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  1. #1
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    Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    I have three boxes of .38 +P ammunition that are between 4 and 5 years old in my safe, along with a box of .32 auto that is about eight years old. Recently, I've purchased two new semi-auto Taurus handguns in .380, and I want to begin stocking up on all my ammo. My question is: does handgun ammo have a shelf life?
    Thanks,
    MilProGuy





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  2. #2
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    Ammo will have a good 50 year shelf life if stored in relatively constant temperatures under 75 degrees and relatively low humidity. I recently shot up handgun ammo I had loaded in the late 70's that shot very consistantly and it was all reloads that had been stored in my garage and had experienced a wide range of temperatures from 30-95 degrees maybe wider variations than that. Even shotgun shell reloads of the same age performed well, and some had minor corrosion on the brass. Inside a house, which keeps temp and humidity fairly well controlled, you should have a very good 50 year shelf life.
    The Tree of Liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of socialists and tyrants, it's time to fertilize the tree....Jake

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  3. #3
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    What Jake said,,, tho I have shot some well over that,,,

  4. #4
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    Thanks packrat and Jake. You guys rock! I've been reading where some folks indicate that they "cycle" their ammo through their handguns, periodically, and I was wondering if it was because ammo had a shelf life. Not knowing where our country is headed in this War on Terrorism, and also not knowing what surprises the gun-grabbers may have in store for us down the the line, makes me uneasy...so, I've already begun stocking my safe with ammo for my handguns, rifle and shotgun.
    Thanks again,
    MilProGuy





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  5. #5
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    Some seem to think ammo has a shelf life. Others like to cycle their carry ammo just to make sure there is no damage from being exposed. Others leave ammo in their trunk for years and have no problems at all. I am cycling my carry ammo now. It is probably a 10 year cycle though. I have been shooting the old stuff with 0 problems.

    Keep it indoors and ammo should last a LONG time.
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    Storing in a cool dry enviroment is the key.

    I have shot Lake City .30 carbine and 30-06 from WWII and Korea vintage and all went bang. We just ran a CHL course and a older gentleman was shooting .45acp milspec ammo from Winchester that had a mid 50's date code. No issues with those 50 rounds.

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  7. #7
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    agree!
    I read several times somewhere reputable that ammunition that is properly stored has at least a 50 year shelf life.
    Now this is modern smokeless powder rounds.
    I don't think I would intentionally carry rounds that old as personal protection, but again if thats all i had I would load them up.
    Retired Firefighter, Advanced Georgia Master Gardener, Hazardous Material Response Member, Certified Hazardous Material Incident Commander, 1911 Addict and General Gun Lover.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    Just watch for signs of corrosion on the brass and where the projectile seats in the brass. I had some problems with 40 year old .25 where corrosion caused the case to swell to the point that the spent brass would not eject. It had been stored dry and at consistent temperatures for all it's life. Conversely, I have fired 50 y.o. .30 carbine and 12, 16, and 20 ga. shotgun shells that were stored in the same safe with no problems.

  9. #9
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    Re: Does handgun ammo have a "shelf life"?

    Also, thanks to Crusty, olfarhors, Mikey, and Zip. You guys make this forum a better source of info.
    MilProGuy





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