How long should I keep My Carry Ammo

I carry a Sig P320 chambered in 40 Cal. I generally have the ammo I practice with (brass jacketed) and ammo that is more expensive but better suited for self-defense. My question is, how often should I change out my self-defense ammo? In other words, how long will the self-defense ammo keep before it starts to degrade and become a more likely candidate for a misfire?

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Welcome aboard, Ronald!

It will keep a very long time. Carried IWB, it is unlikely to ever ‘go bad’. Consider that law enforcement officers carry openly in the weather full time+ and many only rotate their carry ammo once a year if that, but it’s not a problem.

You will find that most rotate their carry ammo theoretically every 6-12 months just-because.

But really, an IWB gun that isn’t exposed to rain/snow/etc on a regular basis…it’s fine.

Addendum: Do pay attention to the round in the chamber. For multiple reasons, be weary of chambering the same round multiple times. Check it vs other rounds to make sure the bullet hasn’t been pushed back in the case. Consider a habit that prevents the same round being rechambered multiple times (shooting the one from the chamber when going to the range, rotating it to the bottom of the mag, setting it aside and replacing with one new round (ends up rotating the ammo for you if you shoot carry gun enough, etc)

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Ammo i made a lot better than it was years ago it should be good for a long time if not subjected to real bad situtaions.

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should is made not i.

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Tom Givens has recommended firing your EDC hollow points to empty once or twice a year. This makes sure you know the feel and aim of those rounds compared to your FMJ practice ammo, and also comfortable that your EDC ammo is fairly new.
Assuming you use your EDC gun for practice, but keep your EDC magazines separate from your practice mags, every time you practice you will be ejecting one EDC cartridge as you change mags. Again, advice from GIvens, throw that one cartridge into your practice ammo box, and after moving your EDC mag back into the gun, chamber the fresh round and top off the mag with a new EDC round. This is the step that @Nathan57 referred to above.

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I still got a box of the SD ammo i bought in 2020 (Fiocchi 147gr JHP). I keep it in my home handgun and it still shoots like 4 years ago :wink:

There is no expiration date for a good, branded ammo, kept in controllable conditions… however according to some shooters it’s a good habit to change SD ammo every 1 year.

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@Ronald342 Welcome to the community!

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I change mine every 2 months because that is when I fire the ammo I use in my EDC at the range. I think it is important to not only be proficient with your weapon but also know how your carry ammo operates as well.

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I have 30-30 ammo that’s more than 50 years old that still works just fine, and it’s just old off-the-shelf Winchester and Remington stuff. In spite of the admonition of ammo sellers to change your ammo every year or so, I suspect the shelf life of quality self-defense ammo will outlive you.

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I need to look up my MAG40 notes (@Craig_AR might remember as well since he took it, too). But didn’t Mas say something about how the major ammo manufacturers keep a certain amount of ammo out of each batch for ballistic testing purposes? That time period might be a good basis for ammo rotation.

If you use a certain lot of Federal HST, for example, Federal keeps ammo for so many years (5 or 10?). If you use your gun in self-defense, your lawyer can get those rounds and put them through ballistic testing to help your defense if you are tried.

I realize this is a pretty rare “what if” type of thing, but might have some relevance.

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Yes, Mas did say that. He related not only to possible trial testimony about the cartridges used, but also as a reason not to use reloads for EDC, sticking with original factory ammo for carry.

And yes, MAG40 is a great class. Take it before Mas retires!

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It was an awesome class. I have a signed dollar bill that I’ll keep forever. Thanks for confirming my memory is accurate (at least in that one fact).

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Congrats on the $1! I was no where close to it, scoring 298/300 in a class with three 300s. Winner of the day was a college kid (Hillsdale student on the shooting team), there with his parents and brother all taking it together, besting Mas’s 300 by having a smaller group.

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298 is a great score! Great work!

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Hello and welcome @Ronald342
I fire mine when I get a new purchase or when I get more for Christmas

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Welcome aboard.

Every 6 month I recycle them.

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Welcome to the Community sir!

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I just dump my magazine when I go to the range, then load it up with FMJ’s. Drill and Shoot for awhile and then reload it with some “New”, not really new but out of the box Gold Dots. I get to the range 1-2 times a month usually, but have gone as much 3-4 months with out going…

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That’s because it’s too dangerous to walk down the street there!

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Think of it like this. Who do you think are at the commercial ranges? Is it law abiding concerned citizens that want to stay sharp with their legally purchased and possessed firearms? OR Could it be the, well, the other guys?

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