Old hand loaded ammo. Safe?


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Twmaster
July 14, 2011, 11:40 PM
I had a rifle come into my hands today. It came with 17 rounds of hand loaded ammo with the load data on the plastic box it was stored in. According to the loading data sticker it was loaded in Feb of 1999.

According to the fellow I got this from the ammo has been in the plastic box since loaded.

Oklahoma is a relatively low humidity place. I'm assuming this ammo is still good to shoot?

Thanks.

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hoghunting
July 15, 2011, 12:37 AM
Even if OK has low humidity, you don't know with absolute certainty that the ammo is loaded exactly as it is labeled. Different loads could be in the box and the label wasn't changed. Or someone could have made a mistake when reloading.

The only reloads that I use are my own.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 15, 2011, 12:42 AM
Personally, my opinion is that I would never shoot someone else's handloads. Not that I don't trust anyone, it is just that for how much money you may be saving, anything could be in those things!

Who knows who reloaded them, what state of mind were they in (drunk?), what was the purpose for reloading them, what kind of data (if any) did the person use, how accurate was his powder measurement, etc, etc, etc.

Throw them into a coffee can of water for a couple of weeks.
Or, pull the pills and throw the powder onto your lawn for fertilizer - you can then fire off the primers if you know you have removed all powder along with the pill. Wear hearing protection, those primers sound like a .22 going off!

Fishslayer
July 15, 2011, 12:59 AM
I wouldn't shoot 'em for reasons outlined above.

Pull the bullets, dump the powder, pop out the primers & recycle the hardware.

Powder = fertilizer. ;)

Mal H
July 15, 2011, 01:07 AM
Out of curiosity, what is the caliber of the rounds and what is the stated load (bullet, powder, and weight of each)?

I agree with the above responses. 17 rounds of a possible mystery load are not worth losing at best your rifle, and at worst a body part.

To answer your actual question though, rounds from 1999 are practically new if you know you created them (and you knew what you were doing back then) and they were not subjected to temperature extremes (humidity actually isn't that important a factor), or they were factory rounds.

rondog
July 15, 2011, 01:09 AM
To answer your question, they should be fine. I have some '06 rounds that I loaded for my dad in probably the late 70's/early 80's, made and stored in OK, and they shoot fine.

Whether to shoot someone else's reloads is your call though. Doesn't bother me, but it does most folks.

Twmaster
July 15, 2011, 01:14 AM
The rifle came from somebody I trust. He does know his, sh... er, stuff.

It's unlikely these were mixed up or anything as they are truly oddball...

And three rounds had been fired from this batch back in 99 when he loaded them. (hence why there are 17...)

However, the point about not knowing with 100% certainty is valid. I just need to find a set of dies as these are way oddball and no factory ammo is available. (6.5-257 Roberts)

Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

Steve C
July 15, 2011, 03:50 AM
The age of the ammo is not an issue. I've shot ammo that I loaded back 32 years ago and it shot as well as that loaded the week before. Many of us have shot surplus ammo loaded in the 40's and it still shoots fine, no reason hand loads shouldn't last just as long. Will have to admit some of the .303 Brit surplus I have that was loaded in the 20's is hit or miss but about 90% still fires.

If you trust the guy who gave you the ammo and the rifle I say go ahead and try it out. I'd check the loads data as recorded to makes sure they're not extra hot though.

brickeyee
July 15, 2011, 01:06 PM
Oklahoma is a relatively low humidity place. I'm assuming this ammo is still good to shoot?

How much do you trust the person that loaded the ammo?

hoghunting
July 16, 2011, 07:49 AM
About 10 - 12 years ago, Midway carried RCBS dies for the 6.5-257, and I bought my set for about $60. Now they are a custom order from RCBS and much more expensive. RCBS wasn't the only company making the dies, so you might find others.

Since your trusted friend worked up the load for your rifle, after you find a set of dies, just pull the bullets from the reloads, dump the powder and charge with new powder, and reseat the bullets. Good luck with your search.

Encoreman
July 16, 2011, 08:14 AM
Don't shoot anybody's reloads unless you watched them build them. Before I started reloading I have shot 2 friends reloads. That said I shoot only my own now. As stated earlier some guys drink, watch tv, etc while reloading. My reloading is done while I am alone, no distractions. If you come into my room unless I am teaching you, I will finish the round I am on and we will talk. Hope this helps. Pull them and use components.

egg250
July 16, 2011, 08:22 AM
If you have to ask the question, I think you already have your answer.

SlamFire1
July 16, 2011, 04:01 PM
The only reloads that I use are my own.

Best policy.

Powders have a shelf life. The Army scraps ammunition with single based powders at 45 years and double based 20 years. At least that is what I was told by an Insensitive Munitions expert.

GLOOB
July 16, 2011, 11:21 PM
Here's an idea. How bout you pull a couple down. Weigh the bullet and the powder charge to see if they match the load info on the label. Check to see if a double charge could possibly fit. Check the load against current manufacturer data.

If it all jives, and if you trust the guy, why not?

Jumping Frog
July 17, 2011, 11:21 AM
Personally, my opinion is that I would never shoot someone else's handloads.
I agree.

Throw them into a coffee can of water for a couple of weeks.
Or, pull the pills and throw the powder onto your lawn for fertilizer - you can then fire off the primers if you know you have removed all powder along with the pill. Wear hearing protection, those primers sound like a .22 going off!
Sitting in water a couple of weeks is no guarantee of anything. You could sit in penetrating oil a couple of weeks and still have live ammo.

Personally, I'd pull the bullets, dump the powder and reuse the primed cases. I'd check the seating depth on the primers first to make sure they look OK, but would have no hesitation about reusing them.

Load fresh powder, re-seat the bullets and you are good to go.

gamestalker
July 17, 2011, 09:10 PM
I don't trust anyone's hand loads. I had a bad experience with someone else's loads back in the early 1990's that almost went critical if not for me noticing the lack of recoil(squib).
So far as the age of the ammunition, I have stuff I loaded as far back as 30 years ago that is still fine. If the brass isn't badly erroded and pitted, age is of little concern.

jeeptim
July 17, 2011, 09:56 PM
Send me the gun and ammo I'll let you know how they shoot.
For the most part i dont shoot others reloads but..... i have a few buddys i shoot and reload with and have no problem shooting their reloads cause I TRUST THEM.
You say you trust who you got them from if not take em apart and reload em.
And most of all have fun.

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