Longetivity of ammo

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rssecurity
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Longetivity of ammo

#1

Post by rssecurity » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:24 pm

I know ammo stored under "proper conditions" will last for years to decades. But my question is about less than "proper conditions." I like my job, but it prohibits any carry by employees, licensed or not (and there are quite a few that are). So I have to leave my gun in my car.

I live in Houston, and as most of you know or can imagine, it gets really hot in the summer. There is virtually no shade in our parking lot. I put up a sun shield, park so it faces the west or south (depending on parking available), and on days with no rain, leave my windows cracked and even leave a water bottle open in my car. But it is still an oven when I open the door.

What would this do to the ammo I leave in the clip (and 1 in the chamber)? Should I replace it every ___ months/year? Hopefully I'll never need it, but I'd hate to need it and have a mis-fire.


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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#2

Post by wally775 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:37 pm

This is just me.

I lived in Galveston for six years, Never changed my carry ammo.
Always kept it in the car. When I finally shot it I had no issues.
Not recommending it but just my experience. Your's may differ. :tiphat:

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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#3

Post by Jago668 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:42 pm

rssecurity wrote:I know ammo stored under "proper conditions" will last for years to decades. But my question is about less than "proper conditions." I like my job, but it prohibits any carry by employees, licensed or not (and there are quite a few that are). So I have to leave my gun in my car.

I live in Houston, and as most of you know or can imagine, it gets really hot in the summer. There is virtually no shade in our parking lot. I put up a sun shield, park so it faces the west or south (depending on parking available), and on days with no rain, leave my windows cracked and even leave a water bottle open in my car. But it is still an oven when I open the door.

What would this do to the ammo I leave in the clip (and 1 in the chamber)? Should I replace it every ___ months/year? Hopefully I'll never need it, but I'd hate to need it and have a mis-fire.

I replace my carry ammo every year. Take it to the range and shoot it. Gets it switched out, and gives me a little practice with what I actually carry. Others here switch out every 6 months. I don't know if anyone has actually tried to find out how long their carry ammo was good for.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#4

Post by Pawpaw » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:55 pm

The vast majority of military ammunition is just thrown in a warehouse where it will get well over 100 degrees in the summer and well below freezing in the winter. On top of that, most of it is not in an airtight container either.

You can still occasionally run across surplus ammo from the 40's and 50's that shoots just fine and most of it is not even US manufacture.

I wouldn't lose any sleep over ammo stored in a car while at work.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#5

Post by Liberty » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:07 pm

The biggest enemy of ammo storage is corrosion. If it looks OK its probably OK. But another issue is setback, if you store the ammo in the magazine (clip?) the inertia of the jostling around can cause the bullet to move within the brass. If the brass compresses against the powder there could be an over pressure condition.

I think it's a good idea to run the old ammo through once in a while anyway. First reason is to not give ammo time enough for setback issues, the other is ensure that the defence ammo is still cycling well through your handgun.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#6

Post by Rhino1 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:27 pm

I have a Garand I bought from CMP several years ago. I've also bought surplus Greek 30.06 Ammo from them. Looks pretty ratty and some corroded but never had FTF. Of course this is target (fun) ammo and not something I'm betting my life on
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#7

Post by AF-Odin » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:34 pm

As for absolute longevity, I have a large stock of Turkish military 8mm ammo that has mid-1930s headstamps. Consevatively, this stuff is 80 years old and who know how the Turks stored it before it was imported by Century Arms in the late 1990s (2001-2002 I was buying this stuff for I think, $7 for a 70 round bandoleer and I bought a LOT of them). I have had no misfires and it prints to point of aim out to 100+ yards with all of my Mausers. The key factor is that for all of its life, it appears to have been kept dry and there is no obvious corrosion even though there is some age discoloration of the cases. All of it is Berdan primed. Thus, I believe that ammo will continue to function for longer than humans as long as it is kept dry.

As for your carry ammo, I would not really worry about the heat in the car for the periods you are talking about. For me personally, I try and shoot my EDC at the range at least once per month and the first magazine is the one that has been in the firearm that month. After that first magazine I switch to my reloaded range ammunition. I buy may carry ammunition in 50 round boxes so will go through a box about every 6 months. It is worth it to me to do at least a little of my practice with my carry ammo even if I have to buy a couple of boxes per year.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#8

Post by Pawpaw » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:47 pm

Liberty wrote:The biggest enemy of ammo storage is corrosion. If it looks OK its probably OK. But another issue is setback, if you store the ammo in the magazine (clip?) the inertia of the jostling around can cause the bullet to move within the brass. If the brass compresses against the powder there could be an over pressure condition.

I think it's a good idea to run the old ammo through once in a while anyway. First reason is to not give ammo time enough for setback issues, the other is ensure that the defence ammo is still cycling well through your handgun.
This is the first time I've ever heard of ammo that is just sitting in a mag suffering setback. Where did you hear this?
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#9

Post by anygunanywhere » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:59 pm

Rounds that are chambered over and over can result in setback. Never heard of rounds in mags doing it.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#10

Post by Dadtodabone » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:27 pm

Still have a few '91 vintage black talons around. Stored in factory boxes, open shelving in garages, central AZ, northeast TN, southeast TX. Performs flawlessly out of a variety of 1911 pistols.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#11

Post by G26ster » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:40 pm

rssecurity wrote:I know ammo stored under "proper conditions" will last for years to decades. But my question is about less than "proper conditions."
91years, 2 months, 9 days, 13 hours, 28 seconds. And that is just as accurate an answer as any other you're likely to get on a gun forum.

Seriously, I agree with others that its not a worry, but I'd still shoot it occasionally for your own peace of mind.


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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#12

Post by rssecurity » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:18 pm

Thanks. It appears my worries are unfounded, since I do keep it dry. I like the idea of cycling it out every so often and practicing at the range with it too, something I have been avoiding due to cost. But you all are probably right, it's probably worth it.

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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#13

Post by Liberty » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:23 pm

Pawpaw wrote:
Liberty wrote:The biggest enemy of ammo storage is corrosion. If it looks OK its probably OK. But another issue is setback, if you store the ammo in the magazine (clip?) the inertia of the jostling around can cause the bullet to move within the brass. If the brass compresses against the powder there could be an over pressure condition.

I think it's a good idea to run the old ammo through once in a while anyway. First reason is to not give ammo time enough for setback issues, the other is ensure that the defense ammo is still cycling well through your handgun.
This is the first time I've ever heard of ammo that is just sitting in a mag suffering setback. Where did you hear this?
I rechecked and a quick search seems to show I misspoke. But set back is an issue for repeatedly chambered rounds. My faulty memory confused some issues I read about with some rifles, and probably poorly crimped ammo.
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#14

Post by TreyHouston » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:29 pm

rssecurity wrote:Thanks. It appears my worries are unfounded, since I do keep it dry. I like the idea of cycling it out every so often and practicing at the range with it too, something I have been avoiding due to cost. But you all are probably right, it's probably worth it.
Your defense ammo shoots differently than your plinking rounds. Not much different, but at 20 feet There will be a difference ...

With your life depending on, it 20 bucks for some bullets is not that expensive!!!!
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Re: Longetivity of ammo

#15

Post by parabelum » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:56 pm

I found that 357 Sig round is the most prone to setback cartridge.
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