Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fit-testing your ammo

In an update at Mike's Spot on his Citadel 1911, Mike casually notes something of much importance that many folks may not have ever tried before -- fit-testing your ammo.  I'll admit to not always doing this with defensive ammo, but curiously will do it with reloads for plinking, which is backwards.  Having a jacked up round not fire on the range isn't as big of a deal as hearing a "click" when you need a "bang" in a moment of great need, and so checking each and every round that you would potentially stake your life on is a good idea.  In Mike's case, he even found out that his barrel was out of specification and needed the attention of the manufacturer's machinery to make it right, which would be a catastrophe to find out in a gunfight.

To fit-test your ammo, field strip your pistol like you would for cleaning and while you have everything clean and pretty, take your barrel and drop each round of your defensive ammo into the chamber and see if the cartridge seats well; what you're looking for is the case head (bottom of the round, for the layman) is even-steven with the barrel hood.  I really need to snap a few pictures of this to give you a visual.  While you're handling each round, check to make sure the primers are seated properly and that the round looks serviceable.  I've found jacked up rounds before in both target ammo and premium self defense ammo.  Stuff happens with massed produced things and it's your responsibility to make sure your weapon is compatable with the ammo.
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