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Hello everyone.

I am spending this Holiday weekend cleaning out my garage. Sounds fun right?

Anyway...I have several hundred rounds of old ammo that I ended up with after my grandfather passed. Ranges from shotgun to hand gun to rifle rounds. Most of is is at minimum 30 years old. What is the best course of action to dispose of? Don't feel very comfortable just throwing away.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Shoot it. I've shot shotgun shell 40+ years old. Some of my 16 gauge shells are pushing 50
 
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I agree with LL. But then again if it was stored in your garage it may have been stored in some extreme conditions (extreme heat, extreme cold) which can take its toll on ammunition. I don't know that it would necessarily make it unsafe, but you might have some hang fires which could be unsafe if fired by an inexperienced rifleman that doesn't know the proper procedure for dealing with one.

Back when I was in high school I took a kid grouse hunting once that brought his stepdads ancient side by side double barrel 16 gauge that looked like it came out west with Louis and Clark. The ammunition looked equally old and a lot of the brass bases had quite a bit of rust on them. We didn't get into any grouse that day, but I remember only like every other shell actually fired. That kid is a hardcore hippie vegan now that probably wanted that dentist's head on a stake when he got the news about Cecil the lion. Seeing what he is like now I'm amazed that he went hunting with me all those years ago and actually attempted to kill animals.
 

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I'd just shoot it as long as it hasn't been sitting in a tub of water.

CCgunner, brass will not rust but it will tarnish over time and is fine to shoot. Perhaps the shells didn't fire because of the shotgun itself and a weak firing pin spring? It is hard to tell without actually being able to examine both the shotgun and the ammo.
 

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Critter I think you might be right about the firing pin not striking hard enough. Very well could be a gun problem and not an ammo problem. If memory serves me correctly these shells were so old they were made out of paper and not the hard plastic we see now. Maybe this material isn't as good at protecting the powder from the elements as the plastic?
 

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I agree. If you've got the firearms to match the ammo, shoot it up.

When I was in high school, I was out shooting with a couple of friends, this old guy shows up with a shotgun and asks if we've seen any quail out. I watched the dude load up one of those paper shotgun shells that had broken and was leaking pellets as he put it into the chamber of a break action. I was relieved when he walked the other way, and equally relieved that we wouldn't have to go look for him when he actually returned to his vehicle.
 

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Hello everyone.

I am spending this Holiday weekend cleaning out my garage. Sounds fun right?

Anyway...I have several hundred rounds of old ammo that I ended up with after my grandfather passed. Ranges from shotgun to hand gun to rifle rounds. Most of is is at minimum 30 years old. What is the best course of action to dispose of? Don't feel very comfortable just throwing away.

Thanks in advance!
Uh....my tennis shoes are 30 years old.

I recently shot some factory .256 Newton ammo that was over 75 years old. It was fine.

Sounds like ya have some interesting stuff.

.
 

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If the ammo looks good...no signs of moisture, go ahead and use it. But with older ammo, I guess with ammo in general, you need to remember the "hang fire" rules. If a round doesn't fire immediately, never rush to open the chamber or eject the shell. Give it at least 10-15 seconds sitting in the safety of the chamber. If it hasn't gone off in that time you are probably ok to eject it.
Oh, one more thing, if a round sounds weak or soft, be sure you check your barrel to make sure the bullet cleared. Many a fine .22 has bit the dust from a round stuck halfway down the barrel. Of course it can happen with any rifle.
 

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Yup, what cartridges are we talking about here?? Perhaps I can help put your mind at ease by personally taking care of them.....
 
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