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Balota 02-18-2012 02:51 PM

Chambering same round more than once
Here's the situation. I have a home defense handgun (XDm-9mm-Compact) which I will also use as a CCW when I get the permit. I keep it loaded and chambered with Hornady Critical Defense 115 gr rounds. Let's say I go to the range once a week to practice and clean my weapon after each session. When I go to the range (and again when I break it down for cleaning) I unload my self defense rounds including the one in the chamber. In the most extreme case, I could put the same round back in the chamber over 100 times per year. I realize that it would not be difficult to alternate the top two rounds, reducing the cycles to about 50 per year. In fact, I could rotate each round in a 19+1 magazine so each would cycle only about 5 times (kind of a pain in the a$$). I realize that I also have the option to go ahead and fire the one chambered round as the first round of practice and slowly consume my self defense ammo.

The question is: How many times can a factory loaded, self defense round be chambered before the condition of the round is compromised? I am wondering about both the plastic plug in the hollowpoint and the bullet in the casing. I'm sure there are plenty of opinions out there, does any one know of study work done on this issue?

treehugger49 02-18-2012 03:02 PM

I'm not a fan of Hornady Critical Defense and don't use it, so as far as the plastic plug goes, your guess is as good as mine. However your question is a good one. I had carried for quite a while before I had ever considered this issue.

However, with any round that you repeatedly chamber and eject in a semi-automatic pistol, you eventually run the risk of bullet setback - where the bullet begins to be forced back into the case from being pushed against the feed ramp. This obviously can create pressure problems among other things.

There isn't a magic number that is appropriate to how many times I chamber a self defense round. I use Speer Gold Dot, and I try to rotate my rounds after a couple of chamberings. It's expensive ammo, so I'll try to rotate through my entire magazine and then just shoot them.

I'm new to the AR hunting world, and have found the same problem with the number of times I chamber and eject my 6.8 SPC ammo climbing in and out of treestands. Setback was easily noticed after a couple of chamberings in my 110 grain ProHunter cartridges.

danf_fl 02-18-2012 08:15 PM

Okay, grab your micrometer.
Measure the length as the round comes out of the box.
Got it? Good.
Now everytime that round gets loaded, does it get shorter? On some calibers, yes.
If you stuff the bullet into the casing a little each time, you could be setting up a high pressure situation.
(This is of course if we are talking a pistol and not a revolver.)

On some ammo, it may not take affect for several rounds, on other ammo, it could happen first time.

Paladin201 02-18-2012 08:21 PM

Depends on the gun too. Some guns, the bullet hits the feed ramp harder and and at a steeper angle then others, giving the bullet a bigger push.

c3shooter 02-18-2012 10:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
In addition to bullet setback, repeatedly rechambering a round can contribute to primer failure. Repeated loading shock CAN knock the lead azide out of place, giving that sickening CLICK instead of BANG- leaving you to do your impression of Marvin the Martian saying "Where is the earth shattering kaboom?"
Attachment 39585

This has been noted by some folks that have to go thru clearing weapons repeatedly, that load a round from mag, when clearing, snag that round and put back into top of mag, so next time up to bat, it gets loaded again. And again and again and again, etc.

How many times is too many? Heck if I know. 5 should be reasonable. 50 is not.

JonM 02-18-2012 10:50 PM

the way i load my ccw rounds is to gently ride the slide forward. my xdm colt new agent and bersa thunders all easily chamber rounds by very gently riding the slide forward.

mileage may vary.

jmeekhof 02-18-2012 11:16 PM

I load one directly I to the chute before putting in the clip. Then let the slide foreword. Then I put the clip in. I guess I am hoping it won't cause any problems by doing that but I always wondered the same thing.

trip286 02-18-2012 11:21 PM

Just fire off the chambered round. If your going to the range that much, it's obvious you can afford ammo.

Tackleberry1 02-18-2012 11:29 PM

In my book the only way to be sure is to fire the chambered SD round on each trip to the range. Yes, this may be over kill and yes it will cost you 1 to 2 new boxes of SD ammo per year but it also ensures timely rotation of your rounds and gives you a "first round" indication of you proficiency with your carry load.

If you live in a wet humid climate like I do, "pacific NW", it also elevates any concern of moisture degradation.

Sure some will think I take this too far but I see no reason to put all the effort into CCW only to wonder about my carry load?


treehugger49 02-19-2012 12:09 AM


Originally Posted by jmeekhof (Post 713246)
I load one directly I to the chute before putting in the clip. Then let the slide foreword. Then I put the clip in. I guess I am hoping it won't cause any problems by doing that but I always wondered the same thing.

This is not recommended by many pistol manufacturers due to the extractor being forced to "jump" over the case rim.

Also known as the "Bubba" load technique.:D

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