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Old May 01, 2012, 12:06   #1
adbm3
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Ammo storage time limit

Might sound silly to some of you, but is there a maximum time limit to the storage of ammo? I have pin fire stuff and stuff from WWII that I'm concerned about. How about mil surp?
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Old May 01, 2012, 13:06   #2
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I shoot ammo from the 1940's and 1950's sometimes in various Mausers.


It all depends on the storage conditions the ammo has resided in over the past 75.


If it has been kept dry and relatively cool then it will outlast you.
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Old May 01, 2012, 13:36   #3
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WW2 stuff should be fine except for the steel case German stuff.

Old rimfire and pinfire doesn't store nearly as well. I have only ever had one pinfire round go off that I tried. Pre-ww1 rimfires are pretty poor also.
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Old May 01, 2012, 13:46   #4
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In general I would have to believe the shelf life of most ammo made
before WW1 is coming to a close. Corrosive primers, old powder, and
who knows what storage conditions.

Scares me just thinking about pulling the trigger on something that old.

Ammo was made to shoot, not sit around for 100 years.
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Old May 01, 2012, 13:57   #5
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I have steel case 8mm boxes marked 1938 that shoots ok. I thought it was German. Maybe not. I don't think it was Turk.
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Old May 01, 2012, 14:53   #6
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My friend and I used to shoot 1914-1918 dated .303 through our Lithgow Enfields back in the early to mid 90s, and it was almost all good shooting ammo. It was all cordite loaded, usually nickel jacketed, and corrosive as hell. It all went BOOM and landed more or less where we aimed, though a few rounds would hang fire. We bought 1000rds for $60 shipped from Paragon back in the day.
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Old May 02, 2012, 11:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhandjohn View Post
My friend and I used to shoot 1914-1918 dated .303 through our Lithgow Enfields back in the early to mid 90s..... We bought 1000rds for $60 shipped from Paragon back in the day.
Yep, I shot a bunch of that as well. I've also shot WWI .30-06 and 8mm Mauser. Milsurp ammo seems to be fine as long as it was well stored. Commercial ammo from the '20's and '30's has had misfires and cracked brass.

BlackPowder cartridges were generally not well sealed against moisture. Especially pinfire shells. I do have to admit to firing about 30 1865-dated rimfire Spencer cartridges back in the 1980's. Not a single misfire or hangfire! Every single case cracked at the neck, though.
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Old May 02, 2012, 11:07   #8
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I have Turkish 8mm dated 1921 in bandoleers and every round has fired.

I think it's Turk, let me pull some and look, it's from J&G some years ago. Grayish bando, silver buttons, nickel colored bullet.

jacob

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Old May 02, 2012, 12:18   #9
richbug
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I have Turkish 8mm dated 1921 in bandoleers and every round has fired.

Weird, I thought they didn't adopt it till the 1930s

Prior to that they used 7.65 Mauser.

Earliest 8mm Turk I have shot is 1934.
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Old May 02, 2012, 14:43   #10
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I stand corrected. Richbug was right, I was wrong. Please accept my apologies. Most of my Turk 8mm is dated 1941. So, I was off two decades... Still goes boom! Thanks Richbug.

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Old May 02, 2012, 21:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SID325 View Post
I have Turkish 8mm dated 1921 in bandoleers and every round has fired.

I think it's Turk, let me pull some and look, it's from J&G some years ago. Grayish bando, silver buttons, nickel colored bullet.

jacob
Yep.....one ugly bullet if you pull one.
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Old May 03, 2012, 17:18   #12
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I've been shooting 8x56R dated 1938 and 1939 and it shoots just fine. I have some 7mm dated 1929, I'll let you know how that goes. Haven't had a chance to get out with the 1895 Chilean Mauser yet.

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Old May 03, 2012, 21:22   #13
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I gave a friend a box of .45 from WWII who said it shot fine. Also, another buddy shot some Argentine 7.62 from 1977 that came in the proximity of a house fire. He said no problem.
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Old May 03, 2012, 21:53   #14
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On the other hand I had a lot of POF 1960s-era .303 go "Clack.............Boom!!" or sometimes not at all.

It seems a lot of it depends on whether the ammo comes from a country that poops in their drinking water......
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Old May 06, 2012, 14:16   #15
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Look around for old NRA reloading manuals (mine are late 60s-early 70s) for information on old primers. Primers containing mercury would corrode brass (but not steel) when fired, but not sure about just sitting in the cups unfired. Chlorate primers would corrode steel due to the salts affinity for water, but usually(have some 50's era Yugo 8mm duds that seems to be an exception) should last forever if stored properly. The early non-corrosive stuff (up through the 50s were mentioned in the manuals) was supposed to have very limited storage life.
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Old May 06, 2012, 15:12   #16
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I still have a few hundred rounds of 6.5x53R Dutch that is headstamped from 08' or so to the 30's most of it goes bang but I have a number of hang fires and a few clicks. I have found that the ammo is a great way to either instill flinching or tell if someone does flinch when they pull the trigger. Most of the time I think it teaches people to flinch I have shot WWII .45 steel case that was corroded and it almost all went bang. It really depends on how the ammo was stored, but I would say that pushing 80 years would be about tops for what I would keep around. After that point either shoot it up or collect it.
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