What is the Average Storage Life for Ammo?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by supersonic, May 30, 2007.

  1. supersonic

    supersonic Guest

    I am curious, how long does ammo last if stored in temps of about 75 degrees F? I've heard twenty years, but this seems like an awfully long time to me. Thanks.
  2. Splatter

    Splatter New Member

    If the storage was dry, it'd be a lot longer than 25 years. Although "average temperature" can be a tricky thing. If it was stored at a temp of 150°F for 6 months, then at 0°F for 6 months, that's an average of 75°, which might be a bit more deleterious than a constant temp of 75°.

    In the late 70's and early 80's my regiment used ammo in our retired BREN guns that came in cases marked "NOT FOR USE IN SYNCRONIZED MACHINEGUNS AFTER 1927", IIRC the headstamp was from 1917.


    WILDCATT Guest

    I'v some german 9mm marked 1917 and various 8mm from the 60s and greek 303 boxer primed from the 70s:confused:
  4. rachilders

    rachilders New Member

    If kept in a sealed container, at room temperature in low humidity (a house with A/C will do nicely) conditions, ammo should outlast it's owner. I have ammunition I got in the 70's and 60's that is still as good as the day I purchased it and I've used surplus ammo from WWII that fired with no problems.
  5. BrassMonkey

    BrassMonkey Member Supporter

    I shot some Twin Cities .45acp that was dated from 1944 a few years ago. It shot just fine after being stored for at least 50 years in a shed with no climate control (this is in the Mississippi river valley where heat, humidity, and cold vary to the extreme). As long as it is decent ammo, and kept dry most ammo will keep for many decades if not over a century.
  6. Gundog55

    Gundog55 New Member

    I have surplus .762 Match ammo dated 1966 that I shot a few weeks ago. I hit in the black consistently at 600 yards and had two X's (4 inch X Ring) with iron sites on a CMP M1 Garand that wasn't glass bedded. Iron Match rear site. I have shot .45 ammo that was labeled "REPACKED 1944". It was dirty compared to todays powder but accurate. Notice that there is no
    "SHOOT BY ----" date on ammo ;)

    I Miss America
  7. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

    Ammo, when stored correctly will last a lifetime or two. store them in metal Ammo boxes.
  8. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    If you store ammo in an a climate controlled area it will last a long time. I have found old ammo. I have no idea of how old it was and it all went bang.

    The worst place to store ammo is in a car. The ammo takes a beating and it is exposed to wild temperature swings. If I leave ammo in my truck for a long period of time (six months or more) I do not trust it.
  9. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

    I know a guy who found about 20 rds of 5.56 ammo in a creak bed. It was all green and tarnished. he fired them and they shot good. I was amazed.
  10. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    WW II surplus ammo works fine today if stored in sealed containers. I have shot ammo I loaded 30 years prior and stored in GI ammo cans
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    if stored properly, almost forever. dry and cool environment and sealed it can last a long time. there are people who shoot mil-surp ammo that is 70 years or older that was stored properly that still works great.
  12. fa35jsf

    fa35jsf New Member

    Wasn't there some politicians that wanted to make it law that primers had to "degrade" over time so ammo would be bad after like 10 years or something?
  13. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

    It won't when you get a bit older...lol
  14. Bayou

    Bayou Well-Known Member

    I shot a vintage WW I .45 ACP round. It was a hangfire but went bang real good.

    Not bad given its age......
  15. rockratt

    rockratt Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    I found a box of 44 mag that had to be pushing 30 years old. Every one fired with out a problem.
  16. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    I have 100 year old ammo that I would not be afraid to shoot, if it were`nt worth so darn much......I have some 65 year old .303 that I shoot all the time & it shoots great, I have some 7.62x54R made in the late 60`s & it still shoots fine, so I`d say you could store ammo for 30 or 40 years with out any problems if its stored right...............
  17. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 Active Member

    We shot lots of old direct fire ammo that had sat in bunkers in Fort Drum from before Vietnam Era, really never had a problem with it at all. Other munitions are a little diff story, I was Anti Armor so every summer, we would go up to drum and last on the 2 weeks list was TOW Live fire with Cement heads. They were Vietnam era, nearly expired and about one out of 6 was a dud! TOW duds are very bad! If they fail to launch, they can do one of 3 things, Nothing at all, delay launch or blow up in the launcher. We were lucky, only saw 1 delay, the rest did nothing at all and EOD removed and blew them downrange (God bless EOD!!!!).

    The Department of Defense came up with a fix called a TOW Blanket! it was a flack vest that laid over top of the system to protect the Gunner (Gunners head is within 4" of the encased missile). We never used one but a couple of folks I knew that did said they were very heavy and it made tracking nearly impossible. Leave it to Uncle Sugar to come up with a cure thats nearly as bad as the problem!!!!

  18. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    And the manufacturers replied "there is nothing that can be done to make a primer go bad in 10 years that won't make it go bad in 10 minutes". Never gonna happen
  19. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    Reference primers and ammunition! Yes the Liberal AHs would like to make people think that! Just like every other lie coming from the party on most all subjects. When have they told the truth is the real issue! You know when they are lying its when their mouth is moving. The bottom line as most have advised here. If ammunition is kept dry and in reasonable temperatures there is no telling how long it will last. I certainly do not have any answers because I have some of my Grandpa's ammunition that is over 50+ years old and yes I have fired it and it performed just fine. It has always been kept inside a home in a dry place at a reasonable temperature and when I inherited all Grandpa's guns I inherited some ammunition. Mostly Shotgun and Rifle ammunition. "SO! God only knows!" how long it will last and still perform if properly cared for. He sure took care of it because times were hard even during the depression and ammunition cost a lot of money compared to the income at the time as his weapons did.

  20. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Bought some center-fire ammo new in 1973.

    Shot the box last year, no duds.

    I've shot Russian Milsurp 7.62 x 54R from 1943, it

    must have been stored poorly, and the corrosive stuff

    seemed to work at the casings from the insides. @3% duds,

    with many casings splitting from neck to primer. Given it was

    crappy ammo to begin with, poorly stored and 70 years old,

    that's not bad.

    Never had a problem with anything from the unopened cans,

    combloc or not, from any year.

    30 to 50 year old 22LR all shoots dependably.