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Expired Ammo? Is there such a thing?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by marklukich, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. marklukich

    marklukich

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    I have the opportunity to get some 40S&W ammo from a guy at work... The price is right (free) but he says he's had it since the mid- to late-80's...

    I did a search and came up with nothing on this so I figured I'd post the question - Does ammo get "too old" to be useful? I personally wouldn't think so but I would like to hear some other opinions...

    Thanks,
     
  2. DrugRunR

    DrugRunR

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    it all boils down to storage. I have shot 45acp ammo from the 1920s and it went bang every time.
    If the ammo is stored properly then it should last a lifetime or two....
     

  3. unit1069

    unit1069

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    Experienced handloaders might be able to give you a definitive answer.

    I've read that old ammo is usually good to shoot but that with time the power of the charge can weaken or become unreliable. Okay for the range but not okay if you're going to depend on it to save your life.

    I wish I had someone who wanted to give me free ammo.
     
  4. DrugRunR

    DrugRunR

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    I have reloaded since the mid 80s, before I could own a gun.

    If the ammo is stored properly then it will last a lifetime.

    If the ammo is corrosive then you might have issues with misfires, but generally speaking if stored properly doesn't have a shelf life.
     
  5. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Very true, I've still got 06 ammo from the early 60s that shoots fine. Heat & moisture are the curse of ammo so store in a cool dry place, it will last alooooong time.
     
  6. BWT

    BWT

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    I've shot WW2 vintage ammo without a problem. It will outlast us in most cases if it is stored properly.
     
  7. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

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    Ammo is expired when the bullet & powder is missing, and there is a dent in the primer.

    :supergrin:
     
  8. Warp

    Warp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Unless it is unsealed/poorly sealed, old and was stored poor (wet) conditions there is no reason ammo will expire.

    If it's 20-30 year old factory ammo and wasn't stored underwater it should all be just fine.

    The oldest ammo I have personally shot is from 1957
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  9. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

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    Exactly, I used to work at a local range, we had folks bringing stuff in all the time for "disposal", apparently the local PD sent them to us:rofl: I got so much free ammo because of that, and all of it went bang. Oldest I ever shot was some real old Western 45 colt ammo, there was a handful left in it's original old box (since dated in the teens, around WW1), the cases had some mild corrosion on them so i shot them up. 1 case split and I have since reloaded the other non corroded cases a couple of times and they're still ok.
     
  10. Warp

    Warp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    You are a braver man than I.

    The risk/reward on that sure doesn't seem favorable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  11. marklukich

    marklukich

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    That much I knew... :wavey:

    Thanks for all the responses and info. I know the guy would have kept it properly stored so I'll use it for the range and then keep the brass for reloads...

    Thanks again...
     
  12. MrVvrroomm

    MrVvrroomm

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    While it may be splitting hairs, if your buddy was one of the first to get his hands on factory .40 s&w ammo, he wouldn't have got it until January of 1990 at the earliest.

    The Glock 22 was the first commercially available .40 s&w chambered pistol. The S&W 4006 was first built, but they stumbled and Gaston beat them at their own game.

    I would say load it up and shoot it. I probably wouldn't use it for SD ammo, rather use it for punching holes in paper.
     
  13. Daryl in Az

    Daryl in Az Enjoying life!

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    A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was given some 30-06 ammo with a 1917 Enfield rifle.

    He used a cartridge from a box marked "1953" in that rifle to kill a buffalo. It worked just fine.

    I'd have no problems shooting the oldest .40 S&W ammo available. The cartridge itself is fairly new.

    Daryl
     
  14. marklukich

    marklukich

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    One of the things I love about this site - I'm constantly learning things... I would have thought the 40S&W cartridge was much older than that... Good to know...
     
  15. W4CNG

    W4CNG

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    I am reloading .40 S&W, 9MM, and .45ACP ammo with primers that are 15 years old, cartridges that are 20 years old and powder that is 3-4 years old. All go BANG when the trigger is pulled in my guns. I also have some .357Magnum hollow-point ammo that is more than 25 years old that still goes bang when shot. Stock up on what you can get and hold on to it!
     
  16. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

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    Range guns man, range guns not mine:supergrin: Seriously they all shot fine and they were fired a Ruger Blkhawk so no danger of popping it.
     
  17. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    I have shot properly stored WWI 303 Brit with no problems

    I also shot 10 year old 8mm that felt like I had been hit with a sledge hammer. I pulled a bullet and saw it was filled with a very fine grey powder. I questioned the guy who gave it to me and found out it had been riding in the door pocket of his truck for all of that 10 years. Heat and vibration had ground the powder to dust.
     
  18. Sophicles

    Sophicles

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    Shot VERY large amount of 1930's Turkish 8mm with no issues whatsoever. The statement earlier made regarding corrosive ammo I think was erroneous. Corrosive primers (at least from my research) has proven to be even more stable shelf life. Again storage is key.
     
  19. ColCol

    ColCol

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    My "old" ammo is not exactly ancient but I have some Federal 9BP, CCI Lawman and CorBon in the old 200 gr Flying Ashtray version bought back around 1990-1994. I take ten rounds of each out now and then to shoot just to see and it always works. It's imperative that it be stored well. I think that's the key.
     
  20. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

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    Some lead free primers will go bad after a time.