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Thread: Does ammo ever go bad?

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    I know many people say that you should keep 500 rounds. How long can you keep them before they stop working, or is gunpowder like true love, lasting forever?

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    Keep it cool and dry, and it will last your lifetime. A lot of old and cracked WWII 8mm ammo which was kept in warm and humid conditions still functions fine, so you shouldn't have any worries if you store it properly. What I do is I fill up 50 caliber cans with ammo, and pour some silica gel cat litter in the bottom.

    By the way, 500 rounds is basically nothing. You should always have as much ammo as possible.
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    Looks like the Government starts to test rifle ammo after 10 years.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/wo...mp;_r=2&hp

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    What a great article. That kid should run for office!

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    I have had ammo for 12 years or longer and it fired just fine.

    I have about 10,000 rounds+ now and I keep it cool and dry.....

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I have had ammo for 12 years or longer and it fired just fine.

    I have about 10,000 rounds+ now and I keep it cool and dry.....
    Any advice/tips/information you can give about storage of ammo? How do you store it, LEO? Is it a hazard to keep that much?

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    "Cool and dry" is probably a clue....

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    I try to buy my ammo in bulk at gun shows so it comes in mil surp ammo cans. I have ammased 8-10 skinny-fifty's, 2 fat-fifty's, and three 'cases' of SA 7.62x51 ammo. All of which are metal boxes with rubber seals, camlock hasps, and carry handles. Stuffed in the back corner of the closet, they'll keep 'fresh' longer than I'll be alive....assuming they don't get consumed of course!

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    ama-gi wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    I have had ammo for 12 years or longer and it fired just fine.

    I have about 10,000 rounds+ now and I keep it cool and dry.....
    Any advice/tips/information you can give about storage of ammo? How do you store it, LEO? Is it a hazard to keep that much?
    A hazard to whom? The zombies?

    Right now I'm at a low of about 3,000 rounds... I've been meaning to get ammo cans, but I'm currently most of it in the original cardboard boxes in a basement with a dehumidifier, so it stays around 52 degrees and dry.

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    Um, I have some Mil-Surp.30-06 from the CMP program (Greek HXP) M1 clipped from 1971 and loose from 1968. Never had a single misfire or problem!

    My guess if cared for....40 years!


    (REAL ammo comes in SPAM CANS!):celebrate

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    I've fired 50-70 year old milsurp in mausers and mosin nagants.

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    ama-gi wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    I have had ammo for 12 years or longer and it fired just fine.

    I have about 10,000 rounds+ now and I keep it cool and dry.....
    Any advice/tips/information you can give about storage of ammo? How do you store it, LEO? Is it a hazard to keep that much?
    Up off the floor and in a cool but dryspot in the house.

    Only dangerous if the house catches fire. I can only imagine that I should probably have a placard on allsides of my house to warn the everyone.

    But this against my HOA rules.



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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    A hazard to whom? The zombies?
    ....snipped
    I saw the movie with Will Smith.... I believe it could happen and have stocked up just in case.

    I have 9MM and .223 so I am ready for anything.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I love that sign. Like all those semis goin down the road. And wow, that would suck if the house cought fire and the ammo wasn't in a fire box.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    A hazard to whom? The zombies?
    ....snipped
    I saw the movie with Will Smith.... I believe it could happen and have stocked up just in case.

    I have 9MM and .223 so I am ready for any poodles.
    Fixed that for you!.

    (hehehehehe)

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    I have Turkish 8mm from 1938 and 39!!! Fires great and makes HUGE fireballs out the end of my M24/47. The headstamps are really cool too, they have the star and crescent symbol of Islam plus the year. I only have a couple hundred rounds of this stuff so I use it very sparingly. 180 grain nickel plated FMJ's really pack a wallop and can drill holes at 100 yards within a 3 in circle.

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    my ammo supply is consistantly in rotation, so I wouldn't know if it had a shelf life

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    ama-gi wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    I have had ammo for 12 years or longer and it fired just fine.

    I have about 10,000 rounds+ now and I keep it cool and dry.....
    Any advice/tips/information you can give about storage of ammo? How do you store it, LEO? Is it a hazard to keep that much?
    Up off the floor and in a cool but dryspot in the house.

    Only dangerous if the house catches fire. I can only imagine that I should probably have a placard on allsides of my house to warn the everyone.

    But this against my HOA rules.

    As a Firefighter stored ammunition poses no threat to your home, neighbors or firefighters.

    One reason why you should NEVER store a firearm with a round in the chamber is because should that round cook off it will fire just as if the hammer fell on it with full force. In a semi auto, it's possible for the weapon to continue firing in this manner until the magazine is empty.

    Other than noise thats it. Ammo not in a chamber will go in both directions with equal force, some studies show the brass case has more energy than the bullet. *while it won't pierce the skin, it could put out an eye.

    Gun powder (not loaded) is of course very flammable and care must be taken in storage as opposed to loaded ammunition.

    As to the original topic, Store your ammo in a sealed containers, be it tupperware or mil surp ammo cans. That ammo will be good for your grandchildren.

    Like others here, I'm shooting 1930's production 8mm mauser that up until I got it was stored in wooden crates in cloth bandoleers. Who knows in what conditions it was stored, it was shipped from turkey on a ship across the oceans, probably sat on a pier for weeks before getting cleared to ship to wholesalers....

    I think out of 500 rounds fired thus far I've had one dud. Everything else functions just as good as the day it was produced. I've been shooting lots of 40's production 7.62x54r as well, this was stored in tins and it'll group 1MOA with the right gun.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    .....Only dangerous if the house catches fire.....
    Actually it is not even dangerous then. It is not like the movies where they throw some ammo in the fire and it goes off.

    In a fire the indivigual cartridges will burst, but the rounds won't fire and no one will be shot.

    As the cartridge is heated it will rupture from the expansion of the gas inside. The powder may then burn.

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    Prometheus wrote:
    One reason why you should NEVER store a firearm with a round in the chamber is because should that round cook off it will fire just as if the hammer fell on it with full force.
    Cook-offs may happen after very long strings of fire, when the rifle is set aside with a live round in the chamber. The temp of the chamber may be hot enough to actually make the round fire. However, from what I've been told by a top-notch instructor, cook-offs are like bigfoot sightings - you hear about them, but rarely, if ever, see them.


    *edit - just having a round chambered in a home defence weapon, for example, doesn't even remotely creat the conditions needed for a round to cook-off

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    It is all bad, give it to me



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    Sa45auto wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    .....Only dangerous if the house catches fire.....
    Actually it is not even dangerous then. It is not like the movies where they throw some ammo in the fire and it goes off.

    In a fire the indivigual cartridges will burst, but the rounds won't fire and no one will be shot.

    As the cartridge is heated it will rupture from the expansion of the gas inside. The powder may then burn.
    You can see how often I throw rounds into the fire..

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    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    Just having a round chambered in a home defence weapon, for example, doesn't even remotely creat the conditions needed for a round to cook-off
    Why not? In a housefire, the gun will get as hot as the surrounding fire. Since a campfire is hot enough to cause rounds to cook off, a housefire certainly is.

    I have no doubt that if you were to take a loaded gun and toss it in a campfire, within a few minutes it would fire. Likewise a home-defense weapon in a housefire. I'm not so sure an autoloader would cycle through the magazine, though; I'd think the rounds have just as much chance of blowing in the magazine as in the chamber.

    Hmm. This would be a cool one for Mythbusters to test.

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    swillden wrote:
    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    Just having a round chambered in a home defence weapon, for example, doesn't even remotely creat the conditions needed for a round to cook-off
    Why not? In a housefire, the gun will get as hot as the surrounding fire. Since a campfire is hot enough to cause rounds to cook off, a housefire certainly is.

    I have no doubt that if you were to take a loaded gun and toss it in a campfire, within a few minutes it would fire. Likewise a home-defense weapon in a housefire. I'm not so sure an autoloader would cycle through the magazine, though; I'd think the rounds have just as much chance of blowing in the magazine as in the chamber.

    Hmm. This would be a cool one for Mythbusters to test.
    That would be a cool one to see. Unfortunately, I don't think it is feasible. Isn't there an issue with blanks not cycling a semi-auto? If it won't cycle with blanks how dangerous would that test be? It would have to be conducted in a bullet-proof room and then how would you vent the heat source without leaving the at least slight chance of a richocet leaving through that vent? But it would be really neat!
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    deepdiver wrote:
    That would be a cool one to see. Unfortunately, I don't think it is feasible. Isn't there an issue with blanks not cycling a semi-auto? If it won't cycle with blanks how dangerous would that test be? It would have to be conducted in a bullet-proof room and then how would you vent the heat source without leaving the at least slight chance of a richocet leaving through that vent? But it would be really neat!
    Yeah, it might take some effort to build a safe test chamber. They wouldn't necessarily have to use a fire, though. They could use an electric heat source, adjusted to the correct temperature. If they did want to use a fire that could probably be done too, but it would require some careful engineering.

    If I were trying to test the myth, I think I'd dig a hole then cover the roof with two or three layers of sandbags. Then I'd heat the gun in an electric oven, inside the test chamber.

    I'd like to see what happens to some of the polymer frame pistols. I think the polymer would melt before the rounds cook off. Of course the barrel and chamber aren't polymer, but the plastic does hold some of the pieces in position. My guess is that the chamber would stay closed after the polymer is melted, so the chambered round would fire "normally", but that the magazine wouldn't stay in position so even if the rounds didn't cook off in the mag, they wouldn't feed. I'd also be curious if a handgun that is just lying on some surface would cycle properly even if the magazine were in place.

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