How long is too long to carry defense ammo

This is a discussion on How long is too long to carry defense ammo within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; ntkb, the answer to your original question is that well made ammunition should last many decades before it incurs any noticeable deterioration. And oil should ...

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Thread: How long is too long to carry defense ammo

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    ntkb, the answer to your original question is that well made ammunition should last many decades before it incurs any noticeable deterioration. And oil should not be a factor, unless the gun is dripping with it. What causes the most problems with carry ammo is bullet setback from being chambered multiple times, which has already been mentioned. This is why I shoot my carry ammo about every six months. I don't want to have to worry about some kind of malfunction due to bullet setback. Anytime I clear my weapon I take the time at the end of the day to empty my mag and rotate the previously chambered round to the bottom of the mag. I know that's a bit anal, but it works for me.
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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    In a direct response to the thread title: I don't know.

    I run my carry ammo through each weapon at the end of the month. This isn't because of bullet set-back or me not trusting it anymore, it'sjust that I like to keep myself acquainted with the difference in load, however slight it might be when shooting it, compared to the target ammo I regularly shoot.

    As some of you can imagine, the end of the month is a pain in the ass for me cuz that's a lot of damn cleaning to do afterwards. Of course I don't stop at just the carry ammo or pistols

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  4. #33
    Member Array 1boredguy's Avatar
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    I'd refresh carry ammo considering how often the semi auto pistol is unloaded and the brass gets chewed up. With range visits once or twice a month, I'd refresh annually. But for revolvers, I'd go a few more years.

  5. #34
    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    I can't really comment on the life span of carry ammo, but I think I remember the details of the story you brought up. It was a SWAT officer and when conducting a raid, the officer felt like he had to pull the trigger on his AR-15. It did not fire. The issue wasn't really the repeated chambering itself, but it was the repeated chambering in an AR. The free-floating firing pin slams against the primer upon loading the chamber and when the primer gets beaten enough, the explosive charge inside may break or dislodge. It seems like it was a Hornady TAP round. Repeatedly chambering the same round from the magazine isn't a good practice because of the possibility of bullet set-back. For my carry guns, I use a careful loading method of avoid this.

    If I lived in the humid south, hot desert or somewhere that got really cold, or I spent a lot of time outside with my ammo, I might rotate my ammo regularly. My ammo and carry guns are stored in ideal conditions whenever they're not being carried so I'm not concerned about rotating my ammo any time soon. Maybe 5 or so years from now I will, but if ammo is stored in ideal conditions, I see no need. 50+ year old mil-surp stored in good conditions works great. Why not all ammo? I do think I'll seal my primers though.
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  6. #35
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    If your paying $50 for 40 rounds of SD ammo,you might want to look online and buy the LE boxes of either Speer Gold Dot,Ranger T-series,or Fed HST if you can find it ,depending on caliber it runs around $26 to $32 for 50 rounds,if you buy 4 or 5 boxes then the added shipping is only about $2-3 a box,I usually shoot the Mag in my carry gun at least once a month,then I cycle my mags,first mag in gun second spare mag to front and mag with new ammo in rear slot,I carry a 1911 with 2 spare mags
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  7. #36
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    Well....just worse case scenario. Trying to establish a base here. What's acceptable and what might be over the edge. I've seen this movie myself, but not very often. It won't make the history channel even though it's impressive to us at the time. LOL!
    I would not have wanted to stake my life on it, but just for the sake of curiosity it did all fire. I wasn't expecting them to fire at all. I kept the boxes...they must have been from the 1950s and I shot them just a couple years ago. I'll see if I can find the boxes.
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  8. #37
    New Member Array unclenunzie's Avatar
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    OP, was the particular lot number or specific box of ammo test fired in your gun prior to these failures? If not I'd bet it was a bad lot. It's rare to find in factory defensive ammo but it does happen. I wont depend on ammo lots I have not tested, typically 1 box of 5 in the same lot number.
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  9. #38
    Senior Member Array bandrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    Carry ammo should get rotated out at least once a year.
    I agree with sgb. It is because my CCL instructor told me the shelf life is one year and he is far more experienced than I. Far more.
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  10. #39
    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokinFool View Post
    ntkb, the answer to your original question is that well made ammunition should last many decades before it incurs any noticeable deterioration. And oil should not be a factor, unless the gun is dripping with it. What causes the most problems with carry ammo is bullet setback from being chambered multiple times, which has already been mentioned. This is why I shoot my carry ammo about every six months. I don't want to have to worry about some kind of malfunction due to bullet setback. Anytime I clear my weapon I take the time at the end of the day to empty my mag and rotate the previously chambered round to the bottom of the mag. I know that's a bit anal, but it works for me.
    Bullet setback in a 45acp I donít see as much of an issue, itís a low pressure cartridge, if it was, a 45gap would be too high. However in a 9 or 40 or a 10mm it might be. The case is designed to locate on the rim of the case, so even if the bullet was way down in the case it would not be a factor for ignition.

    I have not gotten but very few setbacks in all the years I have had the gun, maybe 3 and I set them aside.

    I too agree that ammo should last for many years, I am leaning toward repeated chambering jarring the primer charge loose.
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  11. #40
    Member Array FLArmadillo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntkb View Post
    Really like what? I know itís not the latest stuff out there but I have done some comparisons and found it to be good stuff, of course it wasnít scientific testing.
    Sorry, I should have been more accurate. I've had problems with the primers, as have others. If you have anything closely resembling a light primer strike, they seem to have an issue; I have one such that I went and dug up, two primer strikes and it still didn't go off. Their overall reputation on the street is that the cuts between petals are not deep enough, the hole is too small, it really needs to be a bonded round and the center post is inexplicable, or some combination thereof; many people say clothing clogs them and it just acts like an FMJ.

    I always suggest people take a look at tnoutdoors9 if they want to see how various SD rounds perform. He really seems to have it together. As per the FBI, I really only care about penetration and the size of the hole it leaves, but he will show you everything there is to see.

    .45 ACP Ammo tests - YouTube

    If you are looking for a good round in .45 Auto that can be found anywhere, the Winchester PDX1 Bonded 230gr "Supreme Elite" seems to fit the bill.

    I prefer HST (P45HST2), but you have to special order it usually.
    As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody - and he finds out about it - he may be very angry with you. -- Jeff Cooper

  12. #41
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    I shoot the first two rounds in the clip that's carried in the gun when I go to the range. Those two get rotated to load the chamber if the gun is cleared and reloaded for some reason - like the weekly blowing out of dust, lint, and other crud, using it to demo something (at home only) for someone. Etc.

    My main concern is bullet setback so I shoot the one in the chamber and the next one. Stick one in the magazine and switch to the other magazine till the next range trip.

    I've never had a misfire or failure to fire with any SD ammo except one round of Hornady Critical Defense - my buddy had that happen as well so I shot all I had and replaced it (as fate would have it, all the rest went bang just fine - Murphy is alive and well). I carry COR-BON DPX in the nines and .45 (All Glocks). Gold dot in the .380s (P238 and LCP).

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  13. #42
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandrich View Post
    I agree with sgb. It is because my CCL instructor told me the shelf life is one year and he is far more experienced than I. Far more.
    I served 30 years in the USMC so I also am probably far more experienced than you or your instructor. I carried a circa 1944 Remington Rand .45 ACP M1911A1 , in Vietnam in 1970 and I was issued ammo that had been manufactured in 1943 (box was date-stamped.) I seriously doubt that anybody in the military (other than shooting teams) has ever been issued ammo that is any newer than ten years old. Ammo is purchased in cycles and then stored. Oldest ammo is issued first. I never had any of .45 ACP service ammo fail to fire, either on the range (I was a range coach for several years) or in combat. You can give any quality U.S. ammo you have today to your great-grandson along with your Colt, S&W or Ruger handgun, when you hit 90 years old and the eyes are too shot to be shooting anymore! If you are buying ammo that has a shelf life of one year you very badly need to change brands!
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  14. #43
    Senior Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    Something to be said about keeping your powder dry ............

  15. #44
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    FWIW, I submerged various kinds of ammo under oil, Hoppe's 9, salt water, or WD40 for up to 5 weeks and only got a couple of rimfire rounds (but not all of them) submerged in WD40 to misfire. Nothing under salt water failed, one round of range FMJ failed under oil (hangfire). Some aluminim cased Blazer got pitted and discolored in Hoppes, but still fired. I have also fired .38spl and .32acp rounds that went through the washer and dryer without incident. Most of those were premium JHP.
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  16. #45
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    I guess I'll be shooting my EDC Ammo next time I'm at the range and getting some fresh stuff.. I've had mine for around 3 years now. However I did shoot a few rounds off about 1.5 years ago and it went bang every time.
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