Ammo storage life

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Considering how much WWII-era Russian 5.62x54mm you can buy, I think as long as it is clean and dry and not oxidizing, you're fine firing it.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Solo2driver
Considering how much WWII-era Russian 5.62x54mm you can buy, I think as long as it is clean and dry and not oxidizing, you're fine firing it.
I'm not familiar with that caliber. What firearms shoot it and where can I get them? All kidding aside, it depends on storage conditions. I've seen 20 year old ammo (5.56 NATO) from the tropics that had numerous misfires and widely inconstant velocities. Conversely, I've shot about 2k of Yugo 7.62x39 with '73 and '74 headstamps that's been accurate with no problems. Another factor is that cartridges manufactured using corrosive primers have a longer shelf life then non-corrosive. The oldest ammo I've ever shot was a case of '54 .303 British. Every one of those rounds fired. BSW
 

Bill in Utah

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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
How long will .22LR, .410, 12G ammo last in dry, good storage?? I inherited a pile of ammo, with some at least 15 years old. It looks like new stuff. Thanks, P
I'm shooting 22lr that I bought back in the 70s Pabs! Some of my .357 and .44mag reloads from the 80s are just great. Keep them away from MAJOR heat or cold and wet and you will be fine. I've got some primers that I got from my Uncle that I'll be using in the next batch of 9mm that have to date back in the 70s. Up in your neck of the woods, Wet would be my biggest concern. Take care, Bill
 
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If stored in a dry location, that ammo will still be in good shootable condition long after you've left this mortal realm.
 
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Just as information , silica gel is available in bulk at art&craft stores - used to dry flowers . About $16/LB last time I bought some . The catch is that it's ground very fine . Works great , recharge in your oven .
 
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If you've got an electrical wholesaler nearby, you can get it in 1/8" blue beads, that turn pink when they absorb moisture. It's used for transformers etc. Regenerate is a 120C overn with the door cracked open.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Samilcar
If stored in a dry location, that ammo will still be in good shootable condition long after you've left this mortal realm.
The time is getting shorter every day.
 
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Remington makes a pretty cool silica gel device thats works great. I use them in my safes and ammo storage locker. When you need to regenerate the silica gel, all you do is plug it in and the internal heating element removes the water and the gel turns back to blue again. They are a little pricey, but they work! In my bigger safe, I use 2 of them. In my smaller safes, one is enough. They usually last about a month before I have to plug them in.
 
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Originally Posted By: Pablo
How long will .22LR, 20+ years. The .22 is most likley the first to go "bad". And usually because the lube on the bullet dries out and the lead oxidizes. Also the bullet also does not seat as tightly in the case allowing out-gassing of the volatile compounds. .410, 12G ammo Depends on the construction. Paper vs plastic vs brass. Paper kept in the house 30+ years, Plastic 40+ years Brass 15+ years. last in dry, good storage?? I inherited a pile of ammo, with some at least 15 years old. It looks like new stuff. Thanks, P
 
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If it's well made to begin with (i.e. made by a decent European or American manufacturer) and kept in a cool dry place (I keep mine in an interior closet in 50 cal ammo cans with desi-paks i.e. silica gel, thrown in) I think it has virtually unlimited shelf life, though you would want to pull five or ten rounds every so often (5 or 10 years?) and visually inspect and fire them to check for failures to fire and check for flyers, low velocity rounds, etc.. This is basically what the military does with their long term stored ammo (except I think they actually chrono the samples they periodically pull for inspection). On the other hand, if it ammo from from some third world country or has an uncertain storage history you might get very little storage life. I had a buddy that bought some surplus Egyptian and Indian ammo and it was very spotty after sitting in his basement in sealed ammo cans for just a few years. The ammo mostly looked ok (though some was very tarnished) but about 25% of it would fail to go bang at all and maybe another 10% give him hang fires (which is worse in my book than a complete failure to fire). In the end he just couldn't trust it so he took it out to the country and fired up what he could and ended up giving away what was left. Ammo that you don't have a high level of confidence in is basically useless.
 
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