Bullet Setback in your defensive pistol

This is a discussion on Bullet Setback in your defensive pistol within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I wanted to continue a discussion from a thread here on DC and got started a few days ago and drifted towards the subject of ...

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Thread: Bullet Setback in your defensive pistol

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    Bullet Setback in your defensive pistol

    I wanted to continue a discussion from a thread here on DC and got started a few days ago and drifted towards the subject of "bullet setback". I realized in that discussion many of you may not know what setback was or how it occurred, or even what you can do to prevent problems. So, here's my latest video where I discuss the subject.

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    Member Array Foo909's Avatar
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    Good video, I also see set back mentioned a lot when talking about magnum caliber revolvers due to recoil I assume?

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I believe that forward crimp jump is more of a problem than rearward setback, in lightweight magnum revolvers.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Good video.
    A thought occurred to me. If I felt that a round was setback sufficiently that it might be dangerous to use as carry ammunition, why would I want to chance firing that same round at the range?

    Sufficient setback not to use as carry ammo, to me, would indicate trashing the round.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Good video.
    A thought occurred to me. If I felt that a round was setback sufficiently that it might be dangerous to use as carry ammunition, why would I want to chance firing that same round at the range?

    Sufficient setback not to use as carry ammo, to me, would indicate trashing the round.
    I remove a round from the magazine when I notice any setback. I've never had one blow in decades of carrying and shooting. I don't let them get seriously setback before I remove them. If you're unsure, discard the round.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitaryArms View Post
    I remove a round from the magazine when I notice any setback. I've never had one blow in decades of carrying and shooting. I don't let them get seriously setback before I remove them. If you're unsure, discard the round.
    'Concur. I only unload when cleaning. I'll mark the chambered round with a sharpie (black band around the casing) and rotate it to the bottom of the mag. When it hits the top, it goes into the range bucket. Like in your video, I'll set them on a table top and eyeball them. I have on occasion seen (particularly the LCP tends to do this with cheap range rounds), that the setback on the chambered round is so severe (even after only one chambering), that I'll toss it. I also keep a close eye on HP's in the 1911's.

    It's a judgement call on my part, where each round only gets to be chambered at most twice (once before it gets marked with the sharpie and once when it is fired at the range).
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    New Member Array randyhenke's Avatar
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    I wouldn't put a round that is pushed into the case back into my magazine. I do reload ammunition so I do know a little bit about this topic. If you take a reputable reloading manual when you find your caliber it will state a minimum overall length. Now if your ammunition is shorter than the minimum it will cause undue stress on your pistol or worse yet a boom. The other problem that can arise from setback would be that the bullet is actually off center when loaded into the chamber. If you take a look at some of the rounds he is showing the one is lopsided. When you fire a bullet that isn't centered in the case right it won't exit the right either. My suggestion would be to get rid of that round and not by shooting it. Now if your factory ammo is just a hair setback it probably won't cause any issues. But if its obvious that its not right get rid of it don't risk it.

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    A follow-up question that I'd posted on MA's other thread, but hasn't been answered by anyone, yet.....

    Can repeated press-checking also cause set-back?

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I would say normally no. The round is not impacting the feed ramp and the slide is not closing with the force of when it is released freely from the locked position.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    ^ That's what I thought - and what I've been told - so far.... So, thank you, sincerely (since I always press-check), for adding another vote.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    You're Welcome.

    I will often do a "pull-check". The safety setup of the 92FS even facilitates doing it one handed.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Thanks OP, I'm subscribed to your channel and enjoy your videos.

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    I always put a permanent marker dot on the back of the round that is being chambered in my SD firearms so that I am sure which is which. Since reading the posts here about setback, I've pretty much left my chambered rounds where they are until I need to fire the gun or I clean it - I just treat everything as if it's loaded anyways. (with my small collection, no problem!) If I've had to chamber the marked round more than once, I'll give it a comparison to an unchambered round to make sure I can remove anything that is noticably different in length.

    On another note, I'm always press-checking & the round is not disturbed...so no setback in that case.


    All good info. Thanks for the vid, MA!
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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    Member Array trainercb's Avatar
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    what is press checking?
    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them..."
    -George Washington

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    It is a method of moving the slide a short distance to the rear to observe that there is a round in the chamber. It is usually, but not always, done from the front.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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