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Old February 9, 2005, 05:10 PM   #1
als54
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How long is ammo good?

How long is ammo good?
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Old February 9, 2005, 05:11 PM   #2
tokarevman
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LOL a very very long time.
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Old February 9, 2005, 05:27 PM   #3
wyrdone
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I have some 10 gauge shotgun catridges (all brass cases) from my grandfather that are from around 1910-1920's that still fire fine. I don't use them since they are hellishly hard to find and expensive as heck...but they still function fine.
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Old February 9, 2005, 05:31 PM   #4
Marko Kloos
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I've heard of some people coming across batches of blackpowder .45-70 loads from Custer's day that still fired two out of three.

The oldest stuff I have used is German-loaded 8x56R for the Steyr Mannlicher M95. The headstamps ranged from 1937-1940, and every round I ever tried out of the batch worked just fine.
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Old February 9, 2005, 05:39 PM   #5
Jbar4Ranch
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I have .30-06 ammo from prior to WWI that still goes bang.
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Old February 9, 2005, 05:46 PM   #6
BCannell
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Note that it is extremely dependent on how the ammunition is stored. High-quality ammunition in a sealed helium atmosphere with zero water vapor at temperatures near absolute zero would probably outlast the human race. On the other hand, cheap ammo in a hot and humid environment might not last a decade.
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Old February 9, 2005, 06:28 PM   #7
smokinron
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I'm glad someone brought this up. I recently got a 308 & was wondering about some of the surplus ammo you see for sale. Some of it says mfg. in 1970's to early 80's.
wondered how reliable this would be.
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Old February 9, 2005, 07:25 PM   #8
Jbar4Ranch
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I bought a few thousand rounds of that "slightly corrosive WWII surplus" .45 acp ammo that hit the market in '98, and have yet to have a misfire with it. As previously stated, if it was properly stored, it will be good for a long, long time.
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Old February 9, 2005, 07:59 PM   #9
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old ammo

I shoot 1930's and 1940's surplus 8mm and 30-06 all the time and have less than 1% misfires.
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Old February 9, 2005, 08:36 PM   #10
faraway
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If the case is not corroded...a very long time.
Have fired .45-70-500 cartridges from the 1880s, which did fire.
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Old February 9, 2005, 11:40 PM   #11
Sir William
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I have some surface rusted, corrosive and POS in appearance WWI surplus 45 ACP. Every single cartridge has gone off fine. I have some antique Peters 38 S&W that works fine. I bought some SAW surplus 38 Long Colt ammunition a few years ago. It worked fine in my Colt DA 38. I have to say that it depends on the quality of original manufacture.
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Old February 9, 2005, 11:58 PM   #12
woodland
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Sad story...

I knew some guys, ( idiots ) that were tearing down an old old house. When they tore up the floor, they found under it a stache with an old real WWII Luger and also a P-38. With them was several boxes of ammo from the same time. All in exelent condition. What did they do? Load them up and procede to shoot off every single roun there! Tore up the boxes and everything. No regard whatsoever for what a cool thing they had found. Made me sick when I heard about it.
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Old February 10, 2005, 01:16 PM   #13
Art Eatman
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I have reloads done in the late 1960s and early 1970s that work just fine, thank you.

, Art
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Old February 11, 2005, 12:50 PM   #14
Japle
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I read an article years ago by an author who stored a 50lb G.I. surplus can of 4350 powder in his barn. He used it little by little over decades. He said the last of it gave him the same velocity and accuracy as the first.

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Old June 15, 2005, 08:21 AM   #15
big daddy 9mm
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longer than you will live

buy it, keep it dry, and dont worry about it,
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Old June 15, 2005, 08:59 AM   #16
Mike Irwin
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Some years ago a friend and I touched off a bunch of rounds in his .56-56 military Spencer. The rounds were, judging by the packaging, made around 1870.

Roughly 70% of them fired just fine, probably another 15% of them fired eventually (multiple strikes), and the others were just duds.
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Old June 15, 2005, 09:41 AM   #17
jonathon
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The only ammo I would worry about firing if it were older than 20 years would be those plastic shotgun shells since they get so brittle over time(I had a box from the 70's, that I removed the shot and powder from, and used the primers for target practice ) and the paper shotgun shells.. get rotten pretty quick..
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Old June 15, 2005, 12:39 PM   #18
rangermonroe
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I policed up som 7.62 at an Aerial Gunnery Range that was headstamped 1964.

I believe that it had been ouside for at least 20 years. After culling the obviously damaged ones, about 90% of them fired.

So I imagine that with proper storage, ammo will last practically forever. Probably 100 years or better.
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Old June 15, 2005, 07:36 PM   #19
JohnKSa
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If stored properly, good quality jacketed centerfire ammo will last indefinitely. Rimfire is supposed to be a bit more perishable but I've heard that it's good for 15 to 20 years before you start getting some degradation.
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Old June 15, 2005, 09:25 PM   #20
Skeetin'870
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Hell I use .22 ammo from the 70's all the time my grandpa has loads of the stuff and by the way today I found a old paper shell snooping round the house that was over 30 years old and it went bang and hit the target. I also have old sears ammo that still goes bang.
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Old June 15, 2005, 09:30 PM   #21
k_dawg
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I still have tons of WWI/WWII milsurp ammo. All have been great ( except being corrosive, of course ).
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