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  1. #11
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    As others have said, stored properly, ammo last for many, many years. I have some .45 ACP made in the 50's that I am hanging onto for sentimental reasons, but fired some not many years ago and it was fine. I have some other factory ammo over ten years old. My son found some really old .44 Magnum reloads a couple of months ago and had about a 20 percent failure rate. I don't seal my reloads and don't know how these had been stored as I had forgotten all about them.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    this is good to know, thanks. Seems it's just a no fire situation, rather than a dangerous malfunction.
    So how do you dispose of shells that don't go off? Not sure the garbage men want them...
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long grapple, 1986 Case IH 255, Land Pride PD10 PHD, LP RCR60 & RCF2084 mowers, LP 4' box blade and rear rake, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mowers, Swisher 44 rough cut mower,, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2014 JD X750 diesel garden tractor, 1968 Cub Cadet 125 under renovation, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter, DR tow behind string trimmer

  3. #13
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    this is good to know, thanks. Seems it's just a no fire situation, rather than a dangerous malfunction.
    So how do you dispose of shells that don't go off? Not sure the garbage men want them...
    I use a bullet puller and burn the unused power, then dump the bad primer and reload the pullet bullet. Other than that, I don't have a clue, hopefully someone else can help.

  4. #14
    Super Member 2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    this is good to know, thanks. Seems it's just a no fire situation, rather than a dangerous malfunction.So how do you dispose of shells that don't go off? Not sure the garbage men want them...
    Keep in mind, one possibility might be a hang fire, in that case you need to be aware that there may be a delay between pulling the trigger and the discharge, so you can't assume it won't fire. Another possibility is a partial or very weak discharge, in this case the bullet could lodge in the barrel. If you don't check and remove the bullet, firing a subsequent cartridge could be catastrophic.
    Have Wings, Will Travel.

  5. #15
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    this is good to know, thanks. Seems it's just a no fire situation, rather than a dangerous malfunction.
    So how do you dispose of shells that don't go off? Not sure the garbage men want them...
    if you pull the trigger and it don't go pop.. wiat a bit witht he gun aimed downrange. then recock and try again.. sometimes you find an unseated primer and the fire pin energy is used up reseating the primer.

    if they don't pop on the 2nd pull... leave it aimed downrange a lil bit.. then eject.

    on duds i find.. I pull the bullet to re-use.. and if the brass is good i re-use it too.

    the powder? put it inthe yard.. good fertalizer!

    deprime and go.

    if the brass case is bad or unlaodable.. or steel.. i toss in t he recycle bucket.

    clean brass and steel bring good $$$

  6. #16
    Platinum Member KYErik's Avatar
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    Back around 1990, my buddy brought over his new .45 auto pistol. Just for kicks, we loaded the mag with 1 round that my great grandfather had brought back from WW1 and the rest with modern ammo. That 70 year old round fired/sounded just like the rest of them.
    "Attitudes are contagious; is yours worth catching?"

  7. #17
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    if you pull the trigger and it don't go pop.. wiat a bit witht he gun aimed downrange. then recock and try again.. sometimes you find an unseated primer and the fire pin energy is used up reseating the primer.

    if they don't pop on the 2nd pull... leave it aimed downrange a lil bit.. then eject.

    on duds i find.. I pull the bullet to re-use.. and if the brass is good i re-use it too.

    the powder? put it inthe yard.. good fertalizer!

    deprime and go.

    if the brass case is bad or unlaodable.. or steel.. i toss in t he recycle bucket.

    clean brass and steel bring good $$$
    I do the same thing, but I realize you are not a reloader and would not have the tools to pull a bullet safely (although they don't cost much, for an inertia puller). A shotshell you could cut open safely with a knife and dump the powder on the lawn, the shot goes in the lead scrap bin or save it for reloading, the dud primer can go in an oil filled can, to soak for a while. I just usually carefully deprime dud primers and reuse all that is salvageable. As for those plastic hulled Fiocchi, they were likely made in Ozark Missouri, just a few miles from me. Fiocchi has a large plant nearby and they make lots of shotgun shells. I would not be afraid to fire them at all. Ammo properly stored could easily last 100 years, or improperly stored could last hardly any time at all. The enemy of ammo is moisture, or excessive heat. Cool clean and dry, and they will go bang for a long time. Basically Daugen, what we are saying is "no worries".. shoot and enjoy..I don't know about transport rules in NY, but I understand in NJ, the best thing to do is move out of the state if you like guns. I think they are transport Nazi's from what I have read. Down here we are all cavemen, and you would just have to consider every car and pickup truck has a gun in it. In fact if you are 21 you can have a loaded handgun concealed in your car, no permits required. It can even be concealed on your person, but you cannot leave the car with it like that unless you have a Concealed Carry Permit to carry concealed on your person off your own property or your car. As far as long guns, you can pack them around openly, but there are some ordinances in some city's you need to check for. Best thing is to google the firearms laws in NY and PA and/or call the state patrol to find out the facts on transport in your states.

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  8. #18
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    If you have ammo over 50 years old in its original box, take it to a gun show and sell it to a collector. I sold a vintage 1920s unopened box of .32 rimfire for $500 last year.

    The reason old ammo is so valuable is that everyone unthinkingly shoots it up to get rid of it. Pre shot cup shotgun ammo is worth at least 10x as much as new shells.

  9. #19
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleR View Post
    I use a bullet puller and burn the unused power, then dump the bad primer and reload the pullet bullet. Other than that, I don't have a clue, hopefully someone else can help.
    I have not found a "dud" of any kind in any caliber since the early '50s. Dad & I used to occasionally find a .22 shell that didn't shoot, so we'd just pull the lead with a pair of pliers, and burn the powder just to get rid of it. Now the only problem was that my little brother, about 6 years old at the time, had seen us do that, and he found a discarded .22 shell and wanted to burn the powder himself so he didn't tell anyone he had found that shell. However, he wasn't strong enough to hold the brass with one hand and pull the lead with the other hand. So he decided to use a hatchet to chop it open on a concrete driveway. Now he had asked me and Dad what would happen if you hit a shell with a hammer and we'd told him, but as he said later, "it wasn't a hammer I used, it was a hatchet".

    We happened to be visiting our grandparents at the time and I was out in the front with my granddad when we heard a "pop" and then heard my brother yell. I ran around the house to find him bleeding like a stuck hog from two holes in one arm. In my grandmother's sewing stuff, I found an old necktie she was going to cut up to use in a quilt. So I used that necktie for a tourniquet and got the bleeding stopped. Mother & Dad had gone somewhere in the car, but got back just as I got the bleeding under control, so away we went the hospital. X-rays showed two pieces of the brass; not the lead. Each piece had penetrated right to the bone, but no damage to either bone; one above the elbow and one below.

    So while the doctor was probing to get the first piece out, and Mother was nearly hysterical, little brother says, "I'm hungry." It was just about noon by then, so I could understand him being hungry. But the best part was that his comment calmed Mother immediately. She was no longer worried about him.
    Bird

  10. #20
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: shelf life of ammunition

    -a74011-jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    I do the same thing, but I realize you are not a reloader and would not have the tools to pull a bullet safely
    I reload.

    I have 3 presses. 2 lee, 1 rcbs. I relaod for more than 25 different pistol and rifle calibers last count I made. I have a nice automated case prep center that trims, ID/OD mouth debur, trues the primer flash hole, primer poctet, and removes military crimps in primers..

    here's an old pic of my setup when i first started. there are 2 more shelves now holding near 3x the gear. I probably have 30# powder, and as of this weekend. a stock of about 20K primers., though only a few thousand projectiles. i'm low on those. My brass stock is probbaly around 6000ps of various types, cleaned, trimmed, bagged and sorted by caliber, weapon it was shot in ( for bottlenecked brass ), and # times reloaded. I usually keep a baggy of 50 pcs of each caliber primed and ready to load up at any moment..

    I'm quite familiar with the old kinetic hammer-bullet puller.. I'v pulled many, many old milsurp rounds i got free or for pennies a piece to reclaim projectiles and in some cases a small percentage of brass.

    for cleaning I use a few ultra sonic cleaners and a vibro tumbler. I still have my old manual case trimmer I use for limited runs and 1/of jobs like the larger calibers.. 375 HH, 416 rigby, 458 winmag/lott, 45-70 etc... stuff i may oly load up 5 rounds at a time.

    in fact.. i have a box of 50 45-70 someone gave me that I plan on pulling down to get the projectiles. at least 30-40 of the cases are coroded. I might be able to use 10 of the cases.. the rest will be recycled.. I will probably use those projectiles in. at least some of them in my 458 lott, as some are jacketed.. the cast lead 405gr RN/FN will be digested by my 4570 double rifle.

    I've been a lil slow on reloading as of late so as to conserve resources. as of now.. I'm lacking in projectiles. I have plenty of brass and primers.. but projectiles probably only a couple thou.. over various calibers from .224 to .458

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