Alternating/mixing ammo

Alternating/mixing ammo

This is a discussion on Alternating/mixing ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Thought that I read some where that mixing ammo in a single magazine was not a good idea but don't recall the reasoning. I fired ...

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    Alternating/mixing ammo

    Thought that I read some where that mixing ammo in a single magazine was not a good idea but don't recall the reasoning. I fired 3 - 10 round mags of 9mm alternating BB Outdoorsman and Federal HST 124gr JHP. The pistol cycled perfectly. Your opinions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchee View Post
    Thought that I read some where that mixing ammo in a single magazine was not a good idea but don't recall the reasoning. I fired 3 - 10 round mags of 9mm alternating BB Outdoorsman and Federal HST 124gr JHP. The pistol cycled perfectly. Your opinions?
    It sounds like it all worked out.
    glockman10mm likes this.
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    Member Array entertainment72's Avatar
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    Experiments on the range- sure why not.

    Staggering in your carry ammo- no no

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    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    For SD/HD I think it is pretty well established that it is not a good idea. I guess it could help establish reliability or not, on the range. Other than that not really sure what the intended purpose is? Just my .02 worth!
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    Retired Police Lieutenant, Former UH-1N Huey & MH-53 Pave Low Gunner, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, AL Retired LEO CPP, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, LEOSA Qualified, Active FOP Executive Board Member

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    "For SD/HD I think it is pretty well established that it is not a good idea."

    "Staggering in your carry ammo- no no"

    WHY?
    spclopr8tr likes this.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I have randomly mixed FMJ, Silvertip, plastic tip, and JHP ammo at the range and done a mag dump to show the reliability of a Glock G20 10mm. I see no reason to mix carry ammo.
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    As with any endeavor, the answer can be usually found in the context of application.

    So, the first question I would ask myself is why am I going to do this?
    Secondly, will it meet a need that I cannot achieve by keeping all my ammo the same?

    So, the matter of whether or not the pistol will function with staggered ammo is subordinate to the first two questions.

    So now, that you have answered the subordinate consideration, have you come to an answer looking for a question, or do you have a purpose?
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    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    IME the combination of varying bullet weights and powder combinations tends to induce malfunctions and usually changes point of impacts on target. Not really sure why someone would want to bring those factors into play when the chips are down on a 2 way shooting range!
    Retired Police Lieutenant, Former UH-1N Huey & MH-53 Pave Low Gunner, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, AL Retired LEO CPP, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, LEOSA Qualified, Active FOP Executive Board Member

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    When I'm in snake country, I load the first two with snake shot. Other than that I don't see the point. Choose an ammo that you have confidence will put a hole in what you are shooting, and sink deep enough to take the fight out of them. And then you never have to worry about what is coming up next. Or do I have to aim a little high on this round. DR

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    Guys, thanks for the input, but I just want to know if there is a known physical/functional reason not to mix. Does it increase the likelihood of FTE/FTF or is it merely an old wives tale?
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    Back in the old days when just about every cop in the US carried a revolver I knew several guys who mixed ammo in the cylinder. Typically some combination of .38 Special and .357 magnum, or hollow-points and solids. The argument always seemed to revolve around how an anticipated gun fight would go down (bad guy in the open, then takes cover behind a barricade; or perps in an automobile trying to escape from a stop or roadblock; etc, etc, etc).

    Did not make much sense to me at the time, and still makes no sense to me.

    We also had a lot of guys who shot their range qualifications with .38 Spl. wadcutter target ammo, then loaded up with .357 magnum JHP's for duty carry, and I doubt many of them had any idea where those bullets would hit in relation to point of aim at any given range because they never practiced with them.

    I started out carrying .38 Special 158 LSWC in the revolver and 12 rounds in drop pouches. When the Bianchi Speed Strip came on the market I switched over to those. Then the HKS Speed Loader came along, and I carried .38 Spl. +P in the revolver, one speedloader of the same, and a second loader with .357 magnum 158 JSP (which will reliably penetrate a car door or windshield, or a frame house wall with enough residual energy to get the job done). I also knew that my revolver sights were zero'd with .38 +P and the .357 magnums struck 3" low at 7 yards, 4" low at 25 yards, 7" low at 50 yards.

    Two tours in Vietnam (airborne infantry, pathfinders) carrying a M1911A1 loaded with GI ball (or tracer ball when I could get it). Every time I needed to use the pistol it got the job done, and there were never any "customer complaints". By the way, I liked the tracers because it allowed me to "walk" my shots into the target, especially in low light conditions.

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    This isn't conclusive, but rather a simple illustration of why staggering different ammo types in one mag may not be a good idea.

    I shot a USPSA match yesterday. Due to recent eye surgery my scores are not competitive, but I need to keep my mind in the game for reasons other than scores. Knowing I wouldn't score well, I took the opportunity to bring about 100 rounds of mixed .45 ammo I had on the bench. My standard load is a 200 gr SWC over Titegroup, and in addition I had those same SWCs loaded with 244 in 3 different charge weights, plus some 200 gr round nose also over Titegroup. Shot by themselves, ALL these rounds run fine in the gun - a Springfield that's been worked on and will even chamber empty cases. But after the first stage I simply reloaded the partial mags with whatever came out of the ammo boxes. What followed in the next three stages was a complete mess - multiple jams in 2 out of 3 stages, and failure to go into battery on the last stage. My remedial actions left the heel of my support hand cut and badly bruised.

    So, on the square range without the pressure of either a timer or bad people shooting at you, mix 'em up to your heart's content. For work that counts - don't.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    If I want to mix ammo, I carry two guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchee View Post
    Guys, thanks for the input, but I just want to know if there is a know physical/functional reason not to mix. Does it increase the likelihood of FTE/FTF or is it merely an old wives tale?
    Different ammo types have different performance characteristics. These may include feeding, ejection, recoil impulse, and almost certainly different points of impact in relation to point of aim. There may or may not be differences in pistol functioning, but you are adding another wild card to the deck.

    A semi-auto pistol should not be considered reliable for defensive use until it has been fully tested with the intended ammunition and the magazines that will be used with that particular pistol (my personal standard is 200 rounds for a newly acquired pistol, with a minimum of 5 full mags run through without a hitch). Then I carry the same ammo that I practice and train with, and each magazine is marked to show that it has been proven reliable in that pistol.

    I also don't fool around with a "carry gun rotation" like so many talk about. I carry the same pistol every day, in the same holster, at the same position on my body. When a situation requires an immediate response I don't want to have to stop and think, just let training and "muscle memory" get the job done.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post

    I shot a USPSA match yesterday. Due to recent eye surgery my scores are not competitive.
    Ive got good eyesight and my scores are not competitive
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight.”
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