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Is old ammo safe? (for the gun)

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Old 12-04-2009, 02:20 PM   #11
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I would not sweat it. Oxidized lead is still WAY softer than barrel steel. The main problem w/ old rimfire ammo is the priming compound will dry out and fall away from the rim leading to misfires. Age and vibration are the main culprits here. If it has been simply sitting on a shelf it should not be a huge problem. I would not trust my life with it in a defensive situation, but I would not trust my life to a .22 LR anyway.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I did try rubbing it on several types of steel and it did not leave any scratches. I am a chemist by trade but I could not (did not?) think of a good reference for comparing the "hardness" of lead oxide with common steels.

Throwing it away seemed like a waste, so I was hoping that I could use it in at least one of my guns. (Bolt action or revolver.) Now I will use it in anything that doesn't jam.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:55 PM   #13
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I've used ammo that was over 30 years old, and the lead turned a crusty white. It fired OK.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:35 AM   #14
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Default AGE of 22 ammo

it might not be the most accurate but for knocking a can over, or putting a hole in a pice of paper for fun go for it, next time store in an ammo can, the led will not oxidize as much or as fast the old GI ammo cans are great the longest I have had is about 30 years

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