If it was US military or military style ammunition sold commercially, its headstamp would indicate the manufacturer and year of manufacture. The caliber/cartridge designation is not on the headstamp.
M41 38 Special ball of the sort that was once issued to Army counterintelligence and CID agents for their Colt Detective Special or S&W model 10 revolvers. The box is marked Olin, and “WCC” was the code for
This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,
“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
Right?? I’m glad that someone else feels this way. How many times have we all told someone that their ammo/primers/powder will outlive them? But yet, the process of taking it out of the box and plugging the rounds into a magazine reduces its useful life to 6-12 months.
That said I do rotate my SD ammo butter timeline is not measured in months. Maybe every other year, depending.
My confidence in premium carry ammo is pretty high. Years back my 3 yr. old, 3 yr. warrantied front load washer AND dryer both died (hecho en Mexico).
So for awhile I was going to a laundromat. One of those trips I had left a spare P239 mag w/ JHPs in a pants pocket. It went through the wash and got nice and clean in the pants pocket.
The dryer, though, started ejecting some of them from the mag but I didn't think much of the clanking until everything was done and dryer hot.
I set those 7 aside until a later range trip and they all functioned fine.
Seven rounds is a small sample but I think it's more the norm.
ETA: We see handgun torture tests all the time. I guess I've never paid attention if they were loaded or not and exposed to unfavorable conditions for the ammo. It would be nice to see some specific ammo torture tests just to see what it takes to get a few misfires.
|I Deal In Lead
I'm with you guys. I'm carrying a BUG with rounds in it that are now 4 years old and when it hits 5, I'm going to shoot them and report back.
My regular carry I change around every 3 years at this point and I'm pretty sure I'm wasting the ammo.
The rounds in my "BUG" are over 5 years old, and I still have confidence that they will perform if called upon. JMHO
Waaaayyy back in the day (1968, I was 13 yrs old) My Grandmother found a plastic container, no lid, of about 4-500 rounds of loose, mixed, mostly .22 long rifle ammo in the kitchen cabinet. She told me it had been my father's. Left there before my parents got married.
I'm sure this ammo had been not been well cared for. As a 13 yr old I was in hog heaven and thought I had enough ammo to last for years. That was not to be. LOL. I shot all of that ammo. I don't remember but a VERY few not going bang.
Back about 1977 I loaded around 400 rds of .38 Special target ammo. 3.2 grns of Unique, 148 grn wadcutter ammo, CCI 500 primers; I shot 300+/- rds of that about 8-10 yrs ago. It ALL went bang. I shot the rest about 3 years ago. Same story. It ALL went bang. This ammo had been stored loose in a Milsurp ammo can stored in the basement.
I got a bunch of odd lots of ammo when my father in law died. A lot of it was shotgun shells, but there was some rifle ammo and some rimfire ammo, too. Some were cartridges I have no gun for, and all of it was from the 1970s and earlier. They had been kept in garages all over the country, and spent the last 20 to 30 years of their lives in a hot, humid, Houston garage.
Every single round I put in a gun fired. All of it. Killed some ducks and doves with the shotgun ammo. Had fun plinking with the rimfire, but saved a box .22 shorts and .22 longs. Now, if I can just lay my hands on a .250 Savage and a .222 Remington . . .
The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
friend to all
Back in the late 59's I loaded a bunch of 45 long colt cartridges, put them in a box with no cover and the sat around until the late 70's. Mice had moved in an build a huge nest in the pile of cartridges. Naturally the cartridges were caked with mouse urine and feces. I decided to clean them up and see what happened, soaked them in soapy water, scrubbed them with steel wool until they would chamber, then let them dry in the sun.
After a couple days I loaded them up in my fathers WWII colt and shot them up. All went off except one. Some were weaker than others, many cases split, but after over 30 years of the worst storage conditions, that was not bad.
A lady brought in a WWII Luger her grandfather had left on the mantle. It was loaded and completely rusted tight. Soaked it is diesel fuel striped it down cleaned and loaded the old ammo back up, it all shot.
I have a case of WWII corrosive 45 ammo, I believe it will be more valuable this next gun show!
This is what made me ask a while ago. Just found it happening again. Loaded mags stored in cured leather mag pouch on shelf in air conditioned closet. Not sure how long but likely > 12 months. The mag pouch was made with 1 1/4" belt loops, which I rarely wear any more.
The color is much more green than the photos shows. Only on gold Dot bullet, not on nickel plated case. The tiny black spots on the cases wiped right off and were probably eensey-weensey leather shreds. I change from brass to nickel cases after my OP but have no tarnished brass case images from then.
Life's been good to me so far
I had some 9mm in magazines in a bedside safe that was almost always left open unless I was traveling.
I stopped carrying that gun but left the mags and loaded gun sitting in a holster there for years.
Took it to the range and everything was fine.
Modern ammo lasts a long time. I inherited my fathers WW2 Luger. Took it to be cleaned and checked. The mag was full with original issue German 9mm. It was green and they advised me not to shoot it. Who knows it might have gone bang.
When I was stationed at Bragg in the early 80s they brought in some 45 ACP to shoot up that came in crates that were WWII era. Ammo was loaded in mags which were wrapped in oiled brown paper. At that point the crates were right at 40 years old. My recollection is that the story was they had found the crates somewhere and sent it to Bragg to use in training.
During the summer months we used to train cadets from various schools/academies for their summer programs. Active duty NCOs from the units were pulled to run ranges, FTXs, etc…. There was a summer jump school as well. This is where the old ammo went. I was on a different range and didn’t see the old ammo fired, but heard that it ran fine.
You can shoot up your ammo if you want, but if stored properly ammo will last a very long time.
|Frangas non Flectes
About a month ago, I went shooting and shot up a 100+ rounds of mixed 9mm Hornady Critical Defense, Golden Sabers, and HST's. Until this last year, I think I got about eight or nine years of carry out of these rounds, and a fair number of them had some visual degree of bullet setback from repeated chamberings. Yes, I did it knowing I wasn't supposed to. None of it failed to fire, none of it blew up my Glock. It all performed exactly the way it's supposed to.
I think the "shoot up your carry ammo and rotate in fresh stuff every [period of time]" thing is, at the very least, entirely unnecessary with quality ammo. At the worst, it's total bullshit we've somehow convinced ourselves of because it sounds good. If you're law enforcement and you shoot up your loaded duty ammo on qualifications, I can see the reasons, and many of them being rooted in many officers not being "gun guys." For the rest of us, I think changing out your ammo every three months is ridiculous.
I've got a similar amount and mix of .40 that's even older sitting in a bag next to me as I type this, and maybe the same amount of it again in .45ACP in another bag. I had figured I would shoot it up also, but now I'm not convinced I need to. Probably just load it back into mags and call it good. I also have some .380 Critical Defense I took swimming about eight years ago to shoot up at some point. I think if anything will potentially fail, it would be that stuff, but I'm willing to bet it all shoots fine. I'll report back afterwards.
Carthago delenda est
This is "Merica. We produce great quality ammo, mostly. Stick with name brand ammo, none of the off brand. If it fails, often as not its the guns fault.
About 40 or so years ago, a bunch of us went shooting. Nice free range. I'm old, poor, and cheap. Sort of. One of our group, shot up all his ammo and was begging. So I gave him maybe 50 or so of my handloads. Even I've got enough sense not to shoot up factory ammo. So the gun, Earl (aka Earl the Pearl), Loaded up his off brand revolver and proceeded to have 3 misfires in the first gun load. Never mind a buddy and I had been firing for over an hour with none. So he got hot, dumped the rest in a nearby garbage can and left. The buddy dug out the ammo and they all fired. Lots of chuckles. This guy owns and runs an auto repair shop. Guns might be dangerous. His maybe not, who knows.
I'm old and have maybe a faulty memory. I can't ever remember any of my reloads failing to fire.
I've had more failures to fire with "economy' factory ammo, but not many of those. Premium loads, never. American factory ammo is just about perfect. It always goes bang. But then the same goes for handloads. If you spent time and effort, its reliable. Foreign crap brands, I don't know about, I don't shoot it.
Now I agree we need to tell others to change out their ammo every 3 months, 6 months, or a year. How else are we supposed to get free ammo. Remember, there's a bucket at the gun club for old ammo. Leave out the idea you don't belong to a gun club. Particularly 22 lr stuff.
Unhappy ammo seeker
Depends on what I’m carrying honestly. Most of my SD is nickle plated and gets cycled every 6 months. When I carry ball ammo, it’s brass cased and still gets cycled every 6 months. Never had an issue with the brass cased ammo.
A few years ago, when I was collecting and shooting military rifles and handguns, I shot a lot of WW2 30'06 and 45ACP. A small portion of that was pre-war.
I don't recall any failures to fire, though I did have one lot of some caliber that had a lot of hangfires-I just can't recall the caliber now. It was rifle ammo and not 30'06, but beyond that, I've forgotten.
A gun mag writer recommended changing one's carry ammo twice a year and suggested when time changed to daylight savings and then change again when it changed back to standard.
Tried that a few years (2-3) but started shooting up our carry ammo several times a year, so it was no longer necessary to keep track since the carry ammo was pretty new.
I'd say we average an ammo change in SD guns at least 4 times a year, probably more.
At the department I worked at, we qualed 4x each year. Two of those quals were done with duty ammo - then fresh ammo rotated in.
I rotate my carry ammo now once a year, I shoot it during my LEOSA Retired Officer's qual. I also have my wife shoot a qual course each year with her carry ammo - then replace it.
Tomorrow's battle is won during today's practice.
SD ammo really should be used at least once a year.
Removing SD ammo mags to go to the range with range ammo beats up the nose possibly losing the crimp, so send it down range and avoid this. Also corrosion of brass is unlikely if used at least yearly.
I had an uncle who gently polished his hunting ammo regularly because he never used it in the field. When hunting, he'd find a big tree, scrape all of the leaves away, and go to sleep :-)
I don’t insist on nickel plated, however most all carry ammo I buy is nickel plated by default.
EDITED TO ADD: I shoot my carry ammo every 6ish months or so. Never noticed any issues with corrosion or function.
My woods ammo is 9MM NATO and I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ll carry the same ammo for the whole season and then shoot it when the season is over. Never an issue with it.
I have left mags loaded for years in a safe for my P239 and P229.
Different calibers, I have 3 barrels for each gun.
Never had a problem when I switched out a barrel to shoot something I had not carried in a while.
I still have hundreds of .357 sig rounds, that I will get around to shooting someday and a smaller number of .40.
I have no fear that when I take them to the range they will go bang as always.
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