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By now, nearly everyone knows that there's specific ammo used to go blast holes in paper because it's cheap, and specific ammo used to blast holes in people who want to hurt us; this being jacketed hollow point ammunition that tends to be pretty expensive. But let me ask you, how long have you been carrying the same expensive hollow point ammo around in your waistband? One year? Two years? Not sure? This is not great. The ammunition that your gun is loaded with when you carry concealed is what you're trusting your life to. Just like how you clean your gun after a long range day as good maintenance, your carry ammo needs to be maintained as well.
Why does your carry ammo need to be rotated? It needs to be rotated out every so often because it is constantly being exposed to varying atmospheric temperatures, sweat, body oils, hair, lint, lubrication from your gun, solvent, and other environmental factors that, over time, can lead to its degradation and subsequent lack of reliability.
Law enforcement typically will rotate their duty ammo out twice per year; each time they qualify with their duty guns. But for the average citizen who carries concealed, Tilson Defense recommends rotating out all of your carry ammo at least once per year, but every 3-6 months is optimal.
When you rotate out your old carry ammo, put it in a Ziploc bag and mark it as being old carry ammo. Now you can take that old ammo out to the range and actually be able to train with the same ammo you carry for defense. Now tell me the last time you took your expensive carry ammo out to the range to train with: I'll make a bet and say you've never done that before. Now you can! This is also a great way to identify any malfunctions as well. If you have a failure to fire, hang fire, or misfire with the old carry ammo, you might be able to figure out what caused that by inspecting in the casing. Often times when gun lube/solvents sit on casings over extended periods of time (i.e. when you over lubricate your gun and now lube is dripping down the mag-well into your magazine) this can sometimes work its way into the casing and cause the round to not fire. This would be a good indication that something needs to change with your firearm maintenance habits. Conversely, if you fire all of your old carry ammo and have zero issues, then that's a great indicator that you're doing everything right!
I will be rotating out my carry ammo today, 08-23-2022, as this is about the time of year that I've always done this, right before the fall and winter months. There's no particular rhyme or reason why I choose the end of August/early September other than I want to make sure I have new carry ammo going into the cold winter months, and want to ensure the carry ammo I have isn't being used for more than one winter season. In the picture above, you can see my three Glock 19 mags, three Glock 17 mags, and two Glock 43X mags; all of which will be loaded up with brand new Federal HST 9mm+P (124gr JHP) defense ammo today.
Thank you for reading!