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6 month ammo
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Super Member
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Joined: Mar 20, 2007
Posts: 691
Location: Deep in the mountains of Montana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

i am hearing different stuff about they are wanting to have ammo changed out every 6 months.
does black powder have a short shelf life??
ive been buying a box of ammo for my .44mag every week just encase govt goes crazier and montana becomes a police state.
i am confused thought you boys might be able to unconfuse me.

sorry tink meant you too of course dear.

If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

In 1971 I bought a Remington WWII, 1911, original army wrapping with two magazines loaded with ammo headstamped 1939. I shot one magazine without problems. Last year I fired the other one -- no problems. I have seen ammo with original boxes (250-3000 and 06) that would date it to pre-war and it fired without problems. I have a partial case of 44 Auto Mag ammo purchased in 1970 and it still fires without problems.

Some of the milsurp ammo (7X58, 8X57, 7.62 X54R, 7.65 Argentine, 06) we sell is dated to WWII and we have yet to have any failures to fire brought to our attention.

Stored at normal room temps and stored in a relatively low humidity area or with some desicant, ammo's life should be measured in decades and not in months. Likewise, powder and primers if stored in air tight containers. I use Tupperwear for long term primer storage.

Blackpowder is something I can't address except to note that some 45-70 and 45 Colt ammo in good condition (no tarnish or corrosion) from the Indian Wars and buffalo hunting days were fired recently (five rounds each) to test accuracy. It all shot without failure, however, accuracy was not up to today's standard. FYI, some of those rounds were broken down and powder and bullets were weighed -- lots of variations.
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English Mike
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Joined: Jan 08, 2007
Posts: 1172
Location: Whitehaven, Cumbria, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

I've shot surplus 7.62x51 dating back to the 60's & .303 from the 40's without any problems.
If ammunition is stored correctly then it'll last a lot longer than I will.

High humidity & temperature are the main problem, along with fluctuating temperatures. Use airtight containers with desiccant packs for long term storage & keep them in a cool place.

Beware of rumours about ammunition being manufactured with a built in "shelf life", as they're bovine excrement. Wink
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Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 5906
Location: Southern Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

Alot of people will claim newer ammunition doesn't last as long as its not corrosive primed anymore (a mercury base) but no military issued Carbine ammo ever was corrosive primed and yet there is/was plenty of the older WW2/Korean stuff that was kicking around (atleast up untill recently) and still being shot. So as Mike said, don't listen to "shelf lives". Wink

Still a dud here or there does happen with older surplus, but that can be expected, and if of original quality manufacture it seems to me there are less duds then poorly manufactured surplus ammunition from countries with questionable manufacturing practices.

IE Indian surplus 7.62mm Nato (made after the 70's) should be avoided to the point that counting duds is the least of your problems as the ammunition had a VERY bad problem with Quality Control.

On the other hand American Surplus from "Lake City" seems to be very good no matter how old it is, with very few duds in the mix. As well as other quality manufactures that made military ammunition.


A thousand hills, but no birds in flight, ten thousand paths, with no people's tracks. A lonely boat, a straw-hatted old man, fishing alone in the cold river snow.
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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

Not sure where that information came from. I have shot ammo from WWI that went off without any problems. I have lots of WWII ammo that shoot great. Some of my reloads and powder form the 1960s goes off every time. I agree that proper ammo storage is essential. Next case. All the best...

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Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 735
Location: Mitchell, GA, U.S.A. (2007 pop. 191)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

There are some black powder substitutes that loose power over time. Clean Shot pellets and granular are some that I had a problem with. From one season to the next, with proper storage, I loaded two Cleanshot pellets, capped, and fired a round. The bullet was easily seen traveling away in a steep arc and hit the ground well in front of the target. The first pellet fired up with just enough power to push the bullet out of the barrel and the second pellet looked like a roman candle going down range. I reloaded and had the same result on the second shot.

Hodgdon sued Cleanshot for duplicating their pellet design and won. Cleanshot renamed and reshaped their sticks and I have not tried them and probably won't.

No problems with Hodgdon Pyrodex or Triple Se7en. Their pellets and granular powders are staying up to snuff from season to season.

Safe shooting,
Chris Young, aka: popgun, Moderator
I don't know everything but I have made most of the mistakes already and lived through many of them.
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Joined: Jan 23, 2008
Posts: 69
Location: Phoenix, AZ since 1972

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

Ammo should last as long as everyone is saying. However, make sure to keep it out of the sun. Even in places like MT if you leave an ammo can exposed to sunlight the temperatures inside will be high enough to ruin it within a very short time. I kept an ammo can of 45 ACP in my trunk through one AZ summer and when I tried to shoot it the bullets didn't go 25 yards. I pulled the rest of the rounds apart and the powder had fused into a solid mass that was brittle. Cooked I guess.
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Joined: May 07, 2006
Posts: 5755
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

I tend to use the same batch of ammo (22LR) because I found that they do vary in velocity and other quirks from batch to batch.

I usually buy enough .22's to last me at least a couple of year and now that the prices changes, I buy them to last 5 years or more Very Happy

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The government I trust .. is my .45-70 Government.

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Super Member
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Joined: Mar 20, 2007
Posts: 691
Location: Deep in the mountains of Montana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: 6 month ammo Reply with quote

thank you so much boys. thats what I thought.
I couldnt see it going bad since its mainly minerals right??

I had a storage chest custom made for Tracker and now I am filling it with my ammo so thats good to know about the sunlight, thank you mikeleduc.
guess i need to get another chest for him now Very Happy

been looking at rifles and another pistol. mainly looking at shorter barrel lengths like 3" or about that.
Dimitri thanks for the holster site you sent me a few weeks back found exactly the knife holding garters.

have ya'll notice prices of our "toys" jumping up more lately??
food is suppose to be quadrupling here soon in the next few months
they've started with the wheat then suppose to move into dairy and so on.
bit unnerving
also heard Canada has had a wheat shortage which i find amazing having driven through southern Manitoba


If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?
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