The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 4, 2013, 07:30 AM   #1
Join Date: April 18, 2010
Posts: 17
Defense round question

Two questions as follows:

1. How long can I keep defense rounds (under clean/dry) conditions until I need to rotate to new ones? ( fire old rounds and buy new etc.)

2. Does anybody have any experience with Liberty Ultra Defense USM4 9MM rounds? They are listed with a very low load of powder (50 grains or so). Is this a good defense round for a Glock 19?

thanks in advance for the advice
kahlds is offline  
Old May 4, 2013, 10:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: April 19, 2012
Location: Western PA
Posts: 3,518
1: Kept in a clean, dry place and at a constant temperature, ammo can last for generations. Ammo subjected to moisture (carry ammo, ammo kept in places with a fluctuating temperature) doesn't last as long. But you usually should be able to see any signs of corrosion: check for any "fuzziness" or discoloration, especially around the primer and where the bullet seats into the case.

Usually people replace carry ammo because the rounds have been chambered and unchambered so many times that the ammo is scratched and some of the bullets have been pushed back into the case. This is called "bullet setback" and it's dangerous to fire these rounds. Luckily it's easy to see when this happens.

The rule of thumb for ammo is that you can usually tell if it's past its prime just by looking at it. When in doubt, throw it out.

2: "Grains" refers to the bullet weight, not the amount of powder. Those rounds use 50 grain bullets, which is less than half the standard weight of most 9mm bullets. I'm not specifically familiar with Liberty Ultra Defense, but it looks like they're another one of those super-fast, super-lightweight, frangible-bullet designs.

There's a couple of problems with those. First, the bullet is often made from a pressed-together materiel so it will fragment in soft tissue or through walls. But this materiel is also usually much more susceptible to moisture: I had a friend who carried some RCBD ammo for about a year and when he went to shoot it his gun blew up after four rounds. It turned out that moisture had infiltrated the case and caused the kaboom.

The other problem is that the bullet often performs unreliably through heavy clothing and is much more easily deflected by bone and such. I'm sure there are times when a super-fast, super-lightweight, frangible 9mm bullet outperforms a more traditional hollow point, but this performance tends to be less reliable. There's a reason why almost all federal and state law enforcement agencies use more traditional hollow points.
0331: "Accuracy by volume."
Theohazard is offline  
Old May 4, 2013, 04:28 PM   #3
Junior member
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,797
Carry rounds, duty ammunition...

Under normal conditions, ie; pre-Newtown/Sandy Hook 2012, Id suggest buying new handgun rounds every 4-6 months or so.
Most rounds can last years but some things like dirt, sand, pocket lint, water, grit can work it's way into a magazine or holster over time.
Duty ammunition isn't cheap or always available in May 2013, but you can still replace or rotate your ammunition 2/3 times a year.

ClydeFrog is offline  
Old May 4, 2013, 04:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,820
The rule of thumb for ammo is that you can usually tell if it's past its prime just by looking at it. When in doubt, throw it out.
I can't agree more or more fully.

50gr is very light and off hand i am not familiar with that particular round.

I would suggest Hallow points and if you want to know what i use...
If you ever have to use a firearm, you don't get to pick the scenario!
Wreck-n-Crew is offline  
Old May 4, 2013, 05:03 PM   #5
Join Date: January 26, 2013
Posts: 97
I generally change out my carry ammo every six months. Just seems like a good number to me. And I carry the Hornady Critical Dutys in 135 grain +Ps. The smallest grain 9mm load I've seen is 90 and I'd never use it so 50 just sounds absurd.
Haz251 is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 10:14 AM   #6
Join Date: April 18, 2010
Posts: 17
Thanks for the advice!
kahlds is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 10:22 PM   #7
michael t
Senior Member
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: Out back Ky
Posts: 4,044
I saw that liberty stuff at my dealer He said all he could get in 9mm . I left it their I don't want a 50gr bullet at 2000 FPS that going to blow up on contact. Be lucky to get 3 inch of penetration .

Go find some proper 9mm It can be found just look
Certified Armed Infidel Colt Defender ,Colt Mustang ,Dan Wesson CBOB, PPK/S, American Classic 1911,Bersa Thunder 380
http://bersachat.comHome of Bersa
michael t is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 11:28 PM   #8
Junior member
Join Date: February 21, 2013
Posts: 316
Stay away from the Liberty Ultra. Look for ammo from one of the Major manufacturers, Winchester, Speer, federal, 115gr or. 124gr. Hollow point. If you can afford it get the Bonded variety. In most cases that will be their best offering. And most expensive. Good Luck
6.8 is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 09:36 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Posts: 1,368
I think how long to use carry ammo is a personal preference. Me, I always chamber the same round, and use it until it has exhibited setback. Then I fire it on the next trip to the range and add a new round to the magazine. I have only replaced two rounds in the two years I've been carrying.

If I get a new carry gun and need to run defensive ammo through it to test function, I will shoot the old ammo and replace with new ammo, cause why not?

I don't think that scratches on the bullets or cases is going to make the ammo perform any differently. There is so much to buy in the never-ending search for the perfect holster, more training, and practice ammo, that if I can save $30 on a box of 20 hollowpoints, I will.

If I had a low-cost, steady supply of ammo (like some people who are able to buy 50 round boxes of Gold Dots at good prices), I might swap my ammo every 6 months or so. But all the ammo I have is stuff I got lucky enough to find a box or two of here or there. And that includes well before the panic buying.
Everyday Loadout

NRA Instructor
NRA Member
ScotchMan is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 10:05 AM   #10
Ben Dover
Senior Member
Join Date: April 11, 2013
Location: High up in the Rocky Moun
Posts: 237
I have been told by friends in law enforcement that the ammunition in your gun and spare magazines should be replaced annually. Therefore I do so.

I trust proven brands, carried by professional law enforcement officers. Speer, Hornady, Winchester, Remington, and Federal.

I realize that many here are very enamored of smaller custom manufacrurers.

I have pulled the bullets on a round of two differentr brands, and the bullets were not sealed in to the cases with the asphaltic varnish used by the major manufacturers. That troubles me.
The soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as the prisoner's chains. Dwight Eisenhower
Ben Dover is offline  

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 07:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08666 seconds with 9 queries