What's the oldest ammo you've shot?


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kargo27
June 27, 2009, 12:06 AM
I have a Glock G17 that I bought about 25 years ago. It's a 9mm and I think the last time I'd shot it was 23 years ago.

I had some Blazer FMJ that's probably 23 years old. This past Saturday I qualified for my CHL using that handgun and that old ammo. No FTF, jams, misfires or anything. Granted, this ammo was kept inside all it's life.

So, what's the oldest ammo you've shot?

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hanno
June 27, 2009, 12:15 AM
I've shot some milsurp Brit .303 that was 30s dated and quite a bit of WWII dated .303.

It all went bang.

Oyeboten
June 27, 2009, 12:15 AM
Some 'FA 1914' through 1919 .45 ACP...and some early, domed-primer, mixed-make, probably '00s or 'teens .38 ACP...every one fired perfectly and full power.


These were old 'doubtful', grungy, looking rounds found in old tackle Boxes...

Tommygunn
June 27, 2009, 12:17 AM
WW2 era .30 carbine. But I've heard of people shooting century old blackpowder cartridges successfully.

Mags
June 27, 2009, 12:18 AM
I am a youngun and havent acqured any old ammo I would say the oldest ammo I shot was only 2 years old at the time it was consumed.

mokin
June 27, 2009, 12:39 AM
I've shot WW2 dated ammo in one of my .303's that seemed to work ok and "Kleenbore" 8mm Lebel in my brother's rifle which also worked fine. My bro on the other hand, got into some 8mm Lebel ammo still packed in machine gun trays (ca. WW1) and said only about every other round fired.

I also had an interesting experience with some Chinese (Norinco)9mm ammo I bought 15 or so years ago. I don't remember having any trouble with it then but last year when I shot it, the "power" levels seemed all over. Some rounds were so weak they barely cycled the pistol while on a few others the primers were blown out.

ultralightbackpacker
June 27, 2009, 12:44 AM
Congrats on the CHL!

My father's, father's 16 gauge SG rounds. So that would make them circa 1920's?. They all shot well with no issues. After a few spent shells, I wanted to kick my self in the face. :(

kargo27
June 27, 2009, 12:50 AM
Congrats on the CHL!

My father's, father's 16 gauge SG rounds. So that would make them circa 1920's?. They all shot well with no issues. After a few spent shells, I wanted to kick my self in the face. :(
Thank you, Sir!

Great and interesting replies, gents, keep 'em coming!

.38 Special
June 27, 2009, 01:16 AM
Some gun writer -- Sam Fadala, maybe -- wrote of firing a percussion rifle that he figured had been loaded 150 years or so. Scarcely believable, but there you go.

musick
June 27, 2009, 02:20 AM
Shot at least 100rds of 70+ year old 8mm, stored in who-knows-what conditions over that span of time, w/o a single FTF.

deano186
June 27, 2009, 04:05 AM
I bought a military ammo belt full of .30-40 Krag ammo at a gunshow once that was from before WWI. Some of it would fire, but the cases would split because they were so old they seemed to have lost their temper. Some were so brittle the bullets could be wiggled out by hand, leaving a cracked case mouth behind.

Zach S
June 27, 2009, 04:33 AM
The oldest I've purchased and fired was WWII era .45ACP.

I have shot a little 303 brit, but it wasnt my ammo or my rifle, so I didnt pay attention to the headstamps.

Oyeboten
June 27, 2009, 04:40 AM
Beware of any 'early' 30-'06 Cartridges having Tin Plated Bullets...

The Bullets meld or molecularly bind to the inside Shell Casing, causing horrific, potentially catastrophic over-pressures if fired...these, I think, would tend to date to the 1912 National Match, or to more than one around that time...but may not have dated Headstamps...



All in all, Gun Oil or other Oils or solvents, wicking/seeping past Primers, seem to be the ruin of about any Cartridges, old or new...and 'old' rounds, when turning out to be duds, very probably had suffered this reliable un-doing at some point of their storage or incidental handling past.


Mere Climatic heat, cold, abient humidity/aridity, or Time...do not seem to bother Cartridges very much, far as I know.


Or...'Heat' like Southern India or Las Vegas, maybe, for some Powders,could spoil them over a long succession of Summers...but most have traditionally been pretty tolerant in any clime.

doc540
June 27, 2009, 04:44 AM
ohh...say, forty years old?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/old382.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/old381.jpg

but not for long
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/bad38.jpg

jcwit
June 27, 2009, 07:32 AM
Some 8mm ammo with the nazi head stamp.

Dunkelheit
June 27, 2009, 07:39 AM
I believe PMP .308 Surplus from 1981.

The oldest ammo i own is a box of .22 lr RWS from 1936.

G. Glock
June 27, 2009, 07:55 AM
Fortunately, ammo really does keep well. I have some .45 Colt I've saved from a batch I loaded back when I first got into reloading (1974). They've just been kept in the barn all this time with no temperature control; however, they always fire fine when I try one.

41 Mag
June 27, 2009, 08:39 AM
A mid to late 1800's era Percussion Sharps in 45cal, and two original late 1800 era rounds through it.

Just happened to be at the range the day a few BP collector buffs were out with some of their pieces. Got to ogling over it and was asked if I wanted to give it a try. Well duh, who wouldn't.

To say it was a thrill would have been an understatement. Once sitting behind the trigger, and settling the open sights on the 100yd target, I was immediately transported back in time to the prairie, staring down at a huge herd of buffalo. The initial crack of the cap followed by the roar of the muzzle and succeeding cloud of smoke completely obscured the target for a few seconds and brought me back to reality. The old lead bullet hit a bit low but well centered. The feeling was like I had just taken a world class trophy. I was then asked well how about another. as I sat there all warm and fuzzy.

To this day I can still remember just about everything about it, and it was definitely the best two shots I have ever taken while at the range.

chuckusaret
June 27, 2009, 09:27 AM
My fathers .38 and shotgun ammo from the 1950's. I have not experienced one failure with it so far. I gave a friend twenty rounds of 10 gauge from the 50's, but he either doesn't trust his old single shot 10 gauge shotgun, or the old ammo or as I believe he does not have big enough gonads to try it. This ammo was stored in cardboard boxes on an open shelf in a garage without heat or airconditioning for over 50 years and still performs well.

Speedo66
June 27, 2009, 11:02 AM
WWII German 9mm and US .30 Carbine ammo.

No difference from new.

I don't care how old ammo is, there is an excellent chance it will go off. I wouldn't be foolish enough to stand in front of the oldest known metallic cartridge, or an "as found" loaded antique muzzle loader. :eek:

yeti
June 27, 2009, 11:15 AM
I will just say, the trace on WW II .30-06 tracer ammo, is none to bright any more, but it all still goes bang.

Deltaboy
June 27, 2009, 11:20 AM
60 year old 22 shorts :cool: Dad found them cleaning out my Grandparents house.

AirForceShooter
June 27, 2009, 11:22 AM
GI issue WWII stamped 1943.
It's a lot hotter than factory stuff today.

AFS

GD
June 27, 2009, 01:46 PM
1938 Greek 8mm and 1935 Finnish 7.62x54. They all worked fine. I do have 1917 dated 7.62x54 but I think it is worth too much to shoot.
Most of my 8mm is pre-1950's and it is all sure fire. Most of my 7.62x54 is 1980's dated and it is great ammo. I am not sure what the lifetime of well cared-for ammo is but I know it is at least 70 years.

Jubjub
June 27, 2009, 02:02 PM
In the early 70's when I was 11 or 12, my dad brought home several beautiful Krag rifles that belonged to the local American Legion post, in order to clean them. As I recall, they all looked pretty much mint. They were only brought out to fire salutes at local veterans' funerals, and after they were used so, someone would take them home to clean them.

At any rate, he also brought home a box of the blank cartridges. They had a stiff paper bullet, and if I remember correctly the box was stamped with a date in 1900. Dad showed me how to take out the bolt, check the bore for obstruction, and reassemble the rifle, then we took each one out to the back yard (small town) and I got to pop off a blank. Then I got to learn what GI bore cleaner smells like.

I often wonder what became of those rifles, and for that matter, to the remainder of the blank ammo. They were still on their first case of ammo, and still had two more sealed cases.

jeff-10
June 27, 2009, 02:27 PM
Turkish 8mm which I believe was from the 1930s.

Nanook
June 27, 2009, 02:37 PM
Lots of 8mm on this thread.

I'll add mine. I have some 8mm in the German marked boxes from 1938. They all go boom at the right time.

The boxes are brownish cardboard for whatever that's worth. They're marked with German writing, the only word I remembe is "patronen" at the moment.

paintballdude902
June 27, 2009, 04:05 PM
1960's .308

and i shot a box of surplus .30-06 thru a garand without checking the headstamp ......1917 so wwI i found it in the barn and didnt think twice about it, shot great

fase3
June 27, 2009, 08:42 PM
1954 my bud and i ordered Trap Door Springfields along with Spanish- American war 45-70 rounds at a penny each! They were in bees wax covered boxes of 20 rds. and about one in five was a dud. Did we have fun shooting gar fish at the local creek in the summer when they were gulping air-OH YEAH! Sold the rifle for $25 later on when I was almost 16 and could not get cheap rounds anymore. Was I brillant or what? I'm 68 and still have not learned. Back then-What Gun Controll Act? The gun came in on Railway Express which no one under the age of 60 knows about! I'm 68.

highorder
June 27, 2009, 08:55 PM
Just noticed I have some .30-06 AP headstamped DEN 43 in a bandolier.

It will sit until needed. :)

MD_Willington
June 27, 2009, 10:06 PM
.303 from '43...

I shot it when I was 11...

That ammo was 44 years old !

Tinpig
June 27, 2009, 10:58 PM
I still have some Eley 12 ga. of my father's from the '50s that I shoot. And lots of '60s Greek HXP .30-06. No problems with either.

Tinpig

Larry Ashcraft
June 27, 2009, 11:23 PM
Just noticed I have some .30-06 AP headstamped DEN 43 in a bandolier.
I have a couple of boxes of that. AP to boot.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=17606&d=1098156834

I'll probably just hold on to it. ;)

theotherwaldo
June 27, 2009, 11:24 PM
Don't know the exact year it was made, but found a bunch of mixed .22 loose rounds that had fallen down inside a hollow false mantel. CBs, shorts, longs, LRs, all mixed with bills and coins going back to the 1920s. Everything worked.

I've found older stuff but I didn't fire it. I picked up some boxes of .38 S&W and .41rf in some auction lot boxes, which didn't fit anything I had. I also found three rounds of .45-75 in a chopped-up '76 Winchester. These went along with what remained of the gun. I've found other old, loaded guns, but none that I was willing to fire as-found.

The oldest non-surplus ammo I have right now is one last box of Federal Hi-Power .22 Longs, probably from around 1960. I used up the other three boxes about 11 years ago. Again, it all worked, no misfires.

Flash!
June 27, 2009, 11:25 PM
8mm Mauser with Nazi headstamp from 1938...still have some too....

Bwana John
June 27, 2009, 11:26 PM
As a kid (early 70's) I helped a local gunshop owner reroof his house.

He paid me cash and as a bonus he gave me ~ 2k of FA 18 and RA 17 .30-06.

The stuff had ALOT of green stuff growing on it but went off 95% of the time in my M1917.

I found some of it in the early 90's when helping my parents move, it still went off 80% of the time (in the same M1917).

welldoya
June 27, 2009, 11:45 PM
My grandfather had some .45 ACP in his shed that dated back to WWII that he gave me. Some of it was tarnished green. I would sit in front of the TV with fine sandpaper and sand it off very lightly.
At the time (early 90s) I had a Colt Commander Lightweight. I went out in my father-in-law's field to fire it. First one fired, second one didn't. When I ejected the round and inspected it, the casing was split down the side. I found the brass from the first round and it too was split. Scared the heck out of me.
I think that ammo will last a long time if kept in a climate controlled environment but I will never shoot any again that has been kept in a shed.

highorder
June 28, 2009, 12:20 AM
Quote:
Just noticed I have some .30-06 AP headstamped DEN 43 in a bandolier.

I have a couple of boxes of that. AP to boot.



I'll probably just hold on to it.

Only until it's needed. :evil:

AKElroy
June 28, 2009, 12:25 AM
I killed a sparrow with a smooth pebble I picked up in a stream fired from a wristrocket slingshot, manufactured by God at the dawn of time.

BeltfedMG
June 28, 2009, 12:42 AM
Have shot over 500,000 (Half million) rnds of 1930's 8mm threw the beltfeds, runs great

chuckusaret
July 2, 2009, 10:28 PM
My VFW post has 8 like new 03's and 6 like new M1's. They were given to the Post when it was chartered in 1947. I have kept very close watch on them for the past 30 years and keep them under my lock and key.

gtoken
July 2, 2009, 10:49 PM
I don't know how old this is but I shot some a couple weeks ago. No problem at all. Anybody have a guess to age. I would guess 50's.

http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss254/gtoken/IMG_0807.jpg

Larry Ashcraft
July 2, 2009, 10:53 PM
I don't know how old this is but I shot some a couple weeks ago. No problem at all. Anybody have a guess to age. I would guess 50's.
Check the headstamp. My guess would be 1930s (since I have a box just like that).

gtoken
July 2, 2009, 11:03 PM
Check the headstamp. My guess would be 1930s (since I have a box just like that).

There is some letters and the number 43. So I guess 1943? That would be quite coincidental since one of my Dads 1911's was made in 1943. I wonder if this was the original ammo the army gave him with his side arm?

tpaw
July 2, 2009, 11:10 PM
Found this on the internet by typing in Evansville Ordnance Plant that's on the box.

Located in Evansville, IN this plant was operated by the Chrysler Corp. from 1942 to 1944 and produced billions of rounds of caliber 45 and caliber 30 carbine ammunition. Most cases were made of steel using the EC headstamp. This plant also loaded ammunition using cases made at the Sunbeam Refrigerator Plant, also at Evansville, IN, with ECS headstamp.

Larry Ashcraft
July 2, 2009, 11:13 PM
There is some letters and the number 43. So I guess 1943? That would be quite coincidental since one of my Dads 1911's was made in 1943. I wonder if this was the original ammo the army gave him with his side arm?
Cool. Best hang onto the rest of it.

Shoot the gun, save the ammo. You can probably trade it to an ammo collector for a decent amount of blasting ammo.

gtoken
July 2, 2009, 11:20 PM
Cool. Best hang onto the rest of it.

Shoot the gun, save the ammo. You can probably trade it to an ammo collector for a decent amount of blasting ammo.

Sorry to get too far off topic but........... I think my plan is retire my Dads two 1911's and buy me a "new" 1911. Cant make up my mind what to get. Im leaning toward a Taurus with the built-in rail. I also looked at the S&W though. Price is an issue. Kimber is too expensive for me right now.

Now back to the regularly scheduled program.

Ash
July 2, 2009, 11:20 PM
1917 dated Remington stamped 7.62x54r.

Ash

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