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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Out to the range today with some surplus ammo from 1966. Shoots like it was made yesterday. In fact it was East German 7.62x39. Each and every one went bang. It was originally sealed in a can, but that can has been open since 1995. Made no difference. Think it was about .06/ round when I bought it. Wish I'd bought a lot more.

Thought I'd post this for the thread that pops up now and again asking "How old is too old for ammo?" I don't know. I've never found any that was too old.
 

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My dad recently gave me some 22LR from 1950. I'm not sure if I'm going to try it, bit it looks fine to me. It would be what- 64 years old? Older than me by a few years. :)
 

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I've fired some vintage .38 S&W Cartridges that had to be pre-1950s with no problem. I recall firing one .38 S&W Cartridge that was Black Powder loaded, I'm guessing it might have been 1920s or 1930s era?, not sure when Black Powder loaded cartridges became uncommon? I had a bunch of surplus .303" that was made by FN in 1950 that every cartridge fired with out a hitch. Also fired a handfull of British made .303" from 1945 that fired, but some were hang fires.
Mark
 

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When sorting range pick ups I found 6 45 ACP head stamped U.S.C.CO. 17 they still have what look like factory primers in them. WW
 

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I had some military surplus 8mm Mauser ammo given to me.Very old.It did not fire.I looked and it had a deep indentation from the pin.I tried them again .After a few times they would fire.I decided that I did not want to play with live ammo ,because it is not worth getting injured over.So,I got some new stuff that works just fine.
 

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FYI your east german ammo was made in czechoslovakia. EG never made their own ammo.

of course you know it is corrosive primed.
 

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A few years back when I used a very beat up "Eastern European Poseur Mauser" that I ended up selling, I fired some early 1940's Turkish made 7.92mm cartridges, not one of them was a dud...
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I said East German because the printing and ID info was in German. I have no idea where it was made, but thanks for the input.
 

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I have 3 FA 19 30'06 cartriges I'll fire on 11 November 2018 if I'm still alive - that will be in an Eddystone Enfield in honor of my grandfather, mustard-gassed and lifelong disabled in June 1918. He was a combat engineer, and carried a P17 Enfield (it's in the photo). The last of this I fired a few years ago went bang just fine, but I cleaned up the rifle with hot, soapy water as it is corrosive-primed.

 

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Being known as a gun fanatic can have its advantages, and one of them is that people give me ammo they found in the attic, an old trunk, or a box of junk. Depending on condition, I will often fire it, just to see how close it comes to the original quoted ballistics (which were often rather optimistic, to put it mildly). Most of it goes bang on the first try, though some take a good whack or three before they ignite.

One officer I worked with asked if I had a 45, and when I nodded he handed me an unopened box of 45ACP ammo, 1942 production, but the headstamp escapes me, it might have been EC, as in Evansville Chrysler, one of many plants converted to ammo production during the harried days of WWII. It was fired in a standard 1911, and while five or six of them had to be hit more than once, they all went off with the usual noise and recoil. They were steel-cased.

I gave this one to a friend with the warning that it was corrosive........he said it fired just fine. The headstamp indicates it was made in December of 1913 at Frankford Arsenal........the OLD one!

 

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I fired, a few years ago some pifire ammo in an old revolver, and the also all made the good sound. In principle a well made cartridge lasts a very long time. I guess even if there were crtridges from the civil war in 45-70, they would still work. Anybody know if it has been tried, with the result?
 

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48yr old ammo should shoot just fine. But you may have to put some glasses on'em so they can find the target.
 

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I said East German because the printing and ID info was in German. I have no idea where it was made, but thanks for the input.
it was absolutely packaged and treated as german. most east germans at the time probably had no idea it was czech-made. I have some. my post was just a bit of trivia. moscow had some unusual ideas for what the east germans would and would not do.
 

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I've been shooting up some of my .44 Mag handloads from the late 70's for the past year or so. Needing the brass to use during this shortage,I was curious how they were. They shot the same as ever,filled the Spring Turkey tag 2013 with a .44 load that shot just fine. I think how the ammo is stored affects its shelf life. A lot of surplus ammo was stored in armories and warehouses with large temperature variations,so it may be degraded.
I've shot .30-06 and 8mm Mauser from the 40's and 50's that worked just fine. Hot water and Hoppe's #9 cleans up corrosive primer residue.

Rob
 

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You have brought up something I've been wondering about for a while, rob42049. We worry about temperature & weather while storing & shooting our ammo, but the military is storing & using ammo in every kind of environment around the world. I mean the stuff could sit in a hot armored vehicle in a desert for weeks, if not months or more, or in the frozen northernmost outpost of the arctic.
 

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My dad gave me some of his 22 Hornet that he bought in the 60's, mil surp. Every one of those still go bang. I probably have almost 1,000 of those rounds still packed in their 50 round paper boxes.
 

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someone forgot to tell me that ammo made in the '60's is old, I have been shooting it in my Garand for a long time
 
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