When was the last time you switched out your CC ammunition? Six months? A year? If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t changed it out for the winter. One thing you need to understand is that primers and power are highly susceptible to extreme heat, cold, and wet. The boxes you keep in the gun safe likely do not experience the same conditions your concealed carry ammo encounters on a day to day basis.
If you stock pile ammo like I do, you likely keep all your bullets in a closet or in your man-cave in a cool, dry place—the optimal conditions for keeping your ammo for a long while, maybe indefinitely. Now, the same can’t be said for your reload or the bullets in your CCW. During the summer, those bullets and your gun experience sweat and oils (by the way, sweat has salt in it, which is corrosive; also this same stuff is soaking into your holster, too).
You may even keep your pistol in the glove box in your car, if you have to go into a building prohibiting concealed carry (or maybe you’re visiting your college-age kids on campus). I don’t have to remind you that it gets flippin’ HOT in your vehicle. There might even be influxes in heat from degrees of 70 to 90+ in less than 10 minutes if you walk from inside your air-conditioned house to your truck (outside in the 99-degree weather). This can cause all sorts of issues for primers and powders leaving you with unreliable bullets.
Winter is similar, but cold (of course!). Sitting in your deer stand during 4-foot snow drift weather, or crossing cold creeks and streams you’re exposing your weapon and your ammo to extreme cold and the potential threat of falling into a body of water. Just FYI: smokeless powder and some primers that meet moisture are not reliable.
But how often is “often”? Every six months or less, my friends.
Your best bet is to plan to go the range every six months to shoot your CC loads (while also getting an excuse to get yourself to the range). The bullets aren’t old or outdated, they just have the potential of being unreliable, which could result in all kinds of malfunctions and errors. Besides, who’s going to reject range-time? Not me!
What self-defense ammo are you guys carrying these days? Let me know in the comments!