By Keith Pippin
Growing up an Army brat in the 70s, I spent time around guns and shooting. As with most kids of the time, I never felt like I got enough of it. Then bringing up my own boys in the 90s, we did occasionally shoot but they preferred video games and movie rentals.
Later, when courts forced Illinois into concealed carry, that rekindled my interest in guns and shooting. I knew that the concealed carry life was for me. After all, I feel an innate duty to protect those I love.
As an average guy with limited experience, I knew I had a lot to learn, so I started my research. After a lot of study and visits to numerous gun shops, I settled on 9mm for the caliber and a Glock 26 for my first carry piece for a host of reasons. After learning about ammo. In the end, as an average guy with newfound knowledge, I selected Hornady Critical Defense for my carry load.
Like most, I don’t get to the range as much as I would like. Life keeps us moving in too many directions. When I do practice, I’d dump my defensive ammo into a bucket and shoot practice ammo in my mags, then reload my mags when finished for carry. I had done this for about six years then I started reading articles about rotating carry ammo.
Some suggested rotating it annually. Others even more often.
Well, I haven’t been doing that. This part is a little embarrassing: much of my defensive ammo is six years old. Was I endangering my life unnecessarily with ammo that wouldn’t function because of age, oil penetration from the chamber, moisture, temperature changes, sweat, bouncing on my hip and whatever other reasons?
So I took 66 rounds of my carry ammo to the range, expecting several duds and maybe more after watching some YouTube videos.
You know what I found? All 66 rounds fired. What’s more, they all hit the target, although a few went low and left. (Just kidding. It’s me, not the ammo, causing low left hits…)
Is my situation typical? Maybe I was lucky in my results? I don’t know. For now though, I will rotate my ammo at more regular intervals. My life is worth a more than a couple of boxes of defensive ammo every year or two.
Stay safe out there.