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; Went to the range yesterday with the purpose of cutting a playing card in two, along with some drills. I have hit the edge of ...

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Thread: How long is too long to carry defense ammo

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    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    How long is too long to carry defense ammo

    Went to the range yesterday with the purpose of cutting a playing card in two, along with some drills. I have hit the edge of a card a few times before but never cut it in two, but I was using round nose FMJ and it would hit it and leave a gray mark on one side, closest I got on the third try was cut a of the way.

    So today I went with my carry ammo Hydro Shock 230, as I felt that I had carried it long enough, it’s been several years can’t say for sure but at least 5 maybe even up to 7 years. Yes I know that is a long time.

    I have heard that one shouldn’t carry it for long periods of time, a friend burns it at least once a year. His concern is that oil may get into the case and cause a miss fire. That seemed a bit excessive to me, I am cheap to say the least. I also heard that a cop somewhere got into a gun fight and the first round didn’t fire, don’t recall the details, brand, might have even been practice shot. Anyway it was sent back to the manufacture and they said it was due to racking the same round in when unloading and reloading, causing the primer charge to dislocate from between the cup and the anvil, so it never got crushed, which caused the misfire.

    Well my first shot went click, “what the…” am I carrying an empty chamber, no way I rack the slide and out comes an unfired case with a healthy dent in the primer. I am a bit shocked as I have fired rounds that were 20 or more years old and nothing like this happened. Well the next one did go off but it was a hang fire, just under a second or so after the hammer hit. Now I am thinking, boy am I glad this is the place I discovered this news and not in a gun fight. Well this happened 6 times out of 25, 4 didn’t go bang and 2 were hang fires.

    Oh yeah I cut the card it’s on the avatar.

    It was a painless lesson for me, aside the cost of new ammo 50 bucks for forty rounds. I think I will rotate it like twice a year, say on the 4th and New Year.
    BenGoodLuck likes this.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    I shoot mine up every year or so, but that's mostly due to wanting to shoot what I carry every now and again. I woulda said it would be fine for 5 to 10 years, but your experience may make me rethink that.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I shoot mine up every 3 months or so. First to make sure that I am proficient with it. Second to get some new stuff to try and make sure what happened to you doesnt happen to me....
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    I shoot my carry ammo about every six months.

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    I carry re-loads which I buy in 300-round lots, and run it periodically, so nothing gets old.
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    Senior Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    Shoot it as often as you like but the round itself may out last you.

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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    Carry ammo should get rotated out at least once a year.
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    I don't have a set time for mine. I'll usually fire a magazine or 2 of my carry ammo when I go to the range, so it gets rotated out.
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    Member Array Dragonheart's Avatar
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    When I was a kid in the 60's we were shooting ammo left over from WWI. The ammo from WWII was better and that was 20+ years old. If you let oil get into your primers there is no safe time limit for your ammunition.
    Tayopo likes this.

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    "His concern is that oil may get into the case and cause a miss fire."

    Then he's using too much oil.

    I use up my SD ammo whenever I decide to change to something else. I've never had an "old" round misfire, only new ones right out of the box and a couple of dud primers in my many reloads. It happens.
    DaveH likes this.
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    Member Array Rev.357's Avatar
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    I seal all my ammo primers & around the case mouth on all EDC ammo! No matter what you do you will never know until you pull that trigger!
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    Member Array Lindy1933's Avatar
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    Good lesson, thanks for the heads up. I shoot quite a bit FMJ so I will put my carry ammo into the mix. The carry ammo cost twice as much as FMJ but if it don't work when you need it, it is worthless.
    Retired AF pilot, Vietnam FAC 1967-68

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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    I still use as edc ammo ammo thats 30 years old. Never had an issue at the range ever.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

    Honing the knives, Cleaning the longguns, Stocking up ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I don't have a set time for mine. I'll usually fire a magazine or 2 of my carry ammo when I go to the range, so it gets rotated out.
    Ya, this is pretty much what I do. Except not every trip, about every third or fourth trip. A 50 rnd box last about 3-4 months I guess.
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

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    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntkb View Post
    I also heard that a cop somewhere got into a gun fight and the first round didn’t fire, don’t recall the details, brand, might have even been practice shot. Anyway it was sent back to the manufacture and they said it was due to racking the same round in when unloading and reloading, causing the primer charge to dislocate from between the cup and the anvil, so it never got crushed, which caused the misfire.
    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.
    Tayopo likes this.

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