Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: ammo shelf life

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    n.e. Mn.
    Posts
    19

    Default ammo shelf life

    Kept in a cool, dry place how long will my factory loaded centerfire ammo last?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southwest Alaska
    Posts
    2,145

    Default

    Indefinitly.

  3. #3
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage/Soldotna
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Longer than you.

  4. #4
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    I was shooting some 1941 dated 30-06 ammo until a year or two ago. It was collecting moisture in the powder and the loads became super hot...

    But who knows where it was kept during WWII, the 1950s and the 1960s..
    It was 55 years old when I started shooting it and about 60 to 62 years old when I started having problems.

    I also have some nice 1950s factory ammo that was always kept in a dresser drawer. My dad eventaully gave me this surplus. It still looks brand new and fires great. In fact it groups MUCH better than the new ammo of the same manufacture and bullet weight.



    xx
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    402

    Default ammo life

    The military rotates stock after 10 years to dissasembly and sale of components.So I would say 10 years for ammo to save your life. I would say 20 years for hunting non deadly animals is ok if its always under your control. 30 if it is sealed with primer seal and bullet seal and in airtight cans.( most commercial is not so well sealed except for federal safari ammo that i know of). (could be others).40 years for target ammo.

    Ammo that you get after it has already aged is anybodys guess. keeping ammo STILL and STEADY is just as important as keeping it clean and dry and cool.( dont ever tumble loaded ammo)
    Several weapons have been disintegrated by surpluss ammo that was stored near train yards for years and shipped across country several times over and over for years.This constant rattle and shifting and loading and unloading over the years, along with age, caused the powder grains to rub each other until the retardant coating rubbed off. Once the retardant is rubbed off or broken down from time (amonia smell is a clue) the burn rate becomes as fast or faster than the fastest pistol powder.

    Can anyone guess what happens when a rifle is loaded with 4 or 5 or 6 times the amount of pistol powder than a 454 can handle? KA-BOOM!!!!!!

    old surplus ammo is fun....but it is like playing the lotto.

    hope this helps.

    jedi

  6. #6

    Default Storage

    Store your ammo in a ammo can in your house (keeps kids out) at normal temps and it will last for decades. Military ammo is not all the same though. Some was loaded with old movie film ( it deteriorates). The Brits used cordite, it's packed so tight it ain't never moved. Also machine-gun ammo and rifle ball is loaded to different pressures (avoid MG ammo). But reloaded ammo and commercial amm has a self life which will exceed yours.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  7. #7

    Default

    Just for fun, I once bought an old 8mm surplus Mauser and several hundred rounds of surplus ammo in canvas pouches with stripper clips. There is no telling how old the ammo was, but the rifle was WWI surplus. The ammo had corrosive primers so that dates it somewhat. I wouldn't be surprised if the ammo was 70 years old or more. That Mauser design was developed in 1888 but my rifle was built in the early 1900s.

    I fired hundreds of rounds without a hiccup. I wouldn't want to use it in a life or death situation, but if it was all I had, I wouldn't worry about it, either.

  8. #8

    Default

    Good post. Jedi's comments make sense to me. I once had a military Mauser 98 8m/m rifle, and so I purchased some WWII 8m/m military ammo for it. At the range, I immediately noticed the shells were HOT! Primers flattened like you wouldn't believe, and some primers were blown. Machine-gun ammo? I dunno, but I stopped after about 4 rounds and got rid of the rest of the ammo. Seems like ammo will still fire reliably after many decades. But whether it is still SAFE to shoot is another question...I'd go along with the 20yrs somebody mentioned. I've had way more duds with old 22 ammo than with all the others combined. Maybe it's 'cuz moisture can get in easier?

    Marshall

  9. #9
    New member George's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    286

    Default 8mm rifles, ammo

    I don't know enough about the "machine gun" ammo theory but have heard it before. A while back this subject was tossed around here. For anyone with an 8mm Mauser or sporter based on one it would pay to slug the bore to see which groove diameter it has. Early models had bore diameters made to shoot .318 diameter bullets. Later ones were larger and designed to shoot .323 diameter bullets. Shooting later .323 bullets in the smaller diameter earlier guns may, will and has caused problems. The connection to this thread is- may not have been older ammo causing the high pressure problem but the wrong vintage of 8mm gun shooting the later, larger diameter bullets. For reloading, most all modern 8mm jacketed bullets commercially available now are .323. Most of the current factory loaded rounds use the .323 bullet for the 8mm Mauser but compensate for the possibility of use in a .318 gun by substantially lowering the pressure of the loads. Just a thought..

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •