Why you should test your carry ammo

I just recently got my XDs 9mm back from Springfield after their recall.  I was thrilled to get it back.  As a thank you for my patience and for being inconveienced by the recall, Springfield also gave me an extended magazine for the pistol, which are usually impossible to find.  Thanks guys.  Some other users were having some issues though, and one person (on Reddit) mentioned that he was having issues with some Hornady ammunition in his.  I typically use Hornady TAP, or Hornady Critical Duty in my carry firearm so this got me a little concerned.  Although this isn’t a real test, like firing the weapon would be, I decided to see what the issue was.  I loaded the magazine in my XDs and then vigorously started racking the slide, ejecting the full round each time and chambering the next one.

Hornady Carry ammo has an abrupt angle on the front of the bullet, unlike most other ammo. Pictured below on the left is a round of Hornady Critical Duty, and on the right is a round of Speer Gold Dot.

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It might be hard to tell from that picture, but the round on the left has a sharp angle, and the one on the right is more rounded.  My Smith and Wesson  M&P Compact loves the Hornady ammo and will eat it all day long happily.  I worry about whether my XDs will though.  Especially after it did this while I was cycling the ammo through it.

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If you look closely, you can see that the nose of the bullet has caught on the small gap in the feed ramp between the frame and the barrel.  This particular malfunction is a failure to feed.  There is a process to get past this malfunction quickly, in which you tap the magazine of the pistol to ensure it is seated correctly. Then you rack the slide of the firearm to either load the offending round, or eject it and load the next round.  I tried this procedure several times and that round wasn’t going anywhere.  The way past this stoppage was to drop the magazine, then rack the slide. You now have an empty weapon.  If I don’t test the XDs with this ammo, and I decide to carry it, I may very well run into the stoppage I described, at the worst possible time.  You could have the best ammo in the world, that cost five bucks a round, and is gold plated, but if it doesn’t feed in your firearm, it is worthless for self defense.

So if you get a new firearm, or if you have any work done to your firearm, including something as innocuous as having the sights replaced, the very next thing you should do, before you count on that gun to defend your life, is to test it with your preferred carry ammo.  You might find out you need to change your ammo.  My XDs didn’t have an issue with Hornady ammo before.  Now it has become finicky.  I will have to find a new carry ammo for my XDs and just to make sure I’m consistent, I should make sure that whatever I choose works in my M&P as well.

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This entry was posted in Concealed Carry, Pistol, Self Defense. Bookmark the permalink.

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