By Kellene Bishop
This evening my husband and I went to the outdoor range for a little practice. As always, we brought a can of several hundred rounds. Every once in a while I will shoot too limp wristed and get a stove pipe, but tonight it was happening on every single shot I took. Uh, that’s not my shooting, that’s something else. I inspected the firearm repeatedly. The slide smoothly racked back and forth. I was a bit stumped for a moment until I noticed that my husband was having the same problem. Well there you have it. I think anyone would have a hard time believing he’s limp wristed. *grin* Looks like we’ve got a problem with the ammo.
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to want to practice a certain discipline and only be able to do so one shot at a time. Not only is this a poor way to practice (other than practicing how to handle jams in your firearms) it’s obviously a poor way to defend yourself. If your firearm doesn’t perform properly, it causes a much more severe problem in a self-defense scenario than just missing your shot. In a real scenario of self-defense you only have one chance at using the element of surprise. If you miss with your first shot, you may not get the opportunity for a second.
My recommendation is to always test your cans of reloaded ammo, both with ammo from the top of the canister and ammo from the bottom. Even those brands with which you have a successful history need to endure your scrutiny. It simply doesn’t make sense to go to all of the trouble to become comfortable and skilled with using a firearm and have the ammunition fail. In my opinion, any ammo failure is the wrong time. (Actually, in this instance the ammo we used was actually loaded specifically for sub-sonic use and unfortunately it was erroneously sold to us along with some other containers. So consider this also a heads up to pay attention to the labeling on the cans as well. Or else you might experience a “ruh-roh” moment as well. ) Once you test the ammunition in a particular can, I would suggest marking it in a very distinctive manner. We also have a rule that we don’t load any ammo in any of our self-defense magazines without first testing the batch.
This may sound simple, but the best safety disciplines usually are.
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