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Thread: Ammunition

  1. #1
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    So I know a lot of people I shoot with and myself included shoot as much as I can in accordance with my schedule and budget.

    I usually shoot whatever is cheap and fairly decent -- however I use JHP for my carry loads.

    Not many of us have had to fire our carry rounds -- if in fact your carry rounds differ from what you shoot at the range (I know someone will bring up the point of practice with what you carry -- but lets avoid that for just a minute )

    Assuming this case -- how long would be advisable to carry these rounds unfired -- 1 year -- 5 years?

    Some of the JHP's can be quite expensive and I am not ready to spend 17-25 dollars a box to practice.

    Just wondering if this is the case with anyone else and how long you wait before you fire these loads and put 'fresh' ammunition in the magazine.

    Maybe an off the wall question for some of you, but I think it is a legitimate concern for misfires, hangfires, etc...

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    I have some old .380 ammo that I've had for 10-15 years and I wondered the same thing. The stuff recently fired OK, it just made the barrel a little dirtier from the patina on the brass when I did finally use it. Likewise, I've acquired Korean War surplus rifle ammo that fires just fine 50 years later (that stuff was sealed for storage pretty well though). I also recently sold a leftover box of S&W short .38 rounds at the shop that looked like a package from the 60s and the guy said it worked fine. So, my belief/experience is that as long as you keep it dry and it's not visibly corroded, you should be OK for a couple/few decades, even if it looks cruddy.

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    I have some old .380 ammo that I've had for 10-15 years and I wondered the same thing. The stuff recently fired OK, it just made the barrel a little dirtier from the patina on the brass when I did finally use it. Likewise, I've acquired Korean War surplus rifle ammo that fires just fine 50 years later (that stuff was sealed for storage pretty well though). I also recently sold a leftover box of S&W short .38 rounds at the shop that looked like a package from the 60s and the guy said it worked fine. So, my belief/experience is that as long as you keep it dry and it's not visibly corroded, you should be OK for a couple/few decades, even if it looks cruddy.

    -ljp
    I have to agree with Legba......I've shot 50+ year old mil-surp that ran just fine but, as he said, it was sealed for storage.
    I do "cycle" my magazines at least once a month or so(when I go shooting etc) and inspect my carry ammo......if I notice ANY level of tarnish or if it seems to be overly "worn" from loading/unloading the mags, I replace it with fresh ammo and "shoot up" whatever was replaced.


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    I try to cycle it as best I can -- But I am a college student with a lot of bills and overhead so fmj compared to jhp can ratio from 3:1 sometimes monitarily, and I like to get as much practice as possible, but your info was more than helpful.

    Also, how long do the springs in magazines last typically if you keep them fully loaded all the time? Some people advised me against this, but I would much rather pay for new springs every so often than pull an unloaded gun out of my dresser when someone burglarizes my home!

    Also -- COMP-TECH is that a sigma on your avatar

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    openryan wrote:
    Also, how long do the springs in magazines last typically if you keep them fully loaded all the time? Some people advised me against this, but I would much rather pay for new springs every so often than pull an unloaded gun out of my dresser when someone burglarizes my home!
    I have two magazines for my Firestar. One stays loaded all the time. I notive that the loaded one seems easier to reload than the "fresh" one, but I never have a problem feeding.

    Since Star is out of business, this is a concern for me, but if you know where to look mags are still available.

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    openryan wrote:
    I try to cycle it as best I can -- But I am a college student with a lot of bills and overhead so fmj compared to jhp can ratio from 3:1 sometimes monitarily, and I like to get as much practice as possible, but your info was more than helpful.

    Also, how long do the springs in magazines last typically if you keep them fully loaded all the time? Some people advised me against this, but I would much rather pay for new springs every so often than pull an unloaded gun out of my dresser when someone burglarizes my home!

    Also -- COMP-TECH is that a sigma on your avatar
    I have a few pistols that I have kept the mags loaded for 20+ years (I do shoot them) without a problem and have never replaced springs. I have had to replace springs in a couple of "aftermarket" mags....I don't use "cheapos" any more just for that reason. Most of the issue with mag springs was in old guns....with stuff made within the last 10+ years, you don't have to worry too much about it as long as you use them at least every few months or so.
    My Ruger MkII (bought new in '89) has had mags loaded for several years WITHOUT being used and still has no problems. If you wonder why it wasn't used for years.....I moved to Colorado for 6 years and left it behind at my grandparents house....that's why I have 2 of them now
    Here is an interesting thread about ammo choice from someone that is truly "in the know".............
    http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/for...5471026821/p/1

    BTW, yep...that is a Sigma

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    That Smith forum is charming, if you're a psychopath. A bit over-the-top with the body count stuff. "Deadmeat2" has issues, I dare say. I know the coroner in town here, and an assistant ME who fills in for surrounding counties as well, and they aren't quite as glib about their war stories.

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    That Smith forum is charming, if you're a psychopath. A bit over-the-top with the body count stuff. "Deadmeat2" has issues, I dare say. I know the coroner in town here, and an assistant ME who fills in for surrounding counties as well, and they aren't quite as glib about their war stories.

    -ljp
    Yes, that particular thread over there is a bit unsettling to hear.

    I suppose you would want to base your choice of ammunition upon wound and ballistic data, which only make sense, but this guy seems to have added a little too much information at some points. But nonetheless, it is interesting.


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    Legba wrote:
    That Smith forum is charming, if you're a psychopath. A bit over-the-top with the body count stuff. "Deadmeat2" has issues, I dare say. I know the coroner in town here, and an assistant ME who fills in for surrounding counties as well, and they aren't quite as glib about their war stories.

    -ljp
    I didn't mean to imply that it was "charming" by any means......I just found it to be very interesting information about bullet choice from someone with a "real life" educated opinion.
    Just thought someone might find the info usefull..............

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    Taken in the spirit intended. I was just being sarcastic and editorializing about the content, not attributing any recommendations to you.

    -ljp

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    I try to rotate my carry ammo frequently about 3-4 months in my pistol then I fire it. It makes practice a little more expensive but its worth it for 2 reasons.
    1: It makes me more confident in my pistols reliability with my carry load.
    2: I lessen the chance something like solvent fumes or contamination will make the primers on my ammunition (and me if I need them) dead.

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    I rotate my loaded mag. about once a month to allow the spring to extend/relax in one of the spares. I read about this in an article in "GUNS" magazine a few years ago .

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    I cycle thru my ammo fairly fast, so it is almost never more than a couple months old.

    But, when I first got into shooting, after my grandfather died and I inherited his old stuff. I had .38 special, .22LR, 12 gauge, and some other calibers, all of them were at least 30-40 years old, as my grandfather had not been out shooting in a very long time. All of the ammo worked as good as the new ammo I have gotten more recently. So, my oppinion is that as long as it is stored relatively dry, it should work for a several decades.

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    Kind of related to another thread I posted

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum5/3235.html

    For some reason the website states that the ammunition only has a shelf life of three years, all it is is a primer, anyone have any insight as to why this is, or just a CYA for defective ammo?


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    Well, Openryan, if you're really concerned about it, every 30 days, please send all unsused ammo to me for proper disposal.

    That being said, most of mine doesn't SIT AROUND long enough to be worried about.

    Not, Shayne picked up some unidentified surplus ammo for his Nagant, that was probably made..... about the same time the rifle was (1940).

    It's been more reliable than the WWB we've been using in the other guns.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    It's not for carry, but I've fired ammunition that was over eighty years old. Yeah, funky milsurp calibers. Only problem with it is it starts to become collectable in it's own right...

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    zoom6zoom wrote:
    It's not for carry, but I've fired ammunition that was over eighty years old. Yeah, funky milsurp calibers. Only problem with it is it starts to become collectable in it's own right...
    Amazing huh! I once met a gunsmith that grew up in Africa and he told me he recently fired ammo. from around 1900. He said as long as the bullet was sealed properly it should last.

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    About ten years ago I was SCUBA diving on a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina. The wreck was a WWI destroyer that had sunk after colliding with another ship in a fogbank around 1918 or so.

    Laying around the shipwreck was live ordnance, including .30-06 cartridges as well as some bigger, nastier stuff we were told not to touch. I grabbed a handful of the 06, shouved it into my BC pocket,and, from over 100 feet beneath the sea, brought it up and took it home with me.

    The brass casings had barnacles growing on them, and the copper jackets were splitting open due to the lead swelling out. My dad and I examined them, and decided to open them up and let the insides dry out. When we pulled the projectiles out, seawater blasted out under 4 atmospheres of pressure and scared the crap out of me (this was several days after they had been pulled from the water).

    A few days later they were dry, and I found that the propellant was still inside. I dumped the grains out on the floor of the garage, and lit them with a lighter.

    Woosh!

    80-odd years being at 4 atmospheres of depth, filled with corrosive seawater, and the pwder still lights right up. I wonder how long ammo stays usable at that depth before seawater seeps past the seal.

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