditions. (Ammo left inside vehicles throughout the different seasons is really subject to temperature and humidity changes.)

    I've got a lot of new factory ammo from the 80's, 90's and early 2000's, carefully stored away. I've sometimes grabbed some rounds of it in various calibers to use to burn up for range sessions, and it's been not yet been among the "problem" rounds I've seen occur. I used to have even older factory ammo, but I ended up using it all up over the years.

    Now, repeatedly chambering the same round is another kind of shooter-induced problem, and worthy of its own thread discussion. It's apparently become such a problem in LE/Gov circles that it's become something addressed and discussed during armorer classes. I remember in one class a picture of a catastrophically destroyed plastic duty pistol was displayed during the video part of the instruction, with the explanation that the user of that pistol had acknowledged that he'd repeatedly rechambered his ammo for some time.

    In a different armorer class, the instructor told us of an "inside industry poll" made of the major American ammo companies, by a gun company, asking how many times any particular pistol round could be safely chambered. According to what we were told, the "answer" was more or less that the ammo companies take great care to make a good quality product, and that new, good condition pistol cartridges ought to easily withstand being chambered once, before being fired. Anything else was the responsibility of the user.

    Personally, while I still visually inspect each live/unfired round I may decided to eject from one of my pistols, for whatever reason, I prefer to relegate any rounds I've chambered twice to my range ammo, to be chambered once more and then fired. ;)
     
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  7. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I visually look over carry ammo. Primers fo get put in upside down. (Rarely). Or not seated.
    In ammo box you can see most visible defects.
    I don't use "go, no go" guage
     
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  8. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Yep, mangled case mouths; crushed, sideways or backwards primer cups; and mangled bullets can often be easy enough to spot ... if someone does at least a cursory inspection as each round is loaded into a magazine. (I've had a few folks busy loading mags not look at the whole rounds, though, and then appear surprised when the mangled round came up and caused whatever problem was involved. ;) )

    It's possible for a case to have trimmed to an incorrect length, but it's not something that keeps me up at night. In all the many ten's of thousands of factory rounds I've used, and out of much, much more that's been used by our folks, the number of improperly trimmed cases that come to mind is ... 3.

    The first 2 of them happened to me, and were both out of a single 50rd box of duty ammo which was also being used for training/quals. One of the big name budget lines. In that instance, 2 cases were trimmed just overly long enough to prevent the slide/barrel from going into battery and letting the gun fire. The difference wasn't easily seen by the naked eye, just standing out on the range, but once I took the rounds back inside to the bench, and sat them on a flat surface alongside other rounds, the difference in case length was apparent. Now, I'd fired literally pallets of cases of that load over several years (it was a state contract load for a long time), and that was the first time that sort of thing had slipped through.

    In the other case (3rd round), it happened to one of our people on the firing line. Different big name ammo company, different caliber and one of the premium lines. The case was too long to allow the gun to go into battery and fire. The difference in case length wasn't easily visible unless you were carefully looking to find it.

    Coincidentally, just for trivia's sake, that particular caliber/load's overly long trimmed case reminded me of a similar instance I'd read about quite a few years before, in a gun magazine article where the writer was testing a .45 and using some different loads. He came upon the same problem, meaning a single overly long trimmer case that wouldn't let his gun go into full battery.

    I've seen more cases of visibly mangled bullets and manufacturing defects in components than those isolated instances of case length problems. ;)

    The things that sometimes niggle at the back of my mind are the little things you can't see by looking at the round. Things like a short-load (low powder charge); or a primer pocket missing the flash holes; or the bad/inert or defective primer cup (backwards anvil, etc).

    Of course, a block of frozen airliner bathroom waste could fall out of the sky and hit us on the head, too. :) Or a piece of the aircraft.

    This is why we try to train folks (to varying degrees, with varying success) to properly react to a sudden stoppage or other functioning problem, without freezing and going through the stages of disbelief and brain-lock. ;)

    Nothing's perfect. Not the gun, not the ammo and definitely not us, right? :)
     
  9. First shot

    First shot

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    Not being a reloader or competition shooter, I rarely pay attention to specs like fredj338 and you, fastbolt, speak of. Since I've basically been cycling the same 9 rds of carry ammo when I switch to target ammo, for hmmmmm............a couple years, I think I'll start paying attention to what those of you who know, post. I couldn't even guess how many times any of those 9 rounds have been cycled. A lot more than recommended for certain. Lesson learned. Thank you so very much.
     
  10. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead

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    Just asked about shooting up my carry ammo and replacing it with fresh ammo on the Self Defense Forum. Massad Ayoob recommended that you follow a routine replacement of once or twice a year, if not more. Stored ammo in good climate conditions should last for years.
     
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  11. oldmick

    oldmick

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    I go to the range once a week. I fire the chambered round after swapping the mag to range ammo. So I go through a 20 round box in around five months.
     
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  12. fl_snub_noz

    fl_snub_noz

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    another thing in addition to making sure no oils or solvents come in contact is ammo that has been sealed at both ends like hst,gold dot,golden saber.. remington umc for example has no sealant either end
     
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  13. First shot

    First shot

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    Now there's an economically sound practice. Great idea. Thanks.
     
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  14. rob chard

    rob chard

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    I cycle my carry ammo every 2 years......
     
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  15. Gray Dood

    Gray Dood

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    I try to get to the range weekly. Not always possible, but I rarely go longer than 3 weeks.

    First shots are with the mag I've been carrying, followed by spare mags I've been carrying. Then I move onto cheaper "practice" ammo. At end of range session I'll reload with new premium ammo.

    It's a tad more expensive as premium ammo isn't cheap, but it keeps me sharper on what's really up the spout, and it rotates carry ammo. I can't recall any ammo related issues in the last several years. And I too visually inspect what's going in the magazine for carrying. I just feel safer doing it like that. Part of the associated costs of CCW imo.

    Just my $.02. YMMV.
     
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  16. ObiJuan

    ObiJuan

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    Regarding rechambering - once I unchamber a round, it goes straight into the "range practice" box where it gets rechambered exactly one more time, right before it's fired.
     
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  17. F14A

    F14A

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    ^ Pretty much the same for me. Ejection is rough on brass. Chews it up pretty easy. Bullet setback is easier with companies not crimping the brass like Corbon. ( I can't even find Corbon anymore )

    A couple times in the chamber only for me.
    Then it is stashed away in a shoot at range box.

    Same deal with my fighting shotgun..
     
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  18. John Wesley

    John Wesley NRA "Benefactor Life" Member

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    My truck gun, G22, is fully loaded as well as the extra magazines. They stay in the truck, at the ready, all year long. In the fall I shoot all ammo that's been in the gun and mags. and put in fresh ammo. Been doing that for years and I 've never had any FTF:cowboy:
     
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  19. collim1

    collim1 Because Alexa said so!

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    I check mine out, and I never re-chamber the same rounds twice. I don’t unload my carry guns all that often so it’s not a big deal.

    My AR15 is the worst about it. A couple of chamberings with that and the rounds look really bad.
     
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