Apropos of the 'minimal amount of ammo' thread


December 19, 2005, 06:23 PM
I stocked up on reloading components last year, for use in .357/.45 ACP/ .40 S&W, and .223 for AR-15/.30-'06 for M1.

The question: load up as much as possible now, or keep it in bulk and reload periodically?

If 'something bad' happens, I'm thinking there will be no electricity or heat, and if I need to make ammo it will be in the cold and poor light here in NH. So even though ammo deteriorates over time, I figure the difference won't matter if, God forbid, our society is destabilized for awhile.

Assuming you've found the right load for your guns, what would you do?

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December 19, 2005, 07:15 PM
Ammo doesn't deteriorate that much. Look at all of the milsurp ammo on the market.

December 19, 2005, 07:15 PM
"ammo deteriorates over time"

I keep hearing this, and I just haven't found it to be the case. Keep your ammo stored in a dry area at an even temprature and it should last for 15 to 25+ years. If you take the to seal the primer and neck against moisture it will likely last much, much longer.

One of my main worrys about old ammo is weakening of the brass. But the powder (if the ammo is stored properly) really doesn't change that much. Unless your worried about .000% MOA changes in the ammo's performance I wouldn't stress about it.

Long story short - Load up and lay away as much of your pet loads as you like. It won't be change'in much. And certainly won't go bad if stored properly.

December 19, 2005, 07:45 PM
My Dad and I shot some .38 rounds that are probaly 20+ years old and we didn't have a single misfire.

Dave R
December 19, 2005, 07:52 PM
How confident are you that you're not gonna want to experiment with different loads down the road?

If you're still experimenting (and I think we ALL are...) then load up a reasonable amount and keep the rest in components. Preserve your options.

If you KNOW you've got the only load you'll ever need, then load 'em all up. You can always buy more components later. :evil:

Standing Wolf
December 19, 2005, 08:54 PM
So even though ammo deteriorates over time...

Deterioration begins the moment components are manufactured. It doesn't matter whether the powder is in an air-tight container or an air-tight cartridge case, and the same applies to primers.

That saidô, the shelf life of ammunition and components is measured in decades, not weeks and months.

December 19, 2005, 09:22 PM
About 15 years ago I bought a couple of very large lots of surplus ammunition and they still shoot just fine.

The .303 British is stamped 1944, the 7.62x39mm Soviet is stamped 1967.

December 19, 2005, 10:13 PM
I've been shooting surplus .308, '79-'84 headstamps, in my HK91. Some eject further than others and some are smokier. They all go bang. Joe

December 19, 2005, 10:30 PM
All those different components use up much less space when they are combined into rounds than when the compnents are stored individually :D

December 19, 2005, 11:55 PM
(first post from THR newb)

Ammo can store well under ideal conditions.

I've shot a lot of 1930's-era 8mm Mauser ammo over the last year. No worries. In fact it seems to have worked much better than some of the Yugoslavian ammo of the same caliber that was 40 years newer.

December 20, 2005, 08:12 AM
Khornet, I'd suggest that you reload a quantity of "just in case" ammo in every caliber, seal the primers and necks with cheap fingernail polish, pack them into cardboard or plastic storage boxes, then into good old stell G.I. ammo cans. Store the loaded cans in a cool, dry environment, off of the floor and away from exterior walls. When that "just in case" time comes around 50 years from now, you may be too elderly and frail to crack open those cans by yourself, but your grand-kids will have that quality ammo to shoot. Sure, it MAY degrade slightly, but probably not enough to even notice!

After you've reloaded all of the "just in case" ammo and have properly stored it, don't forget about it! Whatever you reload after that, you might want to push to the back of the inventory, and shoot up the oldest "just in case" ammo, so you'll continuously be renewing your stash.

December 20, 2005, 10:10 AM
Just a few days ago I was firing some .45ACP produced before WWII. It went bang just fine, every time.

Only thing was - it looked like it had been stored in the worst possible conditions, such as humid, etc. as the box was quite ruined.

December 20, 2005, 06:23 PM
I've got some 1938-era German 8mm Mauser - out of the last 140 rounds, maybe 5 failed to fire, even after two tries. No telling how it was stored in the intervening 55 or so years. I paid maybe 7 cents/round, so I'm not complaining. After I yank the bullets, dump the powder, and re-assemble, I've got some nice inert display rounds:)

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