Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Concealed Carry: Carry Ammo

I live in the country on a farmette. We live by the adage “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” We repurpose bunches of things. I try to not be a pack-rat, but it’s hard to throw away something that is useful.
The same thing goes for ammunition. I try to “recycle” it as much as possible. My adult daughter is sometimes a hippie. She’s not a tree hugger and she shoots better than my boys, but she can get a little “vegan and commune” on me. I usually call recycling a “hippie conspiracy”.
When carry every day you should practice with your carry gun. Most of us can’t afford to practice with expensive defensive ammo. This means that we load and unload rounds from magazines all the time. The more we do that the higher the chance of damaging rounds. I try to move the rounds around so I don’t have the same round in the chamber every time. Sometimes having a round in the chamber can push the bullet into the case. Weekly inspect your carry rounds. Make sure there are no dents or pushed-in bullets. Replace these rounds and dispose of them. I usually get a bullet puller and pull out the bullet. I recycle the case. I know that JHP is expensive but when you press the trigger you need it to go bang. Don’t take chances.
How old is your carry ammo? Hopefully you’re not carrying the same ammo you had when you got your license back in 1990. Ammunition will last almost indefinitely if stored in the right conditions. (See blog Ammo Storage: Keep You Powder Dry!, 9/19/2014) Your everyday carry magazines have probably seen it all. When ammunition is stored perfectly, cool, dry, and steady conditions, it serves well. I replace my carry ammo every 6 months. So, I switch it with freshly manufactured ammo and then I mark the old stuff. Now I have something comparable to practice with. I practice with this old ammo until it is gone, which is not that much. 14 rounds every six months is chicken feed. I usually shoot about 50 rounds a week, at least. So I can use this “old” ammo up quickly. It only supplements my practice ammo.
Ammunition degrades with heat and humidity. My carry ammo gets body heat and sweat on top of that. I don’t know how that shortens its life but I convinced it affects it some. This ammo is probably ok but it helps my peace of mind to switch it every 6 months. Could it last a year? Probably, but if it gives me comfort I will do it. After all, peace of mind is why I carry a gun!

Semper Paratus
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