View Full Version : shelf life on buckshot?

March 3, 2009, 10:00 PM
I'm assuming a long time but wanted some opinions. i like to keep ammo on hand for that proverbial rainy day situation we need not get i nto for fear of mall ninja thread crisis and I was wondering what you guys think is a great way to store the stuff. I shot some handloads my dad had leftover from the mid 70's and they kicked like a rented mule so it leads me to be that the stuff is pretty impervious but I thought I'd see what you all thought.

March 3, 2009, 10:26 PM
low humidity, and stable temp. usually inside a normal bedroom in a house is a good place. will last basically forever. i shot ammo that was stored since about 1965 (20 gauge #6 loads), shot them last year, everyone went bang and worked perfect.

March 4, 2009, 12:51 AM
How long ?? Well , I think that factory loaded ammo will last a bit longer then reloaded. If you take the time to put a sealant over the primer after you have reloaded it , it should have a shelf life equal to factory.
I have also shot shotshells that were over 25/35 years old and they all went "bang":)

March 4, 2009, 08:31 AM
I have shoot ammo that is over 100 years old, it had been stored indoors and was free of corrosion. It went bang, no problem. It was .38 S&W, but a shot shell should do as well.

March 4, 2009, 09:03 AM
I have shotgun shells from back in the depression of the 1930s that shoot jsut fine.

March 4, 2009, 09:33 AM
Can't give you personal experience about shotgun rounds but I can about older bullets.
My father kept a loaded Colt .25 auto in his dresser drawer since 1946. When he passed away three years ago, it was given to me and was still loaded with the orginal 1940's ammo (bullets had turned black and mag was dirty, etc). I took it too the range just to see if it would function after not being cleaned for decades. Guess what, to my amazement I jacked a round into the chamber and it shot each and every round perfectly with no problems. I was shocked that the magazine spring still fed the bullets after being under pressure all those years. Goes to show you that factory ammo when sealed and loaded per factory specs can still function even that many years later.....

March 4, 2009, 09:39 AM
It should last a long time, just make sure it is in a relatively low humidity environment and you should be all set.

I was shocked that the magazine spring still fed the bullets after being under pressure all those years.
skydiver...it is not compression that hurts springs, it is cyclic loading. So a spring under compression will not wear out (unless it is some cheap piece of crap spring). Just FYI.


March 4, 2009, 09:45 AM
One thing to be wary of is buckshot that has ridden around in a vehicle for a long time. The constant jostling will cause the pellets to rub up against each other and get seriously out of round (http://frankwjames.blogspot.com/2009/01/bad-shotgun-ammo.html) over time.

Dave McC
March 5, 2009, 05:42 PM
Ammo kept cool,dry and not jostled constantly will last a very long time.

I recently fired off some ammo from the 60s. 1 1/4 oz pheasant loads of 4s. Worked fine, patterned so-so.

All ammo back then did that.