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Old December 25, 2012, 09:14 PM   #1
mohr308
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Expected Shelf life of reloads

In my one reload i'm using H335 powder, what kind of shelf life could I expect out of it before I start running into problems?
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:16 PM   #2
Marco Califo
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Longer than you will live.

Longer than you will live, if stored properly.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:24 PM   #3
mohr308
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awesome
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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I just found (way back in my gun safe) a few 270 rounds I had loaded way back when the leading Nosler bullet was a 130 gr Solid Base Boattail. I really can't remember when it was that I switched to the Ballistic Tip, but it had to be 25 or 30 years ago. And those old rounds shot just fine.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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I am still firing some shotguns shells I reloaded in 1971 and some .243 rifle rounds from 1976. I sure am glad I labeled things. They have undergone 7moves but have always been properly stored.
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Old December 25, 2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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This past week, I shot some .308 Win loads I had assembled back in the mid to late '70s. They worked just fine.
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Old December 25, 2012, 10:15 PM   #7
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at this time, I store all my ammo in my one closet that is not heated, so its about 50deg in there.
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Old December 26, 2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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A rule of thumb is 20 years for double based powders and 45 years for single based. The lifetime of ammunition depends on the lifetime of the propellant.

Heat is the worst enemy of gunpowder, heat breaks powder down. If stored in arctic conditions, -40 F, unchanging cold and no humidity, I have no idea how long it will last, maybe a century, but stored in hot conditions, take a look at this:

United Nations (UN) Manual

IATG 07.20 Surveillance and in-service proof

http://www.un.org/disarmament/convar...Proof(V.1).pdf

See Paragraph 7.3, how temperature reduces the lifetime of ammunition.

Understand that militaries undergo stockpile surveillance programs to weed out ammunition that is just about to go bad, or has gone bad. That is why there is all this cheap surplus ammunition on the market, the original owners dumped the stuff as unsafe.

When old ammunition is fired all sorts of evil things can happen, pressure spikes that lead to blowups are the worst, duding is perhaps the least of anyone’s problems.
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Old December 27, 2012, 02:41 PM   #9
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Shelf life of some primer makes isn't very long. But you'll need a 1/4 MOA rifle and ammo plus a good shooter to see this happen. Wolf primers (from Russia) tend to have the longest life and are favored by many competitive shooters. The Russian factory, Murom Apparatus, that makes Wolf primers also has versions that are environmentally safe.

Powder degrades over time, but 20 years or so is typically a good estimate if stored in cool temperatures; heat's its worst enemy.

Biggest problem with stored reloads is the corrosion effect between the dissimilar metals of the case neck and bullet jacket. I've seen a couple of instances where very old reloads had such a bond between bullet and case mouth that the case mouth tore off the case shoulder and went out with the bullet when the round was fired. Rare, yes, but the fact that this situation could also change the bullet's release force needed to get it out of the case will effect peak pressure as well as accuracy and muzzle velocity. I've been told this is one reason why military arsenal ammo has an asphaltum sealant between case neck and bullet; prevents dissimilar metal corrosive bonding.
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Old December 27, 2012, 06:07 PM   #10
m&p45acp10+1
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I shot some of my Grampa's reloaded ammo a while back. From the note on the slip of paper in the box they were loaded in the late 1960's. They shot just fine, all went bang, all hit the target.

I also have some .45 ACP ball ammo that is head stamped of 58 none have failed to fire when I shot them.
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Old December 27, 2012, 07:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Biggest problem with stored reloads is the corrosion effect between the dissimilar metals of the case neck and bullet jacket.
I haven't encountered this, but I have experienced in a wide variety of calibers splits in the neck. I'm not talking about normal firing neck splits, I am talking about cracks you may not even be able to see until your fire the round. This is why the military requires visible heat treating (annealing) of the necks for longer term storage.

I have never had a case loaded with lead bullets split, but 222, 223, 30 Carbine, 32 H&R Mag (factory & loaded new brass), 41 and 44 Mag have all split with longer term storage.
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Old December 27, 2012, 09:01 PM   #12
serf 'rett
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Quote:
what kind of shelf life could I expect...?
Oh, around here, it is about 1 to 3 weeks, weather permitting and range being open.

Actually, you can get some really long shelf life with proper storage (as noted above), but I hold with the idea of rotating my stock.
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:10 PM   #13
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100 years in an ammo can.
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