The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 7, 2011, 11:28 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 358
Shells - How old is too old?

After many, many years, I finally have a place to store all my weapons, many of which were my dad's.

Going through an old cedar chest that's been in storage for well over 10 years, I come across a cache of 20 gauge shotgun shells.

My first inclination was to dispose of them. But are they still OK to cycle though a gun?

The cedar chest has been indoors, air conditioned and rarely opened since we brought it back. I would imagine the shells are 15+ years old.

As an example ...

Remmington Express - 20G - 2.75" - #8 - 3 boxes marked at $2.95 for a box of 25

Winchester Ranger Mark 5 - 20G - 2.5" - #9 - 2 boxes marked at $2.65 for a box of 25

Federal Hi-Power - 20G - 2.75" - #9 - 1 box marked at $3.09 for a box of 25

And then another 30 or so loose in a bag.

So what would TFL do?

I also stumbled across a Norinco 1911 45 ... but that's for another thread ...
mitchntx is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 11:33 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 2000
Posts: 1,127
IF they've been kept in a dry environment and show no signs of serious corrosion on the base or hull swelling then shoot them.
PJR is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 11:33 AM   #3
Junior member
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
Shoot them up I still have some ammo I loaded prior to 1994 (dated om the box) that I'll shoot now and again

Unless there is sign of serious deterioration, they'll be fine
oneounceload is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 12:10 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS
Posts: 6,389
A couple of years ago I used up the last of my handloads from my college days in 1983. They had been stored in the garage all these years and still shot just fine.
Doyle is online now  
Old July 7, 2011, 12:13 PM   #5
Join Date: March 5, 2005
Location: HSV
Posts: 97
I am still shooting a lot of ammo from early WWII - shoots fine - have to watch for corrosive ammo at that age, but not post war US ammo.
solvability is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 12:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,601
I would just shoot them ...shouldn't be a problem....

The only shells I've seen be an issue - is when they are in a very wet environment / lots of condensation and dampness ( stored in cardboard cases or boxes that got wet and stayed damp in an old shed or garage that leaked.

I suppose excessive heat could be an issue as well ...where they might be exposed to temps over 125 degrees month after month might cause the powder to breakdown....

but that's clearly not the case in the shells you have ....

I still have some "hunting" shotgun shells - that go back to the 1950's the back of my safe ...where its warm and dry ...and they're fine as well.
BigJimP is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 01:50 PM   #7
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Recently, I touched off some lead 2 goose loads I had since the early 60s while doing a T&E on the Saiga 12 gauge. No probs.

As a boy, I shot off Black Powder loads that predated WWI. No probs.

Ammo kept cool and dry lasts a very long time....
Dave McC is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 02:38 PM   #8
Join Date: March 12, 2011
Location: Sussex Wi.
Posts: 33
OLD shells.....

I still use some of Dads 1950s vintage paper shells when Im feeling nostalgic....Grab his Ithaca 37 out of the safe and away I go....
gunut is offline  
Old July 7, 2011, 03:36 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 358
Thanks doods ...
mitchntx is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 05:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: January 19, 2009
Location: WI
Posts: 1,162
I wanna see pictures of that old timey stuffs. Sounds neat.
It's a trick. Get an axe.
goodspeed(TPF) is offline  
Old July 12, 2011, 08:25 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: December 18, 2010
Location: South Central Pa
Posts: 692
Shoot em, no issues if they were dry
pabuckslayer08 is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 01:36 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: November 25, 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,951
I still have paper shells in my inventory and so far they all go boom.
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
armsmaster270 is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 05:35 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: December 18, 2010
Location: South Central Pa
Posts: 692
And anyways whats the worst that could happen, they just wouldnt fire? I dont think even if something was majorally wrong with them that you would risk hurting you or the gun
pabuckslayer08 is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 05:45 AM   #14
Junior member
Join Date: May 23, 2011
Posts: 216
If they stayed dry go shooting I have 12 ga from the 1970's still shoot good.

pistol & rifle ammo stored since the 1940's shoots good no cracks. And I actualy shot a 45acp from WWI about a year ago to see if it was still good.
Maxem0815 is offline  
Old July 13, 2011, 08:31 AM   #15
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 38,507
Hell, I'm slowly shooting up paper shells that I'm pretty sure my grandfather bought in the 1930s, along with ones that my Father bought in the 1950s.

Everything has been going bang and functioning just fine.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old July 18, 2011, 09:58 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: March 2, 2010
Posts: 848
Might as well join in....

I shot some old rounds from my Dad just last week to test the Superposed....they were AT LEAST 30 years old. I also have 4 old paper-hull 12 guage shells someone gave me years ago that I am saving for a special hunt to dispose of - if only I could figure out what shot size they are. Haha.

jaughtman is offline  
Old July 18, 2011, 01:24 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: August 27, 2006
Location: Terrell, Texas
Posts: 238
Shoot the stuff in the boxes - be careful with loose rounds. A few years back I was given some 2-3/4" ammo from my SIL that his deceased dad had reloaded. It was only after I touched off a few that I suspected the rounds were a little powder heavy. Took one apart and measured the powder. He had shoved almost 30 grains under 1-1/8 #7 shot.
Couzin is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:20 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.17637 seconds with 7 queries