Firearm & Gun Forum -

Firearm & Gun Forum - (
-   Ammunition & Reloading (
-   -   Ammo expiration dates? (

KAG 07-22-2009 10:05 PM

Ammo expiration dates?
I was just curious how long rifle and shotgun ammo can last in climate controlled storage.

c3shooter 07-22-2009 10:22 PM

It will last longer than you will. Seriously. Cool and dry, the lifespan seems just about indefinite. The earliest primers were fulminate of mercury, and over time would react with the brass, and die. However, corrosive (chlorate) primers have an increadibly durable lifespan, and lead azide primers seem to be headed the same way. I say "seem" since they have only been around about 80 yrs. I have shot some pre WW II rifle ammo, and it still goes bang. The new lead free ammo ? Dunno- too soon to tell.

Keep in a sealed ammo can, your grandkids can still be using it.

RL357Mag 07-22-2009 10:44 PM


Originally Posted by KAG (Post 132611)
I was just curious how long rifle and shotgun ammo can last in climate controlled storage.

The two thiings that can affect ammo are
1. motion - which can wear the deterrent coating and also break down the granules changing the burn rate and pressure characterisics, and
2. rapid temp. changes which can cause condensation to form inside the case ruining the powder and primer.

I have had powder canisters, primers, and handloaded/factory ammo for almost two decades that functions just fine today.

Seadog75 07-22-2009 11:43 PM

Im no scientist but from what Ive seen, its like this. The old corrosive has about a hundred year life span. New production that isnt corrosive has about a 30 year life span. Not saying it wont go bag, it just is not considered reliable. Look at all the stuff that Yugoslavia is dumping on the market. It is 30 year old millsurpluss. Still goes bang but they dont want it.

M14sRock 07-23-2009 02:43 AM

Back in the early 90's I was given a big box of pre-WW1 vintage '06 ammo that had been found in a box, on a shelf in a barn. It was brought into the store where I worked "for safe disposal". Several hundred rounds, and even though it was tarnished and looked crappy, every round went "bang". No hangfires, no misfires.

OC357 07-23-2009 01:04 PM

I found some old reloads that I had made up in 1987 and fired them off. 2 boxes (100 rounds) with no problems. Not really that old but not new either. They were apparently "misplaced" in the rear of my closet.

robocop10mm 07-23-2009 03:50 PM

.223 I loaded in the early 80's still works fine. It was kept in ammo cans but not very cliimate controlled. Moved from garage to garage to shed over the years.

1hole 07-23-2009 05:48 PM

" Ammo expiration dates? "



RL357Mag 07-23-2009 10:42 PM


Originally Posted by 1hole (Post 133080)
" Ammo expiration dates? "



Yes...those are the little numbers stamped on the base of every bullet (ie. 308 = March 2008; 270 = February 1970;7.62 = July 1962; Etc)

fisher77 07-23-2009 11:07 PM

My great grandmother gave me a box of 12 guage shells that were cased in paper instead of plastic. Dont know how old they were but I shot a few and they shot with no problems.

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:07 PM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.