How many rounds to prove reliable enough to CCW?

This is a discussion on How many rounds to prove reliable enough to CCW? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Gonna toss this out to you guys and gals, and my apologies if it's been discussed (I did use the search feature and found nothing, ...

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Thread: How many rounds to prove reliable enough to CCW?

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    Distinguished Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    How many rounds to prove reliable enough to CCW?

    Gonna toss this out to you guys and gals, and my apologies if it's been discussed (I did use the search feature and found nothing, didn't try a hundred different phrasings, though!). How many rounds do you feel necessary to fire through a gun before you're confident that's it's reliable enough for defensive use? And once you verify that the gun is mechanically sound how many rounds of a given ammo/load do you fire before you deem that loading reliable?

    Right now 9mm ammo is pretty scarce. Many of us (most, even?) may not even be able find 500 rounds to burn in one range session. Right now I think my 9mm stash is down to around 300 rounds of ball and 100 assorted duty rounds (some Pow'r'ball, Black Talon, Gold Dot, Golden Saber, etc). My Bersa BP9CC has a few hundred rounds through it without any failures and my Beretta Nano has maybe just shy of 300, also without any problems. Obviously I'll continue to shoot them both as I'm able, but in the mean time I've been CCW'ing the BP9CC. I'd like to have 500 rounds with it under my belt, but I've never had any issues and don't have a better option.

    I've been planning to buy some Buffalo Bore ammo in 9mm, and the issue there is price. Obviously you can't put a price tag on your safety, yada yada yada...but at $36/20 round box I really can't afford to test each gun with 500 rounds! If I had bought that much ammo it would run twice what the gun cost. Once I feel the gun is inherently reliable, how many rounds of a given load will it take? Hard to say.

    I'm not saying there's a magic number or right answer, just seeing what you folks consider the baseline for reliability.

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    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    I've always had my "good to go" bar set at 100 rounds.

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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    With SD ammo I generally run 2 boxes (40 rounds, usually) through the gun in question initially. More later as I can afford it, but 2 boxes of jam-free high-quality ammo is enough for me. YMMV.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    Member Array Jaybm's Avatar
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    IMHO ... a couple hundred rounds through your Bersa would satisfy me.
    My .380 and .40 Bersa eats anything I feed it and the .40 is extremely
    accurate.
    I remember back that the reason I bought the .40 was because that
    caliber was plentiful at the time. Now try to find even the bullets to
    reload !
    To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Here are a few prior discussions:




    Trust is a tricky thing. Depends on the gun and my experience with it during the first few hundred rounds. But here's something I wrote back in 2009 ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    I'm in the ~1000rd camp.

    For a defensive carry gun, it's that important to me. I don't care if a brand name has a reputation for being more reliable than most, enough to rely on that blindly as to the reliability of a specific example of that make/model. It's not known until it's known, and you cannot know until you test it yourself. That means: rounds, various types, possible massaging by a gunsmith. Once it proves itself, then you know. Not before then, which is only a guess (educated or not).

    So. I've had three primaries, so far, including one revolver. With the revolver, I did not go more than ~50rds of initial shooting before putting it into service, since most of the issues that pistols have simply don't exist on a well-made revolver. With the other two primaries, I did the 1000rd dance, seeking to find the perfect make/model of ammunition that my specific gun liked best.

    With one gun, it took several thousand rounds before things worked flawlessly on anything. With another, it took 500rds to find two perfect cartridges. In each case, I took the round count to 1000rds before I was comfortable. At which point, I knew exactly how the given ammo behaved in that gun, how clean/oiled it liked to be, the specific cartridge OAL, the tightness of crimp that my gun's ramp/throat seemed to tolerate best, etc. Minor variations from one make of cartridge to another do, in my experience, tend to make a big difference in some guns. And until you test it in your specific gun, you won't know if tolerances got stacked on your gun or not.

    I had one pistol that kept getting better and better, such that after 20Krds or so it began running flawlessly with everything. The last 10Krds were without issue of any kind. It seemed to like the Remington Golden Saber JHP 124gr 9mm rounds best, but it worked with everything. This was a Browning BDM semi-auto, if anyone remembers it. IMO, one of the best carry guns of its type, though maligned for its "backwards" safety feature.

    YMMV, depending on your gun and preferences.

    BTW, if you have troubles finding something you just know is out there, you can always take a few spins with the Google search. It allows complex strings of words, searches for keywords in the title, sorting by date or relevance, date range restriction and a few other things. For example: "before you trust" shoot ammo site:defensivecarry.com.
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    Member Array moonraker's Avatar
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    I don't trust any number of rounds to be honest. I put 50 rounds through my carry weapon every week just to shake the doubt.

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    Distinguished Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    BTW, if you have troubles finding something you just know is out there, you can always take a few spins with the Google search. It allows complex strings of words, searches for keywords in the title, sorting by date or relevance, date range restriction and a few other things. For example: "before you trust" shoot ammo site:defensivecarry.com.

    Ah, thanks! I do frequent a couple forums where the search function is so bad that I always use Google and a plus sign instead. Shoulda tried that trick here!

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Ah, thanks! I do frequent a couple forums where the search function is so bad that I always use Google and a plus sign instead. Shoulda tried that trick here!
    I tried a few variants, including a couple with "intitle:ammo" in the search. Overall, it worked far better than the in-forum search tool here. vB's search has never been one of its strong features.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Senior Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    This is an old question with no pat answer. How much money is enough? Sig's are tight, a few hundred or more. Kahr says 200 for break in. Glock and M&P seem to run out of the box. But the other factors are you and the ammo. As you can see, the answers range from 100 to 1000. You should run different types of ammo through it as well. This will help tell you if there is something on the menu that your new weapon doesn't like. If that happens, you may find the reason but probably not. But it's important information. Once I start getting to my comfort zone, then I start playing with 2 or 3 likely SD loads.

    For me, a couple hundred is minimum but the next 200 or 300 follow pretty quickly. A new carry has to work its way into my heart. One day I realize that I'm in the comfort zone.

    Good luck.
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    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    I follow moonrakers philosophy. 50 rounds minimum per week at range keeps me comfortable. Trying out some new defensive rounds this weekend to make sure there is no feed issues.

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I'm satisfied if I get through a box or two of carry ammo without trouble.
    6459 likes this.

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tubadude View Post
    I'm satisfied if I get through a box or two of carry ammo without trouble.
    Same with me

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Historically I've put about 200 FMJ and several mags of SD ammo. Given the scarcity of ammo now, I'd likely scale that back. 50 FMJs and several mags of carry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Here are a few prior discussions:




    Trust is a tricky thing. Depends on the gun and my experience with it during the first few hundred rounds. But here's something I wrote back in 2009 ...




    BTW, if you have troubles finding something you just know is out there, you can always take a few spins with the Google search. It allows complex strings of words, searches for keywords in the title, sorting by date or relevance, date range restriction and a few other things. For example: "before you trust" shoot ammo site:defensivecarry.com.
    Great post!
    NRA Life Member

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    Member Array DandLfam's Avatar
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    I like to keep on hand 50 rounds of defensive carry ammo. If I find a round that I like best, as my m&p9c eats anything, I stick with it. Don't fix what isn't broke!
    EDC: M&P 9*2
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