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How long will ammo stay good?

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Old 01-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #21
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how many Silica Gel Packets should i put in my ammo cans?
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:11 AM   #22
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I guess it depends on your definition of 'good.' Going bang is one thing, hitting the target is another. I once shot about 30 rounds of .38 spl. At the time I fired it, it was probably 20 yrs. old. Accuracy was lousy. I fired some new .38s at the same time, no problem. Same experience with some Rottweil 20 ga. slugs. I have no idea how old they were, but the accuracy was horrible. Same drill: I fired new Winchesters during the same session, with acceptable accuracy. I don't know how either of these lots were stored, but I'm pretty sure the former owners didn't pay any particular attention to storage.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:38 PM   #23
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This is great information. Do the cans have to be metal, or will the waterproof, boating-style cans work as well? Also, does the ammo need to be in it's original packaging inside the can, or can/should I just open up boxes of ammo and dump like rounds into the same can?

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Old 04-01-2009, 11:35 AM   #24
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Ammo can last for many many years even in a hostile environment. But the better the environment, the better it will hold up. The trick is to slow the aging process down in the chemicals as well as the metals. A temperature stable, dark, dry environment is best.

I have fired ammo that was stored for over 70 years and it fired perfectly.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #25
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I have shot ammo I reloaded in 1996 just last week. It was 30-30 ammo and the gun is a scoped Marlin 336. Groups were under 2" at 100yds. This ammo had been stored in an attic where winter temps have dipped below -30 and summer temps have been over 100. Many freeze/thaw cycles and no noticeable degradation. Gradual changes over a long time wont affect ammo. What can destray ammo is rapid changes in temp. where condensation comers into play. I am using powder and primers which are also 10-20 years old whcih have been stored in a cool dry environment. Again, no notideable degradation.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:11 AM   #26
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i have some yugo surplus 7.62 stamped 1972 and i fired off 100 rounds last week and every one went bang and was still accurate enough for me.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:41 AM   #27
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Ammo stored correctly will probably last 100 plus years. I am still shooting my 1942 dated case of 8mm Mauser ammo from Turkey. Came in a big sealed tin though. Stuff looks as good as the day they made it, no duds or hangfires, and accurate. I also have a small stash of FN made .30-06 M2 stuff made in 1957 and it shoots 1" or better at 100 yds. (best shooting surplus ammo I have ever had though). A few years ago, I got a 5 gallon bucket of old ammo from a co-worker who cleaned out his uncles house after he died and literally had ammo in every drawer and place in the house. Hundreds of rounds with about 30 different calibers. Had a bunch of old 38 S&W rounds, and I figured I would burn them up in my old break top Enfield. Most were head stamped WRA, back when Winchester made ammo, before it combined with Western ammo. Funny thing, bang, bang,bang, Boooom-lots of noise, big puff of white smoke. about half of the rounds were black powder rounds yet. I have no idea of their age, but at the newest they were pre WWII, as that is when most if not all ammo makers quit making black powder loadings. They all went Bang!!

Watch out though when shooting really old rifle ammo, as brass does get brittle with old age, and split cases can occur upon firing.
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