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Old January 29, 2012, 02:41 PM   #1
ceebeeee
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How long will reloads store?

What is the 'shelf life' of reloaded, and for that matter, factory ammo? I know to store it in moderate dry temps ect ect, but is there a time its not reliable or safe?
Thanks for the imfo.
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:58 PM   #2
dmazur
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The general answer to the question of ammo shelf life is "indefinite".

From reading several threads on this, they all seem to agree that
  • Moisture is detrimental to long-term storage - case corrosion
  • Extremely high temperatures (120F+) can degrade the powder

IMO, indoor storage in original packaging is sufficient, without worrying about it further.

However, for really long-term storage, you might worry about things like cardboard boxes and dividers can have a slight acid content and attract moisture. Milsurp ammo cans are just about air-tight, so some repack ammo in ammo cans, with a dessicant.

I've read about a somewhat extreme practice of using a vacuum food sealer to repack ammo, and then store the results in ammo cans.

I guess it depends on whether you're looking at a 5 year horizon with life being somewhat normal, or a 50 year horizon with hurricanes and tornadoes thrown in...
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Old January 29, 2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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If stored properly they will last longer than you.
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Old January 29, 2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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I've got some over 20 years old that works just fine. Just store in a cool, dry place.
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Old January 29, 2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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This spring I shot my reloads from 1970. They had been stored where ever in western OK and north TX. From -20° to +120°.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:20 PM   #6
chris in va
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I bought some old 'sub gun' ammo for the CZ 52 I had. Half of them hangfired...click...BANG.

No idea how they were stored, looked to be at least 40 years old.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:42 PM   #7
BigJimP
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I have some reloads ...in some rifle calibers I rarely shoot anymore ...and some of them are coming up on 20yrs old ....but stored properly, they've never shown any performance deterioration / or shown any deterioration even cosmetically.

Excessive heat ...and especially condensation or moisture ...are the only real culprits ....

I have some factory ammo ....rifles / and field loads for shotguns ...that are 40 yrs old or maybe a little more....and no problems with any of them either.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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i have ammo from 1918 that i got with a old revolver and it still shoots. was stored in a plastic snap top box for about 20 years. about 1 in 50 doesnt work.

i think with storing them in plastic reload boxes or plastic bags will hold them over for a long time. if your super worried seal the primer and case neck with a sealant
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:51 PM   #9
m&p45acp10+1
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Recently I fired some of my late grampa's reloads in my Mod 67-1. All fired, and the cases were still good. They were loaded in the mid 60's. All 150 fired.
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Old January 29, 2012, 09:16 PM   #10
armoredman
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I can't go back that far - started loading in 2004. But I can tell you I shot some reloads I made in 2007 just a few weeks ago with no problems whatsoever. Stored in plastic boxes or sealed plastic baggies without dessicant in a worn out GI ammo can. That isn't very long, I know, but as least I know that much.
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Old January 29, 2012, 10:00 PM   #11
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The only problem I have run into is for ammo with really high neck tension - the cases will split. I had some 30 carbine new brass, first time loaded that about 20% split while stored properly. Interesting that none loaded with lead bullets split, but only those loaded with jacketed bullets.
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Old January 29, 2012, 10:24 PM   #12
CherokeeT
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A looong time if stored in cool dry place. I'm shooting ammo I loaded back in the 70's and I've shot ammo from the 40's.
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Old January 30, 2012, 09:50 PM   #13
m&p45acp10+1
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How in the heck do you guys get ammo that sits for that long? The longest I have had my reloads sit was two weeks when it rained like crazy, then snowed. Oh wait I have a few .41 Mag I loaded up for hogs about a year ago. I fired some of them last weekend and all went bang.
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Old January 30, 2012, 09:55 PM   #14
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My grandpa has .308winchester ammo from 1966 that i have shot and shoots like its brand new From what i hear just keep it stored in a cool dry place and it will last forever!!
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Old January 31, 2012, 09:47 AM   #15
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
w in the heck do you guys get ammo that sits for that long?
I have some rifle (30-060 ammo that was loaded for big game dream hunts that probably will never happen.
Other that was for comptition only then gave up that.
Lots of pistol (.44 MAG.) that was loaded for both competition and hunting then I wrecked my shoulder and haven't shot the pistol, a Ruger Redhawk, since.
Still keeping it all.
To answer the question, indefinitely.
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Old January 31, 2012, 05:10 PM   #16
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Store it correctly and it will last as long as you need it.
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Old January 31, 2012, 07:55 PM   #17
m&p45acp10+1
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My .223 loads usualy store for a few days. In some cases a few weeks. All go bang.

I have a buch of .357 Mag that grampa reloaded in the early 80's that I found it shoots every time. They are mild loads, and the Python shoots them very well. I think he loaded them with Bull's Eye. It was the only powder I remeber seeing him use for hand gun ammo.

I shot some of his 30-06 loads in the 03A3 and they went bang, and the brass looked good for reloading. They were loaded in the 60's or early 70's. I shot my first deer with that rifle using one of those with a Remington Core Loct. I have shot quite a few deer with them in the 28 years since.
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Old February 2, 2012, 11:27 AM   #18
ceebeeee
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Thanks for everyones help!
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Old February 2, 2012, 02:26 PM   #19
swmike
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The question for me is will I live long enough to shoot all the reloads I have in some calibers

As long as they aren't stored in the glove box while the truck is parked for a few years in the back yard, reloads will last as long as factory.
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Old February 2, 2012, 02:30 PM   #20
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I shoot 7.62x25 milsurp regularly that was sealed in a tin for over 50 years and it's been ABSOLUTELY 100%.
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Old February 4, 2012, 08:42 PM   #21
hagar
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Bigggest problem with reloads is bonding, where the bullet starts adhering to the case. I saw it in reloads that I reloaded less than 10 years ago.
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Old February 4, 2012, 09:57 PM   #22
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Isn't bonding only an issue when there is an odd variable like moisture?
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Old February 6, 2012, 08:52 AM   #23
GroovyMike
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Keep teh ammo dry and under 100 degrees F and it will last literally forever.
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Old February 6, 2012, 01:04 PM   #24
Elkins45
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I have a 50 cal ammo can full of .45 lead bullet loads that I assembled in the late 80's that has been stored in a non-climate controlled outbuilding in Kentucky. Ever so often I fish out a handful and take them to the range. I haven't had a misfire yet and accuracy is unchanged.
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