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Whats your oldest dated surplus ammo

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by nathan, Jan 1, 2013.

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  1. nathan

    nathan Member

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    For me it was the 8mm mauser FMJs brasscased i got from CAI eight years ago made in Greece . I think they were stamped 1939. Surprisingly the boxes they came with were in pristine dusty condition. And i got plenty of those as CAI were selling them at huge bargain prices like $70 for 900 rds something to that effect. I ve shot some and they were accurate as modern ammo. With a strong recoil of course. The fact it was 1939 , right at the start of WW 2 , means a lot.


    I m curious if surplus ammo shooters have come across ammo that dates back to the 1920s and 30s. I would assume they are non existent as those stockpiles had been used during WW2 .
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I have a box of .45 acp all dated 1918, and a decent amount of 1918 U.S.C.&C. .30-06 as well.
     
  3. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Member

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    I've got some 8mm Mauser 196gr dated 1939
     
  4. highorder

    highorder Member

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    Currently it's some 30-06 M2 AP stamped DEN 43.
     
  5. 762gunr

    762gunr Member

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    My 1939 Greek 8mm is the oldest I have in quanity. Have a few WW1 '06 rounds laying around.
    IMG_3433a.jpg
     
  6. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I have a box of .276 Pedersen dated 1929, and a box of M1918 Cal .30 Auto Pistol ammo form 1918. Haven't shot either one yet, but I plan to. :)
     
  7. csa77

    csa77 Member

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    I shot it all but saved the brass, clips and bandoliers to afew hundred rounds of 1952 FN made .303 .
     
  8. 762gunr

    762gunr Member

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    Ian,
    I just wanted you to know that you are my favorite longhair :).
    I look forward to seeing your vids pop up in my subscription list more than any other channel. My MOS in the Army is small arms repair and a machinist by trade. Your knowledge of firearm history AND mechanical understanding make you unique and heads above your peers.
     
  9. SilentScream

    SilentScream Member

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    A handful of 1944 dated 7.92Kurz
    a box or two of 1939 dated 8x56R
    The oldest i've had/shot was some 1920's dated 7.92x57 not sure of exact date or country of origin, I got my hands on it in my formative years of shooting/collecting and shot it all up due to not knowing any better.
     
  10. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    .45 caliber gatling gun ammo from 1881.
     
  11. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    1944 dated .30 Carbine from Western Cartridge Co.
     
  12. wrench

    wrench Member

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    I've got a couple hundred rounds of '20's Turkish 8mm. I've never shot any of it, more a curiosity for me.
     
  13. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    I recently shot some UMC 1900 7mm Mauser ammo. I think I still have a few rounds left. Most of it shot fine.
     
  14. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    1934 8mil
     
  15. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    I have some 45 acp from 1919. It is in the mag of my 1918 1911...chris3
     
  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have older, pre WW2 ammunition, but that was before I found out that ammunition has a shelf life and that old ammunition blows up guns.

    I found the rule of thumb for safe lifetime of ammunition is 20 years for double based and 45 years for single based powders. Heat will dramatically reduce the lifetime, as you can find in this UN manual.

    United Nations (UN) Manual

    IATG 07.20 Surveillance and in-service proof

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/conva...20-Surveillance_and_In-Service Proof(V.1).pdf

    Paragraph 7.3, how temperature reduces the lifetime of ammunition.


    Old ammunition will blow up guns through a number of ways. One is with the breakdown of the powder. Reports from blowups using WW2 US ammunition indicate that the powder had broken down to a dust. With an increased surface area it is reasonable to assume the pressure curve spiked. Another is combustion instability. As the powder ages the powder grains deteriorate. A smooth pressure curve is desired during combustion. If the pressure curve is irregular, because the grains are burning unevenly, interactions between out of phase pressure waves can cause pressures to spike. Another is the migration of nitroglycerine to the surface of double based powders. When the surface is rich with nitroglycerine the initial pressure wave will spike.


    Section from the Propellant Management Guide:

    Stabilizers are chemical ingredients added to propellant at time of manufacture to
    decrease the rate of propellant degradation and reduce the probability of auto ignition during its expected useful life.

    As nitrocellulose-based propellants decompose, they release nitrogen oxides. If the nitrogen oxides are left free to react in the propellant, they can react with the nitrate ester, causing further decomposition and additional release of nitrogen oxides. The reaction between the nitrate ester and the nitrogen oxides is exothermic (i.e., the reaction produces heat). Heat increases the rate of propellant decomposition. More importantly, the exothermic nature of the reaction creates a problem if sufficient heat is generated to initiate combustion. Chemical additives, referred to as stabilizers, are added to propellant formulations to react with free nitrogen oxides to prevent their attack on the nitrate esters in the propellant. The stabilizers are scavengers that act rather like sponges, and once they become “saturated” they are no longer able to remove nitrogen oxides from the propellant. Self-heating of the propellant can occur unabated at the “saturation” point without the ameliorating effect of the stabilizer. Once begun, the self-heating may become sufficient to cause auto ignition.


    As NOx is released within the case it attacks the brass. Nitric acid gas is a by product of NOx. I had the case necks crack on 700 LC Match cases loaded with surplus powders. As the stabilizer is depleted in old powder more and more NOx gets released inside of the case. I have heard of corrosion between bullets and case necks causing blowups, that corrosion is probably due to NOx.

    I am pondering about the best thing to do with my old surplus ammunition. I think one approach is to pull the bullets, dump the powder, and see if the cases have internal corrosion. Cases that are in good shape I may reload with fresh powder.

    This powder is from a FA 11-1898 30-40 Krag cartridge. Obviously it is bad.

    30-40FA11-1898Crackedcaseneck.jpg

    30-40FA11-1898RedpowderDSCN1095.jpg
     
  17. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    ^ That is kinda scary, I did not know or more likely completely forgot that old ammo can be dangerous.

    I am diggin this thread, you guys got so cool old ammo!
    the oldest mil surp ammo in my collection is 2 rounds of .303 MK VII dated 1942.
    They came with my jungle carbine, 3 of them, realized they were that old when inspecting the fired brass.:eek:
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Oldest? .45ACP. Headstamp 43 EC. Steel case.

    I once shot a couple of boxes of .243 reloads from 1968; this was around 1992 I guess. Good groups, but two inches lower than new ammo of the same powder and bullet.

    I inherited some .223 reloads of my uncle's. I dunno; maybe thirty years old when I shot them. From the bench, the groups were good and the POI was about the same as new stuff.

    Generally, old powder in ancient loads doesn't burn as good as the new stuff. I've never heard nor read of any bad incidents from shooting it.
     
  19. squarles67

    squarles67 Member

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    Don't want to de-rail a cool thread but I don't believe anything that comes from the UN, especially from the office of disarmament. That's just propaganda to get people to discard ammo and in their disillusioned eyes "save lives"

    The oldest stuff I have is '50s HXP 30.06 for my Garand and '50s Bulgarian Tokarev
     
  20. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    Not to say that the UN information correct or not but this is one reason I do like Real Black Powder in my muzzleloaders because that stuff tends to last a long time.

    Oldest stuff I have is some. 44-40 ammo that's dated around 1886.
     
  21. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    50's vintage berdan primed Yugo 8mm Mauser. I've had a couple misfires in hundreds of rounds, no signs of overpressure.

    I shot a box of USGI steel cased 45 ACP that came back from Korea in '54 that was 'hot'. Don't recall the headstamp, could have been WW2 surplus.
     
  22. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Garand Blowup with WWII ball
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=7870113&postcount=13

    I have an old shooting buddy who some years ago was shooting some WWII ball (don’t know whose) but his M-1 was disassembled in a rather rapid fashion. He was lucky only his pride was hurt. He said he took a round apart and found rust looking dust along with the powder. Bad powder. Just sayin…..The op rod can be rebuilt which might be a good way to go. Op Rods are getting harder to find and when you find one a premium price is required so it seems. Garands require grease. I’m not sure if you are aware of this. If you are, please no offence taken.


    Garand Blowup with old US ammunition.
    http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?p=1344088

    There was a thread on another forum titeled “What’s in your ammo can” and many guys had old surpluss ammo so I told this story. Ty (arizonaguide) asked that I come put it here also so here it is boys, draw your own conclutions.

    Back in the mid 80s my Dad and a bunch of us went shooting in Arizona. Dad had a couple thousand rounds of WWII surplus .30M1 (30-06) ammo that looked great on the outside cut his M1 in half in his hands. He was kneeling with elbow on knee when the first round of this ammo went BOOM! We were all pelted with sand and M1 shrapnel.

    When the dust cleared Dad was rolling around on his back with buttstock in one hand, for stock in the other, barrel and receiver hanging by the sling around his arm trying to yell “mortar” thinking he was back on Okinawa in battle. The blast had removed his ear muffs, hat, glasses, and broke the headlight in my truck 15 feet away but Dad was only shook up and scratched a bit once he got his wits back. It sheared off the bolt lugs, blew open the receiver front ring, pushed all the guts out the bottom of the magazine, and turned the middle of the stock to splinters.

    After a couple hours of picking up M1 shrapnel we headed to the loading bench and started pulling bullets. Some of the powder was fine, some was stuck together in clumps, and some had to be dug out with a stick. It didn’t smell and was not dusty like powder usuley is when it’s gone bad. Put it in a pie tin and light it and it seemed a tad fast but not so you would think it could do that, wasent like lighting a pistol powder even. He had 2000 rounds of this stuff and nun of us were in any mood to play with it much after what we watched so it all went onto a very entertaining desert bon fire. I got the M1 splinters when Dad died last year and will post pix here below for your parousal and entertainment.

    Anyway, I no longer play with any ammo I am not 100% sure has always been stored properly . . . cheap shooting ain’t worth the risk to me anymore! I still buy surpluss if the price in right but I unload and reload it with powder I am sure of or just use the brass.

    She was a good shooting servasable Winchester M1 before this.


    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS1.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS2.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS2b.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS2c.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS4.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS4a.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS4b.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS4c.jpg

    GarandBlownUpwithWWIIUS4d.jpg

    If you don't believe the UN, what about your military?

    ROLE OF DIPHENYLAMINE AS A STABILIZER IN PROPELLANTS;
    ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY OF DIPHENYLAMINE IN PROPELLANTS
    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/783499.pdf

    Heat, as you can see in the report, will age gunpowder

    Propellantaging.jpg


    Combustion pressures will rise after high temperature storage.

    INVESTIGATION OF THE BALLISTIC AND CHEMICAL STABILITY OF 7.62MM AMMUNITION LOADED WITH BALL AND IMR PROPELLANT

    Frankfort Arsenal 1962

    3. Effects of Accelerated Storage Propellant and Primer Performance

    To determine the effect of accelerated isothermal storage upon propellant and primer performance, sixty cartridges from each of lots E (WC 846) and G (R 1475) were removed from 150F storage after 26 and 42 weeks, respectively. The bullets were then removed from half the cartridges of each lot and from an equal number of each lot previously stored at 70F. The propellants were then interchanged, the bullets re-inserted, and the cases recrimped. Thus, four variations of stored components were obtained with each lot.

    Chamber pressures yielded by ammunition incorporating these four variations were as follows. These values represent averages of 20 firings.




    Pressurevariationsduetostoragetempertures-1.jpg
     
  23. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    I don't believe anything the UN puts out. I have alot of 1930s era Turk 8mm that shoots just fine except for the 1938 ammo which is about 1/2 no fires or hang fires. If the outside of the case is not damaged or cracked, I will shoot it. If it doesn't go bang, I break it down for components and throw the powder in my garden....chris3

    That M1 looks it fired out of battery to me. You notice there is no damage to the chamber. As far as the US ammo data, who stores ammo at 140-150 degrees? chris3
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  24. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    I have a few boxes of 8mm Hungarian/Steyr ammo (8x56r) around from 1938. Interestingly, about the half the boxes have ammo and enbloc clips dated January 1938 with the Austrian eagle/crest, the other half are dated from August of 1938 with Nazi/German eagle stamps. I guess it didn't take the Germans long to swap out the stamps after the Anschluss in March.
     
  25. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    I've got some early 1940's British MkVIII ball ammo that I shoot in my Enfield. It's old enough that there is a noticeable delay between CLICK and BANG!
     
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