Concealed Carry Corner: Most Overlooked Problems With Carry Guns

Matt E
by Matt E
Concealed Carry Corner: Most Overlooked Problems With Carry Guns

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we took a look at some of my most used carry guns and why I carry each. If you happened to miss that article, be sure to click the link here to check it out. This week, I want to take a closer look at some things most conceal carriers don’t even think about and the various items you should look at when it comes to carry gun maintenance. Things happen and it’s important to keep in mind some parts to look at when you decide to carry a gun daily. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most overlooked problems with carry guns.

Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:

Bullet Setback

One of the most common consumable items that people ignore is their carry ammo. The first step in being a responsible concealed carrier is having good self-defense ammo but oftentimes we forget about the carry ammo because we bought different ammo we won’t shoot unless we absolutely need it. I’ve been very guilty of leaving ammo in my gun for two or even three years when I first started carrying. I would use the same rounds and load my carry rounds in after I hit the range or cleaned my guns.

My bullets would be tarnished, discolored and even deformed after a while. When racking in the same rounds time after time, it can push the bullet even more into the casing. It’s not a huge deal at first but if done enough, bullet setback can lead to overpressure or even failures. There’s a maximum as well as a minimum length for various calibers. If your carry rounds become shorter than the minimum required length, it’s time to swap it out for a fresh self-defense round.

Having old carry rounds is ultimately a liability to you if you need your carry gun for a self-defense situation. You want the best chance possible to have a positive outcome and reliable ammo that’s in spec is a part of it. In my experience, larger calibers that deal with higher spring pressure like 45 ACP and 10mm will have a higher rate of bullet setback than smaller calibers like 9mm but it can still happen after enough rechambering. The easiest way to make sure your ammo is good to go is just by looking at it. Usually, any tarnishing or deformation to your rounds means it’s time to switch them out.

Recoil and Internal Springs

I recently had a P220 of mine break an extractor spring after 11,000 rounds. I never replaced any internal parts which made me replace all springs on the gun to ensure reliability. Internal springs are some of the first parts to wear out when it comes to carry guns. If you practice at the range with the same gun you carry, spring wear can be accelerated to the point where you’ll need to change them in order to have a reliable firearm. My P320 is a good example of what happens when you ignore maintaining your gun. After 14,000 rounds, my P320 started to not eject as well and eventually, the trigger reset spring failed and I had to send it in. Within a week, I got the pistol back and they said I should change the springs every 10,000-12,000 rounds.

Every manufacturer is different but they all have a maintenance schedule. Another example was with some of my full-size metal framed pistols where they begin to recoil sharper than they once did. I have had to replace a number of recoil springs to keep everything in working order. Now at first, having a slightly weakened spring may just feel like slightly more recoil but given enough time your gun may start to either suffer damage from worn-out springs or completely stop functioning. If you start to feel slight changes over time, it may be time to switch out your springs.

Ejectors And Wearable Parts

The least common but still important aspect to keep in mind is wearable parts like ejectors, extractors, and other parts that can eventually wear out. If you guys carry a 2011 or similar pistol, it’s incredibly easy to shear off your ejector which leads to other issues eventually. Things like this happen and although they are replaceable, it can affect the overall performance of your handgun. Extractors become thin over time or even break which will lead to strange malfunctions and your gun not working properly. For the vast majority of people, this will mean sending it back to the manufacturer for work but it is possible to fix your own guns with the proper tools and knowledge.

This is the rarest form of malfunction since it typically takes a high round count and years to happen, but if you don’t switch carry guns for decades, it’s still a real possibility. The best way to see if you’re starting to have issues is any type of odd malfunction or change in ejection patterns. There’s a good chance you’ll never shoot out a barrel or anything but it’s still important to see if there’s a change in accuracy as well to ensure all parts of the gun are in working order. Your carry gun is what protects you from the threats in society and if you don’t take care of it, it may not take care of you when the time comes.

Overall Thoughts

It’s normal for the average person to carry their gun every day without putting much thought into maintaining various parts. Some forget to clear their carry gun on a regular basis, but things like ammo, springs and parts can wear out given enough use and time. Not everyone thinks about maintenance schedules when carrying a gun but it’s an incredibly important subject if you plan on carrying your gun every day without switching to a newer model.

What do you guys do to maintain your firearms? Let me know in the comments below. if you have questions about carry guns or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you next week for another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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3 of 35 comments
  • Geoff Timm Geoff Timm on Nov 18, 2023

    Does anyone follow an ammo rotation schedule? Geoff Who tries to fire his carry ammo for practice every 60 days or two months. I use WWB 9mm 115gr HP "Personal Protection" ammo, because it works in most on line tests and it's not as expensive as the exotic ammo.

    • Bethan Bethan on Dec 04, 2023

      @Geoff Timm I do when I'm in the US and carrying, every 2 months the carry mags get shot and the ammo replaced. I also function check my spare 2 and keep a different set for range mags.

  • Scott Couch Scott Couch on Nov 18, 2023

    I don't have any bullet setback problems. When I get home my Sig goes into the pistol safe until the next day. I only unload to clean it.