I think it's going to depend on the ammo and gun you have.
This is a discussion on How often should you rotate chambered rounds? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If I come home after a day of carrying and unload my weapon to practice drawing or dry firing, is it necessary to rotate that ...
If I come home after a day of carrying and unload my weapon to practice drawing or dry firing, is it necessary to rotate that round that was chambered to the bottom of my magazine? When else is it necessary to rotate carry ammo?
I tried a google search on this and found conflicting opinions on this. I read that after a round has been chambered repeatedly it can cause the primer to possibly go bad (?) or for the bullet to be pushed back into the brass, causing headspace issues.
I am just got my CHP so forgive my ignorance on this issue. I just want to make sure I am doing everything right. I would hate to be presented with a situation where I need to use my weapon and have an issue with the primer etc. of my ammo.
I think it's going to depend on the ammo and gun you have.
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I have been doing a LOT of dry fire practice with my EDC lately, I will chamber the same round 3 times (each time marked with a sharpie) then it gets rotated to the bottom of the mag. I doubt there is a magic number, but I feel comfortable with 3. I'm sure some here will say even that's too many. I do inspect the round before rechambering.
I really have been wanting another G23, mostly for this reason, and of course to have another G23 :).
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Your main worry would be bullet setback, which can negatively affect the amount of pressure your firearm experiences when firing that round, and could result in your gun going boom, for the last time.
Some brand/weight rounds will be subject to more setback than other. I had Gold Dots setback .01" after 10 chambering, Win PDX1s didn't budge at all. I try not to make a practice of unloading/rechambering a round any more than necessary.
Here's what you can do: Mark a line or spot on the bullet where it enters the case. If you notice the line/spot disappear, use the round on your next practice session.
As for it damaging the primer, I've "read" one report of an LEO who "repeatedly" rechambered the same round and the primer failed. How many times was repeatedly? Who knows. Do what makes YOU feel most comfortable. There is no magic number.
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Ammo is primarily .40 S&W 180 gr Winchester Ranger T Series and the gun is a Glock 23. I don't know if this makes a difference.
Old Vet had the info correct. A policeman in Georgia loaded and unloaded the same top round in his gun everytime he got home and then left the next day. When he had to use his gun it went click. He did tap rack, and it then went bang. The round was examined by the manufacturer and found to have a fractured primer cake whose pieces were all found in the powder. I only chamber once and then when it is unchambered (going into my Cold gun range) it is now the first round shot in training. I used to put them into a box and once a year shoot what was in the box. I will not take any chances with my "Social Ammo" for any reason.
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Thanks for that info, Blue Thunder. I rechamber my defense rounds many times before I rotate them. I have always watched for bullet setback, but never considered long term primer damage. I haven't had one go click yet, and I rarely chamber one more than a dozen times or so, but that is something I hadn't thought about yet. I'll have to think about changing my procedures some.
I use mostly speer gold dots, and with my XD9 setback has never proven to be a problem. Breaking up the primer would definitely be a problem, though. Hmm....
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Never heard of the primer issue.
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Some research done by Andrew Tuohy (owns Vuurwapen Blog) in regards to bullet setback:
In general, once I start noticing bullet setback, I put it in a pile to shoot at the range. I don't worry too much about a little setback though. With Winchester PDX1s, I have had 3 rounds with any noticeable setback in about 2 years of carrying. It definitely depends on the gun a little too. Subcompacts I've seen seem to slam the rounds into the feed ramp, where my HK USP seems to pop them up, locked them in place behind the extractor and slide them into the chamber.
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From what I know, the problem is not in keeping a round chambered for a long time as most modern and quality ammo will not have any problems. The problem has been studied and found to be when you keep chambering the same round over and over again. For instance when you come home each day and extract the round in the chamber and then put the same round back into the chamber the next day. That will cause problems as the round is being pounded into position each day and supposedly that affect the round and makes it less reliable over time. I guess it pushes the bullet further into the case a little at a time and if you look at bullets that have been chambered a lot you will usually see nicks in the case and sometimes it looks a little deformed.
I shoot my carry ammo at least once every 3 months so I always have fresh ammo. I know guys who have the same ammo in their gun for years due to the cost of replacing it. One had the same ammo in his gun for 25 years and it went bang when I finally got him to shoot it.
While I shoot range ammo, I also shoot what I'm carrying. To me, it doesn't make sense to practice with one ammo and trust your life to something that you never shoot. So, every trip to the range whatever I'm carrying goes downrange and is replenished.
I was talking to some friends about this issue, and one buddy told me that he will buy new defensive rounds every year (if not less) and anytime he goes to the range, he will swap out his clip, but what ever is chambered is the first to be sent down range.
He does not unload the round in the camber any other time, unless special need arises. (He leaves his gun int the safe at home if he is going to church, a federal building, or other Pistol Free Zone.) But otherwise, it stays loaded.
I have been thinking about doing the same thing.
As often as you need to be comfortable
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I try not to chamber the same round repeatedly. To avoid doing so I simply rotate the rounds in my magazine and shuffle the top one to the bottom and repeat that on a pretty regulkar basis. This keeps (at least in my mind) any one round from being chambered too many times.
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