In order to keep your self-defense guns functioning well, you must rotate your ammunition and magazines. Follow this simple plan to rotate them twice a year, similar to changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

In January, purchase a box of your preferred hollow point ammunition. Clean your guns that are designated for everyday carry, vehicle, and home defense.  Fill your magazines with the fresh ammunition and load your firearm to your preferred status. Condition “Hot” indicates that there is a round in the chamber, while condition “Cold” indicates that a magazine is inserted, but there is no round in the chamber.

Check on these firearms every month to make sure they are in good working order. Ensure there are no dust bunnies collected within the holster or your storage method of choice.  If you are practicing with these specific guns, keep in mind that repeated stress of chambering a round can cause ammunition to malfunction.  Rotate the top cartridge down every time you remove the magazine.

In July, take the ammunition and transition it to a fresh magazine. Springs in a magazine can become weakened over time when they are constantly under pressure, so this will help you avoid wearing out the magazines prematurely as well as the risks of malfunction when you need your gun the most! Clean your guns if you have not done so in the past six months.

When January arrives again make a trip to the range and shoot the ammunition that is currently loaded in all of your defense firearms. Then start the process again, with new ammunition and fresh magazines.

If your ammunition is never exposed to extreme fluctuating heat or cold for extended periods of time then you may never have to replace it; however, it is simple to follow this routine and do monthly maintenance of your firearms. If nothing else, this affords you an extra opportunity to inspect your ammunition and your firearms to ensure they are fit for protecting your life should you ever be in the situation to need it.


A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) is a shooting club established by women shooters for women shooters. AG & AG events are intended to be fun, social gatherings where women can come together for support, encouragement, ask questions in a safe and nonjudgmental environment, improve on their marksmanship, and bond together in the shooting community.