Most firearms trainers agree that it's a good idea to periodically change out your carry ammo. A couple of factors can help determine just how often this is necessary, including where your EDC firearm is stored when not in use and the frequency of loading / unloading for practice or routine maintenance. 

How Often Should You Change Your Carry Ammo

When Does Ammunition Go Bad?

Modern ammunition can last a long time provided it is stored in a dry, temperature-controlled location. However, exposure to moisture and other environmental factors can cause rounds to degrade faster than they would otherwise. Watch for discoloration or defects in the metal and be sure to test fire any questionable ammo before continuing to store it.

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A Caveat For Concealed Carry

There are additional concerns when it comes to defensive handgun ammunition. Repeated loading and unloading of magazines combined with regular chambering / extraction for cleaning and maintenance can cause microscopic imperfections in the casing or the projectile itself. This may result in malfunctions such as failures to feed or eject. 

Due to increased use, carry ammo can go bad much quicker than ammo that is stored in boxes or loaded in magazines inside your safe. Be sure to regularly swap out defensive rounds to ensure optimal performance in your handgun.

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When To Swap Out Carry Ammo

While ammunition does not have a set expiration date, we recommend shooters change their carry ammo at least once a year to minimize risk of malfunctions for regular wear and tear. The rounds you use to load the chamber and top off the magazine may need to be replaced more often, as these see more use than the rest of the rounds in your mag. 

Any rounds with dents, divots, or damaged casings should be tossed in the discard pile and replaced with fresh ammo immediately. Use your best judgement and try to get in the habit of changing your carry ammo on a consistent basis. 

Watch our video to learn more about the different types of ammunition and what each round is used for. 

Browse our selection of defensive handgun ammunition!