How long can ammo be stored and be reliable?

This is a discussion on How long can ammo be stored and be reliable? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello guys... I got some 7.62x39mm Egyptian milsurp ammo and the box says "shelf life 10 years" none corrosive... and the head stamp is as ...

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Thread: How long can ammo be stored and be reliable?

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    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    How long can ammo be stored and be reliable?

    Hello guys... I got some 7.62x39mm Egyptian milsurp ammo and the box says "shelf life 10 years" none corrosive... and the head stamp is as shown from the pic below... I wanted to know how long can such ammo last in storage and be deemed reliable?

    This stuff was cheaper than Yugo or Bulgarian milsurp ammo.

    I got this pic online to show u headstamp


    How about something like Remington UMC or WWB, how long can those be stored for?

    Thanks
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    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Does it have a date on it? My guess would be that the reason you have it is because of that date marking... that they sell it when it "expires" for them. Realistically it depends on storage conditions, but it'll stay usable for plinking more or less indefinitely.

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    I once fired some .44 Special ammo in my .44 magnum that was made in the late 1800's. It all functioned perfectly. Ammo stored in a cool dry environment will last almost forever.
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    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnowell View Post
    Does it have a date on it? My guess would be that the reason you have it is because of that date marking... that they sell it when it "expires" for them. Realistically it depends on storage conditions, but it'll stay usable for plinking more or less indefinitely.
    It says "94" on the shell... and the Yugo milsurp I got says "84"... I also heard that corrosive primers actually last longer than none corrosive but there none corrosive rounds from the 70s that shoot today no problem, so I guess I wont worry... I want to shoot some rounds but only if I have at lest 500 rounds for storage.

    What about 22LR? I am thinking they probably should last just as long as center fire?

    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    I once fired some .44 Special ammo in my .44 magnum that was made in the late 1800's. It all functioned perfectly. Ammo stored in a cool dry environment will last almost forever.
    I got some ammo cans with rubber gadgets... I will buy some desiccants to place inside.

    What about the chance in temp? Like from hot to cold?
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    I've fired ammo that was over 30 years old with no special storage...in fact, I still have some of that stuff and would be closer to 40 years now...it's just 'plinkin' stuff though.
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    As previously mentioned, as long as it's stored properly it should last indefinitely. I regulary shoot WW2 vintage .303 rounds with no problems. The only stuff I insist on being fresh is what I feed my EDC.
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    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    I haven't had a problem with 30 year old ammo, centerfire or rimfire, or reloaded centerfire ammo.
    Stored in dry environment without excesses of temperature changes it should be fine.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Ammo lasts a long time. Properly stored ammo lasts a very long time.

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    i have shot ammo from the early 60's. if was not kept in any thing but the card board box. and it fell apart when i open it. went bang every time. it was old army 45 acp 230 ball ammo. also got my hands on some 1964 lake city national match 45 acp ammo. it went bang also. so if you put the ammo in old army ammo cans it will last for years.
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I've pulled .22 lr rounds from beneath the seats of my dads old truck that had probably been rolling around under there for 15 years or more. "Most" of them went bang.

    I've shot ammo in the 80s and 90s that was made in the 40s and 50s and was properly stored and it all worked fine.
    Usually metallic cartiges will be fine if they have been kept dry.

    The only problems I've ever had is with old paper shotgun shells that have gotten damp over time. Some work some don't. I just tried a couple of months back to fire some old ones I had that some guy gave me a few years ago. The paper 20ga were fine, but the paper 12 ga were all duds? Must have got too damp at some point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    I once fired some .44 Special ammo in my .44 magnum that was made in the late 1800's. It all functioned perfectly. Ammo stored in a cool dry environment will last almost forever.
    Pretty neat trick.

    The .44 Special cartridge was invented in 1907.

    You're close, tho...


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    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    This does raise a question that I've been pondering about the ideal environment for storing ammunition. What is the best way to store ammo to ensure it stays safe to fire?

    Just a thought!
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    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikachu711 View Post
    This does raise a question that I've been pondering about the ideal environment for storing ammunition. What is the best way to store ammo to ensure it stays safe to fire?

    Just a thought!
    Moisture is the number one enemy. If you have any silica gel packets put a few in with your ammo to absorb any moisture(humidity) and store it in a dry area. Sudden fluctuations of temperature can create moisture, try to avoid that if you can.
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    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion of silica gel packs. The question is where can one get them?

    I live in Las Vegas so moisture is not a problem. As a rule I use the same rule of thumb that I used when I worked in hotels. The same applies to my ammo, "last in, first out." I have always made it a habit of writing the date of purchase on each box of ammo. This way I am using the oldest ammo first.

    Thanks again for the suggestion of silica gel packets.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    In Las Vegas you probably don't need them. Just store your ammo in some surplus metal ammo cans and you'd be fine.

    Here is where you can get some though. Silica Gel Packets - Your Desiccant Pack Supplier!

    A lot of camera shops sell small packs. If you search around on the internet, you can probably find info regarding the cheapest method I have heard of, which is certain types of cat litter that are made with silica. You can get a big bag real cheap and then put it in some type of porous packets for use.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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