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Thread: Ammo shelf life?

  1. #1

    Ammo shelf life?

    Just wondering if factory ammo has a shelf life as such? Can it go off (for want of a better word)?

    i have just bought a load of factory sellier and bellot, and the boxes all have what I presume is a date stamp inside the flap of the box which says 6/96, if that's it's month/year of manufacture, (the boxes would generally concur that it is of a fair vintage) do I have any reason to worry?

    I know now you often see very old ammo up for sale on Holts etc but not sure if this is being bought for use or collections?
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  2. #2
    Regular Poster
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    Where there are more Muntjac than you can shake a stick at
    10 years or more would seem to be realistic if stored carefully.

    I like this from Kynoch, but I buy mine (RWS / PPU) just a years worth at a time.

  3. #3
    i would say at least 50 years if kept dry!

    i found a perfectly live 50 cal WW2 bullet while stalking near and old areo drome, brass was a tad rough but the powder was dry and burn well when i lit it. (couldnt resist it )

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  4. #4
    96 is relatively new for ammo, the TA and the cadets use training ammo much older than that. Ex military ammo from the 40s is fairly common to see on the range and if it has been stored correctly is often perfectly acceptable. A friend recently gave me 60 rounds of Winchester factory.308win that he no longer needed as he had just sold the rifle, the stuff was at least 25 years old and fired perfectly though the accuracy in my rifle was no where near as good as my usual loads. I suppose I could always pull it and use the bullets.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  5. #5
    Cool, should be fine then, it might not even be a date stamp, but looks like it....
    theyve been with edgar brothers (presumably most of that time) so I can only assume they are stored well.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  6. #6
    Don't tell the Taliban or ISIS or any other revolutionary using 1940 stockpiled ammo!!

  7. #7
    I have ammunition from the early 60's that still works. I have 30-40 Krag from the late 1940's that still functions.

    Storage is a big issue. Usually clean and dry will work. Movement is the worst. Some of the cowboys hereabouts will keep a box of ammunition in their truck for sometimes years at a time. They are surprised that when they fire it they get a stiff bolt lift or other signs of pressure. This is from the constant movement of the powder granules abrading the flame retardant coating off of themselves, and then later, actually breaking down the powder granules. Both of these events change burning rates dramatically and surprise the shooters. I keep tell them to rotate ammunition every year or so. Some of them think I'm crazy but it's a well known fact that hard transport will degrade powder.~Muir

  8. #8
    Shot ammo from 1890's and it went bang, not bad grouping either. Don't worry.

  9. #9
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Ammo shelf life?

    I have a hundred or so perfectly usable . 303 rounds headstamped from the 50's in the cupboard. They are such a nice thing to have a begrudgingly shoot them.
    Last edited by NorthDorset; 13-06-2015 at 22:09.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  10. #10
    I was recently given 150 MkIV 303 rounds made in 1942 in Canada that had been stored indifferently and needed a fair bit of cleaning. I have fired around 60 of them. No misfires and they are quite accurate. I'm not sure about modern ammo but I don't think it would be any different.

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