How long does Ammo last?


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Nov 21, 2008
I've heard that primers will eventually go bad, but im not sure if it is several months or several years. How long is it safe to keep the same rounds loaded in my handgun?


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Sep 20, 2008
Longer than you need to worry about, while in the Marines a few years ago it was routine for us to shoot off Korean War vintage .50 ammo without a hitch. There are also numerous stories of Grandad's WWII Colt reliably firing off all that was in the magazine....


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Nov 8, 2008
South of San Antonio
+1 Dirty D...
You can still find and shoot WW II ammo....
I rotate my carry ammo every couple years if it hasnt been shot and use the old stuff at the range. (mainly because I like the look of shiny new Speer Gold Dots)
target ammo I keep forever or until I am ready to shoot it.....
i am not woried about "stale" ammo

jim t

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Mar 4, 2008
Hawley Texas
I sshot some 1938 8x56 yesterday. had no misfires or hang fires or no fires. good ammo and great gun. dont have a clue how long ammo will last but 1938 ammo is still good, so if you bought it while you are alive i think it is ok. that is so long as you store it in a cool dry place.


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Feb 29, 2008
I heard about some guy handing out some 1920s-era .303 British to the SMLE shooters at his local range that had been stored in a wooden crate outdoors without moisture protection and only a handful didn't fire.

Read somewhere else about some guys in an Army warehouse finding some interwar (1930s?)-era loaded 1911 magazines in the 1980s and shooting them off without a hitch (both the magazines and ammunition performed flawlessly) - again, no special storage arrangements.

If you store your ammunition indoors with climate control, odds are it will outlast you.
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