How Long Does Ammo Last in Storage?

Do ammo and firearms expire? They do. Probably you’ve never thought about whether Ammo expires. The thought even seems somehow farfetched. However, its imperative to know how long ammo lasts in storage.

A clear view is after purchasing your firearm, it will last forever if properly cared for. The idea makes so much sense, considering how old guns are used to date.

However, the truth is Ammo and firearms are not eternal and expires within a duration. The question should be on how long Ammo lasts stored? To answer this, you must consider the storage conditions. The storage environment should picture why old military weapons are still in use.

How Long Does Ammo Last in Storage?

Ammunition’s life is mainly dependent on storage conditions. While other guns may last more than the manufacturers guarantee, others will malfunction over a short duration.

Most manufacturers give a ten-year guarantee period. However, when ammunition is safely stored under suitable conditions, it easily exceeds the ten-year period. You’ve probably seen the military using old-generation shells due to the storage facilities they have.

Do All Ammunition Have the Same Shelf-Life Period?

Just as products have different expiry date ammunition have different shelf live period. As technology evolves, modern ammunition is now designed to last longer than the buyer.

The significant difference created in modern ammunition is the change of propellant. Modern ammunition uses smokeless powder, while traditional ammunition used black powder.

Another consideration is the material used in making the ammunition. Steel and brass have a considerable difference. Steel ammunition quickly corrodes as opposed to brass; however, steel proves to last longer than brass when stored properly.

Modern ammunition can last a lifetime if kept under the recommended conditions. In addition, most modern ammunition is now being sealed to prevent moisture and corrosion. As a result, the modern ammo lasts stored longer than the previous ten-year guarantee.

What About Your EDC Ammo?

Ammo last in storage longer; however, there is the everyday carry piece. Depending on the environment and the period the gun stays safe, ammunition is more susceptible to degradation. Wetter climate areas and outdoor ammunition have an even higher rate of degradation. Therefore, such guns need constantly checked and kept in cool, dry areas.

Which Are The Recommended Storage Conditions For Ammo?

There are several things to think about when setting up a storage room for your Ammo. They are as follows:

  • Avoid storing your Ammo anywhere near solvents and oils, as they could infiltrate the cartridges.
  • Avoid a storage environment with scorching temperatures.
  • Ensure the room temperature remains constant and there’s are no sudden changes. In cases of humid conditions, have airtight sealed canisters.
  • Another safety tip is to keep the Ammo in a permanent location.
  • You can purchase a dehumidifier to help you manage humid conditions.

Safety Measures With Ammo And Firearms

Ammo and firearms last longer based on design, Storage, and handling. All ammunition is made to endure harsh conditions and handling such as dropping, scratches, and being scampered.

However, Ammo quickly reacts to changes in temperatures such as moisture, heat, or cold. The conditions under which Ammo has been stored will determine if it can take a few straight shots.

It’s advisable to store your Ammo in a dark room, although it’s not critically recommended. UV rays damage the ammunition; hence storing it away keeps it safe.

It would be best if you chose storage containers strategically. The actual storage containers may not be secure enough to eliminate humid conditions. The best storage boxes ate the military metal ammo cans that are green in color. These cans have met all the safety conditions.

Your grandpa’s old gun could be quite as effective as modern ammunition. It all depends on Storage and how often you go out shooting. If you constantly shoot your weapon, it runs the risk of exploring faster than the guaranteed expiration date. The guarantee does not necessarily mean the gun will last for the period.

Can Firearms Last More Than Ten Years?

Certainly, firearms can beat the 10 year mark quite easily. You will quickly notice remote areas people using the old ammunition model. Some people still own an effective fifty to a hundred-year-old gun. There are also people shooting with World War one firearms.

Hey, don’t step out to hunt with that WWI or WWII yet. Your grandparent’s firearms are still intact because of good preservation conditions. In addition, old model ammunition was well packaged throughout its existence from manufacturing to purchase to date. The oldest gun still in use was found in 1970.

So How Do You Know Ammo Has Broken Down?

When Ammo has broken down, you will notice changes in power, speed, and consistency. The Ammo will not be able to power up fast enough to do several rounds at a go. At times, the ammunition will not fire even after constantly trying. At tough times it may have a hangfire.

Now you can stop thinking those movie stars fire slower than others; the simple reason is a delay in ammunition. A firearm will hangfire when moisture dampens the powder and primer. Moisture means any humid substance such as spills, rain, or water. Moisture also causes the exterior parts to corrode.

Excess heat in equal measures also interferes with the ammo functioning as it increases the powder breakdown rate.

Are Thirty-Year-Old Gun Bullets Safe To Use?

Yes, you are safe to take out your grandpa’s bullets, but hold on; it all depends on the storage conditions. You must be wondering how to know if the storage measures were good enough. The bullet is part of the cartridge; therefore, your focus should be there. If the cartridge seems corroded, unfortunately, you cannot use the bullets. However, there is seventy-five-year-old WWII surplus ammo still being used.


The last piece of advice is to be keen on the ammunition you purchase. Cheap Ammo will not last long enough and is at risk of faults sooner. Furthermore, such Ammo requires to be kept entirely away from the moisture environment. Also, remember that it is more susceptible to moisture if you carry your gun around; hence, its corrosion rate is higher. All these tips should help give your Ammo great years of performance.

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