Ammo expiration dates?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by KAG, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. KAG

    KAG New Member

    134
    0
    0
    I was just curious how long rifle and shotgun ammo can last in climate controlled storage.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,329
    177
    63
    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.
     

  3. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    3,250
    0
    0
    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.
     
  4. Seadog75

    Seadog75 New Member

    51
    0
    0
    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.
     
  5. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

    5,549
    0
    0
    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.
     
  6. OC357

    OC357 New Member

    482
    0
    0
    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.
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    1
    0
    .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.
     
  8. 1hole

    1hole New Member

    293
    0
    0
    " Ammo expiration dates? "

    ???

    Goodness.
     
  9. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    3,250
    0
    0
    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)
     
  10. fisher77

    fisher77 New Member

    232
    0
    0
    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.
     
  11. 1hole

    1hole New Member

    293
    0
    0
    "Yes...those are the little numbers stamped on the base of every bullet"

    Guess I'm in trouble. Again. Been reloading for years and haven't seen any numbers stamped into the base of any bullets yet.
    -------------------------------------
    "My great grandmother gave me a box of 12 guage shells that were cased in paper instead of plastic."

    The transition from paper to plastic shotshells was the late 50s - early 60s. Before that, it was all paper back to the early 1900s, brass for a short time before that. They were muzzle loaded with black powder before that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  12. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

    459
    0
    0
    A few years ago I shot a buffalo with an original Sharps rifle and used an original round of black powder 50-70 government ammo loaded in the 1870's. The round discharged with full athority and penatrated 33" into a large buffalo. So from my experence it will last longer than you will.
     
  13. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

    5,549
    0
    0
    OK, I'm officially jealous.
     
  14. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

    5,549
    0
    0
    And this is very funny. I keep coming back to it and laughing.
     
  15. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

    1,376
    0
    0
    C'mom RL, he asked a serious question. Note he is from College Station Texas, amd most likely is a Texas Aggie. Down here, we know Aggies need all the help they can get (no, I am NOT a T-Sip).

    I have been rotating my old re-loads in all calibers, ammo I loaded in the early/mid 1980's still functions as well as my recent reloads.

    TXnorton
     
  16. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,329
    177
    63
    You mean you have never noticed the tiny little letters?

    "Best if shot by 15JUN2010?" Gee, I always shop for clearance ammo that is soon to expire. Can always take it home, put it in the freezer on top of the ice cream. :rolleyes:




    {OK- for those that do NOT recognize satire/sarcasm- that be it}
     
  17. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    3,250
    0
    0
    Maybe you could explain it to 1Hole....:eek:
     
  18. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    3,250
    0
    0
    I won't hold that against him...:)
    I tried answering truthfully my first reply, I resort to comedic license after a thread has been beaten to death...:eek:
     
  19. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

    459
    0
    0
    Dont be jealous of the buffalo cause it wasnt a hunt, it was a harvest. Just like shooting a milk cow out in a farmers field. Now you can be jealous of the original Sharps.
     
  20. 1hole

    1hole New Member

    293
    0
    0
    "Maybe you could explain it to 1Hole.... "

    Well now, I do have a lot of little numbers stamped into the base of each of my cartridges. But, with thousands fired, never have I found a number on a single bullet!

    Guess someone needs some explaining! :D