Sunday, November 1, 2015

Five reasons to shoot your Every-Day-Carry Self-Defense ammunition!

Like everyone else in a time zone that follows Daylight Savings Time... we set our clocks back an hour last night and enjoyed an extra hour of sleep. This also begins a semi-annual ritual we have in our "prepping" mindset of checking, changing, updating, and discarding items to keep our "tools" in top shape, ready for use.

Many things are checked over and refreshed. Flashlights get new batteries and the old batteries are rotated out to more mundane tasks such as powering television remotes or toys... fresh, stabilized gasoline is put in the generators with the old going into the vehicles... and most importantly... we practice out back on the range, shooting our chosen self-defense ammunition that has been carried daily since the last time the clocks were reset.

As a life-long shooter... former law enforcement officer... a long-time firearms instructor... and a daily concealed carrier... I am always amazed at the number of people I meet who have either never shot their self-defense ammunition or have been carrying around the same self-defense rounds in their firearms for years... even more than a decades! The most consistent excuse I hear is, "Do you have any idea how much that ammo costs?" Apparently it costs just a bit more than what your life is worth.

Everyone has to make their own choices. As a general rule of thumb... I don't carry a gun until I'm comfortable with it's reliability, particularly with the self-defense ammunition I've selected.  For me, that means at least 500 rounds fired reliably through a gun with at least 100 rounds of that being the self-defense ammunition I've chosen. That way I know the ammunition works when I need it to.

So with that being said, here are five reason you should shoot your Every-Day-Carry Self-Defense ammunition at least twice each year:
  1. It confirms your firearm functions reliably with that particular ammunition.
  2. It acclimates you to the the "feel" of firing that ammunition - including sound, muzzle-flash, and recoil - which may be substantially different than the inexpensive practice ammunition you use on the range.
  3. It keeps the ammunition in your daily-carried self-defense firearm - that has likely been exposed to heat, cold, humidity, moisture, sweat, or other contaminants - fresh and reliable.
  4. It forces you to practice. For some of you, if we're being completely honest here, it may be the only two times each year that you actually fire your gun and twice a year is better than none.
  5. It reminds you to check your firearm over and clean or lubricate it as necessary.
Some of you may have other thoughts on how often or why to shoot your daily carry self-defense ammunition... but I think you'll agree that twice a year is budget-friendly enough for most people who don't shoot it due to the replacement cost. If nothing else, I hope you'll agree that these are...

Five reasons to shoot your Every-Day-Carry Self-Defense ammunition!


  1. "I am always amazed at the number of people I meet who have...never shot their self-defense ammunition..."

    Seriously, why would someone do this? That's like taking a test without preparing for it.

  2. Never shooting a self-defence weapon is just plain stupid. I know how much skill and precision I lose with even a week's layoff from using my target air rifle; rifle shooting loses muscle memory much less quickly than does pistol shooting.

    If you are going to be proficient with a pistol, you have to practice with that pistol and with the ammunition that you intend to use. You don't need to go crazy and shoot lots of ammo through it, but the gun needs to be a familiar object, the action of shooting it needs to be familiar, and the feel of shooting it needs to be familiar.

    You don't want a pistol to feel alien, or unusual, or in any way strange; you need the muscle memories and the training to kick in so you can focus on not blasting the wrong person.

  3. Most Federal agencies shoot duty ammo in all post-Academy training and qualifications. It is no more expensive than using training ammo, given Government procurement procedures, and it: 1) Insures that the agent is competent with the recoil and blast of the duty round; and 2) In the case of an officer-involved shooting, allows the agency to prove IN COURT that the agent was proficient with the duty round.
    The last point can be very important.

  4. Enjoyed the article, but you need some serious editing. The medium is the message.

  5. #2 is useless as it shoots much like my practice ammo. Which also negates #5 since I clean it after practice anyway.