Pages

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Age of cartridges

Okay, me and Jim were discussing Colt 45 ammo and the string turned somehow to age of cartridges and shootability. I said that I was still shooting rounds I reloaded 20 years ago and am still using carefully stored powder and primer that's 5 years old. 
He shot a round from 1898 and it worked. I shot WWII 45 ACP in the late '70s/early 80s with no problem.
So what's the oldest round or batch of rounds you've fired give or take a few years?

17 comments:

Old NFO said...

I have to caveat my answer, I shot them back in the 1960s... So they were ONLY 62 years old... ;-) And If I remember right, the headstamps were WCC.

Stretch said...

I've shot .30-06 M2 ammo with 43, 44, and 45 date headstamps. All within the past year. That's 67-69 years.
58 year old .45acp from 1952 cycled well in my 1911.
I do have a .30-06 round headstamped 3-13 (yes, month included in those low volume days) that I'm saving as a show piece.

Bryn said...

Much to my surprise, I can actually put a competitive bid in on this one!
In a friendly shoot in 1990, 40 rnds .303 Lee Enfield, one box dated 1914, the other 1919. All milsurp, complete with WD broad arrow markings on the boxes.
Of 40 rounds fired, one reduced pressure misfire - everyone nearby commented on the muzzle report, and the bullet was seen to hit the ground some 100yds short of the 300yard target.
p.s.
Now I feel old - doubt I could even focus on a 300yard target over iron sights today....

Glenn B said...

I don't realy know the oldest ammo I have shot. I know have have fired stuff that was from the 1940s, WWII Jap ammo, for some sort of Jap rifle. That was in the 70s. I have shot ammo from the 60s recently so that may be the oldest I have shot.

Remember one thing, modern ammo with non-corrosive primers is slated to last only about 25 to 30 years before it starts to degrade. I do not know if that would actually be the case but it is not expected to last as long as older ammo with corrosive primers. They seem to last forever.

As far as black powder rounds go, if the powder is dry, it might just last forever. If it gets wet, just dry it out; it likely will go boom.

All the best,
Glenn B

Manure Master said...

I am still shooting 40 yr old 22LR I got from my Dads gun cabinet this year.

Wrench said...

I have some 40 year old 30-40 Krag ammo still firing off when asked to

orbitup said...

I have some old pistols with the old ammo that I inherited. I'm scared to shoot some of it, maybe I should just nut up and do it.

SArthurk said...

I just fired some 43 SL and 43 DEN outta my M1903 and It works fine and is fairly accurate.

Peter said...

During the early 60s when I was a kid they were damming a river on some ranchland, there were old houses and line camp shacks. After the ranchers were moved off a couple three of us went through the shacks, houses and barns. We found several hundred of realy old black powder cartridges and we managed to beg and borrow the firearms, including from te county museum. Most of the ammo fired.

Of course sometimes I think of what cartridge collectors are paying for that stuff today and I want to kick myself. Oh well, the reason it's valuable today is because kids like me shot it up.

Oswald Bastable said...

I'm still using a 30 year old can of 700xivan

The Old Man said...

'Bout 1998 or so a buddy found a box of .45 ACP marked 1915. Looks like the box had been wet at one time or another. Three cases of delayed ignition in the box, but no duds.

cato said...

The surplus ammo cases I bought 10 years ago (I still have it stored) was manufactured in 1943-45. It's dirty powder and some of it is
corrosive, but they put rounds down range very well, with no misfires or jams.

.45acp, 7.62x51, 7.62x54, 7.62x39 and 8mm all stored in WWII sealed steel containers.

Anonymous said...

I have a "thing" for ancient boom-sticks. The oldest I have ever chambered and fired was an original paper patched 69/71 Swiss Vetterli rimfire round, dated to about 1879. Over 130 years old and it went bang!

Van

GreyLocke said...

I shot up a bunch of WWI Cordite loaded .303 British back in the 90's. Only had 2 dead primers out of 300 rounds. It grouped almost as good as my Remington commercial ammo. I also fired some Israeli .303 that the boxes were marked Palestine.

drjim said...

I've fired WWII vintage ammo in my Kimber 1911.
Worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I shot .45 ACP headstamped FA 17. Frankford Arsenal, 1917 through a friends 1911 in the early 70's, like 72 or 73. We boiled the pistol afterwards (not really, but we did dunk it repeatedly in boiling water).

Russ III

Anonymous said...

Fired 80 year old Turkish 7.92 Mauser rounds tht went bang just fired and some 60 year old cordite 303 British that was Indian surplus. It was click (pause) bang ammo. I think it all has to do with storage.

Boone