Firearms Talk banner
1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there all. Went and shot the new AR for the second time today and I was given some old Winchester white box rounds my dad had laying around. (About 15 years old) and just slightly rusty but nothing you could physically feel. Anyway I had several primers come out after firing and during extraction and cause some minor jamming issues and it just made me think; Is 15 years to old? I've never had this happen with ammo before and I've been shooting for years now. Maybe it's not that uncommon and u just havnt seen it? Managed to find one laying around as we were leaving the range for a pic. (I know yall like photos)
Automotive tire Coin Rim Gas Cameras & optics
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
Ammo that’s properly stored will last forever and essentially outlive you. The fact that they were even slightly rusty is the reason you were having problems. Rusted ammo is known to have non-working primers, extraction issues or even FTF. 15 years is nothing as to some members on here have had experience with storing ammo for decades upon decades and ammo running perfectly fine afterwards.

So it really comes down to proper storage. Cool, Dark & Dry are your best friends when where and how you need to store ammo.
 

·
Registered
Whatever tickles my fancy in the morning and what I'm going to be doing
Joined
·
133 Posts
If well stored, smokeless ammo, 75 years. If poorly stored, as little as a few years. Smokeless powder does break down over time as it is a chemical compound. Well stored black powder cartridges, forever. Even if the cartridges or loaded muzzleloader are not particularly well stored BP will remain good for a century or more, unless conditions are extreme...as in wet. BP is a mechanical mixture and once "made" the 3 elements don't separate. BP cartridges from the 1870's have been fired and found to be good. Muzzleloaders loaded in the 1700's and forgotten have had the loads pulled and, even if the storage conditions were not ideal, the powder was still viable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Clifffalling

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,355 Posts
Hey there all. Went and shot the new AR for the second time today and I was given some old Winchester white box rounds my dad had laying around. (About 15 years old) and just slightly rusty but nothing you could physically feel. Anyway I had several primers come out after firing and during extraction and cause some minor jamming issues and it just made me think; Is 15 years to old? I've never had this happen with ammo before and I've been shooting for years now. Maybe it's not that uncommon and u just havnt seen it? Managed to find one laying around as we were leaving the range for a pic. (I know yall like photos) View attachment 246901
As above. Generally speaking, if the cartridges look fine they most likely are. When you say "rust" you are meaning green oxidation on the brass case or copper bullet? Ot were they steel cased ammunition? I just ask because 15 years isnt that long. Not to say it couldn't happen in that time. I just wonder if the rounds in the box were actually what came in the box.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,789 Posts
I shoot 50s Yugo surplus 7.92x57mm all the time. Stuff's still real good but it has corrosive primers so you have to clean accordingly. One batch marked 12/50 is exceptional. I shoot it on special occasions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,945 Posts
Have shot military surplus ammo, in a post-WWII Yugo 8mm Mauser. Was tolerable, but not great. Lots of exterior minor scarring and defects, almost certainly from storage environment and condition.

For defensive sidearm ammo (9mm, .45ACP), about the oldest I've used is 10yrs. Most of it gets rotated out and consumed within <3yrs. Just me being me, on that. Probably would outlast me, if stored properly.

For general rifle ammo, I've never had more than a few hundred rounds in a given caliber on-hand, so it's generally been fired within a year of purchase.

Now and a again, I see a really old box of some factory or surplus ammo that someone brings out at the range. Occasionally it's finicky, though it's hard to say whether that's due to bent cases, crud on the exterior, out-of-spec cartridge dimensions, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so update. First thanks for the advice! As far as the color of the marks on the ammo. It was brass case ammo and there was dar discoloration but I can't say if it was brown or green (color blind) I did ask my dad where the ammo came from and he said it was out in the garage for a few years before he remembered about it and brought it in. I would assume this is the main cause of the deterioration. Probably should have asked more about them before I shot it. Especially with the way they looked. Lol.
 

·
Premium Member
I hope I never need show anyone....
Joined
·
2,611 Posts
Can you post pictures, in and out of the packaging?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
26,747 Posts
How old? giggle

Last week I was delighted to be gifted with 200 rounds of 30-06 ammo. M72 MATCH. Headstamp is 1961.

Run thru a Rock Island 1903 (made in the 1930s) it will put a smile on your face. Storage is everything, until you get back into the era of mercuric primers.

As far as black powder goes, we are still digging up Civil War ordnance here in the South. Still live.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
Just a thought - if the ammo is ".223 (commercial caliber)" and not "5.56 (military caliber), be aware they're not the same thing. Others on here will surely explain more fully. Some guns will fire them interchangeably, others will not. Oh, they'll go off but sooner or later problems arise - escaping gasses, screwed up cases, etc.

I suggest you examine the rifle and ammo carefully. Old ammo becomes more "disappointing" than "devastating". Wrong ammo can ruin your day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
Look carefully on the bottom of the cases. If it says ".223", strongly suggest not using those in your AR if markings on the gun say something like ".556". There are chamberings such as a Wylde that I own that is designed to digest both, but many are not. Also - some old stuff will chamber just enough to allow the gun to fire but not be fully inside the chamber and thus locking lugs are not secure. Anyway, glad you caught the problem. Have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the response John. My rifle has a stamp that just says Caliber - Multi and according to everything I can find on the manufacturer it can take either. Thanks for the heads up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also just something I just thought of. Is there anything else I should be looking for that could have casued the primer to come out. Or is it most likely the ammo?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I can't confirm this, but I've seen it more than once, that PPU was producing the brass for Winchester white box when it was first on the shelf. PPU jumped head first into the commercial production, and had some QC problems with annealing their brass, and some out of spec rims on their 6.5 Swede ammo.
I suspect, out of spec primer pockets. Over pressure will show on the ones that still have the primer in the fired case.
Did you save the fired brass that didn't lose the primer? Got pics of those?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I can't confirm this, but I've seen it more than once, that PPU was producing the brass for Winchester white box when it was first on the shelf. PPU jumped head first into the commercial production, and had some QC problems with annealing their brass, and some out of spec rims on their 6.5 Swede ammo.
I suspect, out of spec primer pockets. Over pressure will show on the ones that still have the primer in the fired case.
Did you save the fired brass that didn't lose the primer? Got pics of those?
I unfortunately didn't and I wish i would have! All the ones I looked at looked perfectly normal and I couldn't find the ones that blew out the primer. There was alot of brass on the ground! But I did try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
If the primers were falling out it sounds like reloads.

I have shot ammo from the early 40s so old ammo is not the problem. Improperly stored ammo is another consideration.
 

·
Supporting Member
Joined
·
13,092 Posts
47
The primers are not falling out because the ammunition is old. And if that primer how it looks is recently out of you Rifle "WOW"! Please send us a few pictures of a few of the Cases from all angles and be sure and include the Sides of the Cases the Bases of the Cases and where the Extractor grabs them to extract the Case. But simply put if the primers are popping out of them and they look like your Picture I would not shoot them! Could be as one has stated improper Reloads.
As far as the Cases there is a difference between Tarnished and Rust. If it is Tarnish that is no surprise. Because if the Garage had any moisture in it at all or was not heated Tarnish is a sure thing over time! But unless it is actually rust I would not be that concerned!
I have shotgun paper shells and some 22 Shorts that are close to 90 years old and they still fire OK. Just for fun I shot some of them last year. Of course I also keep them dry and in a climate controlled area. But they belonged to my Grandpa and HE always kept them in the Utility Room in the House, where he also kept his guns that was heated and dry.
I have 45 ACP rounds that have been in a Clip for at least 30 years and shot a couple of Clips as well last year just testing. Not One Issue!
So it simply depends the condition and the care of the ammunition.

Just for Information!
I have them the guns and the ammo and they never had any rust problems either. Of Course I have these Dehumidifier items in my Safes! The Desiccant Canisters! *When to top of the cap turns Pink you throw them in the Oven at 340 Degrees for the specified Hours and it Regenerates them. They last quite a long time between recharges. Of course it would depend on the humidity that is present in the storage area! The Dehumidifier Rod stays plugged in 24/7 in the Safe. The Point being the same could be done for Ammunition in a confined storage area or Safe!
A simple good metal Storage Cabinet would also work well with these items as long as the doors shut and seal fairly well. And it a heated area or room would work great!
Drinkware Automotive lighting Tableware Automotive parking light Camera accessory
Wood Camera accessory Tints and shades Automotive mirror Font


03
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top