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Thread: When is Ammo Too Old

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    When is Ammo Too Old

    It was recently advised that the ammo in the pix attached was in very poor condition and looks old. The reason I'm asking is I'm trying to zero in on an issue (case not exiting fast enough) possibly unrelated to the question. So when is 4 year old ammo too old? When it gets a few microns of oxide on it because it has been stored in loaded Gen 2 or 3 PMAGS? Should ammo that has this discoloration not be fired in modern sporting rifles? Should it only be stored in the original cardboard, plastic or metal shipping contains as opposed to in a magazine? I have noticed that ammo kept in PMAGS get this discoloration faster than the ammo kept elsewhere.




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    Ammo inserted into a magazine in a dry environment, like your home, should still look basically new 30 years later.....maybe a small amount of oxidation. In addition to looking new, 30 year old ammo will still perform as new.

    Did you store this ammo in the bathroom next to the shower?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzman View Post
    Ammo inserted into a magazine in a dry environment, like your home, should still look basically new 30 years later.....maybe a small amount of oxidation. In addition to looking new, 30 year old ammo will still perform as new.

    Did you store this ammo in the bathroom next to the shower?
    Not a chance in the bathroom! Maybe a loaded firearm but never loose ammo. The loaded mags were either in a metal file cabinet in an office or in a range bag made of either nylon or cloth lined leather. In the pix below, see 3 different storage methods. The one stored in the mag looks the most oxidized.

    Top is a 3 year old American Eagle Lake City 62gr XM855 stored in a PMAG for ~1year
    Middle is 4 year old IMI 55gr M193 BTFMJ stored in cardboard boxes of 30 rounds in a bulk plastic ammo can
    Bottom is 4 year old American Eagle 55gr XM193 FMJBT stored loose in a metal ammo can



    Opening boxes of misc .223 and 5.56 ammo in my locker, it appears that the preferred way to store is in cardboard small boxes or even when the divider is Styrofoam or plastic, not is plastic magazines.

    So what I was told or advised about the ammo looking "old" or in very poor condition should not have a effect on it loading from the mag into the chamber?
    Last edited by masterdrago; 09-24-19 at 14:34.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
    ... it appears that the preferred way to store is in cardboard small boxes or even when the divider is Styrofoam or plastic, not is plastic magazines.
    Depends on the cardboard. Over on TFL there was an issue with acidic cardboard corroding cases so badly that they were junk... The cases turned pink (ammonia vs. copper?) and were visibly/tangibly weakened:

    https://m14forum.com/ammunition/1089...n94-cases.html


    That said, when I buy "battle packs," I tend to just store them that way.

    Otherwise, ammo is not perishable. Left in a cool dry place, it's basically good forever. The kind of tarnish on brass cases that you're seeing is a non-issue.
    Last edited by Bimmer; 09-24-19 at 14:42. Reason: Adding link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
    It was recently advised that the ammo in the pix attached was in very poor condition and looks old.
    It's not polished, but it doesn't look old. Military ammo and some of the XM193 type ammo can look a little rustic although it's current production. Ammo should easily hold up for decades and decades if stored in decent conditions. I don't keep ammo in card stock boxes due to that material being capable of holding moisture.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Just for reference,

    A while back, a buddy brought his Russian capture Mauser K98K with both German and Russian markings on it, along with an ammo can full of de-linked MG42 heavy ball ammo.

    This stuff was the hotter MG ammo which delivers a 197gr wrecking ball at over 2400 fps.

    The head stamps were '39 or '41, so these cartridges had seen a world war, a cold war and who knows what else over their 70+ years.

    All but one cartridge worked perfectly, delivering a healthy donkey-kick to the shoulder.

    Impressive.
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    Ammo looks fine. Doesn't need to look polished and new.

    I'm still shooting ammo made in the 50s -80s and I store them how they come. Wooden crates, cardboard boxes, steel tins.... whatever
    Last edited by Arik; 09-24-19 at 20:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
    Top is a 3 year old American Eagle Lake City 62gr XM855 stored in a PMAG for ~1year
    Middle is 4 year old IMI 55gr M193 BTFMJ stored in cardboard boxes of 30 rounds in a bulk plastic ammo can
    Bottom is 4 year old American Eagle 55gr XM193 FMJBT stored loose in a metal ammo can...

    Jeez, 3-4 years old is "brand new" to me.

    I have some .30 Carbine and .380ACP that I loaded back in the 1990s (I don't shoot those much), and some milsurp 7.62NATO from the 1980s (those were the days).

    Even my "serious purposes" ammo is at least 3-5 years old now, and it's just going to get older and older since California banned online ammo sales.

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    I found a box of my reloads recently that was 32 years old. Fifty rounds of .45 ACP loaded with Bullseye powder and 230 grain cast bullets. I took it to the range, and got fifty good bangs.

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    Stored in a nice climate controlled house inside of ammo cans, it should be good for as long as you need.
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