Function testing on the cheap
We all know you are not supposed to carry ammo for self-defense unless it is proven reliable in your gun. Rich guys like you can afford to do that. Poor guys like me can't.
People throw numbers around: "Don't carry any ammo/gun combo unless you have fired N rounds through that gun without a malfunction." Sometimes, N = 200. Sometimes 100. Sometimes 50. Let's consider N = 100.
I was thinking about chandging my carry load to DPX in my .45's. DPX costs roughly $1 per shot. If I want to fire 100 rounds for testing, that's $100. I have 9 .45's that I carry regularly, depending on climate/clothing/whim. One is my bedroom gun, for example. Two are "car guns" -- I leave them in the cars all the time. I have lightweights, full size, stainless, blue, a couple of hi-caps. If I test all of them, that's $900. At some point, it's not a question of "How much is your life worth?" but "How much can you afford to spend testing ammunition?" $100? $1000? $2000? Personally, I think my life is worth a billion dollars, but I can't afford to spend that amount testing ammo. (And then there are the guns in other calibers that I carry sometimes. How much should I budget for them?)
What do you do if you get to Round 90, and you get a malfuction? Forget about that ammunition for that gun? Start over again with another 100, and see if it happens again or if it was a fluke, or a bad magazine? Start over with 100 rounds of a different load, also at a buck a pop?
Also, what do you do if your ammo supply is limited? All my guns except one are "checked out" with Black Talons. I just bought a new gun. Can I trust it with Black Talons? I am down to my last 40 rounds of those. How do I test 100 rounds if I only have 40? Or how about Glasers, at $3.50 a pop, sold in 6-packs?
As you can see, function-testing ammo can run into real money.
Here's my cheap guy method. Maybe you will find it helpful.
Load ball, expensive, ball, expensive, ball, expensive, ball, expensive …. Fire one round of ball, and see if the expensive round fed OK. If it did, eject it manually so you have another cheap round in the chamber. Fire ball, check to see if the expensive round fed. Cycle manually. Repeat as much as you want. You can re-use the same expensive rounds over and over again for feed-testing. Just check the re-used rounds for length against an unfired one every once in awhile, to be sure you're not getting bullet set-back, which could cause over-pressure and kB. Last mag before you leave the range will be the expensive rounds you used for feed-testing. That way, you test to be sure the ammo has the right amount of power to cycle your slide.
If the expensive stuff does NOT feed reliably, use it in another gun, use it for chamber-only, sell it or give it away, or use it in a throw-down, so the bad guy will have a gun that doesn’t work. (Just kidding, OK?)
It only takes a handful of expensive rounds (and 100 rounds of the cheap stuff) to get 100 feeding tests.
DPX is my carry load now, in 7 of my 9 .45's. (The other 2 I just haven't gotten around to testing with DPX yet.) I've used about $40 worth of ammo, instead of $700.
Anybody else doing this, or am I the only cheapskate around here?