Shelf life on ammo??

Shelf life on ammo??

This is a discussion on Shelf life on ammo?? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was wondering what the "true" shelf life is on ammo. I am not as worried about target ammo, I am thinking about ammo used ...

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Thread: Shelf life on ammo??

  1. #1
    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Garland, NC (About 25 miles east of Fayetteville)

    Shelf life on ammo??

    I was wondering what the "true" shelf life is on ammo.
    I am not as worried about target ammo, I am thinking about ammo used durring CCW.
    I try to cycle through my ammo evey year or so but it can get expensive. Is there anything wrong with keeping the same ammo for a few years?

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    If properly stored I believe shelf life would be almost indefinite , I have shot a lot of mil surplus ammo from the beginning of the last century LOL . That being said personally I would consider 2 years as the MAX time to rotate defensive ammo , and would seriously look at doing it sooner due to the fact cycling ( unloading and loading for cleaning , target practice , ect.. ) the ammo can have a certain attrition with burred extractor graves , bullet setback creating dangerous overpressure ( most of the famous glock kabooms ) ect.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Sturgeon, MO
    If relatively cool and dry, shelf life is many, many years. I have a fair amount of military ammunition from World War 2 and it still works - and civilian ammunition from the mid-1960s that also works fine.
    Having said that, my ammunition for possible defensive use gets cycled through every couple years at most.
    I'll use it at the range or just feel like shooting some of it (usually my practice ammo is FMJ stuff but still want to be sure my gun will run on my CCW ammo). There's no logical reason why I do this, as I know the ammo would last significantly longer than two years, but it makes me feel better.
    If I happened to run onto a 5 year supply of my CCW ammo at a cheap price --- I'd sure buy it and not worry about shelf life.

    Edited since RR has an EXTREMELY important point, I think. The ammo that's cycled in your firearm has a shelf life of about nothing. It really needs used up. Banged up extractor grooves and bullets moving back in the case are just bad. My comments on "shelf life" had to do with ammo in boxes not disturbed.

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  5. #4
    1943 - 2009
    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    +1 on what RR said. Also, storage conditions greatly affect ammo shelf life. Ammo that has not been subjected to extremes of heat or cold, or subjected to moisture or high humidity, and especially in a sealed container, like a GI ammo can, should be OK for many years.

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    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Away - Health Problems
    pretty much what everyone said it will last pretty much fro ever is stored properly now target ammo i might store like that SD i won't .

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Battle Creek, Mi.
    I shoot .22's that I bought 35 years ago with no issues, in some ways they are a better round than what I can buy as cheap ammo today, +1 on proper storage.
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