View Full Version : Ammo rotation....

Dave McC
December 25, 2000, 07:46 AM
Got an E mail about this, so I answered privately and thought that maybe others could contribute their expertise to this.

In a HD or "serious" shotgun, how often should the ammo be rotated?

Of course, purely sporting arms are usually kept empty, so this doesn't apply.

Back when I did this professionally, I instituted a procedure where the tower weapons and ammo were rotated monthly. Tower weapons get abused greatly, and ammo in them tends to be forgotten until it starts leaking buffering stuff and jamming up the works. SO, the drill was to replace all the weapons(870s and Mini 14s) with clean, working ones, and set up with fresh ammo. The ammo that came in from the towers was inspected, and all that seemed OK was used in the next training program,tho not for score and qualification. we found this reduced malfs, mostly by uncaring and semi trained troops, and made HQ happy because it seemed to go well with the Standards Commission,which liked paperwork and complications, rather than it actually helped perimeter security.

A couple of findings about ammo rotation.....

Since the 870s were emptied, inspected and reloaded every shift change, those shells had more wear than most of us see. Sometimes the shells would corrugate, actually reduce in length, from the wad collapsing,or start leaking white buffering from the crimp. Also, the rim took a beating, since many of our troops were so dense or uncaring that they unloaded by holding down the slide release and pumping them out onto hard surfaces. Some of the rims were bent enough the round would not chamber.NOTE: Every one I could get to chamber, no matter how nasty looking, fired perfectly.

But most of us don't have to unload, inspect or transfer our shotguns every 8 hrs. So,what's a realistic time frame?

If you shoot frequently, just take the mag ammo along and make it practice ammo, reload with fresh after cleaning. If, for some reason, you do not shoot a HD weapon often, I'd suggest swapping ammo every 6 months at most,if the weapon is kept dry, neither hot nor cold.Worse conditions, like a truck gun, cruiser gun, 3 months.

Comment, queries,donations?...

December 25, 2000, 08:38 AM
I'm not LE so my shotguns don't take that kind of abuse. However, I like to practice with my HD M1S90 at least monthly, so I start the session by shooting the Federal LR 00 buck that it has been sitting in the safe with for the last 4 weeks or so. I do the same with my carry handguns and the SHTF AR15.

Dave McC
December 26, 2000, 05:37 AM
Good idea, J, I do the same with the house guns,and my carry gun gets shot about every two weeks. Most of the time it's reloads for practice, then finish with the duty ammo that was in the firearm.