How long does ammo last?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Jimbo, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. I have a magazine loaded with self defense ammo (Powerball) and I use the other two magazines at the range. Since I don't go around shooting people for the fun of it, and I am not attacked on a regular basis that means that self defense ammo goes unused. (except for the few I tested fired before hand) How long of a shelf life does ammo have, and how long should I go before firing it and replacing it with a new batch?

  2. Redhawk41mag

    Redhawk41mag New Member

    I normally recycle my ammo once a year due to the high humidity here in Floriduh. This means every Feb, I shoot off any ammo I dont have in a ammo can, stuff in mags and leftovers from boxes of ammo students give me. Makes for a fun afternoon!!

  3. From my research on ammo shelf life I have found out that if you keep your rounds in a dark, cool place (i.e army ammo cans) they been known to last 50 plus years. Some people claim that they are still using WW1 ammo with no problems.

    That's why I keep all my ammo in the .50 cal army cans.

    Some good reads:
  4. iGlock

    iGlock Lead Farmer

    I leave my ammo in the box its in or i put it in a closed case of some type but its up in my closet were its dark and such. Is this good enough to were my ammo will last a few months?
  5. jfirecops

    jfirecops New Member

    It is good to rotate the top round in your mag, other than that you should be good for at least a couple of years if not longer depending on climate and carry conditions. I shoot my carry rounds and purchase new ones each year, but that is just a personal thing I picked up when I was a LEO, but there is nothing scientific about my reasons.
  6. jelder

    jelder New Member

    Here's the thing Jim. Honestly would u like to trust your life on any ammo over than a year? It runs u at the most 50$ a year. Me personally I don't even chance it. Like said above I shoot all mine off every tax season. Just purchased 200 rounds today for my spouse and I. And next Wednesday day we will b at the range shooting all the old stuff. Bottom line is I wouldn't put your life at risk! Just spend a few dollars and get some new stuff. :)
  7. mikecu

    mikecu New Member

    I just shot up a bunch of ammo, that I bought in the early 80's, without any issues.
  8. What I figured.

    That's why I am asking. ;)

    I just got my 1911, and G23 for Christmas, so I don't need to replace any ammo anytime soon. I guess for each Christmas I'll be shooting off a few rounds. :D

  9. :)

    I've got a Mosin Nagant and some WWII 7.62 X 54 ammo that is just dying to put that theory to the test. :D Unfortunately I live in a urban area and the local ranges don't allow that type of ammo to be fired. I'll have to wait for summer and vacation time to shoot it out in the country. I too keep my ammo in ammo cans in the bottom of my closet.

  10. Why?

    Never heard this one before, why?

  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Sponsor Lifetime Supporting Member

    Everytime I buy ammo, I dated the box or crate it comes in. I personally own and have shot ammo from 1999 ( and the price tag was still on makes me sick to see how much it has "shot" up !!)

    That being said...rotate your self defense ammo, especially the top round(s) you chamber than unchambered due to a little thing called "setback".

    The act of rechambering the same cartridge over and over will push the bullet back into the cartridge which can result in FTF's...

    Most ammo will last for decades given it is stored in the right, dark & dry. And the guys above are right...the Army uses those cans for a reason beside portability.
  12. jfirecops

    jfirecops New Member

    What Shooter13 said, the bullet can be pushed back into the pressure causing a FTF or high pressure
  13. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Sponsor Lifetime Supporting Member

    Thanks for the backup jfirecops...!!

    Here's a good vid on the subject...

  14. On a car forum I am on, we can rate members with a plus or a minus. Shooter13, and jfirecops would certainly have earned pluses from me. Thanks!

  15. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Sponsor Lifetime Supporting Member

    Thanks... Anytime I can help my friend !!
  16. jfirecops

    jfirecops New Member

    Thanks, glad we could help
  17. A guy on this forum claims he is shoot rounds from the early cold war:

    A lot of people are saying if you keep the rounds out of the elements they will last a long time.

    An according to this: surplus ammo is still being sold an used to day and that stuff is old as WW1.
  18. MikeDeltaRomeo

    MikeDeltaRomeo New Member

    Get yourself some surplus ammo cans and stock pile ammo in cool place, with little to no moisture. I bought some surplus Yugo 7.63x39 ammo in a 800rd sealed spam can; it was dated 1979, I opened it and it shot great no problems; have only shot 300 rds but I don't anticpate any problems.
  19. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker New Member

    I've used ammo made in German Democratic Republic in mid 60s that wasn't kept in ideal conditions and it functioned fine.
  20. if stored correctly ammo is good for a very long time. In the early 90s I was stationed in Germany at an ammunition Pre-Stockage Point (PSP) which is one step below depot level storage, which is huge. Anyway, for ranges we were using 5.56MM produced in the early 70s and we were issuing artillery projectiles for training use that were produced in the 40s.