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Nugget Joe

Ammo Life

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This is kinda a follow up to my re-start reloading thread. Since it may be a bit before the reloading bench reopens. Have to rebuy all equipment and supplies, which like you guys mentioned in my other thread, may be awhile.

For my Ruger Vaquero I have from my past reloading on hand, 300 rounds of Cowboy Action 45lc (reloads) and a 50 count of some pretty potent Buffalo Bore cartridges.

My Vaquero is one off the heavy originals so I have put a few heavy rounds through it in the past, not allot, but a few in hunting situations.

Anyway my question.   Shelf life on reloaded cartridges?   I'm sure there are variables and no solid answers but,  just thoughts would be appreciated. I want to say my reloading, after many years, ceased around 8-10 years ago.   Thanks again,  Joe

 

PS,  bottom line I would really like to get into Cowboy Action shooting which may not happen until the wife and I make our move to the Carolinas from a NY. (which I can't wait to get out of)

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This past weekend I was shooting reloads from 2012.  Everyone went bang.

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Stored properly, a life time.  Many are still shooting WWII ammo.  Heat and moisture are the bad guys.   

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I have all my ammo stored in the green G.I. cans,I have ammo that I loaded in the mid 80's that still shoots fine, as someone else said heat and moisture is the enemy of ammo,keep it in a cool dry air tight container and it will outlast you.

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Good to know, thanks for the info.   I now wish I loaded a lot more back then.

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Some thoughts regarding your two threads:  Ruger (Old Model) Vaqueros are still available on gun auction sites.  If you bought a second you could send both to a cowboy gunsmith and get them ready for competition.  Brass in 45 Colt (sometimes called 45 Long Colt) is unavailable.  However, you could backorder some from Starline and probably receive your order this year.  Also, investigate 45 Cowboy Special cases for your revolvers.  These shorter cases allow a better powder burn with reduced charges.  Start shopping for a progressive reloader too.  These are also backordered.  When you get to the Carolinas you can order cast bullets from a local caster and have delivery to a match you attend.  There is much you can do while waiting for primers.  Hold off buying long guns until you've tried other shooter's guns.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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Not reloaded ammo; but my first job as a 14 year old kid in 1980 was in a small gun shop in Battle Creek Mi. (Arms and Sundries); this shop had been around for a while and we had boxes of ammo that dated back into the 50's. 

 

Like any job; I eventually moved on to other things - but remained friendly with the owner and when he retired and closed the shop (late 80's); he asked me to come back and help with the packing up and auction to clear out the inventory.

 

As I packed old faded green/ red Remington - Peters boxes of lead 38special ammo into brown cardboard boxes; the owner asked me if I still owned the revolver I had insisted my Dad purchase for me with my first paycheck (a Smith and Wesson mdl. 28 N frame Highway Patrolman); I smiled and affirmed that, "Yes; and I'll keep it forever".  

He smiled at me and nudged the couple dozen boxes of old 38special ammo toward me and said, "Take those and enjoy".

I still have a singular box of this now nearly 70 year old ammo which Ill probably never shoot, just for "reasons" - but I shot up all the rest of those rounds over the years without a single failure to fire. 

Properly loaded ammo kept dry should basically be functional for a lifetime.

 

And yes; I still have the mdl 28 too.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

 Brass in 45 Colt (sometimes called 45 Long Colt) is unavailable.  

Here's a source I have had good luck finding 45 colt since I decided to not only get back into shooting but change calibers as well.

https://www.capitalcartridge.com/45-LC-Pistol-Brass-p/sp45lc-q0100.htm

 

Not affiliated just a satisfied customer. It's once fired mixed headstamp cleaned. My first order was about .30 per case and it looks like they went up to $37 plus shipping so this order is just shy of .50 per case.

 

 

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When we cleared out the house after my folks passed, we found an old ammo can with some .222 Dad or I had loaded at the kitchen table with an old Lee Loader back in late 60s or very early 70s. 

 

No problem with the ammo, was as 1 MOA accurate with the old Savage and 3/4" scope as it was when it was fresh.

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As others have stated, indefinitely if kept cool, dry, and stable.

 

Officially, manufacturers state around 10 years shelf life (some say more, some say less, most I have come across say 10 years).

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Years ago I read a book about the start of the Remington Firearms company.  After the invent of cartridge ammo, Russia ordered I believe was 10,000 rounds of center fire rifle ammo.  The boat sank right after leaving the dock.  The ammo was recovered 6 months later and Remington decided to see if the ammo would shoot.  All 10,000 rounds fired without a single malfunction after being submerged in salt water for 6 months.

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I shot off some WWI surplus .30-06 about ten years back with no problems.

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I shot some 30-30  the other day and the box was dated in my dads hand writing and he passed 25 years ago.  Not a problem one, keep it dry and  in a place where the temperature remains consistent.  We have always used the military green metal .50 cal ammo cans and kept them within a gun safe.   My oldest CAS ammo is probably 3 years old.

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I just saw ammo for sale online here in FL. 100 9mm $200!!

Guess reloading is gonna get real popular real quick.

 

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1 hour ago, Waimea said:

I just saw ammo for sale online here in FL. 100 9mm $200!!

Guess reloading is gonna get real popular real quick.

 

Well, there is a sucker born every minute. But $0.60 a round is showing up on AmmoSeek at this time. and the price is dropping. Might be a while before we are back to $0.164 a round out the door with tax (my automatic buy-a-case price) but plinking rounds are now less than SD ammo was before the shortage started.

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Here’s another site that has once fired .45 Colt brass in stock East Coast

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properly stored for a lifetime or more , ive been shooting british ammo for years made a long time before i was born , 

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22 hours ago, watab kid said:

properly stored for a lifetime or more , ive been shooting british ammo for years made a long time before i was born , 

I just shot some through my .303 Enfield this weekend. WWII ammo.

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thats exactly what i was doing , i have newer but im working my way through from the older , i have 455 and 380 as well , 

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On the other hand:

 

I was buying S&B 30 Mauser from vendors at gunshows when I could find it. Primarily to stock up and obtain brass. I do not know the vintage of the cartridges but I would imagine post 1960.

 

Anyway, I recently started to use these cartridges and a notable percentage were either hangfires or required multiple strikes to fire. So far, they have all fired but much attention had to be paid when utilizing the ammo.

 

 

30 mauser (2).jpg

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I've got ammo that i reloaded 20 years ago. It all goes bang. Maybe one in a 10,000 have a bad primer. I also have surplus 45 acp ammo from 1923. it goes bang too. 

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If you shoot mil-surp guns, you run across great shooting ammo from 50+ years ago and rotten stuff, depending on how it was stored.

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