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Old December 31, 2013, 12:55 AM   #1
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Oldest bullets in your stash and their story

A recent post inquiring about using older lead bullets got me to thinking about some old ones I haven't touched in a few years but have used to great success in the past. I thought I would ask other members to share their story of using some really old bullets. Here’s mine.

A friend offered me his father's reloading stuff back in 2009. Included were several wooden boxes of cast bullets (3 of 148 grain .38 cal LWC and 3 boxes of 200 grain .45 cal LWC) which were sized but unlubed. These were in wooden boxes with stapled on cork tops and included crumpled bits of newspaper packing. Interesting note with the newspaper is that based on content of one article these date to circa January 1963 and the store ads indicate the paper may have originated in PA. One of the boxes of .38s has a hand written note of "LONG NECKS" on one of the wooden edges which was under the cork top. I guess these could have been cast by my friend's father but surprised they were packaged so well and there were no pistol molds present in the stash. Little to no oxides were present, the sizing was well done and consistency was first rate.

As thanks to my friend I loaded up a few 50 round boxes of each for us to shoot together. He shot a .38 revolver and .45 1911 which his father had used in various competitions (based on the quality of work done to them) back in the 1950s and 60s. Applying Alox and use of Clays Universal powder in these provided a great afternoon of paper punching. I still have about 150 of each left and plan to load them up this Spring.

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Old December 31, 2013, 01:07 AM   #2
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I guess I have about 150 bullets pulled from Turk 8x57 ammunition. The surplus ammo shot horribly through any rifle I had, so I pulled the bullets for future use. The bullets themselves don't look to bad, cupro nickel jackets, and will probably get used up as a "short line" load once I get the Short Side Rail attached to the K98 I'm setting up for NRA Vintage Sniper.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
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Old December 31, 2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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Jimro, Your story hits to home with me today as I have spent hours over the past week researching the 8x57 rounds and bullets to use in potentially reloading for a Gew.88 rifle I have had for several years. LOL.

Good luck with the K98 build.
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Old December 31, 2013, 01:50 AM   #4
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1950's 30-06 AP
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
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Old December 31, 2013, 02:45 AM   #5
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Late 60's.early 70s there as a smith named Claude Simmons who,for some reason,did not throw me out of his shop as a kid who was hanging around.Keeping my hands behind my back and not touching anything probably helped.

Claude carried Norma Bullets...old brown pasteboard boxes...silver colored.I think they are nickled steel jackets.

I had a M1 Carbine,the 93 gr 30 Luger soft points tore up jackrabbits.I have 2 boxes,Claude wrote $2 and some change on.I also have 2 boxes Norma 7mm,I think 156 gr,sleek boat tails with a lot of lead tip.Also silver ,magnetic jacket.Also about $3 a hundred.

I don't suppose I'll shoot them.They are part of my time machine.
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Old December 31, 2013, 12:40 PM   #6
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Nothing that old, but...we have a general store with a sporting good dept. here in my home town that sells reloading supplies. Twenty years ago or so, they used to put discontinued bullets on a closeout shelf. I bought many a hundred box of Sierras, Nosler Solid Base, Hornady and Speers for cheap, cheap prices. Many were heavy for caliber round nose that I'm still launching from my old mausers.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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Not components, but rather old ammo. I have some vintage Remington .30-30 Win CoreLokt (At least I think they are, could be just plain JSP) from the mid 1960's. Grampa bought a pallet of them from a sporting goods store that was closing down in 1966. The receipt shows he paid $45 for 16 cases. Each case had 25 boxes of 20. I still have over half of them. I shoot a box of them from time to time. Grampa used them to hunt. He fired 3 shots to confirm impact still lined up enough to kill deer before every season, then just one shot per deer. He kept his family fed with them.

I have also used a few on deer, and hogs myself as well. I doubt I shoot all of them up in my lifetime.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:58 PM   #8
Mike / Tx
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I have a few partial boxes of some very early Nosler Partitions with the lathe cut grooves on the sides.

And it seemed like not long ago I jumped in on a bargain for some older bullets that I decided to simply put away for my grandkids to worry over. When I got to looking for the post on them it turns out it was longer ago than I thought.

Anyway here is the link to the post which was about these old bullets in particular,
Freebies in the mail

I just logged on one day and caught a post titled Freebies, the next thing I knew I was talking on the phone with a very cordial gentleman from the forum here who was simply looking to pass along some old bullets he had no use for. Next thing I know Pawpaw and I are sharing what turned out to be some REALLY GREAT old bullets. After receiving them I split them up with Pawpaw also from here on TFL and dug into the history a bit of the ones I kept. Sure was cool and like I said the grandkids will love finding these tucked back in the depths of my safe.
Mike / TX
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Old December 31, 2013, 08:13 PM   #9
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I have an old 12 ga. marine flare round I still can't bring myself to shoot. It looks in good condition, but I have a feeling my shotgun would be a sacrificial lamb.
Abraham Lincoln made all men free, Samuel Colt made them equal.
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Old December 31, 2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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Some old paper 12 & 410ga shotgun shells of my grandpaws. Somewhere around 100 years old. .22 shorts & longs of my dads around 60 years old. I bet they're still good to go!
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Old December 31, 2013, 09:03 PM   #11
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I have some really old Nosler Partitions in 7mm that are in the old brown/gold box. Some old green box Remington bullets in the same caliber as well. Gotta be from the 50's.
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Old December 31, 2013, 09:51 PM   #12
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I have lots of old ammo around, paper shotshells, 45/70 ammo and 22RF, some of it is +/-100 years old. Some of it I even shoot, especially the paper shotshells.

As far as old reloading components, while I have quite a bit of old stuff around, one of the more interesting items I have (at least to me) is an old partial box of Herters bullets. They're 30 cal, 180gr (if I recall) "wasp waist" spire points. I had never seen any like them before, but I have heard a lot about Herters and ome of their stuff. These bullets are just like the box says, they are 30 cal on the front and rear ends and under 30 cal in the center "waist" area. I'm not sure what "problem" these bullets were supposed to solve or what advantage they were supposed to provide, but they're an interesting piece of reloading history to me.

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Old December 31, 2013, 09:52 PM   #13
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Great replies folk. In particular I enjoyed m&p45acp10+1 and Mike /TX's stories. HiBC, sounds like your time machine is working well these days.

Anything that that brings back a good memory will work here.

Share a few pictures. Would love to see some close ups of the lathe turned bullets.
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Old December 31, 2013, 11:04 PM   #14
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Got and old Rem plastic 4 ga. slug from the Port Huron Cement company.
I think I was around 10-11 when it was given to me by my uncle. My Aunt and Uncle on that occasion lived across the street from the cement plant. Our family's original plan was to stay 3-4 days visiting allowing my mother and her sister to chit chat as they hadn't seen each other in 15 years. We stayed only one night and pops with some nasty outside emotions showing fired up his Model A the next morning and we left. So it was kind of a gyp for my mother & aunt but a relief for everyone else in our family. My Aunt & Uncle had the absolute worse place in America to live. Those 4 ga. shells were fired every 5 minuets down a large heated steel rotating /drying drum with their purpose of loosing up fly ash sticking to the drums interior. And that drum was located directly across the street from the house. 24 hours a day 7days a week 5 minuets between shots. The size of those shells and the the echo from that drum was not something someone would want to get use too. That experience happen 58 years ago. But I still have that 4ga. Remington shell to remind me of the one day visit to my Aunts house in Port Huron Michigan. The first and last time I seen her and husband.
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Old December 31, 2013, 11:21 PM   #15
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Other than the bullets in the occasional round picked up in the desert or mountains (or surplus ammo), the oldest I have on hand are probably some 6mm Winchester soft points from the early '60s. From there, you jump to the mid-80s for some .224" Speer 40 gr HPs that I never got around to using in my .220 Swift (it's a 6mm now).

Generally, I only have old component bullets if there were:
A) Given to me.
B) Given to me.
C) Given to me.

Pick any of the above and combine it with:
D) Something I don't care to use.

And, you end up at....
I have passed on the favor, in kind, by giving the bullets to yet another reloader.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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Old January 3, 2014, 01:40 AM   #16
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I inherited some older Remington Bronze Points and Winchester Silver Tips.
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Old January 3, 2014, 02:29 AM   #17
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I've about 30 rounds of 45-70 my grandpa loaded with semi-smokeless powder and about half a pound of the powder in the can. I suspect the rounds were loaded in the 40's but no idea on the age of powder.
All data is flawed, some just less so.
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Old January 5, 2014, 11:40 AM   #18
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I've been lucky enough to mentored by my old friend Sam when it comes to reloading. He's been reloading longer than Ive been alive and I guess he took me under his wing as his own sons have no interest in reloading. He's shown me more than I can ever get in a book. Anyway, I've acquired through him some RA64 rounds, some 500 plus and the brass of the ones he's fired. I also got about 1200 incendiary armor piercing rounds that he's held onto since his nam days in .30 cal. I found the value of the RA64's and the AP and was quite shocked at how much they sell for. I called him up and asked if he knew what he sold me at a fraction of their value and his response was classic Sam, go course he knew what he could of sold them for but wanted me to strengthen my collection. Sam is now one of my very best friends and I look forward to many more years with him. The cooest part is I met a guy over twice my age through reloading and he is one of my best friends. Never take an opportunity like this for granted. When I could of been at games with my friends or out on the town, I'd rather spend time with old Sam in the reloading room. I am building a new house and of course will have a dedicated reloading room and Sam is like a kid in a candy store and helping me set it up all the way.
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