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Storage life of reloads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ForeverArmed, Jan 17, 2007.

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  1. ForeverArmed

    ForeverArmed member

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    Hey folks,

    At some point in the future I'd like to get into reloading and will be reading up on the subject quite a bit. One question I haven't seen addressed yet is this: Does reloaded/handloaded ammo have a shorter "shelf life" than commercially-produced ammo? This is assuming storage conditions are decent.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but the reason I ask is because I'm not familiar with all the steps involved in the commercial manufacture of ammo. I know they can do things like seal primers and so forth, but I don't know how easy it is to do such things when rolling your own.

    TIA
     
  2. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    A good long term storage solution for reloaded ammo: Old military issue cans with the rubber seals. They protect your ammo real well and if you do a good job of picking them out for condition when you buy, your ammo will be airtight and should last a good long time.
     
  3. Phillip Allen

    Phillip Allen Member

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    I have stored it long term...If I don't know when I'll shoot the stuff, I assume it will be long term and load accordingly...wash hands and get anal about clean conditions...if loading cast bullets, the bases must be free of all lube...also prepare ahead of time by keeping solvents away from the loading bench and storage area for primers and powder

    it's the same thing they do in factories
     
  4. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    Stored in a consistant temperature, in a dry place, the reloads should be good for decades. Recently shot some .44 magnum loaded in 1982 and performance was the same as when originally loaded. I agree that surplus ammo cans is a good way to store reloaded ammo. Also reloaded ammo should last as long as factory loaded.
     
  5. DJW

    DJW Member

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    Recently shot some reloads from 1972 and they performed just fine. They have been in my unheated and unairconditioned loading room for the past 15 years............before that they lived in my basement in the midwest.
     
  6. tikkat3

    tikkat3 Member

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    If kept well, they should last for many years.

    If you can compare this, I inherited an old 19th century hammer action .410 shotgun from my grandmother about 20 years ago. Along with it came a bag or two of loose 2.5" paper shells - all from the 1940s/50s, or earlier. As I also had a good Best London 20 bore, I seldom used the .410. When I did, I bought a new box of Eley Fourlongs and shot them. They performed well. When I finally tried one of the 40-50 year old paper cartridges, it shot just as well and accurately (at rabbits and pigeon) as the new ones. The papers had been stored haphazardly in various cupboards and draws in varying humidity over the years. Despite this they still shot as well as when they were new.
     
  7. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    If you're concerned about it, put a little nail polish in the gap around the primer. That's all the major manufacturers do, except they often have some special sealants for the high end stuff.

    Also, they use a tar-like substance around the inside of the case just below the mouth. It's intended to be somewhat compliant.

    In both cases, the sealant is fairly thin (I think it's all laquer based) and fast drying. They do the primer seal right after putting the primer in, with a small amount (small drop) put into the gap and it wicks around and drys fast. The bullet sealant is swiped on with something like a tiny brush.
     
  8. ForeverArmed

    ForeverArmed member

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    Great info from all, and what I wanted to hear, too. Thanks again!
     
  9. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    No reason a reload or handload shouldn't last as long as a factory load if kept in the same environment.
     
  10. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    When I got back into reloading 2 years ago I pulled some old equipment out and found some .45 acp loads that I had put together 20+ years ago. (200 rounds). I took them out and put them through my Kimber and they grouped very nicely. FWIW.

    In terms of storage I'm ashamed to say that they were in plastic MTM boxes and had been in the garage attic of two different houses. (unheated/uncooled)

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  11. SamTuckerMTNMAN

    SamTuckerMTNMAN Member

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    this guys ammo (pic)

    seemed to last long enough, remember?

    ST
     

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