Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Guns and Common Sense - II

Buckeyered wrote:

> I change my carry ammo about every three months, is that about right?


Dear Red,

It's not something carved in stone. The type of weapon, how/where the weapon is carried, the type of ammo involved and whether you're speaking of loaded vs carried ammunition are factors in the equation.

For example, revolvers expose more of the round to contamination than does an auto-loader. Indeed, if it's a double-action semi the rounds are pretty well isolated from contaminants.

Being softer and often coated with grease, lead slugs tend to pick up more debris than FMJ rounds.

A stubby in an ankle holster represents a fairly harsh environment not only for the ammo but for the weapon. Ditto for a shoulder rig during warm weather :-) A holstered weapon, worn at the waist, outside of trousers or skirt is generally the best environment if you're wearing civvies.

With the logical exceptions, the above conditions also apply to your re-loads.

The rules above apply mostly to the contamination of the ball and corrosion of the shell casing, in which case FMJ bullets and nickel plated cases tend to do better than lead & brass. Properly loaded, the powder and primer are not part of the equation, assuming we're talking of American goods. The purity of components used by American manufacturers ensures the round will have a useful storage life measured in decades.


For most of us, once we hang up our uniform we continue to observe the habits of practice, cleaning, qualifying and ammo rotation developed prior to that time but the odds we'll have to use our personal weapon becomes vanishingly small. In the final analysis, if you feel three months is about right, then it probably is. Because when you get right down to it, no one can appreciate your particular situation better than you.

-Bob Hoover

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