How long is it safe to keep your carry ammunition?

Discussion in 'Ammunition, Accessories & Gear' started by LLBBooks, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. LLBBooks

    LLBBooks New Member

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    I'm wonderng how long it is safe to keep your carry ammunition. I know we've had a variant of this discussion before: http://forum.kentuckianafirearms.com/showthread.php?t=1988 (and thank you 93civic_sedan for kicking that off!) but I'd like to revisit it again.

    I know chambering and re-chambering ammunition isn't good because it can cause the actual bullet to shorten, thereby possibly causing a dangerous amount of pressure. I'm not concerned so much about my revolver ammunition because I'm not trying to force it into a magazine or a chamber, and I don't have carry ammunition for my G26 yet, so mostly I'm asking about how safe it is for my LCP, the .380.

    I've only had this ammunition for 6-9 months, and in the past few months it has just been sitting there because I haven't been shooting. I have heard it is good practice to rotate it... choose different rounds from the box to carry every so often, and then once you've been through them all shoot them and get a new box. I can do that because I think I might want to choose a different round now, but how long is typical for keeping this stuff around?
     
  2. wash

    wash New Member

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    I'm no expert, but have had ammo in a magazine for 3 years or more before and it still fired just fine. It was .40 S&W.

    My experience may be unique, so please await the responses of others before deciding what is a good time frame for you. I have shot an AK 30 round mag that was probably sittin' around for 5 years once, and it was fine too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  3. Sonny

    Sonny Member

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    ive always heard that aslong as the ammo is kept dry it will hold for years and years
     
  4. Springfieldcompact45

    Springfieldcompact45 Member

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    My very first reloader came with a can of Bullseye powder, that was in 1973. I still have it, and shot some as recently as last summer. Components stay good as long as you keep them dry and oil free. If you're worried about bullet set back, buy a pair of dial calipers (12-20 bucks) , and measure them with un-used ones in the box to make sure they're at the proper length.
     
  5. wash

    wash New Member

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    books, you are smart to be concerned, but your ammo will be fine within reason. Just shoot your loaded mags when you go to the range and replace. If you have expensive, hollowpoints or something in your mags, rotate them out once a year or every 2 years and you will never have an issue.

    Yours is a very good question, that we all need to understand, and of course, as I have said, I am not an expert. Listen to others advice too and see what works for you.

    :rawk:

    This guy says ammo stays fresh when dry!
     
  6. Whootsinator

    Whootsinator Well-Known Member

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    I believe the danger comes from excessive repeated chambering of a round. Loading them into the magazine should cause no issues with setback, and they should be fine in the magazine for as long as the components remain in good condition. Rotate the round that you actually chamber. If you keep one in the chamber until it's shot, then you're fine.
     
  7. wash

    wash New Member

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    I'm sure setback is a legitimate concern, but I frequently chamber a round and then put it back in the mag. You know what..............it has always fired for me.........
     
  8. Whootsinator

    Whootsinator Well-Known Member

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    Unless headspacing changes for some unknown reason, the round should always go boom... You just might get the boom in the wrong direction. :p

    From what I can infer, it only becomes an issue after truly EXCESSIVE chambering. As in police that do it every day for however long until they fire it next, using the same round each day.
     
  9. wash

    wash New Member

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    keyword...........excessive.........routine use.....you are good to go books
     
  10. Wyldman

    Wyldman Gold Member

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    As far as shelf life is concerned, I've got ammo that's older than you are and it is just as lethal today as the day it was made. As was said above, as long as it stays dry and oil free and is not subjected to unreal extremes in temperature, it will remain stable & usable for up to a century (and possibly even longer than that).

    The set back issues are already known to you and thus should be easy enough to prevent. As SpringfieldCompact45 said, get a set of digital or dial calipers and you can check it frequently to make sure you are good to go. Harbor Frieght has a store in town on Hikes Ln. near Beuchal By-Pass and you can get some for as little as $8.00.

    In the past, I had a box of setback rounds that accumulated over the years and I used an inertial bullet puller (the hammer lookin' one) to dismantle and then reassemble the rounds so they didn't go to waste. That's just me though, I'm too cheap to waste ammo, and I have the right equipment handy to do things like this.
     
  11. Whootsinator

    Whootsinator Well-Known Member

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  12. Springfieldcompact45

    Springfieldcompact45 Member

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  13. KyanSEPT

    KyanSEPT New Member

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    Good question and info. I'm going to sticky this for a while.
     
  14. LLBBooks

    LLBBooks New Member

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    I'm glad this was stickyfied. Good info, makes me feel better. Need to get some calipers!
     
  15. Whootsinator

    Whootsinator Well-Known Member

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    Check the link, he tested WD-40. Unless you mean it could get in between the bullet and casing, which was untested. I'd like to see them do a test on that...
     
  16. toddstang

    toddstang Well-Known Member

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    Remeber to shoot the same stuff you use in your carry gun at the range too. I know some people who have used Hydroshocks and the like in their carry guns, but never shot them in their carry guns,only using target ammo at the range. One of them decided to shoot the defensive ammo one day at the range only to find out the ammo would not cycle in his gun. All because he didnt want to spend more $ on the defensive ammo at the range. Usually I shoot 2 mags of my defensive ammo at every range trip just to make sure it fuctions well in my guns.
     
  17. Holy Smoke

    Holy Smoke New Member

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    Recently shot a box of 45LC ammo that was about 20 years old. Didn't have a bad round in the bunch.
     
  18. SAMPLE

    SAMPLE Member

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    Ammo should last a life time because I've had 9mm ammo in my safe for over ten years and went to the range the other day to see if it will shoot and it shot just fine. This is just me adding my two cents. Which really don't mean anything! :) Lol
     
  19. Frailer

    Frailer Active Member

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    I'm sure all of us with military experience remember shooting ammo that was 30-40+ years old on the range.

    Can't remember if I mentioned it on this forum or not, but a couple of weekends ago I shot a box of Remington .22 shorts that had been around for goodness-knows-how-long (it had a $0.39 price tag from J.C. Penney, if that's a clue) and every last one of them went "bang" first try.

    This is why whenever I find good ammo at a good price...I buy it. It won't go bad, and it's not going to get any cheaper.
     
  20. nogomoto

    nogomoto New Member

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    I run the defense ammo on 6 month cycles unless it's a revolver. Then it's just whenever. Fire whats already in the carry magazines, then load another mag for fire. When all is said and done, clean 'em up and throw the same batch of carry ammo back in the mags and keep on keepin on.
     

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