how long does ammo last????
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Thread: how long does ammo last????

  1. #1

    how long does ammo last????

    how often do you cycle your self defense rounds. I heard that the ammunition primer doesnt perform 100% the way it should the older the ammo is, of course i have also heard from handling ammo the oils in our hands can affect the effectiveness of the primer as well. Room temperature and making sure they are kept in a cool/dry place.......WHAT IS THE REAL STRATEGY TO FOLLOW ON CYCLING YOUR AMMO......

  3. basically forever

    I've also heard all the reasons ammo doesn't last forever. I do change out my carry ammo, every once in a long while. Usually, it's several years between changes.

    I'll tell you this. When I shot high power back in Indiana I drew ammo for the matches I shot. The NEWEST ammo I ever drew was around 1973. The oldest was, I believe, 1957. This was surplus .30-06 and every single round went bang the first time. Granted, military ammo has sealed primers but I've shot ammo that was well over 10 years old at the time and have never had a misfire that I believe was caused by ammo age.

    Then again, if it worries you, ammo is cheap compared to your life.

  4. I have fired 40 year old ammunition with no problems.


    I would only use it in a life or death situation if it was all I had.

    I buy fresh Premium Self Defense ammo for carry once or twice a year.

    It is my belief that carry ammo will last a lot longer than that but why not replace it once a year. Kinda like my smoke detector's battery.

    I also have 3 complete sets of Magazines and an extra set of Magazine Springs so I can rotate them every 8 weeks to relax the Springs.

  5. #4
    i change my carry ammo depending on the time of year so the summer carry ammo gets a break ( or shot) and will rotate in winter ammo, then do the same thing over and over again, but if i dont shoot the (last years carry ammo) ill just cycle it back into the rotation. most of the ammo i have isnt that old anyways, maybe 2 years at most.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Houston Metro Area, Texas
    Just fired a box of ammo 58 years old today, found old box in a dry box in storage looked good tried it out not a single failure.

  7. #6
    I rotate my defensive ammo annually. I don't think that there is anything to worry about with the old stuff, but why risk it when I might have to rely on it for my life, or that of my family. I am willing to pay for the peace of mind, plus it gives me an excuse to go shoot 50 rounds (if you need an excuse).

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Self defense ammo will last a good long time... The only issue I've ever heard and read related to old carry ammo is the breakdown of the powder to smaller particles due to vibration, making it more volatile.. I emailed Remington, Hornady, and Federal and the response was "yes this could be an issue, but it was a very slight chance of this being a real issue... I had a box of old early 60's 38 special police issue ammo.. All but 1 went bang... I was able to shoot a magazine full of WWII vintage .45acp... Still worked...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  9. #8
    With magazine springs, it's not being compressed that wears them out, it's being used, the compression and release that causes fatigue. I've left magazines fully loaded for 10 years, and when I went to use them, they worked as though they were brand new.

    IF you have a problem from a magazine spring that was left loaded for an extended period, that problem already existed, or was caused by something else.
    Big Gay Al: Big Gay Al's Big Gay (Gun) Blog
    An unarmed person speaking of the benefits of gun control is like a
    eunuch speaking about the benefits of sexual abstinence.

  10. #9
    I, too, agree that magazines tend to wear more from reloading than staying loaded, at least for most magazines.

    I was told that carry ammunition can be fine for up to 4 years, with carry conditions such as rainy weather being taken into account. One day soon, I expect to graduate from zip-lock storage bags to large air-tight containers!

  11. #10
    So as you can see - there's no consensus here. No one has conducted any sort of scientific studies on the matter. But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence saying that ammunition lasts a long time. And it generally does, in my experience.

    However - with that said, if you were using a knife as your sole means of self-defense...would you rely on one that hasn't been sharpened in 2 years? 5 years? 10+ years? Not likely. You'd sharpen it often, at least once a year even if you don't use it. So I say make it a point to fire off your defense ammunition every year or so. Ammo is cheap compared to a hospital or funeral bill.
    S&W M&P 45; Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum; Charter Arms .38 Undercover

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