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Powder longgevity/stability

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by nam02G, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. nam02G

    nam02G Angry Bunny

    1,119
    63
    Feb 4, 2002
    Vancouver USA
    My brother approached me with a dilemma this weekend. He borrowed a rifle from his F-I-L to try out and was given some bullets along with it. He doesn't know the exact age of the bullets but suspects that they are from the mid to late 70's as his F-I-L has not shot the rifle in at least three decades. He does know that the bullets have been stored in a cool dry closet the entire time. They apparently look new. I told him that they are probably safe to use since they have been stored in a good environment. But I would run it by the forum members here. So what do you guys think? Okay to shoot or unsafe?
     
  2. deadmanglocking

    deadmanglocking

    938
    2
    May 16, 2012
    Shoot em if they look good.

    Sent from my SPH-L900 using Ohub Campfire mobile app
     


  3. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,600
    109
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I would shoot them if factory ammo. If they are reloads, then I wouldn't. That is not because of powder age, but because I don't make a habit of shooting reloads loaded by others.
     
  4. JohnnyE

    JohnnyE

    1,497
    341
    May 15, 2011
    I'm always extra cautious when there is the slightest question surrounding ammo. Be on the alert for a squib. The last thing to do is to send a round while the one before it is stuck somewhere in the pipe.
     
  5. k7ant

    k7ant

    198
    1
    Feb 24, 2013
    If they look ok without any green or discoloring, I'd shoot them. I have shot lots
    of old ammo especially old military stuff and the only time I have had a problem
    was with corrosion (green scale) or badly discolored rounds. They either won't fire
    or hang fire. If a round doesn't fire, leave it on the chamber for a couple of minutes
    to make sure it's not a hang fire.:)
     
  6. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    FIL's rifle and ammo - if the FIL is comfortable enough to give both to your brother to use, the ammo should be good to go. If they weren't from the same source, no go.


    Keep in mind that should anything go wrong, your brother will become his least loved SIL. Images of "Meet the Fockers" comes to mind.
     
  7. JBnTX

    JBnTX Texas

    19,746
    3,820
    Aug 28, 2008
    Texas
    1. Have your worst enemy hold the rifle.
    2. Tie a 50ft string to the trigger and step back.
    3. Pull the string.
    4. If it's not raining body parts and pieces of rifle, then the ammo is good.
     
  8. JohnnyE

    JohnnyE

    1,497
    341
    May 15, 2011
    This whole FIL/SIL thing...did the wedding involve a shotgun?? Has "eldest son" been mentioned? :kidding:
     
  9. Rico567

    Rico567

    196
    0
    Feb 3, 2004
    IL
    The longevity and stability of the powder is not likely to be the issue here. Minimum powder age under normal conditions should be 40-50 years. As stated previously, the issue is likely to be the provenance of the cartridges. If in doubt, salvage them.
     
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,708
    925
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    I've got some 06 ammo from the 50s, still shoots.
     
  11. hogfish

    hogfish Señor Member

    5,420
    511
    Aug 4, 2005
    fl
    Bullets don't go bad. They might get tarnished if they're jacketed, but you can just wipe them off - even if they're green.
     
  12. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    8,743
    968
    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    You can still buy Greek 30-06 surplus from wwII. It works just fine.
     
  13. Michiglock

    Michiglock Registered User

    63
    2
    Mar 11, 2005
    Northeast Michigan
    I have been shooting .357 mag rounds that I loaded in the early 1990's. All good