"Old Ammo"

"Old Ammo"

This is a discussion on "Old Ammo" within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We regularly get posts asking about "old ammo" - whether it's still good, safe to shoot, etc. I think most of us here are pretty ...

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Thread: "Old Ammo"

  1. #1
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    "Old Ammo"

    We regularly get posts asking about "old ammo" - whether it's still good, safe to shoot, etc. I think most of us here are pretty confident that ammo that's been properly stored stays good for a LONG time.

    Well, I just bought an armload of new AR mags, and figured I'd load them up to try out. In the process, I discovered I had several hundred rounds of 5.56 that were date-stamped from 1979-1982. They're from various manufacturers, but I believe are all 55 gr. XM193 or equivalent. Some look almost new, while some have pretty discolored cases. I don't recall exactly when I bought the ammo, and I didn't get it all at the same time, or from the same source, but I'm sure I've had it at least 25 years, and it's been in climate-controlled storage ever since I've had it.

    Got the mags all loaded up, but with the current weather conditions (tropical storm), it may be a couple days or so before I can get out to shoot! I've had very good luck with ammo in various calibers from 30 to 100 years old, so I have little to no doubt that the ammo will run just fine, but I'll post a report when I can.
    OD*, Havok, msgt/ret and 8 others like this.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    You mean those high velocity super deadly rounds I keep hearing about from some fake Texan?

    Looking forward to the report!

    "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" ~ Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Array msgt/ret's Avatar
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    Unless it is heavily corroded I would have no qualms with shooting it.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    I fired some military .30-06 ammo I'd had for many years. I don't recall the head stamp or year of origin, but it was old. It all fired perfectly fine, but several of the cases had cracked necks afterwards.

    Really old ammo is probably not what I'd want to carry one that once-in-a-lifetime hunt, but I'd expect it to fire, although its performance may have faded with the years. And by really old, I'm talking about a decade or more, not what's been on the shelf since last hunting season.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I came across (2) 50 rd boxes of Winchester Wildcat .22lr ammo after moving that I purchased from J.M. Field's dept store for .89! I wished I had thought to take pics of it! I shot it up in my M&P 15-22 with no problems! I'm guessing that was mid to late 70's vintage because they went out of business by the very early 80's in my hometown.
    airslot, LouisianaMan and Old Man like this.
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  7. #6
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    I've yet to run into any bad, old ammo. I can't say the same for some lots of the newer stuff.
    hogdaddy and msgt/ret like this.
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  8. #7
    Member Array MYMOMSSON's Avatar
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    I am sitting here looking at a box of Remington Hi-Speed .22 long rifle shells that my grandson just shot that I know are at least 60 years old. No pain,no strain just pew pew.
    airslot, Bad Bob, Old Man and 1 others like this.

  9. #8
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    I saw the thread title and thought it was going to be about about a member (Old Ammo) here on the forum.

    I have some 10-20yr old ammunition which has always been stored in a humidity controlled environment. I am confident it will perform as designed.
    hogdaddy likes this.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I got 10 year old ammo in my tool box on my truck in a ammo can, No misfires at all ; ) PS As some stated, if not corroded I choot em
    A Native Floridian = RARE


  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    Just had a guy the other day complain about "expired ammo." I just let him talk. Maybe I should have volunteered to take it off his hands. so he wouldn't blow himself up.
    msgt/ret, OldVet and Old Man like this.
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  12. #11
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    I’m occasionally shooting .22LR I’ve had since the late ‘80s, that’s at least thirty years. Zero problems. And yeah, a dud from one of my 2 year old bricks of rimfire.

    @RedSafety , great idea, help the citizen out. Tell him there’s not really a safe way to “dispose” of ammo, if they’re uncomfortable with using it they can drop it off with you. I slid into an LGS recently and picked up a few boxes to use at the next day’s match. Made the deal and just talking for a minute, the person offered me 3 boxes of rounds they personally owned and didn’t want to shoot. While they weren’t new and were steel shells, my Glock likes them for practice and I like the prices. I only buy brass but wasn’t about to turn these down. As usual, those old rounds were more accurate and more reliable than I.

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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    back in the mid 80's i was using ww2 30-06 ammo for high power silhouette matches. 40 to 42 head stamp brass. shot great and went bang every time. but was hard on the rifle barrel. still today i can not get the green out of the barrel. no matter what i use to clean the barrel with. i still using the brass for reloads. but i am now losing two or three brasses each 40 round match because of primer pocket getting larger.
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