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ammo life ?

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  • ammo life ?

    ive got my conceal carry and i leave me gun in the car every day at work. how long should i trust the ammo to be good for? in the winter time the ammo will go through many cold to warm cycles from being in the car to being brought inside. i've been trying to remember to replace it every spring but is this too long of a gap to trust it?

  • #2

    There are many other threads about this on here as well.
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    • #3
      I've been carrying the same ammo for the last 3 years.. I fire off a few rounds when the rim's get buggered from rechambering.
      So it's more a worry (with me) about extraction problems not so much primers or powder going bad.

      it's always went bang.

      A lot of people cycle theirs out every 6-12months, nothing wrong with that although it's probably over cautious, at least with center fire.

      I don't carry any rim fires although I have talked to a few people who claim they can kill a rim fire in a few months of carry in those little NAA revolvers.


      • #4
        i tried searching. just didnt know what words to put in to get what i was wanting. i did try though. the thread you referenced to deals with how long you can leave ammo in a clip. i was wondering how long it would be good for with it constantly going through heat cool cycles.


        • #5
          Most law enforcement departments replace duty ammo when the officers go through qualification which occurs every 6 or 12 months.


          • #6
            so id say im safe then with replacing it every spring. i always fire it off and it have seemed to be ok. just thought i get other opinions. thanks guys


            • #7
              well.. no one can give you guarentees, but generally speaking ammo especially centerfire ammo is some pretty tough stuff.

              All anyone can say is if it's been working for you so far, why change?


              • #8
                ^ +1 to both sentiments.

                I know of but one report that I really trust, slider_buck, where the user - a legal concealed carry citizen - reported that because of what he suspects to be frequent and rapid temperature and moisture changes, that he saw surface "discoloration" of the cartridges in the spare magazine which he carried in an IWB leather pouch on his off side. The magazine/cartridges, IIRC, had been carried that way for quite a while...I don't quite remember exactly how long, but I believe that it was certainly well over a few months.

                In terms of moisture, modern ammo are well-sealed against the elements. In one class, we were drenched by torrential downpour - I'd come home and emptied the wet ammo in my gun and magazine holders into a towel, and then promptly forgot about it (it was a night class, so that was about 2AM in the morning). I baggied it the next day and had meant to shoot it out at my next range session, but then again forgot all about it until my next class, which was about 3 months later! It shot with no problems, and it was just WWB 115gr. range-fodder stuff.

                Still, would I purposely get my defensive ammo wet? No. And in my everyday life as an academis scientist, it's rare that I'd be caught in such a downpour - for so long - that I'd be soaked through as-such.

                Nevertheless, because of the humidity issue, yes, I would still "rotate" my carry/defensive ammo.

                There are yet other speculations where it comes to vehicle vibration's effects on powder and/or primer, but it's typically academic - with most replies pointing to LE/military long-term "racked" weapons in vehicles as examples of where such concerns are proven null.

                In reality, I see three big concerns:

                (1) For carry ammo, that magazine pouches/holders - no matter how well constructed - are simply not air-tight. As-such, you will, over time, accumulate lint/dust/dirt/debris inside the magazine holder and possibly even the magazine. This may take quite a long time to occur, but for that top round at the feed-lips, the hollowpoint structure may become compromised by accumulated lint and whatnot: you ostensibly spent close to $1 (or more) for each of those premium defensive hollowpoints in search for expansion and a large wound channel - why would you not what to insure you get what you paid for?

                (2) Bullet setback and ejector rim damage from repeated re-chambering and ejection of the same "top/first round." Different cartridges, different guns, and different loading/unloading-clearing practices will affect these factors each to some degree, but overall, it's rather easy to avoid these issues by simply "rotating" your top round through the mag after one (or however many you decide is reasonable) chamber/ejection cycle (some will use a Sharpie or the like to mark the once-used cartridge). Me? If I eject a round, it gets pocketed and set aside to be placed in a marked "practice" box - this way, I have a self-refilling supply of practice-use defensive ammo. Alternatively, just inspect the round.

                Finally, (3), there's the thought of keeping in-practice with your chosen defensive ammo. Subjective recoil characteristics as well as felt muzzle blast and even low/no-light flash can all affect your shooting performance. And while external ballistics probably won't be a worry for the vast majority of encounters, we've now seen several times in the past couple of years where the hero saved the day by stopping the bad-guy with a long distance (50+ yards) pistol shot.


                To end this post, back around this time last year, I wrote the following:

                ...I was able to shoot-out two magazine's worth of "test" carry rounds (9x19 147 gr. HST). I typically carried one or the other of these magazines in a pocket that I wasn't using for the day - and I carried them this way for the last two years. I never unloaded these magazines, I never cleaned them. I simply kept them as a test for me of just how long I can neglect things and still get away with it.

                All of the 2-year test rounds went off without a hitch. I actually wished I'd kept one of the mags for a three-year test.

                I typically shoot my carry rounds between the 5th and 7th month of loading the gun/mag, and re-arm with fresh rounds, NIB.

                I'll never push my luck that far - and I also definitely do not recommend anyone do the same with their carry ammo/gun - but for me, it's nice to know.


                • #9
                  When I was in Viet Nam, we got a few boxes of .45 with date stamps from the Korean War. It all went bang.
                  -- Mike