Does clearing the chamber damage the round?

This is a discussion on Does clearing the chamber damage the round? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Sorry if I worded that in a weird way, but I didn't know how to answer my friend on this so here it goes. He ...

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Thread: Does clearing the chamber damage the round?

  1. #1
    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    Does clearing the chamber damage the round?

    Sorry if I worded that in a weird way, but I didn't know how to answer my friend on this so here it goes.

    He carries throughout the day and does so with one in the chamber. But when he gets home, he clears the chamber and locks up his gun because of his two children in the house.

    He asked me if constantly clearing the chamber will damage the round. He said he just loads the unchambered round back into the magazine, and does this every day. Also, he's been doing this with the same round for a while now, not sure on the specific time.

    I didn't know how to answer him, so I'm asking you guys: Does clearing the chamber damage the round?

    Thanks for any help!
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  3. #2
    Member Array gunfan's Avatar
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    It may seat the bullet more deeply in the case, causing pressures to spike in the chamber. I have yet to experience such a pressure spike.

    Scott

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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Removing the round from the chamber shouldnt be a problem. Re-inserting the same round into the top of the magazine and re-chambering that exact round everyday via the slide may cause bullet set back. I wouldnt do that frequently.
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    Yes, that can cause a problem. After 2 or 3 times, I set that round aside for use at the next range session.

    Here's 5 minutes explaining why... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC3wC3u5U60


    After QKS's comment I should add, I don't unload the chamber that often...certainly not each evening.
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    My answer is "it depends" not all pistols will cause bullet set back even after repeated rechambering.

    If he is locking his pistol up in the safe when he gets home...why does he need to clear the chamber? Obviously he is locking it up in the safe so that his kids will not have access to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Yes, that can cause a problem. After 2 or 3 times, I set that round aside for use at the next range session.

    Here's 5 minutes explaining why... Bullet setback - YouTube
    Did you notice the sound of the guy's dog snoring in the background of the video? I'm assuming it was his dog...

    Great instructional video!
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    Very intelligently done video. I recommend it to all. Thanks retsupt99 for sharing with us.
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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    My answer is "it depends" not all pistols will cause bullet set back even after repeated rechambering.

    If he is locking his pistol up in the safe when he gets home...why does he need to clear the chamber? Obviously he is locking it up in the safe so that his kids will not have access to it.
    ^^^Yup. I keep mine locked (up) and loaded.
    Many people cycle previously loaded rounds to the bottom of the mag. When all the rounds have been loaded 2-3 times, they designate them as range ammo. Here's the problem. Besides bullet setback (a real problem), bullets can deform simply from repeated loading/unloading, even in the mag.

    Setback can be estimated if you know the OAL range of a stock round. Case deformation just takes careful observation. Inspect your ammo.

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    There was a true story of an LEO that chambered and cleared the same round every day for several monthsa,one day he needed to use his gun and the round FTF,he chambered a new round and stopped the threat,the LE Agency sent the unfired round in to find out why it didn't fire,the ammo company determined that the repeated chamberings had loosened the primer compound and it had fallen out causing a dead primer
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    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Yes, that can cause a problem. After 2 or 3 times, I set that round aside for use at the next range session.

    Here's 5 minutes explaining why... Bullet setback - YouTube
    Awesome video, thanks, man! I'll share with my buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    My answer is "it depends" not all pistols will cause bullet set back even after repeated rechambering.

    If he is locking his pistol up in the safe when he gets home...why does he need to clear the chamber? Obviously he is locking it up in the safe so that his kids will not have access to it.
    He's just being overly cautious. One of his children is a teenager but has been diagnosed as manic depressive, so he locks the ammo in another safe, away from the gun.

    Thanks, everyone!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    It isn't "clearing the round" that causes the problem. It is chambering the round that causes the problem. In straight walled cases (.40 S&W etc) it is posssible for the round to enter the chamber with such force as to set the bullet back in the case. This is most common in the .40 S&W (No, I am not picking on the .40 S&W, I carry a G23) and has been diagnosed by gunsmiths as being the cause for the KABOOMs in the Glock series. I don't believe it has ever been noted in the .9mms or .357 SIGs. If (very rarely) I clear a chambered round it goes in a Zip Lock bag to be fired at the range.
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