Ammo age

Ammo age

This is a discussion on Ammo age within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I recently "inherited" some various ammo from my aunt. My uncle had passed some years ago and she was going through some belongings and came ...

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Thread: Ammo age

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array LeftofMars's Avatar
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    Ammo age

    I recently "inherited" some various ammo from my aunt. My uncle had passed some years ago and she was going through some belongings and came across some ammo. Mostly .22 l.r., 38 spl., 9mm, 30-30, 12 gauge (paper shells), and even some 7.62X39. I noticed on almost all the boxes he had written a date on them. I assume the month and year he bought it. My question is how long will commercial ammo store? As noted the shotgun ammo is paper rather than plastic, the "newest" (of any of the ammo) that I recall seeing was dated 1992. Some of the 38 and .22 stuff is from the 60's and 70's. The 38 spl. is almost all lead or semijacketed, the lead looks rather dry and "flakey". Some of the .22 and .22 mag. is in this condition as well. The 9mm and 7.62 seems to be from the 80's. She gave me hundreds of rounds, the only one's I'm really leary of are the paper shotgun shells. I forgot to mention, she did say the ammo had always been in the bedroom closet, so that's all I have for storage conditions, they did run central heat and air, but only since the late 70's. Thoughts?


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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Inspect them carefully. It depends a lot on conditions they were kept in. Modern day ammo generally has a more than exceptional shelf life. most depends on storage. I'd be wary of any shotgun shells that exhibit rust anywhere. With proper storage, 30 year old brass cased ammo should be good to go depending. "Flaky" stuff, I'd beware of. If it exhibits any type of corrosion, I wouldn't use it. 80's factory rounds? Should be no problem. Just inspect them from box to box to be sure.

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    Assuming the rounds are not in good shape, what would be the recommended ways to safely dispose of them? In the mid-70s I disposed of some old 38s my Dad had before he passed away by taking them in to the local PD and giving them to the Desk Sargent.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babarock View Post
    Assuming the rounds are not in good shape, what would be the recommended ways to safely dispose of them? In the mid-70s I disposed of some old 38s my Dad had before he passed away by taking them in to the local PD and giving them to the Desk Sargent.
    Personally, I'd pull the bullets, save the powder and cases. The powder makes for good plant food, the brass or bullets can be sold. Used motor oil is a different story.

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    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    We were issued .45ACP ammo in the 60's in RVN that were marked 1944 and 1945. They worked.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

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