How Many Rounds Have You Put Through Your Daily Carry Pistol?

How Many Rounds Have You Put Through Your Daily Carry Pistol?

This past weekend I went for a motorcycle ride up the Maine coast. This is one of the last few good weekends we New Englanders can expect so us bikers try to get it in while we can. I made a pit-stop at the Kittery Trading Post along Route 95. If you’ve never been, let me describe it.

The Kittery Trading Post is this two story building on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. Located right off Route 95 and on US 1, it’s got everything related to hunting, fishing, and outdoors. For us New Englanders, it’s an easy way to get distracted and find our wallets a bit lighter.

The Used Gun section is my Achilles’ Heel. As a daily concealed carrier, I’m always stupefied as to what people will trade in without even putting a pistol through its motions.

I wanted to check out a SIG SP2022 (‘Twenty, twenty-two’) on special for $325. It was a SIG SAUER pistol that typically retails over $550 so I was genuinely curious why it was priced so low. The clerk graciously pulled it out of the glass case and, after checking to ensure it was unloaded, handed it to me. I did a quick breakdown of the pistol to see how much wear and tear had gone on.

There was a little bit of carbon on the feed ramp, indicating that someone shot it at least once before trading it in. I inspected the barrel and there were no chips or dings indicating hard wear. The rifling was still deep. The rear portion of the receiver still had the original grease the manufacturer puts on the gun when it ships. The exterior of the barrel showed the lightest of rings indicating, to me, that this pistol had maybe a hundred rounds passed through it before someone got bored.

This is ridiculous!

I picked it up. Outside of the struggles of finding a holster for an SP2022, the gun was certainly a welcome addition to my ride up the Maine coast. As I was riding past Portland and the radio stations began to get in shorter supply, I got to thinking: here I am carrying a used pistol that’s maybe seen a hundred rounds through it and I’m carrying it concealed as my personal defense pistol.

What if I was wrong when I assessed the pistol? What if it was actually a giant piece of junk?

Thankfully, I had a buddy up past Brunswick. I pulled off Rt 95 and headed over to his place in the woods. Him and his wife were home. I showed him my new pistol I picked up at KTP and asked if I could go put it through its motions and see if my initial impression was good.

If you’ve never heard of the SIG SP2022, I don’t blame you. SIG made it awhile back and it never got much attention in a world increasingly fixated on striker fired pistols. Heck, SIG seemed to bury it under their P250 (DAO) and then their P320 just placed the tombstone over the 2022.

Well, their loss. My gain.

With three 17-round extended magazines and about a hundred rounds of American Eagle 115 grain 9mm, I tried out this “new to me” SIG SP2022. My buddy had three steel targets at around 10 yards and I alternated between them. Smooth, crisp single-action trigger pull. The double-action wasn’t crunchy like I had found in some other DA/SA used pistols but there was a nice lead that I like in DA mode.

After about a hundred rounds, I felt confident that I could draw the pistol, place judicious shots on target, change magazines, and ensure the pistol was safe.

A hundred rounds.

Maybe that’s how many the previous owner put through it before he realized he didn’t like the pistol. I told this to my buddy and he told me something interesting.

“Sometimes you pick up a gun, put some rounds through it, and never think about it again.”

And then one day, you crack open the gun safe and look at a pistol hanging out in a corner and you think, “will I ever use this gun?”

That’s a distinctly American problem to have. However, in order to make room for something new, sometimes you have to get rid of something old. And maybe, for the previous SIG SP2022 owner, that was the conclusion he came to. Maybe, after a hundred rounds, he realized that this was a gun he either didn’t want to carry, or just preferred a different gun.

As I got ready to leave and said thanks to my buddy and his wife for having me over, I thought about my experience in those first hundred rounds. In those first hundred rounds, I felt reaffirmed that I had made the right decision in a gun I trust to use to protect my life. I could have just as easily discovered it was not a pistol I wanted to use. So, for me, I think within the first hundred rounds of shooting, I can figure out whether or not a gun is right for me. The rest is just for practice, fun, or both.

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  • john northrop

    I loved the story, especially the bike part as I ride every chance I can get. Just a question though…why weren’t you carrying the gun you had BEFORE you got to the trading post? Did you leave home gun-less??? It would hard to see that…and if you had a trusted gun on you, why did you take it off for a new-to-you-unproven-one?

    Glad it worked out for you…but that gun would have stayed in its case in my saddlebags and I would have been carrying the gun I trusted before. (for me, a G26 with a G17 backup mag for close to 10 years now) On the motorcycle, I always carry it in a sneaky pete (can access no matter if I have on gloves or not, my vest, or a jacket…and the mag is in a safariland horizontal mag carrier – indexed properly – next to my belt buckle.

    I do buy guns that I don’t end up keeping – and don’t fire that many rounds thru…especially when I get away from wheelguns (my weakness / my sentimentality) or Glocks. I find I ‘stray’ and end up putting them up or trading them in without much thought, except some regret for being silly and easily misled.

    I remember one mistake in particular…I traded 2 guns and a good deal of cash for a nearly $1,000 SW 340PD (new) with factory CT grips. I remember thinking….”oh boy, this is gonna be my grail gun of wheelguns.” yeah, that lasted LESS THAN 25 rounds of .357! Crazy pain and couldn’t hit a wall from 10 feet away! lol. I went back to my old standby wheelguns in .357 and .38. I traded away that 340PD and I’m sure someone likes it…but it wasn’t me. I lost quite a bit on it too…but some lessons are best learned with pain….

    • Bwa Ha

      When I was working I loved the .357 round. Unfortunately the department went to 9mm so we all had to “convert”. They supplied the weapons so I was good to go with that. We had to supply our own backups. I kept my S&W .357 19 for a backup and switched it around with my ol’ Charter Arms Bulldog .44 spl. for craps and giggles. A great round, that .357!

      • john northrop

        yes sir – and the SW 19 is a great piece, congrats on that. I liked the 357 the best out of my Ruger SP101 – just a tank of a gun. I like the 9mm for it’s use in the Glocks…but yeah, if I was told I could only have one gun for life…it’s would be a .357 in a good steel model….can drop down to wax bullets in 38…all the way up to full house magnums. Thankfully, we don’t have to make that choice though! 🙂

  • Darkman

    Since I alternate my EDC between a couple of guns. I’d say at least 2 thousand in the older one and a thousand in the newer one. Go to the range a couple times each month. Usually take one or the other. Sometimes both along with rifles and shotguns. You can never have to many guns,to much ammo or enough practice.

  • Bwa Ha

    When I buy a “new” pistol (different… not necessarily “new”) I also buy 100 rounds of ammo and on the way home I stop and get acquainted with my “new” gun. I carry a .380 for most my ccw with another .380 backup. Sometimes I’ll switch to the Springfield .40 and a backup with a SCCY 9mm. But normally I try to keep the ammo the same. Out here in the Pacific Northwest (NOT Seattle… there’s still us country folks out here who don’t claim Seattle)… out here in the summers I stick with the .380 pocket guns in the “wet season”… (everything else PLUS half of summer) I’ll carry the .40 primary and the 9mm backup. Those guns get rounds cycled through them at least once a month along with the rest of my stuff. So in answer to your articles headline… minimum 50 rounds a month.

  • Grimsinger

    I generally carry either my pocket rocket Ruger LCP2 or my slightly larger Ruger LC9s, depending how deep I need to be carrying that day, but I like them both, sometimes even carrying them both. I’ve put hundreds of rounds through both of them, but keep a small stockpile of extra parts to change change out, just in case. I purchased a S&W M&P 9 Shield from a guy who owned it for a couple of years, and put a mag of rounds through it. I got it at a steal for $150 because he never used it afterward and just wanted to get rid of it. I picked up a BEAUTIFUL stainless S&W 686+, 4″ .357mag for $450 from an older gentleman for the same reason. He said he may have put 200 of .38spl. through it, and the gun was perfect. I shoot all of my guns regularly for the sake of enjoyment and staying proficient, but pay exceptionally strict attention to wear and care.

  • Mikial

    Nice article. Really nice, and I could see you tooling through the Maine woods on your bike heading to your buddy’s. Great stuff!

    I’ve had a couple of guns I bought and sold pretty close together. My wife and I picked up a Walther PPX at a gun show that we dumped after about 250 rounds. Just wasn’t made for either of us.

    As for the rest of my current handguns, they get shot a lot. My EDC Gen 3 G21 has easily had 10,000 rounds through it or more, and I love my old Israeli police trade-in Jericho. My wife’s number one choice Beretta 92 has probably had 5000+ rounds through it in her hands and is still going strong.

    As for the story of the author buying this gun and loving it . . . love is a strange thing. When it works, it works. Enjoy and may it serve you well.

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