The useful life of ammunition depends to a large extent on the conditions in which they are stored. Most manufacturers guarantee that their ammunition will last at least a decade. That said, ammunition can last more than 10 years if stored under ideal conditions. There are countless stories of surplus military ammunition that was used many decades after its manufacture.
Ammunition can be a minimum of 10 years old and can last indefinitely, but there are several factors that affect its overall lifespan. These include ammunition storage conditions and current manufacturing practices. Again, the useful life of ammunition is theoretical. As long as your ammunition is safely stored and protected against moisture or sudden temperature changes, you should be able to store it for decades.
Manufacturers often recommend that ammunition be stored for up to 10 years. But with the right tools and knowledge, your rounds can last longer than that. With the right conditions, your ammo can last more than 50 years. Plano's Tactical Custom Ammo Box is made of durable plastic and also features a sturdy handle and O-ring seal.
Ammunition companies send a conservative message, probably because they don't want accountability if it doesn't fire (and, hey, they'd like to sell more ammunition. The best practice for storing ammunition is to essentially store it in a dedicated safe, with your weapons in a separate safe and ideally stored unloaded, except for the weapons you keep for self-defense. Controlling the humidity level of your storage room is the first step to the long-term effectiveness of your ammunition. With the right storage bins and a well-ventilated room, your ammo arsenal can last for decades.
The basic rule for keeping your ammo last is to store it in a cool, dark, and dry place, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Since brass is 70 percent copper (and the remaining 30 percent is zinc), ammoniated solvents can create a hazardous condition that causes brass to crack without having been burned. However, you should practice the following tips to ensure that your ammunition is in optimal condition when it is finally loaded into the chamber. But if not properly stored, your ammunition can corrode and absorb moisture, rendering it useless in less than a year.
You can store your ammo cans anywhere in your home, as long as the area is dark, well-ventilated, and not exposed to temperature fluctuations. No matter how you store your ammo, it's always smart to fire the oldest ammo first if you make non-critical shots. Never return bullets that have been exposed to moisture and external factors to your stockpile to preserve your ammunition. However, your weapon may be able to fire with the same ammunition even beyond the decade, provided it is stored in ideal conditions.
Ammunition should never be stored at very high temperatures, such as in the trunk of a car in summer, where temperatures can exceed 135.