View Full Version : Old .45 ammo

July 27, 2007, 09:34 AM
An older genteman at work discovered that I shoot and had two boxes of .45 ammo that he gave to me. I am just curious if they are safe to shoot? They look clean but I wanted a second opinion so I don't go blowing my hand off.

July 27, 2007, 09:45 AM
They should work fine.

I still shoot some WW2 surplus every now and then.

I recently heard of a WW2 1911a1 that had been loaded in a trunk for over 50 years and it fired every round.

July 27, 2007, 10:35 AM
I ask this because I'm curious, I mean no disrespect, but why would you be suspicious of military ball ammo if it's clean, in the proper box and the headstamps are proper?

T. O'Heir
July 27, 2007, 11:36 AM
You may find it's not as old as you think. There should be a date on the case head. The Remington will have R-P and a number. The Winchester WCC and a number. The number is the year it was loaded.

James K
July 27, 2007, 01:50 PM
Those boxes look like post-WWII. If the ammo is dated after 1952, the primers are non-corrosive, which will save a lot of cleaning.

Why be suspicious? Ordinarily there would be no reason, but I have seen some pretty bad reloads put in GI boxes (or imitation GI boxes) and sold at gun shows. Mostly the stuff is not dangerous, just unreliable.


July 27, 2007, 03:11 PM
I have not had any experiance with older ammunition and wanted a second opinion. Other then that no reason.

August 2, 2007, 07:37 PM
I got some pretty much identical boxes of GI ammo but it was loaded in the 90's. Should be no problems. If the codes on the lid match the years of the ammo, like if it is 57 and 66 as I suspect, it should be perfectly fine. If the ammo is mixed up with different headstamps, it might be reloaded like the man said. Only other factor might be how it was stored over the many years. But bad storage would only probably serve to cause reliability problems, like squib loads or duds. If the ammo is still bright and shiny or at least no green stuff on it, I would feel fine with it.

August 4, 2007, 12:55 AM
I have a few cases of .45 ammo stamped 53 on the base made by Western Cartridge Co.These have been in the family since my father retired from the Marines in the early 60's. some of cartridges in the boxes which have been open since that time are corroded and not one has misfired.
Is there a recommended shelf life for ammo? Seems like they last forever.