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Old 07-02-2017, 09:34 PM
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Default How Often Do You Change Your Carry Ammo?

During my 30 year LEO career my agency issued new/fresh duty ammo annually. I've informally followed that practice in retirement and wondered what others here did. Thirty-eight is plentiful here but finding .380 can be a challenge.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:53 PM
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Revolvers- I'll carry the same loads up to two years.
Autos- Probably no longer than 6 months max,as I generally shoot the chambered round each time I go out.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:53 PM
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I do once a year. If I was still working and if I had an outdoors job where the environment was harsh (like F&G, Park Ranger, Marine Patrol) I would probably go more often.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:19 PM
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When I go to the range to practice with my carry gun, the first two shots are from whatever is already in the gun. Then I'll switch to range ammo. That means it takes about 4 or 5 trips to switch out the ammo.

If you're not practicing with your carry gun, you should be.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:20 PM
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I'm a once a year kinda guy as well. Never had one that didn't go bang.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:24 PM
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I use the same handloaded 45acp ammo for everything.

As a result, when I go to the range, I shoot what's in the gun then shoot some more of the same.

Then I load up with the same ammo for carry.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:38 PM
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When I was on the job, we were issued new ammo quarterly. Constant loading and unloading with an auto raised concerns with bullet set back and reliability issues with dirty or damaged ammo.

Now, retired, I seldom unload a carry weapon once loaded. I usually practice at least a couple times a month with my carry guns, and include the loaded magazine of carry ammo in that particular gun every other practice session in my shooting practice.

Spare mags for my carry guns usually stay loaded and unused until I load them into my carry guns, then end up firing them in practice as noted above.

Between my 3 main carry guns, I am maybe going thru 6 or 7 boxes of carry ammo a year. The rest are usually practice reloads.

If I was someone who loaded and unloaded my semi autos every day, I would be concerned with bullet set back, and rotate my ammo in the magazine, and fire it off more often.

Ammo in revolvers can go a lot longer as long as they are not exposed to harsh or wet conditions.

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Old 07-02-2017, 10:55 PM
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Generally, the same methods you use; informally about once a year. As others have mentioned, I've never had a bad round using that practice. I also shoot a lot of my own loads in .38/.357, 9mm, .45 and 5.56, although I haven't carried anything but factory ammo so far. I don't know, I kinda like some of my loads a bit better for some applications.
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:05 PM
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Usually one mag or drum / speed loader every other month for me, which ends up every six months for the whole rotation. I keep two spares for each, blast one at the range, and rotate after my fill of cheep FMJ . my house guns however every six months, unless they make it to the range before that. Similar practice as most it seems. Always worked great for me.

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Old 07-02-2017, 11:11 PM
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I had the chambered round go click in the face of a buck ten yards away. It was my carry gun and I had something in my hand so I couldn't​ malfunction drill.

With semis I change out about annually or so. Mainly I focus on the chambered round. With rimfires I shoot the cylinder out frequently.
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:34 PM
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One advantage of rolling-yer-own is that practice ammo is carry ammo, and every time you practice you reload with nice fresh carry ammo. Not that I think it goes bad unless subjected to extremes that would make me more concerned with me than the ammo.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:39 AM
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Annually. Quarterly I inspect each round in every magazine then reload never chambering the same round. Don't know why. Just seems like a good idea.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:59 AM
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All my carry guns have 3 magazines I use with each .. I shoot the mag in the pistol once a month and rotate mags in doing so .. so every 3 months the ammo in the mag gets shot .. if not carrying just range ammo through the pistol if its taken to range .. ..

New pistols gets 400 rounds of range ammo and then 100 rounds of my carry ammo with no failures before it makes the rotation !!
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:35 AM
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My EDC is a 340 M&P so annually makes sense. When my LCP is unloaded the chambered round goes into a range bag just to be on the safe side. My Glock was my service weapon and my agency issues retirees new carry ammo when we qualify for LEOSA, which is coming up for me next week. Looking froward to seeing everyone.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:14 AM
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I use 110 gr. Hornady Critical Defense .38 in my 642. A couple time a year I'll shoot up the 25 round box, then buy another.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrestinmathews View Post
I had the chambered round go click in the face of a buck ten yards away. It was my carry gun and I had something in my hand so I couldn't​ malfunction drill.

With semis I change out about annually or so. Mainly I focus on the chambered round. With rimfires I shoot the cylinder out frequently.
forrest, this happens ALOT more than people realize. I have a coffee can half full of factory ammo that went "click" on this range. I tell all my shooters to bring me their "clicks". It makes the case for revolvers easier to explain.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:26 AM
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It was my carry gun and I had something in my hand so I couldn't​ malfunction drill.
Drop whatever is in your hand.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:38 AM
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When I was on the job it was once a year
In retirement I continue to do the same!

When I do my yearly retire concealled carry I change it out!
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:41 AM
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The old TAP-RACK-BANG clearance drill is modified to exclude the first two when using a DA revolver. Just BANG remains with another trigger pull.
I carry one of each for this reason. Everyday. Like right now.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:54 AM
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All my carry guns have 3 magazines I use with each .. I shoot the mag in the pistol once a month and rotate mags in doing so .. so every 3 months the ammo in the mag gets shot .. if not carrying just range ammo through the pistol if its taken to range .. ..

New pistols gets 400 rounds of range ammo and then 100 rounds of my carry ammo with no failures before it makes the rotation !!
That's pretty much what I do. My first mag at the range is always the mag of carry ammo that is in the pistol. I then shoot as many mags of range ammo as I want, then reload a mag with my carry ammo and head home.

I usually have at least 5 mags with me at the range and go out to shoot once a week on average, so I rotate carry ammo at the rate of about a box/month.

Before I settle on a carry ammo, the chosen pistol has to handle at least 200 rounds of it flawlessly before I trust it. It's an expensive start-up routine, but I'm betting my life it will work if ever needed.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:10 PM
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STOREBOUGHT/HIGH QUALITY/EXPENSIVE: pretty much NEVER, after initial testing, unless repeated chambering has set back the bullets & shortened the OAL. HANDLOADS: get shot up as I can always make more easy enough. I'm coming around to using a large meplat/ hard/ cast boolit for SD. The only exception MIGHT be for improved (???) uniformity/feeding reliability/ legal liabilities???
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:16 PM
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After every time I shoot a bad guy.................
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:23 PM
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I use 110 gr. Hornady Critical Defense .38 in my BG38. Each month I'll shoot up the 25 round box, then buy another.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:34 PM
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After every time I shoot a bad guy.................
So, you're saying you've never changed your carry ammo (and probably never will).
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:50 PM
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I try to change out every year or so. I once carried the same ammo for 2 years and tested it; it worked fine. However, I like to err on the side of caution.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:10 PM
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The 27-3 that stays on the nightstand has 125 grain Hornadys that are close to two years old. The 158 grain BB LSWCHP ammo in my 67-5 that goes everywhere me on my days off gets changed more often. That soft lead carried in speed loaders tend to take a beating.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
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I had the chambered round go click in the face of a buck ten yards away. It was my carry gun and I had something in my hand so I couldn't​ malfunction drill.

With semis I change out about annually or so. Mainly I focus on the chambered round. With rimfires I shoot the cylinder out frequently.
I rotate my chambered carry round fairly often—a couple of times a month, maybe three. I usually empty my two carry mags and reload them (and my other spare mags) with range rounds when I train at the range. When done at the range, I reload my carry rounds (Hornady Crit. Duty) in the magazines and the originally chambered round gets mixed in there somewhere.

Maybe twice a year, I'll live-fire those two carry mags and reload them.
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:35 PM
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After every time I shoot a bad guy.................
Best answer yet...
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:37 PM
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So, you're saying you've never changed your carry ammo (and probably never will).
If you use a good-ole-reliable wheel gun you won't need to unless you fall overboard or get caught in a monsoon.
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:46 PM
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I rotate my chambered carry round fairly often—a couple of times a month, maybe three. I usually empty my two carry mags and reload them (and my other spare mags) with range rounds when I train at the range. When done at the range, I reload my carry rounds (Hornady Crit. Duty) in the magazines and the originally chambered round gets mixed in there somewhere.

Maybe twice a year, I'll live-fire those two carry mags and reload them.
Do you ever clean your magazines or change magazine springs? That sounds like a lot of cycles on the magazine spring.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:04 PM
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If you use a good-ole-reliable wheel gun you won't need to unless you fall overboard or get caught in a monsoon.
Because humidity doesn't promote corrosion or rust. Air conditioning inside going out into hot humid conditions...cold gun...moist air...great combination.

Shells also get worn rattling around in a cylinder with dust and grit.
I carry a revolver so I have lots of experience with this.

I enjoy the way your sentiments portray the revolver in a favorable light​, however you and Bill Hickok up there fail to tell the full truth.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:13 PM
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Do you ever clean your magazines or change magazine springs? That sounds like a lot of cycles on the magazine spring.
I clean the mags maybe every third or fourth regular gun cleaning (which I do almost every time I shoot it).

I haven't changed my mag springs on my current EDC yet (which is only a few months old). On a firearm that I sometimes carry, but have had for many years, I changed it about a year ago. Before that, it had been a few years.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:33 PM
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Wild Bill reloaded his pistols every morning. For cap and ball a wise practice.
That was then.
I have factory defense ammo for carry that I do not cycle after testing.
I reload practice ammo to spec, so no recoil surprises.
I have fired milsurp rifle ammo from the 40's and 60's, after inspection, without issue.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:34 PM
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I replace the cartridges in the SP-101 and 340 that I carry for work about every four months. Same for the rounds in my P32. The rounds in the speed loaders and speed strips get replaced once a year when I requal.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by forrestinmathews View Post
Because humidity doesn't promote corrosion or rust. Air conditioning inside going out into hot humid conditions...cold gun...moist air...great combination.

Shells also get worn rattling around in a cylinder with dust and grit.
I carry a revolver so I have lots of experience with this.

I enjoy the way your sentiments portray the revolver in a favorable light​, however you and Bill Hickok up there fail to tell the full truth.
Well, IIRC the question was changing the ammo.. Because I prefer deeply blued steel, I do clean them a lot, (especially after falling overboard trying to get that big one into the boat, it was that big I tell you!) But I just wipe down the cartridges and put the same ones back in the gun.

Even back east in the summer I never changed a cartridge in a wheel-gun (I do not miss those asphalt jungle summers, I might run the a/c 30 days a year here, and it rains or it doesn't, none of that walking through a cloud BS.)

Now if I lived in Houston or New Orleans, wait, I don't think I'd live there 100 degrees and 98 percent humidity, no thank you. My high today was 73 and about 43 percent humidity.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:15 AM
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If you use a good-ole-reliable wheel gun you won't need to unless you fall overboard or get caught in a monsoon.
Massad Ayoob had an interesting story along the lines of never changing your wheel gun ammo. He told of a plain clothes detective whose routine was to put his loaded revolver in his holster in the morning and take it out at night, never unloading it. Of course it was carried close to his body and subject to humidity, perspiration, etc.

This went on for years and years. Then one day, he got involved in a shooting. Two rounds from his revolver settled the matter. Afterwards, he went to reload and couldn't eject the empty cases (or live rounds either) so he took it to the department armorer. The rounds had become so corroded that they were stuck solid in the chambers. IIRC, he had to fire the live rounds then remove the cylinder and pound out the empty cases.

No one in his right mind would recommend this practice, but the point is that the ammo still functioned.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:43 AM
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Annually or the best if used by date on the box!

I do clean and check both the gun and ammo every 3-4 months, you don't want anything getting corroded , stuck , gummed up or in a non functioning way.
If any ammo looks suspect for any reason it gets fresh ammo but usually mine only needs the annual change.

Gary

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Old 07-04-2017, 01:55 PM
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Massad Ayoob had an interesting story along the lines of never changing your wheel gun ammo. He told of a plain clothes detective whose routine was to put his loaded revolver in his holster in the morning and take it out at night, never unloading it. Of course it was carried close to his body and subject to humidity, perspiration, etc.

This went on for years and years. Then one day, he got involved in a shooting. Two rounds from his revolver settled the matter. Afterwards, he went to reload and couldn't eject the empty cases (or live rounds either) so he took it to the department armorer. The rounds had become so corroded that they were stuck solid in the chambers. IIRC, he had to fire the live rounds then remove the cylinder and pound out the empty cases.

No one in his right mind would recommend this practice, but the point is that the ammo still functioned.
Back to the days of the cap and ball .44 Army Colt, just pop in a new cylinder... ;-)
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:23 PM
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Since my range is right outside my shop door,I cant resist the urge to have to change mine every couple days.Since I only carry the shield 9 when I have a road trip or going into Traverse City,it ony gets changed evey month or so.JHP isnt that expensive.TheM&P22 compact though is my EDC and farm/shop gun.The round nose 22lr is cheap (I buy 1k at a time),the wife and I will go thru 1k in a months time.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:04 PM
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an add to my previous comment is that the three mags I use for carry are just that .. other mags are used for range time ..

I always shoot the carry ammo once a month and it is always the last mag shot be for leaving the range !!
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:30 PM
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Probably the best question is what are the climate conditions where you carry? While working we daily moved through temperatures ranging from 140 F to upper 60s F. We went to the range at least quarterly, and did ammo changeout on the sidearms then.

Somebody mentioned AC and moving out to hot, humid outside temps, that doesn't help either.

Compulsively loading/unloading semi-autos is a bad habit. Ammo wasn't made to be repeatedly chambered and bullet setback and extractors nibbling on case heads can cause problems. I'm of the load the carry piece and keep it that way until you need it or go to the range group.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:01 PM
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Re: the detective whose rounds were rusted into his gun, our supervisors inspected our uniforms & weapons twice a month. This practice was followed even when I was assigned to the detective division, our captain was old school, and this practice might have prevented the mishap.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:31 PM
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LEOSA recertification today @ 10 AM, 97.6% b/c I threw one round out of center mass @ 3 yards. One of these days I'm going to qualify @ 100% . . .
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:50 PM
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LEOSA recertification today @ 10 AM, 97.6% b/c I threw one round out of center mass @ 3 yards. One of these days I'm going to qualify @ 100% . . .
I feel your pain. I threw one during the simulated night phase of my LEOSA qual yesterday otherwise I'd have had 100% on both day and night with my Glock 19.

Oddly enough, I had 100% (night) with the Glock 26 (and a loose front sight when I got home).

Hey, we're still ahead of the game. Let's hope we keep qualifying for many years to come.

BTW, I shot my carry ammo (147gr HST, Standard Pressure), from both guns before moving on to training ammo for the rest of the qualifications.

Fresh carry ammo following the quals.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:59 PM
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As long as the magazine or chambers are oil free you could probably get away with almost never needing to change it out. I have a supply of 8X56R ammo that is dated at 1938. They all go bang. I have a good supply of M2 Ball dated 1953. Never a misfire there either. When stationed in Germany in the 80's we were still using powder in our 155mm howitzers from WWII. As long as it is stored properly ammo will last a very long time. Keep your gun clean , ammo oil free and stop worrying.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:20 PM
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As long as the magazine or chambers are oil free you could probably get away with almost never needing to change it out. I have a supply of 8X56R ammo that is dated at 1938. They all go bang. I have a good supply of M2 Ball dated 1953. Never a misfire there either. When stationed in Germany in the 80's we were still using powder in our 155mm howitzers from WWII. As long as it is stored properly ammo will last a very long time. Keep your gun clean , ammo oil free and stop worrying.
Although I agree carry ammo is slightly different. It's exposed to different temperatures, sweat and outside moisture.

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Old 07-06-2017, 05:42 PM
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SEAL THE PRIMERS TEDDY JACOBSON HAS A VIDEO ON HOW TO SET UP YOUR CARRY GUN AMMO FROM STREET CARRY. LOOK AT GUN PARTS BY TEDDY GOOGLE IT GO TO VIDEO'S AND YOU CAN SEE HOW TO SET UP YOUR GUN FOR STREET CARRY VIDEO'S. THE SEALING OF PRIMERS ARE ON THERE IT'S EASY.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:04 PM
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SEAL THE PRIMERS TEDDY JACOBSON HAS A VIDEO ON HOW TO SET UP YOUR CARRY GUN AMMO FROM STREET CARRY. LOOK AT GUN PARTS BY TEDDY GOOGLE IT GO TO VIDEO'S AND YOU CAN SEE HOW TO SET UP YOUR GUN FOR STREET CARRY VIDEO'S. THE SEALING OF PRIMERS ARE ON THERE IT'S EASY.
Stuff like that is good to know and if it was the Apocalypse where each bullet mattered I'd be all over it. But its just easier to replace ammo every once in a while

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Old 07-06-2017, 06:20 PM
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Although I agree carry ammo is slightly different. It's exposed to different temperatures, sweat and outside moisture.

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I have washed ammo in a washing machine by mistake, it always went boom. I have never had a problem with any ammo becoming contaminated.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:40 PM
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I have washed ammo in a washing machine by mistake, it always went boom. I have never had a problem with any ammo becoming contaminated.
That's fine but how many times did you wash the same ammo? Heat waves here last from late May to late September. Being outside during work you sweat like a hostage. I come home my holster is soaked, my gun is wet, the mag is wet....etc.. This is all summer. Not every day but several times a week definitely. Along with that I occasionally get caught in downpours. I don't change my ammo every month but once a year shooting 16 rounds doesn't exactly put me in the poor house

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