Old, surplus ammo


May 5, 2007, 08:19 PM
My grandfather just gave me about 600 rounds of '50 cartridges BALL caliber m1911 lot tw s' from 'twin cities arsenal'. I'm sure it's been sitting in his basement for at least 50 years, in an ammo can. It's steel cased.

Is it safe to fire?

Do you think it will reliably fire, in otherwords be suitable to stash away as SHTF ammo?

Does it have any historical value or should I just shoot it up as practice ammo?

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1 old 0311
May 5, 2007, 08:22 PM
If it is not rusted you can keep it for another 50 years before you have to worry.

May 5, 2007, 08:28 PM
Totally unsafe. Let me PM you with an address in Texas for safe disposal. Do you need help with shipping? I can pay for shipping... all in the name of public safety of course.....

May 5, 2007, 08:31 PM
My dad had some WW2 45ACP ammo and it shot just fine. But the case walls were thin or something and there was a little case spliting, but not around the case head.

I'd shoot it, but not defend my life with it.

Average Joe
May 5, 2007, 08:45 PM
Its as good as new.

May 5, 2007, 08:59 PM
I recently shot up some 1939 Carcano ammo, and it all worked just fine. I wouldn't rely on it for an emergency, though.

Nomad, 2nd
May 5, 2007, 10:21 PM
Is it in the box? In excellent condition?

If so, you might be able to buy a couple CASES after selling the 600 to collectors.

May 5, 2007, 10:52 PM
It's probly corrosive though.

May 5, 2007, 11:48 PM
Slimjim's probably correct. Anything made way back when probably has corrosive primers. Here's a recent thread on how to clean a gun after shooting corrosive ammo. It's not difficult, you've just got to do it promptly after shooting because the corrosive salts will begin eating into the barrel very quickly.


May 5, 2007, 11:51 PM
agree with Nomad, it's worth money to the right people.

Nomad, 2nd
May 5, 2007, 11:51 PM
WW2 steel case .45 is corrosive.

May 6, 2007, 04:46 AM
I put a box headstamped '43 through my 1911a1. It worked fine.

If you shoot it up--CLEAN the weapon w/ soapy water very well. It is 'mildly corrosive' (I know-- like being a little bit pregnant). Rinse with boiling water when done before oiling and re-lube (this is a nice way to clean gunked guns anyway to my thinking).

I would consider the collectors value before I shot it.

As far as SHTF ammo goes I would not bet on it alone. If it is not damaged it will probably work 50 years from now and beyond. The upside to corrosive primers is that they are pretty shelf stable if of US origin. That said, it is not likely very 'hot' ammo and you do a lot better with newer stuff.

May 6, 2007, 05:24 AM
Steel cased .45ACP is highly collectible. I certainly wouldn't shoot it. Perhaps sell or trade it and get modern ammo. It'll shoot fine, it's just a shame to shoot up something that has become rather scarce. I have a small amount I came into in the '70's that I'm hanging on to also.

May 6, 2007, 11:17 AM
Whoa, I'm rushing to clean my gun like, now. I shot a mag of it last night. It shot fine. Seemed kind of smokey but it was dark out and I was shooting via flashlight, so it's hard to tell.

I suppose, if I could sell it for more than the value of reliable modern ammo, I should sell it, because it's no better than new ammo while having no intrinsic worth to me except, well, as ammo. Except maybe I should just keep it and not shoot it because it's probably only increasing in value and my grandpa DID give it to me...

How would one go about selling it, anyway? Gunshow?

May 6, 2007, 11:47 AM
Selling it at a gunshow will attract 'dealers' who will offer you low ball prices. You might find a cartridge collector, but I would think that 'iffy'.

I'd suggest finding a cartridge collector website and ask where one of their shows are going to be. Or, list it on one of the firearms auction sites in the ammo or collectable ammo section - that should get some decent exposure, which is what you need to get a good price for it.

And it is collectable ammo.

May 6, 2007, 11:57 AM

Have a look here. Don't freak--your pistol will be fine.

Nomad, 2nd
May 6, 2007, 02:44 PM
Take Pix, and send them to me... (With details, the box, head stamp...)

I might be able to find you a buyer.

May 6, 2007, 04:19 PM
I have some that sounds just like that. Is this the same stuff?

May 6, 2007, 05:33 PM
That's exactly it, only mine is of a different (lower) lot number.

May 6, 2007, 07:05 PM
Zahc, if you decide to sell it, I'd like to buy a few boxes. My aunt worked at Twin Cities Arsenal during the war--she made that ammo.

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