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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I know old is a relative term.
I have a supply of 30.06 Boxed up in 1950. In the days before Brady bill and Liberals stopping surplus sales I purchased a quality of it .
Simple really, I shoot both the M1 Grand and 1903 Spring Field The US Army 150 gr round is prefect for those weapons. With re-boxed dates of 1950 it is assured they were around longer than that.
We will just go with 1950. In card board box and no special storage, I have had these rounds a long time. Once in a while I get the urge to fire some so I do.
Today I pulled a round from random boxes and shot some. As always every round fired just as it should. When that was done I pulled some mid 70's .223 and 5.56( about 1978 production) with the same results, these were stored in good condition ammo cans. Just something to think about when we get the ammo won't keep for ever speech.
 

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The biggest thing to worry about with old ammo is if it has crossover primers, which requires a different type of cleaning routine.
 

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There's another thread here about whether we should throw away old out-of-date meds. Some people say yes, others say no, so I should think the same applies to ammo.
Sure, old meds and old ammo might work fine on Doomsday, but on the other hand they might be useless, so it's all down to individual choice and how much they like trusting to luck.
Personally I'd ditch old meds and ammo without a qualm and buy fresh stuff, it's called "making your own luck"..:)
 

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Old medications are frequently still useable, just a little less potent than when they were first produced. One need simply to increase the dosage a little bit for full effect. As an example, I have used out of date penicillin purchased in Mexico and it was quite effective in eliminating a bronchial infection. Ammunition, if stored properly, (meaning not exposed to water or extreme heat or contaminants such as oil or solvent) can outlast a person's natural life. I have World War Two Era Nazi and Soviet ammunition which fires as though it had been manufactured yesterday -- meaning no misfires.
 

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I have some surplus .303 that is older than dirt and works just fine. Thankfully it was stored properly.
 
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Properly stored ammo will last damn near forever. I would never "throw out old ammo" unless it was obviously corroded, or had been stored improperly. At the absolutely most, it would be relegated to training or hunting use, and not carry/defensive use.
 

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I'm no ballistics expert but I've had ammo in 30-06 I owned when I was a kid that fired just fine. I don't have that 30-06 anymore but I bet that old bullet I have on my computer table would still fire.
 

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I shoot 1950's 30-06 and 7.62x25 on a regular basis with no issues. One tip, that I was told way back when, is to shake the rounds before use. This will loosen up any powder that has settled due to storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have some surplus .303 that is older than dirt and works just fine. Thankfully it was stored properly.
Wish I had acquired more of the 303 when I had the chance, shot up most of what I had.
 

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Wish I had acquired more of the 303 when I had the chance, shot up most of what I had.
I have a gnetleman who is pushing 70 that has been collecting, shooting, and working on Enfields for over 50 years. He has an impressive personal collection as well well as a few for sale at all times. He's not as active in it as he used to be and now only mostly sells at Militaria shows. He is sitting ion a couple thousand rounds of Privi surplus.

Cabella's has it for $17.99 a box, and it's reloadable.
 

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My dad has a small stash of .308's from the late 50's he got from his dad, and hasn't ever had an issue with them. They shot just as well as new rounds I had with me.
 

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There are only two things that affect the viability of powder; heat (above 100 F) and UV light (not possible in loaded rounds). Smokeless powder can never be dangerous even if it has been exposed to high heat, it just loses some of its power. The worst that could happen would be a bullet stuck in the barrel. while that might be disastrous in a fire fight it would only ruin your afternoon in most cases.

There are two problems with the very old loaded ammo; If it was loaded using Mercuric primers then the fired brass will have a very limited life - the Mercury gets into the brass and it becomes worthless. During the change-over from Mercuric to "modern" primers certain nitrate salts were used and they will erode a throat and bore very quickly if not properly cleaned. If you take the time to properly clean your weapon after shooting then you have little worries associated with primer material.
 

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Ammo has a undefined shelf life and it is longer than you think

My dad and I were just discussing some 4831 powder we are using to reload my .243 with, he purchased it back in the 60's as government overstock at $1 a pound and so he purchased 100# of it. We are still working on that same batch, still performs as it should, probably this is Korean War era.

If after 60 years the powder still works, imagine your sealed ammo cartridge, seriously it practically indefinite shelf life
 

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I would ditch out of date meds(I have transplant meds to take)as far as ammo,mine is in 50 cal ammo boxes in big ziplock baggies some of it is 25+ years old and goes bang every time.my sd ammo is upstairs in my vault nears my firearms.
 
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