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View Poll Results: What is the oldest you would consider self defense ammo if stored in cool and dry conditions?
Less than 10 years 18 18.18%
From 10 years to 20 years 11 11.11%
From 20 years to 30 years 13 13.13%
More than 30 years 57 57.58%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 11, 2019, 09:23 AM   #1
ATN082268
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What is the oldest you would consider self defense ammo still reliable?

What is the oldest you would consider self defense ammo still reliable if stored under cool and dry conditions?
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Old June 11, 2019, 01:35 PM   #2
JJ45
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I voted 30+ but it it would also depend on the quality of the ammunition. I have shot various surplus ammo in 30-06 (not, generally considered SD ammo ) in my Garands that was 40 to 50 years old and it shot fine.

Of course, this ammo had sealed primer pockets, etc. and was probably held to high standards of manufacture. So, if it is quality stuff, it will probably be good for a long time.
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Old June 11, 2019, 01:44 PM   #3
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properly made, and properly stored, ammo will still be viable long after you aren't.

Crap ammo, on the other hand, not so much....
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Old June 11, 2019, 01:53 PM   #4
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I voted ten years, but agree it would last much longer. However, when it comes to self-defense why take a chance.
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Old June 11, 2019, 02:12 PM   #5
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How many times have we seen, read, or heard about someone's dad or grandad that had a loaded revolver in the sock drawer for 60+ years and the gun and ammo went bang just fine? I have ammo older than 30 years that I reloaded.
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Old June 11, 2019, 02:47 PM   #6
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Another 30 +. I've got a few shotgun shells I bought about 1975 that I wouldn't hesitate to use for deer hunting "tomorrow." (3", 000 buck)

I've got some 38 HP's still I loaded heck, I don't even know when...1985 or so that are the same way. I think I'm down to only a half dozen or so of them left. I was rationing them out over the years, and they've all fired perfectly.

I wonder if the answers run along the same lines as when you think a gun is "old." I don't consider a thirty year old gun to be old either. Or even a 50-60 year old one for that matter.
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Old June 11, 2019, 02:51 PM   #7
FITASC
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The older I get, the younger my guns seem!
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Old June 11, 2019, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
What is the oldest you would consider self defense ammo still reliable if stored under cool and dry conditions?
Forever, or as long as the case survived.
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Old June 11, 2019, 03:27 PM   #9
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The surplus ammo was store in special storage and temp and moister was check then they took some out and shoot it when it had so meany miss fire it then went up fore sale by the lots and this is what we got from the high bidder so if it is stored wright it will last a long time.
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Old June 11, 2019, 03:54 PM   #10
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I have bought new mfg 30 06 ammo from local gun stores that deteriorated so bad the cases leaked a green color and the ammo was all duds withing 20- 25 years storage inside my house

my fathers .38 was kept loaded for 30 years in a dresser and several rds were "DUDS"

just because your grandpas ammo lasted 50 years , doesnt mean your ammo will last 50 years

there is a reason the military gets rid of surplus ammo past a certain date, they also do tests and know ammo changes and may not be as reliable

I bought a bunch of surplus Guatemalan 5.56 with tarnished brass and most of it would not fire, and it was 1980's dated

I would never buy old surplus or questionable ammo of unknown history for long term storage, only buy factory fresh from a major ammo manufacturer

if you buy 20 year old ammo for stocking up, it will be 40 - 50 year old ammo by the time it ever gets used, always start off with factory new ammo for long term storage.

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Old June 11, 2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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Properly stored, longer than you.
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Old June 11, 2019, 04:13 PM   #12
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30 plus year old selfdefense ammo will have less effective bullets.
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Old June 11, 2019, 04:29 PM   #13
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If you're storing just because you want a stash of the stuff and you do it right it should last a long time. I suppose where you live makes a difference too - I have to think it would naturally survive longer out in the high desert west where I live versus someplace humid like Georgia.

In terms of daily carry ammunition I think it's prudent to shoot it up and replace it after a year or two.
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Old June 11, 2019, 05:04 PM   #14
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Properly stored, another 30+ vote here.


I would think your typical ammo can would be all the insurance you would need.
If you can keep wild temperature and humidity swings to a minimum, that's always good.
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Old June 11, 2019, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
30 plus year old selfdefense ammo will have less effective bullets.
Than what? With all the wiz bang high dollar bullets of today, the stats do not support your claim.
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Old June 11, 2019, 07:21 PM   #16
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We were shooting some 45acp left over from the Korean war days-I would say good ammo should last a minimum of 30 years kept in the right environment
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Old June 11, 2019, 08:27 PM   #17
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If a person does any shooting at all, they should have rotated through all their ammo in a short time, making the question of how long "self-defence ammo should last", a moot question.
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Old June 11, 2019, 09:10 PM   #18
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I voted more than 30. I would test a mag first, but after that I would trust 30+ year old ammo.

I find myself ever being in this situation unlikely, but mea culpa. I would if I had to.
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Old June 12, 2019, 06:02 AM   #19
Bartholomew Roberts
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I’ve lost count of the amount of ammo I fired that was older than me and fired just fine. Heck, even that battle-packed 1980s Guatemalan 5.56 that looked like it had been stored in the bottom of a jungle swamp went bang very reliably.
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Old June 12, 2019, 06:27 AM   #20
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I'm carrying ammo that I bought before I retired in 2009 and some that was purchased several years before that.
If I wasn't confident, I wouldn't carry it.
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Old June 12, 2019, 07:52 AM   #21
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I'd found a case of old ammo from '89 (I write the purchase year on the boxes) stored in a closet at my mom's condo. It contained 22LR Stingers, WWB 45ACP's WWB 9mm's, and Remington +P 9mm's. Every single round fired. They were stored in a large pistol case with the padding taken out. BTW, it was really a treat to find "free" ammo.
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Old June 12, 2019, 07:53 AM   #22
JJ45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
If a person does any shooting at all, they should have rotated through all their ammo in a short time, making the question of how long "self-defence ammo should last", a moot question.
That's a very true statement. However, through the Obama years it was kinda tough to find certain ammo and reloading components because of "panic" buying as you know. My LGS actually began rationing primers at 100 per customer trying to be fair to everybody.

Then when the political status changes, guys like me take advantage and hoard a lot of stuff that was not that available a while ago. So I wind up with a lot of ammo, etc. I am in the process of using it all up now But probably will have some for a long time to come.
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Old June 12, 2019, 08:54 AM   #23
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Quote:
If a person does any shooting at all, they should have rotated through all their ammo in a short time, making the question of how long "self-defence ammo should last", a moot question.
To some extent, that's what I do. I've shot ammunition manufactured prior to WWI without issue, but when it comes to ammunition I carry for self-defense, I want to hedge my bets as much as possible.

But to be honest, that's probably just subtle superstition on my part.
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Old June 12, 2019, 09:27 AM   #24
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For defensive ammo... I rotate my stock about once a year. My typical cycle is to buy 6-8 boxes of carry ammos, and every 3 months or so cycle all my magazines out at the range and reload with new. I don't take chances with defensive ammo, I would not willingly buy a 10-year old box of HP ammo for my carry pieces.

If you are talking about other ammos, then, sure. I have surplus ammo that is 20+ years old that is 100% ...and some that isn't quite, which is why I wouldn't use it as defensive ammo. For that matter, I have handloaded ammo (mine, not mystery meat reloads...) that are 20+ years old... but, again, I don't use handloaded ammo for carry ammo.
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Old June 12, 2019, 09:32 AM   #25
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Corrosive or Non Corrosive primers?

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