The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 17, 2012, 05:16 PM   #1
Wyoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,218
Damage to live ammo from too many load cycles!

I read on the Boloreport http://boloreport.com/officer-safety...ailure-to-fire where an officer had a FTF during a leathal force situation.

When the ammo manufacture studdied the round in question, they concluded that the primer material had been knocked loose from the primer because of repeated loading into the officers' service pistol.

I had never thought about this, but I bet you I am now going to be rotating ammo in my CCW pistol!

Just wanted to let you all know about this.
__________________
Go Pokes!
Go Rams!

Last edited by Wyoredman; February 17, 2012 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Improve title
Wyoredman is offline  
Old February 17, 2012, 07:52 PM   #2
Cycrops
Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 99
I have been wondering about this and meant to search for (or start) a thread.

I keep my gun loaded with JHP ammo with a round in the chamber.

Any time I go to the range or do dry fire practice, I remove the magazine with JHP ammo, eject the chambered round, and add it back to the magazine. Once I'm done practicing, the JHP goes back in the gun.

How many times can you do this before the ammo is at risk? Emptying the magazine and reloading it in a different order with the same rounds doesn't seem like a much better solution. HD ammo is so much more expensive than FMJ that I'd prefer not to shoot it very often.
Cycrops is offline  
Old February 17, 2012, 08:14 PM   #3
Sparks1957
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,460
I always shoot the SD rounds in my mag, then reload it afterward. First, it's a function check on the magazine, and second, it prevents any setback or other ammo damage from repeated loading/unloading.

So, you shoot a few rounds of more expensive ammo once in awhile, no big deal
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old February 17, 2012, 08:35 PM   #4
Cycrops
Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 99
Quote:
I always shoot the SD rounds in my mag, then reload it afterward. First, it's a function check on the magazine, and second, it prevents any setback or other ammo damage from repeated loading/unloading.

So, you shoot a few rounds of more expensive ammo once in awhile, no big deal
I've got 17-round magazines. I try to get to the range every other week. The JHP ammo I use costs close to $1 per round, compared to $0.20 per round for the FMJ I use at the range. I'd rather not spend an extra $30 per month to keep fresh JHP ammo in my gun.

The cop in the story had rechambered and extracted the same round 100X, which I can understand is too much. My question is, how many times can you rechamber before you risk damage to the round?
Cycrops is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 02:05 AM   #5
9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2011
Location: Land of the Free
Posts: 2,698
Quote:
we discovered that since he has small children at home, he unloads his duty weapon daily
Quote:
This caused an internal failure of the primer, not discernible by external inspection.
Quote:
The primer compound separation is a risk of repeatedly chambering the same round. The more common issue is bullet setback, which increases the chamber pressures often resulting in more negative effects
http://boloreport.com/officer-safety...ilure-to-fire#

I had no clue those could happen, THANK YOU!!!!!

ANother reason to carry a back up.
__________________
SHTF vs TEOTWAWKI you ask? SHTF, just some crap on the ceiling and walls, TEOTWAWKI end of the world as we know it. Orignally made by 9mm/®™©
9mm is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 02:29 AM   #6
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 17,961
Quote:
The cop in the story had rechambered and extracted the same round 100X, which I can understand is too much. My question is, how many times can you rechamber before you risk damage to the round?
It depends on the ammunition, and to some extent, on the gun it's being used in. Some guns drive the round hard into the feedramp while in other designs the round feeds almost direcly into the chamber. As far as ammunition goes, I've had some factory ammunition that would set back noticeably from only one chambering.

If you're talking about premium self-defense ammunition, under 5x is probably safe.

If you want to push the limits, it would probably be best to contact the ammunition manufacturer directly, however, if you have some fresh ammunition from the same box, you can check your old rounds to see if they're setting back. Set two new rounds on a flat surface with an old round between them and put a straightedge across the top of the two new rounds. If there's a noticeable and significant gap between the straightedge and the top of the old round then the old round is garbage.

Different loadings and calibers exhibit different sensitivities to setback, but in a particularly sensitive loading, like the 180gr .40S&W, discharge pressures can double from only a tenth of an inch of setback. That's enough to take most any gun apart in abruptly impressive fashion.

Unless your circumstances dictate that you load and reload frequently, a better solution is to avoid the process. For example, with only a very few exceptions, a modern handgun in a good quality holster that covers the trigger can be safely stored that way as long as it is kept out of unauthorized hands.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 02:34 AM   #7
Hook686
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 1,863
I avaoid this problem by using a revolver. In the ever pistol Vs revolver discissions I never heard this problem surface. Makes sense to me.
__________________
Hook686

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.

Last edited by Hook686; February 18, 2012 at 02:58 AM.
Hook686 is online now  
Old February 18, 2012, 03:33 AM   #8
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 1,701
a person could easily and completely avoid this problem by slowly easing the round into the chamber instead of letting the slide slam it in.

the police in our area were encouraged to never chamber a round twice. pull the mag, eject that round, and drop the round from the chamber into a practice box. This was before the days of $1 a round hollow points.

I honestly don't see that this is a huge risk. Primer compounds are plasticized into a pellet, then covered with paper. it's not like they're a loose powder that will sift out. They are designed and manufactured to be durable and shock resistant. Of course, slamming them around in a handgun over and over could damage the pellet, but I'm thinking that it must still be a really rare occurrence.

Last edited by briandg; February 18, 2012 at 03:39 AM.
briandg is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 03:39 AM   #9
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 17,961
Quote:
a person could easily and completely avoid this problem by slowly easing the round into the chamber instead of letting the slide slam it in.
That's never a recommended approach for chambering a round because it can result in the slide not going fully into battery. If it that happens, the gun can misfire.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 03:44 AM   #10
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 1,701
Are you talking about dropping the round in the chamber, or letting the slide strip the round?

I can see that objection if a round was fed into the chamber, but fed from the magazine, that seems pretty far fetched.

In any case, once again, the solution would be to eyeball the thing and make sure that it was fully into battery. I've never had a handgun that you couldn't visually confirm that.
briandg is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 04:31 AM   #11
Sparks1957
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,460
Quote:
I've got 17-round magazines. I try to get to the range every other week. The JHP ammo I use costs close to $1 per round, compared to $0.20 per round for the FMJ I use at the range. I'd rather not spend an extra $30 per month to keep fresh JHP ammo in my gun.
OK, I can see your point. So, set your loaded SD mag aside and practice with your cheaper rounds... It's then the first round that you need to be concerned about, the one that is repeated stripped from the mag and chambered... so fire that one once in awhile, should be the end of your worries
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 06:37 AM   #12
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 17,961
I'm talking about "slowly easing the round into the chamber" instead of feeding it into the chamber as intended by letting the slide slam it home. Whether it's fed from the magazine or direct chamber loaded*, the proper method to insure the gun goes fully into battery is to pull the slide all the way back and let it go forward with full force.

*Assuming the gun is designed to tolerate direct chamber loading without damage to the extractor.
Quote:
In any case, once again, the solution would be to eyeball the thing and make sure that it was fully into battery. I've never had a handgun that you couldn't visually confirm that.
Sometimes it's not as easily determined as one might think. I would say it's reasonably likely one could verify that the gun is fully in battery, but we're sort of losing track of the point of the thread. The point of all this is to make things safer and to reduce the chances of malfunctions. It doesn't make sense to do that by advocating an unorthodox loading technique known to increase the chance of misfires followed up with a visual inspection that might or might not determine if the loading technique worked properly.

The bottom line is that autopistol ammunition isn't meant to be chambered an unreasonable number of times. That's a basic limitation of autopistols and autopistol ammunition and nothing's going to change it. The solution isn't to try to load the pistol using a non-recommended technique and then hope you can detect any problems caused by that approach, it's to treat the ammunition as it is intended to be treated.

Chamber it a few times and then discard it or use it at the range. I'd say that it makes sense to combine that approach with a careful re-evaluation of whether it's really necessary to load/reload one's pistol as frequently as some folks seem to do it.

Even if one isn't constantly rechambering ammunition, there are still other sound reasons why self-defense ammunition should be cycled through to the range on some sort of a reasonable schedule.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 07:51 AM   #13
pjp74
Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2011
Location: Anna, TX
Posts: 75
I know its not as often as I should, but when it's time to move the clocks forwards or backwards twice a year, all carry guns/ammunition get taken to range and discharged and mags filled back up with fresh ammo. Yes, my SR9 has 17 round mags as well, but $15-$25 vs. at the moment of truth get "click" instead of "bang", I'll spend the extra $$. I have had setback problems with .45ACP in the past with certain 1911s that needed a good polishing to the feed ramp.
pjp74 is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 08:23 AM   #14
Cycrops
Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 99
Quote:
OK, I can see your point. So, set your loaded SD mag aside and practice with your cheaper rounds... It's then the first round that you need to be concerned about, the one that is repeated stripped from the mag and chambered... so fire that one once in awhile, should be the end of your worries
Good idea, thanks!
Cycrops is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 10:43 AM   #15
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,727
The difficulty I had was figuring out how to remember which rounds I had chambered, and which ones were "fresh." Someone posted an idea here recently that I've decided to shamelessly steal. Sadly, I don't recall who originally posted this idea, but here it is:
1) After a round has been chambered and unchambered, take a permanent marker, and make a mark on the bullet.
2) Every time you take that unfired round out of the chamber, make another mark. (The original poster recommended putting 1 mark across the top of the bullet. Then the second mark would go across the first one, forming an X. This obviously wouldn't work for hollowpoints.)
3) When the number of marks hits the number of times you're comfortable chambering the round (or one less), move that round to the bottom of the magazine, and chamber the next round.
4) When all of the rounds in the magazine are marked up so that you don't want to chamber them any more, it's time to burn them off at the range.

I realize that the above doesn't answer the question of "how many times can you safely chamber a round," but it does help keep track of how many times I have chambered a round.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 11:20 AM   #16
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,785
Some folks choose to leave the chamber empty on auto stored around the house, etc. I won't argue that point with them; it is their choice. I stripped duty guns of their chamber load daily when we had small kids in the house.

During that time I noticed a number of rounds, of various calibers, showing early signs of set-back. If it was minor, I tossed them in the 'oddball ammo' can and simply shot them up later. None of them ever failed to fire. If it was pronounced, I threw them in the pond.

When the mag got down a round or two I simply topped it off with new ammo.

I often squeeze the slide lightly, with the thumb and index finger of my weak hand, when chambering a round from the mag. Guess I got started doing this after working on 1911's for decades... it gives me a read on how slick the gun is feeding and I've never had the slide hang out-of-battery.

I can't imagine not knowing if my slide was in battery.

Quote:
The misfired round, which had a full firing pin strike, was collected and was later sent to the manufacturer for analysis. Their analysis showed the following: “.the cause of the misfire was determined to be from the primer mix being knocked out of the primer when the round was cycled through the firearm multiple times”. We also sent an additional 2,000 rounds of the Winchester 9mm duty ammunition to the manufacturer. All 2,000 rounds were successfully fired.
IF the primer got hit a good lick, I wonder how you tell that the compound got knocked out of the primer cup by cycling it? Oh well...
__________________
Visit us at The Sixgun Journal or the archive, at http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Sarge; February 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM.
Sarge is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 12:34 PM   #17
wayneinFL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,933
I've always rotated ammo in the mags every few times they're used, just because of bullet setback. Then I fire them off at the range occasionally. Never thought about the primer being damaged. IMO, bullet setback is more serious an issue than a bad primer, because of overpressure. A ruptured case (or chamber) is going to be harder to clear than a round that simply doesn't fire.

If I ever got to the point I had issues with my carry ammunition when I fire them at the range, I would do rotate it more often.

If you're really concerned about it, carry a revolver.

Last edited by wayneinFL; February 18, 2012 at 03:48 PM.
wayneinFL is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 06:05 PM   #18
federali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2011
Location: Nassau County NY
Posts: 378
Chewed up ammo

Too many trips through the action and the extractor tends to chew up the rim which could result in erratic extraction. I too clear my expensive street loads at the range and substitute reloads. However, I do inspect them and any that are showing some wear get shot off.
__________________
Int'l Assoc. of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
federali is offline  
Old February 18, 2012, 06:36 PM   #19
briandg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 1,701
Quote:
The bottom line is that autopistol ammunition isn't meant to be chambered an unreasonable number of times. That's a basic limitation of autopistols and autopistol ammunition and nothing's going to change it. The solution isn't to try to load the pistol using a non-recommended technique and then hope you can detect any problems caused by that approach, it's to treat the ammunition as it is intended to be treated.

Chamber it a few times and then discard it or use it at the range. I'd say that it makes sense to combine that approach with a careful re-evaluation of whether it's really necessary to load/reload one's pistol as frequently as some folks seem to do it.

Even if one isn't constantly rechambering ammunition, there are still other sound reasons why self-defense ammunition should be cycled through to the range on some sort of a reasonable schedule.
Agreed.
briandg is offline  
Old February 19, 2012, 08:41 AM   #20
Freakdaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2006
Posts: 427
I keep all of my carry guns loaded with one in the chamber at all times. Which ever one I decide to take to the range, I remove the mag of HST's, insert a mag of FMJ's and the one HST in the chamber gets fired off first. After cleaning, I chamber another HST from said mag then top it off with one from my reserve box. By doing it this way, I have no concerns about bullet setback as none of mine are getting rechambered. Works for me.
Freakdaddy is offline  
Old February 19, 2012, 09:18 AM   #21
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,759
Good thing I carry a revolver!

Quote:
Some folks choose to leave the chamber empty on auto stored around the house, etc.
As a former firefighter, SOP at my department was not to enter a house that was on fire if there was a suspicion that there were loaded firearms inside. I download all weapons when storing them.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old February 19, 2012, 09:48 AM   #22
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,785
Quote:
As a former firefighter, SOP at my department was not to enter a house that was on fire if there was a suspicion that there were loaded firearms inside. I download all weapons when storing them.
Hell they would ALL burn to the ground around here. Everybody keeps them and everybody knows it.
__________________
Visit us at The Sixgun Journal or the archive, at http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/
Sarge is offline  
Old February 19, 2012, 11:58 AM   #23
Vermonter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2010
Posts: 948
Question

I can see how rechambering can be bad for a round. I typically do not re chamber the same round multiple times. My question however is what about rounds being removed and then re loaded into mags.

My typical range trip starts with me dropping the mag of carry ammo. My spare mags are also loaded with carry ammo and kept either on me or in the truck. I fire the chambered round and replace that one but I typically sit my hat on the table and unload all my carry ammo from the mags into the hat.

I then use those mags for range work with whatever I choose to pratcice with and reload them at the end of the session. Any info on rounds damaged because they were placed into a mag and then removed?

Thanks, Vermonter
Vermonter is offline  
Old February 19, 2012, 12:26 PM   #24
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,785
If they look anything like this-or worse-toss them.

__________________
Visit us at The Sixgun Journal or the archive, at http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/
Sarge is offline  
Old February 19, 2012, 12:31 PM   #25
AH.74
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2008
Location: Hermit's Peak
Posts: 623
Vermonter- you might want to inspect them but I can't say I've seen mention of damage from loading and unloading from mags only.

I know that people re-chamber sometimes without seeing any appreciable setback. But after finding this I stopped doing it more than the initial time. I was quite surprised. It is a Speer GD standard pressure 124g 9mm that was chambered only once. I had previously re-chambered rounds 2-3 times without seeing anything like it.

AH.74 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14474 seconds with 9 queries