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From: rsiatl! (John G. De Armond)
Subject: Re: How Long Does Ammunition Really Last?
Keywords: ammunition
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 90 18:41:05 GMT

In article <> (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>Does anyone have any experience shooting ammo that they squirreled
>away 10-20 years ago?

I just got through shooting some National Match .30-06 ammo my father
gave me that he'd squirrled away since he shot in the Matches in
the early '40s.  Most headstamps had 1940 as the date.

This stuff shot as well from my Garrand as does my modern reloads.
Maybe the Garrand was just homesick :-)  Seriously, there is NO
reason ammo stored under reasonable temperature and dry contitions
should not last indefinitely.

An aside:  The .30-06 tracers from the same vintage shoot but don't
ignite.  Pulling the bullets show the pyro material degrading
and coating the powder with a fine pink powder.  I DID notice
the same distinct oder of ether as from new powder.


Subject: [AMMO] mil. flake (was: stockpiling ammo)
Organization: AT&T

From article <>, by (Gary Coffman):

# I suspect that corrosive priming is the key. I've posted previously
# about firing Great War ammo with 100% success. Recently I got some
# 1952 non-corrosive .45ACP with a FN headstamp. The stuff is horrible.
# About every third round fails to fire. It's the primers. I took some
# apart, the powder is fine, the primers are duds. I did something risky,
# I reprimed the brass and reloaded with the old powder. They shoot great.
# Now it may be that this lot of primers was just bad, but it's not
# a good omen for long term stored non-corrosive ammo.

I had similar troubles with 30-06 with 1953 SF headstamp with
steel jacketed bullets, berdan primed.  I also experienced hang-
fires.  Perhaps they have mercury fulminate type primers which
can go bad with time especially if stored over 100 deg. F.
This ammo contained about 47.5 grains of a flake powder
frequently found in old WW2 era ammo.

I did a similar experiment, probably more risky than with your
pistol ammo, and reloaded 47 grains of the powder in a modern case
with Winchester primer and 150gr bullet.  It was shot from a
Garand with a strain gage hooked to an oscilloscope.  The pressure
curves were very erratic - the peak pressures varied a
lot: 53Kpsi, 61Kpsi, 55Kpsi. The velocities were around 2750 to 2800 fps.
Then I hooked the gage up to a peak reading amplifier.  It
read 62K, 89K, and 97K psi for 3 more shots.  I don't know if
the 2 90K+ readings were real, but I can't prove otherwise.
Maybe they were real spikes of short duration, since the peak
amplifier has a risetime of 7 microseconds compared to the
scope amplifier which has a 60 microsecond risetime.
One of the cases showed some signs of primer flowing-flattening,
but there were no signs of headspace change or effect on the gun.
The loads had an eery feel to them when fired.  I'm not going
to repeat this experiment.  I will consider trying the original
loads though for comparison though.

Steve Faber

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