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Thread: Dating Ammo

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Dating Ammo

    I'm fairly new to shooting and as I've been reading a few of the threads I just thought of something. If I am buying ammo that I am not going to use right away should I be marking the purchase date on the ammo so I can keep it rotated? I guess I have the same question on my powders and reloaded rounds once I actually start reloading?

    Is there anything else I should be tracking on my ammo other then date?

  2. #2
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    I prefer dating girls (but my wife won't let me !).

    As far as production dates go on ammo, depending on the storage conditions, this product has an almost infinite shelf life.
    Much of the surplus ammo available is/was from the 1950's to 1980's and will be good for the rest of my life; and beyond. Unless ammo is stored in wet conditions, factory ammo is stable. You are in Arizona, the lack of humidity will be your friend in the storage of powder and handloaded ammo. The stuff you load should be good for a few years, if you seal the powder can(s) the same should apply.The only caution would be to control the amount of heat that you expose ammo and powder to , excess heat would shorten the shelf life of the powder in the can, not as quickly in the loaded case. As a note, I have shot 20 + year old handloads and factory ammo that was made in the 20's and 30's. Don't be too concerned.

  3. #3
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    Good to know. One of my friends has told me that he would replace all his ammo every year right before hunting season. Part of the reason for the question.

    I don't think my wife would let me date women either, but I'm not about to ask her or try it without asking, I want to be around and upwardly mobile for the Grand-kids.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    No need to worry about ammo dating any newly manufactured ammo or reloads unless you're just into that level of book keeping. I'm still shooting up German 8mm and Russian 7.62x54R that were both made before the start of WWII. Who knows how they were stored for the last 70 years, but they shoot just fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Post

    When it comes to "dating ammo", appearances can be deceiving. I always goes with what is inside the heart of the person I take out to a movie and dinner.

  6. #6
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    Dec 1969
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    I can understand changing out the hunting ammo that you used the year before, I have carried ammo in my pocket when it was raining and it has gone thru enough weather to make it fit for the range. After all, the ammo is the cheapest part of a hunting trip.
    Seriously, what is the cost of even the priciest short mag ammo in relationship to the cost of a hunt?
    Lord knows I do not need another excuse in the reasons why I did not come home with whatever I was hunting.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chw2021 View Post
    I prefer dating girls (but my wife won't let me !).

    As far as production dates go on ammo, depending on the storage conditions, this product has an almost infinite shelf life.
    Much of the surplus ammo available is/was from the 1950's to 1980's and will be good for the rest of my life; and beyond. Unless ammo is stored in wet conditions, factory ammo is stable. You are in Arizona, the lack of humidity will be your friend in the storage of powder and handloaded ammo. The stuff you load should be good for a few years, if you seal the powder can(s) the same should apply.The only caution would be to control the amount of heat that you expose ammo and powder to , excess heat would shorten the shelf life of the powder in the can, not as quickly in the loaded case. As a note, I have shot 20 + year old handloads and factory ammo that was made in the 20's and 30's. Don't be too concerned.
    I was siting here rereading some of these old posts and realized a question that I missed when this thread was active. What is the difference between commercially produced ammo and hand loading that would make the commercial ammo have a much better shelf life? Are they sealed other then just being crimped? If so how are they sealed?
    If you think gun control is the answer, look what happened in Australia when they banned all hand guns in 1996? NEW LINK! 8/3/2013
    Try here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4tS0DGDf0I
    or here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

    English Warning "Our Gun Ban caused 40% jump in Gun Crime" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTyCD2n6HAQ


    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  8. #8
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    I have always wanted to start a thread, besting each other on who has not just shot the oldest ammo but has actually taken game with old ammo. I have taken a number of head of big game with ammo from the 1950's. But my best is a buffalo I harvested with an original 1868 Sharpes 50-70 gov't. The cartridge was loaded in the 1870's. The shot penatrated over 3' in the buff. I always leave on the ground, for future explorers to find, all empties that I fire at game. Someone in the future will find and date this old brass, realise it was found in historic buffalo country, and maybe come to the conclusion that it had taken a buffalo, which it did. The only rub is that the buffalo it took was 130 years later than they think.

  9. #9
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    30-30remchester

    Funny story about leaving empty cases behind for others to find.

    A good friend of mine is a Custer Buff and collects everything relating to Custer that he can get his hands on. He knew that I collected old cartridges so he told me about a plaque that used to hang on his den wall. It held 5 or 6 old cartridge cases that he had found in Montana near the Little Bighorn battlefield. He showed it, with pride, to anyone who was interested in it. One day, another Custer Buff saw the plaque and asked, "Larry, why are you displaying those 30-06 cartridges?" Larry knew nothing about cartridges or rifles or anything related to shooting. He assumed that they were related to the Little bighorn, not realizing that they were probably dropped there by a deer hunter not many years before. Larry said he was embarrassed beyond belief. All he could think about were the many people he had shown them to, some of whom were probably even more embarrassed, more so that they would not say anything to him. Larry now laughs about it, but that plaque is in a box somewhere in the attic.

    Ray

  10. #10
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    The only ammunition I have ever had significant misfire problems with is a few rounds of click-no bang 1927-dated 7.5 Swiss, and some 1950-1952 dated Czech 7.62X25 and 9X19 that showed some signs of questionable storage when I got it.

    Just last summer, I fired off a bunch of .30-06 handloads that I had put together in 1970 and 1971. Not ONE problem with ANY of them.

    +1 on the storage.

    I keep about half of my ammunition in an old, dead, upright freezer with a locking door in my attached garage (summer to winter temp extremes in the garage are about 85 and 50 degrees) , and the rest in my basement (60-65 degrees) where I always have a dehumidifier running.

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