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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an M&P 9 and Kahr CM9 for home defense and concealed carry respectively. I've been practicing extensively with both over the past few months in anticipation of receiving my CHP in the next few weeks. With the exception of a dented case on a round of WWB that jammed in the chamber of my M&P and a slide that failed to lock back on the CM9 on a magazine of cheap reload stuff I bought at the range, I've had zero problems with ammo after a total of about 1200 rounds through both guns.

I have been looking at various offerings of self defense ammo, and obviously the prices dictate limited use at the range. That said, how many rounds do you put through a gun before you are confident that it will work when you need it? I have no problem putting enough rounds through the guns to verify compatibility, but I also don't want to shoot 1000 rounds at a dollar apiece to get there.

I've got some cheap Federal hollow point rounds that I keep loaded with the guns in the safe and that seemed to go through both guns fine in limited quantities.

How much is enough?
 

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I'd shoot about 2 mags of SD out each to feel comfortable myself, but that's just me.
 

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There are other threads on this, so you can research and get preached at from the past, but for me it depends on the gun (revolver more intrinsically reliable than auto, Glock more intrinsically reliable than Hi-Point, etc.) For my M&P I was good with two boxes of Speer Gold Dots. For my relatively new Kahr (which has a reputation for being more finicky) I put 4 boxes through it.
 

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A couple of mags worth from every mag I plan on using for carry/defense.
 

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Count me in the less is more catagory. If a gun can get thru several mags consistently then its good to go. Cycle the slide by hand a couple hundred times, load the mags for a couple of days to let them set, and then go out and shoot them off.

No need to spend hours and hundreds of dollars to see if a gun is reliable.
 
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mas ayoob has said he wants 200 consecutive rounds with no malfunctions before he trusts any gun/ammo combination.

i can't really afford that, so i don't.

i've been lucky in that all of my current SD guns have been 100% reliable right out of the box (after a strip, clean and lube), so i will generally test with one to three magazines using mixed FMJ and various JHP's, then, assuming no malfunctions, with one to three magazines with just my chosen SD ammo.


but NO gun makes it into my SD rotation until i'm 100% confident in it. one of my fanciest guns - a Sig Sauer P-229 Elite Dark /.357SIG/.40S&W - is currently in SD purgatory because it HASN'T been 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, 200 rounds of SD ammo equals 200+ dollars. Part of me says that it's worth it if I'm going to bet my life on it. On the other hand, there's always risk and shooting 200 rounds vs 50 rounds in a reliable weapon isn't going to make much difference.
 

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If my carry guns will shoot cheap, dirty ammo flawlessly (they do), I have no reason to doubt their reliability when shooting high dollar zombie ammo.
 
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Yeah, 200 rounds of SD ammo equals 200+ dollars. Part of me says that it's worth it if I'm going to bet my life on it. On the other hand, there's always risk and shooting 200 rounds vs 50 rounds in a reliable weapon isn't going to make much difference.

yes. and ayoob's protocol means 200+ dollars MINIMUM, because if the gun chokes anywhere along the way, you have to start your count over from zero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If my carry guns will shoot cheap, dirty ammo flawlessly (they do), I have no reason to doubt their reliability when shooting high dollar zombie ammo.
Both my guns are known to eat up pretty much anything that gets fed in, but I've read that sometimes the sharper angles and different shapes of expensive hollow point rounds sometimes cause feeding problems vs just regular FMJ target stuff. I've not run into any problems except those mentioned in the OP, but I'm not all that psyched to spend hundreds of dollars to find out.
 

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For me, it depends on the gun a lot and caliber a lot. A Glock or HK...less-few mags. 380 much more as they have been more picky on SD ammo and some other calibers in other manufactures have as well.
 

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Putting rounds through a gun is not enough for me. New ammunition can have deep set primers it can have an over all length that is out of spec. it can be over sized on the brass etc. I lay out the rounds that are going in my carry gun and I visually inspect them. I set them on a piece of glass to check for high primers. I use a pair or dial calipers and measure diameter and over all length. Once I have confirmed they meet specifications I cycle them through the gun manually. Once this is done I feel confident they are giving me the best chance I have for survival.

I am not saying this is the proper way to go about it I am just telling you what I do. Then a prayer that I don't need them today.
 

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For a carry revolver, I put a twenty round box through it of each of the rounds I may carry to compare accuracy. For a new carry pistol, I usually put around 200 rounds of cheap ball ammo through it to check for infant reliability. I then put a couple boxes of each type of premium self-defense round I may carry through it to check for ammo sensitivity and accuracy. I prefer each carry magazine cycle through the gun three or four times before considered reliable. When I go to the range, the first guns shot will be the guns and magazines I am carrying. I want to know if they are reliable after being carried for a week or two with whatever dirt and lint they accumulate.
 

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I'm with Brad426 on this one: Depends on the gun.

If the firearm in question has a reputation for reliability, and your experience with range/target ammo confirms that your model runs without snags, then a box or two (20-50 rounds) of premium defense ammo should suffice.

Another point here is that the really good stuff may shoot higher or lower than your standard WWB FMJ or similar. So part of your testing with your SD ammo is to see how it shoots. My preferred round is Corbon DPX, which is snappy and hits POA at 7 yards.
 

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My test is 100 malfunction-free carry rounds PER CARRY MAGAZINE. Repeat with new mags or new type of ammo.
 

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I have always adhered to the 200 to 250 rounds rule of consistently accurate with no failures of any kind. If there is a failure of any kind and I think it is correctable. The round count begins after I have corrected the problem. As has been noted it can be expensive, especially if there is a problem or the ammo you selected is not reliable in your gun. But than again it is a lot cheaper than medical bills, dying or needing to bury a loved one
 
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