Different Ammo for Different Guns?

This is a discussion on Different Ammo for Different Guns? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've read so many posts that say to shoot different Brands and Weights of ammo through your gun to make sure it works, or fails, ...

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    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
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    Different Ammo for Different Guns?

    I've read so many posts that say to shoot different Brands and Weights of ammo through your gun to make sure it works, or fails, "with your gun".

    This may be a stupid question, but if a bullet works, or fails in one, wouldn't it work, or fail, in another? A Secondary question is why do most experienced shooters feel it necessary to "break in" a new gun with 200-400 rounds before considering the gun reliable?

    Thanks.
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    A large part of the "feeding" problem is the bullet shape. Some guns won't feed a particular shape where others feed anything. You must verify that a particular brand and bullet works in your gun. It may work in any gun, but it may not. Just because Federal 115 grain FMJs feed in you 9mm, it doen't mean Federal 147 grain HPs will.

    Some manufacturers recommend a break-in of "X" number of rounds; some don't. Personally I feel the gun should work out of the box, other don't. Again, you want to "test' your gun, regardless of make, to ensure its reliability--how ever many rounds that takes for you. Change ammo? test all over again. Make sure it works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Just because Federal 115 grain FMJs feed in you 9mm, it doen't mean Federal 147 grain HPs will.
    Why? If the general shape of the bullets are similar, why would the weight make any difference?

    Thanks.
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    Did you date more than one girl before you asked your wife to marry you? So you were looking for the best fit, right? Same with guns & ammo.

    Did you go out on more than one date with your future wife before you popped the question? So, with a decision that important, you wanted to be as sure as possible that it was gonna' work, right? Ditto with break-in rounds for your EDC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Did you date more than one girl before you asked your wife to marry you? So you were looking for the best fit, right? Same with guns & ammo.

    Did you go out on more than one date with your future wife before you popped the question? So, with a decision that important, you wanted to be as sure as possible that it was gonna' work, right? Ditto with break-in rounds for your EDC.
    Wow! I could take these in soooo many directions! LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Did you date more than one girl before you asked your wife to marry you? So you were looking for the best fit, right? Same with guns & ammo.

    Did you go out on more than one date with your future wife before you popped the question? So, with a decision that important, you wanted to be as sure as possible that it was gonna' work, right? Ditto with break-in rounds for your EDC.
    I just had to log in after reading that ! Never ever heard that explanation but I can see where he is coming from, me, I married my high-school sweetheart.

    Now what was we talking about ... oh year ... some .380 HPs wouldn't feed and go bang in my daughter's Taurus but same bullets went bang every time in
    my Bersa. Go figure !
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    Quote Originally Posted by CigarStix View Post
    I've read so many posts that say to shoot different Brands and Weights of ammo through your gun to make sure it works, or fails, "with your gun".

    This may be a stupid question, but if a bullet works, or fails in one, wouldn't it work, or fail, in another? A Secondary question is why do most experienced shooters feel it necessary to "break in" a new gun with 200-400 rounds before considering the gun reliable?

    Thanks.
    First question: What works well in one firearm, may not necessarily work well in another. Every bullet and every firearm have small, mostly minimal functional/design differences but given the right (or wrong perhaps) combination, you may end up with a combination that just doesn't work reliably. Is it a common occurrence? Not really, but you won't know for sure until you make the effort to find out.

    Second question: Experienced shooters realize and accept the answer to the first question, which is why they won't consider something 'reliable' before proving it.

    Generic take-away for both questions: For the most part, we are talking about a firearm, or an ammunition brand, that you may end up putting your life on the line with; why would you not make every effort to guarantee that everything works/functions/performs exactly as it needs to to save your life?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CigarStix View Post
    Why? If the general shape of the bullets are similar, why would the weight make any difference?

    Thanks.
    Because they are different in other than weight. "Similar" is not "identical." Even the most minute difference can make a difference. Ever try to push something thru a hole that's only .001" smaller? The smallest difference can be the differeence between success or failure.
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    Most people try out whatever type of equipment they buy. If you buy a CD player as soon as you get home you try it out. You buy a new car you take it for a spin before you take it home. Same for a gun purchase.
    As to the ammo, when I got my first weapon I used a national brand regardless of what it cost. Now I use the cheapest (only in price) ammo that works in my weapon. If brand "A" works for me and cost $18.00 while brand "B" also works great and cost $16.00 I will buy brand "B". I want my ammo to work in my weapon first then price comes in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Because they are different in other than weight. "Similar" is not "identical." Even the most minute difference can make a difference. Ever try to push something thru a hole that's only .001" smaller? The smallest difference can be the differeence between success or failure.
    That's what my wife keeps telling me!
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    I read an article recently on what can effect reliable feeding of a cartridge and it was fairly mind-blowingly complicated (or so it seemed at the time). Geometry of the feed ramp and chamber can affect reliability with a particular kind of ammo. Bullet nose shape, combined with overall cartridge length can also affect feeding reliability. The bottom line is that you just don't know until you try it. Considering the gravity of the situation it may be used in, most people try it at the range first.

    As far as gun "break in" goes, it falls into two camps. Those that won't be satisfied with their gun's perceived reliability until they've fired X number of rounds through it AND manufactures who suggest a certain number of rounds, because of tight tolerances or lack of finish work. A "low end" gun for instance may need to smooth out some of the rough edges. Where as a "high end" gun may need a little wear to work smoothly, just because the parts are fitted so closely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CigarStix View Post
    This may be a stupid question...
    If someone is truly looking for the answer to something they do not know the answer to, I don't count it stupid. If someone asks the question just to miff people, then it is a stupid question. I sense, using the Force, that you fall into the first category.
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    Re: Different Ammo for Different Guns?

    Bullet reliability involving bullet and overall weight, case material, case polish, bullet jacket material, case lip design, caliber, nose shape, recoil sling stiffness, bullet pressure, feed ramp finish and polish, round geometry, your grip, weapon age, and the list goes on. Even after all this, the bullet may be just one out of a million that has a miniscule machining error.The simple answer is all guns shoot bullets but not all bullets work for all guns. I have shot all types or brands of guns and ammo. It rings true that the same box of ammo will shoot from one gun but ftf or fte out of another. The long answer probably needs a book to answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CigarStix View Post
    Why? If the general shape of the bullets are similar, why would the weight make any difference?

    Thanks.
    Take a look at the attached photo. The 3 rounds to the left are all 115 grain JHPs - but look at the difference in overall length and bullet shape. The bullet shape and a given gun's feed ramp may not be an ideal combination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Take a look at the attached photo. The 3 rounds to the left are all 115 grain JHPs - but look at the difference in overall length and bullet shape. The bullet shape and a given gun's feed ramp may not be an ideal combination.
    Wow, I had no idea the differences were so pronounced. Thanks for this pic!
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