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Thread: Shelf Life of 9mm Ammo?

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Question Shelf Life of 9mm Ammo?

    OK, this is a semi-technical query to all my Weapons People out there. I have been loading up some 9mm mags here since getting the new gun yesterday. In doing so, I happened across some older ammo that we had found while doing renovations on the house about 2 years ago. The ammo in question was not in it's stock standard little cardboard box that it came in but was instead in a heavy plastic ammo box. I never remember this ammo box and all the ammo in it was 9mm, no one else in the house ever had a 9mm except me and that would've been back around the late 80's with I received my first pistol for Christmas from my Dad.

    OK, the ammo in question is about 2, maybe 3mm shorter than the other Winchester brand ammo that was in the box as well, the brass is stamped "Frontier". After some research. I learned that this was ammo made by Hornady as re-manufactured ammo but according to a letter to a gun site back in 1996 from Hornady, they referenced that the Frontier brand hadn't been produced for 5 years. So according to this, my guess is that this frontier ammo I have is at least 22 years old roughly.

    Anyone know the shelf life of 9mm ammo?
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroblades View Post
    OK, this is a semi-technical query to all my Weapons People out there. I have been loading up some 9mm mags here since getting the new gun yesterday. In doing so, I happened across some older ammo that we had found while doing renovations on the house about 2 years ago. The ammo in question was not in it's stock standard little cardboard box that it came in but was instead in a heavy plastic ammo box. I never remember this ammo box and all the ammo in it was 9mm, no one else in the house ever had a 9mm except me and that would've been back around the late 80's with I received my first pistol for Christmas from my Dad.

    OK, the ammo in question is about 2, maybe 3mm shorter than the other Winchester brand ammo that was in the box as well, the brass is stamped "Frontier". After some research. I learned that this was ammo made by Hornady as re-manufactured ammo but according to a letter to a gun site back in 1996 from Hornady, they referenced that the Frontier brand hadn't been produced for 5 years. So according to this, my guess is that this frontier ammo I have is at least 22 years old roughly.

    Anyone know the shelf life of 9mm ammo?
    I have ammo that is over 30 years old, back when I was in my teens I had boxes of WW2 45 acp that worked just fine. You should be careful with somebody else reloads.
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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    If it has been stored properly (cool, dry, minimal temperature swings), the shelf life is probably longer than yours. I have military surplus ammo from the 50s I wouldn't hesitate to shoot. If anything, modern commercial ammo should be even more resistant to age-related deterioration.
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    Was shooting some 30 -40 y/o Olin 30.06 this weekend - worked fine. Brass casings were unblemished but lead tips were a little oxidized.


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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    If you can't tell something is physically wrong with he ammo, such as corroded or a cracked case and the weight seems to be steady across all the loadings, and it was in fact loaded by a competent manufacture then it SHOULD be safe to shoot.

    If the cartridge was stored wrong, then the powder would have degraded (faster). So do not try to do a rapid string of shots until you know how the ammo would react. You don't want to try to send a round down range with one stuck in the pipe.

    I know you are a Sig guy, and most Sigs should be able to handle +P loads, so you should be able to safely shoot them. I would not shoot them out of an old, poor quality, or a firearm in poor shape though.
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    Regular Member LEX_XDM40compact's Avatar
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    Just to chime in on whats already been mentioned

    From what your research showed it was reman ammo from a company?( you can generally tell this from the striker mark on the casing or the brass to seem to be in a used fashion) in this case I personally would just keep it as novelty items or toss it if its only a handful / box of 50 or so. Only due to the reman process, and after hearing horror stories of people who have bought others reloads and it not ending to good for the gun or the person ( not people whom do their own reloads i personally reload and trust each and everyone)

    If however the rounds you came across are factory loads and you can inspect them for no damage via casing etc you are perfectly fine to load em up and go crazy! As mentioned previous I myself have fired a ton of surplus and even just "around the house" ammo to be a few decades old!

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I have ammo that is over 30 years old, back when I was in my teens I had boxes of WW2 45 acp that worked just fine. You should be careful with somebody else reloads.
    This ammo was made by Hornady, they produced by "Frontier" brand. I'd put the date of it to be able 1990 or 1991.
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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    If you can't tell something is physically wrong with he ammo, such as corroded or a cracked case and the weight seems to be steady across all the loadings, and it was in fact loaded by a competent manufacture then it SHOULD be safe to shoot.

    If the cartridge was stored wrong, then the powder would have degraded (faster). So do not try to do a rapid string of shots until you know how the ammo would react. You don't want to try to send a round down range with one stuck in the pipe.

    I know you are a Sig guy, and most Sigs should be able to handle +P loads, so you should be able to safely shoot them. I would not shoot them out of an old, poor quality, or a firearm in poor shape though.
    Well, they've been stored in a ammo box, perhaps not the best way to have them stored but they have been dry and in normal temps over the course of them being stored away. From the research I've done on them, they're manufactured by Hornady and purchased between 1990 & 1991, I'd guess.

    Yeah, the SIG's can handle +P ammo with ease, they'll even run Tul ammo. *LOL* There doesn't look to be anything wrong with the ammo except that the rounds are about 3 or 4mm shorter thatn the stand Winchester rounds that are stored with them but that's all.

    I figure I'll try to run it through the Ruger just in case, no need to jack up one of the SIG's if one of the rounds decides to get stuck in the barrel. *LOL*
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEX_XDM40compact View Post
    Just to chime in on whats already been mentioned

    From what your research showed it was reman ammo from a company?( you can generally tell this from the striker mark on the casing or the brass to seem to be in a used fashion) in this case I personally would just keep it as novelty items or toss it if its only a handful / box of 50 or so. Only due to the reman process, and after hearing horror stories of people who have bought others reloads and it not ending to good for the gun or the person ( not people whom do their own reloads i personally reload and trust each and everyone)

    If however the rounds you came across are factory loads and you can inspect them for no damage via casing etc you are perfectly fine to load em up and go crazy! As mentioned previous I myself have fired a ton of surplus and even just "around the house" ammo to be a few decades old!
    As per this ammo, I know that it was from Hornady, the re-man. thing came from some research that had mentioned that Hornady had done a lot of re-man. with older military ammo but being that this stuff was purchased between '90 & '91 and ammo wasn't in short supply back then, I don't that this stuff was re-manu. as Hornady stopped making "Frontier" ammo in '91 according to an article that they had responded one in '96.
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Thank You One & All.

    Well, I'd like to thank everyone for being so helpful and informative to this query of mine. everyone's input has been most helpful indeed. Thank you all once again.

    Now where did I put the tracer ammo? *LMBO*
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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