How Old Too Old - Ammo

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Rotating some stock in the safe, I hit on a bunch of old 22 and some vintage .45 & 223 reloads. The 22 had about a 4% fail rate due to mostly misfeed and a few duds. The 45 had a bunch of duds that all fired on the second hit. The 223 reloads were the oldest of the bunch and fired flawless.

We will burn through the old stuff, but, I wonder what the max shelf life is. All was stored in a safe with a basket full fo silica close by.
 
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Finalygotabeltfed

Rotating some stock in the safe, I hit on a bunch of old 22 and some vintage .45 & 223 reloads. The 22 had about a 4% fail rate due to mostly misfeed and a few duds. The 45 had a bunch of duds that all fired on the second hit. The 223 reloads were the oldest of the bunch and fired flawless.

We will burn through the old stuff, but, I wonder what the max shelf life is. All was stored in a safe with a basket full fo silica close by.

I'd bet the farm that the .45 stuff was malfunctioning due to improper primer seating, thats why they fired on the second go'round.

As for .22s, there has been some that had bad primer distribution in the rim, making it iffy depending on where the rim was struck along its circumference.

I don't think age has anything to do with your ammo's problems.

I've fired stuff from WWI and it functioned just fine. Storage climate has everything to do with ammo longevity. If it hasn't been in wide temp swings, its likely to outlast you and your grandchildren.
 
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If it's good ammo to start with .... it should shoot just fine even after 20-30-40 plus years provided it was stored away properly.

There are probably some very old cartriges out there that are still reliable.

The point here is that some ammo on the store shelves now will not hold up. The .45s were commercial reloads that cost similar to my own. The .22s were several different types. Some of the 22s showed discoloration that is probably some sort of corrosion. Maybe the 22s have crummier brass? All was well stored in a dry safe.
 

Spanz

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I shot some 1938 .45 acp that shot just fine! The really old stuff had corrosive primers, so you have to clean your gun right away! Does that answer the question?
 

Chris

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Corrosive primers just mean that a type of salt is left in the barrel. All you need is something to get it out before it attracts moisture and starts the corrosion process.

Hoppes #9 was specifically formulated in part to take care of this. A Boresnake in a ziplock soaked in Hoppes in your range bag is all you need.
 

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Redbos99

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All I can say is I store all my Long Term Ammo in airtight Large Tupperware containers with Silca bags that I bake every three months, I am sure it will last longer than me.......
 
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Corrosive primers just mean that a type of salt is left in the barrel. All you need is something to get it out before it attracts moisture and starts the corrosion process.

Hoppes #9 was specifically formulated in part to take care of this. A Boresnake in a ziplock soaked in Hoppes in your range bag is all you need.

When the term mildly corrosive is used, it means chlorate primers, a form of salt. so you clean just like black powder, hot soapy water, windshield washer fluid and oil. The Hoppes will cut the powder fouling and copper residue.
 
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Can you imagine the sap that carried it all home in his duffle bag, and held it near and dear to his heart all those years???? The guy dies, and his kids are happy to get rid of it! Congrats.

I dumped a collectors wet dream load of WWII Nazi 9mm through my Uzi....I bought it at a garage sale and it was literally in someone's garage for God know how long...
 
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Can you imagine the sap that carried it all home in his duffle bag, and held it near and dear to his heart all those years???? The guy dies, and his kids are happy to get rid of it! Congrats.

I'm not sure this came home in a duffel bag - packing crate maybe. It was 1,560 rounds... I went to the garage sale to look at a sleigh bed and went home with 9mm...Whodathunkit? I was only too happy to set the 9mm free...Kind of interesting that I shot it through an Israeli Uzi...[wink] Years later, I went to another garage sale, bought a fly rod, (which turned out to be an Orvis) and spotted ammo cans...They were full of 1969 Lake City and 1970 Remington M-80 linked, (2900 rounds)... Have had no such luck since...
 
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I have some of my 45acp reloads from the mid 70's and it all goes bang everytime we shoot it up. I also have some turk 8mm dated 1937 that all goes bang too.
 
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i have just about finished up about 1k rounds of 45 acp that i reloaded back in 1987 and i had no problems with it at all....not one. time to crank up the press once again.
 
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+1 BillK...

...similar results with '14, 17 and 18 .45 ACP. You'll love the lead-guilded bullets, too. Not for match or PD ammo, but it will most likely fire just fine.

On a side note, there are some high pressure 45 ACP loads out there that were designed to test (destructively, if necessary) firearms, but I don't recall the headstamp, case markings (if any) and packaging. It's out there on someone's forum, so a search will likely find it. Needless to say, DO NOT FIRE this ammo!
 
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the only issue that I am aware of with long term ammo storage is that with mercuric primers. The mercury can migrate through the case and corrode the brass. From what I have read, mercuric primed cases should not be reloaded, but I know that there are many people on this board with much more knowledge about this than me.
 

Artie

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Shoot it or pull for brass? Neighbor found this tucked in a box of his uncles stuff. I told him to keep looking for the rifle. [smile]
It has been in a dirt basement for atleast 15 years.
20201014_194050.jpg
 
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