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Old 07-09-2013, 12:27   #1
Raptor5
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Ammo shelf life??

Okay, I have about 250 rounds of 12 ga. shotgun shells (00 buck and rifled slugs). dated 2005 left over from a tactical shotgun course I took bout then.
I went to the range the other day and took my Remington 1157 auto shotgun and, to my chagrin, the shotgun failed to cycle after firing one round! The slugs and buck functioned the same.
My question is, do shotgun shells have a shelf life??
This makes me nervous for the couple thousand rounds I have stockpiled of 7.62X39 and 5.45 X39 for my AKs.
Anyone have a similar experience??

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:40   #2
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Kept dry, ammo should stay good for a long, long time. A long time as in many decades. If the ammo functioned fine before, I'd concentrate on the problem being with the gun at this time.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:46   #3
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Agreed.

I've been issued 7.62 Nato belts with headstamps from 1967. In 2006.

I know guys who were firing off .50 BMG belts in Iraq in 2006/2007ish time frame that were made to shoot at Nazis. They got around 1-2 duds per 200 rounds or so IIRC.

All depends on the ammo, some cheap birdshot isn't sealed as well, etc as military ammo.
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Old 07-09-2013, 17:43   #4
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Don't listen to the previous posts. Out of date ammo is extremely hazardous. And to compound the issue you can never be 100% that your ammo is still in date. The good news, I, for no fee whatsoever will appropriately dispose of "old ammo". Just PM me and I will give you my address so you can send me your bad ammo and I will dispose of it appropriately. I do this as a service to "the children". Don't thank me, I'm a natural "giver".
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Old 07-09-2013, 17:51   #5
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Not long ago I shot some 12g # 4 from the 1960's all shot just fine. Maybe your gun dose not like the brand of ammo.
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Old 07-09-2013, 21:23   #6
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shot .303 brit and 8mm mauser from the 20's-30's with no issues
as long as it is kept at a reasonable temperature and dry, shouldnt be any issues.

If it were carry ammo, i would cycle that out every year, just for my own comfort. If it was range stuff, just shoot it!
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:57   #7
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I bought 250rds of Winchester target load at a garage sale. It was dated 8/01. So far it has shot fine. Maybe the loads were too light to cycle your gun? Not all 12GA works in Semi auto shotguns.

Last edited by fuzzy03cls; 07-10-2013 at 07:57..
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:09   #8
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Originally Posted by IhRedrider View Post
Don't listen to the previous posts. Out of date ammo is extremely hazardous. And to compound the issue you can never be 100% that your ammo is still in date. The good news, I, for no fee whatsoever will appropriately dispose of "old ammo". Just PM me and I will give you my address so you can send me your bad ammo and I will dispose of it appropriately. I do this as a service to "the children". Don't thank me, I'm a natural "giver".
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Old 07-10-2013, 14:03   #9
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Back when I first started shooting, many years ago I sent letters to Federal, Remington and one other company and asked if ammo had a shelf-life. All three sent the same basic response back to me. To paraphrase; ammo, if properly stored would out live me, my children and probably grandchildren.

I'd check your shotgun.
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Old 07-10-2013, 15:30   #10
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..........I thank you all for your input. I will strip my Remington down tonite and clean it thoroughly. I will then re-visit the range and post my experience!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 19:45   #11
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I have ran ammo that was in excess of 50 years-old at the time without a problem or a single dud (1940's vintage .45 ball). Generally, ammo stored in a proper environment will keep for a long, long, time.
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Old 07-10-2013, 20:53   #12
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Kept dry, ammo should stay good for a long, long time. A long time as in many decades. If the ammo functioned fine before, I'd concentrate on the problem being with the gun at this time.

Yup...agree a 100%
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Old 07-10-2013, 21:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IhRedrider View Post
Don't listen to the previous posts. Out of date ammo is extremely hazardous. And to compound the issue you can never be 100% that your ammo is still in date. The good news, I, for no fee whatsoever will appropriately dispose of "old ammo". Just PM me and I will give you my address so you can send me your bad ammo and I will dispose of it appropriately. I do this as a service to "the children". Don't thank me, I'm a natural "giver".
Has this ever been funny?

The first time read a variation of this the internet was still powered by phlogiston; and I fell off my dinosaur and broke my wooden underwear...
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Old 07-10-2013, 21:32   #14
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If stored properly ammo should last for a very long time.
I have shot some old mil-surp ammo from the 1930's and 1940's with no problems.
I would do a clean and inspect on the gun and look the ammo over carefully.
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Old 07-11-2013, 14:52   #15
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Has this ever been funny?

The first time read a variation of this the internet was still powered by phlogiston; and I fell off my dinosaur and broke my wooden underwear...
I know,right?
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Old 07-11-2013, 17:41   #16
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If the ammo was from 2005, when was the last time the gun was shot. I wouldn't blink about sg shells 10+ years even in marginal conditions. Rifle/pistol ammo? Indefinitely.

My Speer SOCOM waterproof? FOREVER....
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Old 07-11-2013, 18:22   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor5 View Post
I have about 250 rounds of 12 ga. shotgun shells (00 buck and rifled slugs). dated 2005
Back when I was a kid, my dad has a .410 and a box of shells.
This would have been in the 1960's. However, the gun was made
around 1910 or earlier, and the shells were from the 1920's. They
were made long before plastic shells...they were paper, or rather
cardboard shells, except for the brass.
I took them hunting, and then shot some up just plinking and
every one of them fired perfectly...no misfires at all, and they were 30 to 40 years old!

I believe if they are stored properly, that is, cool and low humidity, any shell, be it shotgun or rifle will last a lot longer
that many people think. Storage is the key.

Right now I have a few 20 gauge shells that were bought in the early 1970's that I still use once in a while with no problems.

I don't know what happened to yours, but they should have been fine after just 8 years. I don't know how they were stored, but that's not very old to have them be that problematic...unless they had picked up some moisture somewhere.

As has already been said, I would check the gun and give it a good cleaning and a bit of oil in just the right places (not too much, though).
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Last edited by douglasd; 07-11-2013 at 18:29.. Reason: correcting grammar
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Old 07-11-2013, 22:28   #18
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Ammo shelf life??

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OP I was at the range one day and a guy was shooting .45 ACP from the 20s he got from his Grandfather's estate. It went bang.
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