Can you use old ammo?

This is a discussion on Can you use old ammo? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So my grandfather is thrilled I've gotten into handguns, and I asked him if he had any .380 ammo to spare for my new Sig. ...

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Thread: Can you use old ammo?

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    Member Array LaraCroft10's Avatar
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    Can you use old ammo?

    So my grandfather is thrilled I've gotten into handguns, and I asked him if he had any .380 ammo to spare for my new Sig. Well, he didn't, but he has a TON of stuff in a bunch of different calibers ("I'm ready for war!") that I'm sure he'd be willing to donate to me if I ever obtain a handgun that could use it. So my question is: is it okay to use "old" ammo? I'm sure he's had some of this stuff for decades. From what it appears, it's been stored consistently in a cool, dry place, and none of it appeared damaged or anything. Can I still use it, or does ammo come with an expiration date? Is it going to explode in my face? (that's what she said)

    Thanks!
    Proud owner of a Sig Sauer P238 SAS Explosive Space Modulator.

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    Member Array jzorn's Avatar
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    I did shoot a box of 9mm Remington that I bought about 29 years ago, no problem with any of the 50 rounds

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    Yup, old ammo should be fine provided it was stored in a dry spot. I have shot mil ammo dated 1942 and before.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    I wouldn't trust it if it was reloaded, but if you can verify that it's factory ammo there's no reason not to shoot it. Reloads just aren't worth the risk in my opinion.
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    Member Array LaraCroft10's Avatar
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    That's so cool! Thanks guys. @Superhouse, I don't think they're reloads - they are mostly Winchester brands still in their original packaging.

    Now I gotta get me a good 9mm, he has hundreds of rounds to spare.
    darbo likes this.
    Proud owner of a Sig Sauer P238 SAS Explosive Space Modulator.

    "I played the powerless in too many dark scenes. And I was blessed with a birth and a death, and I guess I just want some say in between." - Ani DiFranco, "Talk to me Now."

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    You be fine. Visually inspect it for signs of corrosion or other abnormalities, which are unlikely. Everybody needs a 9 mm in addition to the ESM.

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    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superhouse 15 View Post
    I wouldn't trust it if it was reloaded, but if you can verify that it's factory ammo there's no reason not to shoot it. Reloads just aren't worth the risk in my opinion.
    There's no reason the components a reloader would use are of lesser quality than anything an ammo manufacturer would use. They'll have an equal shelf life.
    I trust my reloads and my quality control more than factory target ammo. If they are someone else's reloads, I wouldn't shoot them. Regardless of age.
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    I think there's too many potential problems to shoot unknown reloads, but I agree that a careful handloader makes ammo of equal quality as factory. I worked for many years at an indoor range and in a busy gunshop or two and saw plenty of damage and near-misses caused by reloads. Some were real tragedies, destroying valuable guns.

    Here's my thoughts. If I load the ammo and blow up my gun, it's my fault and my responsibility to pay up. If I shoot good quality reloaded or remanufactured ammo from a reputable source (Black Hills, BVAC, Ultramax, or the like) and it blows my gun up, those companies will stand by their product. If I shoot ammo that my widow neighbor's husband loaded, or that Billy's Bait and Tackle loaded in plastic bags at the gunshow... Wel if that blows I'm out a gun and still have to pay up myself. Stories I could tell about junk reloads. The NIB Gold Cup, the Python and Model 19 by the same shooter. A Glock 35 rental gun on the first day it was in the rental case. The Sig and the XD by the same shooter on the same day...
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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    On the TV show Revolution they use old ammo so it has to be OK......
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    The old factory ammo is usually ok to shoot, but!! If its from the 40's or the 50's depending on the brand it may be worth more to a collector. Very good condition Peters and SuperVel boxes are worth 10 to 30 bucks just for the box.
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    I've got ammo 40 years old...never a problem.
    I'd use old ammo for plunking, but new ammo for SD/HD.OMO
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    MJK
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    One potential issue with old ammunition is that corrosive primers may have been used. To hedge against any related problems clean your firearm thoroughly after firing the really old stuff. Other than that you should be good-to-go. Have fun!
    [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

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    Modern ammo from even 60-80 years ago should be fine.

    Like ret said.

    Shoot it for plinking, buy good quality HP for defense ammo.
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    Member Array _Hawkeye_'s Avatar
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    Generally yes. Look it over though. Anything corroded, or greasy looking should be discarded.
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    Hope so, I am packing some away this weekend in Ammo cans with dessicents for a rainy day! As others have said it should be fine. Any visible flags should be cause for caution other than that you are good to go!
    BigJon


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