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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Shelf life of shotgun shells

    Do shotgun shells have similar longevity to brass munitions when stored in favorable conditions? I am talking about constant moderate temperatures and humidity in the range of 30-60% and storage in the original packaging, not in special sealed canisters.

    I have read of WW2 brass ammunition remaining viable to this day - over seven decades later.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    210

    Talking 1960's winchester #4's still takeing game!

    The last time I hunted with my uncles I was viseting from outta state I dident pack a shot gun due to traveling conditions I was lent a old Winchester model 25 12ga shot gun my uncle had from when he was in high school in the mid 1950's still in the guncabinet with 1960's era shotshells still in the mag! :cool:, we decided to go hunting on the family farm for phesants as they dident have any other 2.3/4" shells since it was over 18 miles to town I was to use the ones left in the gun they were old winchester paper hulls with rolled paper lip! it took a hour to get the shotgun ready it was dirty and so gummed up the slide wouldent open!
    I bagged a phesant that day with his old gun the barrel dented from a car door closeing on it back in the 1960's it shot just fine the dent barely noticeable. those old shot shells worked just fine makeing a clean kill on a nice rooster at 15 yards in heavy weed cover.
    Last edited by Rex in OTZ; 03-12-2009 at 02:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    /Free^State\
    Posts
    18,348

    Default have shot shells that were more than 30 years old

    and as long as no moister, or corrosion visible they all fired. only had two not fire, one not chamber in a single shot Iver Johnson. and for the record hawthorns kicked the hardest like a magnum.:eek:<>< dk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    287

    Default

    I don't ever remember my late father in my lifetime ever buying shotgun shells, especialy slugs. He had plenty given to him by my grandfather. He never bought a shotgun either. My grandfather gave him one in the 1950's early 60's a 20 gauge bolt action and a double barrel side by side 16 gauge. And when my Grandfather stopped hunting he got his Remington 16 gauge 870 and shells. Dad only hunted Deer and never shot them much. He liked .22's for shooting when he did shoot. And when he past away I inherited all those old paper and early plastic slugs with "Kleenbore priming" stamped on them. I always thought he was "nuts" going out every season with the same old shells deer hunting. And Dad used to get Deer just about every year with 1 or sometimes 2 shots. He claimed he never had a miss-fire. I inherited the guns and the shells. I took a few out to shoot up and just like Dad had no-problems. These shells are all of 40 years old. Even though they all went off for Dad and also me when target shooting, I won't rely on them for hunting. At some point there has to be just a click and that's when you here stories of the one that got away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    cool and dry FOREVER

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    113

    Default Shotshell life

    The only thing bad that I have ever heard of was "paper swelling"on the older(not plastic) that had not been stored in a cool.dry space.Properly stored they should last at least 30 years.Will

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    /Free^State\
    Posts
    18,348

    Thumbs up shot 45 that were pre WW I

    had 250 rounds of 1913 all shot. hot and accurate, three or four misfires and couldn't shoot even with multiple hits to the primmer. i believe USMC?
    shot in my Wilson colt gold cup series 70.:cool: if clean, dry, not stored wood boxes were tannic acids attack brass or in heat or temp changes, will last for a very very long time. and no intros smell <><dk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies fellows. Pretty much what I expected but I wanted to be sure. The plastic shells we have today, properly stored, should be good for 50 years easily.

    I won't be shooting much as I do not hunt but I would like to lay in a good supply. Prices will continue upward, especially if the government decides to put a punitive tax on ammunition (more than a remote possibility). A gun is pretty worthless without ammo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    One Floor above Hell
    Posts
    1,208

    Default

    Store them in .50cal cans. One can fit 185rds in 5rd boxes in the can.
    Free men own guns- Slaves don't
    RIP- my dear dog Jake 1998-3/11/2011 (pictured in Avatar)
    The home of Bosco- my new Black Lab
    Molon Labe....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    College Park, Md.
    Posts
    1,592

    Default

    I just traded for about 65 rds of Federal 12 ga. of various types, mostly regular game bird loads. These are plastic, about 25-30 years old, and I expect, from what I've seen of old Paper shells, these may last me a good while. I have them in a GI ammo can.
    "Whale; The Other White Meat."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Oldsmar, FL (Tampa Bay)
    Posts
    23,311

    Default

    50 years plus is the usual number for non-corrosive primed ammunition. Corrosive seems to last 75 years plus if stored in decent conditions. The only shotgun shell problem used to be with the now obsolete paper hulls that would swell from moisture.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

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