How old it too old for Ammo?

How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby 2k05gt » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:13:05

I was cleaning out my Basement and I came across a box of Federal 9MM 147 Grain Hydra-Shok JHP (P9HS2G1)
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The Box It's taped up with packing tape so I crack it open

The Date Clock on the Flap reads August 1996 ( 16 years Old)

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So I pull out the tray and pull a couple out, they look ok, took a couple to the range today and they fire ok
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So the Question is... Are they too old to trust as a defense round?
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And if so what age would be your "Red Line" on the trust factor on when to get new Carry / Defense ammo?
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby Chasbo00 » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:20:58

So long as they have not been exposed to extreme temperatures or high moisture, they should be fine. However, I would get a more recent cartridge for SD as the bullets have improved a lot. Here is pretty good selection list:

9mm
Barnes XPB 115gr HP (35515) such as loaded by Cor-Bon (DPX09115)
Winchester Partition Gold 124gr JHP (RA91P)
Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
Winchester Ranger Bonded 124 gr +P JHP (RA9BA)
Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+ (RA9TA)
Winchester Ranger-T 147gr JHP (RA9T)
Winchester Bonded 147gr JHP (RA9B/Q4364)
Speer Gold Dor 124gr JHP
Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P (53617)
Speer Gold Dot 147gr JHP (53619)
Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P JHP bonded (GSB9MMD)
Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP (GS9MMC)
Federal Tactical 124gr JHP (LE9T1)
Federal Tactical 135gr JHP +P (LE9T5)
Federal HST 147gr JHP (P9HST2)
Federal HST 124gr JHP +P (P9HST3)

http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Self_D ... o_FAQ/#9mm
Last edited by Chasbo00 on Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:24:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby GeneFrenkle » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:22:56

The general rule of thumb I've heard is to replace your defense ammo annually. I can't say I really follow it because I still have at least decade old fed hydrashocks in. 45 acp in my carry. Mine was in the fancy plastic box.

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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby Chasbo00 » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:33:26

GeneFrenkle wrote:The general rule of thumb I've heard is to replace your defense ammo annually.


I think that applies to ammo loaded in you gun that is subject to the elements and perhaps handling due to loading and unloading - not ammo that has been in storage.
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby GeneFrenkle » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:48:57

For ammo that is loaded/unloaded, you also have to worry about setback. There are also technology advances to consider, too. For ammo stored in a climate controlled house, old stuff most likely is still good.

The other part of the rule of thumb I've heard is that after a year, you shoot it through your carry piece. It gives extra practice with your defnse loads and exercises your piece for function with those kinds of loads.

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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby 2k05gt » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 22:47:11

The Exact Date printed on the back is Friday August 23 1996
The R = 1996 236 is Julian day date for 8/23 (Julian 96236)
Federal used the letter code for year in the 90's

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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby Jakeiscrazy » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 23:42:48

Well because ammo is cheap and its sort of an uneeded risk. That said I have shoot .22 short ammo for the 1950s and did have a single issue in a gun from a 1950s(gun and ammo where bought together!)
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby jdonovan » Sat, 07 Sep 2013 07:29:22

I don't think there is anything wrong with the ammo because of age. I regularly shoot rifle ammo that is 70-80 years old with fine performance.

What's wrong with the ammo is technology. There are many vastly better projectiles on the market today.

The late 80/early 90's 9mm bullet designs are what helped drive the move to 40/45 guns. The ammo's power wasn't a problem, it was projectiles that failed to perform.

Todays 9mm projectiles are what is driving a return to 9mm duty guns. Along with the higher capacity ease of shooting / qualifying etc...


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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby gunderwood » Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:48:00

Chasbo00 wrote:
GeneFrenkle wrote:The general rule of thumb I've heard is to replace your defense ammo annually.


I think that applies to ammo loaded in you gun that is subject to the elements and perhaps handling due to loading and unloading - not ammo that has been in storage.

As long as it was stored fine, 16yrs is NOT that long and it should function. The annual is really geared towards ammo carried in the gun and exposed to humidity and temperature extremes.

However, why would you risk it? Just shoot it up as practice ammo and get something much better. Hydra-Shocks are very old technology and have been surpassed by nearly everything else on the market. There is no good reason for them to be sold at all, but they are sold because of the mythical status several Hollywood films have given them (back in their hay day) combined with their popularity as OC/CC came back into style (or at least recognized as such).

The number of new people who think Hydra-Shocks are the end all be all because it's the only brand/model they've heard in films/etc. is amazing. It's like raving about how the .44Mag is "the most powerful handgun in the world," which wasn't even true at the time of the film. Do NOT buy them anymore!
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby gunderwood » Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:52:42

jdonovan wrote:I don't think there is anything wrong with the ammo because of age. I regularly shoot rifle ammo that is 70-80 years old with fine performance.

What's wrong with the ammo is technology. There are many vastly better projectiles on the market today.

The late 80/early 90's 9mm bullet designs are what helped drive the move to 40/45 guns. The ammo's power wasn't a problem, it was projectiles that failed to perform.

Todays 9mm projectiles are what is driving a return to 9mm duty guns. Along with the higher capacity ease of shooting / qualifying etc...

+1

Can not be overstated. The problems with 9mm for duty/SD was the poor bullet design. If you're still buying/shooting these 90's designs for SD, get nearly anything else!
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby NovaHunter » Sat, 07 Sep 2013 11:01:14

For carrying, it never hurts to make sure you are carrying the best ammo you can get.

For target practice, I've shot 8mm and 30-06 ammo that was loaded during the 40's and 50's and it shot fine.
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby GeneFrenkle » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 12:45:30

WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF AMMO AND STORAGE?

Store reloading components and ammunition in a cool, dry place, protected from direct exposure to sunlight. If stored properly there is a 10-year shelf life on loaded ammunition.

From http://www.federalpremium.com/company/faq.aspx

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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby jdonovan » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 13:27:54

which is an odd statement unless their lawyers made them say it due to liability in case the ammo doesn't go bang.

The powder/primer makers say that their products when stored at room temp, and moderate humidity have an unlimited shelf life.


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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby GeneFrenkle » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 14:07:25

Yeah, I thougt it was interesting that they would say that.

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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby gunderwood » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 14:08:19

jdonovan wrote:which is an odd statement unless their lawyers made them say it due to liability in case the ammo doesn't go bang.

The powder/primer makers say that their products when stored at room temp, and moderate humidity have an unlimited shelf life.

+1
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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby GeneFrenkle » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 14:10:47

Still, there hopefully there is some sort of rationale for that duration even if it was arbitrary and caprecious. Maybe the lawyers rolled a 1d20 or consulted the magic 8 ball?

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Re: How old it too old for Ammo?

Postby Chasbo00 » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 15:04:58

GeneFrenkle wrote:WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF AMMO AND STORAGE?

Store reloading components and ammunition in a cool, dry place, protected from direct exposure to sunlight. If stored properly there is a 10-year shelf life on loaded ammunition.

From http://www.federalpremium.com/company/faq.aspx


Wonder why I've never seen a sell by date on Federal ammo? I've certainly seen
10-year expiration dates before, for example lithium batteries. I'm even more curious regarding what Federal bases their claimed 10-year limit on.
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