Ammo expiration dates?


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Old 07-22-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default Ammo expiration dates?

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



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Old 07-22-2009, 10:22 PM   #2
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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.



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Old 07-22-2009, 10:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAG View Post
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.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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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.

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Old 07-23-2009, 02:43 AM   #5
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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.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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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.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #7
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.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.

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:48 PM   #8
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" Ammo expiration dates? "

???

Goodness.

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Old 07-23-2009, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
" Ammo expiration dates? "

???

Goodness.
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)
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:07 PM   #10
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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.



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