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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the current high prices and scarcity of my preferred carry ammo, carrying year-old defensive rounds is a habit I just broke. I regularly remove and clean up my daily carry stuff, but after awhile it tarnishes. I have continued to carry the same ammo day in and day out. The stuff I carry is expensive and scarce during good times (CorBon +P and Golden Saber +P), so I have been reluctant to shoot it up to change it out. Today I decided to go out and run the stuff I've been carrying for so long. The good news is that it performed flawlessly. More good news is that I acquired a bunch of it when it was still to be had, so I have plenty, certainly enough to change out regularly.
 

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Agreed, I break down and clean everything including ammo in my mags about once a month and then about every 6 months will do a full ammo dump at the range.. Go home clean and reload...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good quality defensive ammo lasts years not months. Few months back I shot my Federal HST that had been in my LCR for 2.5 to 3 years. Experienced extreme heat, cold and humidity. All fired fine.
That's great!
 

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During a field exercise in 1990, we shot 155mm green bag howitzer powder that was manufactured in 1948. It smelled horrible but it worked.

I have 8MM Turkish ammunition from the 1930s that I shoot without any issues.

Duty ammunition...we just had someone retire and he turned two boxes of ammunition that we haven't issued for over 15 years and from the look of the boxes they spent all of it's time rolling around in the trunk.

So at the last qualification, we shot it without any issues. With that said, the number of dead primers per 1000 rounds (especially with Ranger T bonded) has increased over the last 10 years.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
During a field exercise in 1990, we shot 155mm green bag howitzer powder that was manufactured in 1948. It smelled horrible but it worked.

I have 8MM Turkish ammunition from the 1930s that I shoot without any issues.

Duty ammunition...we just had someone retire and he turned two boxes of ammunition that we haven't issued for over 15 years and from the look of the boxes they spent all of it's time rolling around in the trunk.

So at the last qualification, we shot it without any issues. With that said, the number of dead primers per 1000 rounds (especially with Ranger T bonded) has increased over the last 10 years.

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Around 1977, in Vilseck, FRG, the US Army ran an infantry NCO academy. 81mm mortar guys, students at the academy, were dropping HE rounds that dated from the early 1950s. Over time in storage, some of the rounds had developed hairline cracks. This wasn't discovered until one of the rounds was dropped down the tube and exploded detonated when the primer hit the firing pin. The gunner and assistant gunner died at the scene, and the ammo bearer was seriously injured. The squad leader escaped serious injury. Examination of remaining ammo from that lot number revealed similarly-damaged rounds.

Granted, small arms ammo doesn't carry the same risks. That said, I can think of no reason to bet my life on years-old carry ammo when for twenty bucks or so, I can refresh it with new stuff every once in awhile.
 

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Fresh is the best however, I have shot so many rounds of so called out of date ammunition I don't worry about it.

I inspect it and if it looks good I shoot it.

Same goes for shotgun ammunition. We found 250 rounds of federal slug and 250 rounds of federal OO buck that was delivered to the wrong office in 2002. Being 19 years old, I figured it would make great training ammunition. I figured lots of malfunction drills but to its credit it didn't have a single failure to fire.

I find that certain brands and/or lots are more of an issue than age. Have you noticed since Obama was president the number of recalled or restricted use reboxed ammunition (hollow point ammunition with QC issues) has pretty much disappeared.

I used to buy it by the thousands in bulk packs. Best training ammunition. Now it is all gone as gun manufacturer's QC is now getting it out the door at super inflated prices.

We had some real issues with one particular duty round and it's equivalent reduced lead training round with super hard primers. Not only were we getting multiple hard primers per box but the ammunition was causing accelerated wear on the strikers. We ended up changing ammunition and strikers in over 300 guns.

The good news is the last two years we haven't received any ammunition with QC issues.








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Policy at my agency(s) was new duty ammo issued annually. You shot the old stuff at the range. A new box of 50 was issued and drop checked before leaving the range.

We shot quarterly (with range ammo), so that duty ammo was "cycled" in and out of magazines multiple times before it was finally shot. Never an issue with the quality duty ammo.
 

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Where I live it gets HOT! It is not unlikely that the thermometer on my dash will get over 165 deg several times in a year and over 150 deg lots of times. I once had a Tech guy from Winchester on the phone and asked him what this would do to my carry ammo? He said at 150 Deg, the powder starts to break down. And a season of this would have some measurable effect on ammo. He also said ammo rattling around in your truck will show some deterioration.
I started carrying my spare ammo in a foam ice chest. and changing it out yearly. Why take a chance?
I'm with some others here in believing that well stored ammo will be good when my grandkids are my age! But carry ammo is not exactly stored well. DR
 

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Modern ammo will keep 100 years if stored in a relatively dry environment. About 4 years ago I shot some old Hydro-Shok 9mm I found that I stashed from the late 90's. Bang every time.
 
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Modern ammo will keep 100 years if stored in a relatively dry environment. About 4 years ago I shot some old Hydro-Shok 9mm I found that I stashed from the late 90's. Bang every time.
Found? I'm still packing it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Modern ammo will keep 100 years if stored in a relatively dry environment. About 4 years ago I shot some old Hydro-Shok 9mm I found that I stashed from the late 90's. Bang every time.
My gun in my carry holster next to my body isn't a relatively dry environment. That's why I freshen the carry ammo every so often.
 

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I have had my “good stuff” for decades.
I have never worried about it going bad.
I store my ammunition in climate controlled environment.
What I do is every few months I swap out what is in my mags that I carry and rotate it with my stockpile.
It goes to the back so I am always using ammunition that has been sitting for a while.
I target shoot the “cheap “ stuff, well it used to be cheap anyway.
 

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When it comes to duty ammunition, I change it out once a year. If the ammunition is exposed to chemicals, water, heat and/or high humidity, etc, I change it out.

Another reason I make sure it is changed out yearly is due to bullet set back. I frequently have to load and unload my duty gun for checking in and out my firearm at certain locations, conducting training and/or attending training events. When I unload my duty gun, I usually rotate the round in the chamber with one of the first couple of rounds in my magazine to reduce the effect.

For the people that freshen up their carry ammunition, that is a personal decision which I respect however, I think what I am trying to point out, among others, is that ammunition that has been stored properly will stay fresh a long long time and I don't start the freshness clock until I load the ammunition into my magazines.


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When it comes to duty ammunition, I change it out once a year. If the ammunition is exposed to chemicals, water, heat and/or high humidity, etc, I change it out.

Another reason I make sure it is changed out yearly is due to bullet set back. I frequently have to load and unload my duty gun for checking in and out my firearm at certain locations, conducting training and/or attending training events. When I unload my duty gun, I usually rotate the round in the chamber with one of the first couple of rounds in my magazine to reduce the effect.

For the people that freshen up their carry ammunition, that is a personal decision which I respect however, I think what I am trying to point out, among others, is that ammunition that has been stored properly will stay fresh a long long time and I don't start the freshness clock until I load the ammunition into my magazines.


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When I was carrying a semi, I left a empty range mag on my dresser. When the top round would look beat up, or if I had not shot the gun in awhile Id take the top round out and put it in the empty mag. when the mag got full I'd shoot it next range day. That usually came out to around 25 rounds a year.
At the end of the year Id shoot up all three mags. Replace them all with fresh ammo! So a box of 50 a year! Not too expensive. DR
 

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My gun in my carry holster next to my body isn't a relatively dry environment. That's why I freshen the carry ammo every so often.
I agree with not waiting 20+ years to change it out. I carry OWB now, so I will shoot that out every 5 years or so. Ain't skeerd!

Found? I'm still packing it!
Oh, Me too! In regards to "Found" , found as in a squirrel that found his stash of nuts from 2 years ago. I think squirrel years is the equivalent to 20 human years!!??
 

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I want to know how my carry guns work as carried. When I go to the gun club and the handgun range, the first rounds shot are the ones in my carry guns and the spare magazines as carried. Switching to practice magazines with practice ammo never made sense to me.
 
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When choosing the ammo you want when protecting yourself or your family, 9mm ammo is a great defensive carry caliber. To find the top choices in 9mm defensive carry loads, we looked to our Customers. These defensive carry loads are popular with our Customers and have the perfect blend of reliability, performance, and are priced for any budget.
 
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