View Full Version : Old ammunition... Stability?

April 27, 2005, 10:53 PM
my father has some old ammunition(mostly .410 and 16ga.) from the 70's and i was wondering about the stability of the ammunition. is it safe to be shot...handled? if not, how would you should it should be disposed of?


April 28, 2005, 01:20 AM
If it is plastic hulled, the crimps are still tight and was stored in a reasonable way, it should be just fine. If they are paper hulled, the roll-crimp is intact, the shell isn't bulged or discolored from moisture or oil and there's no corrosion on the case head they are probably okay as well.

If any problems are found with them simply cut the crimped end off, dump the shot into a container (use it for reloading or give it to some who does), pour the powder on your lawn (it makes a great fertilizer - just don't smoke!), detonate the primers with a small hammer and punch and dispose of the hulls.

April 28, 2005, 03:35 AM
After assessing your ammo per above instruction, and then deciding to shoot it anyway, be prepared for a much higher charge from the powder.
I went through two boxes of 12g a few months back that were very old. Paper-wrapped old. Handed to me from my grandfather old. 59 cent price tag on the box old. You get the idea.
Anyway, to make a short story long, this stuff knocked my fillings out, detached my retinas, and now I can't remember my own name. 2 3/4 inch standard issue bird shot that felt like 3 1/2 inch magnums.

Of course, being from the desert, and having boxes of ammo sitting in a 130+ degree garage drying out for 25 years may have contributed greatly to this. Depending on where you are, your mileage may vary....

April 28, 2005, 05:45 AM
There should be no problem with the shells as long as they don't look in bad shape. Be aware though that some of the old paper shells and boxes that they are in are becoming collector items, and might be worth more not fired and save for collectors. Some of just the empty boxes, not counting the shells are worth quite a bit depending on rarety.

April 28, 2005, 12:59 PM
Anyway, to make a short story long, this stuff knocked my fillings out, detached my retinas, and now I can't remember my own name.

i was reading this post to my dad over the phone and we were both rolling with laughter :D

and thanks for the feedback guys, i was a little apprehensive handling it, the stuff appeared to be in good shape.

Death from Afar
April 28, 2005, 03:22 PM
I agree with all the boomer has said, except detonating the primers. I would just wet them and throw them away- the powder does make GREAT fertaliser by the way.