Shooting the ammo you carry

This is a discussion on Shooting the ammo you carry within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I voted Occasionally. I shoot quite a bit of my carry ammo (150 - 250 rounds) to ensure it will functions reliably in my gun(s). ...

View Poll Results: Do you shoot the ammo you carry?

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  • Yes, every time I shoot at the range.

    32 14.88%
  • Occasionally.

    129 60.00%
  • Rarely.

    45 20.93%
  • Never.

    9 4.19%
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Thread: Shooting the ammo you carry

  1. #31
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    I voted Occasionally. I shoot quite a bit of my carry ammo (150 - 250 rounds) to ensure it will functions reliably in my gun(s). After that, I'll try and get what I'm carrying shot up within a couple of years.

    If I buy something different as a carry load, I'll do the same function test and then try to get rid of it within a couple of years and buy a fresh batch.

    So, most trips to the range, I'm just shooting cheaper practice ammo. I try to shoot practice ammo with the same bullet weight as my carry ammo, but usually I'll be shooting FMJ's for range sessions. The main issue however for range work is what I can get for the best price.
    -Bark'n
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  3. #32
    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    I shoot a box or two of my carry ammo through my carry guns at first, to make sure it works. Then I shoot it about once every six to eight months, or sooner if I see corrosion or case setback.
    Hakkaa päälle!

  4. #33
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I fire a couple hundred rounds of whatever I'm carrying. Mostly, I carry Ranger T-Series or Federal HST. In my Glocks, M&Ps, HKs, etc., I'll fire about 50 to 100 rounds of my carry ammo, each. For example, I've found that my M&P9 is quite a bit more accurate with 124 grain +P than it is with 147 grain. My Glock 17 that I carry most of the time is equally accurate with both. Part of this may be due to the early unlocking of the M&P's barrel. I'll usually run a couple quick drills with the different loads like FAST or a modified Dot Torture drill. This give me a good idea how accurate I am with a particular ammo and surprisingly there can be a considerable difference. Not that it means much for 95% of situations we'd encounter, but it's still nice to have an advantage, as small as it may be.

    When it comes to my 1911's, I handle it about the same with just a little more attention to detail. I always run a few magazines from awkward positions with my support hand only, sometimes with a weak grip, regardless of whether it's a Glock or Nighthawk. This tells me a lot about how it feeds and in a defensive shoot, there's a good chance we won't have our ideal grip on the weapon.

    After that, I dump the mag in the gun and the two additional (sometimes only carry one additional, sometimes two) about every 6 months or so. I don't re chamber rounds, so any time I remove the one from the chamber it goes in a box for the range as well.

    I would think that after you've run some training ammo through a gun, 50 to 100 rounds of your carry ammo is all that's needed to assure function. I just always suggest people run some drills though and shoot with your reaction side a bit so there's no surprises.
    Bark'n and TSiWRX like this.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  5. #34
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    I end every range session if I am shooting one of my carry gun's by firing a mag or a cylinder full of my carry ammo.

    For me it sets in my mind how my carry gun will respond if I need to use it. That's just me and my thought process.

    OS
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  6. #35
    Member Array TXOutfitter's Avatar
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    I shoot 50 to 100 rounds of carry ammo in each of my carry pistols when I first buy them and compare POI with practice ammo....then, every so often I'll shoot a few just to make sure nothing has changed between lots!
    Proverbs 3:5-6
    "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

  7. #36
    Senior Member Array theskunk's Avatar
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    Take a box of 20 and shoot a few rounds .... WHY? ... Primers and bullet seating can vary. And range bullets will be $12, while self defense are $30, so you shoot the cheaper mostly.

    The range bullets are round nose vs hollow points .... ball round nose will feed better. But, then again it gets back to how dependable your gun is. The real answer is you need to hit the range a lot and use the ammo you will carry. But that gets expensive.

  8. #37
    New Member Array amready's Avatar
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    Yes, I shoot the ammo I carry everytime I practice. Like many here, I'll always try a few mags of the ammo I carry. I shoot up the loaded mag and spare then load with fmj to practice. The 230gr. fmj shoots about the same as the hp and I'd never know the difference in a situation. I've always felt it's a good thing to shoot up the older carry ammo and replace with new.

  9. #38
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldLincoln View Post
    I rotate the chamber round and the top round in the mag whenever I reload from cleaning, demonstrating, etc. I'll occasionally shoot those two rounds when the look a little abused. FYI: I've been told chambering the same round repeatedly will set the bullet back but have measured several times and don't see it happening.
    and

    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    I don't re chamber rounds, so any time I remove the one from the chamber it goes in a box for the range as well.
    I also don't re-chamber. If for some reason I've cleared the gun and ejected the chambered round, I just save it for the range. That virtually guarantees me a steady supply of my SD/HD ammo for use on the range.

    I'm new to shooting, so I was quite concerned about bullet set-back. From what I've read, I believe that it is either more or less common for X versus Y brand/make of ammo than another. My practice of not re-chambering is partially based on this concern, but in all honesty, it's really just a very practical way to insure that I both don't have to worry about this, as well as am supplied with my SD/HD ammo for the range.

    I fire a couple hundred rounds of whatever I'm carrying. Mostly, I carry Ranger T-Series or Federal HST. In my Glocks, M&Ps, HKs, etc., I'll fire about 50 to 100 rounds of my carry ammo, each. For example, I've found that my M&P9 is quite a bit more accurate with 124 grain +P than it is with 147 grain. My Glock 17 that I carry most of the time is equally accurate with both. Part of this may be due to the early unlocking of the M&P's barrel. I'll usually run a couple quick drills with the different loads like FAST or a modified Dot Torture drill. This give me a good idea how accurate I am with a particular ammo and surprisingly there can be a considerable difference.
    Absolutely.

    A friend introduced me to the drills on Pistol-Training.com . They're a wonderful resource.

    I certainly also agree with trying out different ammo.

    I would think that after you've run some training ammo through a gun, 50 to 100 rounds of your carry ammo is all that's needed to assure function.
    Again, agreed.

    A friend once questioned me as to why I am so obsessive about getting the round-count high. His reasoning was that if the gun didn't like the ammo, that should show earlier rather than later - and that I was simply working towards nil benefit. I'm hard pressed not to agree with him, but at the same time, we both thought that it'd be safer and smarter to run through at least 50 to 100 rounds, just to be sure.


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    Quote Originally Posted by First Sgt View Post
    One mag at the END of every range session in my G19. I want to end my session with the same thing I may need the next time the weapon is discharged. JMO
    That's me, too.

  10. #39
    Senior Member Array DUNDEM's Avatar
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    I try shoot a mag atleast every other range session which is about once a month in a draw drill controled pair. With new to the gun ammo I do a rapid fire test of a mag and one mag of slow fire for accuracy.


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  11. #40
    Member Array ChrisMia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    A friend once questioned me as to why I am so obsessive about getting the round-count high. His reasoning was that if the gun didn't like the ammo, that should show earlier rather than later - and that I was simply working towards nil benefit. I'm hard pressed not to agree with him, but at the same time, we both thought that it'd be safer and smarter to run through at least 50 to 100 rounds, just to be sure.
    I agree with that too, but I still run through a number of boxes of carry ammo before putting the pistol into carry service. At least for me it's a matter of cost/benefit analysis and sample size. While you're likely to see failures early on if your pistol doesn't like Ammo XYZ, given the potential cost of a failure in a situation where I need the pistol to save my life, the larger sample size goes a long way to demonstrating ammo/pistol compatibility, and in turn gives me greater confidence that it'll work as needed if need.

    Put in a different context, I trust the pilot who has 500 safe landings under his belt much more than the one with 50.

  12. #41
    Member Array kal0's Avatar
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    Once I settle in a type of carry ammo,
    I usually shoot around 12-15 rounds of my carry ammo once every two/three months or so.

    But the very first time I actually go thru the whole box of 25 rounds (or whatever it is) just to make sure I like it, it cycles fine, point of impact and all that stuff.

  13. #42
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisMia View Post
    I agree with that too, but I still run through a number of boxes of carry ammo before putting the pistol into carry service. At least for me it's a matter of cost/benefit analysis and sample size. While you're likely to see failures early on if your pistol doesn't like Ammo XYZ, given the potential cost of a failure in a situation where I need the pistol to save my life, the larger sample size goes a long way to demonstrating ammo/pistol compatibility, and in turn gives me greater confidence that it'll work as needed if need.

    Put in a different context, I trust the pilot who has 500 safe landings under his belt much more than the one with 50.

    ^ Exactly - it's the most unlikely situation that I'd have to draw and fire, but yet, that's why I carry.

    So my reasoning is very similar to yours.

    But at the same time, I could not fault my friend, for his thought, either.

    Basically, after that little discussion with my friend, my view's changed to:

    - At least run through 50 to 100.
    - But if you can, run through as many as you possibly can.

  14. #43
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    Yes I agree, notwithstanding the cost of ammo and other variables. In my particular case it works for me, as I don't practice enough to feel the pain in my wallet. Also, my gun is a solid steel model so it can easily handel the diet of my top-end carry stock.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

  15. #44
    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    Shoot it when I buy it..confirm POI...unload it and shoot ball..dont go for the +p, none of my pistol are +p, it's just wishfully thinking that your gun can take occasional abuse and not fail you...Warheads are for carry..ball for practice....I'll shoot my own handloads a little hot..but Ive got a cronny...and Im careful cause Ive seen to many busted guns and numb hands...just sayn.

  16. #45
    Senior Member Array xsigma40cal's Avatar
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    I've shot a few drills with my def. ammo, virtually no difference than FMJ. Shoot the way you train and there should no problem.

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