How often do you practice with your carry ammo?

How often do you practice with your carry ammo?

This is a discussion on How often do you practice with your carry ammo? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Sniped this topic from another Forum I frequent, but figured it would be interesting to hear from people here as well... I was wondering what ...

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Thread: How often do you practice with your carry ammo?

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    How often do you practice with your carry ammo?

    Sniped this topic from another Forum I frequent, but figured it would be interesting to hear from people here as well... I was wondering what everyone thought about practicing with the ammo they actually carry.


    I'm a believer that you should always practice with an ammo similar to what you intend to use. IE: I carry 180gr Ranger-T, so I only practice with 180gr target ammo provided it's available. I also believe that it is essential to practice from time to time with the ammo that you carry for SD for a number of reasons. First being to make sure it will properly run in your weapon. Secondly, and I think most important, to know exactly how your carry ammo behaves. I've found that SD ammo is usually a far stouter load than the typical target round. This typically means more recoil/muzzle rise, which also means harder to get on target for a follow up shot.

    An example I gave on the other Forum is a guy I shoot with from time to time. He uses whatever cheap target ammo he can find. Around here lately it's low grain Blazer. Yet he chooses to carry the amped up Buffalo Bore as his SD ammo. He's very good with the target ammo, and practices "triple taps"... 2 in the chest 1 in the head. He made a comment about me wasting money practicing with my carry load, and I presented him with my reasons why I do. Then challenged him to pull off one of his triple taps with his carry rounds. His first shot was center of mass, the second in the high shoulder, the third(his intended head shot) didn't even touch paper. He was shocked. But has since started practicing from time to time with his carry rounds.

    Times are tough and finding ammo these days, especially SD ammo. I try to run at least a box(50rds) of my carry ammo a month so I know how it will perform if the time comes. So how often, if ever, do you practice with the ammo you carry?


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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    Rarely of late haven't seen a source of resupply may start experimenting with other loadings to broaden the supply.

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    I rarely practice with my carry ammo, except to burn up dated stuff. However, most of my reloads I shoot for practice and my club matches are comparable to the carry stuff, so I'm not fooling myself.

    My significant exception is that I generally use softball loads when I practice with the lightweight snub; even 50 rounds of WWB ball is fatiguing. But I finish those practice sessions with a couple of cylinders of carry ammo or equivalent reloads.
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    I run enough carry ammo through my guns to ensure reliable feeding and let it go at that. The carry ammo may have a little more "pop" than my reloads, but the target results don't vary.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    What OldVet said.
    I shoot with a pistol and a Canon. We must all hang together amigos, or we will all hang separately. NRA life member.

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Next to never. If its a new brand, I shoot enough to make sure it will feed well in my guns, but then its just FMJ for practice.

    Heres the thing; The point of impact for my cheaper FMJ, and carry ammo, is so close that I see no reason to cap off much more expensive carry rounds in practice. I also dont use +P rounds, so the kick is essentially the same. So, once again, I dont see the need to shoot much at all of the carry stuff.

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    I try to buy several boxes of defense ammo with the same Lot#. I run each mag with a full load to ensure all is OK, then practice with the cheap stuff. Defense ammo is entirely too expensive for practice.
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    A wise man once said: "Bugout bag?..What's that? Is that all the junk you sidewalk commandos plan on humping when the SHTF...I'll grab a Nylon 66, a box of 22s and a poncho liner and in less than a week I will have all of your stuff and everything else that I need for the duration."

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    One or two magazines, depending upon capacity, at least once each month for each carry piece. That usually works out to one gun each range session.

    As you say, ammunition has been scarce. Over the summer I did cut back to every other session simply to conserve my stock of carry ammo. I have recently been able to restock and am now back on my original schedule.
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I would practice with my carry ammo but I simply can't afford to replace it on any regular basis so I don't.
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    When I go to the range, the first two guns shot are the ones I am carrying with the ammo in them and in the spare magazines. I want to know how they work with the ammo as carried. After I check a new gun for infant mortality with a few hundred rounds of FMJ and ammo sensitivity with various self-defense ammo, I only shoot whatever ammo I carry in that gun.
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Ditto OldVet. I practice with whatever I can find at a reasonable price these days. Since switching to 9mm I haven't really noticed much of a difference between the cheap practice stuff and my short-barrel gold dots (compact) or golden sabers (full size), despite the +P on the carry stuff.

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    In either of my Glocks (19, 26) I can't really tell much of a difference in recoil or POI between my SD and range ammo. I suppose this may make more of a difference with very lightweight guns. or in calibers where there's a lot of difference between soft range ammo and SD loads (.357 Magnum comes to mind), but even the 26 is hefty enough to shoot +P easily.

    After I tested my carry ammo in them, I've been mostly shooting cheapo FMJ. I do retire my chambered rounds after a few load/unload cycles to avoid setback issues, so every once in a while I'll shoot a magazine of retired rounds at the range.

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    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    Once a month for proper function checks

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    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    I can barely afford to shoot whatever ammo I can find. My carry ammo is not +P, however, and recoil is not more than any of the practice ammo I use.
    Hakkaa päälle!

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    Handgun ammo seems to vary very little from load to load as far as poi/poa. I run a mag or two of my carry ammo to qualify it and then every year or so I shoot it and replace it.
    Glock 19, Glock 27, Glock 30, Mossberg 500, Ruger 10/22, Savage Hog Hunter, Kahr CM9, Beretta M9

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