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Thread: ammo life expectancy

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    Igot one how long will ammo last? I bought a box of gold dots about a year ago. and inVA. the weather is humid. So would that make them go out (expire)sooner?

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    If you are concerned about ammo then do the right thing and go and use it.

    As long as the ammo isn't submerged in moisture for anything more than a second or two, you're fine. Humid environments are fine as long as you treat things fine.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Your ammo will last longer than you do if stored properly. Cool , dry and with a dessicant in a closed metal box (ammo can) and your great-grand children will be taking it to the range.

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    As long as you keep it inside, your ammo will last decades.

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    The only honest answer is indefinetly.

    I have personally seen apaperPauly-style cartridge from before the Franco-Prussian War, that still manged to fire. Not to mention the.44 Henrys.

    Think of all the surplus, of grandads old 12 gauge boxes, its really quite amazing the history and longevity of ammunition.

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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Echoing the others, it can last almost indefinitely. Proper storage is the best way to extend its shelf life. Do your best to avoid moisture and heat. GI ammo cans or "dry boxes" are best for long storage. Dessicants help. Avoid high heat (do not store in the attic in the South or South West). 30 or 40 years? No problem at all.
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    Now let me add to the discussion.

    What about the ammo you carry for self defense? The ammo that stays loaded in your magazine on a daily basis. How often shoudl you replace it to be sure you have dependable ammo when you need it.

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    That's a good question. I replace mine every 5-6 months. I just shoot it at the range and replace it with a mag full of new stuff.

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    That is a great way to do it. It rotates "fresh"into the mag and gets you some practice with "the good stuff".
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    If you re-chamber your defense ammo into your auto pistol regularly (for dry-fire practice, cleaning, etc.), then you also need to be aware of bullet setback.

    Regarding .40S&W specifically:

    "This was first confirmed via a European cartridge maker (Hirtenberger in Austria) from information given to me by a high level Glock representative. 1/10" set back can cause pressures to double from 35,000 psi to 70,000 psi.

    Note this was achieved with factory ammo and without the detrimental effect of lead build up in the barrels. I also had 'off the record' confirmations of this from two U.S. sources, one governmental and one manufacturer." - http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/kb-notes.html

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    diesel556 wrote:
    If you re-chamber your defense ammo into your auto pistol regularly (for dry-fire practice, cleaning, etc.), then you also need to be aware of bullet setback.

    Regarding .40S&W specifically:

    "This was first confirmed via a European cartridge maker (Hirtenberger in Austria) from information given to me by a high level Glock representative. 1/10" set back can cause pressures to double from 35,000 psi to 70,000 psi.

    Note this was achieved with factory ammo and without the detrimental effect of lead build up in the barrels. I also had 'off the record' confirmations of this from two U.S. sources, one governmental and one manufacturer." - http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/kb-notes.html
    I'm not sure I understand from this - please explain more.
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    since9 wrote:
    I'm not sure I understand from this - please explain more.
    By chambering the same round over and over it is supposedly possible to push the bullet into the casing which can increase pressure beyond SAAMI specifications.

    Take a look at the link I provided previously; it has a much better explanation.

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    diesel556 wrote:
    since9 wrote:
    I'm not sure I understand from this - please explain more.
    By chambering the same round over and over it is supposedly possible to push the bullet into the casing which can increase pressure beyond SAAMI specifications.

    Take a look at the link I provided previously; it has a much better explanation.
    What I do to avoid this is lock it back, and drop it in the hole. I know, "NOOO, the extractor!" But I push the extractor in and close it slowly. Then release the extractor and pop it open to make sure its caught correctly. Requires an external extractor, though. IIRC, the number of times an individual bullet is supposed to be chambered is two or three.

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    During my 25 year tour of duty in the Army we regularly fired both small arms and tank cannon ammunition dated 1945 and anything in between. Ammunition if kept dry as has been stated will last for a long, long time.
    ‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’ Thomas Jefferson

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    My ammo life is about 2 weeks

    rhnhjh79 wrote:
    Igot one how long will ammo last? I bought a box of gold dots about a year ago. and inVA. the weather is humid. So would that make them go out (expire)sooner?

  17. #17
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    the oldest ammo i've fired was 1938 Nazi marked 8x56r. it went bang and hit the target as planned with no problems. and might i say that it was quite hotter than modern commercial loads of the same round.

    ammo will outlive you.
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  18. #18
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    Ammo can and will last you forever if stored properly. I keep mine in .30 & .50 Cal ammo cans. I place a desiccant packet in each can. I place them on heavy duty shelf system. I have some ammo that has been stored now for over 20 years in various calibers. I have some WW1 era 1917 dated .30-06 Sprgfld that is still good to shoot. Although it is corrosive so i don't really shoot it much.

    As for carry ammo, and how often i rotate it out. I switched out my .45 230grn Fed Hydra-Shock circa 1995 carry ammo just last month for fresh rounds, This ammo went bang and hit POA/POI at 25 yrds with out a hitch. That was 15 years old, and carried everyday. I have a can of WW2 circa 1943 .45acp that i haven't opened yet. Im sure that will go off too.

    So as long as you store your ammo properly and take certain precautions then you shouldn't have any problems at all.

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