View Full Version : Safety of old shells

10-31-2005, 6:44 PM
I'm gathering up ammunition for a trip to Panoche some time in November, and that includes shotgun ammunition. I found several boxes of old shells and some new ones. All the old stuff is lead shot, so I'd prefer to shoot that up (trying not to use the steel shot). The trouble is, these are some old handloads (made some time during the 80s) that my grandfather made. They have plastic hulls and are semi-transparent, and I can see that they don't have shot cups. I took one apart and everything looks fine. But I'm not sure if they are safe, due to the age. I've never shot a shotgun myself, and it would be a real bummer if it explodes the first time ;). I will be using an 870 Express Magnum. If there is any doubt, I'll just go with the new ones.

Help a n00b out?

10-31-2005, 10:42 PM
AFAIK, old ammo shouldn't go bad in the explosive sense, unless it was loaded wrong in the first place. Bottom line- how much do you trust grampa :D


11-01-2005, 7:04 AM
Well, I know that they were loaded fine, so it's just a matter of age.

50 Shooter
11-01-2005, 8:01 AM
If they've been stored right they should be fine, I have some old paper shells laying around that are in prefect condition.

Moisture will destroy ammo faster then anything, keep your ammo stored in a cool dry place or in a ammo can that will keep out moisture. You can always buy some of the dissicant (sp?) packs and throw them in with the ammo.

11-01-2005, 8:23 AM
These have been stored in a safe all this time, so they shouldn't have been exposed to moisture.

11-01-2005, 3:22 PM
Like the previous poster said, if you trusted your grandfather and you know for certain he didnt have a lapse in memory when loading the shells, they will be fine.

I just went out and shot up a bunch of paper hulls that was sold by Sears back in the days guns were sold over the counter. They sounded a little funny, but fired fine, guess they used slower powder back then compared to today.

If you truely dont want to take a chance..and me personally..I wouldnt shoot ANYONES reloads but my own. If my gun blows up in my face, I dont want to point the finger at anyone other than myself...and believe me, Im good at finding reasons to blame others!:rolleyes: