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Thread: Old shotgun shells . . . ?

  1. #1
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    Question Old shotgun shells . . . ?

    I have some old, 16 gauge shotgun shells . . 20 to 40 years old. Is there any reason to think they aren't still safe and reliable to shoot?


    Thanks . .

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Depending on storage conditions, maybe not reliable but should be safe.

    I've personally fired rifle ammo dating to the early twentieth century and shotgun shells dating back to the Nixon era....the only issue I've had is some .32 SW Long brass that split on firing. Not so sure that wasn't bad from the get go though.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    There shouldn't be an issue with them as long as they were stored right.

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    A group of us from work use to get together and shoot shotguns. One guy had a bag of old shells from his Father (long dead). The rounds were the old paper kind that were waxed. As well as I can remember all the rounds fired. There was a lot of smoke from those old rounds.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Should be no problem plus in Alaska you need at least a ten guage to hurt yourself
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    If they are paper shells, sometimes they swell from dampness and won't chamber well.

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    Smile Thank you . . .

    Thanks, guys, for the reassuring information. No paper shells . .


    Now if I can only find the birds and get the gun up quick enough . .


    . . not that it matters much . . just to be out there again . .

  8. #8
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The 16 is the perfect bird gun,enjoy
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Agreed. "Choot'em!!"

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    An old man gave me some 1970's 20 gauge shells from his cabin when I was a 16 yr old kid. I had hiked about 10 miles of trail to get to good ruffed grouse hunting. Big fat ruffy was strutting his stuff about 10 yds from the trail. Looked to be the size of a small turkey! Of course.....you never forget about the ones you loose. I took aim with one of those old shells, and a "puff" of smoke came out the barrel. I could hear bird shot dribbling out of the end of the barrel, sounded like grains of rice as they hit the dry fall foliage in front of my feet. Bird never flew....kept struttin through the woods. All I could do was grin, told the big grouse he was a lucky bird.

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    shoot I got cases of old shells ill be inheriting from my dad including 10 gauge paper that were loaded with lead for long range goose..just gotta find something to hunt with them..

  12. #12
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    Red face Whoops . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    . . I took aim with one of those old shells, and a "puff" of smoke came out the barrel. I could hear bird shot dribbling out of the end of the barrel, sounded like grains of rice as they hit the dry fall foliage in front of my feet. . .

    Did that once myself, mainer. I used to walk the woods with an old Springfield musket, .69 caliber if memory serves, barrel cut off at 28" . . I'd load it with bird shot. Can't recall what I aimed at, but the gun went "pop" and the shot dribbled down the barrel just as you described . . had forgotten the powder . . all that got the shot down the barrel was the high-hat cap.


    Thanks for calling the incident to mind . . .
    Attachment 72334

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