When is Ammo Too Old?


When is Ammo Too Old?

When is ammunition too old to be reliable? Many folks, likely the same ones who toss out any product once it reaches its expiration date, get antsy about ammo once it starts to seem a little old. But are their concerns well-founded? That’s what Paul Harrell looks at in this video.

For testing, he first fires some old 12 gauge shotgun shells made in the 1960s. Every one of them did its job perfectly. Next up was a cool-looking Polish PPS 43C submachine gun, with some 7.62x25mm Tokarev ammo that was made in 1952. Only one out of 60 rounds had a minor hiccup.

Naturally, this is not an exhaustive test, but it does illustrate that ammo doesn’t have an expiration date, and there’s no sense throwing it away just because it’s a little long in the tooth.

As long as your ammunition preps are stashed in a relatively stable environment, it will likely last for decades without any sort of trouble, or at least, no more trouble than it would have given you when brand-new (in the case of QC problems, etc).


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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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