The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 21, 2014, 11:59 PM   #1
jaytothekizzay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2008
Location: st. louis
Posts: 450
Defensive ammo

Hey guys, Im just tryin to get some other opinions on cycling Defensive ammo. Ive had 2 mags loaded to capacity with Speer gold dot HP. For use in my carry gun. Ive been carrying with these rounds for about 5 years now, and im planning on shooting them out and replacing them soon. I seem to cycle my defendive rounds about every 4-5 years... what do you guys think about that??? Good idea? Or not necessary?
jaytothekizzay is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 12:43 AM   #2
Koda94
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 1,188
Good idea if the bullet is pushed in from all the loading over the years....
__________________
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2
Koda94 is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 06:51 AM   #3
Mobuck
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 6,847
After 5 years, I'd say shooting the ammo is a good idea. Even though the bullets may not be damaged, there have been instances of primer failures related to continual chambering/ejecting live ammo off the top of the mag. In addition, if you live in a climate where temps get cold and your gun/ammo goes through hot/cold cycles, there's a chance of powder degradation due to moisture condensation within the case.
Due to my specific circumstances, I seldom unload/reload my carry pistol plus the way I carry pretty well keeps the pistol from going through heat/cold cycles. I only change ammo 1-2 times per year and (at this point) have not had a problem with bullets being pushed into the case, primer failure, or powder degradation.
Mobuck is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 07:25 AM   #4
full case load
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2010
Posts: 166
Every time I go to the range I'll run my carry ammo first. Then go with practice ammo. Top off with carry ammo before leaving. Revolvers same as the pistols. Don't know if that's necessary, but that's how I do it.
__________________
live and let live
full case load is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 07:33 AM   #5
Qtiphky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2008
Location: Upper Michigan, above the Mackinac Bridge
Posts: 563
More often

I have read from some of the gurus that you should rotate your stock every 6 months. Shoot it and then replace with new. Don't know if you really need to do it that often but that's the standard that I have adopted. Does it make a difference? Who knows, but by shooting the actual carry loads that frequently you can see if there is a different point of impact than with your training loads.
Qtiphky is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 10:20 AM   #6
TailGator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,600
I shoot and replace at two year intervals and I have never had a failure of the defensive ammo. Some people are adamant about doing it at shorter intervals; I have seen posts about doing it monthly even, but the cost of the ammo deserves consideration. I am not sure I would be comfortable with five years, but in the next breath I will say that my bet would be no failures when you shoot it.
TailGator is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 10:54 AM   #7
boondocker385
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2013
Posts: 640
I change mine every 6 months or less. Yes it is expensive, but not as expensive as a funeral....sorry couldn't help with the melodrama...
__________________
No second place finishes in a gun fight.
boondocker385 is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 03:08 PM   #8
Onward Allusion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: Back in a Non-Free State
Posts: 2,724
IMO, cycling defensive ammo every 4 to 5 years for a carry weapon is too long. I cycle primary centerfire every few months and BUG 22LR every week in warmer months and every couple of weeks in cooler weather.
__________________
AI + Quantum Computing = Human Extinction Event
Onward Allusion is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 05:52 PM   #9
Safeactionjackson
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2014
Posts: 5
^ this, I try and shoot my carry ammo monthly... and if I can't, it will get removed from the mags and placed in Tupperware container. Once I get 80-100 rounds I'll use it at a small local match with my carry gun.

I don't think most people practice enough, and most don't shoot there carry ammo due to the cost I buy defensive ammo by the case or 1/2 case if I can swing it. Soon I'll be reloading with the same bullet at a similar velocity
Safeactionjackson is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 07:55 PM   #10
jaytothekizzay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2008
Location: st. louis
Posts: 450
Well I shot off my 2 mags worth today. Every round went downrange with zero problems. I took advantage of some good prices and bought 100 rounds of defensive ammo, and plan to cycle it more frequently. Probably gonna go for cycling twice a year.
jaytothekizzay is offline  
Old December 22, 2014, 10:33 PM   #11
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart, AR
Posts: 1,569
Quote:
Every round went downrange with zero problems
Guess my 3 year old Speer Gold Dots are good for another couple of years.

I rarely cycle the self defense rounds through the pistol, pay close attention to possible set back and don't worry if they will go bang when needed. Of course, I've fired off paper shotgun shells that were likely older than I am, with no problems.

Way I figure, the premimum cost of good self defense ammo should mean a tad longer life along with a good bullet.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old December 23, 2014, 05:26 PM   #12
1-DAB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 5, 2010
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 473
once a year, birthday month.
1-DAB is offline  
Old December 23, 2014, 09:32 PM   #13
DPI7800
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2014
Posts: 194
I have a friend who works for the local PD in the their firearms unit and they change ammo once a year and said there are others that do it less frequently than that. As far as reliability in incumbent weather he told me they took a box of 50 rounds of their duty ammunition and placed it in a bucket of water for 24 hours and then shot it with no failures. Not sure if you can can more moisture than left in water for 24 hours. Not sure exactly which ammo that was exactly as of right one but I know it was a Federal JHP. Point is a high quality ammunition should hold up to the elements fairly well.

Last edited by DPI7800; December 24, 2014 at 06:18 AM.
DPI7800 is offline  
Old December 24, 2014, 12:56 PM   #14
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,874
Annually

I replace my carry ammo every beginning of winter. Which, thanks to this post, reminds me that I need to do that as soon as I'm finished here.

I live in a warm climate. And I'm in a situation where I often need to lock my carry weapon in a container under the seat in the hot car during the day. Not to mention the extra mag. The culprit (IMO) is heat. If I lived in a cool climate, it wouldn't concern me so much. But either way, I'd probably replace it annually just the same.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old December 24, 2014, 01:41 PM   #15
ihctractor
Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 78
FWIW, our local police dept. requires new ammo once a year. Does it get cycled out more often due to duty use or practice? Maybe, but likely not. Either way all service weapons and magazines are topped off with new ammo every Jan. Nobody seems to know what happens to all the "old" ammo.
ihctractor is offline  
Old December 24, 2014, 02:51 PM   #16
Sharkbite
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2013
Location: Western slope of Colorado
Posts: 3,190
Quote:
FWIW, our local police dept. requires new ammo once a year. Does it get cycled out more often due to duty use or practice? Maybe, but likely not. Either way all service weapons and magazines are topped off with new ammo every Jan. Nobody seems to know what happens to all the "old" ammo.
We shot our old ammo during quals...then topped off with new once a year. That way we got to shoot our Duty ammo for function and POI check. Good system
Sharkbite is offline  
Old December 25, 2014, 01:59 PM   #17
johnelmore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2013
Posts: 456
5 years seems like way too long for anything to be sitting in one place. Im not an engineer and have no idea of the science, but I would not leave them in there 5 years speaking personally. Even if the manufacturer of the ammo and the firearm states it would be good after 5 years I still wouldnt leave it in there that long.

The other question is how often do you practice with it? Shouldnt you practice with the firearm and ammo you intend on shooting in defensive situations?
johnelmore is offline  
Old December 25, 2014, 08:29 PM   #18
Model12Win
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2012
Posts: 5,854
I change defense ammo every month.

It's a small price to pay for possibly your life.

5 years is WAY too long IMHO. The powder can settle and the primers can absorb moisture in the air in that amount of time, yes even if "sealed". Ultimately it's your choice, but when the time comes to use that ammo you will hear the loudest sound you will ever hear... which is not a 'BANG' but a 'click'.
Model12Win is offline  
Old December 26, 2014, 09:16 AM   #19
jaytothekizzay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2008
Location: st. louis
Posts: 450
You are right about practice... cycling defensive ammo will enable to practice with it more often... I am definitely guilty of not practicing with my defensive ammo enough
jaytothekizzay is offline  
Old December 26, 2014, 08:04 PM   #20
WyMark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 569
I have some .45 ball that is pushing 30 years old, and it still works the same as if I'd bought it last week. It's stored outside in an unheated garage, and can go through daily freeze/thaw cycles.

I shoot a couple rounds of my Gold Dot carry ammo once a year or so, but that's mainly to flush those top two rounds that get chambered repeatedly.
WyMark is offline  
Old December 26, 2014, 08:37 PM   #21
campbed
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 75
Cycle however often it makes you "feel" happy.

Doing it once a month seems silly, given the ammo in question has lived longer than that surely just getting into your hands.

One could look at all the examples of WWII and Korean War surplus ammo that runs like a champ.

My personal experience was with Winchester 22lr ammo left in our New England unheated garage for 20+ years. 1 fail to fire out of 50. That could have been the result 20 years ago too, who knows.

Replacing every 1,2,3,4, or 5 years seems reasonable.

I do so about every 1 year, but only with rounds that have been rotating through my magazines.

DATA: is there any?
If the military has a "issue by" date on ammo like 9mm or 5.56, that would be a great guide to go by. Does anyone know if there is such a thing? I've read that they were issuing ammunition in theater from the late 1960's during the Gulf War.
__________________
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you. - Louis D. Brandeis
SIG P226 MK25 9mm | SIG 239 9mm | Beretta Nano
SIG M400 Enhanced Black | Ruger PC9 | Winchester 9422

Last edited by campbed; December 26, 2014 at 08:53 PM.
campbed is offline  
Old December 26, 2014, 10:43 PM   #22
Model12Win
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2012
Posts: 5,854
I do have a Colt 1851 Navy that I shoot every week, and reload.

I keep the chambers and caps sealed with beeswax. I go out back every Saturday morning and chip away at a dead stump a few paces down the trail near my house. I go home, and it's six cast .375 round balls over 25 grains of FFFG blackpowder, Remington no. 10 caps on last, and a couple teaspoons of melted beeswax seals the deal for the next week.

I keep it up on the hutch, "just in case". Most think it's an old antique put up for display purposes, but I know it's ready to rock and roll if called upon.
Model12Win is offline  
Old December 26, 2014, 11:30 PM   #23
locnload
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 118
I worry far less about the shelf life or age of the ammo as I do the "push back" factor. My general rule is, if the gun is not in my direct control (holstered on my body) there is no round in the chamber so I may load/unload two, three, even four times a day. I have monitored a few rounds after several cycles in and out of the chamber and found very little change but I know mileage may vary from one to another, so here is my system. I put a line accross the end when I take it out, and another the next time. When it has an X on it it goes farther down in the magazine. When every round in the mag has an X, I replace them all with new and put them in a bag for the next range session. Its not scientific and its no big deal if its not totally consistant, be it makes for reasonably regular rotation of the ammo and allows for some occasional range work with the defensive ammo.
locnload is offline  
Old December 27, 2014, 07:39 AM   #24
johnelmore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2013
Posts: 456
According to the Federal Premium website under faq ammo has a shelf life of 10 years if stored properly.

My defensive ammo will be cycled out long before because Ill have shot it at the range within weeks or months. I dont see the purpose of just letting a sporting firearm sit unused. If I own it, its going to be used. If it sits than its either a collectors piece or about to be sold.
johnelmore is offline  
Old December 28, 2014, 05:55 AM   #25
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
My defensive ammo stays in the magazine for about a year. The round in the chamber is a generic HP loaded from a separate magazine.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 12:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09516 seconds with 8 queries