Ammo aging

This is a discussion on Ammo aging within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have owned guns for about 50 years, but only recently felt the need to get a license and carry a handgun in certain situations. ...

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Thread: Ammo aging

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    Member Array CharlieP's Avatar
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    Ammo aging

    I have owned guns for about 50 years, but only recently felt the need to get a license and carry a handgun in certain situations. I will not get as many oportunities to practice as I would like, and I may use the same box of ammo for extended periods. I have fired ammo that was twenty years old without a problem ... but it was not a SD situation. How long is ammo trustworthy, considering it is exposed to varying temperatures and high humidity? Will old ammo affect the operation of a semi-auto?

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    I think it can last a long time if it stays dry and in you home where the temp is regulated. I will also say that when I was an LEO we shot our duty ammo every six months and then we were given new ammo. LEO's are out in the elements more than normal but look at the military. They really abuse their ammo and they store is for a long time. Surplus ammo that is sold is usually extremely old and it fires.
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    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    Not to derail...but if you only got the permit to carry in "certain situations" than it's best to avoid those situations altogether. Besides, you can't possibly know what situation will ever present itself.

    Carry all the time. It's best to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.


    As far as ammo goes. Get new stuff for SD ammo and practice with it some to get used to it and know where it hits, and how it kicks. Then use target ammo for most of your practice. Shoot up some of your SD stuff occasionally and you'll find yourself cycling in new ammo every 2 yrs or less. Keep it dry and you should have no problems.

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    Member Array i12flytoday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    I think it can last a long time if it stays dry and in you home where the temp is regulated. I will also say that when I was an LEO we shot our duty ammo every six months and then we were given new ammo. LEO's are out in the elements more than normal but look at the military. They really abuse their ammo and they store is for a long time. Surplus ammo that is sold is usually extremely old and it fires.
    In the AF we routinely issued ammo that was 15+ years old. All ammo, regardless of age, must be inspected before being issued. We had a tech manual that said what to look for depending on the round. Most of the stuff was pretty self explanatory. Case damage, unusual stains / marks on case or bullet. Loose bullets. Stuff like that caused the whole lot to be inspected round by round. In general, we would take about 1 round out of every 200-500 rounds, and at least 10 rounds per lot number.

    I was in for 6.5 years and inspected over 100,000 rounds without a single rejection. Of course, they are stored in a sealed environment with desiccant packs in the container. The containers had a little screw in indicator that would turn from blue to pink when the desiccant needed to be changed.

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