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How old is to old???

Ammunition, sources and info

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phoffer961
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How old is to old???

Postby phoffer961 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:38 am

How long do you keep ammo before you deem it "to old to safely fire"? I normally don't have ammo on my shelf to long since I try to get to the range every other weekend however I have a couple of my guns which are not in the rotation so the ammo sits. I have a box of .22 short that is from 2008. Is this still safe to fire? I remember in the old days my father saying three years is the cut off. I store my ammo in my safe in my basement which stays pretty moderate temp and humidity wise. Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!



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Postby JohnFH » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:06 am

I shoot ammo head stamped 1945 and have shot older, as long as it's clean, I'll probably shoot it.

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Postby Mike_Diako » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:12 am

As long as it is stored correctly, it will last almost forever. Anything that I don't shoot much I keep in 50cal cans with some desiccant packs. I have ammo that my wife's grandfather loaded in the 60's that still fires.

Like JohnFH, I have shot ammo dating back to the 40's and 30's and it functioned just fine. If you are unsure, you can always donate your unused ammo to me. :lol:
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Postby newguy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:23 am

As long as it not WWII from the Middle East I would shoot it LOL

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Postby GixerJockey » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:38 am

I just finished off a brick of 22s that were from the early 80s. And I have another 3 cases of it. DCM white box Winchester that I used to get for free by the case. No issue at all.

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Postby CTSixshot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:52 am

.45 ACP from WWI (1914-17) fired okay, but a few didn't light off. I wouldn't use them for carry ammo, but if intact and void of severe corrosion, fire away. Just be mindful that much of the pre-52 arsenal ammo (.45ACP and 30-06 primarily) were corrosively-primed.
I have a 7x57 from 1895ish, but I'm saving that as a collectible; same with some exquisite 8x57R with a hollow copper-tip.
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phoffer961
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Postby phoffer961 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:54 am

Mike_Diako wrote:As long as it is stored correctly, it will last almost forever. Anything that I don't shoot much I keep in 50cal cans with some desiccant packs. I have ammo that my wife's grandfather loaded in the 60's that still fires.

Like JohnFH, I have shot ammo dating back to the 40's and 30's and it functioned just fine. If you are unsure, you can always donate your unused ammo to me. :lol:


This is great to know! I have desiccant packs in my safes, I will throw some in my ammo cans!

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Postby CTSixshot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:59 am

Some 6.5 Carcano (what was that, 1950's?) I had passed on to "newguy" was about 10% useful, but the unfired rounds I saw had extremely light firing pin imprints. It may have been more firearm related than ammo. Another Carcano had similar results with newer SMI ammo earlier that week. Not a scientific test by any means.
I know where there's a stash of clean 1935 Czech 8x50R (looks like new production), if you have any need of that! (I wouldn't hesitate shooting it...)

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Postby MessEleven » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:57 pm

CTSixshot wrote:Just be mindful that much of the pre-52 arsenal ammo (.45ACP and 30-06 primarily) were corrosively-primed.

I read somewhere that the corrosive Berdan primers are exactly the reason this old ammo stores well for such long periods. Is that correct?

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Postby CTSixshot » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:19 pm

I am not aware of that, but that could be the key. Sometimes the "old" recipes are better, I guess.
All I do know is that many of the older surplus ammo have severely oxidized bullet bases, but that may have no relationship to primer composition.


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