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Subject: Question on aging ammo
hist_ed    2/17/2007 1:45:13 PM
How long does conventional ammo stay "fresh"? I have a stockpile of aging 12 gauge and 9mm, mix of types and brands-no reloads. Some of it might be as old as ten years, a lot of it is 5 years. Some has been stored in military surplus ammo cans, some in the original (cardboard) boxes. Do I fire it all off at tin cans and replace now or is it still reliable? Graci signores
 
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Horsesoldier       2/17/2007 2:45:40 PM
If it has been stored in good conditions (like your ammo cans you mentioned) it should be fine for some time.  My unit occasionally fires issued ammunition that dates back as far as the mid-late 1980s with zero problems.  Out in the civilian world, people frequently shoot mil-surp ammo even older than that with no problems as long as it has been properly stored.
 
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flamingknives       2/17/2007 4:29:38 PM
I have a sneaking suspicion that some people still shoot with war-issue .303.
 
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AlbanyRifles    Old .50 caliber    2/18/2007 10:41:24 PM
In 1982 at Grafenwhoer, my platoon fired .50 caliber ammo off of our M113s that came in wooden crates with wing nuts and had a date amrl of May 1943.  The ammo was wrapped in cheese cloth impregnated with oil and came in 110 round belts.  The ammo boxes were marked "For Aircraft Use Only" but I have to tell you that ammo shot just fine. 
 
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Yimmy       2/19/2007 2:14:32 AM
"For aircraft use only"?
 
Was it loaded very hot or something?
 
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mustavaris    My father...   2/19/2007 2:46:43 PM

..got his hands on military grade rounds (7.62x53R) which were really cheap and he couldnt hesitate and bought a lot of them.. back in the mid 80s. He is still using them and havent had any problems with them.. The elks die like they used to do back then. I guess that he will be using them well in to 2010s.

 I am not expert on these matters but I think that if you keep them in dry and dark place with rather stable temperature, there shouldnt be any problems. If the modern rounds couldnt tolerate such we wouldnt see much of firefights in most of the 3rd world wars, in my opinion. Of course safety is an issue, but the worst I can imagine is that the round doesnt fire or the gunpowder isnt fully consumed..neither is serious although annoying. But in any case, my father hasnt had such problems. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but this is what I think.


 
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mustavaris    Another comment to make...   2/19/2007 2:49:21 PM
.. during the conscription (1998-1999) we regularly shot ammunition made in 80´s and 70´s if my memory serves. I got a feeling that I shot ammunition that was made in the same year and in the month when I was born..
 
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