Chambering same round more than once

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by Balota, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Balota

    Balota ... but I used to play keyboards.

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    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?
     
  2. treehugger49

    treehugger49 New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    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.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    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?"
    marvin-the-martian.jpg

    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.
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    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.
     
  7. jmeekhof

    jmeekhof New Member

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    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.
     
  8. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Just fire off the chambered round. If your going to the range that much, it's obvious you can afford ammo.
     
  9. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    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?

    Tack
     
  10. treehugger49

    treehugger49 New Member

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    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
     
  11. jmeekhof

    jmeekhof New Member

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    Oh good to know! Thanks
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    You are forcing the extractor to go over the rim of the casing. On some that could be okay, but for those with an internal extractor (think Colt 1911), that causes the extractor to lose tune and results in extraction failures.
     
  13. Balota

    Balota ... but I used to play keyboards.

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    Tack,

    First round proficiency is something I'm concerned about. Shooting the chambered round is probably worth the $0.80 per week at the range. I can probably live with the risk of one rechambering after cleaning. I like to have a reason for the choices I make and this seems like a pretty good one!

    Thanks!
     
  14. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    I've had a few people "raise their eyebrows" over this notion. I've also taken enough different carry guns from "new guns" to "well used" guns and noticed a marked difference in POA VS POI over time. Most of us determine our carry load after 2 to 3 range sessions without ever considering how a considerable amount of rounds through a gun wears the barrel "and other components" which will alter POI. This can easily go unnoticed especially if your carry load is a different bullet weight that your practice ammo.

    Food for thought.:D

    Tack
     
  15. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Be careful. Have you fired after "slowly chambering"? I've heard the click as a result of not letting the action slam foward hard enough...:(
    How does this sound? If going by the "five chamberings rule", take the cycled round and rotate it with the unused rounds in the box until they are all cycled, then rotate with the rounds in the mag.
     
  16. BigByrd47119

    BigByrd47119 New Member

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    Doesn't the CD line of ammo sport some "new technology" that prevents set-back? I would have sworn I read that somewhere, maybe even on the box or manufacturers website...

    Sorry if this has been posted already, kinda in a hurry.

    Hope this helps!
     
  17. cmc0108

    cmc0108 New Member

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    About once a month, I go to the range and I'll shoot an entire round of my defense ammo just so I can continue to have a good idea of the shooting pattern of it. I can say for sure that it definitely shoots a little lower than my cheap range ammo. It's worth the extra $$ each month to do that to know exactly how my rounds will fire.
     
  18. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    Whenever I have reason to eject a chambered round, I toss it in a small tupperware tub I keep for that purpose. When the tub collects enough rounds, I'll take it to the range and shoot it. That way I get to practice with my defense ammo.
     
  19. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    When i shoot i use whats in my mags first, then reload them with hollow points.

    Im not sure why some people feel the need to "slowly let the slide forward" when chambering a round. Does your semi-auto pistol do that when it cycles? No, it slams them in and imo if your ammo cant deal with it then its not quality ammo. I have rechambered the same round many times after cleaning or letting a friend or family member handle it and never had any kind of issue.
     
  20. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Quality ammo will rechamber several times with no setback, it will also show obvious setback after the 2nd or 3rd chambering. Depends on the ammo and the gun.

    I don't agree with gently riding the slide forward either, but if you truly rechamber often and have never noticed setback then I would submit than you either have not been CCW for very long, don't rechamber as often as you think you do, or you simply have never checked.

    In my youth I fired more than a few rounds that had setback before I was told it could create dangerous pressure levels. I never had a problem when doing this but I also ceased doing it as soon as a fellow with more grey hair than I pointed out the potential hazard.

    Tack