Ammo shelf life?

This is a discussion on Ammo shelf life? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i have an ammo question. A buddy and i were talking the other day at work and he tells me that he had some ammo ...

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Thread: Ammo shelf life?

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    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    Ammo shelf life?

    i have an ammo question. A buddy and i were talking the other day at work and he tells me that he had some ammo stored away that he didnt need anymore due to him selling his revolver. Well we got into details and i took off his hands about 450 rounds of assorted 38 special rounds FMJ's and mostly HP's. now these rounds have been in an ammo box but show signs of discoloration. Im asking this becuse 150rnds are Hydra shocks. Are these rounds still good. the lead and jacket has definalty tarnished. And before yall ask, No im not gonna send any to yall so you can try them out!!

    here is a pic. The hydra-shock is the one on the left. the one on the right is marked M&M
    what do yall think?



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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    They should be fine. As long as they wre stored in a dry place, you should not have any problems with them. I am not sure I would use any of them as carry ammo, but would have no problems with using them at the range.
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    Member Array bonehead's Avatar
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    Think the fact that the copper has oxidized means moisture is a foregone conclusion. Does that mean the round isn't good? Beats me. But I'd be hesitant to try it out.
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    In my experience, ammo will last just about forever. I've personally fired many many rounds of ammunition that was well over 25 years old and every single one fired perfectly. Having said that I would peronsally only use it at the range, not for normal carry in your CCW. If nothing else, you'll feel more comforted knowing you have new ammo. Just my .02.
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I have some of those older, original hydrashocks, like the one in your picture. The lead is oxidized on mine too and I know they have never been wet or even damp. They too were stored in dry ammo cans. Sometimes, I think something in the lead alloy seems to cause it to oxidize for some reason.

    I would bet you that they will fire just fine. The worst that can happen is a squib. So just make sure you hear a loud bang and that the bullet leaves the barrel when you fire each shot. If it sounds or feels like a squib, unload and visually check the bore before the next shot.

    That said, I doubt you'll have a problem firing them. I would not hesitate to do so.
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    Member Array BigBear's Avatar
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    Oxidation doesn't necessarily require water, only oxygen. I shot a box of 9mm last week that I've had since 1990. Every single one went bang.
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    I have a decent stash of military .45 ACP hardball, Winchester, Remington, Lake City and Federal Match loadings, made in 1962 and 1963. The ammo has always been stored in sealed G.I. ammo cans at room temperature.

    They go bang every time.


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    Member Array TravisABQ's Avatar
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    My dad had a quantity of 45 ACP which was 50-60 years old, and kept in MUCH less than optimum conditions.... about 1 in 10 was a dud.....

    so if it is kept in cans, and not exposed to excess moisture, I would think that it should certainly be good for 2-3 decades.

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    I have some 40 year old ammo that I still use a little of...once in a while...never a problem.
    You should have no problems, just keep it at the range.
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    If there is a ring of greenish corrosion sort of caked around the primer pocket area then don't shoot it. Otherwise it should be OK.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Ammo does not always last over time.

    Here is a pic of some 5 or 6 yr old ammo that I had stored in an ammo can. It was stored with a couple hundred rounds from different makers. This stuff is the only ammo that went bad. I still don't know why. I still have most of the other stuff that was in the same can, and it's fine. But these leaked green liquid corrosion from the brass. I had never seen anything like it before, nor have I since.

    Needless to say, I didn't fire these.

    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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